Monday, May 21

An open letter to Eric Dondero.
(Updated with even more Donder-riffic lunacy!)

Recap: Eric Dondero is the former Ron Paul campaign manager who left this comment to my post on Paul and the Republicans over the weekend. The following is the e-mail I sent him today in response.


Normally I try to stay pretty current with the comments that are left on my blog, Hey Jenny Slater, so I was surprised to find this morning that I'd somehow completely overlooked the one you'd left to my post about Ron Paul and the Republican Party. I was pretty amazed by what I read.

I would expect to see false, hyperbolic ad hominems such as "hate America," "support Islamo-Fascism," and "Leftist slime" from far-right blowhards such as Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, or any number of right-wing bloggers who spew their rage into the blogosphere on a daily basis. But I would have expected a more temperate, reasoned attitude from someone charged with the task of actually winning elections, either on someone else's behalf or on his own. Evidently I was mistaken.

I can infer from your comments that anyone who opposes President Bush or our current policy in Iraq leaves themselves vulnerable to your accusations of "hating America." Look around, Eric -- right now as many as two-thirds of the voting public disapprove of the job Bush is doing as president, and nearly that many think the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Are you prepared to write every single one of them off as America-hating Islamo-fascists? You can if you want, but that doesn't seem like a very good strategy to me. I suppose that appealing only to the few remaining Bush loyalists and angrily condemning the rest might win you races in a few of the most conservative districts in the country, but it's no way to retain control of Congress -- as 2006 should've demonstrated to you -- and it certainly doesn't seem like any way to retain the White House.

And I should know, because as a campaign worker for John Kerry in Alabama two years ago -- a thankless task, I can confirm -- I found myself having to spend an inordinate amount of my time defending my candidate and my campaign from overzealous lefties in other parts of the country who were perfectly willing to write off all of Red America as a bunch of ignorant rednecks. As a Democrat, I resented them for making my job harder; as a lifelong Southerner, I resented them for insulting my upbringing. But at least they only called me stupid; you're calling me a traitor. Whether you want to admit it or not, there are a whole lot of people out there who are disillusioned with Bush and the Republican Party in general; is this how you propose to entice them back?

You called my efforts to drive a wedge between libertarians and the GOP "a project with no chance of any success," but I tell you what, Eric -- I'll keep working on that libertarian-GOP wedge, and you keep working on winning elections after writing off two-thirds of the vote, and we'll see which one of us gets more accomplished. If recent trends are any indication, I'm winning that one so far.

Now, don't take this as an indication of any overconfidence on my part regarding 2008; I know we face an uphill climb regardless of what happened last fall. But I'm prepared to do the heavy lifting necessary to win through honest ideas and rational, good-faith debate as opposed to hate, condemnation, and fearmongering. Are you?

Doug Gillett
Founder, Hey Jenny Slater
Current candidate, nothing

UPDATE 5/22: Whoo! Looks like I touched a nerve, because Dondero responded to this with not one but two overcaffeinated e-mails, both of which you may read below. The first:

Gimme a fucking break.

Hell, I would answer a pollster's question that "I oppose Bush's War in Iraq" precisely cause Bush is being a mother-fucking wimp in this War. He ain't fighting it hard enough. He's essentially a liberal softee PC type.

This is the worst of all examples of liberal spin of the media. They claim that "70% of all Americans oppose the War in Iraq." What the never tell you is that half of that 70% are people like me who oppose the War because we aren't fighting hard enough. They just leave the impression that 70% of Americans are Pacifists who hate all War and wish to surrender.

. . . Followed three minutes later by this:

Yup. You're right on one thing. There are a heluva lot of people out there who are illusioned with George Bush. But they're mostly disillusioned with him, because HE'S BECOME A FUCKING LIBERAL!!

Where's my second tax cut you promised me George?

Where are the spending cuts you said we were going to have during your term?

Where's the privatization of Social Security you promised us?

These days, there's little if any difference between Bush and the Democrats. They are both Big Government types. Only Bush wants to grow government slightly less than outright Socialists like Hillary Clinton and Fascists like Burak HUSSEIN Obama.

I know I promised not to be overconfident in the e-mail I posted above, but good Lord -- if this is the level of intellectual maturity we "liberal softees" can expect to go up against over the next 18 months, 2008's in the bag, folks.


Universal Remonster said...

I think I just read the first political "bitchslapping" you've given for the upcoming elections. Here's hoping more ignorant, racist, self serving assholes (republican, libertarian, or democrat) will post on here so we all get more fun reading. Sweet.

NCT said...

I was frankly taken aback over how someone with a resume like Dondero's would show such piss-poor use of the English language. As I was reading his previous comment, my mental red ink was marking all over it. This guy ran somebody's campaign? Now, I understand occasional slips when you're slumming all over someone's blog (like I often do), but if you are running for office yourself, it seems that you would be more careful about spelling, grammar, and usage. But maybe that's just me.

Eric Dondero said...

I have received tremendous support for my campaign since I announced last week. For a summary of some recent endorsements please check out

I'm even starting to get pledges of $$$ contributions from all over the US.

A lot of people are really pissed off at Ron Paul.

This is exciting!

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of Eric Dondero, so I did a search and found this:

Kind of interesting. I just wonder what "15 or 20 languages" he speaks. (Kind of like the joke "I know a little German -- he's sitting right over there.")

Anonymous said...

His blogger profile says he can speak "vacation spanish" so I guess he can order a burrito or find a bag of weed in Tijuana.

Jay Allbritton said...

My freaking head is about to explode! There it just ex--

DAve said...

From a recent Reason online piece re: Paul and Dondero:

Reason: But he (Dondero)says he's running because of your debate performance. So is this presidential campaign weakening your standing in your district?

Paul: Well, if it affects my standing in my district then I wouldn't be a very good candidate for the presidency. If these views are popular, and I think they're popular enough, then they should be popular in my home district. They've been hearing me saying this for a lot of years and I keep getting re-elected rather easily. I think politicians are always concerned about how they're doing in their district, but right now, if Eric Dondero is the only thing I have to worry about, then I don't have a lot to worry about.

Emphasis most emphatically mine.

Anonymous said...

Great, nothing like seeing the representative of your ideology as an inarticulate buffoon. I wonder if I, as an attorney, made such unsupported claims in court, how I would fare. Not very well, I'd imagine. To address a few of his points:

I tend to agree that I don't think we are fighting the war hard enough. But I think that's because to fight this war effectively, we have to overcome our Western civility and fight without much concern for collateral damage (these are, after all, terrorists without concern for anyone's life, their own included), not exactly the recipe for winning the hearts and minds of the Arab world following the conflict. I don't think withdrawal is a very good solution because you likely wind up with something that makes the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s look like a day at Disneyland. But short of drop a big bomb and turning Iraq into a giant mirror, I really don't know how to solve the problems there.

What I do believe is that 70% of Americans who disagree with the policy don't want us to be fighting it harder. I haven't seen any poll or commentary suggesting that.

Second, I don't think of Bush as a liberal because he isn't actually concerned with shrinking the size of government. Rather, he's merely a common politician without the willpower to tell people "no". The Republicans' agenda in Congress was fairly comparable to the Democrats: keeping themselves in power, political philosophy be damned.

Finally, I see no point in mentioning Obama's middle name other than to make a baseless racist point. Obama has plenty of reasons for being considered a weak candidate (such as, does he actually stand for anything other than neutering the English language?) without bringing up his middle name, a tactic likely to make a difference with nobody but voters in Elwood, Indiana.

In the end, I like Ron Paul a lot. I'm not going to ignore his overall policy beliefs due to a difference of opinion on foreign policy (which, in overall respects, probably isn't that different from mine to begin with).

Josh M. said...

I actually agree with Dondero's second e-mail, though I would have hopefully been a little more well-spoken.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Gah. I hope so, too, with the particular hope that you'd see the ridiculousness in referring to Barack Obama as a "fascist."

The most hilarious thing about this, to me, is that Dondero says his main rationale for ripping Ron Paul is that Paul "stabs his former friends [i.e. Bush and Rove] in the back with a long knife" -- and then turns right around and calls Bush "a mother-fucking wimp," "a liberal softee PC type," and "a fucking liberal." Et tu, Dondero? He's so all-over-the-map politically it makes my head spin -- but one thing he most assuredly is not is a libertarian.

Josh M. said...

I do think Hillary Clinton is, at heart, a socialist - but yes, the "fascist" tag applied to Obama is patently absurd.

"Patently." Love that word.