Washblog

An open letter to Mike McGavick

[Cross-posted at Kos.  Please feel free to stop by and reco]

Mr. McGavick,

You have made a "civility pledge" in your campaign for the U.S. Senate.  This is admirable, if viewed with some skepticism by many, including myself.  Joel Connelly has recently come to your defense in his column in the P-I, concerned that Democrats are treating you poorly and calling you a stand-up guy.  You may be.  You may also be using surrogates to cynically launch attacks on your behalf - to paraphrase you when you ran Slade Gorton's campaign, I have no evidence you're not.  I have noticed, however, a very specific lack of civility from your Party, and I think this affords you an opportunity to take the high road and live up to your pledge, and this is why I'm writing.  

(I do think it is worth noting that your name appears nowhere except linked news articles on Senator Cantwell's website, yet she has taken no civility pledge.)

Civility seems no longer possible in today's political climate.  A daily flood of attacks flows from one side to the other...and back again.  There seem to be no good guys today.  The best defense has become a good offense, and campaigns that don't fight dirty seem destined to fight alone and lose.  You have taken a pledge to be that good guy, but it would seem you still accept relationships with people who have no interest in what is best for America or Washington state - and those relationships are very revealing.  Civil politics requires a ceaseless demand for higher ethics, better standards, and frankly, expecting more of the people around you.

I call on you, in the interest of civility, to do the following:

Immediately demand that Diane Tebelius halt her ceaseless attacks on Senator Cantwell and other Democratic candidates.  Her attacks have been shrill, relentless, without merit, and serve only to poison the political debate in Washington state.  You have the pull within your Party to do this, and a responsibility to the voters you hope to represent.  This type of discourse has no place in civil politics.

Insist that Michael Young and Lori Sotelo abandon their plan to challenge thousands of voter registrations in King County at the last minute.  Last year, after filing 2,000 sloppily researched challenges and having to withdraw many of them, Michael Young was overheard suggesting there were 20,000 more they hoped to file in 2006.  This is an assault on democracy itself.  Such a cynical attempt to further a political agenda at the expense of the public's trust in our democracy is inappropriate at best, illegal at worst.  This type of action has no place in civil politics.

Demand the the RNC immediately remove the "Meet the Defeat-ocrats" video from the GOP website and apologize for adding a "Hitler moustache" to Howard Dean's image in the screenshot of that video.  This type of slanderous, juvenile and frankly stupid name-calling has no place in civil politics, and applying a "Hitler moustache" to a man whose wife and children are Jewish is offensive in the extreme.  (Since being uncovered, the image has been altered to remove the image:
8/10 screenshot:

8/11 screenshot:

Demand that the GOP immediately remove the "John Murtha's Cut-and-Run Tour" image from their website and apologize for slandering the name of an American hero and patriot in this way.  I will remind you, sir, that John Murtha did not come to the decision to propose a phased withdrawal in a vacuum, but rather after speaking with actual soldiers and officers both on the ground in Iraq and those recently returned stateside.  Slandering John Murtha's plan is slandering those brave men and women who have fought valiantly in our name.  This type of discourse has no place in civil politics.

Demand that the GOP apologize immediately for their cynical fundraising email sent out hours after a major terror attack was foiled by the British intelligence services.  Not only was this in bad taste, it was yet another example of your Party using terror as a political tool for their benefit.  I urge you to focus, rather than constant political gain, on what is actually best for America's security.  Sending "$500, $250, $100, $50, $35 or $25 to the Republican National Committee" is not what's best for America - it's pandering to fear.  This type of discourse has no place in civil politics.

If you will not, or cannot, secure these changes and apologies from the RNC, you should immediately return all funds given by them to your campaign and refuse any further contact with them.  The RNC has spent the last 15 years corrupting the American political system, and it is likely too late to alter their course.  You have the opportunity to choose a better path without their corruption of our state's politics.

Apologize for, or seek an apology from, Vice President Dick Cheney, who suggested in a conference call with reporters (after he had already been made aware of the unfolding terror plot in Britain) that a Ned Lamont victory might embolden "Al Qaeda types".  Not only is this a shockingly simplistic view of worldwide political realities and simple human nature, it shows that this administration was already laying plans to capitalize on what may be an Al Qaeda plot, not to make the American people safer, but to rescue their own political fortunes.  To suggest that voters in the democratic process choosing one candidate over another can be equated to breaking "the will of the American people" is absurd and shocking.  It was petty, ill-advised, rude and cynical.  This type of discourse has no place in civil politics.

Apologize for, or seek an apology from, President Bush for his claim that we are "at war with Islamic fascists".  This is a phrase becoming more frequently used by members of your Party, and is not only misleading but is insulting to our friends and allies in the Muslim community both here at home and abroad.  We ought not further alienate people whose friendship we so desperately need in our struggle against extremists who represent Islam in name only, not in their deeds.  I will remind you that the recent terror plot was not uncovered by the CIA or NSA, but by a Muslim reporting suspicious activities of a neighbor to British intelligence.  I will further remind you and others who have used these arrests to tie our struggle against terrorist extremists with our war in Iraq that no terror plots have been uncovered in Iraq - major attacks have occurred in Saudi Arabia, Spain and London, all perpetrated by extremists local to those places, and the recent suspects are in fact English natives, not Iraqis.  It is misleading and irresponsible to continue this charade for political reasons, and for the security of this nation, we must make a plan to defeat the problem, not the most convenient symptom.  This type of discourse has no place in civil politics.

Rescind your endorsement of Senator Joe Lieberman, who despite claims to civility much like yours, has in fact been on a steady attack against Ned Lamont for nearly two months, and continued his attack today.  Suggesting that because Ned Lamont disagrees with the Senator regarding our policy in Iraq that he doesn't understand the threat facing America shows a shocking disregard for the reality of the situation.  His continued claims that his website was "hacked" and implication of the Lamont campaign in his internet consultant's failure to provide quality stability of service demeans a three-term Senator.  Frankly, his behavior should be beneath you as well.  This type of discourse has no place in civil politics.

Apologize for your attack press release dated August 3, 2006, in which you falsely claim Maria Cantwell "side(s) with her party's leaders over the interest of our state".  Maria Cantwell has proven throughout her career that she makes up her own mind and is more than willing to work in a bipartisan fashion, when it does in fact serve the interests of our state.  As you know, the tax bill Senator Cantwell opposed would have reduced the pay of 120,000 tipped employees in Washington state by $5.50 per hour, nearly $11,000 per year for a full-time employee.  That is an enormous pay cut for people already making the least in our economy.  Your contention that a letter from a partisan appointee within the Labor Department showed wages would not be cut for tipped employees was in fact undercut by a similar letter sent by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, but even more so by a simple reading of the bill itself.  As a former tipped employee, I am more than familiar with this game, and deeply resent the incredibly cynical nature of this legislation, which was never intended by your party's leadership to pass (See Representative Wamp's gloating comment from the House floor, "...you've seen us really outfox you on this one."), but was only introduced to provide, in the words of a GOP Congressional Staffer, "like 12 30-second ads sitting around in this bill".  The people of Washington state deserve better than this kind of cynical governance - using the august chambers of our Congress to promote something like this for no more than campaign advertisements cheapens the incredible power in our democracy.  This type of thing has no place in civil politics.

Mr. McGavick, I have made no "civility pledge".  I feel no qualms when the Democratic Party uses the tactics pioneered by the GOP to make political points.  I make no pretension to be a friend to Republicans or their stance on issues.  You, however, have made such a pledge.  As a voter and an American, I deeply resent cynicism, unfairness, and false pretenses and in particular the corruption of our government by the ceaseless necessity to score political points.  This is a creation of your Party, not mine.  

I am always honest about my goals, my biases, and what my words and actions mean.  I offer you this opportunity to truly embrace a civil campaign, and in exchange offer my own "civility pledge" - If you can act on the issues I have laid out in this letter, or explain satisfactorily why you cannot, I will "call off the dogs" in my own case, and will expend no further effort towards your defeat.  It is not too much to ask - I think people should say what they mean and mean what they say, and I am offering you the opportunity to live up to your own words.  
I await your reply.
Humbly,
Switzerblog

< Mike! uses the golden parachute | Message from the Goddess >
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Have something Mike! needs to repudiate?  Add it here, I'm all ears!

Switzerblog'll knock you out!

by switzerblog on Sat Aug 12, 2006 at 12:36:03 AM PST

* 1 5.00 4 *


Nixon got away with smearing people as "commies" cuz...?

the Dems didn't fight back 24*7*365?

McGaggit and friends want us to work 13 hours a day, 7 days a week and

IF you fall down THEN tough luck on you,

to to the company store, "hospital", housing ...

McGaggit does NOT want competition,

cuz competition make Google instead of bloatware / Safeco / Boeing / GM ...

cometition makes accountable management instead of management by the mangement, for the management, of the management

people who want to be nice to these facsists, OR

people who are hoping for nice outta facsists ...

IMHO, those kind of people,

are great for getting lined up for shearing.

But, on the other hand,

we've got the wonderful model of Maria! and Patty! working cross the aisle to sell us out,

so, I guess we

OTTA! BE! HAPPY!

Maria! is Better than Facsist!

yahoo!

rmm.

http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

by rmdSeaBos on Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 09:48:10 PM PST

* 3 2.50 2 *


I hope that you are also sending this in letter form directly to his campaign.  If you have the time and energy, it would be nice to hand deliver it to him.

by funkycamper on Sat Aug 12, 2006 at 12:19:24 PM PST

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