When Collin Peterson screws up, he doesn’t go half way. When he voted for the national energy tax legislation, he said he supported it even though it will cause his constituents to pay higher gas prices and higher electricity bills. The latest Peterson screw-up is about 9/11 Truthers in his district:

“Twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down,” said Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who represents a conservative Republican district in Minnesota. “That’s why I don’t do town meetings.”

Why does Peterson think the people in his district even have an opinion on this? How would he know that’s what they think if he isn’t in touch with them? Is he suggesting his district offices are getting flooded with phone calls demanding that Congress launch an investigation into the Twin Towers tragedy?

I’m betting that this is just Rep. Peterson having a disdain for his constituents. That’s what happens when people ignore their constituents, which he admits he’s done by saying that he doesn’t do townhalls. That’s what happens when they’ve been in DC too long. There’s only one cure for DC-itis: a long exile from that sewer of bassackwards thinking known as DC, followed by actually listening to your constituents. (This also works to prevent the onset of DC-itis.)

There’s something else worth noting about this, which is that Rep. Peterson’s DC-itis has apparently caused him to think he knows his constituents even though he hasn’t met with. That’s a foolish assumption. It’s also extremely arrogant on Rep. Peterson’s behalf.

By itself, this isn’t enough to get Peterson defeated but it’s one of the most boneheaded things I’ve heard him say in his public career.

Minnesota GOP Chairman Tony Sutton called on Peterson to apologize for his statements in this press release:

St. Paul- Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Tony Sutton today called on DFL Rep. Collin Peterson to immediately apologize for offensive and outrageous comments he made to Politico.com in which he said, “Twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down. That’s why I don’t do town meetings.”

“Collin Peterson must immediately apologize for the outrageous and offensive comments he made about his own constituents. By stating that ‘twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down’ and that’s ‘why I don’t do town meetings,’ Peterson revealed just how out of touch and disconnected he has become in Washington. Given his liberal voting record, the real reason Peterson doesn’t hold town hall meetings is because he is afraid to face the residents of his district.”

Peterson loves portraying himself as a moderate Blue Dog Democrat. That might be his inclination but his vote is for sale anytime they need it. The term Blue Dog Democrat is a little too fierce for my way of thinking. Blue Puppy seems more apt because he’s got little bark and virtually no bite.

All it took to roll Peterson on the National Energy Tax was a couple minor concessions. His rural constituents will get carbon credits for manure disposal. Unfortunately, they’ll still get hit with high gas prices at the pump and outrageous electricity prices at home.

I think Tony Sutton is exactly right. I think Collin Peterson knows that he doesn’t fit his district anymore. I also think it’s possible that Collin Peterson has been in DC so long that he’s more interested in DC things than in district things. If Peterson’s first concern was his constituents in CD-7, a young Collin Peterson wouldn’t have sold out for a few trivial concessions. He would’ve held fast and told Speaker Pelosi to take a hike.

The people of MN-7 deserve someone that’ll represent them first, the state second. Representing Speaker Pelosi shouldn’t fit into Peterson’s top 10. Based on his recent past votes, I’d say Peterson puts a higher priority on obeying Speaker Pelosi than he puts on serving his constituents.

That’s bassackwards thinking if ever I heard it.

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