David at John Kline's record was kind enough to share with me the text of Kline's Feb. 1, 2006 letter to Coleen Rowley:
I have received your letter expressing your regrets for allowing a doctored photo of me wearing a Nazi uniform to appear on your official campaign website. I appreciate your attempt to explain how you allowed this outrageous breach of decency to occur.
While you claim your intent was not to disparage my military service, it is hard for me to accept the sincerity of your words. With deep concern and regret, I must point out that rather than an isolated incident, this insult to my military service is only the latest in a continuous series of increasingly outrageous statements, accusations and insults from your campaign.
To recap, then. John Kline demands an apology; receives an apology, then complains about the apology. John Kline criticizes Rowley of "outrageous statements, accusations and insults" but doesn't name any. Kline accuses Rowley of being insincere while clinging to the fabrication that Rowley's campaign doctored a photo to make Kline look like a Nazi.
Do we really need to explain this? The Nazis represent the pinnacle of 20th century evil. A murderous regime responsible for millions of deaths fueled by a hateful ideology.
Col. Klink was a television character. A bumbling, distinctively unbloodthirsty man responsible for no deaths and subscribing to know obvious ideology other than avoiding service on the Eastern front.
It's dumb to compare John Kline to Col. Klink, but it's not offensive, because Kline is being called incompetent rather than murderous. It's rather a large distinction.
It's like comparing Joe Lieberman to Krusty the Klown and having the senator complain of anti-Semitism.
I think John Kline is a lousy congressman. I think he's more loyal to his party than to the the people he represents. I don't think he's incompetent. I think he's a right wing toady and stooge, but not incompetent.