Congressman Mark Udall (D-Colorado) introduced a resolution calling for the the condemnation of Rush Limbaugh for the disparaging remarks he recently made about individuals in the military during a broadcast on his radio show. [Mark Udall is the son of the legendary Morris King Udall, who represented the district in Southern Arizona where I grew up].
So, I thought to myself, as a constituent I should call Claire McCaskill’s and Ike Skelton’s offices in Washington and ask my representatives if they would be co-sponsoring a resolution condemning Limbaugh for his remarks (Representative Udall’s or something similar).
I dialed the number for Claire McCaskill’s office in Washington. An individual answered the phone, identifying our senator’s office. I explained I was a constituent calling from Warrensburg. I asked, given Senator McCaskill’s vote on the Move On resolution in the Senate, if she was planning to co-sponsor a resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh for the remarks about the military he had made on his radio show. The individual seemed somewhat taken aback. The temperature of my phone dropped a few degrees. Icy. The aide stated that my suggestion to Senator McCaskill would be passed on – and then asked for my zip code. End of conversation.
I then called Ike Skelton’s office and asked the same question with the same prelude. The temperature of my phone did not change. The aide explained that the Move On vote in the House was attached to a larger bill in a procedural move – to vote down the amendment would have meant voting down the entire bill.
I pointed out that there was nothing new about these types of [republican] attacks. Senator Cleland had been smeared in Georgia. Representative Murtha had been attacked. John Kerry had been attacked. No one in Congress introduced resolutions.
In that this [the Move On resolution] had passed, to be consistent, Congress now needed to address this issue every time it happens. I pointed out that it was ridiculous for Congress to do so, but once they started along that path, they needed to follow it.
To be consistent.
I pointed out that Move On had taken out one ad in a newspaper. Rush Limbaugh broadcast everywhere on radio, including Armed Forces Radio, for goodness sake. The aide answered, “I see your point.” He took my name and address and said he would pass my suggestion to Ike. I thanked the individual and the conversation ended on a pleasant note.
There’s so much other pressing business, and yet the far right wingnut cable talking heads and the rnc’s Mighty Wurlitzer have managed to make Congress jump through another hoop.
These phone conversations took place with aides in Washington offices, not directly with Claire McCaskill or Ike Skelton. Conversations with a representative’s aides do not necessarily reflect the tone or attitude of the office holder.
Though, the attitude of the aide can be an indication of the trends in constituent phone calls.