Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The gist of the story is that Rep. Barbara Lee of California wanted to honor the community service of longtime Berkeley Councilwoman Maudelle Shirek. Rep. Lee therefore forwarded a seeming non-controversial proposal to have a post office named after Ms. Shirek. This sort of thing is done pretty commonly. The famed Alaska bridge to no where is being named 'Don Young's Way' after the House member who is responsible for including funding for what most honest brokers acknowlege is a huge piece of pork. So naming a post office after this 94 year old community activist seems like it would be pretty simple right? Not if your a wingnut!
Turns out Rep. Steve King, R-Wingut, thinks this very simple action would honor a woman whose past "sets her apart from, I will say, the most consistent of American values." So he took the trouble to call a roll call vote on the measure (a voice vote is the standard for such procedures, signifying unanimous consent) and it was defeated on nearly a party line vote (the measure would have needed a 2/3 majority to pass). Seriously... they will name a multi-million dollar boondoggle piece of pork bridge after the guy who sees to it that we the taxpayer fund his little project during a time of blossoming deficit and budget crisis, but they will block honoring a long time community activist because they don't like her politics! If I were Mr. Young I would be ashamed to have my name forever attached to that bridge. And if I were Mr. King, I would be ashamed to have been the wingnut who blocked the locals in Berkeley from honoring a longtime community activst.
So... what is Mr. Kings problem with Ms. Shireks past anyway? She was "involved" with the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library in Berkeley. According to Rep. King this means that she "had an affiliation with the Communist Party." Of course Rep. Lee was flabbergasted at the connection and said of Rep. King, his "campaign of innuendo and unsubstantiated 'concern' is better suited to the era of Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover than today's House of Representatives." To which Rep. King retorted (in classic wingnut style) "I think that if Barbara Lee would read the history of Joe McCarthy, she would realize that he was a hero for America."
There you have it! McCarthy is a hero... All that "have you no sense of decency" and what not is just tired old rhetoric that modern day righties just scoff at. Check out this synopsis of the great hero, The Righty Honorable Senator Joseph McCarthy and how he fell from grace. Great American Hero? House Republicans are just out there. Considering the bridge to no where and the sundry other place names granted without partisan rancor one simply must ask of this crowd. Have they no sense of shame?
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