Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Last Post about the ODP Thing

Probably could have planned this better. I posted about the Women's Outreach hire/fire flap the night before the kids and I were scheduled to be at the pool all day. So I missed the fireworks. And the mainstream jump. Hope everyone had fun without me.

A few bits to clean up before I put this to bed. First off, Todd Hoffman emailed me while I was out, and also sent the reply along to Jerid. He says:


    You wrote “I wrote ODP for comment and have heard nothing.” I have not received any messages from you regarding this situation. Please make a note of my contact information so that this communication gap does not occur again. You can call me anytime at [number] or email at [etc].

    We hope that the 25 year old Megan would like to talk to the 18 year old Megan and explain how the views expressed in her letter to the editor were unacceptable. Unfortunately, Megan’s letter was not discovered during our routine background check nor was it disclosed during interviews. When the letter was brought to our attention, it became very apparent that the views expressed were not consistent with the ideals of the Ohio Democratic Party. As an employee of ODP, any statements, past or present, in the public domain reflect upon the Party so we let her go within hours of learning of the situation.
As far as the communication gap, I sent an email Friday afternoon and got neither a reply nor a Delivery Failed message. Frankly I looked at the request for comment as pro forma. Given that ODP thus far had scrubbed all mention of the hiring from the internet, hadn't sent out any sort of general notice and had not contacted someone (i.e., me) who had blogged about the hiring, I figured they were in "No comment" mode.

Still, things happen with email. In the future , I'll be more aggressive about getting a comment.

As for the rest, I know Megan has learned from the incident; I hope ODP has as well.

In addition to the response on the left side (the aforementioned BSB, Left of Ohio and Jill who in fact unearthed the now infamous letter), and from the center (BFD, Bill Sloat), there has been lamentably gleeful comment from the Right. Columbuser and RAB at minimum have chimed in. The prevailing sentiment there is "thoughtcrime."

Well, duh. Political parties are about ideas. Another word for "ideas" would be "thoughts." If you don't share those ideas, you can't represent the party. Either party. I'm sure there are essays and topics out there that would scotch a would-be Republican staffer. For God sake, the prevailing debate among Republicans is whether Mitt Romney's cave to pro-life forces is sufficiently abject.

I especially love Scott Pullins beckoning Megan into the suddenly huge GOP tent. Uh, Scott. Megan just finished an internship with NARAL. I'm pretty sure her name is a deeper shade of mud to Republicans than it could ever be with Dems.

The issue isn't whether the ideas in the essay are a problem -- they are. They are in a way that feels very "if you don't get it I don't have the energy to explain it." Suffice it to say that the liberal/Democratic methodology on race is to respect -- nay honor -- the complexities and nuances of the subject. For example, the implication of "white people are discriminated against" is that harsh words exchanged on campus is the rough equivalent of 400 years of one race being bought and sold as chattel and another hundred years of an unbreakable racial caste system and that, therefore, efforts to address discrimination against Blacks are unwarranted. That's an idea (or thought) at odds with ODP's position.

So the issue isn't whether views like those in the letter are a problem for the ODP the issues are 1) could this have been handled better and 2) what is the shelf life for this poison pill. I think everyone agrees that the answer to #1 is yes. As to number two, it's a debate and probably one better had offline.

Certainly I'm glad my freshman year scribblings of 24 years ago are not in
searchable, digital form. Of course, I've done enough damage here on the Pages that it would be a wash.


Ben said...

"Certainly I'm glad my freshman year scribblings of 24 years ago are not in
searchable, digital form. Of course, I've done enough damage here on the Pages that it would be a wash."

Yes....same here.

Jill said...

Great post, Scott. Thanks.

Village Green said...

Sad story, one of those cautionary tales that will bear retelling.

Jeff Hess said...

Shalom Scott,

I certainly hope this is not the last post.

This is an important discussion and says much more about the ODP than it does about Pappada.

I thought that Todd Hoffman's reply was illustrative and it was that that I chose to reflect upon on my own blog.