eirias: (Default)
[personal profile] eirias
So we have a newish Senator, Ron Johnson, and I've come to the conclusion that he isn't very smart. I mean, he can tie his shoes and run a company, I guess, but as far as I can tell that's about the limit. (That and/or he got some serious litter-runt-age on the legislative aide front.) Maybe when he's had more than six months in office he'll make a splash and I'll be surprised. I'm not holding my breath.

What gets me is -- why does this offend me so deeply? Is it even legitimate to expect that my leaders be smart?

Context: I got an email from him in response to something I sent him about the Patriot Act, and yes, of course the content made me cringe (it's not every Tea Party type who takes useful if quixotic libertarian stands) and yes, it pissed me off that it took so long (I think I contacted him like six months ago?) but what made me the maddest of all was that the letter was so damn empty. A smart middle school student could have constructed a more cogent argument, one that involved more words and less white space, perhaps.

I don't know. Maybe you can tell me if I am overreacting to perceived idiocy here? Am I just still mourning Feingold? Do I need to have a series of reckless flings with unsuitable Congressmen before I can give my heart to another?

I told [livejournal.com profile] ukelele that it feels like someone stole all my Vicodin1 and replaced them with Pez.


Dear Dr. [me],



Thank you for taking the time to write me about the USA PATRIOT Act.



On May 26, I voted to extend provisions of the PATRIOT Act through June 1, 2015. My primary responsibilities are to uphold the constitution and keep America safe. It is important to strike the delicate balance between civil liberties and national security.



It is unfortunate that America needs the protection of the PATRIOT Act. We are under the threat of international terrorism, and we simply cannot ignore that fact.



In order to keep America as safe as possible, we must be proactive in the defense of our nation. We must provide local and federal law enforcement agencies with the tools necessary to ensure our safety. The PATRIOT Act provides those tools.



We all look forward to the day when we can allow the PATRIOT Act to expire; because it will mean our enemies have been defeated and the threat has significantly diminished.



Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns with me. I apologize for any delay you have experienced in receiving this reply. Since I took office in January, I've received more than 180,000 pieces of correspondence. My staff and I are working hard to respond in a timely way.



Please feel free to contact me in the future with anything important to you or your family. It is an honor to serve you and the good people of Wisconsin.




Sincerely,


Ron Johnson
United States Senator

1this is a metaphor

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-09 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thekat03.livejournal.com
mmm pez...

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-09 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thekat03.livejournal.com
on a more serious note, if they were going to send a standard form letter response, they could have been more timely, but maybe he didn't realize just how much mail he'd be getting.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-09 06:18 pm (UTC)
paperkingdoms: (Default)
From: [personal profile] paperkingdoms
I don't know. It doesn't seem especially egregious to me, but then I've never had a congressperson who I respected. I would write to Kansas senators and get back much shorter responses that amounted to "it's so good to hear from you, and I will continue to do [Opposite Of What You Said] for the Good of America!". I have yet to go through the dance with a Florida one, but I wouldn't expect it to be significantly different.

But I wish that I lived in a place where I found that disappointing instead of inevitable. I want to be able to expect smarts from the people who represent me. I think that the disappointment is less acute, though, when you've never not been disappointed. [There must be a better way to put that sentence together.]

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-09 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
That is really depressing! This letter is seriously an outlier in my experience, and i've received a good number of form letters. Feingold was great, and even Kohl (about whom I feel pretty lukewarm, really) wrote good letters where he tried to lay out his reasoning. Baldwin is our Rep and she writes really good letters too. Maybe I have been spoiled.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-09 11:51 pm (UTC)
paperkingdoms: (Default)
From: [personal profile] paperkingdoms
Well, in Kansas we had Brownback and Pat Roberts, so it's really not surprising, but yes. Depressing.

I do think, however, that it shouldn't be too much to expect to have dialogue between divergent viewpoints. But I feel like on a lot of fronts we've forgotten how to talk to each other instead of past each other, and I don't know how we rekindle that.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-10 08:39 pm (UTC)
cos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cos
Perhaps his office intends to communicate a very simple, clear message on the Patriot Act, and this letter is part of that. It doesn't necessarily indicate anything about Johnson's intelligence, so much as it may indicate something about his political communication strategy.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-10 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
Sigh. There you go being all rational and informative. :) OK, it is probably just me. I will still nurse my grudge but I will keep in mind that it may be my problem.

What do you think the proper response is on my part? How can I support my views effectively with this sort of person/strategy in office?

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eirias

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