I am beyond appalled by an article I read this morning. You can read the sordid details of the article here . Even though there was no profanity used, the level of insult is exceedingly high and disturbing.
What disturbs me about the situation is that Congress member (I can’t even bring myself to call him a CongressMAN right now) Jim Sensenbrenner is setting a dangerous and insulting precedent in the already volatile world of politics.
Politicians have been known to hit below the belt as election time nears. People running for office are often the targets of potshots. They are fully aware that when they throw their hats into the arena, they are making themselves vulnerable to the paparazzi, other politicians, and the public in general. They should know by now that not only their platform and views are open to scrutiny, but also any skeletons that might be buried in their pasts.
For many, because of their desire to run and their belief that this country will be better off because of what they have to offer, this is a risk they are willing to take. They step courageously into the ring and stand, ready to take whatever arrows are flung their way. But in a civilized nation like America, there has always been an unspoken understanding that while the politicians are fair game, families are off limits. Especially spouses and children.
Forty-three presidents have enjoyed this privilege. Now with our forty-fourth President, Barack Obama, this Congress person from Wisconsin (and I’m sure his crudeness is in no way a fair representation of the fine people of Wisconsin) has dared to go beyond his target, President Obama, and toss about derogatory remarks regarding First Lady Michelle Obama. The outrageousness of this attack is succinctly detailed in this Huffington Post article.
Sensenbrenner (ironic that his name begins with “sense” when common sense seems to be lacking) has gone too far. Doesn’t he realize that the world watches the respect, or lack there of, with which we conduct our business? We can only hope that his attempt to usher in an era where attacks on collateral victims is acceptable will be derailed. He says he wrote a personal note of apology to the First Lady. The White House has graciously declined any comment at this time.
But, in my opinion, his personal apology is not enough. His attack was public, and so should be his chastisement in open congress. Congress should issue him a letter of censure. He should also apologize to his fellow representatives, as well as the people of Wisconsin, who trusted that he would have the judgement to represent them well. Freedom of speech a right, but our leaders should also exercise some discretion. Let’s set an example that this type of behavior is not now, nor will it ever be acceptable!