Republicans Just Can’t Help It

Jim Ogonowski is running on the Republican side for the House seat in the Fifth Congressional District in Massachusetts.

His brother was John Ogonowski, pilot of the plane that first hit the World Trade Center. He says, in Joan Vennochi’s column in the Globe today that 9/11 “was a huge part of my decision to run.”

Fair enough. The Lion would hope he doesn’t bring that up too often, lest he become like Rudy Giuliani, trampling on the bones of the dead in an unseemly rush to gain political office.

Ogonowski is trying to present himself as a regular guy.

“I want to be endorsed by regular people. I don’t want my picture in the newspaper with a bunch of politicians, because I’m not a Washington insider,” he said.

Yeah, but apparently he’s desperate to become one, which is usually the case with people who say such things. And similarly for the regular guy remark – can’t wait to stop being regular and get his hands on all those Congressional pay raises and perks?

So what are the regular guys buying into these days?

On immigrants:

“I don’t see any reason…to reward criminal activity,” he said. Illegal immigration is no different than drug trafficking or stealing car [sic], in his view.

Actually, Jimbo, it is different. Most of the people who sneak into the country come here to work, to work hard and to do honest work. They’re not stealing cars, they’re not trafficking drugs. In fact most American crime is done by American citizens.

Addendum: From a story in Friday’s Globe on the debate in Andover Thursday night:

In the campaign, Ogonowski has railed against illegal immigration, calling it the number one issue for voters and stressing it as a matter of national security, economics, and fairness. He wants to deport undocumented immigrants and has warned that politicians are trying to ‘sneak benefits’ to them, instead of spending the money on veterans’ care or other programs.

Sure, Jimbo, and what’s your plan for deporting twelve million people? Lock ’em up in concentration camps while you do paperwork on them for a few years? Herd them en masse across the Mexican border? And you’ll do what about the economic dislocations your policy will cause in the United States?

And dude, nobody is trying to sneak benefits to anyone. Unless of course you’re talking about the Republicans in Congress who sneak provisions into bills in the middle of the night when no one’s looking, and after the bills have already been passed in final form. But otherwise what’s done with bills is out there in the open, published on the web, discussed in the blogosphere and the press.

Jimbo comes off as just another ignorant, dumbass paranoid Republican when he says stuff like this. We already have quite enough of those in Washington already, thank you.

On Bush and Iraq:

On Iraq, Ogonowski said, “The president made a big mistake going into Iraq. . . . Now I define victory in Iraq as when they can provide for their own safety and security. We need to leave that region stable.”

At least he claims to believe Iraq was a mistake. Now maybe he’ll get to the truth and announce that Bush lied the country into Iraq and that it wasn’t a mistake, but a deliberate crime. Baby steps, baby steps. Dude’s a Republican, after all. And of course he’s still parroting the ‘we’ll stand down when they stand up’ crap. And stability? Bush and the Republicans have made sure that generations will pass before the Middle East and Southwest Asia have a shot at stability. A lot of bodies are going to stack up like cordwood before that happens. Ogonowski would apparently like to help build the stack by going along with his deranged President and delusional Republican Party.

Near the end of Vennochi’s column there’s this bit:

During the farm tour, the candidate took care to drive his pick-up truck near Viskoth Kim, a Cambodian who has been farming on the Ogonowski land through a program he said his brother John started with Tufts University. The program reaches out to legal immigrants, Ogonowski said.

The farm, in Dracut, belonged to his brother.

So has anyone asked Viskoth Kim what kind of deal he has? How much does he make? How much does he pay? The deal might very well be honorable and honest, but we won’t know if nobody asks the question. So, Joannie, did you ask?

This Ogonowski puts The Lion in mind of another fellow who drove around the countryside seeking political office in a pickup truck. Fred Thompson traded in his Lincoln and his fancy lobbyist suits for a pickup and a pair of bluejeans and a flannel shirt to sell himself to the people of Tennessee, who bought into his charade and put him in the Senate. His big claim to fame has become that he was a spy for Nixon during the Watergate hearings.

We could do worse than to beware of Republicans driving pickups and claiming to be regular guys.

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