#419 – Dick Bernard: Going below the surface in political hate e-mails. And, by the way, it is the Congress, specifically the House of Representatives, that authorizes the expenditures…and the debt. And mostly, it's been Republican. And "we, the people" elect every one of these representatives every two years.

Directly Related post here; other related posts, here and here.
Yesterday, a valued relative of mine sent me one of those ubiquitous anti-Obama forwards. This one was full of dismal statistics about America suggesting that every problem was all Obama’s fault. I replied: “So what does this prove…? Is Obama THE government?” He responded: “Let’s say the situation was reversed and these same figures happened under George Bush and you sent me the same e-mail and I replied, “So what does this prove, Dick? Is Bush THE government?” I responded “But I didn’t send you the same e-mail…
I included a few more sentences that probably won’t convince my correspondent (who claims he’s “independent”). So it goes. (Point of fact: in most of the Bush years, THE government: House, Senate and Presidency, was Republican.)
Out of curiosity, I checked my e-file against what I’ve received from this man. He’d sent me 20 of these kinds of forwards, the first on July 3. All of them had been forwarded to him by someone else, probably a friend.
In the same period I had sent one “political’ item to family members, written by myself, and clearly labeled POLITICAL in the Subject line. In that one I was commenting on Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, then-candidates in Iowa whose records I know far too well – she’s my Congresswoman, and he was MN Governor.
My relative has been invited to read this post, and if he does, he may be surprised at how many of those things he’s sent on. Collectively, they support what I posted earlier here on June 27, 2011. He’s a foot-soldier enlisted to kill President Obama. He probably won’t like to hear that, but it’s true.
I’m one of what I believe is a small group of people who actually like getting this hate-mail circulating against the Government, Liberals, Democrats and Obama. It ‘comes in all shapes and sizes’, is sometimes subtle, sometimes very direct, but always, always, it aims to stimulate the base emotions of fear, loathing and anger, with no interest or concern about accuracy of fact. If the objective is to make the reader hate Government and all it represents, Democrats or Obama, it is not necessary to explain the piece. One just needs to get blood boiling with rage. Facts don’t matter at all. The intention is a mob mentality, mostly in people in my senior citizen age group. It is disgusting, but it is effective.
It reminds me of one particularly unfortunate situation I was proximate to a few years ago. The Middle School age daughter of good friends of ours was targeted by some of her female classmates with incessant hate e-mails. The parents and (I believe) the school administration did all they could do to stop this terror campaign, but nothing worked. Ultimately, the family sold their home and moved to a new town and their daughter had an opportunity to start over and be the honor student that she could be. (She’s now in University).
The gang of teen girls ‘won’, I guess…but what did they really ‘win’? Same question for the producers and distributors of the hate mail.
Last week, from two people in Illinois and Arizona who have no way of knowing each other, came identical copies of one of these hate-mails which was especially interesting. It was interesting in that, while its targets were people like me, it was most accurately and appropriately describing the current Republican and Tea Party Congress, especially the U.S. House of Representatives. For those with an interest, I’m reprinting most of the e-mail below, with annotations.
If you aren’t interested in detail, at least note this accurate quote from the particular e-mail (which proclaims itself to be “completely neutral”): “The Constitution [of the United States], which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes…House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
Note also, that in the e-mail there is not a single suggestion about who it is that selects those members of the House of Representatives – it is we, the electorate in those 435 Congressional districts around the U.S. They are Us. Your vote (or non-vote) can have dire consequences. WE are totally responsible for the mess in Washington.
Note, (and consider printing out), the single sheet that shows the general composition of the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate and Presidency since 1977. It is here: Congress 1977-2011001 I prepared this sheet for my own information in April, 2009, (with update for 2011-13 today) less than three months after President Obama was inaugurated. I prepared it because already then, the President was being accused of being a failure as President. The campaign has been incessant since then.
The e-mail from which the above quote has been extracted follows in total, with my additional comments bold-faced and in [brackets]. Most of what Reese writes about I, as a liberal, could easily agree with, regardless of what party is in power.
Minor word changes that do not seem to reflect Reese’s meaning are not noted here.
The analysis of the e-mail, at least the portion supposedly written by Charley Reese can be found here.
THE SUPPOSED CHARLEY REESE COMMENTS
“Be sure to read the Tax List at the end” [not included, as it has nothing to do with Charlie Reese]
This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat [agree]. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. Its a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering! [No idea who wrote this preamble, typical of such forwards]
545 vs. 300,000,000 People
by Charlie Reese
[Much of the column printed below is word-for-word from a 1985 version which did not appear in the Orlando Sentinel. There was a similar column in the 1995 Orlando Sentinel, but with differing wording. Reese did write both. In 1985 the Congress was Democrat and the President Republican. In 1995 and again in 2011, the Congress was Republican and the President Democrat.]

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
[In his 1995 version, Reese said this, which was left out of the 2011 forward: I exclude the vice president because constitutionally he has no power except to preside over the Senate and to vote only in the case of a tie.] I excluded [excused]the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913 Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.
[in 1985 version but not in 2011: Don’t you see the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? ] Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. [In the forward, but not in 1985 column: Who is the speaker of the House now? He is the leader of the majority party. he and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.]
[ditto It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 who stand convicted — by resent facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.]
[ditto If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.]
[ditto If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.]
[ditto If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan…]
[ditto If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.]
[ditto There are no insoluble government problems.]
[ditto Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.]
Those 545 people, and they alone are responsible.
[in 2011, not in 1985:They, and they alone, have the power.]
They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided they have the gumptin to manage their own employees…
[in 2011, not in 1985: We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!]
The rest of the 2011 forward, fully half of the document, has nothing at all to do with the real or alleged Charley Reese column so is not reprinted here.

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