Taking credit where none is due
To the editor,
Thank you to Jerry Moore of the Watertown Daily Times and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for reprinting his column, “Stefanik guilty of stolen valor” (Tuesday, Sept. 1). In his article, Mr. Moore brought to light the fact that U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik professed anger over her opponent Tedra Cobb’s alleged theft of Stefanik’s plan to assist military personnel. In his column, Mr. Moore quotes tweets from Rep. Stefanik berating Ms. Cobb for stealing her work on behalf of the U.S. military. The trouble is, apparently Rep. Stefanik is the one stole the credit for the Military Family Stability Act, which should go to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Susan Davis (D-Calif.), who actually got the bill through the House and Senate, and also to former Rep. Christopher Gibson (R-Kinderhook), who initially introduced the bill some years ago. This is actually a bipartisan bill that got passed and was not written by Rep. Stefanik, as she claims in her diatribe against Tedra Cobb.
What Stefanik accused Cobb of is “intellectual theft,” but in reality, Stefanik is the thief. With a seeming wink and nod to her role model, President Trump, Stefanik has projected her thievery onto her opponent. This lack of accountability and outright lies has become so commonplace in Republican politics these days that no one seems to be surprised by it, but it’s important to look at the thievery and blame for what it is; Stefanik essentially stole the cookies from the cookie jar, neglected to brush the crumbs off her clothes and then blamed Cobb for their disappearance. Sometimes the wrong child receives the blame.
The title of Mr. Moore’s article contains the term “stolen valor,” a term used by veterans and military personnel in reference to those who steal credit for acts of bravery they don’t deserve. Why in the world should we vote for someone — Stefanik — who would use the military for her own deception?
Taking a cue from the phrasing near the end of Mr. Moore’s article, I would never suggest that it’s possible to rearrange the letters of Rep. Stefanik’s first name to refer to her as E-lies Stefanik, regardless of appropriateness.