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Tossing Integrity and Credibility out the Window . . . Again
By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
From as far back as I can remember, up until the summer before my freshman year of high school, my paternal grandparents lived two houses down from the house where I grew up (and where my parents still live). Having raised six children of their own, they were well-equipped to assist my mom and dad when such assistance was needed, including teaching object lessons to their grandchildren as necessary.
One such lesson that I remember well occurred when I walked into my mom's kitchen complaining that my brothers' and sister's bedrooms were absolute pig stys. Because my mom was busy (canning vegetables if I remember correctly), my gran-ma - who was assisting - offered to take a look. Sure enough, standing there in the upstairs hall, she was looking right through a pair of already-open doors into bedrooms for which the description of "disorganized" would have been charitable. However, it also occurred to her to open the door to my bedroom and see what might be seen. While my bedroom was noticeably tidier, it was nowhere close to her exacting standards.
This observation was followed by my grandmother fixing me with a no-nonsense look and saying rather sternly, "I should think, young man, that before you go complaining about someone else's room, you ought to first make sure yours is clean." Point made; lesson learned; end of conversation.
And now, to apply that lesson, we should grab some coffee and duck below the fold.
I wasn't really surprised by a quote that Mark Brewer gave to WOOD-TV8 following Representative Roy Schmidt's filing-deadline party switch. According to Josh Leatherman, Allegan GOP Chair, in a mere 3 sentences Brewer did a marvelous job of displaying his true colors for the entire world to see. My initial reaction to the assertion by Jim Rinck, Kent Dems chairman, that there was some sort of conspiracy associated with the party switch was, admittedly, along the lines of "sour grapes" (especially given the last time Chairman Rinck had a media-worthy appearance). But the facts as presented seemed to indicate that a "trust but verify" mindset would be more appropriate.
When my wife drew my attention to a pair of Grand Rapids Press stories referring to what is now being called The Forsyth Decision (one apparently breaking the story and the other focusing on Bill Forsyth's opinion on the matter), my initial reaction was . . . disgust, I think, works best. As soon as I read the text message transcription and likely sequence of events, I thought, "You just know that the Dems are going to be all over this." I wasn't disappointed.
Sure enough, whether protesting the despicableness of the actions of Schmidt and Bolger, or calling for the condemnation and resignation of Bolger, Mark Brewer, Gretchen Whitmer, and Tim Bledsoe (among others) spent some press time putting on a great show of righteous outrage (to the point of putting up a "demand Bolger step down" page on the MDP website). Christine Barry over on Blogging for Michigan added to the pile on (though Chad Phillips did come up with a fairly workable solution to prevent future fraud). And on the surface, it's hard to argue with the basic premise, because every honest Republican is rightly embarrassed, offended, and outraged by what Bolger and Schmidt did . . . me included.
But come on, as Jason pointed out, this is coming from the party who engineered the Reform Michigan Government Now ballot proposal (intended to permanently hijack the Michigan Constitution, legislative process, and judicial network in favor of the Jackass Party), and attempted to obtain ballot access for the Steffek Tea Party (intended to confuse unsuspecting voters in about two dozen targeted close races). The former was killed by the Michigan Court of Appeals (upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court), while the latter resulted in nine felony convictions (each, if my memory serves correctly) for a couple of up-and-coming Oakland County Democrat Party operatives. Oh, and before I forget, let's note that it's entirely possible that he's probably at it again this year via the "Protect Our Jobs" ballot proposal, which apparently is worded to accomplish a complete hijacking of Michigan's Constitution, through the vehicle-of-convenience of protecting the workers' right to collective bargaining. (Someone at Michigan Freedom to Work might want to consider siccing a lawyer on this one, pronto.) Oh yeah, definitely the pot calling the kettle black, I think.
As Frank Beckmann points out, Neither Mark Brewer, nor Gretchen Whitmer, nor Tim Bledsoe, nor Jim Rinck, nor Brandon Dillon, nor Christine Barry (who has not for even one day let up on this scandal), nor Barb Byrum, nor anyone else on the left side of the political aisle wrote or spoke so much as one syllable of like concern when Democrat operatives were caught in flagrante delicto with regard to the Steffek Tea Party or RMGN. Seriously, Michigan Dems, with regard to what Bolger and Schmidt did, methinks thou dost protest too much.
Chairman Mark Brewer (Michigan Democrat Party) is, so far as I'm aware, the longest continuously-serving state party chair of either major party, and he has a well-earned reputation among Michigan Republicans (and Michigan-based conservatives, period) of being something of a snake-in-the-grass. Just in recent memory there's the RMGN ballot proposal, the Fake Tea Party, and two bogus "sleeping judge" advertising campaigns. (I'm sure that Nick, who has a lengthy history of run-ins with Brewer, could cite a few more.) I'll also mention here, by way of a teaser, that I am beginning to accumulate information that one of our potential republican judicial nominees may not be all that republican. No, this clown doesn't ever seem to be without at least one dirty trick up his sleeve.
Now I am not, by any stretching of the imagination, condoning the behavior of Schmidt, et alia, not at all. But what I find amusing is that Brewer, et alia, for whom political shenanigans and ethically questionable behavior seems de rigueur, would actually be offended that the Republicans would also be guilty of such things. (And I'm sure that a Captain Renault quote would be appropriate in this context.)
However, our problem over here in the Reagan wing of the Pachyderm Party is that we now, yet again, see another example after example (to the point that it gets nauseating) that one of our priorities absolutely must be cleaning out the corrupted elements within the MIGOP's ranks in order to break a destructive behavior cycle that is increasingly making it impossible to deal with Senor Ferrari Brewer on anything even remotely resembling the moral high ground. Seriously, both Speaker Bolger and Representative Schmidt knew, by their own admission, that what they were doing was wrong. But rather than do the right thing, both of them insisted on ignoring conscience, because apparently the temptation to flip a seat before the filing deadline, and effectively negate electoral backlash, was just too much to pass up. That Speaker Bolger can't seem to keep his story straight doesn't help matters any, either.
Over the weekend I spoke with Michigan's Republican National Committeeman-Elect Dave Agema. Not surprisingly, I learned that the MSM reports of his quote were incomplete. The gist of that discussion was like this:
Granted, nothing that either Bolger or Schmidt did was criminal per se, because there are no actual laws on the books to be broken, but plenty of what was done was immoral and unethical. Agema's position when Schmidt's party switch was announced was, "trust but verify." Now that it's been verified, Schmidt can't be trusted. Whether or not he survives this election cycle, and that is not guaranteed (primary challenge included), Roy Schmidt's political career is done . . . period . . . at least in Michigan.
And I've noticed that the Michigan Dems are already circulating a flyer in the 63rd House District calling for Bolger's resignation. I don't think that's gonna happen, to be honest with you, but it should make his re-election campaign a bit more interesting.
Whether Schmidt faces criminal or civil penalties is now the purview of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette. But the typical member of the west side electorate views such hijinks as Schmidt pulled with an unfavorable eye. This is why a Republican, who originally declined to be Schmidt's general opponent before he switched parties, is now running a write-in primary campaign against him. It's also why my State Representative, who had originally endorsed Schmidt's Republican campaign, has pulled that endorsement and given it to Bing Goei's long-shot challenge.
We have to clean up our own mess, or at least give it our best shot, if we want to have any credibility in going after the opposition's dirty tricks.
Tossing Integrity and Credibility out the Window . . . Again | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
Tossing Integrity and Credibility out the Window . . . Again | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
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+ Editorial Policy
Related Links+ quote that Mark Brewer gave
+ filing-dea dline
+ party switch
+ some sort of conspiracy associated with the party switch
+ last time Chairman Rinck had a media-worthy appearance
+ The Forsyth Decision
+ breaking the story
+ Bill Forsyth's opinion
+ protesting the despicableness
+ calling for the condemnation and resignation
+ Mark Brewer
+ Gretchen Whitmer
+ Tim Bledsoe
+ putting on a great show of righteous outrage
+ demand Bolger step down
+ Christine Barry
+ added to the pile on
+ Chad Phillips
+ fairly workable solution
+ as Jason pointed out
+ Reform Michigan Government Now
+ Steffek Tea Party
+ confuse unsuspecting voters
+ Michigan Court of Appeals
+ Michigan Supreme Court
+ worded to accomplish a complete hijacking
+ Michigan Freedom to Work
+ Frank Beckmann points out
+ yet again
+ after example
+ the point
+ cleaning out the corrupted elements
+ destructiv e behavior cycle
+ Senor Ferrari Brewer
+ Speaker Bolger
+ Representa tive Schmidt
+ can't seem to keep his story straight
+ that is not guaranteed
+ primary challenge included
+ already circulating a flyer
+ typical member of the west side electorate
+ who originally declined to be Schmidt's general opponent before he switched parties
+ Also by Kevin Rex Heine