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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Cong. Kline: Confrontation with a Constituent

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 07/05/06 13:37, Edited: 07/05/06 13:43

by Dave Mindeman

You gotta love 4th of July parades. Best time of the year for politicians and their constituents to mingle and get to know each other. That's why the incident I am about to relate might say a lot about how strained that relationship can become.

I have a friend who is a rock solid Democrat. He says what he thinks, doesn't back down, and doesn't have much time for being politcally correct. On the 4th of July he has volunteered to drive a pickup for a Democratic unit in the Apple Valley parade. While everyone is milling around waiting for things to begin, my friend sees Congressman John Kline walk by, heading for his unit area.

Now, my friend doesn't particularly like Congressman Kline...in fact, he doesn't like him at all. Having him in such close proximity was difficult for my friend to resist. He maybe let his emotions get the best of him a little, but as Kline walks by he says:

"Thank you for killing our boys..."

That's a tough choice of words..... but my friend meant it and it was personal to him because he has an 18 year old son. In fairness to the Congressman, I wouldn't characterize his position on Iraq in that manner. Congressman Kline backs up his position by having a son serving in Iraq... and his support of the troops is genuine, although how that support manifests itself is misdirected.

But my friend hates the war with a passion and Kline is certainly a symbol of that war....and all of its divisiveness. I would be quite surprised if the Congressman had not heard some version of that comment many times before.

But today was one of those days that the comment hit a nerve. The Congressman reacted and not just in a passing way. He turned and replied, "What did you say?" To which my friend repeated his comment.

Mr. Kline angrily stomped over and glared at my friend, inches away from his face. Now, I was not there but there are witnesses....and the picture looks something like this. My friend is 6 foot 2 and in the range of 280 very strong pounds. Kline, the Marine Colonel, has a similar imposing presence. They glared at each other directly and my friend stared him down...not backing off one iota.

Kline said, "You're a jackass. It's people like you and your party...."

It was at this point that one of Kline's "handlers" stepped in and cut off the conversation. The handler put a hand on my friend's chest trying to get some distance between them... my friend then turned to the handler and replied, "Get your hands off me, he came up to me".

The handler obviously decided this was a good time to leave and put his hands on the Congressman's shoulders and led him off to his unit. During the parade, I had noticed that the Congressman did not go out into the crowd to shake hands very much... he stayed in the middle of the road walking straight ahead; at least in the part of the parade I could see. I thought it was little odd at the time as other candidates were busy working the crowd, but I didn't know that this confrontation had occurred until later. Could he have been told to minimize crowd contact? Who knows....

What I really would have wanted is for Congressman Kline to have finished that sentence.

"It's people like you and your party..."

Considering the fact that the previous sentence had the word "jackass" in it, I would assume the finish would not have been complimentary. But the idea that somehow Democrats and their war opposition are somehow the enemy....well, I find it a little disturbing.

The people of the Second Minnesota District are going to have to make a real choice in November. It is clear that if you fully support the war, if you believe we did the right thing in Iraq, if you are confident that our future should have a continuous military presence in the Middle East -- then John Kline is the perfect Congressman for you. You must not have any doubts about this -- because John Kline does not. During the next 2 years, it is clear that John Kline will support the administration's Iraq policy 100%. He will not change -- so if you want to send him back to Washington -- you have voted for the administration.

It is perfectly fine for John Kline to be so confident in his view --- but is it OK for his view to represent all of us in the 2nd District? I don't have any of John Kline's confidence in this "stay the course" direction....none at all. And I am sure there are others like that.... John Kline won't represent us.

But, there are also those who aren't sure what direction we should take.... maybe they would like to look for an alternative...an adjustment. Well, John Kline does not represent you either... he has no doubts.

To John Kline, anyone who doubts or hedges, is undermining the war effort. We need to be good soldiers and support our country right or wrong. We have to send the troops the right message..... to question is to cause harm.

John Kline is a war vote..... its "people like us and our party" who are not.
comments (5) permalink
07/12/06 21:54
My goodness, Another Democrat, you just like making things up as you go along, don't you? Coleen is polling in the 20's? You just posted that obvious lie to make yourself feel better because Marko couldn't even make it past a few weeks on the campaign trail. If Coleen Rowley were actually polling that low, Kline's team would be shouting it from the mountain tops. In fact, no one but Kline's people have done a poll of the 2nd District, and they are apparently keeping mum about the results (want to guess why?).

I smell sour grapes. Your so-called "mainstream" Democrat lost big time because she offered nothing new. Coleen Rowley is the real thing and is not afraid to fight "The Colonel."
Another Democrat
07/12/06 15:54
This gives all Dems a bad name, and I believe you are too protective of your friends rudeness and out of line behavoir. Sounds like Kline did finish his sentence.

The lack of "mainstream" Democrats out there is THE reason we haven't won an election in this district in years, and have no chance again this year.

Fact of the matter is, Colleen currently polling in the uh, what low 20's? She's is an example of actvists in our party getting their candidates out there who "mainstream" or shall we say moderate or "normal" Democrats can't support, much less the majority "mainstream" Republicans in the area. Why do we even bother to field candidates?

John doesn't really even need to campaign, this is going to be landslide. Mike Germain is another. I'm sure there is a real candidate out there who could at least cause Chris Gerlach to wake up from his nap, for now there no reason for him to even talk to his opponent, his campain is a waste of our time. Garage sale for a fundraiser? What a joke. We lose again, and again...
A constituent
07/06/06 03:27
Marc. I was also an eye-witness. It is interesting to see that you agree with Dave on how it happened except for the part that he left out.
It is interesting that you got that part wrong!
Most likely because you heard about it and did not see it. And my guess is you are trying to do damage control for Kline if this blows up on him.

It is also interesting that the constituent 'Dave's Friend" was approached by several of the other constituents in the area and was told that it was about time someone said that to Congressman Kline. They also thanked him for having the backbone to stand up to Congressman Kline and let him know what he is doing is not good for The State of Minnesota or the County

The final interesting points that you got WRONG, being that you were an "eye-witness" was the most important part of it all. WHAT WAS SAID DURIN THE ELLIPSES WAS!!! "NO! You are the Jackass!" Nothing to do with calling Kline a Son of a bitch. That may be what you think of him. It was simply Klines words said back to him. And after Kline was ushered away he never did venture back into the area that's because I am sure he would have been asked if he wanted to continue with the conversation. Which he new would not have faired very well for him.

07/05/06 22:41
Balderbash and poppycock.

Not EVERY mainstream Democrat supported Sharon Marko. In fact, the vast majority did not, which is why she had to gracefully bow out of the race only a few weeks after entering the race. These half truths and lies are coming from obviously Kline operatives who plan to "Swift Boat" Coleen Rowley and her on-target, excellent campaign.

Once again this person forgets that Colonel Kline was portrayed as Colonel Klink from the TV show Hogan's Heroes, not a real Nazi in a real Nazi uniform. Both of them are bumbling, inept sycophants, and the comparison is quite apt. In any case, this is ancient history in this campaign and Rowley apologized, and Kline, being the type of man he is, refused to accept the apology.

The confrontation at the parade was a long time coming because Kline has become a simple puppet for this corrupt, awful administration. They say jump, Kline responds: "How high, Sir!" His unquestioning loyalty has turned off many of the voters in this district and it is great having a clear alternative to vote for.

07/05/06 18:27

I was an eye-witness to this argument and can attest that your version of the events is pretty much accurate. However, I wanted to fill in the ellipses for you.

The ellipses at the end of your friend?s comment can be filled in with ?you son of a bitch.?

The ellipses at the end of Congressman Kline?s statement can be filled in with ?that have only rude and offensive things to say.?

What you may also not know is that a person wearing a Rowley for Congress T-shirt came up to Congressman Kline shortly after the incident and apologized for your friend's behavior and said that he was out of line.

I appreciate your recognition that Kline's son is in Iraq, which is why he would take these comments so personally. However, to excuse your friend's behavior because he merely has an 18-year-old son is a real stretch.

If this is the case, then the only reason he would have to worry about his son going to war, unless the boy chose to go, would be if we had a draft. And the only people supporting a draft in Congress are Democrats, not John Kline.

Don't believe me? Look it up for yourself...Charlie Rangel proposed a national draft last year and he and John Murtha were the only men in Congress who supported it. So, if your friend wanted to curse at these liberal Democrats because he has a son of draft age it would be appropriate, but it is not an appropriate excuse for personally attacking Congressman Kline.

Bottom line: Kline didn?t generalize that the Rowley supporters were all against the war, as is the crux of your essay, he generalized that many Rowley supporters have been acting rude, antagonistic and down-right offensive. And, frankly, it comes from the top when Coleen Rowley posts pictures of Congressman Kline in a Nazi uniform, lies about things he has said and attacks him for being ?from Texas? when she?s lived in Minnesota for the same amount of time as him.

It?s this kind of behavior that led every mainstream Democrat to support Sharon Marko and it is this type of behavior that is quickly helping Rowley gain a reputation as one of the nastiest and strangest campaigners in Minnesota history.



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