My letter to Glenn Beck has kind of exploded in the last day (by my blog standards, at least), and the response I’ve gotten has been overwhelmingly positive. I am grateful for everyone who has taken the time to read what I had to say, and I’m glad I can help put words to the frustration that a lot of us are feeling.
I want make my position on a couple matters abundantly clear, though, so there is no confusion — or, at least, as little confusion as possible.
Firstly, I am not a Republican, and therefore can’t even vote in the primaries. There is literally no one I can think of who cares what I think about the 2012 GOP lineup outside of a polite interest, and even that is a group of people I can count on one hand. I have been watching the primaries because I figure I ought to have a working knowledge of whoever it is I’ll be voting for come November. Do I have my opinions? Yes. But, again, no one cares.
Second: while I have, as stated, been “looking favorably” on Newt Gingrich of late, I am not on Team Newt by any stretch of the imagination. My choice of words when I talked about the “siren song” of his candidacy was deliberate — I”m very well aware that he could be saying all the right things out of a calculated cynicism that has no other purpose than duping people into voting for him. He’s a smart man, and has shown himself in the past to be a man of questionable moral character. So you could say that I’m not so much his advocate as I am willing to touch him with a ten foot pole.
I repeat: I do not have a favorite. My favorite announced back in October that she would not be seeking the nomination.
(This is not an open request, by the way, to inundate me with reasons why your favorite should be mine too. As stated, I can’t even vote in the primaries. Plus, I can make up my own mind, thank you.)
So why go to all the trouble of writing that letter in the first place? Because Glenn was wayyyyyyyy out of line by bringing up the race card at all. There are plenty of valid arguments against a Gingrich candidacy; that is not one of them. And it flies in the face of everything Glenn has been saying lately about winning others to your side through reasoned argument rather than mud-slinging. In fact, Glenn did an interview with Michele Bachmann this morning, in which she perfectly illustrated this point — she addressed why Newt is appealing to Tea Party (because he’s saying all the right things), and then made a pretty solid case, with specifics, about why you need to look past what Newt has been saying. Glenn, on the other hand, made jokes about how anyone who’s taken any amount of offense at his comments last week is totally overreacting.
Well, my respect for one of them has gone up. I’ll let you guess which.
And lastly — I made an analogy in the comments section of my open letter that compared Glenn’s race card garbage to trying to get a bee off of an allergic friend by punching him in the face. I not only stand by that analogy, I’d like to add this to it: In the aftermath of the blow, I find that the spectators have formed three groups. One is sort of stunned, going, “Wow, that was both out of line and out of character for him. Are you okay?” The other two groups are standing on either side of those of us who feel we got punched, and each is yelling. The first is yelling in one ear, “Dude, he was just trying to get the bee off of you! It’s no big deal, chill out!” And the second is screaming in the other ear, “DUDE! He just punched you in the face! You know why? Cause he’s a heartless, soulless, sellout [expletive] piece of [expletive]!”
To the loud groups: I hear you both; I will side with neither. To the quieter group: Thank you.