Our Rep’s Weak Week

The email newsletters that Rep. Steve Cohen sends his constituents are, for the reader, either an exercise in masochism or high comedy. Guess it depends on your mood.

This week’s is no different.

The No. 1 purpose of these missives are to demonstrate how Cohen is fighting for us. No. 2 is to show what a hero he is in this fight, particularly for black issues. He must assume that his biggest threat is a popular black Democrat running against him, so he is determined to out black them all in his concern for this constituency. Not surprising from a Jewish white man who once claimed he should be able to join the Congressional Black Caucus. Fortunately, that was too outlandish, even for Washington.

Well, this issue is no different.

He begins by describing his valiant fight. “On Thursday, I introduced a bill to remove former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI building in Washington, DC. I also had the opportunity to question current FBI Director James Comey about the need to remove Hoover’s name from the building at a House Judiciary Committee Hearing. The civil rights we enjoy today are in spite of J. Edgar Hoover, not because of him. Hoover’s infamous counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO) sought to silence Dr. King and other civil rights leaders as well as civil rights organizations including Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). COINTELPRO was also used by Hoover to out homosexuals working for the government, ruining careers and lives. The Hoover years are a stain on the FBI and our nation’s history. Yet, Hoover’s name adorns one of the most prominent buildings in our nation’s capital and one that houses one of the agencies of our government responsible for justice…”

Since Hoover was allegedly a cross dresser, won’t the transgender community be offended? Aren’t there other more pressing issues?

Then he goes on to describe his next fight. This one is for criminal justice reform. He name drops: “On Friday, at the invitation of my esteemed friend Judge Bernice Donald, I delivered the keynote address at the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section’s 2015 Fall Institute in Washington, DC. The impact our broken criminal justice system has had on the African American community, in particular, is staggering. One in three African American males can expect to go to prison at some point in his lifetime. I have been fighting my entire career for criminal justice reform, calling for reduced mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders, reforms to our country’s outdated drug laws, and transparency for our law enforcement agencies. I am going to keep pressing Congress to take action on these important issues.”

This is a trend, I’ll give him that. One wonders how letting more criminals on the street will deter crime. Goes against Rudy Giuliani’s successful “broken windows” policy of stopping small crimes which then stopped bigger crimes and greatly decreased crime in New York City.

But then again, there is nothing as important as political correctness, is there?

His other “accomplishments” for the week: “Working to reduce the rape kit backlog;” attending a Congressional medal ceremony honoring the “Monuments Men;” voting for a bill in Congress that would upgrade buses for MATA and fund minority businesses; celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month; and accepted the 2015 Most Outstanding Politician award at the 20th annual Stone Awards.

Most amusingly, Cohen held a “Bringing Congress to Your Corner” event at the Whitehaven branch library. However, he was not there. His staff got this task. It basically involved helping people find out how to get more money from the government – “to help address Memphians’ problems with and questions about Social Security, Medicare, FHA, the VA and other federal agencies.”

Yes, another tough week for our representative from the Ninth District.

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