A deep, misguided sense of victimhood

A DEEP, MISGUIDED SENSE OF VICTIMHOOD…. Last week, Rep. Jan Schakowksy (D-Ill.) made a reasonable suggestion: now would be a good time for her opponent, Joel Pollak (R), to stop writing for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website. As Schakowksy sees it, congressional candidates shouldn’t be associated with a partisan news outlet known for publishing misleading propaganda.

Pollak was not only offended by the suggestion, he thought it appropriate to compare himself to a celebrated South African freedom-fighter killed by an apartheid government. Pollak’s headline read, “Like Steve Biko, I Write What I Like.”

My family immigrated to America in the same year that South African police murdered Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko. The racist regime that destroyed him viewed him as a threat because of his simple credo: “I write what I like.” Biko understood that freedom of thought and expression were the greatest weapons against tyranny.

Last week, my opponent, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), called on me to denounce Andrew Breitbart and to end any further association with his website, BigGovernment.com.

Her attack was typical of a corrupt Washington elite that believes it is entitled to tell people what to say and where to say it…. The First Amendment is not a perk for members of Congress and their spouses.

As far as I can tell, Pollak wasn’t kidding. He really is feeling so sorry for himself that he’s lost all sense of reason.

Schakowksy suggested he shouldn’t write for a website that misleads its readers. In response, Pollak not only suggested his free speech rights are under assault, he compared himself to a heroic activist who was killed by racist regime.

I really have to wonder — where does the Republican Party find these guys? And what makes the GOP think they should be in Congress?

As Josh Marshall concluded, “It does get a little hard with these folks to pick apart the willful provocation from the simply pathological.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.