Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

There Is No Joy in Liberalville

Posted by Adam Graham on June 24, 2007

Today, there is no joy in Liberalville. Why? Senator Larry Craig (R-Id.) has his personal reputation, his career, and his marriage still intact. Dan Popkey once again failed to deliver any news on his several months long hiatus from the Idaho Statesman, instead opting for a piece on the Boise mayoral race.

Sadly, there are liberals out there who are hoping for the personal destruction of Senator Craig, the destruction of his family, and would like to see his personal reputation tarnished if only it would help Larry LaRocco or another liberal end the Democrat’s 34 year draught on winning Senate elections. Popkey, as we’ve talked about, spent months digging up dirt on Larry Craig, passing Craig’s photo around D.C. area gay bars, and also sharing unconfirmed data on a potential sexual disease he believes the Senator to have with a local gay blogger.

I find such politics distasteful, but apparently the left does not. But they’ve got a little problem. Popkey delivered a devestating analysis of the failed campaign of liberal Larry Grant for Congress. How much do they dare go after Popkey? Go ahead and undermine him now and when (if) the big sleeze bomb is dropped, it’ll have less impact.

My response (indicating this was an attempt by some Democrats to provide information to knock Grant out of the way) ignited a firestorm in the blogosphere, earning praise and links from the Idaho Values Alliance and Trish and Halli, and attacks from three lefty blogs include Idablue and Mountain Goat Report.

Alan at Idablue wrote:

Adam G opines that Dem long knives are coming out early in order to clear the way for Rand Lewis. Without knowing who Popkey talked to, this is a leap too far. It’s more likely that the Rs Popkey talked to are trying to hobble Grant, and Popkey is helping them.

Thus, it makes sense that Rs would lob a preemptive strike toward the Dem candidate who almost beat Sali, in order to take him out early. Rand Lewis may be a fine candidate, but he’s an unknown, whereas Grant has proven that he is a strong candidate for the district. No doubt Grant learned much in his first campaign; he will be a stronger candidate the second time around.

Apparently, Alan has never heard of a sophomore surge (i.e. on average 2nd term members of Congress increase their vote totals 8-10%) and a 5 point race isn’t a landslide, but it’s hardly close and to think wooden liberal Larry Grant can close the gap is wishful thinking. More likely, next time he’ll get beaten more solidly, particularly if he faces a primary.

However, referring to the Popkey article, stating that Republicans are the source is counterintuitive as Popkey wrote:

Democrats are grieving and resentful. Folks close to Grant don’t want their names attached to criticism, but they want this story told in hopes he’ll reform. They told me he’s “a hard guy to help,” and “a pain” who “knew everything.” His brilliance remains unquestioned, but, said one, “part of being brilliant is knowing how to listen.”

Unless Popkey totally lied about his sources, they were Democrats. And if lied about his sources, how the heck are we to trust him on anything he says of his trip to Washington?

Mountain Goat Report writes:

. The extreme rite wing blogger, Adam Graham, hailed the column as “vindication” in one breath and then called Popkey a “tool of liberal Democrat campaigns” in another.

Graham, when earlier discussing Popkey’s special assignment, described [mp3 recording] Popkey as “using sleaze-ball tactics” and upon merely seeing the reporter at the Statesman building says it was “dislike at first sight.” Being vindicated by a man you dislike seems rather shallow.

I have no clue what the spelling of “rite” is supposed to mean or how it’s supposed to be derogatory. Is he referring to me as religious or tyring to somehow blame this on Ride Aid.

Regardless, I think it can very well be both a vindication and a tactic in support of liberal ideals. When you read Dan Popkey’s columns over time, you understand he believes in a far more liberal Idaho. According to Popkey, our state is too far to the right, doesn’t spend enough on various programs, etc. How do you move that state further to the left. When you have a chance, you can push things a little left by advocating for liberal Republican Candidates in the primary or pushing Democrats in the Fall where effective.

Certainly, this doesn’t mean Popkey’s not a talented reporter. He is. His work on the Jack Noble case was very well done. What he’s not is unbiased. He’s using his talents to serve an agenda, and he’s not quite up front with the people of Idaho about that.

Yes, I disliked Popkey when I first saw him. The expression on his face upon seeing me at the Statesman office was quite unpleasant and offensive. That doesn’t mean that in theory were we to sit down and have lunch at Eddie’s or something like that, I couldn’t come away liking him. But my intuitive feeling was negative.

And I’ve been borne out on that. When I did that podcast, I was furious at Popkey, and I still am. He’s part of why good people don’t run for office. We don’t get top flight people involved in politics usually, in part because people don’t want their names drug through the mud with innuendo, gossip, and half truths. If Senator Craig never had a homosexual encounter in his entire life, he’ll never be able to prove it. Who among us can provide proof positive that we’ve not? A few anonymous audio recordings and Senator Craig will be stuck with these rumors for the rest of his life, no matter how untrue they might be.

Popkey rather than turning from the tawdry mess, wallowed in it, going on a fishing expedition in hopes of bringing down Senator Craig personally. The only thing that could redeem Popkey in my eyes is if the coverage of the Mike Rogers homosexual story were a cover for “the real investigation.” As it is, either way, Popkey will be guilty of a huge transgression against our system, through sleazy practices worthy of the National Enquirer.

If you don’t like the word “Sleazy” perhaps you’d prefer the words used by a gay bloggers: “creepy” and “witch hunt”. A Daily Kos poster went as far as to declare Popkey is weird. Another Daily Kos poster seconded the “Creepy” motion and warned:

Are we headed down a road where every elected official can expect investigative reporters digging through their entire personal lives? There are many things that we just don’t need to know about public officials.

While some argued it was all about GOP hypocrisy, a homosexual poster reminded Democrats they could be accused of hypocrisy:

We claim to be the party that believes in a right to privacy. If we now decide that outing people, even hypocrites, is OK, we open ourselves up to exactly the same charge of hypocrisy. Either we’re for privacy or we aren’t. There is no middle ground on this. And I say that as a gay man. Whom I sleep with is nobody’s business other than the man I’m sleeping with. And if I were still in the closet and wanted to stay there, I would expect to be allowed that luxury unless and until I decided, for myself, to come out.

Others on Kos called Popkey’s investigation wrong, disturbing, and abhorrent. and assailed Mr. Popkey as “ignorant” and a “kook”. This is on Daily Kos, folks, but many in the Idaho lib blogosphere won’t call this “investigation” by its right name. Thanks to the folks at Kos for doing so.

Yet, many Idaho liberals still wait for the boom to lower, for the results of Mr. Popkey’s abhorrent and creepy investigation to come to light. It wasn’t this Sunday, but each new day brings new hope to many liberals that Dan Popkey’s investigation will at last destroy Senator Craig and bring the life of his family into ruins. That few others will call Popkey’s tactics what they are is a disturbing and sickening sign of the state of our politics.


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