It needs to be noted that 9th District congressman Steve Cohen has every right to change the subject and is trying to, by peppering his email list, as always, with news of federal grants to his district, stands he's taking on topical issues, and pending congressional business bearing directly on his constituents.
The latest press release he's sent out notes that next Monday will be the “the 5th anniversary of the passage in this House of the first and only apology for slavery and Jim Crow laws in this nation’s history” — a reminder of what indeed is one of the signal achievements of the four-term Memphis Democrat, that measure's proud sponsor. (Has it really been five years??!) Here's a link to Cohen's statement about the anniversary:.
Cohen has much to boast of, and, like the rest of us, a few things in his memory book he'd just as soon got forgotten. One thing he surely wishes he could get out of the way is something for which, not only is he not the perp (in a case where there may not be one), he is clearly the victim. Here was my response in this week's "Politics" column in the Flyer print issue:
It is to be hoped that 9th District congressman Steve Cohen enjoyed the weather in Washington last week. There was not much else for him to take comfort from.
First, for those few who might have missed what became a national story and viral on a large scale, CNN announced the results of a DNA test it had administered to Cohen, Victoria Brink, the Houston model whom he introduced to the world back in February as his daughter, and John Brink, the Houston oil man who had raised her as his own daughter.
The results were as astonishing as the Memphis Democrat's original announcement of proud paternity — but, for obvious reasons, devastating.
The tests showed that Brink was the actual father and not Cohen, who had been involved with Victoria Brink's mother at a time consistent with his possible fatherhood and had apparently been informed, almost four years ago, that he was indeed the father.
A "stunned and dismayed" Cohen said, "I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her, and hope to continue to be a part of her life."
But that was not the end. In what he probably saw as no more than a gallant evasion, Cohen told a reporter seeking further reaction that, while she was "very attractive," he had resolved to say no more about the issue. That got him some more hits from media types, who must have scented blood, and he got even more after a tweet in which he quoted an African-American tow-truck driver (yes, Cohen's vintage Cadillac chose this week to quit on him) as saying, sympathetically, in a clearly ich-bin-ein-Berliner way, "You're black!"
The piling on was especially curious in that, with an Obama news conference, major bills, and foreign discords to deal with, it wasn't a slow news week in D.C.
Here is a link to a Daily Beast article on the same subject.
And here, is a Facebook newsfeed from Rep. Cohen touting the same piece with a surprise aside: