Will Chickenhawk Jim DeMint Keep Ducking Eric Massa's Challenge To Debate Him?
Yesterday a DWT post went to the top of Digg. Short version: aggressively partisan South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint has jumped the shark and his instinctive hatred towards Obama has turned to active disloyalty towards America. He's gone beyond hoping for Obama's failure and for "his Waterloo," and is now working to bring about a national security catastrophe in this country so as to discredit Obama politically. He's the modern day John C. Calhoun-- another treacherous and disloyal South Carolina senator. The full version, with reminders about how both Reagan and Nixon jeopardized national security for their own partisan reasons, is here.
I think the post became so popular on Digg-- and was picked up by so many other blogs-- because no one has been willing to look at DeMint in terms of what he's really up to, not just cheering for failure, but working for it. He tried carrying out his own anti-Obama/anti-democratic foreign policy in Tegucigalpa last year and it should surprise no one if, in the future, it comes out that he is dealing directly or indirectly with terrorists and rogue regimes beyond Sarah Palin. In fact South Carolina Republicans Joe Wilson, Henry Brown (who is at least doing the right thing and retiring) and Bob Inglis all voted against a bill to authorize the kind of airport scanning devices that would have detected Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab underwear contraption.
On the video clip above you can watch career military officer-turned congressman, Eric Massa (D-NY), challenge DeMint-- who shirked his Vietnam War era military obligations-- to a televised debate on national security. Massa even offered to debate him on his own home ground: Fox News. DeMint, of course, has run from that challenge in the same way he and Cheney ran from the Vietnam War they both supported-- supported with other men's bodies, men like Eric Massa who were willing to step up to the plate and fight for the U.S. DeMint was too busy working as a market researcher to enlist. Yesterday Eric told me that he's "sick of chickenhawk politicians like Dick Cheney and Jim DeMint criticizing the President when in fact their own record of obstruction and incompetence is largely to blame. As a freshman member of the Homeland Security Committee, let me be very clear about two key points. First, we are working very hard to correct the problems that Dick Cheney left us with. Second, solving these problems becomes a lot more difficult when people like Senator Jim DeMint use the full weight of their offices to put partisan ideology ahead of our national security."
Last week he pulled no punches in a HuffPo OpEd:
I, for one, am sick and tired of these Bush-era chicken hawk politicians that never served in uniform attacking Democrats on national security when in fact, they are largely to blame for our nation's current national security problems. Apparently, former Vice President Cheney and the likes of Senator Jim DeMint actually believe that they can score political points by forcing America to remember the incredible failures of the previous administration and to that I say: "Bring it on." I have no problem running against their record of global economic failure, avarice, corporate greed run amok, no-bid insider contracts, and disastrous foreign policy decisions that left us isolated on the international stage at the very moment when we needed to count our allies. I welcome the opportunity for the Vice President to relive his glory days. And I welcome the opportunity to call him out and debate him one on one. Personally, I think it's time for Vice President Cheney to either put up or shut up.
I am a military veteran who gladly wore the uniform of the United States Navy for the majority of my adult life. I, and thousands of others, graduated from Annapolis and I witnessed, firsthand, the results of failed political decisions that were thrust upon the military while serving in the Beirut theater of operations in 1983. I survived a diagnosis of terminal cancer, which is largely believed by many to have been caused by the depleted heavy metal uranium shells we were firing during the first Gulf War. I had the honor to serve as the Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, General Wesley Clark, when he, along with thousands of uniformed personnel and a core team of professional civilian personnel, planned and executed a successful strategy to defeat the genocidal regime of Slobodan Milosevic.
I, and millions of other veterans, can't even count the number of Christmases, New Year's Eve's, Birthdays, 4th of July's and Thanksgivings that we spent overseas and at home protecting our nation.
We were Americans, not Republican or Democrats. For the likes of the former Vice President to politicize national security in an attempt to score cheap political points is beyond unacceptable and his behavior will no longer be met with polite silence. It's time to hit back, harder, with better aim and with purpose of forethought.
...Where was Dick Cheney when the two alleged masterminds of the Christmas attack were freed from Guantanamo Bay on November 9th, 2007? I hope Senator Jim DeMint had a lovely Christmas while the permanent office of the TSA Administrator remained vacant because of his deep, personal vendetta against organized labor (heaven forbid we should allow those that work on the front lines to protect us from terrorists from earning a decent living and fair benefits).
Vice President Cheney, Senator DeMint, it's time for both of you to be held accountable for your failures and your poor decisions.
I challenge both of you to stand in the light of day and debate your record with me. Your partisan attacks are nothing but empty rhetoric and it's time to declare that we can no longer stand by while you attack our President for working to protect our Nation and for having an honest dialog about what went wrong.
Let's make a New Year's Resolution to call out hypocrisy in 2010. Stand against it and any time that former Vice President Dick Cheney opens his hypocritical mouth to continue uttering blather, he needs to be challenged in a straight forward factual manner that will demonstrate the emptiness of his rhetoric.
Yesterday at Crooks and Liars, Heather called DeMint on his hypocrisy and captured him telling Gloria Borger that the answer to terrorism is torturing terrorists. And back in South Carolina, Chad McGowan has stepped up to run against DeMint this year and is calling on DeMint to stop putting politics ahead of our safety. Good start. I don't know McGowan well enough yet to suggest anyone donate to his campaign. (I've called and hope to find out more about him and his positions.)
Meanwhile, Eric Massa is a man who I do know well and who Blue America endorsed in 2006 and again in 2008. This year the GOP is running a rabid right multimillionaire and disgraceful hypocrite against him, a self-funding Republican caricature. Eric needs our help again and he's earned it. He's on our No Mean No list of the small handful of Democrats who stood up to the Obama Administration last June and refused to vote for more war funding for Afghanistan. Please consider getting 2010 off to a good start for Eric on that page. He's one of the few willing to stand out and speak up with a strong, independent voice, pointing out the treachery of a Dick Cheney or Jim DeMint as well as wrong decisions by his own party when that is what's needed. There aren't enough people like Eric Massa in Congress; let's keep him there.