Somehow, in the past few days, one of your campaign fund-raising letters has made it to our home, via United States Mail. There is a neat irony in this, since in your meeting with members of the Postal Union, you displayed an ignorance of the causes of the problems facing the Post Office that takes one’s breath away.
But that’s for another day, perhaps. Today, I’d like to publicly reply to your letter, which you were kind enough to send to send our way.
It was my first impulse to write one of those silly things that people do on the bottom of such form letters and return it to your campaign. While this may have made me happy for a few minutes, and I could brag to others, I also know that you’ll never see any snotty comments I leave on a form that isn’t accompanied by a check or money order.
I’m not going to flatter myself into believing that you’ll read this, either. . The world is full of writers who claim that politicians read their stuff before breakfast. But that way, as the Bard wrote, lies madness.
You begin by warning me that:
“Friend, America has reached the point of no return.”
Well, if nothing else, the folks who write your your material for you have mastered the Glenn Beck/Fox News/Sarah Palin style of reaching out to the crowd. Start with Panic, and work your way up from there.
Going along in this vein, you warn me that it is time we “reach back to embrace free enterprise and limited government roots . . . or stay on the path of busybody liberal government.”
You go on to say how you have been described as a “conservative’s conservative,” but also how even you were “shocked” at how out-of-control things had gotten our nation’s capital.
Well, shocked as you are, you have “now” made it your “ . . . mission to get the cumbersome government out of the way so that “entrepreneurs . . . ” can grow our economy once more.
You also warn that “Liberals” - well, thanks for not using for word “progressives,” anyway - are adopting a “command-and-control mentality to our economy.”
Command-and-control mentality? While there may be some who appreciate your Starship Troopers approach to American citizenship, whoever told you that command-and-control sounded spiffy, they were - well, wrong. You can’t just pull phrases out of your old kit bag, and hope nobody actually knows what they really mean.
With Democratic challenger Ken Aden out of the race, and two other candidates who may just cancel each out, to be frank, I’m not sure why you think I might want the honor of joining your “conservative crusade” and send you $25, $35, $50, $100, $250, $500, or even $1,000 or more.
I don’t know. Maybe you know more than I do. After all, why mention this chance to join your crusade twice in a three page letter?
But you aren’t all that confident, are you? Even with Aden out of the race? This letter, written on July 6, says that you are facing a “tough re-election.” And so you want us all to be at our “fighting best.”
Steve, are you ever afraid that at some point you may become a caricature, the tin soldier evoking martial imagery every time he opens his mouth or sends something out to his constituents? Your emails to your constituents - more on that in a moment - are titled “From the Front,” as if you are battling an insidious enemy on our behal, enemies both foreign and domestic.
But the truth of the matter, Steve, from everything you write, is that you are at war with a sizable number of the American people, including many in your own district.
Hence the perpetual scowl?
In your letter, a love song to “common sense” - which means all things to all people - you assure me that you are not afraid to fight for the “ . . . conservative convictions that you and I both share . . .”
I am beginning to suspect that you really don’t know an awful lot about me, Steve.
You’ve stepped on a lot of liberal toes, you assure me. Including the toes of people who have attempted to engage you in debate at public forums in Northwest Arkansas?
Steve, you tell me that you come from the state of “entrepreneurs” and you are afraid the conditions that existed that allowed Sam Walton, Don Tyson or J.B. Hunt have been destroyed by the command-and-control crowd.
Do you mean tax breaks, Steve?
You warn me that “regulations” make the future uncertain for “entrepreneurs” - well, really, the future is uncertain for every business, isn’t it? But which regulations in particular don’t you like?
At the bottom of your inspirational letter you promise that you will not only lead by example, but you will always “lead from the front.”
I know that you were in the National Guard, Steve, and that martial imagery seems to be the only way you can conceive of connecting with the troops (voters), but really, can you not throw in a few new phrases from time to time? Perhaps you could run a few up the flagpole, so to speak, and see if anybody salutes?
As for “Leading from the Front,” (which sort of implies that perhaps you may not be a team player, but think of yourself as part of the officer class in Congress), you had this to say about the Affordable care Act.
“During my first year and a half in Congress, I have heard from constituents across the district on a daily basis who want nothing less than a full repeal of this overreaching and burdensome tax on American families.
“On Monday, the House passed H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act. I am proud to have cosponsored and voted for the bill.
“Look, I agree that not everything in PPACA is bad including the coverage pre-existing conditions and allowing dependent coverage until the age of 26, but I do have some concerns with what this law will do to the future of healthcare in our country.”
Okay, Steve, I’ll just say this about that.
The Repeal of Obamacare Act? That isn’t what it is even called, dude. You voted on something that only exists in your imaginations? And you want praise for that? It doesn’t matter if you referred to it by the proper name in the fine print; you put this together for publicity purposes.
What about those constituents across your district who don’t want the act repealed? Who are they? Part of the command-and-control forces you are protecting us from?
Well, Steve, nobody in our house could find any loose change to send you $1,000 - but maybe your letter scared the hell out of somebody in Northwest Arkansas.
Your fellow American,
Richard S. Drake
Quote of the Day
The surest way to be late is to have plenty of time. - Leo Kennedy