Roy Exum: Fleischmann’s Embarrassing Diplomacy

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Despite how one might feel about the policies and beliefs of Barack Obama, a stark fact is that he is the President on the United States and as such is the most powerful man in the world. He will visit Chattanooga this Tuesday and no matter what he says, or regardless of what he may do, his presence offers an opportunity for Chattanooga to present itself in the finest possible light.

I have no idea why he has chosen to come to our city and I don’t care. What interests me is that we have a chance to tell him how important a new locking system is at the Lake Chickamauga dam and how grateful we would be if he could give a nudge towards the efforts to keep our river traffic strong. I can quickly think of a dozen other things the president could expedite that would make our city much better.

But it is hard to practice earnest diplomacy when a sitting member of Congress, the people’s elected representative, thinks it is cute to write Mr. Obama a snippy postcard like Chuck Fleischmann’s misguided minions just mailed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Chuck, small in stature, is apparently lacking in class, which may explain why his record in Washington is not what many of us had hoped it might be in this, his second term.

To be candid, Chuck can be a personable guy and was doubtlessly taught by his late father you’ll attract more bees with honey than vinegar. But since he was first elected to represent you and me in Washington, he has become an embarrassing and dysfunctional member of a disreputable Congress and has somehow been led to believe it is a loud-mouth game of taunts, slurs, and partisan bickering instead of cohesive partnerships and working together for a common goal.

The postcard Chuck wrote – and gleefully displayed to those so pitiful they demonstrated their own lack of education in the limp guffaw – was not only in poor taste but was most definitely not representative of the standards and values of his constituency. Further, the postcard itself included misspelled words and was addressed to “Pennsylvannia” Avenue. That is inexcusable for a Congressman’s office, yet the larger question is how can we ever get Chickamauga Dam fixed when a key player in the equation deliberately and openly taunts the president of the United States? Here’s what the card said:

* * *

“Welcome to beautiful Chattanooga. We appreciate that you are in town celebrting (sic) the businesses that have come to Tennessee thanks to our low regulation, low taxes and right-to-work policies. While here, I invite you to visist (sic) a few historial (sic), natural attractions like Ruby Falls, a true Chattanooga treasure."

 “However, Obamacare is making it difficult to grow or maintain businesses of this size. Even though Tennessee's strong leadership has put us in a better position than most, we're not immune to the burdens this policy is placing on Americans across the country.

“Best

“Chuck Fleischmann”

* * *

Oh my goodness. I want one person besides Chuck to tell me they would pick “Ruby Falls” as Chattanooga’s ultimate destination. If that wasn’t part of Fleischmann’s postcard joke, I fear all of Chuck’s taste is in his mouth. Mercy, if I had three hours with President Obama I would show him our Orange Grove Center. I would take him to the spot of our last black-on-black shooting. I’d show him Orchard Knob Elementary and then Normal Park – imploring him with simply a “Please!”

I’d show him Chickamauga National Military Park, urging him we must never repeat the Civil War with senseless and ongoing rhetoric about Trayvon Martin. (Face it, the trial is over.) But first I would show him the dam and its lock and show the many stumbling blocks he could wipe away with just one swipe of his hand. Any thinker knows that Barack Obama’s presence in Chattanooga offers a great opportunity and I, for one, already want him to visit again.

It is a sordid fact that Tennessee ranks towards the bottom in so many listing of the states. I would use our Southern hospitality, our gentle air, our kindness to others as a selling point rather than direct our Commander In Chief towards a cave in the ground. My golly gracious. Chuck Fleischmann has embarrassed all of us in nothing more than a rather pitiful attempt to draw attention to himself.

Barack Obama has sat beside Russia’s Vladimir Putin. He’s met with world leaders and he has a lot of things he is centering on beside a suggested trip to Ruby Falls. He is hardly going to lower his standards; Chuck instead must rise to meet to meet the President’s measure in order to have a meaningful discourse with him. This is the way “big” works. This is the way locks get built.

Instead, Chuck Fleischmann’s postcard was hurtful. When will he finally learn that “helpful” is this town’s goal.

royexum@aol.com



Get The Name Right

As an advertising agent, it drives me to a new level of crazy to hear advertising that mispronounces Chattanooga....our grand Tivoli Theatre's name (Ti Volly)...and to make the claim 'it's Not a Chevy unless it's a xxx Chevy'. Wow.  Just wow.   Dale Deason     (click for more)

Reflection On Our Bill Of Rights

In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt designated December 15 as Bill of Rights Day.  This is the day we recognize and commemorate the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which spell out our rights as citizens here in the United States of America.  That date was chosen because the Bill of Rights was originally ratified on Dec.15, 1791.  Our rights and freedoms ... (click for more)

Man Barges Into Woman's Home In MLK Neighborhood; Tries To Rape Her; Photos Of Suspect Released

Chattanooga Police said a man barged into a woman's home in the MLK Neighborhood around noon on Tuesday and tried to rape the woman.   Police said, "The victim was followed by the suspect into her residence where the victim was then attacked. The suspect at that time attempted to rape the victim and then fled the scene."   The victim then called the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Moccasin Bend Resident Asks City To Move Police Firing Range So He Can Open Bed And Breakfast Inn

A Moccasin Bend resident is asking the city to move a police firing range from off the historic Bend so he can open a bed and breakfast inn. Steve Holmes also said the move needs to take place because the new Moccasin Bend National Park is set to begin implementing its management plan early next year. He said the park should bring 250,000 visitors to Chattanooga each year with ... (click for more)

Majors, Ex-Tennessee Player, Coach Sugar Bowl Hall Of Fame Inductee

NEW ORLEANS -- Legendary former Tennessee football player and head coach Johnny Majors has been named to the inaugural class of the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame, as announced on Monday by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Majors is one of 16 legends who starred in the annual New Orleans football classic. The first class of Hall of Famers spans seven decades of Sugar Bowl action ... (click for more)

UTC Women Fall To Virginia Tech 64-44

The Chattanooga Lady Mocs started off the current basketball season with three straight losses, including a 60-30 whipping at Green Bay on November 11. Things had gotten better since that time as the Lady Mocs came into Sunday afternoon’s home game with Virginia Tech on a six-game winning streak, but the train jumped off the track, the local girls had one of their poorest performances ... (click for more)