Congressional approval ratings are at a historic low, and after what has happened over the course of the last twenty four hours – I can see why. On the House floor Wednesday, longtime Democrat Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee made the startling claim that “We did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had the authority.”
These are the moments when you say “Really?”
The problem here is that Rep. Lee lied to the American People inside the People’s House. Good thing for her that when you make speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives you are not under oath or under the threat of perjury. Perhaps that should change, but that’s another debate for another day.
Lied? Well back in 2008, Rep. Lee co-sponsored House Resolution 1258 entitled “Impeaching George W. Bush, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors. “
Today I called her Washington office to see if perhaps I was confused, and the representative from Houston was telling the truth. When reaching her D.C. congressional office, I asked the nice lady who answered the phone if she knew of the contradiction and could help my confusion. After clearly saying she was not speaking for the congresswoman, when asked about the fact there was a contradiction, she said “We are aware that the congresswoman has made contradicting statements in her remarks on the floor.”
When I pressed, and asked “Not as a representative but just as someone I am talking to, isn’t the fact that she said one thing in 2008 that is totally opposite of what she said yesterday – isn’t that really a lie?” The answer, honest but shocking, was “Yes I think that is a lie.” (Note the quotes are from memory, I didn’t anticipate that I would need to get them on record but I sure wish I had.)
That was startling. I asked to speak to someone in the office to register my thoughts on a congresswoman lying on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. From there, it got crazy but not as crazy, and then a little crazier.
I was transferred to a gentleman on Lee’s staff. When I again asked him about the contradiction and stated that perhaps I was confused, the man said “Oh look it here, we have one of those right wing, tea-bagger nut jobs on the phone taking his cues from FOX News.”
He then accused me of being un-American, raising his voice at me while asking me to calm down, and telling me that I am just on some mission to destroy our country. When I calmly asked for his name, he said “I don’t have to give it to you because I don’t want to show up on some right wing blog and be on your Twitter account.” Keep in mind, I never said who I was – he just made assumptions and attacked me. When I reminded him that he gets paid by our tax dollars, he said “I doubt you even pay taxes and the IRS will find you soon enough,” and hung up on me.
Was that a threat from Rep. Lee’s staff to use the IRS as a weapon against citizens for just asking questions?
Astounded at what happened, I called back and asked to speak to the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Lee because I had been treated rudely and threatened. After being transferred, another nice gentleman said “This is the Chief Counsel, you have 15 seconds.”
I said “Really?”
“Fourteen seconds now.”
When I asked him for his name, he said “Chief Counsel.” Of course that’s not his name, and I said “No, I mean your name, not your title.”
Every time I asked, he counted down another second.
I told him that this was not confidential information and that I could do a Freedom of Information request. Click, and the call was over. He hung up on me.
That’s what happens when you the office of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).