Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Politics of Personal Destruction

This issue is being hammered all over the liberal blogosphere, but I felt compelled to say something about it, because it's so representative of the vile crap that's done in politics all the time.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) has no shame:

Sitting in the oncology ward at Children’s National Medical Center on Jan. 19, retired Adm. Joe Sestak and his wife, Susan, awaited the doctors’ verdict about the condition of their 5-year-old daughter, Alexandra.

She had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last summer and given three to nine months to live. The Sestaks lived for four months in the ward. They watched as their daughter survived three surgeries, and as she endured chemotherapy.


Weldon attacked Sestak’s decision to continue owning a home in Virginia while only renting in Pennsylvania and questioned why Sestak did not move back to Pennsylvania when he was working at the Pentagon. Weldon commutes from Pennsylvania each day.

Weldon also suggested Sestak should have sent his daughter to a hospital in Philadelphia or Delaware, rather than the Washington hospital. Sestak said that as soon as doctors give his daughter the all-clear, he’ll buy in Pennsylvania.

This is maybe the lowest, basest attack I've ever seen from any politician against a political rival. It's as though the fact that Sestak is running against Weldon gives Weldon carte blanche to say whatever the hell he pleases. There have been attacks that were less factually correct, but this one isn't a matter of facts. It's a matter of a slimeball bringing a 5-year-old with brain cancer into his crosshairs in the hopes of scoring some cheap political points. It's disgusting, and it makes me a little disappointed that I've ever set foot in the district that he represents.

Atrios has the whole roundup, and has added Joe Sestak to the Eschaton community list. Sestak's ability to weather this kind of attack with grace and dignity should show us all that he's already twice the candidate than Curt Weldon has ever been.

Of course, this looks all the worse in light of Tom Delay's recent condemnation of his opponents for using the politics of personal destruction, doesn't it?


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