Green Room

An open letter to Joe Soptic

posted at 1:02 pm on August 8, 2012 by

By now, surely every political news follower in the U.S. has heard of the latest despicable ad against Republican presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney put together by the pro-Obama PAC, Priorities USA. If not, here’s a recap: in it, a former steelworker, Joe Soptic, accuses Romney of murdering his wife. (Soptic lost his job and thus his health insurance when “Bain” closed his plant; several years later, his wife became ill and died.)

Below is my open letter to the poor fellow who was used by Priorities USA to make this ad:

Dear Mr. Soptic:

First, let me offer you belated condolences on the passing of your wife. Losing any beloved family member is a devastating blow, no matter how prepared—or not—one is for the event.

But that is one of the reasons I write this open letter. Like almost everyone, I, too, have experienced loss of family members to cancer. So I understand on a deeply emotional level the sorrow you felt and the anguish one feels in general at a cancer diagnosis to begin with.

This pain can lead us to rail at the heavens—why her, why him?—and to ponder a thousand different “if only” scenarios, many of them unreasonable and some of them hurtful.

You must be aware by now of how unreasonable and outright wrong you were to place the blame, even by implication, for your beloved wife’s passing on a complete stranger.

It is my sincerest hope that when you made your anti-Romney ad mentioning your wife, your thinking was still too muddled by grief to make reasonable judgments. If so, shame on those who encouraged you and on those who exploited your rash words in this ad.

But if you believe you were not unreasonable, that you were not wrong to link Mr. Romney to your wife’s death, let me try to demonstrate why you should rethink your view.

I understand the gut reaction one has to heart-wrenching losses. I experience my own set of visceral reactions to policy decisions that could have life-altering implications for me.

Cancer seems to rage in my family, particularly breast cancer. So much so that I’ve had the genetic testing done (and was relieved, for my daughter’s sake, to learn I don’t carry the BRCA gene). I’ve watched, appalled, as the FDA has pulled its blessing from the drug Avastin for use with late stage breast cancer patients, a decision that seems to have been driven as much by cost as by efficacy.

If someone I love dies because they didn’t have access to this drug, your logic suggests that I will know where to place the blame. Squarely with you, Mr.Soptic, for supporting a president whose policies surely encourage this type of health care rationing. Using your reasoning, their blood will be on your hands.

Sincerely,

Libby Sternberg

 

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

It is my sincerest hope that when you made your anti-Romney ad mentioning your wife, your thinking was still too muddled by grief to make reasonable judgments.

Are you kidding me? This ad had to have been made this year and his wife died 6 years ago–but he might still have muddled thinking today? Duh! I lost a sibling to cancer 5 years ago and I got over it a long time ago. And as deeply as I loathe Obama, I could never have sat for an ad like that accusing him or said those kinds of things, so I can’t fathom what this guy was thinking other than he wasn’t thinking at all.

stukinIL4now on August 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM

There are a number of things wrong with this ad claim, 1)per CNN (CNN????)his wife had insurance from HER employer, 2)as one who has experienced two loses from lung cancer, you don’t JUST develop Stage 4 overnight – there are very significant warning signs, including coughing up a significant amount of blood – therefore if she was ‘diagnosed with 22 days’ she must have ignored all reasonable medical warnings/advice, and 3)it seems the husband has made a new career as an actor in multiple Obama & Obama PAC ads.

But none of this will sway the Obamabots from their chosen course, complete destruction of the United States – but as Maggie Thatcher said ‘The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money”.

Grumpy Curmudgeon on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Great letter…but you surely must know that Mr. Soptic will never read it, and the MSM will continue to carry the anti-Romney message.

And I am getting so tired of this kinda stuff…can’t we just talk about “our country” and what policies will make it better

Txjewelya on August 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

He allowed his wife to be used for FILTHY, greasy politics…he’s worse than the people who produced the thing…

ellifint on August 8, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Ouch! That’s going to leave a mark.

College Prof on August 8, 2012 at 2:59 PM

He was probably a jerk before his wife died.

Just sayin . . .

BigAlSouth on August 8, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Mr. Soptic, thanks for the despicable ad politicizing your wife’s death, I’m sure she’s very proud.

burserker on August 8, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Dear Mr. Soptic,

You, sir, are a ghoul. Get help and stop degrading your wife’s memory by using her corpse to bear false witness against another man. The damage you are doing to your own soul is incalculable- the harvest of hatred is despair and ultimately self-destruction.

Sincerely,

The Rest of the Village-Those Who Didn’t Partake of the Kool-Aid

PS Enjoy the Underside of Barry’s Bus.

mittens on August 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Bravo, Libby.

magicbeans on August 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

@ Libby,

You’re extraordinarily kind and forgiving toward Soptic. Based on the information which has become public since the ad began to run, Soptic ‘s not a good person (understatement intended).

BD57 on August 8, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I was going to accuse you of turning the green room into a vomitorium, but this came out well after you published.

AHEM

Never mind, it was still a pretty pukey letter.

RushBaby on August 8, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Dear Soptic,

While I would love to act all supportive and all, the fact is that your blame-the-bogeyman approach angers me far more than your story saddens me.

I’m sure you’re thankful for 22 days to say good-bye to your beloved wife. Right? Hello, I’m talking to you. Many of us never got to say good-bye, so while we might not ever wish for a loved one to suffer, we would have loved to know when the end was coming.

Second, who was responsible to provide for your family’s well-being? Who made that promise before God and all these witnesses? Oh, yeah, that was YOU at your wedding. So when an employer offers you benefits; and a union tells you that they will fight to improve the benefits, sure, by all means, be appreciative of the help. But don’t figure they’ve taken over for you. YOU are still more responsible for your family’s health and well-being than any other entity–or any other combination of entities–on earth.

So because you didn’t force your wife to go seek medical help earlier, you’re going to feel guilty. Okay, you probably should. Anybody who provides for their own health coverage must learn to spend money when it’s necessary and how to self-diagnose. It’s called self-reliance and used to be practiced a lot. But with all the technology at our fingertips now, it’s easier today than ever before.

rwenger43 on August 8, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Frankly, Mr Soptic, your approach forces me to ask the question: if we acknowledge that your story is tragic, and therefore leap to the conclusion that your life has been unfair, which of these solutions do you [the saint whose moral standing has been earned through victimhood] believe to be the best solution for the rest of us to implement?

Do you think that universal health care would have saved your wife? And do you think we should all have to be burdened with universal health care in order to save just your wife?

Do you think employers should have to provide extended insurance benefits to employees who have been let go, at far-reduced cost from existing COBRA plans, regardless of the reason for their termination? Like maybe more economical than a McDouble?

Do you think that employers should never be allowed to lay off employees?

Should cancer–or death itself–be outlawed?

Soooo–you’re wishing you could be French? Well, your Dicatator wishes you were Chinese, so maybe if you both start heading in one direction one of you will end up happy.

Or not.

Or maybe political commercials should be forced to rise to a certain level of common sense, dignity and non-exploitation that victims are incapable of evaluating accurately?

Rats. I think I just skewed the poll.

rwenger43 on August 8, 2012 at 9:25 PM

You’re extraordinarily kind and forgiving toward Soptic. Based on the information which has become public since the ad began to run, Soptic ‘s not a good person (understatement intended).

I feel your pain, folks. But I’m not willing to second-guess the depth of a man’s pain over his wife’s death. So I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. My father outlived my mother by twenty-some years, and I think he missed her every single one of those days.

Libby Sternberg on August 9, 2012 at 6:18 AM

Libby Sternberg on August 9, 2012 at 6:18 AM

Libby, none of us think that the guy did not love his wife, and does not miss her every day. The point is that Soptic appears to be somewhat of a miserable fellow to use his wife’s tragic death as a political statement. Especially, when the actual fact of his wife having health insurance at the time Soptic was fired destroys the inference in the commercial.

BigAlSouth on August 9, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Libby, none of us think that the guy did not love his wife, and does not miss her every day. The point is that Soptic appears to be somewhat of a miserable fellow to use his wife’s tragic death as a political statement. Especially, when the actual fact of his wife having health insurance at the time Soptic was fired destroys the inference in the commercial.

I agree with this — “miserable fellow” sounds like a good description to me.

Libby Sternberg on August 9, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Blood on his hands….These people do not care about blood on their hands. They vote for the murder of babies in the womb every time they vote for a democrat. They separate their conscience from their vote and see nothing wrong with it. He probably even claims to be a Christian. God will be his judge……

crosshugger on August 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM