Andy's cross...there is another side to the story--posted by Tony Garcia on 7/13/2006
Andy has some personal issues (constant story, differing details). He nailed himself to his cross (a regular event) about it. Someone replied to him about Karma and called Andy hateful person. Andy's response...obscenity and a violation of privacy by posting the person's e-mail in public. (The same Andy who went ballistic because I quoted one phrase from an e-mail, never named the actual source, but somehow I violated an assumed privacy. Hypocrite.)
It seems that because Andy put himself on his cross noone is allowed to speak about him. I have gotten e-mail stating that my comments to Andy were out of line. I ask this of you: What comments about Andy's condition did I make? I cannot find them.
Andy's comments state "Well I'm glad to see that taking advantage at one of the lowest points in my lie [sic?] is on your mind so much that you devote a majority of your blog to adding further insult to an already troublesome time for me."
No Andy, you wear your troubles on your sleeve. But it does not absolve you from legitimate criticism. I admit, I am highly aggressive. Some label that hateful, that's fine. You, sir, make everything personal and hateful. You were off making personal attacks in an unprovoked and ungermane fashion on other blogs while someone was pointing out that you were a hateful person.
You attacked that person as if they are out of line. I pointed out that what they said was not untrue.
A few came weakly to your defense...basically it was a low blow, but none denied that if one believed in Karma you have created quite the negative vibe in your constant quest to lie about people. (I still can't figure out if you lie intentionally and are that hateful or if you lie by accident because you really don't know better.)That is all that was said about his problems...actually, that was not even about his problems...but Andy, poor guy, is so used to being a martyr in every situation took it as being about his personal problems instead of what it was really about...his hateful character.
So, here is the blast of reality for Andy (and the people who have sent e-mail which include things like, "I am having a hard time with the idea of engaging you on this topic due to your comments about Andy -- particularly at a time of personal trials for him."). Everyone has trials. Everyone has problems. No one is off limits because they have problems. Would your problems specifically be off limits? Certainly, if they were not broadcast. Though by broadcasting ones problems it leaves your problems open for discussion as well.
Now, here is where the post will get VERY long...
A while ago Andy put himself on his cross again. He was getting heavy criticism in the midst of claiming that the GOP state convention was not covered because of media bias. Suddenly blogs that I read were telling people to talk Andy out of quitting. Though I don't like him at all as a blogger, detest his abandonment of any semblance of intellectual honesty and do not like him as a person I felt a need to help clear up a human being's fog within. I sent 2 e-mails to him on the topic.
I bring this up because Andy mentions them in his comment.
Remember thosesilly emails you sent me? There were 2 of them? In those you said you only wrote this blog for you. You wouldn't care if anyone read it, and that you don't write it for anyone but you.Well, here they are. Read it for your own amusement...but understand that I wrote this despite the fact that I do not like him and would would not shed a tear if his participation in the world of politics and blogging to disappear.
Perhaps I was wrong to even try to offer any advice on a human level. If someone were as hateful as Andy and his co-authors say I am I doubt this kind of effort would be made to help someone.
Note...I did have to remove references to other specific people. They are replaced with "xxxx".
Human to human advice...SIDE NOTE: Truth be told and there is record of this somewhere on Andy's blog (so you cannot claim sour grapes), I have lost respect for Andy as a person last summer.
Most of what you say "people have said" were things I have said. I hope you are not giving me so much credit that I am the spearhead of your wanting to quit. Neither of us are that important...and neither of us should be that important to each other regardless of how much respect each has.
Should you continue blogging? I began to hate blogging when I started to feel I was blogging for the benefit of others. "I gotta blog for my readers" and that kind of thing. My blog is for one person: Me. It helps to collect my thoughts, examine what I believe or have yet to believe, chronical things that strike me as interesting or necessary, etc.I needed a break and then continued on...
You have an interesting dilemma...you also blog on blogs with a purpose (beyond your own). That may complicate WHY you blog, but it should not complicate HOW you blog.
Be yourself...or at least be what you are comfortable with. And in the end realize that there will be firestorms from many directions. What do you want out of your blog? Answering that will likely help guide you in the future.
Credibility? Beware of "rumors" or even hypothesis...at least beware of them too often. I have been shafted by a real story where the people involved decided that burying the story was better (damn the principles, best for the party if it is buried...you know what I'm talking about). I learned a lesson directly from that. I learned many, but only one is relevant to this e-mail. The truth and fact is not always a story able/possible to put out in the public. However, Drudge's credibility only comes from half the country and I think he has done an unbelievable job in watching out for 'rumors'.
High Traffic? There are many ways to get that. What may fit your style is continuing what you have been doing for the past several months. Republicans love your stuff right now. Minnesota's blog landscape is dominated by partisans...on both sides...which means you will maintain higher traffic by continuing what you are doing.
Internal Betterment? You need to be willing to admit that you are wrong, and more importantly admit the faults and successes of your brethren and supportees. If you ignore the weaknesses within the armor you can never improve them. Read Westover carefully. His criticism of the GOP is both admitting the problems of what he supports and trying to get those weaknesses fixed.
Respect? I think if this is your goal then you have to ask yourself each time you post (or at least before you respond to comments) 1) Do I do this? 2) Am I consistent on this position, even when it is not beneficial to me? 3) Is it possible for reasonable people to disagree (without being mutineers, etc.)? 4) If I piss on this person (or allow the pissing on this person to continue) do I care when it will be done to me in similar circumstances?
I will use myself as an example for this. Frankly, when I get on the air I tell what I think and I am not out to make friends or enemies...just convince people of what I see, why I see it and why it is important to them. Supporters of those I go after may not "respect" me, but there respect is purely based on their agreement. I do not care for their respect. The respect I seek is from those who disagree with me or have no opinion. Xxxxxx has repeatedly commented on his envy of my being willing to go after Kennedy or Bachmann (which he agrees with me on the former, understands but disagrees with me on the latter) when necessary. When we interview DFLers I gain the respect of those I disagree with because of how I handled fairly the interviewees. I am proud of that.
The fact that people detest me online because of my words against Bachmann and my placing Wetterling higher than Bachmann on my list of electables does not matter to me. Their "respect" is based on my compliance with their views. Who gives a damn about them? Not I. Their "respect" is as worthy to me as the shit in my dog's kennel...because it is not based on anything beyond dictatorial
So, what do you WANT from blogging? An outlet for your thoughts. Keep going the way you are...and ignore traffic because it will come and go, come and go as a result. Recognize that you are not going to get love mail the majority of the time no matter what you seek from the blog. So figure out what do you really want (in the deeper sense...like in Swimming With Sharks) and strive for that. Do not seek the public adoration in any manner and you won't be disappointed.
Now, with all of that being said, which Andy would I personally enjoy reading again? The Andy that was blogging between about September and December. If THAT writing standard returns, let me know. I will gladly read you again.
I got to your posting through the link from KvM and did not read the full post (damn that ADD). The first e-mail was more for introspection...should you quit blogging? If you get through that and decide you will continue blogging then this next part is relevant.Would Andy have done that to someone he could not care less for?
The questions you ask for brutal honesty are loaded and open. So any answers you get are more about everyone else's personal preferences than your own, and as I discussed in the previous e-mail your blog should be about YOUR preferences. As a result I will address the specific questions you asked.
ARE YOU THE JOKE THAT YOU AND OTHERS THINK?
I'm not sure you are anymore a joke than I am. Do people question our motives? Yep. Do they think less because we disagree with them? Yep. That is a content issue and no matter what your content is people will think of you as a joke for one reason or another. If there is any reason to believe that either of us are jokes then I'm betting that in your case it is the allegiance to winning and in mine it is my non-allegiance to party loyalty in any manner. To me, I accept that as a consequence of my beliefs. I urge you to do the same.
IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT OR WRONG?
That is up to you and only you to decide. Being of the more libertarian/conservative mind I would say that in the quasi-public/quasi-private arena of blogs there is very little that is wrong. To quote Aragorn, "What does your heart tell you?"
HAVE YOU SOLD OUT FOR THE REPUBLICANS?
You know what I think. But that is not truly going to help you. If that is something you are worried about (having sold out) then do what I did when I wondered the same thing years ago about myself. Every issue that comes up examine what your panacea is. What is the extreme of that position? Does it conflict with other positions? If so, why is this acceptable or else re-examine your position. (The death penalty is the most difficult for me...I still struggle with it). Once you have begun that I think you will be in a better place to evaluate (a) membership within the GOP and (b) how much are you willing to sacrifice/accept for that membership?
For most people they are willing to accept a number of inconsistencies within their party (both sides) for the larger prospect of minor changes in public policy. Let's be honest, neither party has the true will to actually make major changes in public policy. They talk big but with the rare exception large changes are too large for politicians to embrace.
For a few these inconsistencies in philosophy, rhetoric or performance are simply not acceptable. Of this subset some try to change the problems within (e.g. Westover, Andrade) and for some they are simply tired of the constant losing battle (e.g. myself, Dan Ochsner). The size of these subsets ebbs & floes and this year I think is the beginning of the uptrend in the tired group. You know when I left the party for these reasons. Shortly after that the national talk show I listen started saying the same thing...hoping for a good 3rd party candidate in all of the races. But I digress...
I have a feeling that you are willing to accept the inconsistencies so at this point there is not a need for you to re-examine that. This part was irrelevant to you but I think necessary to understand the rest which is relevant to you.
Now prioritize what you believe in. Some people believe that no issue is more important than abortion (pro- or anti-). Some believe the size of government is the most important. Physically list your beliefs, your principles, and put them in order. Classify them: "not willing to compromise", "willing to compromise a little", "care a little, but not the end of the world". Now you are ready to answer "have you sold out"...which is not a bad thing if it is right for you.
Here is the tricky part which may help you out. What is your priority in politics? Combining them is not going to help. Winning? The opposition losing (which is very different than winning)? Advance your platform? What is the most important one? Again, winning to advance your platform is combining goals...can't do that or you will not clear the funk. Some people are willing to sacrifice their beliefs for winning. Personally I will not. I find that it was better that Reagan challenged Ford in 1976...possibly weakening Ford enough for a loss to Carter...to refocus the GOP in 1980 in a more openly and honestly united way. The results of Reagan's presidency speak for themselves. In my view that was keeping principles above the party.
Were you wondering why I said you cannot mix goals? This is why. How much are you willing to sacrifice on that list of principles in order to gain a victory for the GOP? "This year is important." Yeah, yeah. Eventually you will realize that they all are 'the most important'. Being willing to sacrifice some your principles for ONE "important election" means you will always sacrifice those principles. I mean, 2000 was important because of the Supreme Court. Then came 2002 which was important because of 9/11. Then was 2004 which was important. Now is 2006 which is important, as will be 2008...you get the idea. If you were willing to sacrifice some of your principles for only the important then you are looking at 5 elections of sacrificing. That's why I said you cannot mix the goals when you prioritize them. They are actually very distinct and often conflicting.
Now that all of that is done (you did do all of that right?) you are able to answer to your own satisfaction if you have "sold out" for the GOP. Is the top priority on your list "winning"? If so, then you are not really selling out because your top priority is not policy but victory. But you are then a "party" boy. Admit and embrace the characterizations that go with this.
If "victory" is not your top priority then how much of your principles are you willing to sacrifice to maintain your membership in the GOP? Are you sacrificing more than that in your support of the various candidates, the party, the methods or their message? If so, then yes you are selling out. You will need to reassess whom you support or your priorities in politics.
For example, to me the first step in evaluating who I will support is their character. Once in a while there is a candidate I believe to be of horrible character as a person. Even if I agree with their platform 100% I will not support them, aid them or vote for them. To me, silence is tacit support. And, no, simply disagreeing with someone on every issue does not lessen their character. I think Ford Bell is of high character but I disagree with almost everything he says. After the character test I look at their platform and from there I will select a candidate who is very close to me on my important issues. At no point does or did party enter that equation to this point. It is if there still is an "undecided" that I look at their past performance as an office holder. If I was still undecided at this point I used to use my party membership as the tiebreaker. (From now on I will vote for the non-incumbent if I am this far in the vetting process.) This process, btw, is what let me vote against Judi Dutcher, the GOP candidate for State Auditor, who has not changed her much of her positions since then, just her affiliation.
For me, "victory" is not on my priorities and thus I am free to select whomever I deem is the better candidate for my issues.
Have you sold out? That depends on your priorities. If Victory is the top of that list, then no. Otherwise, yep, you possibly have. The question then becomes are you OK with being a sell out? That is also up to only you through inner reflection.
Sorry for the pair of long e-mails. When I see someone as externally tortured over something that should be resolved internally I want to help add a lens as objectively as possible to help that person.
So before you guys start ripping me you should do yourselves a favor and begin to understand the whole story.
********** UPDATE **********
I guess Andy blogs to bump his traffic.
This came from him 5 minutes ago:
"Either link to me or leave me alone. Have the principle to give people the opportunity to read my original words."
People who read my blog are as smart as people reading Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza or a Supreme Court case. They site their sources and people interested in finding those sources can go and get them. When I quote something I tell where it is from. Well, there is one exception...if I find an article on Yahoo and cannot find it anywhere else I do not link to the Yahoo article...the link will be dead in a matter of days.
I add hyperlinks to the Source as a matter of convenience to the reader and to give the source attention...either for good or for bad. Andy thinks that it is somehow required to provide a hyperlink each time. Sorry, no. And, you will not see one here in the future. However, your writings are still in the public so it does not exclude you from the scrutiny of the public.
And it still stands...whatever you have in store for that you want "in person" you will get that pleasure when YOU take the trouble to drive to St Cloud. In the meantime please explain what exactly I said about your pigmentation disorder. Nothing. And what was it I said about you personally? You are a hateful person...and noone refuted that. The timing of what I said is inconsequential. If I were to wear my diagnoses on my sleeve I would not expect people to point out that I am a very aggressive person. Sorry, doesn't work like that. And if people want to say that my issues and diagnoses are the result of Karma created by, not my politics, but my methods...well, I have as little standing to bitch about that as you do.
Sadly, your ignorance precludes from recognizing that distinction.
Finally, Andy, I have no problem saying it to your face everything that I think about you. I am not wasting the gas to drive 45 miles just to tell you something at YOUR request, because you are unable to get the jist in writing. I have no problem telling you to your face whatever answers you want...catch is, you have to come to St Cloud on your time since it is your request.
End of line.