The Rob Ironies
Although I'm supporting Joe Courtney for the 2nd Congressional District seat, I've never had a major problem with Rob Simmons. Sure, I've been known to call him Washington Rob on occasion. But I have no ill will towards the man; I haven't re-named him, like I've done with Oedipus Lieberman--that shithead. And yes, I've heard all the stories about Rob and the nasty campaigning in 2004. I've also heard a number of friends of mine who say that Simmons and his family are good people.
Without question, Mr. Simmons ought to be congratulated for his service to this country in the Vietnam War. And indeed, his overall record generally demonstrates a "tendency" to be independent. He still does lockstep with the Republican led congress a bit much for my liking, though. He's no Linc Chafee or Olympia Snowe.
Anyway, this post focuses on the recent television ads for the Simmons campaign. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised by the ironies in two of the ads in particular. And I'm not the only one who has noticed.
The first ad in question ran earlier in the season, and a segment of the ad showed Washington Rob shaking EB workers' hands as they were exiting the yard; that's leaving for the day, not forever due to, let's say, lay-offs. Let's think about this for a minute. The fact of the matter is that EB has laid off a shit load of people recently, and more layoffs are to come. Yes, people are leaving EB because they are losing their jobs. Regardless of what Mr. Simmons has done in the past with attempting to secure sub contracts, why the hell would his campaign be so sloppy not to emphasize Simmons' work--no pun intended--for EB in another way? Perhaps when the workers were ENTERING the yard?
The second ad has been running recently. It's quite simplistic and effective but only to a point. Check this out: the ad involves an interview with a mother of a son who is in the CT National Guard. No question: this woman's concerns, her son's service, and Simmons' support of our troops are ALL to be commended. However, what was highly ironic about the interview with the Buchanan woman--that's her name, I believe--is that she recalls how she had to appeal to Congressman Simmons because (hold your breaths) her son was sent to Iraq without the proper equipment???????????????????????????????????????? Granted, to his credit, Congressman Simmons stepped in (thank God) to get this soldier the equipment he and his fellow troops needed; who wouldn't? The bigger issue, though, is that this narrative only confirms and emphasizes in a major way yet another fuck-up of the Bush administration and the Republican led congress: they've been sending our soldiers to Iraq and in harm's way without the necessary protection. What the fuck? Again: good for Congressman Simmons for helping out; not so good for his campaign to be packaging this information this way, though.
My point: I'm a bit stunned by the Simmons campaign team for allowing these rather problematic ironies, which, in turn, may affect him negatively, be apparent when they are trying to get Mr. Simmons re-elected. Perhaps they, too, could stand to be 1% more conscious.