"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Reform Club Loves Joe Trippi

...and he loves us back, I think. More on that later.

Our hearts were quite atwitter at receiving the already-legendary Joe Trippi's form letters setting the record straight about The Washington Times quoting him out of context (and they did), and then praising blogs in general for their fairmindedness. (BTW, Arnold Schwarzenegger called me today about next Tuesday's election. Well, his pre-recorded voice did, anyway.)

But Joe sent a personalized reply to the post below this one (at least I think it's the real you, Joe), and I'm far more stoked than if it were the real live Arnold, even. He's big, but I consider you a giant.


To business, then:

Without doing a line-by-line fisking, my take was that Joe Trippi had used ambiguous language about the race-sliming of Republican Michael Steele in order to keep alive the demagoguery about a GOP fundraiser at the all-white Elkridge Country Club.

Joe Trippi (?) replies:
"...I am against the Democrats using the place as well..."

That's cool, Joe. Very principled.


But according to joetrippi.com (and we can safely assume that's really you, Joe Trippi):

"I said that civil rights and discrimination were obvious issues that mattered and that there was a diference “between stating the obvious and calling someone names” — and used a recent controversy over a fundraiser for Gov. Ehrlich as an example of something that was obviously an issue and not name calling."

This says to me you intend to make Elkridge Country Club a campaign issue.


In my opinion, you used overly clever language ("obvious," and in your rebuttal, "civil rights" and "discrimination") and got bit in the butt when the reporter didn't understand your subtle search for plausible deniability, and by me when you showed your hand about Elkridge.

If Democrats also held functions at Elkridge, then I find damning Michael Steele's defense of the GOP using the facility as disingenuous, and contrary to any spirit of fairmindedness.

That is my point, why I think you got caught up in the race-related cookie jar and why my sympathy at your quote being misused is, sadly, severely diminished.


"...as for them trying to recruit African American members? Call me when they actually make an African American a member."

A secondary point, and I'll yield it for the sake of discussion. And I don't think your cynicism is misplaced.

But the question remains, Joe Trippi: Will Elkridge be used as campaign fodder against Michael Steele? I find it unfair, and without honor.


The putative Joe Trippi concludes:

"My larger point was that this is actually something that you and I and others can debate without the ugly and repugnant racial slurs and name calling. I believe that the blogosphere is a place that lets us have the conversation -- that is why I stopped by -- because I can promise you one thing -- there are a ton of people who read what the Washington Times reported -- and a ton of emails spreading the falsehood -- and there is no amount of posting on this blog that will undo the damage.

Thanks..."

Well, we're willing to help, Joe Trippi. And the door's open anytime for conversation without the ugly and the repugnant, although I'll understand if you're too busy. My admiration for your vision and skill at modern communication was sincere, and you deserve your place in the game.

(If you feel I've mischaracterized anything, your rebuttal will be featured prominently. If not, I hope we've heard the last of Elkridge.)

1 comment:

Joe Trippi said...

Tom -- I am really not trying to have a partisan argument about this -- in the 1992 Presidential Primary I ran an advertisement against Bill Clinton for his golfing outing at a restricted all white country club -- the operative language in the spot if I remember it correctly was "While Bill Clinton plays golf at a restricted all white country club, Arkansas remains one of two states that has never passed the civil rights act"

I appreciate your cynical view of me trying to use blurry language -- but I swear I spent maybe 5 minutes on the call with the reporter who said he was on deadline and just blurted out that throwing oreos and calling anyone an Uncle Tom was dispicable and repugnant.

Now on to Elkridge -- Just because Erhlich and other leading Democrats may have used the place doesn't make it right.

Even if every politician in the state used the place that would not make it right.

Now we can have a debate or discussion about why I think its wrong and Steele isn't bothered by it. That obviously is a difference of opinion that reasonable people can have an open discourse about. How much you want to bet that within a year Elkridge opens its doors to an African American member?