Thursday, October 28, 2010

Real Minnesota Congresswoman of Genius

So the other day I mentioned the kerfuffle about Betty McCollum's leaving out "under God" when she led Congress in the Pledge of Allegiance, mostly in passing. I wrote:

There's been some outrage about the 8-year old video circulating on the web that features Betty McCollum purposely leaving out the words "under God" when she led a reading of the Pledge of Allegiance in Congress. I can think of a dozen reasons why Betty should be retired, but this isn't one of them. What is valuable about this kerfuffle is this: Betty has largely been invisible during her decade in Washington -- she's a one-woman echo chamber for Nancy Pelosi -- but the rest of the world now understands what a dunderhead we have representing us the 4th District.
In other words, I didn't think the Pledge thing was that big a deal. Someone named MN04 then pointed out this link, which appears on Congresswoman McCollum's official website. Feel the love, y'all:

Conservatives are using an eight year old video clip to incite hate, racism, and intolerance among Tea Party Republicans. This right-wing effort to call into question Congresswoman McCollum's Christian faith, her belief in God, and her patriotism is blatantly anti-American and all too similar to the extremists who earlier this year mailed a soiled American flag to her Congressional office and threatened the Congresswoman with violence.

Congresswoman McCollum rejects this radical agenda and condemns the extremist tactics behind this poisonous political exploitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Oy. A few comments:
  • Some people wave the bloody shirt. McCollum waves the soiled American flag. To question McCollum, or show her in a bad light, apparently makes you "blatantly anti-American," and "all too similar to the extremists who earlier this year mailed a soiled American flag to her Congressional office and threatened the Congresswoman with violence." Oh, and also "extremist" and "poisonous." Would it be extremist of me to suggest that maybe McCollum ought to try the decaf?
  • Riddle me this: why are these statements on her official Congressional website? I had always been under the impression that campaigning should be on a campaign website.
  • The guilt by association gambit is always a nice touch, too. Unless McCollum has evidence that the bloggers who ran with this story, including the respected Ed Morrissey, are the sort who send soiled American flags to congressional offices, she's out of line here.
  • One thing that is encouraging -- below the screed are three videos that show McCollum leading the Pledge and saying "under God." All the examples took place after 2002, which means that apparently McCollum is capable of learning, which many of us who observe McCollum from addresses north of Larpenteur Avenue had reason to doubt.

The 4th CD can do better, much better, than Betty McCollum. Vote for Teresa Collett.


my name is Amanda said...

Egregious. The message on her website isn't about questioning her. It's about smear tactics (making someones faith a political issue in a society that supports freedom of religion is absolutely a smear tactic, no matter how "respected" the "questioner" is) and harassment that she finds to be anti-American. You honestly consider the real examples that she provided to be examples of "questioning?" Hyperbole much? Questioning is what you do in debates, interviews, press conferences, or say, well-reasoned blog posts.

BTW, suggesting that McCollum "has learned" something because she has been captured on film saying the phrase, is terribly condescending.

Mr. D said...


I'm not even going to bother with the first paragraph of your comment, because I frankly don't know what the hell you're talking about.

As for the second, you utterly miss my point. This isn't the first time the issue came up -- it came up in 2002 and Betty caught some grief for it at the time. She learned not to omit "under God" because of the criticism she received at the time.

As I said, making a botch of the Pledge isn't a big deal to me. Using an official government website to cast aspersions on one's political opponents is a very big deal. If she had put her comments on her campaign website, I wouldn't have written about it.