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Our self-righteous reps



Last modified: Sunday, May 27, 2012
Sometimes letters to the Monitor are unintentionally hilarious.

Take Thursday's letter signed by House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt and 39 of his closest legislative buddies demanding an apology from Editor Felice Belman for publishing a Mike Marland cartoon depicting House Speaker Bill O'Brien with a Hitler-style mustache.

The letter was bizarre enough, but got even more so when I noticed that the second name on the list after Bettencourt's was that of Harry Accornero.

Golly, could that be Harry Accornero of Laconia condemning Marland for comparing O'Brien to a crazed German dictator who ruled by force and intimidation? Accornero is pronouncing himself 'shocked and disgusted by the lack of judgment and decency' of the folks running the paper?

Is this the same Harry Accornero who on the very day the letter to the paper was published proudly posted on his exceedingly public Facebook page a crude caricature painting President Obama as Vladimir Lenin leading helpless Americans off a cliff?

You mean the Harry Accornero who regularly, unashamedly, compares Obama with Hitler and Bin Laden? Who demands to see our 'illegal' president marched out of office and charged and convicted of treason? That Harry Accornero? The one with the sewer-like Facebook page who now is so deeply wounded by Marland's satirical comment on the dictatorial impulses of O'Brien?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Accornero.

Or maybe it's Bettencourt, the guy orchestrating all this self-righteous indignation. There's something more than a little risible about a call for civility and respect from a guy who publicly scorned the former

Roman Catholic bishop of New Hampshire as a 'pedophile pimp.'

Then there was signer Jordan Ulery, the rep who introduced a bill mandating English only on every business sign unless the sign included all six 'official' United Nation languages, a real budget breaker for a small business. And he really stepped in it when he explained that he was simply trying to avoid what happened when European Jews herded themselves into ghettos, thus making themselves 'different' and bringing on the Holocaust. Uh, did I mention that Ulery considers himself a keen amateur historian?

'I was disgusted'

Al Baldasaro was another signer. Yeah, the same Baldasaro who 'thought it was great' when the audience at a GOP presidential debate booed a gay soldier. 'I was disgusted,' he said. By the soldier, that is, not the audience. But let a political cartoonist point out a demonstrated abusive tendency on the part of the speaker, and Al becomes Mr. Sensitive.

Then there are Middleton's Carol and Lou Vita, husband-and-wife legislators and avid birthers, who were among the mob of representatives (including the ever-present Accornero) who happily bullied a couple of hapless state employees when the Ballot Law Commission refused to remove the president from the New Hampshire presidential ballot. They're calling for civility?

But one of my favorites among the signers of the apology demand was the always quotable Paul Mirski, Enfield's contribution to crackpot enlightenment in New Hampshire.

In a letter distributed to all the GOP representatives after the Monitor ran the offending cartoon, he revealed the real truth of the matter.

'Keep in mind that virtually all the so-called 'liberal' politicians and 'liberal' journalists are, at their root in their hearts, whether they know it or not, either thinly veiled fascists or Marxists for whom ends justifies means,' he assured his colleagues.

Whether they know it or not. . . . Well! I guess there's no need for further discussion, eh, Paul?

Enough with all the feigned outrage, folks. Hitler's bizarre little mustache has been, since the days of Charlie Chaplin, the symbol of a humorless and power-crazed dictator. Marland's use of it had nothing to do with the savagery of what the Nazis did in the service of their vile leader. He was using it, as cartoonists and comics have done for decades, to hold such people up to well-deserved ridicule. In this case, such a person as the humorless and power-crazed Bill O'Brien.

Stalin and Castro

And the sheer gall of those trying to score points off Marland's clever joke is really amazing, coming as it does from people and a party who for nearly two years have ignored or excused their compatriots' constant comparison of Barack Obama to Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, Castro - even imaginary villains like the Joker! In fact, they've happily embraced the purveyors of the most vile rumors about our president imaginable.

Their hypocrisy is really shameless.

But something good may come from this whole Hitler mustache farce. The predictable, ponderous D.J. Bettencourt, who put together this preposterously over-the-top letter, has threatened to eschew all things Monitor until a groveling apology is forthcoming.

You go, D.J.! With luck, we Monitor readers will never again have to suffer through those long-winded propaganda pieces that you - or the person who writes them for you - use to try to justify the outrageous actions of the House that you and O'Brien lead.

Who says there are no silver linings?

(Monitor columnist Katy Burns lives in Bow.)