I can’t claim credit for the following, though, I have to say, I pretty much agree with it. If you need someone to ‘sign it’, I’m fine with me being that person. And for the record, I think Schweitzer is a political stud.
OPEN LETTER TO DAVID SIROTA
I enjoy reading your blogs and opinions. However, as I read your recent
post about Barack Obama?s speech on faith and politics, it got me to
You start by saying, ?One of the most infuriating behaviors among some
Democrats these days is their willingness to create fake straw men that
undermine progressives and reinforce false narratives about the Democratic
Leaving aside for the moment that if blogs couldn?t do this it?s likely
they would go out of business, I read a story just two days before Obama?s
speech about another Democrat whom I think you are very familiar with ?
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. You live in Montana and you?ve been
paid by Schweitzer during his past campaigns.
Governor Schweitzer told Paul Nussbaum of Knight-Ridder newspapers that
?Democratic presidential candidate with hopes of carrying Montana would
have to tap into that independence and speak frankly to the gun issue,
Schweitzer said? ?I’d tell him to tell people he respects their Second
While you scold Obama for allegedly setting up a straw man to falsely
display courage saying Obama ?doesn?t offer any names to tell us who
constitutes? the ?we? who ?fails to acknowledge the power of faith in the
lives of the American people.? ?Why? Because there are none. What
Democrat of any prominence at all in America ?fails to acknowledge the
power of faith in the lives of the American people?? I can?t think of one.
It is a straw man – one that might make Obama look like a man of ?courage?
or ?principle? – but one that dishonestly reinforces right-wing
stereotypes about supposedly ?godless? liberals/Democrats.?
David, can you tell me ONE recent Democratic Presidential candidate that
didn?t respect the Second Amendment?
For that matter, can you tell me ONE Democrat of any prominence at all in
America that doesn?t ?respect their Second Amendment rights??
Or is Schweitzer setting up a straw man to portray himself as
?independent? and ?not some East Coast liberal? that dishonestly
reinforces right-wing stereotypes about Democrats as people who want to
take guns away from citizens, not respect the Second Amendment and as the
party that doesn?t even recognize the lawful rights of hunters?
You give Obama credit for the idea of reaching out to religious
constituencies as I give credit to Schweitzer for wanting to reach out to
those that own guns. But in your next sentence you say ?individual
high-profile Democrats need to stop regurgitating false right-wing
storylines just to promote their own individual ambitions.?
Did I miss your critique of Brian Schweitzer?s straw man arguments? I
hope your professional relationship with the Governor hasn?t caused you to
become intellectually dishonest.
You say ?it doesn?t help the Democratic Party?s efforts to better connect
with evangelicals when a high-profile leader like Obama gives a speech on
that very subject that implies that Democrats (again unnamed) supposedly
don?t care about religion.?
Does it help when Brian Schweitzer implies that Democrats want to
confiscate the guns of law abiding citizens?
Again, maybe I missed your critique of your former employer.
One aspect you failed to mention in your post is the section in Obama?s
speech that chastises the leaders of the Religious Right who threaten the
separation of church and state or who use faith to divide people or those
that use faith to cynically justify the political result they want. Yes,
Obama had the courage to put that in his speech even if you failed to
acknowledge it (maybe you didn?t read the entire speech?).
I noticed in the article about Schweitzer that was proud to be both a
member of the NRA and happy to have the endorsement of the NRA.
?Politicians in Montana are extremely skittish about crossing swords with
the NRA, and that’s why it’s a coveted endorsement? said Montana State
University political science professor Craig Wilson.
I wonder if Schweitzer agrees with everything the NRA says? Does he
believe that those who enforce gun law are ?jack-booted thugs? as the NRA
once called them? Even Former President George H.W. Bush disavowed that
statement. Maybe Schweitzer believes there aren?t enough guns in America
or that terrorists who bought guns at unregulated gun shows shouldn?t be
subject to a criminal background check?
Maybe Brian Schweitzer has the ?courage? to speak out against the NRA? Or
maybe I missed that courageous speech and your blog post scolding him too.
More likely, Brian Schweitzer believes that guns don?t kill people, people
kill people ? the regurgitating of the same false right-wing storylines
just to promote his own individual ambitions.
Back to me. An important point about the Obama speech that nearly everyone overlooked, he gave two examples of the problems in the Democratic Party related to faith. Both regarded his 2004 Campaign for Senate in Illinois.
Those who attend liberal to moderate and often conservative Protestant Churches recognize this as a typical way of pointing out human weakness while keeping to the admonishment that he who is without sin should cast the first stone.
My inbox is full of stuff on this subject–some will see the light of day, some will not.