Help Wanted: Member of Congress seeks extremist to serve as district representative. Must be punctual, enthusiastic and willing to mock religion, patriotism, the Pledge of Allegiance and our National Anthem. Should also be prepared to make frequent use of the word "retarded."
Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand has attempted to portray herself as a "moderate" in order to reflect the values and ideals of the New Yorkers she represents. It's what she must do since there are 80,000 more Republicans than Democrats in her district.
Meet Lisa Manzi.
Ms. Manzi is Congresswoman Gillibrand's Glens Falls-based regional representative. If you're a constituent and seek to communicate with the freshman Congresswoman, it has to be done through Ms. Manzi. That's the protocol in a Congressional office because it's impossible for the Member to converse one-on-one with concerned constituents.
It turns out that Ms. Manzi has expressed numerous opinions. And they're not normal. Far from it.
But Congresswoman Gillibrand's constituents likely won't hear what Ms. Manzi has to say about certain sensitive issues. With good reason.
In letters to the editor and on her personal blog, which is now offline (and you'll understand why momentarily), she writes her heart out.
"I like to tease the Religious Wrong and tell them that the intelligent designer is probably gay" - April 9, 2006.
"I propose that all of the right wing religious zealots ban together and start lobbying congress [sic] for a constitutional amendment requiring everyone in America to say 'Merry Christmas' to everyone they make eye contact with between Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . Those who don't follow the script will be sent to Syria for why they hate the baby Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, he sent me an email the other day that said: Don't these people know I was Jewish?" - December 15, 2005.
On The Pledge of Allegiance:
"Why can't we pledge to the flag in a secular manner, as we did before the phrase 'under God' was inserted into our national pledge in 1954? In a nation that was founded on the notion of liberty and justice 'for all,' it seems our pledge should not exclude citizens who would prefer to say 'under Allah' or 'the Great Mother Earth' or 'Buddha.'" - October 23, 2003.
On the National Anthem:
"Why was [Condoleezza Rice] holding her hand over her heart when they were singing The Star Spangled Banner? Did she get that confused with the Pledge of Allegiance? Is there some rule about this song that I don't know about?" - February 5, 2006.
On the media:
"CNN's Sunday morning show had me wondering if CNN stands for Christ News Network. - March 5, 2006.
On social conservatives and banning the "morning after" pill:
"First they'll pass this law, and then they'll pass a law that says if you are a woman and you are menstruating, you go to jail. Why? Cause that means you are not pregnant! You should be barefoot and pregnant at all times. Don't you read The Bible? That is ten more years added to your sentence, heathen! The taliban would approve." - September 27, 2005.
On Senator Hillary Clinton being an "angry" candidate:
"Given the choice between an angry president and a retarded one, I'll choose angry hands down." - March 16, 2006.
Did Congresswoman Gillibrand take the time to read this kook's infantile writings before she hired her? Ms. Manzi possesses an incredible hostility toward people of faith and our country's noble traditions.
She questions why Americans hold our hands over our hearts while The Star-Spangled Banner is played? This is up for debate? I wonder what the veterans Congresswoman Gillibrand represents are going to think about that pathetic musing. And our fighting men and women overseas, as well.
If you oppose the legality of the RU-486 "morning after" abortion pill, Ms. Manzi compares you to the Taliban, a cult of evil that has few rivals. I'm sure my fellow Catholics in the Congresswoman's district will be thrilled with such demagoguery.
And she is fine with substituting a ludicrous phrase such as "Great Mother Earth" for "under God" in our Pledge?
What a complete embarrassment. Ms. Manzi's "writing" is what we expect from a SUNY Albany student interning with the Star Wars bar scene crowd at Metroland. Not someone charged with the honor of representing a Member of Congress.