GUEST OPINION Blogger has a right to question congressman
By JOHN ASHCRAFT
Enough already with the complaints about Bruce Fealk "ambushing" Congressman Joe Knollenberg.
His approach may be disagreeable, but he has a right to hold his U.S. Representative accountable for his decisions and he's been left no other way to do that.
Knollenberg is notorious for snubbing constituents who want to discuss important issues (unless they share his views). His actions better represent the positions of the radical right than his Oakland County constituents.
In his most recent encounter with Fealk, Knollenberg was only asked to explain when he would represent the views of his district and vote to end the war in Iraq or support the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Rather than answer Fealk's fair questions, Knollenberg walked away and turned loose his chief of staff, Trent Wisecup, who ripped into Fealk like a pit-bull.
True to form, the media have framed the whole episode as an example of political activism gone too far. But, Bruce Fealk is just an American citizen who deserves representation.
Yes, he's a member of MoveOn.org, but he hasn't been hired by that or any other group. He's acting on his own accord.
In contrast, Wisecup is on Knollenberg's staff. In fact, he is the chief of Knollenberg's staff. Furthermore, in the video of the confrontation, Wisecup told Fealk he spoke for the Congressman when he said Fealk was Un-American, that he wanted to lose in Iraq and that he wasn't a citizen. Why wasn't that the story?
"Congressman attacks constituent for asking policy questions," seems like a pretty good headline to me.
I agree that politics has gone too far lately. But the offense is not that of a constituent who is forced to use desperate means to hold his representative accountable.
It's the abusive personal attacks that are loosed on anyone who doesn't tow the party line.And this is part of a broad pattern that extends from big shots like John Kerry to little children as we saw with 12- year-old Graeme Frost, who dared to advocate for SCHIP.
By holding our leaders accountable for not doing their jobs, Bruce Fealk also exposed the media's failure to do its job. So it makes sense that the media and the politicians don't like him.ÊBut the rest of us should praise him, not vilify him.Ê
John Ashcraft of Troy considers himself to be a liberal, a lay person and a Christian
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