Now that’s more like it

I’m going to tell myself that GOP Senate candidate Mike Baumgartner reads my blog.  At the very least he seems to share my opinion about transparently fake apologiesTo wit:

Mike Baumgartner, a U.S. Senate candidate hoping to unseat Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell this fall, told a local reporter to “fuck off” earlier his week. His only apparent regret about his outside-the-box PR strategy? Failing to stop his staff from later issuing an apology on his behalf.

The reporter, Baumgartner told CBS News afilliate KIRO 7, “had it coming,” adding that he had not signed off on the apology before his staff released it.

The whole thing appears to have started Monday when Seattle-area political blog Publicola’s Josh Feit interviewed the Republican Senate candidate (and current Washington state senator) for a larger story about the topic of the moment in the political world: Todd Akin and his views on rape and abortion.

The way Feit tells it, Baumgartner—who for the record called Akin’s views “ignorant” and “offensive“—made it clear during the interview that he wished the media focused more on the war in Afghanistan (the ending of which is a key pillar in his campaign) than the recent abortion flap.

Do I “approve” of candidates for public office blowing their stacks and writing hot-headed e-mails to political reporters?  No.  Do I know anything more about Mr. Baumgartner than is included in the linked piece?  No.  He might be the absolute pits.  I don’t live in Washington, and I’m disinclined to support the candidacy of anyone who will inch Mitch McConnell any closer to being Senate Majority Leader, so it doesn’t really matter that much anyway.

But it is downright refreshing to see someone say what they meant and then stand by it, even if it was impolitic to do so.  Frankly, I can’t fault Baumgartner for wanting to focus more on ending the war in Afghanistan (a stance I applaud) than some moron in Missouri’s antiquated views on abortion and pregnancy.  (The moron in question, however, deserves everything that’s coming to him.)  And political reporters are big boys and girls, so if Feit can’t handle the heat then he’s in the wrong field.

Baumgartner said something offensive because he meant to offend.  And he’s standing by it.  Perhaps that’s not exactly admirable, but at least he’s not insulting our collective intelligence.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. Hah.

    If I had a dollar for all the times I’ve heard, “Fuck off” (in any language), I could have retired by now. Oh the joys of working at a casino.

    Granted, being able to tell them to ‘Go fuck your mother” in their own language back was always amusing.

    I agree that it’s refreshing to see someone say something as it was meant to be said and then stand by it, for better or worse.

    Although, something as banal as a ‘fuck off’ in today’s world isn’t all that newsworthy – or at least it shouldn’t be. Hell, in some places that’s how you tell people good morning!

  2. I wonder of it will be impolitic?

    I’d bet a pint he gets more votes for this than he loses, being in Seattle.

    • If he were the kind of moderate Republican that, according to cave paintings, once thundered majestically across the American political landscape, and if the GOP as a whole were suddenly seized by a desire to enact sensible fiscal and social policies, and if the Jim DeMint faction were all overcome with a desire to spend more time with their families and resigned from political life en masse, then I might be marginally more inclined to vote for his guy because of this.

      Y’know. If I lived in Washington.

      • If all your ‘ifs’ were true, I’d be a happy Republican.

        But I think I have a better chance for winning the lottery.


      • the kind of moderate Republican that, according to cave paintings, once thundered majestically across the American political landscape

        You know, if the Republicans were the Real True Americans they claim to be, the bison would be their symbol, not some foreign third-world critter like the elephant.

      • > the kind of moderate Republican that, according to
        > cave paintings, once thundered majestically across
        > the American political landscape

        Russell wins Pat’s “Best Turned Phrase of the Week at The Ordinaries” award.

  3. Dick Cheney and Dennis Miller, on Cheney’s telling Pat Leahy to go fuck himself :

    MILLER: By the way, my, I also want to thank you, on the list of things I feel I should thank you for, almost kicking Patrick Leahy’s ass. Thank you very much.
    CHENEY: Hehehehe.
    MILLER: I love that move. One of my favorite stories. Muttering that.
    CHENEY: You’d be surprised how many people liked that. That’s sort of the best thing I ever did.

    And, compared to most of what he did as vice president, that’s quite true.

  4. Hate to break this to you, but he’s not actually a moderate in any way, shape, or form. After all, he signed this.

    “Democrats were quick to brand Baumgartner as a far-right extremist for signing the 2010 Spokane County Republican platform which calls for such things as withdrawing from the United Nations, eliminating the U.S. Department of Education, returning to the gold standard and repealing the Endangered Species Act.”

    Also, included in this platform was such moderate things such as this –

    “1) Life: Nothing is more important than the protection of those least able to protect themselves. Without Life, there can be no enjoyment of Liberty or the Pursuit of Happiness. Thus, Life is from conception until natural death.”

    • I’m not a big fan of the way the Endangered Species Act actually functions, but it could be said that repealing it conflicts with protecting the lives that are least able to protect themselves.

    • Does execution after a conviction based on tainted evidence and having all your appeals rubber-stamped “no” count as a natural death?

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