Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Coffee with Timothy...

with apologies to Louis Malle...

I attended Tim's coffee and conversation last Monday morning in Saline.
The turnout was about 30 or so, with most attending over 50 years old.

I had set up my videocamera to tape the discussion, but I was asked not to unless I cleared it with his press secretary, Matt Lahr, first.

Tim came in and was very genial.

The discussion was dominated by the war in Iraq.

The first gentleman to speak was ex-military and stated that he had taught at the war college. He made a strong case for pulling out of Iraq (civil war, etc...) Tim asked what he thought about the idea that if we left, the terrorist would follow us home. He said, they are already here, just need a catalyst, and in fact the ones caught at Fort Dix were Albanians.

Tim said that General Petraeus was a "sharp cookie" and that he was impressed by him, and that since Congress had confirmed him, we needed to follow his plan. I jumped in and asked, since Gen. Petraeus had written the manual on counter-insurgency and said that we needed 1 soldier for every 25 civilians, why were we shorting him the personnel he said it would take? Tim said that, if you include the Iraqi forces, they now have the numbers. From recent reports, I can't believe that is true...

I asked Congressman Walberg the following question…
You posted on your election website on November 7 of 2006 the following, “Tim wholeheartedly supports President Bush in the war on terror. He supports Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and our troops as they finish the mission in Iraq to assure victory of freedom over tyranny.” On February 15 of 2007 you said during 1 minute speeches “without a doubt, mistakes have been made, and these mistakes are important to acknowledge, but we must go forward with a new strategy in Iraq based on quantifiable goals and measurable results…”
First, When you posted support of the President and Rumsfeld in November were you aware of the “mistakes” that had been made and why were you supportive of the Secretary of Defense.
Second, You finished your February 15 speech with “victory is the only option.” What is victory? How long should we remain there to achieve victory? We have spent over $400 billion, over 3300 US deaths, 25,000+ injuries, and 65,000-500,000 Iraqi deaths, how much more? He said that he stood by both statements and that in war, mistakes are made and tactics are changed.

One guy (pro-war) asked why the President didn’t do as Lincoln did and have Senatorsand Congressmen arrested for sedition and treason. Another guy said, it’s called Fascism…

At one point Tim talked about terrorism, 9/11, and used Saddam and Bin Laden in the same sentence. I didn’t get to ask how many Iraqis were flying those planes.

After discussing the war funding bills (which he voted against) one man in the back of the room said, if you support the troops, why did you vote no? He said that two months funding is not enough, so I asked but you also voted no on a bill that gave more money than the President wanted? He said that the timelines and benchmarks would just tell the enemy when we were leaving. I guess that means that with no timelines or benchmarks, the enemy thinks we will stay forever?

He said that Al Qaeda watches and listens to what the Congress does. A man behind him said, are you serious?

At one point he had to stop the discussion, as it was getting heated between anti-war and pro-war attendees.

There were discussion about NCLB and his “break” with the President on it (the only one he mentioned when asked if he just follows the party line).

He blamed the budget problems of Michigan on Governor Granholm and the last 4 years of John Engler, who cut taxes but did not cut spending. I couldn't believe that a Michigan Republican actually criticized King John. I thought to Michigan Republicans he was as hero-worshipped as Reagan.

Talked about how after 9/11 the country pulled together, Congress sang on the steps of Capitol, but now we seem to be forgetting the towers coming down. Also talked about how the country has not had to sacrifice under Bush as opposed to FDR.

He was not specific about what “victory” is. Tim said something about not having terrorists behind bushes shooting at our soldiers and being able to walk the streets in Iraq as in any major US city.

Tim spoke about the support of the troops for the war and how they tell him that they can win and how Congress is undermining them. He talked about the mother of a soldier who visited him carrying the soldier’s prosthetic leg and how he and she wanted us to win. He said almost 100% of the troops and their families support the effort. I wanted to jump in and ask him if that included the Pat Tillman family.

Tim said at one point, I have seen intelligence about threats, and if you saw what I saw, you'd be scared as well. Why do they always fall back on that scare tactic. Why do politicians think that Americans are children and can't handle "the truth"? Tell us of the threats, let us assess what actions we would take, and let us be vigilant, if there truly is a threat to be worried about.

Sorry this is such a long post, but I wanted to be complete as possible.

The fact is, Tim Walberg is a true believer. He believes that the war is right, that Bush is right, and that we must defeat "them". He even stood by his statement that he "supports Rumsfeld" and I can't imagine there are many who would say that. I think that even if the number of deaths grows, the public turns on the war even more that it already has, and that things continue to deteriorate, he will still back the war. He KNOWS the cause is right.

UPDATE by Fitzy: Welcome to Walberg Watch, elviscostello, our newest contributor! It's always great to hear personal stories like this.


This is a great, great post. Thanks for attending and writing this.
Nice to know he's getting some tough questions. Thanks!
"Tim said at one point, I have seen intelligence about threats, and if you saw what I saw, you'd be scared as well."

That quote begs the questions of "How would he know intelligence if he actually saw it?"
Hell, even if he could decipher intelligence, his comment would be moot. He's been talking like this since "shock and awe" began on March 19, 2003
Teflon Tim strikes again... He has a knack for running his mouth, saying wildy irresponsible things, and getting off clean with no repercussions.

This editorial is something we need to take him to task on. Calling that bill a tax increase is a bald-faced lie in a long line of bald-faced lies.

Teflon Tim somehow attributed his own recent comments on Detroit to U.S. soldiers when those comments were regarded by the press and public as a calculated appeal to racist factions in his voting block.

Teflon Tim claimed during his debate with Schwartz that he would absolutly vote to send troops to Israel to defend their lands if they asked us to. Then, when Joe Schwarz made his answer, Teflon Tim flip-flopped, illustrating he does not understand the middle east, relations with Israel, the use of military powers, and generally, when to shut your mouth.

Teflon Tim was quoted in a newspaper saying that Muslims are incapable of understanding democracy. He has never been taken to task for this religiously bigoted comment.

Teflon Tim has never suffered for his associations with Gary Glenn and the American Family Association. That organization is disgusting in the gay-bashing tactics they use and Walberg walks hand-in-hand with their ilk.

Teflon Tim introduced a horrible anti-immigration proposal at the republican convention this year and the mainstream news never even reported it. He has refused to discuss any immigration bill that includes "amnesty" so our farmers and employers here in the 7th will continue to suffer under silly laws which are commonly disregarded as impractical. The most ironic part of this little story is that he has co-sponsored a bill, granting amnesty to some immigrants. Granted, they are not illegal, but then again, they are also not Mexican nor are they being hunted by the Minute Men (yet) nor are their enough of them here to piss off any of Walberg's redneck, Confederate flag waving supporters. (A small, but potent block of voters he will never cross.)

Teflon Tim opposes expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. If he were intellectually honest, and truly as right-to-life as he claims, he'd be out there pushing to end any federal funding of any embryonic stem cell research. But he isn't intellectually honest unless it is convenient.

Teflon Tim. I am struggling to decide if he is "provisionally principled" or if he is actually "sporadically scrupulous." He needs to get stuck with at least one of the crazy things he says or writes and this is an excellent issue.
Igonre that last comment, I meant to put it under Fitzy's post about the budget resolution. It makes absolutly no sense here under this great write up by elvis c.
Ahhhh!!!! poor little Timmy...he is getting really tough questions. maybe he should think twice about returning this next election but I know he will because he is stupid enough to Zig Zag thru really tough questions without answering any! Go Figure!

Nick Smith
a bit of inconsequential trivia here but wasn't Malle married to Candice Bergen?
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