Letter: Johnson witch hunt unfair
Republicans have filed an ethics complaint against Senator Dean Johnson, saying his conduct has brought disgrace to the Senate. As a couple of Bible-thumpers, you'd think they'd consider Christ's admonitions to remove the beam from their own eyes...
Republicans have filed an ethics complaint against Senator Dean Johnson, saying his conduct has brought disgrace to the Senate. As a couple of Bible-thumpers, you'd think they'd consider Christ's admonitions to remove the beam from their own eyes before fixating on "the mote" in another's.
Their crowd continually crows that marriage is the basis of civilization, never pausing to consider that civility, a basic respect for individuals with their differences and varied opinions, might have something to do with it.
It is not for lack of principles, but for having them that this bunch so perniciously harasses Johnson. While Republican majority leader, Johnson, exercising reason and conscience, had the temerity to buck his political instincts and vote against a bill brought by the anti-gay crowd. They labeled him a Judas and have been out to get him ever since.
We tend to forget that it was a pious bunch that hanged the "witches" in Massachusetts, and good Christian folks who lynched, in the name of dignity, any black who dared so much as a flirtation with white women. We also forget that anyone who stood up to these lynch mobs did so at their own peril.
Senator Johnson has courageously stood up to such a bunch, while Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Speaker Steve Sviggum, taking their cue from Pontius Pilate, proclaim the virtues of direct democracy and urge him to let the crowd decide.
Their issue isn't honesty. If it were, these folks would be holding President Bush to account for Iraq, Pawlenty for the duplicity of his "fees" and gimmickry in "balancing" the budget, and themselves for pretending emphasis on marriage when other of their policies increase unintended pregnancies and encourage out-of-wedlock births.
Johnson's falsehoods deserve reproach, but they also need to be seen in context. In the fourth meeting of the day and after years of vicious harassment, how many could certainly restrain themselves from a bit of fabrication in hopes of being cut some slack? Respect for the Senate won't come from censuring Johnson. It will come from exercising civility, respecting differences and everyone demanding that allies do the same.