Charlestown’s least liked politician writes a despicable column attacking what he calls a “despicable” column
By Will Collette
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Proverbial March winds blew hard, to say the least, this past weekend as Saturday’s edition of The Westerly Sun featured Charlestown’s most prolific political albatross, James Mageau, who apparently has appointed himself as Charlestown’s Apologist-in-Chief as part of his ongoing bromance with White House occupant Donald J. Trump.
When Cathy and I moved to Charlestown 15 years ago, Mageau fancied himself as the town’s “Mr. Democrat” (much to the party’s woe) and sought to hone his political image by grinding away at anyone and everyone who he perceived to be challenging his self-anointed status as CEO of the Charlestown Democratic Party.
Mageau at that time was a type once described as a “Jackson Democrat,” named after the late US Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson – hardcore fiscal conservatives who are also very conservative on foreign policy matters. These days, they are more likely to be called “DINOs” (Democrat in Name Only).
Mageau’s type was then and still is pretty common in Rhode Island Democratic circles where most of the top Democratic leadership in state government are very conservative.
But Mageau was special for his particular style which offended just about everyone at one point or another. Mageau served one term as President of the Charlestown Town Council. His disastrous reign spawned the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA Party) and pretty much ruined Democrats’ reputation in town, even though Charlestown Democrats disavowed.
But as recently as the last election, the CCA successfully tied Mageau to the Democratic Party, striking fear into the fragile psyches of newbie retirees who were “educated” by members of the CCA Steering Committee exploiting the sad-but-true slash & burn Mageau modus operandi.
As time passed, Mageau became more and more resentful of town Democrats, as he publicly lambasted them in letters to the Sun. He served up a special dose of red-baiting for me.
In recent years, Mageau has moved even further to the right and has also found his hero. A obnoxious ego-driven narcissist with a very dubious hold on reality, prone to exaggeration or simply making stuff up, Donald Trump is what Mageau would have liked to have been himself.
So Mageau has started once again to use letters to the editor to rise to the defense of his champion and, as I did once before, I rise to challenge Mageau, point by point as we take a trip down the political rabbit hole.
Here is Mageau’s letter and my counterpoint.
Letter to the Editor by James Mageau
[Mageau]: In his commentary titled “Hitler also railed against the press as the enemy” in The Westerly Sun on Sunday, Feb. 26, Jeffrey Kurz engages in the same dishonest journalism that President Trump accuses the mainstream media of doing. President Trump did not rail against the national press, as Mr. Kurz claims in his commentary.
[Collette]: Trump and his minions have waged a nearly non-stop assault against the media that began even before the election. The “Enemy of the People” line was and still is the last straw. It is perhaps the best evidence to date that Trump intends to rule the United States as a despot.
[M]: What he said, and I heard him say it, is that members of the press who engage in fake news are the enemy of the American people. He then named CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC, CBS, ABC and MSNBC.
[C]: And how is it that Mageau can say this and NOT SEE how it proves Kurz’s point?
[M]: Kurz is obviously a radical left wing malcontent who hates President Trump.
[C]: Actually, Mr. Kurz is identified at the end of his commentary as the “editorial page editor of the Record-Journal of Meriden, Conn. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @jefferykurz.”
The Record-Journal is the parent company of the Westerly Sun. If you have ever read the Record-Journal (and I have) you would never in a million years mistake it as the product of any radical left-wing malcontent.
But that’s Mageau for you. When he can’t find facts to support his bombast, he sinks to red-baiting. As his hero would say, “Sad.”
[M]: I personally have a long history of defending freedom of speech in legal proceedings in both the state and federal courts. However, on this issue I must come down squarely in the corner of President Trump. I have spent a lifetime in politics.
[C]: Yes, it’s all about you, Jim. Mageau certainly has spent what seems like a lifetime in politics and a lifetime filing lawsuits. And I think it is no exaggeration to say that in Charlestown, Mageau has succeeded in alienating and offending Democrats, Republicans and independents alike.
[M]: I have served as an elected public official, as a Democrat party official and as a Democrat consultant to a former governor and congressman. Now, I can say without equivocation that I have never seen such immorality and dishonesty in the press.
[C]: Ancient history, Jim. You have not been a Democrat for a very long time. You were such an embarrassment that Charlestown Democrats disowned you and would not endorse you. You also disaffiliated from the Democratic Party. So what bearing does this have on the issue of whether Donald Trump is taking America down a dangerous path?
[M]: All one has to do is listen carefully to what the president has to say during a press conference or speech and then read or listen to how his comments are distorted and taken out of context by reporters in the mainstream media. That is wrong and it needs to stop!
[C]: That’s right, Jim, join right in as supporting repression of the media in gross violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Finally, Jim, there’s a guy just like you in the White House.
[M]: If the left wing radicals and progressives who are being supported by a dishonest press think that they can win back the Democrats who voted for Trump by insulting our intelligence with such stupidity as comparing President Trump to Hitler, they are sadly mistaken.
[M]: You’re right that some Trump supporters will not be won back. There will always be those who believe in bizarre conspiracy theories, racism and sexism. Or those who get all their news from alt-right, white supremacist news sources such as Breitbart, the apparent source of Trump's latest fantasy that Obama tapped his phones.
They might not even be swayed when their own interests are hurt, such as the 30 million who will lose health insurance coverage when Obamacare is repealed or when Medicare is converted into a voucher program.
But currently, a large majority of Americans believe Trump is doing a bad job. Of course, you think that’s the media’s fault. How dare they actually quote Trump’s own words.
[M]: Their continued whining for a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia may well come back to haunt Hillary Clinton.
[C]: They are not “alleged” ties, Jim. They are facts that come from all 17 US intelligence agencies.
[M]: How convenient of them to overlook the fact that it was the Grand Dame of the Democrat Party, Hillary Clinton, who orchestrated selling 20 percent of America’s uranium reserves to Russia. That’s right, uranium, used to build nuclear weapons! Hillary Clinton has a closet full of demons that could come back to haunt the Democrats and I’ll bet there are people in Washington who know what and where they are.
[C]: This is Mageau’s misogyny at its finest. Take some bogus alt-right memes and use it to attack Hillary. But the fact is that if Hillary had done one small iota of what has already come out about Trump, she really would be heading for jail. If Trump really had any evidence of criminal wrong-doing by Hillary Clinton, she would already have been indicted. But in fact, Jim, Trump has already admitted those charges were all part of the political show during the campaign.
[M]: The biggest threat we face as a free country does not come from President Trump. It comes from the radical left supported by an immoral and dishonest media. A glaring and dangerous example of that is their refusal to accept that President Trump won the election fair and square.
[C]: To be clear about the facts, Donald Trump won the Electoral College. He LOST the popular vote by almost three million votes, a new record in US election history.
He won with the help of the Russian government. He won by lying his ass off. He won by appealing to the very worst in the American psyche. He won by winning over people like you.
|Classic example of red-baiting|
[C]: Trump is different than Hitler in a number of key ways. Hitler actually had a creed – a poisonous creed that drove him with a burning passion to nearly destroy the world, though he succeeded in killing millions, including six million Jews whose deaths Trump seem to ignore.
Donald Trump, by contrast, doesn’t really have a creed. He spouts whatever he thinks will make him popular. He spouts whatever he reads in Breitbart, InfoWars or other alt-right publications. His latent racism and anti-Semitism isn’t nearly as flagrant than Hitler’s, though I guess time will tell. I think overall, Trump is too lazy to be compared to Hitler. Nonetheless, I do believe Trump is a fascist.
[M]: As the mainstream media and the radical left sling mud around blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s loss, they should stop and make an examination of their conscience. If they did they would find that their campaign tactics were very similar to what they are doing now, misinformation and dishonesty.
[C]: Believe that if it makes you feel better. But any objective analysis of the truth or falseness of 2016’s campaign statements shows that Hillary told the truth most of the time while Trump lied most of the time.
[M]: A political novice should understand why President Trump won the election. They should also know that he didn’t need any help from the Russians. He won the election the old-fashioned way. He organized campaign rallies all over the country that were attended by tens of thousands of voters. It was at these rallies where he had the opportunity to identify who he was, what he stood for and what he intended to do for the American people.
[C]: In fact, Trump not only got help from the Russians but also publicly asked the Russians for help. And yes, we all saw those Trump rallies and heard what Trump said.
That’s why a majority of Americans like me are worried about the future of this country with Trump in the White House. How will this end? In disgrace, in despotism or in disaster?