Somebody can Agree with Your Political Views and Still be an Asshole
This column by Leonard Pitts Jr. is titled Why I Don't Like Bill Maher. I personally don't have any opinion one way or the other on Bill Maher. I don't get HBO so I only see occasional YouTube links to some of his jokes from Real Time With Bill Maher. I loved Politically Incorrect when it was on Comedy Central and later got moved to one of the main networks. But I can picture him being a “smarmy, self-satisfied, condescending and just plain nasty” person, as Leonard Pitts Jr. describes him.
I can be somewhat opinionated politically, as some of my previous posts on this blog would indicate. But I don't hold other people's opinions against them, or assume somebody must be a F#%$$!&%# just because he/she voted for _____________ instead of ____________.
About thirty-odd years ago I worked for a nonprofit health reform organization. Great cause and all that, but most of my coworkers and supervisors were assholes. We could have sat around all day discussing politics and not disagreed on anything. But I've never seen as much backstabbing, infighting, self-righteousness and just plain meanness as I did during the year I spent with that organization.
In contrast, my previous job had been as a telemarketer with a sleazy organization working for an even sleazier cause. But most of the supervisors and other telemarketers were nice, likeable people. Workplace morale was very high.
I live downtown in a town of about 20,000 people, and a lot of local/downtown issues completely transcend any sort of political labels. I often agree with people — whom I know to be conservative — on certain local issues, and vice versa.
And this brings me to the first person I thought of as I was reading Leonard Pitts' column: a local progressive/liberal city councilman who turned out to be one of the biggest douchebags I've ever met. I knew him personally; he seemed pretty likeable and we agreed on practically every local and national political issue.
As he was nearing the end of his single term on the city council (more on that later), he e-mailed everyone he knew to announce that his wife — also liberal/progressive — was running for a local office. He assumed that everyone he knew would jump on the progressive bandwagon and start marching in lockstep behind his wife's candidacy. Anyone who didn't — I'm in that category — instantly became The Enemy. A Traitor to the Progressive Cause! One of Them!
Anyway, his wife got defeated in her election campaign. Immediately after that — before his term was up — the city councilman resigned from office, had several embarrassing (or at least they should have been) public tantrums, and the two of them fled to Oregon.
The disgraced has-been city councilman started a blog about a year ago (sorry, no names or links provided) with the sole purpose of condemning and libeling the town that hadn't appreciated him or his wife. Needless to say, he hides behind a screen name, but there's no question who it is. I don't know whether anything on his blog is technically libel or not, but he continuously spews out the kind of shit you'd never say to anyone face-to-face unless you wanted your internal organs rearranged.
Every post at this person's blog has 30, 40, 50, maybe 80 comments — all Anonymous — all congratulating him on yet another brilliant post. “LOL.” “Hey, thank you for what you're doing.” “Another courageous post. Keep up the good work.” And on and on and on...
Trouble is, this person has alienated virtually everyone he ever knew in this area. The only explanation I can think of is, the jillions of comments at his posts are all from him. “The calls are coming from inside the house!”
Kind of sad — once a charismatic politician on the rise, now reduced to sitting at home spewing on his blog, blubbering back and forth with his imaginary friends. Guided by the voices in his head.
Anyway, to steal the same quote again from Leonard Pitts Jr., this disgraced former city councilman is “smarmy, self-satisfied, condescending and just plain nasty,” in addition to being more slippery than a road covered with wet leaves.