September 14, 2006
One easy way to burn a dozen bridges
In July of 2004, I had my heart completely broken by politics. Herman Cain lost the Republican primary for U.S Senate in Georgia. I had never felt that way about a candidate before (or, honestly, since). I saw him as the future of Republicans, as this amazing leader I would follow anywhere. I had spent my time in Georgia just mesmerized by him. He said everything I've ever thought but said it in this booming voice with concise, brilliant language and connected with people in a way I’d never seen before. He was a star. I couldn't sleep the night he lost, I couldn't believe it was over.
If you've read my blog for awhile you've probably read all this before. Herman remains my political hero, and the example of everything I think candidates should be. But I write all this now not to gush over Mr. Cain, though he always deserves my gushing, but as a set up for what I want to say about the current political situation in NY.
Johnny Isakson won that night in July and became the Republican candidate for U.S Senate. Though the campaign had gotten ugly in the days before the election, I still wanted Isakson to beat Denise Majette and be the representative of the Republican message through the rest of the election. If I was a Georgia resident, Johnny Isakson would have had my vote in November.
I do not feel this way about John Spencer, the Republican candidate for U.S Senate in NY.
This man gives me a serious case of the icks. I literally feel embarrassment that he and I are in the same party. K.T. McFarland lost the election to him, it's done. This isn't about that, it isn’t about her. It's about him and how I will never support him, ever, and how I've never felt about another Republican candidate the way I feel about him.
Spencer conducted his campaign as if something was owed to him. His on-the-record comment when he heard KT had entered the race was "what the fuck?". He seemed put out by the fact that he was getting primaried at all. I haven't seen this noted anywhere but KT had absolutely no money or structural support (Spencer had the official backing of the Republican and Conservative parties in NY) and she still managed to get 40% against him. His 60% isn't proof of anything other than what a disaster he is as a candidate. This should have been a landslide. When he wasn't being condescending to other candidates, his campaign was being condescending to voters. When asked why Spencer was completely out of the spotlight during the campaign (personally, I think they knew that like John Kerry, the less people saw of Spencer the more they liked him), his Communication Director's response was, "It's fucking summer in New York... No one pays attention until 3 weeks out... And by the time the primary comes, Joe Six-Pack just wants to know who the conservative is." Then he added that they were focused on fundraising and "We kicked her [KT's] ass and now we're going after Hillary."
But, ok, he and his campaign like to curse to reporters, surely as a two-term mayor of Yonkers, he must be ace on the issues. Right? He's had the same three issues on his website for the entirety of the campaign. They are: Border Security, "Pro-Life" (I know I'm an immigrant and all but even I know that 'pro-life' is a position not an issue) and Second Amendment. He talks a tough conservative game but if you actually read his positions, and oh lordy I've read them, they are either totally wishy-washy or plum make no sense. His border security position includes "Crack down on employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens" (the word intentionally is the loophole that Democrats insert into their language to insure nothing happens), "Remove incentives and taxpayer benefits that reward to illegal aliens." (I'm sorry, is that English?), "Enforce our existing laws and deport illegal aliens when convicted of crimes or detected during routine law enforcement activities." Big whoop. Everyone supports deporting criminals. On his "pro-life" issue, he offers zero comment beyond a Reagan quote. But during the only debate that his highness agreed to during the primary (and during which he came off as dumb as a rock), he actually said that pregnancies resulting from rape aren't really pregnancies. Calling all pro-lifers, do you agree with that?
Another aspect of his campaign that I just detested, and will never forgive, is the class-warfare that they and their supporters engaged in. KT came from a working-class family and put herself through college. She became successful on her own and then married someone who was also successful. John Spencer finds this kind of determination distasteful. From a NY magazine article on the race: "‘Oy went to Augss-ford, and Oy went there on scholarship,’" he [Spencer] imagined KT saying, in his best British accent." I mean, seriously. Who looks down on someone going to one of the best schools in the world on scholarship? His supporters followed his class-warfare example. On Urban Elephants, commenters would refer to KT's Hampton's home as if it was a crime. When one of the doofuses over there realized I was a KT supporter, she tried to use some Hamptons reference on me. I wasn't supposed to be commenting on the race but that was the last straw for me. I commented "I'm not the type you can shame with Hamptons references. I want to be filthy, dirty, disgustingly rich. I want to have TWO Hamptons houses, one for Saturday and one for Sunday. And I don't care what little class warriors like you think of me. You can talk conservative values all you want--I've worked for them in 4 states." The blogger at New York College Republican criticized KT's supporters on Facebook (a sort-of "My Space" for High School and College kids) for attending an expensive camp. When I instant-messaged him to criticize the post, he told me he felt that people had a responsibility not to squander money. I find that absurd. I don't have any responsibility to anyone in how I spend my money. Neither do millionaires. His point wasn't even that they should give to charity, just that they have a 'responsibility' not to 'squander' money. We're Republicans, we shouldn't be practicing the class-warfare of the Democrats. It's disgusting and I blame John Spencer.
And, then there's all the sleazy personal stuff I mentioned on election day. That stuff matters to me, it just does. I know that we modern sorts are supposed to shrug our shoulders and say that his personal life doesn't affect our image of his leadership. But it affects it for me. I look down on people that don't treat marriage seriously. I look down on people that have affairs, especially in the cliche'd 'with an employee' version. The fact that he tripled his girlfriend's salary on the taxpayer's dime, however, makes him unfit for office, as opposed to just generally gross.
But the final straw on the proverbial camel's back, and the reason this post exists, is this: when KT called John Spencer to concede on election night, he wouldn't take her call. He said "I think she called but I was busy." Have you ever heard of anything like that? Can you imagine what kind of low-life one has to be to not answer a concession call from an opponent? I can't support someone with zero class and atrocious manners. And because he didn't feel he owed his opponent the decency to answer her call, I don't feel I need to abide by that so-called 11th Commandment [Corrected from 'Amendment'] to not criticize other Republicans.
I don't know what I'll do in November. I've never voted for a Democrat in my life and couldn't be paid enough to vote for Hillary. The Libertarian candidate is some guy that wants to withdraw from Iraq ASAP. I may just skip the line. I've only done that once before, when I found the Republican so detestable, I couldn't pull the switch for him, and there was no third-party option. Leaving the U.S Senate line blank is sad, but voting for someone like John Spencer would be sadder.Posted by Karol at September 14, 2006 11:05 PM | TrackBack
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