I got quite a butt chewing for my piece two weeks ago on Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. Aside from the embarrassing typo of the word pole, which should have been poll, I was lambasted for a misspelling of the word using, accused of lying about being canceled by credit card companies, and chastised for suggesting that Ann Coulter was weak on the 2nd Amendment, an assertion completely manufactured in the imagination of my detractor. Best of all, I was labeled a "Knuckle Dragger" providing liberals ammunition for scolding all conservatives.
My worst offense was making the provocative proclamation that I wanted to vote for "Old Moonbeam".
If you do this kind of work for any period of time, (I did a weekly column on my own site for two years before having the privilege of doing it for Human Events) you will always find people to disagree with you philosophically, but you will also invariably offend some readers because they don’t know how to read, don’t understand satire, or can’t comprehend analogy.
Because of logistical issues encountered in the business of publishing, The Democrat is a Conservative was completed six weeks before it was published.
I had contacted both the Poizner and Brown Campaigns by email with questions prior to writing that piece, but only Poizner’s campaign responded. At the time Poizner was 40 points down and it appeared he had no chances in the race. Because of this I envisioned the piece primarily to compare the character of Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. Some of Meg Whitman’s campaign tactics have been questionable and for all the whacky ideas (he didn’t get the nickname Moonbeam for nothing) Jerry Brown has floated, he has been willing to go against his base many times throughout his career. While I don’t support many of Brown’s political philosophies I believe he has a level of character above many politicians. I’d rather have a politician with character in office who disagrees with me rather than one who lies at the drop of a hat for his own personal gain.
Since six weeks had passed since I wrote the piece, I submitted some updates that were input by hand after the article was already posted. Working in HTML you don’t have the advantage of a spellchecker and introducing errors at the clerical level is pretty easy and should explain the misspelled "using".
While I received plenty of heated comments for suggesting Brown an alternative to Whitman, one group was not so offended at all, and that was Steve Poizner’s campaign. After reading my piece at Guns & Patriots, Steve Poizner’s Coalition Director, Ed Chen, called me and we spoke at length.
"Jim, Steve is very pro 2nd Amendment, and as the only California pistol producer, we would like to list your Company’s support in our campaign."
"Sure Ed, but that article wasn’t really very complimentary of Steve Poizner’s campaign."
"Well what exactly is your problem with Steve?"
"It is very difficult for a conservative to reconcile any support for Al Gore, even though the support to Gore was ostensibly provided by Steve’s wife without his knowledge."
Ed demurred, "Yes that has been an issue and we have explained it the best that we can. Listen, to really get a contrast you need to look at Steve’s track record and his honest communication with the public and then look at Meg Whitman. She supported Gore, she is a fan of Van Jones, she has advertised Town Hall meetings as spontaneous that were completely staged and she is now advertising that she does not support Barbara Boxer. She was not just a Boxer supporter, she was an enthusiastic supporter. You watch how fast she moves to left if she gets the primary vote. Meg Whitman is your typical opportunistic politician."
"All right, but listen Ed, I am sick of hearing from politicians that say the people are tired of all this gridlock in Sacramento and in Washington. I can tell you I want gridlock, I want lots and lots of gridlock. If gridlock means stopping compromise I want it. Every time there is compromise with Democrats we move left. Democrats never compromise. Look at Schwarzenegger, he got elected and came right out of the gate with four excellent bills. Unfortunately, he didn’t sell them well and they all went down in flames. I voted for each one. Instead of going back to the drawing board to explain why the bills needed to be passed, he just wimped out, completely melted down, started passing anti-gun bills and vigorously promoted global warming crap! It was the most astounding political 180 I have ever seen. I don’t want a governor who is going to be bashful with that veto pen; especially with the lunatics we have in this legislature."
"Look Jim, I totally agree with you. Steve is nothing like Arnold, he doesn’t care about winning a popularity contest, he wants to help save California. He has made his living here, he loves this state, and he is as dismayed as anyone for its horrible fiscal condition and hostile business climate."
"I’ll tell you something else, I’m a pretty simple guy. I’ve read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I want to elect politicians who are dedicated to those principles and I am not interested in some esoteric interpretation of the Founding documents that only an Ivy League lawyer is allowed to make. I don’t think the Founders wrote the Constitution for lawyers, they wrote it for the people!"
Ed really had me going, I barely stopped for a breath.
"Every modern politician seems determined to gain personal power. We see Obama trying to limit speech, take over private industry, healthcare, etc. While he is decimating our freedoms, Schwarzenegger is trying to limit the private possession of arms, and the Supreme Court is taking a most extreme and offensive view of Public Domain that allows elected officials to take anyone’s private property anytime they want. How is Poizner going to be different?"
"Jim, let me ask you just two questions, all right?"
"Right now, we have to win the primary to even get in the general election. Do you want Meg Whitman to possibly be our next governor?"
"So supporting Steve is a no brainer, right?"
"Do you really believe that Jerry Brown would be a better choice than Steve Poizner?"
"So why support Brown?"
"California is melting down. The only answer the morons in Sacramento have is to raise taxes. I am a small business owner struggling to get by right now. People are begging me to leave, but moving an industrial business is expensive and when your customer base is local, moving is just not possible. So while our idiot politicians raise taxes, the rich leave because they can afford to and guys like me get stuck with the bill. I think the changes required to save California are so radical only complete bankruptcy and insolvency will force politicians to make the hard choices that need to be made; and when that eventuality occurs, I don’t want a single Republican in office to take the fall."
"Look, I hear you Jim, but I believe California can be saved, and Steve believes it, and he is putting his money and reputation up to accomplish that. Just give it some thought, I will send you some information. All I ask is that you look at it and follow your heart. Support Steve because he is the one candidate who will work for California citizens, their freedoms and their liberties."
Ed and I exchanged some other small talk, but that was the gist of our conversation. He did go on to send me a bunch of information which I diligently sifted through.
The one question I didn’t ask before we finished, "Ed, are you sure it is going to be a benefit to get my endorsement after I used the word "pole" instead of "poll"?
"Meg Whitman might sandbag you with campaign signs":
"Dumb Knuckle Draggers for Poizner!"