I got another one of those phone calls yesterday – the ones where a friend or acquaintance calls up and says, “hey, was that you who called in to the radio talk show yesterday?” or “was that your comment?”
This time it wasn’t entirely out of the blue – only because I had been tipped off that the comment in question had already received some publicity, thanks to hearing it broadcast during the news segment on our local NPR affiliate.
Here’s what happened: MoveOn sent out one of those pesky emails. Typically I ignore and delete them; I don’t have hours enough in the day to read all the calls for political action I get from both them and many others. But this time, the subject line caught my eye – it was about urging Lt. Gov. Bill Halter to challenge Democratic-in-name-only Senator Blanche Lincoln, and pointing Lincoln out to be the special interest tool that she is on a regular basis is a big hobby of mine. So I opened the email, took the stupid poll, and even took the time to add a few comments, shown in quotes in the email message MoveOn sent out announcing poll results:
Dear Arkansas MoveOn member,
Well, that was pretty clear: More than 92% of Arkansas MoveOn members who responded to our survey late last week voted that we should urge Lt. Gov. Bill Halter to run against Blanche Lincoln in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary and to support his campaign if he does.
State MoveOn members were deeply dissatisfied with Sen. Lincoln’s performance in the Senate: Jennifer P. from Little Rock told us, “Lincoln never met a special interest she didn’t like. It’s hard to express just how awful she has been as a senator. I don’t know of anyone who will vote for her if she shows up on the November ballot.”
So today we’re sending Halter a petition telling him we’ll have his back if he decides to run. Can you sign our petition urging him to get in the race?
The petition says, “We’ve had enough of Democrats like Blanche Lincoln who listen to big corporations instead of their constituents. We urge you to challenge her in the primary and we’ll work hard to support you if you do.”
I was leaving town for a few days of sales calls when I heard the news broadcast about the MoveOn poll results and only the first 2 sentences of my comment were quoted – and sourced to an anonymous poll respondent. So there’s that.
But then the next day I get a call from my friend Brian saying, “are you the one who said this on the MoveOn poll?” He proceeds to tell me about the email, which I had not yet seen because I was out of town and not checking personal email. Damn. Cover utterly blown.
But really not a big deal – I’ve sent correspondence to the good Senator bearing my full name and address that’s far more harsh than these comments. (No potty-mouthed language in them either, Beth. More what I would characterize as brutally or ruthlessly direct and honest and lacking the deference our fragile Democrats in the Senate seem to require. )
I’m home again now and have, obviously, viewed the MoveOn email that got the ball rolling. And I see that I also have email from one Senator Blanche Lincoln.
What are the odds.