Puente on 05/11/2010 at 13:40
Chaffetz, like all other tea bagger republicans, is a backstabbing jackass. The fact that he's already entertaining his options in 2012 (he posted a Salt Lake Tribune article about his prospects against Hatch in 2012 on his Facebook page) is testament to how little he cares about being a representative and how obsessed he is with acquiring more and more power for the sake of having that power. The guy is a megalomaniacal, narcissistic douche bag.
Well, to my surprise...and to his credit, Joseph Puente decided to respond to my criticism in the form of a comment. By owning up to the remark, Puente shows accountability, and by explaining his actions, he shows integrity. Consequently, I believe his response shouldn't remain buried in the form of a comment, but is worthy of its own post. And so I present his response below, exactly as he posted it, with the exception that I broke the big first paragraph into three smaller, more digestible paragraphs:
Joe Puente here. Independent candidate for Congress in Utah's 3rd district. Allow me to verify that yes, I did indeed write the comment you refer to. To address another remark, I'm not "off my meds" and I would advise treading lightly when referring to someone's mental illness, especially when it's being treated by qualified medical professionals. Mental illness, specifically depression, is quite prevalent in this country and Utahns are no stranger to it either and it would be unwise to disparage someone based on it, even a candidate for elected office.
My politics and policies are fair game, my medical condition is not. You wouldn't mock a paraplegic running for Congress because he uses a wheelchair, would you? A person who's deaf? Blind? Diabetic? A cancer survivor? No. I would appreciate it if you would give me the same courtesy where my medical conditions are concerned. I share them on my web site not to make an issue of them but specifically to make them non issues by discussing them myself so others need not waste time on them.
I would advise all political candidates to add a dirty laundry page to their campaign web sites to dispel the myth that candidates for public office are somehow superior to the masses. Everyone has their flaws, faults, challenges and mistakes that they have to deal with. By putting them out in the open, it gives people the opportunity to acknowledge them, understand them and move on to discussing the really important issues.
And don't confuse my frustration with Chaffetz' arrogance as a symptom of my clinical depression. Like a lot of Americans, I'm pissed off at the establishment and arrogant incumbents like Chaffetz who pretend to be average Joes when in reality they're just party operatives playing the same damned games that got us into the mess we find ourselves in now.
I'm not sad, I'm mad and I pull no punches when it comes to Jason Chaffetz, his arrogance and his cowardice.
Nice article, btw.
May 11, 2010 9:34 PM
1. First Problem: Joseph Puente compares his disability with people who have physical disabilities. This is of questionable applicability, because someone who is paraplegic or is blind or deaf can still think and articulate without impingement. In contrast, someone who has a psychological or mental disability oftentimes cannot think or articulate without impingement, except through the regular use of medication.
2. Second Problem: Joseph Puente uses abusive and defamatory syntax in reference to Jason Chaffetz, calling him a "backstabbing jackass" and a "megalomaniacal, narcissistic douchebag". While "megalomaniacal" and "narcissistic" may be within the bounds of fair discourse, referring to one's opponent as a "jackass" and a "douchebag" is clearly out of bounds. Think back to the firestorm created when South Carolina Congressman Joseph Wilson stood up and shouted "You lie!" in response to Barack Obama's speech. Now imagine what would happen if Joseph Puente got up on the floor of the House and referred to Nancy Pelosi as a "douchebag". He'd be done...effectively finished as a Congressman. Perhaps Puente would have the presence of mind not to do that, but can we be sure, particularly if he's controlling a pyschological disability through medication?
By using abusive syntax to describe his opponent, Joseph Puente risks marginalizing himself and his campaign. Many people already don't take him seriously simply because he's running as an independent. Does he want to risk becoming the next Superdell Schanze? In addition, most people who identify as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don't customarily refer to others publicly as "douchebags". One should behave the same way as a candidate as one would behave if actually serving in office. Joseph Puente already displays some integrity and accountability; to that, he needs to add a bit of diplomacy.
I appreciate Joseph Puente taking the time to have responded to the concerns I raised.