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I’m sure Tom Fetzer wasn’t talking about Carter and me last weekend when he urged North Carolina Republicans to ignore “idiot bloggers.”
But I’m sure he was talking about the idiots who virtually hijacked our blog last year with attacks on Fetzer and other candidates for GOP party chair.
It got so bad Carter called me one day and asked if I minded him censoring the most libelous and mean-spirited stuff.  No problem, I said. I love when Republicans fight, but I was embarrassed by it.
Like Tom and Carter, I’m no milquetoast when it comes to tough politics. But I am surprised by the level of venom, most of which – not all, but most – comes these days from the right wing.
That’s certainly true if you go by what was said in Tom’s race.
It’s not just tough talk about issue differences and even character attacks. It’s a level of anger and meanness that can be disturbing.
Maybe it’s what people turn into when they can hide behind the anonymity of their blog names.
The PC thing to say in the wake of the Tucson shootings is that hateful political talk had nothing to do with the madman’s murderous mental state.
But hateful speech and hateful politics do encourage hate. And we could do with a little less hate these days.
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# Carbine
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:42 PM
Where were you between 2000 and Jan. 2009, Gary? Did you somehow miss the avalanche of hatred, malicious accusations, and downright lies spewed out daily against president Bush during that time? Can you, or anyone else, honestly say that the rhetoric from the worst elements of the Tea Party, or the 'birthers,' or any other group associated with the right, is qualitatively or quantitatively worse than what came from the left during the Bush years?

I don't accept "They started it!" as an acceptable rationel for loutish behavior, even in politics. But hypocrisy is no better.

# IdiotBlogger
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 2:27 PM
Those attacking Fetzer were hardly alone. Fetzer's thugs did same and if I recall correctly, would judge that they were more malicious. Unfortunately, there was more truth coming from one side than the other.

And, if this matter was Fetzer's most miserable time of his life - he has lived much a real life himself.
# dap916
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 4:58 PM
You're correct, Gary. Fetzer wasn't referring to you or Carter with that "Idiot Bloggers" statement. There are a lot of blogs that discuss NC politics around and during the Fetzer/Adams battle, there was some pretty crazy-awful stuff being said all around. Right here on TAP (as you pointed out), we were overwhelmed with thread after thread...back and forth...zinger vs. zinger...a lot of hate and even more lies and insinuations and accusations. It was ugly. We still see it now and then here. On, it was just as ugly but in a different way. The bloggers there are just so horribly radical left that they just went after the NCGOP totally. It got pretty ugly there also...especially against Fetzer. And, it remains so today. I never understood the constant gay reference to Fetzer on that blog without any backlash from their considerable LGBT community that posts there.

Hey, I get idiotic all the time. But, I think I can manage to tone it down some.
# Reaganite
Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:57 PM
The campaign for the 2009 NCGOP chairmanship was indeed a disgusting mud wrestling match, and much of that mud did spill over onto TAP on both sides. However, Tom Fetzer whining about it is almost laughable, given his own background.

Let's start with last year's primary runoff in the 8th Congressional District. We had two candidates who were both very, very third string. Each had some positive aspects but each also had lots of negatives. It was largely a tossup which was most presentable in the general election. Enter Fetzer. The NCGOP Plan of Organization prohibited a state chairman taking sides in a primary, but Fetzer as he did too often in his tenure, decided to make up new rules for himself and blasted the runoff frontrunner in the media as ''being unfit for any office at any level'', repeating some very old personal smears which had come from a complaint filed in a bitter long ago divorce. The candidate attacked by Fetzer had apparently settled the case before even flling an answer and no judge had ever heard those issues or ruled on the evidence. Divorce complaints commonly contain exaggerations and fabrications so this was not a credible source of information for such an attack. Yet Fetzer launched this very uncalled for personal attack on a GOP candidate.

Then there is the 2009 convention campaign itself. Fetzer was asked to run by consultant Dee Stewart who has a long history of political smear campaigns. The campaigns that Stewart ran for Fetzer started with personal attacks that were largely truthful but quickly added his trademark half-truths and fabrications, and not only against Fetzer's main opponent for chairman, but when a vice chairman candidate toyed with switching races, similar personal attacks were soon launched on him, too. All of these attacks were based on their personal lives, not their political records.

It is regrettable, but not terribly surprising that some of those supporting Fetzer's opponents picked up longstanding but questionable personal rumors about Fetzer and threw them around in retaliation. When one gets down in the gutter, others are going to throw mud, too. That should only be expected.

In short, Fetzer's whining is simply the pot calling the kettle black.

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