On Tuesday, I received an e-mail tip from a reader about a forum on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s official campaign page. I was vaguely curious, so I clicked over and my jaw dropped.
Here’s the brand-new governor of Massachusetts, the first Democrat to sit in that seat in 16 years, and here he’s hosting some of the dumbest, most paranoid, most downright infuriating crap in existence today — the “9/11 Truthers” conspiracy insanities.
I was all set to go to town on it when I looked a little closer. These forums aren’t from Patrick or his campaign or his office. They’re set up so anyone — anyone — can start a discussion on an issue they feel strongly about. In this case, it’s the kookiest of the Nutroots (who overwhelmingly backed Patrick) who have staked out their bit of cyterturf.
I decided against writing about it, because as a general rule I don’t think much of criticizing people because of the actions or statments of those who support or agree with them. No one can control what others say, only what they say in your name. (It’s why I don’t judge blogs by their commenters, either.)
Others, though, must have thought it was worthwhile, because shortly after I first looked at the page, I happened to refresh it — and there was something new on it. Right at the top, in a gray box, was a new disclaimer:
The views expressed by users of MyIssue.DevalPatrick.com do not necessarily represent the views of Deval Patrick, the Deval Patrick Committee or anyone else other than the person responsible for posting them.
One of those people who found out about the page is Boston talk-show host Michael Graham, who whipped up a quick piece about it for the Boston Herald. Graham hits a lot of the points I was considering, but he adds one element that I wish I’d thought of.
He says that to give Patrick a pass for not censoring the page is not fair. He suggests that the folks running the site would delete other threads in a heartbeat, ones that are clearly anathema to Patrick’s positions. Ideas such as gun owners’ rights, cutting taxes and state spending, opposing gay marriage, or discussions about Patrick’s many, many gaffes, fumbles, and outright stupidities since he took office barely too months ago.
It could be an interesting experiment. I just might register with them (using a Massachusetts address, of course, so I will be less likely to be deleted as “irrelevant”) and start a discussion on one or more of those issues — and see if my piece stays up longer than the insane barking moonbats who triggered this whole thing.
I suspect others might start doing the same thing, too, but in an out-and-out attempt to sabotage the page — and, eventually, might lead to the shutting down of the whole forum.
And that’d be a shame.