Saturday, August 09, 2008

Creating a diversion, er, problem

Tim Echols's column defending Paul Broun is quite silly.

While he cites the noble work he does with his non-profit organization, he then makes a leap of huge proportions by attempting to use that work as an analogy for the bill Broun has put forward that would require the Pledge of Allegiance to be conducted in English only, threatening to take funds away from schools which don't heed the legislation.

Putting the focus on English and withholding funds sends a strong message to school systems that kids need to speak and read English. All of our founding documents and most supplemental materials about important figures in American history are in English.

OK, but I don't see where this is actually a problem. English is the primary language spoken in all schools throughout the country with only a handful of schools in the Southwest - which feature high Hispanic populations - offering the pledge in Spanish in addition to English.

Plus, the point lost on the congressman and Echols is the fact that the children of immigrants - legal or illegal - are typically the ones who are fluent in English. As a result, they also are often better equipped for the world because of their profiency in more than one language.

But, seriously, here's the interesting part ...

Media types have speculated that somehow Broun introducing his PLEDGE Act is an effort to divert attention from alleged budget issues within his office. Of course, it is only speculation that the office will run out of money, but newspapers have to have something to write about. It should be remembered that Broun opened an Athens office so citizens in our area wouldn't have to drive to Toccoa or Augusta. The new Athens office added a substantial cost to his congressional office budget.

Note that Echols, the treasurer of Broun's campaign, doesn't deny the allegations. He acknowledges them and even offers a justification on why Broun would have higher expenses in that he runs three offices, not just one or two like 'establishment' congressman. In a column attempting to refute a column that charged his boss with using not-likely to pass legislation to divert the attention from his boss's fiscal problems .... Echols returns to talk about said problems.

If Echols is clamoring for a definition of 'political wizardry' he should look no further than the preposterous response he's given.

It's not a serious rebuttal coming from a congressman who himself isn't serious.

If you want some seriousness, then give Bobby Saxon some change.


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