Jeannette Blonigen-Clancy is a DFL activist from Central Minnesota who frequently submits LTEs to the St. Cloud Times. She has another LTE in this morning’s edition that’s particularly easy fisking. In her attempt to criticize Mrs. Scholar’s column, Ms. Blonigen-Clancy made some wild statements, some of which lacked substantiation. Here’s the first instance:

Why was there no outcry upon learning that the Bush administration wiretapped phones and computers to eavesdrop on the private lives of American citizens?

The NSA didn’t wiretap the phones of American citizens. PERIOD. The NSA is all about collecting foreign intelligence. When the NSA spotted communications going from a country like Pakistan or Afghanistan to someone in the United States, they turned that information over to a domestic intelligence agency. That agency then applied for a wire tap warrant.

Here’s another of Ms. Blonigen-Clancy’s revealing statements:

If they “transcend party politics and focus on government spending and loss of freedoms,” why did Banaian mention critically only Democratic politicians?

Mrs. Scholar interviewed Leo Pusateri and myself for her column because we were the primary organizers of September’s 9/12 TEA Party in St. Cloud. The only Democratic politicians who were mentioned in the article were Speaker Pelosi and Howard Dean. I know because I brought them into the interview. In other words, Mrs. Scholar mentioned them because she was quoting me.

I said that Speaker Pelosi’s priorities didn’t represent the priorities of many rank-and-file Democrats. I know that because I’ve had Democrats tell me that they didn’t agree with Speaker Pelosi’s views. The Democrats that I’ve talked with have specifically mentioned Cap and Trade and on health care reform.

I mentioned Howard Dean because he said that “We’re in a battle between good and evil and we’re the good.” Here’s precisely what I said in the interview:

“Neither Republicans nor Democrats have cornered the market on good ideas. We need to reject the politics of Howard Dean: ‘This is a battle between good and evil and we are the good.’”

I’ve long respected, though not necessarily agreed with, Democrats like John Breaux, Zell Miller, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Scoop Jackson. If we had more of those type of Democrats in Congress, they wouldn’t have voted for the irresponsible legislation that this Congress has passed. We wouldn’t have been in the bad shape that we’re currently in.

This statement epitomizes what the libertarian TEA Party activists are opposed to:

It would make more sense for citizens to unite in opposition to $100 million bonuses, to pressure Congress to reregulate Wall Street, to pressure the present administration into waging peace in Afghanistan.

I’m all for private citizens and stockholders speaking out if they think a CEO is making too much money. That’s part of their rights under the First Amendment. What I’m opposed to, though, is government setting corporate pay scales, mostly because the Constitution doesn’t give them the authority to interfere in such matters.

As bad as that statement was, this one’s totally agravating:

Concern about government spending and loss of freedom is legitimate, but the TEA parties obviously were planned by right-wing political groups manipulating the public’s uneasiness in this critical time of American history.

As a principle organizer of the St. Cloud TEA Party, I’ll freely admit that CMCC, aka the Central Minnesota Conservative Coalition, sponsored the event. What I reject is that we’re attempting to manipulate the public during this time of great apprehension. We stand for a positive set of principles, starting with honesty, accountability and the notion that politicians work for us, not vice versa. We believe in the literal translation of the Constitution and we believe that government functions best when government respects the Tenth Amendment.

Rather than attempting to manipulate people, the TEA parties are attempting to prevent politicians from manipulating the people.

Ms. Blonigen-Clancy’s misuse of the word manipulate is especially galling considering its definition:

to manage or influence skillfully, esp. in an unfair manner

Rather than attempting to manipulate people, the TEA parties are attempting to prevent politicians from manipulating the people.

Ms. Blonigen-Clancy obviously is deeply suspicious of conservatives. Perhaps that’s because she isn’t willing to consider the possibility that conservatives and libertarians have worthwhile ideas. If that’s the case, then I feel sorry for her. I hope some day she starts thinking things through rather than drinking the liberal Kool-Aid.

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