I received an email message today from Bill Randall, the Republican candidate for Congress whom I called a “loon” in a recent post. Not surprisingly, he objected to that characterization. But Randall gets points for his restrained response. Under a subject line which said, “Seeing that you believe I’m a loon …,” here’s his message:
Good day to you.
Your 23 Jun article titled: “None of the above is looking good” raised my eyebrow; not my ire.
If you’re amenable, feel free to call me directly (at your convenience). This Congressional race is far too important for some to feel that I would be a wasted vote.
And here is my reply:
Thanks for your recent note, and for checking in at Words Assembled Well. I’ll pass on your invitation to interview you, largely because I have no pretensions of being a political writer and analyst. Instead, I’ll make a counteroffer.
But let me make a couple of points beforehand. First, congratulations on your primary victory. I didn’t think you’d pull it off, frankly. It’s nice to be reminded that ordinary people still have a shot (albeit a long one) at breaking into what is increasingly a professional political class. Second, I’ll concede that my calling you “a loon” didn’t exactly do much for maintaining a civil tone. Also, your response — that it “raised my eyebrow; not my ire” — was graceful. Nice touch, that.
With all that said, though, the central point of my previous post stands: Your suggestion that the Obama administration colluded to cause the Gulf oil spill causes me not to take you seriously as a candidate. C’mon. We’re at one of history’s crossroads here, a moment when the political decisions that are made in the next few years will resonate for generations. You don’t inspire confidence that you’ve got the temperament and gravity for the job when you indulge in loony conspiracy theories.
Oops, sorry. There’s that word again.
Anyway, here’s my counteroffer: If you want to address the concern I state above (which means taking another whack at the oil-spill issue, basically), I’ll be happy to publish your thoughts here at WAW — in full, assuming you don’t drop a manifesto in my lap. Until then, you suffer my doubt.