What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 29, 2010

An Update On Wingnuttia Pledge

Remember this?

It was a P-G story on The Pledge of Allegiance, Congressman Murphy, and a League of Women Voters meeting.

I contacted Congressman Murphy's office for a comment. Specifically, I asked:
I was wondering if the Congressman had discussed the absence of the Pledge with either Mr Rich or Mr Woeber (or anyone else) before the meeting. Was his decision to ask about The Pledge made on the stage or before hand? Does he know Rich and Woeber? Or anyone on the Peters GOP committee?

And if the agenda pre-approved by both campaigns, then why was it a problem that the Pledge wasn't on it?
His congressional office told me that as it was a political issue, they were passing it on to his campaign.

I haven't received a response, yet.

Know who else hasn't received a response?

Eric Heyl of the Trib.

It's a very odd experience for me to say this, but I find that I am in agreement with much of Heyl's column (yea, I know, I know!). He's of the opinion that it was a stunt of Murphy's, though that position is cloaked by apophasis. That's where you bring up a point by saying you won't mention it. Here's Heyl at the end of his column:
Did Murphy engage in an act of stunt patriotism? While I would never suggest that, I will note his campaign has posted three pledge-related videos on YouTube since the debate.
Murphy's Media Page tells us who Murphy did talk to: our good friends Quinn and Rose. Heyl asks the same rhetorical question (questions he knows how you're gonna answer) twice more:
Nice to know that both candidates in the 18th Congressional District are pro-Pledge of Allegiance.

Glad that's cleared up. But a pivotal question remains unanswered after Tuesday's debate at Peters Middle School between Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and Democratic challenger Dan Connolly.

Did Murphy make patriotism as much a prop at the event as a mask would be in a traveling production of "The Phantom of the Opera"?
And then after telling us that Glenn Beck praised the crowd in Illinois for its spontaneous interjection of the pledge:
"What good reason is there not to say it in that setting?" [Beck] said.

A good question, certainly. An even better one, at least for the purposes of this column, is this: Did Murphy decide to dine at a table that Beck set for him the previous night?
Every rational telling of this story (ie not Quinn and Rose) points out the obvious. Heyl as well:
The league has no specific prohibition against reciting the pledge, but strictly adheres to debate formats candidates agree to long before they take the stage.

Murphy, who did not immediately respond to an interview request made through his campaign manager Thursday, should know that.
Given all this, I think the answer to all of Heyl's rhetorical questions would have to be yes. It was a political stunt.

A dangerous stunt, given the backlash facing the LWV moderator in Illinois (thanks to the Super-patriots there). Mediamatters:
The moderator and the organizer of an Illinois congressional debate who were criticized for not allowing the Pledge of Allegiance to be recited said they have received death threats and plan to go to law enforcement authorities to file complaints.

Each also blamed Fox News host Glenn Beck for stirring up opposition to their work by criticizing the incident and attacking them by name on his Fox News program, which they say has sparked an increase in hateful e-mails and phone calls since then.

"Our webmaster has stopped forwarding the e-mails to me because they have become so ugly," said Jan Czarnik, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Illinois, which sponsored the Oct. 20 forum in Evanston. "I am getting death threats and I am taking it to our local FBI. There are postings on Fox News' Facebook page that include threats on my life."
E Plebnista.


Begonia said...

The Pledge of Allegiance is a marketing campaign slogan composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy for a magazine, the Youth's Companion, to sell flags.

It is no more holy or sacred than "Things go better with Coke," or McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It."

Lorilee said...

can someone tell Dan Conolly to make up his mind on this issue?! we dont need to give repubs another opportunity to say: My opponent was for it before he was against it!!!
Why did Dems run this kid against Murphy? he isnt ready for prime time. we need a real candidate

Piltdown Man said...

The Democrats have never managed to put a strong candidate against Murphy, but his district is (the last time I looked) heavily Republican. Maybe we'll never unseat him, unless, of course, a few constituents were able to actually talk to this arrogant, entitled clod. Sit down with him for a half hour, and, after he runs out of talking points, EVERYONE would get it...

As to this pledge stunt? Don't fight it. Get up there with your hand on your chest and shout the loudest, especially the tacked-on "under god" part. Take the game right to these morons....

Lorilee said...

interesting perspective...turning it around like that. Clever.
What I am also going to do is get more involved in the primary races. We could have done better. I wonder if we would be better off if no one was even on the Democrat ballot in this race?? Time and money wasted on a no-name candidate that could have gone to Jason or Kathy or Mark. The worst kept secret these days is how Dan Cannolly has lied about his career. Everyone is talking about. He isnt even a lawyer. How did we end up with him??!! We can't afford any weak links on our team here, too many of our candidates are fighting for their careers. Jason needs us. Mark Critz needs us. A candidate like Conolly who should have never been on the ballot in the first place especially when he hasnt even had a job to speak of and you know how Repubicans use the Chamber to do attack ads with all their money thrown out there attacking Democrat candidates. This kid is lucky they haven't gone viral on his resume padding..he better not screw up any other races! PLEASE EVERYONE GET OUT TO HELP JASON, MARK, KATHY D...we do have quality candidates that need our help!!

Piltdown Man said...

What we'll need the next time around with Murphy is a self-funded candidate who can actually run some strong media against him. His incumbency can work for him -- but also against him. There would be no trouble finding a potload of wacky stuff he's been involved in...but you need THE MONEY to produce and run a LOT of TV commercials. He has been WAY too lucky to get away with essentially doing NOTHING now for years. He barely does any TV and most of it is just placeholder crap to keep his name out there.

NEXT TIME I want a moderate Dem (though not a Altmire Blue Dog) who has some money, some charisma and a solid chance to send Timmy packing....