I was a man who had many friends,
And many friends had me.
I used to pump gas about an hour north of where Doug Hoffman used to pump gas. I don't know if that makes us kindred spirits or ancient enemies. I know it makes us both old. ("What do you mean, you used to pump gas? For who? The Romans?") Now Doug Hoffman is the Conservative Party nominee for Congress in New York's 23rd District.
And I hate to say this about a fellow former pump jockey, but he's hooked up with some really loathsome people.
Doug Hoffman didn't want to be in the Conservative Party. He's not crazy. He wanted to be the Republican nominee. He applied, but the party chose someone else; a woman named Dede Scozzafava. Doug Hoffman was shocked by this decision, since he had that gas station experience going for him, and all Scozzafava had was six terms in the Assembly and four years as Mayor of Gouverneur. So he did what any modest, principled, grass-roots-centered, we-the-people-type citizen legislator would do: He got in touch with a fringe party and told them he was wiling to spend $250,000 of his own money to run.
Because that's what it means to have a servant's heart.
And a midlife crisis.
Barack Obama got 52% of the votes in the 23rd in 2008. Dede Scozzafava had the Republicans. Where could Doug Hoffman turn?
To a traveling freak show of evil creeps who want to use a misguided mediocrity to jerk around the people of upstate New York for shits and giggles.
To Glenn Beck, Gary Bauer, Sean Hannity, Michele Bachmann, Michelle Malkin, Dick Armey and, yesterday, like the churning of milk bringing forth butter and the wringing of the nose bringing forth blood, to Sarah Palin's Facebook page.
It's like Commissioner Gordon lit up the batshit signal.
He also has the support of the Club for Growth, the National Review, the Weekly Standard and Human Events. Or, as Sarah Palin puts it:
And best of all, Doug Hoffman has not been anointed by any political machine.
She's still got it.
He hasn't just been anointed by a political machine. He's been kidnapped by drifters.
Of course they're a machine. They're also rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers and horse thieves. And worst of all, they're not even from around here.
They're all from out of state.
According to the Watertown Daily Times:
Aside from his own personal wealth, Mr. Hoffman has paid for his congressional campaign almost entirely with money from outside New York...
The Club for Growth PAC, based in Washington, has contributed more than $95,000 to Mr. Hoffman's campaign through bundled funds, out of $307,888 he has raised, according to the FEC report. The Citizens United Political Action Fund, a conservative group, gave $10,000.
He also accepted $1,000 from the God is Not Government PAC, based in Washington, which describes itself as a "real religious right Political Action Committee" that can "run radio and TV ads favoring conservative Christian candidates" and requires its recipients to affirm in writing that they "are pro-life, pro-family and stand firmly against the unbiblical welfare state that is destroying the spiritual and economic greatness of our nation."
Sure, if you believe the liberal elite drive-by media, like the Watertown Daily Times. And not the feisty local little guys, like Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times, where the editorial page has called for Scozzafava to step aside for Hoffman or risk turning America into "Dede's Police State."
Don't say you weren't warned, Oswego.
Listen, I'm in no position to say the people of upstate New York shouldn't vote for Sarah Palin's candidate. What do I know? My grandfather left Watertown in the 1930s, so we've never lived under Dede Scozzafava's iron heel. My step-grandfather, stepfather, mother and sisters all settled in the chilly Diaspora of Cortland, miles over the county line. If messages are smuggled to my cousins in Malone, I'm not endangering them by telling you.
And Doug Hoffman can do what he wants, including go into business with unspeakably sleazy characters.
But no one in New York should get the wrong impression, like that he's doing it for Watertown.