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Oh, What the Heck, Let's Recall a Conservative

August 13, 2007

Residents of Michigan get a front-row seat to a lot of strange politics. But the recent effort by a 77-year-old activist to recall U.S. Representative Tim Walberg (R) is singularly weird, even by 21st century and Michigan standards.

Although the purported reason this seasoned citizen gives for the recall is Walberg's continued support for funding the Iraq war with deficit spending, one has to believe that there are other beneath-the-surface issues going on here. After all, if Walberg could be successfully recalled from his seat for such an "infraction," then so could the majority of those in Congress who voted for continued funding of the war effort.

This elder statesman in his own mind also mentions the "obscene" amount of campaign funding that Walberg received from "out-of-state" sources. Whoopee. His primary opponent, who was the incumbent at the time, most assuredly received funding from national organizations such as Planned Parenthood who liked his "pro-choice" position. At least Walberg is pro-life and has the courage to proclaim it.

What this tempest in a teapot is really about is the "Bush-whacking" of Walberg by the hard-core left here in Michigan and, no doubt, including a healthy assist from outside of the state. A website called "Walberg Watch" is dedicated to watching the freshman Congressman's every move, ready to pounce on anything remotely resembling controversy. They've learned well from their brethren at MoveOn.org. And they've certainly taken home-page note of the activist's alleged one-man crusade against Walberg.

The petition for recall was submitted recently to the board of election commissioners of Lenawee County, who approved the clarity of the language, but apparently didn't feel obliged to check into the extra-Constitutionality of such a move (see below). The next step is to obtain the required 50,000 signatures of registered voters. If successful, the recall petition could force a special election as early as next February.

If there is indeed something more sinister going on here-that is, the targeting of Walberg because of his conservative positions-then it's up to the voters and Walberg himself to denounce this action in the strongest possible terms. He was elected fair and square, and, as a local paper's editorial (hardly conservative) conceded, he has done nothing immoral or illegal. Rather, he's done exactly what he promised to do when he came to Washington, supporting an agenda of lower taxes, strong national defense, and conservative social-issue positions. Failing to take this recall effort, bogus as it is, seriously enough could permanently sully Walberg's reputation as the media, given enough time, will forever link him to this issue to the exclusion of his positive accomplishments.

Recalls have been a rarity on the American political scene, largely because the Constitution does not provide for the recall of U.S. representatives or senators, or the president. The most notorious in recent times was that of hapless ex-Governor Gray Davis of California, whose leftist arrogance was too much even for the voters of La-La Land. Detroit ex-Mayor Dennis Archer, a relative saint compared to the current occupant of that office, was threatened with recall by a losing casino developer that Archer had the audacity to pass over. That effort went nowhere.

The 77-year-old claims in his open letter on the matter that he was influenced by neither major political party. That stretches credulity. Like Cindy Sheehan, he's a dupe of the left whether or not he cares to acknowledge it. And, at his age, he's certainly old enough to know better.

It would be easy enough to pass this off as a Walter Mitty-esque flight of fancy by an old man who has nothing better to do, and therefore ignore this frivolous action as not worth an ounce of worry. However, we fail to connect the dots on actions like this at our peril. The whole thrust of the leftist movement in this country is based on a vast network of individual tentacles latched onto our governmental institutions, our educational system, the courts, and now, in ever increasing numbers, the so-called "grass-roots" activist organizations. It matters not if an individual actually belongs to such a group; if his or her actions support their objectives, then their cause is advanced. That is certainly what is happening in this attempted recall, and other conservative politicians will assuredly be targets whether or not this one succeeds-unless those of us who still care rise up in one mighty chorus to shout down such foolishness, once and for all.

I must give this man some credit, though. Lately I've been in a political funk, what with Rush ready to give the 2008 election to Hillary and Fred Thompson being picked apart before he's even officially in the race. Now my juices are flowing again. Time for another letter to the editor, in which I'll challenge this man to a debate anywhere, any time.

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Copyright ©2007 Phil Perkins