Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gordo Won't Even Answer the No-Brainers

Given the fact that the President has endorsed an occupation for Iraq that models our time in Korea--which you may remember has lasted 50 years--I wondered if the ever-slippery Senator Smith (or his staff, natch) would be able to answer the simplest of questions, one that even a brain-dead aide could answer off the top of their heads. A question like, say, "Does the Senator support the legalization of fresh puppy milkshakes?" or "Would the Senator co-sponsor my bill for 'Ru Paul's Get Fucked by a Drag Queen Day'," or even "Does the Senator support the President's call to occupy Iraq for the next 50 years?"

The office in DC had just closed, so I tried Portland. The woman answering offered that she had "no idea." I wondered, "So the fact that you're not saying no right off means that you think there is a chance he might?"
"I have no idea, sir."
"But that lack of a no response means you think it's possible, right?"
"I couldn't say one way or the other."
"Right--and that you can't say either way, means that either answer is possible."
"If you'd like to leave a comment for the Senator..."
"I'll take that as a Yes, thank you."
"OK." (!!)

Remember, her boss has said publicly he thinks it's a possibly criminal war. He thinks we're going about it all wrong, and we can't sit and referee a civil war. You'd think that a proposed 50-year occupation would seem somewhat in conflict with those positions. But Smith's staffers are hedging their bets nonetheless.

All right, I'll come clean: I didn't expect an actual answer, especially from the Portland office, and especially from someone who is likely an intern and can't put any words in the Senator's mouth, lest her stay there be a short one. But it's a serious question, and it's an answer the Senator frankly owes us. So won't you take a moment and see if you can find out? Call (or visit) and ask to talk to/make an appt. with an aide who can speak to the Senator's position. Good luck; if you make progress you're doing something right that I've done wrong. And watch out for the voicemail at the DC office, that staffers turn on as soon as it sounds like you're not calling to ask if you can blow him sometime. Having your first words be "PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME TO VOICEMAIL!" might be effective in that vein.

Washington, DC Office
404 Russell Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202.224.3753
Fax: 202.228.3997

Portland, OR Office
One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 1250
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503.326.3386
Fax: 503.326.2900

Pendleton, OR Office
Jager Building
116 South Main Street, Suite 3
Pendleton, OR 97801
Phone: 541.278.1129
Fax: 541.278.4109

Medford, OR Office
Security Plaza
1175 East Main, Suite 2D
Medford, OR 97504
Phone: 541.608.9102
Fax: 541.608.9104

Eugene, OR Office
Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse
405 East 8th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: 541.465.6750
Fax: 541.465.6808

Bend, OR Office
Jamison Building
131 NW Hawthorne Avenue, Suite 208
Bend, OR 97701
Phone: 541.318.1298
Fax: 541.318.1396