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There is some news to report about Virgil Goode (R-MZM).

In a letter to the Editor of the Farmville Herald, (not online) a reader wrote a letter that not only contained wonderful points to refute the whole issue of Goode vs Ellison, but also mentioned something I have not seen before.

Mr. David Lewis of Farmville spoke about the reasons why Congressman Goode might have done what he did; write a letter to select constituents about how upset he was that Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota would be using a Qur'an to swear on in a private ceremony after the swearing-in on the floor of the House. I am sure everybody remembers what Congressman Goode said, so I won't bore you here.

Mr. Lewis used the word 'peculiar' quite a bit in this letter, in everything from a comment on politics itself, to the nature of the letter Goode sent to those few constituents.

He also comments:

For a U.S. Representative to swear to uphold the Constitution, but then imply followers of Islam should not serve in office seems not only to undermine the tradition of religious tolerance upon which this country was founded, but also to undermine his oath.

This is where the good part starts. Mr Lewis goes on to tell us about the response he got from Goode. I will let him tell it:

I sent Rep. Goode an email to this effect, and he recently mailed me a brief response which was, again, peculiar.  Besides his note, he included an "anaysis" of the published letter, but strangely did not identify its author. Less surprisingly, the analysis offered a pro-Goode spin. Take this example from Goode's letter: "I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way."  Goode's unidentified defender interprets this line to at least mean that Goode doesn't think the Koran should be used for a swearing in ceremony, but thinks to extend it to mean that the Koran shouldn't be used "for any purpose" would be a "silly reading of the language." And yet the words "in any way" and "for any purpose" seem interchangeable in this situation, so it would not at all be a "silly reading" to assume the line means what it says: that in Goode's opinion, he does not subscribe to the Koran's use in any way.

Mr. Lewis goes on to say that Goode uses divisive logic to make these statements. He rightly remarks that Goode's response, and that of his anonymous defender, seems to suggest that one is either for Ellison's choice or Goode's choice.

Mr. Lewis finishes by saying that it might be easy to explain Virgil Goode's comments in that it could be political pandering. Instead, Mr. Lewis continues, they play into our enemy's hands when they claim that the war is against Islam, not against terrorism.

Either that (as the writer continues), or Mr. Goode should issue a clear statement in order to set the record straight. He goes on to say that the congressman's image has been tarnished.

What is important to remember here also is that very few of our congressional representatives have even bothered to comment one way or another. Same with the public servants who serve in state legislative districts that coincide with the 5th Congressional District.

If none of our local, district, statewide and national Republican officials are going to condemn these obvious racist, bigotted remarks, then we should replace them at our earliest opportunity. This is inexcuseable.

Virgil's anonymous defender is a real puzzler. Is this person on the payroll? Is this person an aide in Washington, DC? Why does he need any help defending himself? If it is not a staffer, why would the congressman need a voter/constituent to do the talking for him? Was the opinion solicited?

Peculiar;  absolutely.  Out of the norm: not for Virgil Goode.

Originally posted to Dems2004 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 at 09:28 PM PST.

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