February 18, 2009

Secondo suspended, but still doesn't explain

The Southington town councilor who speculated in public that President Barack Obama might be the anti-Christ has been suspended for two weeks from his post as the leader of the town's chamber of commerce.
The Meriden Record-Journal reported that the chamber wanted to make it clear that Democrat Art Secondo didn't reflect its views when he said that "we should check the back of [Obama's] head to see if he has 666 there."
In Revelations, 666 is considered the mark of the beast, something that the anti-Christ would possess.
Secondo apologized last week, the paper reported, and that's been enough for some.
Secondo told the Meriden paper that he voted for Obama and supports him. But, as the paper put it, "he got caught up in the moment and misspoke."
"It was very stupid on my part. If I could take it back, I would. I was really just talking about the econony," Secondo told the Record-Journal's Richie Rathsack.
State Rep. Zeke Zalaski, a Southington Democrat, said, "If he meant it as derogatory, I think he would admit it."
Let's ponder that for a second.
In the midst of a tirade about the economy, Secondo brings out of nowhere the possibility that the United States is being led by the most evil creature in history.
And Zalaski is saying that "if he meant it as derogatory" then Secondo would admit it.
How could anyone possibly wonder if Obama is the anti-Christ without meaning anything bad by it? Nobody thinks well of the anti-Christ, after all, except maybe his mom.
There's really no wayto put a happy face on that line and say as some of Secondo's friends indicate, that, well, Art was just being Art and we shouldn't take it seriously.
But labeling the president of the country as the Beast of Revelations, the penultimate evil figure in all history, is hardly a tiny slip. It's also not something that anyone could say by mistake.
I might accidentally call Secondo a Republican or spell a state senator's name wrong. But I'm not going to mistakenly say that the mayor is the anti-Christ. That doesn't just roll off the tongue without an awful lot behind it.
Secondo's vapid apology doesn't begin to explain how such a thing could come out of his mouth.
Take issue with Obama's policies, sure. Blast him for playing politics? That's fine. Say that he's ugly or stupid or mean and I guess that's within bounds, if not particularly helpful.
But to say we need to check to see if the elected leader of the United States bears the mark of the anti-Christ is way, way beyond the pale.
And I can't imagine why any thinking person would accept Secondo's paltry apology or put up with vapid defenses offered for him by his buddies.
For Secondo to say he was "really just talking about the economy" and somehow stumbled into questioning whether Obama carried the mark of the beast doesn't begin to explain what he said.
I could talk about the economy for a week and never wonder whether the president or anyone else was the anti-Christ.
Secondo really needs to explain how he could say such a thing. And then let the chips fall where they may.
*******
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, I'm happy to see you're not letting this issue die. I don't know Art Secondo but I hear he's a nice guy. Yet being a nice guy is no defense for branding the president as The Beast who will lead a holy war against God.
He needs to get out of politics now.

Anonymous said...

...and he voted for him. I wonder what he thinks of John McCain.

Anonymous said...

How does everyone feel about "magic negro?"

Anonymous said...

Zeke Zalaski is a union guy so he is trying to have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Steve - I was beginning to think I was the only person let alone Democrat, in town who was offended and outraged! Your points are well taken. Am waiting to hear what the head of the Democratic party has to say. Will there be a public apology?
I think he's a nice guy too and I'm sorry this has happened but he IS in the public eye - politically and in his job - so he does need to be more careful and ready to offer an explanation. It's not something that can or should be overlooked. Tough lesson to learn at this stage of his game...

Anonymous said...

Shame on the Southington Chamber. It is not supposed to be a political organization. There is no reason why Secondo can't speak his mind.

Anonymous said...

The chamber should be ashamed of itself -- for not firing Secondo immediately.
My brother's business is part of the chamber and I know he's mad as hell at Secondo. I think he'll quit if they keep him on.
We all have a right to free speech but we also have to live with the consequences of our words. Comparing the president to the Beast of Revelations is so sickening that no apology I can imagine would suffice.
Secondo should resign his town office at the very least!

Beelzebub said...

The anti-christ is a myth, much like the mythological fairy tale of Jesus Christ ( J.C. ), his immaculate conception, etc., etc., etc.

The stories about him were made up, and/or embroidered with fictitious material supplied by the early Christian converts. It's all hogwash!

Clearly, there is no limit to the stupidity of the human race. Oy Vey!

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with you Steve. The comments are disgusting and everyone should be outraged that a public official spoke those words, in a public meeting of all places.

Anonymous said...

Secondo's explanation makes about as much sense as A-roids.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there should be free speech. Yes, our actions have consequences.
No, Secondo should not have been suspended.
The Chamber is not political and therefore should not be taking sides. Suspension should not have been the consequence of this action. Plenty of people said terrible things about Bush (that were not true) and they were not suspended from their posts.

Do I think Obama is the anti-Christ? Maybe. He sure has a sneaky smile and is leading us into a bad place.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how this is the Chamber taking sides. Sounds to me like they're sending a message that even when Mr. Secondo is on the Town Council he represents the Chamber of Commerce. I would imagine many business owners who are chamber members were shocked at his comment. Don't know if suspension was necessary but it isn't the first time his mouth has gotten him in trouble. I really think there should have been action from the TC and Democratic party.

Anonymous said...

I'm here, but I'm not Obama. -- 666

Anonymous said...

Speaking against a political figure has nothing to do with the Chamber. The Chamber is business-oriented, and supposedly not political. Yes, it would have been much more appropriate for the Democratic Town Committee to take action against Secondo, if any action was necessary. I think he was just saying what people are thinking, though it was not the best time or place for that sort of talk.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:18 has it right. Good for chamber for sending a message. This is a personnel issue and they dealt with it. We do not know all the details, nor should we. Time to move on.

Anonymous said...

I am a Chamber officer in another town, and I am embarrassed by the Southington Chamber's suspension of Mr. Secondo. They need to rethink this. Political speech is in no way prohibited by any Chamber, no matter if that speech is Republican or Democrat.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised Art shot his mouth off. He's always talking, talking, talking and half the time he doesn't even know what he's saying. This is just more of his ridiculous behavior at its best. For all of you who think the Chamber shouldn't have suspended him, think again. He represents the Chamber and all of the member businesses in that area. Maybe they don't share his view, but since he is a public figure and representative of them, he needs to understand he cannot shoot his mouth off on anything that he sees fit. In addition to providing services and networking opportunities for members, running a Chamber means working with local and state officials to ensure that a healthy business environment exists in the state of Connecticut. I would say that's very political. When you direct a Chamber, you are a public figure whether you like it or not. You will never see the Middlesex Chamber president running his mouth off about any politician because he knows he has to work with them regardless of party. Also, he wouldn't sit on the Town Council making decisions in a town or area in which he hob nobs to get things done for businesses. It's a total conflict of interest. That's why Art is a joke - always has been and always will be.

Anonymous said...

I've got no problem with his comments. Maybe we should take a look...

Anonymous said...

It's so good to hear a pseudo journalist, who obviously doesn't have the first notion of the constitution, express that he is unhappy that Secondo made a reference to a imaginary figure -- and should explain it. Oh, by the way, while you're writing about the most evil person in history, let's not forget about the antics of the easter bunny, Santa Claus and, of course, the tooth fairy.
Onward Christian soliers -- right off the cliff of rational thought.

Steve Collins said...

The Constitution gives us freedom of speech. It does not protect us from the consequences of what we say.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

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...and on it on it goes. Every internet troll for miles seems to have gotten in their hits.


Had Art or anyone else made the same remark regarding Bush; would anyone even have bothered to post it?

I seriously doubt it.

Should Art leave the Chamber over this; and this is a topic I'm fairly familar with; at least 50 (more probably 100+) members will drop out on the spot.

The Chamber's actions go beyond the pale.

It's quite clear that the Chamber's membership; mostly smaller business owners, need to show up at the annual meeting and NOT rubber-stamp the election of new board members.

All this over an out-of-context flip remark?


-Doug Hageman / ACR
860 919-8315
(I don't answer blocked/private calls - ever.)

Steve Collins said...

If a public official had suggested that President Bush was the anti-Christ, you can bet your ass that I would have reported it.

Anonymous said...

President Bush (43) is too ignorant to be the anti-christ. His father (41), on the other hand, could very well be the anti-christ.

Someone should check the back of #41's head for the mythological 666 symbol. LOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

Steve, I can't even imagine you reporting any slight to Bush (or any other Republican) except to say you agree.

Steve Collins said...

When have I ever displayed any antipathy toward Bush? Cite me a story and then we'll talk.
The only time I can remember hearing a public official in Bristol say something outlandish about a Republican leader was when Colapietro expressed some kind of wish that something would happen to Rowland on the Lake Compounce's roller coaster. I reported it, as well as Rowland's response.

Anonymous said...

I am quite partisan...I am a Republican...dyed in the wool, up to my neck, and in the tank Republican. Having said that, Art Secondo is an honorable man...perhaps one of the most honorable I have known in politics. His love of the town is unquestioned, as is his love of his party.This slip is being blown WAY out of proprotion.

I can not believe that people are making such an issue of this and the Chamber should re-examine their policies regarding this issue.
I hope I am not JUDGED by every off-hand remark I make...if nothing else, it doesn't sound very Christian.
By the way, I'm certain if the remark was directed to George W Bush it would have gone publically un-noticed and just drawn a laugh.

DFH

Anonymous said...

We are spending too much time worrying about this remark by a Southington Councilman while Obama has sacrificed our children's future for this "stimulus" package. And now he's talking about taking over our health care, the banks, and who knows what else. You wanted change, we got it.

Anonymous said...

I got an email today entitled "Antichrist." There is a photo of Obama that quickly and easily morphs into a devil. Boy, it is ugly and very chilling.

Anonymous said...

DFH

February 20, 2009 7:45 PM


Either Art Secondo wrote this himself or his brother/sister/cousin did. Shame on him for those comments. It positively shows that he is ignorant, close-minded and should not be representing any constituents at all.

Anonymous said...

7:18 is closed-minded. Why does he/she feel that Secondo must agree with HIM or HER in order to represent the people? I agree with Secondo. I received notice today from my insurance company that prescription records are to be reported to the federal government. It's starting, ladies and gentlemen. HIPPA can't do anything about this, and you can't take last November's vote back. You will wish to God that you could.