Jul 27, 2010

PA-15: Is Charlie Dent an Anti-Government Extremist?

As noted here yesterday, in Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district, incumbent Republican Charlie Dent has begun grasping at straws to keep independent Jake Towne out of any and all debates at all costs. From Poli-Tea:
Over the weekend, Dent announced that he would not take part in any forum that included Towne, and demanded that his Democratic rival do the same, on the grounds that one of the numerous bands slated to play at a Towne campaign event celebrating their successful ballot access petition drive has been deemed "extremist" by the Anti-Defamation League. . . . Simply put, the Dent campaign alleges that Towne is an anti-Semite, a bigot and an anarchist based on a loose association with a popular local rock band [i.e. Poker Face] that has made controversial statements.
Imagine that, a rock band with controversial views. Ironically, as the post goes on to point out, Dent is a strong supporter of Arizona's new anti-immigration law; the Anti-Defamation League has denounced this law as "misguided, bigoted, biased . . . and un-American." According to his own logic, one might justifiably wonder to what extent Dent should be considered a misguided, bigoted, un-American racist. But is Dent also an anti-government extremist? His relations to the local music scene might prove revelatory in this regard. On his official website, Dent celebrates the Bethlehem, PA, Musikfest, calling it part of the area’s “cultural richness” and “America’s Music Festival”:

Historic Bethlehem is a culturally rich area of Northampton County . . . Musikfest, dubbed America’s Music Festival, is a 10-day event each August, which showcases music from every genre imaginable.

This year, Musikfest is being headlined by Sublime with Rome and special guests The Dirty Heads and The Movement. One of The Dirty Heads' well-known tunes is entitled “Lay Me Down.” It is a love song about a couple who kill a local sheriff while on the run from the police. From the song's second verse:

They wouldn't stop running till They found a paradise/ But the sheriff finally found them with his eyes seeing red./ So the lovers had to shoot him down And fill em full of lead/ They were finally free To find a place to lay their head.

Is this the sort of culture that Dent endorses when he praises Bethlehem's Musikfest as part of the area's "cultural richness"? In lauding Musikfest as "America's Music Festival," does Dent endorse the killing of police? Is Dent an anti-government extremist? According to the logic of the Dent campaign, we may well have to answer all of these questions in the affirmative. I wonder what's on Dent's iPod. Is he willing to stand by every statement ever made by all the individuals in his favorite bands?

Of course, only the most intellectually and morally bankrupt individuals would denounce someone for controversial statements allegedly made by someone else. But that seems to be the Dent campaign's mode of operation at the present moment. And it reeks of desperation.


Bill H III said...

August 12, 2010

Mr. Eris,

I just read your op-ed piece entitled “Is [Cong.] Charlie Dent an Anti-Government Extremist?” Simply and fairly put, no. He is more of a centrist Republican. Check out his voting record.

I hope your piece is facetious in most of it’s conclusions. If not, it is the epitome of what is wrong with the media today, especially you bloggers. From Cong. Dent’s endorsement of Bethlehem’s Musikfest, you extrapolate he is “an anti-government extremist” because one non-headlining band out of how many hundred acts on stage over the course of the festival sings about a couple that shoots a sheriff while on the run (From the few verses you quoted, it sounds like a rip-off of The Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run”. At least Billy joe & Bobby sue didn’t fill Sheriff Billy Mack “full of lead”. I could extrapolate from that how rock music has gone downhill since “Take the Money and Run” was released, but that is for another email.). That is the height of yellow journalism. I believe Cong. Dent could press charges for slander and defamation of character.

The first amendment states “Congress shall make no law ....abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;...”. With that freedom must come a sense of responsibility to your fellow countryman in any civilized society. Your article violated that responsibility for what I believe were purely selfish, political reasons. Prove me wrong. Print a retraction and send me a copy or are you just another cog in the drive-by-blog-o-sphere?

Respectfully yours,

Bill Hubbard III

d.eris said...

Thanks for your comment Bill. As you correctly concluded, the op-ed is indeed facetious, and is meant to demonstrate the absurdity of Rep. Dent's accusations against Jake Towne, in which he smeared the independent candidate as an anti-Semite, a bigot and an anarchist, among other things, based on statements allegedly made by other individuals from A LOCAL BAND in Pennsylvania. I do not believe in guilt by association, as, apparently, the Dent campaign does.

Dent's attacks and smears against Towne were ridiculous on their face, lacked any substance, and, I believe, were nothing more than a cowardly ploy by a professional, establishmentarian politician desperate to avoid having to debate an independent rival in any public forum.

Our politics were dragged down into the gutter by the professional politicians in the ruling parties long before I arrived on the scene. If you desire a more civil political discourse in the United States, you should begin by casting a critical glance in the direction of the Republicans and the Democrats, so many of whom literally make a living by spreading lies, falsehoods and fabrications intended to do nothing but ensure the perpetuation and expansion of their monopoly on political power in this country, and preserve the status of the ruling political class.

Thanks again for your comment.

PT said...

You might also be interested in: "Is Charlie Dent a Misguided, Un-American, Bigoted Racist?"