Wu Woos Himself out of His Job on Capitol Hill

By YeOldeScribe ~ September 15th, 2011 @ 1:19 am

Political Progressives fell very, very far behind over the summer covering political happenings and events, and we can’t apologize enough for that. We’re still a bit shaky on our production schedule, as our writer’s computer up and died. However, we’re going to attempt to go back and cover some of the major events of the summer that we missed, and we can’t think of a better place to start than with Congressman Tigger.

David Wu was a Democratic Congressman from Oregon, representing its 1st district. Wu, who was in his seventh term as a Representative, was recently forced to vacate his office on Capitol Hill when it was reported that he had an unwanted and aggressive sexual encounter with an 18 year old girl, who is the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor. Wu is 56.

Ew.

But the strangeness of the situation doesn’t end there. See, this isn’t the first time Wu was accused of sexual misconduct. A mere three weeks before the elections in 2004, The Oregonian reported that Wu had been accused of sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend while he was a student at Stanford in ’76. Even though no criminal charges were filed, the university did discipline Wu for the incident and sent him into counseling. Wu further gave credence to the claim by staging a press conference where he decried his ‘inexcusable behavior’. The voters of Oregon didn’t seem to think the behavior was inexcusable though – they re-elected Wu that year by a 20-point margin over a very qualified competitor., and elected him three more times after that.

Don’t worry though, the creepy train on Wu still has a while to go before it pulls into the station.

See, it’s one thing for your political opponent to call you mentally unstable. It seems pretty harsh, but politicians can sling mud with the best of them, and that’s certainly not the worst thing we’ve heard one politician call another. But what happens when your political allies call you mentally unstable? You’d have to ask Rep. Wu.

In 2010, Wu’s own staff worried that he was ‘mentally unstable’, citing worrisome antics such as accusing his political counterpart of ‘being stingy on tips’, saying ‘kooky things to staffers’, committing ‘loud and angry behavior’, and various other bizarre things that forced his staff to keep Wu away from the public in the critical days leading up to the election.

Seriously, most of you know that the most important time in any election is getting that last-minute push to boost your chances of winning. Many elections are won and lost in the last week due to campaigning (or a lack of it). You would have to be pretty far off your rocker for your staff to not trust you to be in public during the most crucial time period for election seasons. Even as a kid your mommy and daddy probably let you play outdoors. But such was not the case for Wu.

It’s okay, though. Wu took his punishment like a man. Or like a man dressed in a tiger costume.

Yes, in the most bizarre part of the story, Wu actually sent a picture of himself to his staff dressed as Tigger. It looked a lot like this:

No explanation. No “Happy Halloween” message attached to it. No silly slogan like “Let’s bounce our way to the top in 2010!” Just a strange, sad man in a tigger costume, waving at his staff members, who will never be able to watch Winnie The Pooh safely again. After this photo came out, most of Wu’s senior staff left, and the remaining staff tried to stage interventions. Wu wrote it off to the press, saying that he “had a bad month” and that he “did some things [he] seriously regrets”.

Of course, Wu won his re-election comfortably in 2010.

The David Wu story presents two problems with our political system.

First, people like Mr. Wu should never see the light of day when it comes to Capitol Hill. If an individual is that mentally unstable, they do not have the ability to be making decisions on important issues like dealing with the debt ceiling or passing a groundbreaking health care package. There needs to be some sort of exam, like those given for security clearances. We, as a public, need to know if our elected officials might have a few screws loose.

But the bigger problem here is not with ‘government’ – it’s with human beings; specifically the people of Oregon who continually voted for the man. Remember, Wu was accused of sexual misconduct twice before anything was done about it. After the first time, the good people of Oregon should have realized that someone who beats the crap out of women probably shouldn’t be representing the state at the national level (or at any level, really). But that didn’t happen – Wu was elected that year and three additional times. How is that possible? Is someone who assaults women and then vaguely apologizes for it later really the best person Oregon’s 1st district had to offer? We’d sincerely hope not. Instead, people listened to the political machines that get people elected instead of actually doing research on the candidates and picking the best choice.

And we understand that some of the information about Tiggergate came out after the election was over, but why wasn’t Rep. Wu asked politely to step down there and then? Was there any doubt that a man who sends pictures of himself as a bouncing tiger shouldn’t be anywhere near organized government? Did we really have to wait for Wu to be accused of sexual misconduct again before he was asked to go home? All of these are seemingly easy questions to answer for us, but apparently not for the people of Oregon.

If living in Wisconsin over the past year has taught our writer anything, it’s that the people do have power – specifically, the power to remove someone from office if they’re not fit to serve anymore. If we can remove Senators for approving legislation we don’t particularly care for, I think a Representative could be removed for being bleeping crazy.

In short, do your research, people. If that happens, then Rep. Tigger doesn’t. End of story.

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