Friday, April 28, 2006

Which Axiom To Use?

Hmm... Should I go with, "Be careful of what you ask for because you just might get it?" -or- the Oscar Wilde high road, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about"?

Check out Matt Tully's article in this morning's Star. Article link. Here are some "highlights":

But for me, nothing says election season like a complaining Libertarian. If Election Day is approaching, Libertarians are griping and moaning and whining about being ignored, mistreated, forgotten and generally shunned by the media.

The Libertarian Whine is one of the true campaign constants. It is to elections what potholes are to spring, or what mosquitoes are to summer.

That is, an annoying and guaranteed event.

But Kole is promising to do better than the Libertarians who have played the role of ballot caboose in past elections. He hopes to win a whopping 10 percent of the vote in this fall's race for secretary of state.

"If I earn 10 percent," Kole wrote, "the Libertarian Party will become a major party, on par with the Democrats and Republicans."

This was when I started wondering just what they spike the water with down on Libertarian Avenue. Major parties don't earn 10 percent. They win elections -- with, say, 51 percent -- every so often. With the exception of a rare head-scratcher, Libertarians don't win elections.

Anyway, after reading Kole's e-mail, I left a message on his cell phone. He quickly called back -- because Libertarians really want more press.
I think you can see that Tully was just looking to be mean-spirited. I get made fun of for quickly returning a call? You might think that ignoring the call, or returning it after three days might be worthy of ridicule, rather than my courteous punctuality. Alas.

Here's a column I wasn't getting before, and with it likely some sympathy votes. Let's hope Tully does this every week or so. Vive Oscar Wilde!

For the record, I am not running to get 10%. I'm running to win the election. I was explaining to Mr. Tully the secondary, fall-back objective and the value of it. That wasn't very easy to get, so I'll give him a pass on it.

But Mr. Tully misses a point when he says that we complain about being ignored by the media. We aren't ignored by the media. We're ignored by the Star, hence my message to him. What's a candidate supposed to do? Hang your head, stuff your hands in your pockets and slink away? Not this candidate! No- I fight for what's right!

This is all worth thinking about. I cited the publication of the incumbent's recent letter and headshot. Consider that he recently blessed himself with better than $3 million in taxpayer-funded ads. But, because in Tully's estimation he has the best chance of winning, the Star fuels him with ever more coverage. I present a discourse relevant to the issues of the elections- the Star even took my position in a recent editorial- and I'm told to pipe down, because I'm not the big fish.

Never wonder why incumbents are so difficult to displace, and why such vast sums of money are needed to mount a challenge to them.

I'm running for the post of top election official in Indiana. The Democrats haven't even gotten serious enough to file a single candidate for the job, so Tully quotes Marion County Democratic Chair Ed Treacy in his recent column about elections. Treacy's a great quote, but the man has nothing to do with elections.

Ironically, Tully was putting me on the spot to demonstrate the relevance of my party. Really, I'm hard-pressed to discover the relevance of the Star and of Tully's column. Based on the content, it's clearly nothing to do with the public discourse, the ideas therein, or even news.

Update: Be sure to check my recent follow-up post, which observes that just two days later, the Star published an article on the Green Party that reads like paid advertising. Hmm... The Greens aren't on the Indiana ballot, and they merit serious consideration. The Libertarians have had automatic ballot access because they have met the ballot box threshold since 1994, so they merit a hatchet job. Is it just whining on my part to point this out?


Greg Kelver said...

Matthew Tulley really should get out of Indianapolis more often. In LaPorte County, the Libertarian Party pulled over 7.5% for Secretary of State in the first election that we ever had local candidates on the ballot in 2002. We have also been credited with influencing several elections at the local level as well as some local issues that we have gotten involved in. We don't just sit and complain, we actually do something like run for office and offer real solutions. Maybe after the Major Screws Toll Road/Time Zone fiasco, Northern Indiana voters may be a little more ready to listen to honest answers and straightforward solutions. And apparently they will have far better luck finding honest answers on Libertarian blogs than they will in the Indy Star columns.

Kevin said...

With the Stars decling circulation rates its fairly disingenious to point out anothers problems with light numbers. I would also guess his belittlement of a timely call back is reflective of the Stars attitude towards customer service. No wonder I don't subscribe.

Mike Kole said...

As someone pointed out to me in an email, the progression of new ideas, especially from a political party or candidate is that when you are new, they ignore you; as you grow, they attack you; when you win, they fall all over you, trying to take credit for being there all along.

What's interesting is that when we win, the Star will want the interview. Considering that we will have done it without them, the Star is proven irrelevant. Since it was irrelevant to the success, why would we be interested in including it in the spoils?

edgodard said...

Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach or write.

Just like sportswriters who have no credibility if they haven't played the game, political pundits who haven't run for office can and should be dismissed out of hand.

What's this guy Tully's qualification? That he read about politics in a book? What office has he held? What kind of returns has he gotten running for office? Far as I can tell, he's gotten a zero 0% return, so bugger him.

Michael said...

Tully has a history of disliking Libertarians. I remember someone getting emails telling them to not contact Tully during the last election. After pointing out to Tully that there was a 3 way race for governor and Sec State, (and not 2 way, as his writing would have it) and then seeing Tully whine to State makes you wonder who the whiner really is, huh?
This is one reason that the LP should participate in the primaries...on our own dime and not the taxpayers....out of sight, out of mind is a truism, not a folk saying.

Michael said...

PS: My guess is that Tully hasn't heard the radio ads on WXNT, as yet. I can't help but wonder what he'd accuse you of if he did hear them?
Good ads, by the way!