This week, I called my congressman, Leonard Lance, (NJ 7th) to urge him to vote against the repeal of the ACA. Then I heard WNYC, my local public radio affiliate, report on a fundraising letter he sent supporters where he claimed that protesters at his town meetings were paid by a Hillary Clinton Super PAC. http://www.wnyc.org/story/gop-congressman-sends-fund-raising-letter-about-town-hall-protesters/
Granted, Lance was one of the few NJ GOP congressmen who scheduled and attended town meetings, and had previously stated: “”I believe those in the audience were constituents,” Lance told reporters. “I don’t think they were paid. I think they came here in a matter of public spiritedness.”
What turned him around? Not sure. However, I’m not the only one who finds his words insulting and another example of craven, complicit behavior that seems pervasive among GOP lawmakers.
Here’s the letter I sent to him and to many newspapers:
Dear Representative Lance:
As a constituent in our Congressional district, I am surprised to hear and read your remarks condemning New Jersey citizens.
You said without any evidence that the New Jersey voters who attended your town hall meetings protesting your vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and your support of President Trump’s executive order discriminating against religion are paid by a Hillary Clinton Super PAC.
Such a dishonest accusation belies the integrity you swore to uphold as an elected representative. Such dishonest behavior on your part misrepresents your constituents.
As Abraham Lincoln, the greatest elected official of the Republican Party, your party, said: “You can fool all the people some of the time and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.”
Here’s hoping you may take Lincoln to heart and apologize for taking your constituents for granted.
Today is Purim, the holiday that celebrates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination. King Achasverosh announces a contest to find a new bride and summons all the eligible women to the palace. He selects Esther, who lives with her Uncle Mordecai. Esther doesn’t tell the king that she’s Jewish. Meanwhile, Haman, the king’s evil advisor, convinces the king to annihilate the Jews because they don’t follow all the laws of the kingdom. He’s particularly mad at Mordecai who refused to bow down to him in public. When Esther hears of Haman’s plan, she appeals to the king on behalf of the Jewish people, putting her own life at risk. Achasverosh listens and orders Haman hanged.
The holiday includes plays and costumes, and food, particularly hamentaschen, a triangular filled cookie that represents Haman’s three-cornered hat. This year I used canned poppy seeds and made my own prune and raisin filling. Both were a huge hit at a pre-Purim dinner with friends.
The story, called the spiel, is often rewritten to music and to include current events.
I had written a spiel in verse two years ago for a family party, including a chorus for the yet non-reading grandkids. This year, I updated it a bit. Here’s the addition. My friends enjoyed it, and granted me poetic license for my small exaggerations.
Then one November day in 2016
Donald Trump was elected, vile and mean
He’s like a king, a ruler Russian
Intolerant, cruel and villain
With speed he used his executive pen
To close the door on foreign women and men
He retreats to his resort to golf and eat steak
While claiming to make America great
Bored with his guests he called for his wife
An immigrant, no less, who sought a new life
“Melania,” Trump called, “Come here now!”
The former porn star, rushed in and bowed.
“What is it dear Donald, my king?
I came as soon as I heard the bell ding.”
“Strip for my friends!” the King ordered.
“You know I only disrobe for you,” she retorted.
“How dare you embarrass and disobey?
I’ll move to DC and in Trump Tower you’ll stay!
Alone in the White House, Trump tweets and tweets
Blaming reporters and judges for security leaks
Like Haman before him, Bannon advises ill-will
And craven Republicans concave on Capitol Hill
What can we do? What can we do?
Say Muslims, Christians, and Jews?
Like Esther we’ll march and make ourselves heard
We won’t let this tyrant have the last word!
By the end of the week, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. I’m boiling cabbage now and will cook a corned beef tomorrow as we’re out of town on Friday. For me, most holidays are about the food.
Keep the protests going.
Happy Purim & Happy St. Patrick’s Day!