Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nice Way to Elevate the Discourse, Republicans

David Frum got his conservative knickers in a twist on Rachel's show the other night, whining that liberals, what with all their on-point sarcasm and humor, were just as bad as his fellow rabid rightwingers calling out racist slurs and death threats at huge public rallies. Then, after insulting his gracious host, Frum called for elevating the discourse. He then went on to lie, in an NRO post, about the circumstances surrounding his appearance on the show in the first place. And oh yes, he complained--falsely (surprise)--that Keith Olbermann had called John McCain a Nazi.

Back to the elevating-the-discourse thing: clearly wealthy Republican fundraisers are taking Frum's supercilious "Let's Be Better!" suggestion to heart, ensuring that all rumor-mongering and hate speech henceforth would emanate from the party's elite and contain properly-spelled slurs and, when possible, the best grammar and clearest syntax they could muster.

To wit: the Tampa Tribune reports that longtime, high-level Tampa Republican fundraiser Al Austin recently sent out a blast e-mail--to numerous political contacts--that featured a joke about Barack Obama being assassinated. Michael Hussey, founder of the Tampa blog Pushing Rope (to which I sometimes contribute) and a friend of this blog, reports to me that he has personally confirmed the e-mail story's veracity with a reputable source. (Hussey has also published the original e-mail, if you can stomach it.)

From the Tribune piece:

The joke concerns a group of schoolchildren discussing the definition of “tragedy” as opposed to “great loss” or “accident.” The punch line comes when one child says that if an airplane carrying Obama and his wife, Michelle, “was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile and blown to smithereens,” the event might be a tragedy “because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss, and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”

Austin acknowledged sending the e-mail to his list of political contacts but said he forwarded it without fully reading it and didn’t know what it said. That list included at least two reporters.

According to the forwarding history on the e-mail, it had gone through at least two other individuals before being sent to Austin on Tuesday.

Austin, a prominent real estate developer long known as one of the state’s leading Republican campaign fundraisers, has served in recent years as finance chairman for both the national and state Republican parties.

For his part, Austin said he made a mistake in sending the e-mail, and further, that he wouldn’t knowingly have circulated it, which begs the question: Does someone else have the password to Austin's private e-mail account? Perhaps he just confused Forward All with Delete.

Certainly Austin has proven, yet again, that as with so many of these rich and powerful wingnut assholes, not only are they full-on racists, losers, and imbeciles--they're also terrible liars.

Also at Cogitamus.

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