The Missouri Democrat has been drafting brief meditations on civility for his colleagues for several weeks now.
“These messages were written for myself and for my 400 colleagues,” Cleaver tells HOH. He didn’t mention why the remaining 34 are being left out, but we digress.
“[A]lthough we have called no attention to them, the response from both sides of the aisle has been overwhelming,” he adds.
They are rather spectacular. An example of his resplendent prose:
“When a bee thrusts its barbed stinger in our flesh, it pays a heavy price,” he writes in a Nov. 15 letter. “The stinger, you see, is most often so forcefully stabbed into the flesh that the bee cannot pull it out, so it is left behind. The spot from which the stinger was fixed becomes an open wound which assures the bee’s death.
“When we sting each other with hurtful words and nasty denunciations we often injure ourselves so badly that our reputation cannot recover,” he writes. “That, of course, leads to spiritual death.”
Of course it does.
A Dec. 1 letter recalls Cleaver’s trip to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Mo., some years ago. His children persuaded him — “probably with sinister motives” — to escort them through the fun house. When he returned home and looked into a normal mirror, he writes: “Wow, Did I look handsome!”
He recommends Members find their “normal mirrors” to get through the fun house mirror that is the election cycle.
Cleaver writes these short statements himself, his staff delivers them to each office, and they are included in his constituent newsletter.
By our count, Cleaver has drafted five missives so far. Keep on keeping on, sir.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.