Going after Huntsman: Harpootlian emits a signal made for Republican ears to hear

Last evening I tried to post on Twitter, and for some reason (probably the fitful Internet connection at my house, which is why I’m about to change providers), it did not transmit. I found it in drafts this morning:

Today’s summary: Pawlenty goes after Bachmann. Harpootlian goes after Huntsman. Huntsman goes after Mitt. And so on…

As you can see from the links (which illustrate an advantage of this medium over Twitter), all of those petty political potshots were fired on Monday.

One of them is out of place. Yes, for some reason, Dick Harpootlian is not content to sit back while Republicans tear each other apart. He is joining in, and attacking one of them in particular.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked Dick why Huntsman? Is it because that’s the Republican he fears the most? The one who might be a threat to Obama in the general election, if he can get past the extremists in his own party? Does he feel a particular responsibility as the Democratic chair in the first-in-the-South primary state to stop him here?

Dick said no. But his actions say otherwise.

Yesterday, I received three separate emails from Dick about Huntsman — the first two telling me, then reminding me, that Dick would have a conference call about Huntsman at 2:30. I missed the call, because I was tied up after the Haley appearance at Rotary. But no fear. Dick summarized his message in this release:

Harpootlian calls Jon Huntsman disloyal and disingenuous.

Columbia, S.C. –  South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Dick Harpootilan held a conference call today to welcome Jon Huntsman back to South Carolina.

During the opening of the call, Harpootlian discussed Huntsman’s support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s radical revision to Medicare.  In response to Huntsman’s comment on his support, “[If Ryan’s plan is radical] then guilty as charged”, Harpootlian replied:

“He supports a plan that would double the out-of-pocket Medicare expenses to those who are younger than 55, but yet, the taxpayers are paying for the subsides of his private jet, every time he turns it on.”

Finally, when asked if he thought Huntsman was President Obama’s biggest threat on the Republican ticket, Harpootlian responded:

“Here’s a guy who had his lips firmly planted on the president’s butt three months ago, and now is speaking ill out of ’em out of those same lips. Can you trust a guy who turns this quickly? He is somebody who apparently will say whatever it takes to get elected.  Huntsman, not only is he disingenuous, he’s disloyal.”

# # #

Of course, that “lips firmly planted on the president’s butt” phrase is classic Dick, but it’s interesting to note that if he can get Republican primary voters to hear it, it will resonate with their Obama Derangement tendencies.

Between the last time Dick went after Huntsman and this time, I don’t recall him going after any other particular Republican candidate so specifically (it’s possible that he did in passing and I missed it in the flow of my IN box, but I know he didn’t go to this much trouble to attack them). It will be interesting to see whether he does so subsequently.

21 thoughts on “Going after Huntsman: Harpootlian emits a signal made for Republican ears to hear

  1. Brad

    No excuse me — it was a total of FOUR Huntsman emails from Democratic HQ yesterday. Three were under Dick’s name, and one — giving details for the conference call — were from the lovely Amanda Alpert Loveday, who works for Dick.

  2. Juan Caruso

    Hunstman is no more than the 2012 equivalent of Ross Perot. Before he’s through he will launch his invectives against any Republican frontrunners.

    Carol Fowler’s Alvin Greene ploy showed the level to which lawyers will stoop in the name of hypocritical civility.

    While neither Alvin nor Jon are lawyers, Fowler and Harpootlian are eminent members of the Slug, Snail and Slime society. Give them credibility only at the cost of your own.

  3. Mark Stewart

    It’s always refreshing to hear Harpootlian backhandledly praise himself for his loyalty as a hack. He can choose his own colorful language; I’d rather not go there, thank you very much.

  4. Steven Davis

    Does anyone really care what Harpootlian thinks or says… I mean, besides Harpootlian?

  5. `Kathryn Fenner

    @ Juan Caruso–what do you do for a living–I mean, you know what some of the rest of us do and use that for endless ad hominem attacks. Fair is fair–what do you do?

  6. Doug Ross

    Well, Harpootlian has to do SOMETHING, right, to pretend he’s relevant?

    A Republican WILL win South Carolina in 2012.

    Harpootlian’s job is about as meaningful as a snow plow operator in Columbia. It’s a great country where someone who can do so little so loudly can be paid so much.

  7. bud

    Doug, I remember a couple of days last winter when snow plows were used rather extensively in Columbia. Harpootlian’s job is even less meaningful than that.

  8. Juan Caruso

    @ K. Fenner -assuming you are an attorney who has not read earlier commentary limiting any animus to career politicians who are lawyers and those who network with them (e.g.- http://vigilisa.blogspot.com/2010/08/lawyer-political-complex.html) please allow me to reiterate.

    There is no animus toward you or other attorneys. In fact, two distinguished lawyers are relatives of mine on excellent personal terms with me. One is an author whose name may be familiar to you.

    My grief is with lawyers (2% of the U.S. workforce) is largely with those in elected office who the public believes can represent the other 98% of the U.S. workforce (by now, however, the figure may be closer to 3%). Crafty opportunists they.

    Although I was a professional pharmacist and earned a business school masters, I have been a Chef for over a decade. I have lived with my family throughout the continent, including California, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and South Carolina (midlands).

    No, I have never been indicted nor sued for malpractice or any civil or criminal offense. But, I can personally tell you (your further questions are used up, however) what is involved in suing a corrupt lawyer and prevailing.

    You and Brad’s other readers definitely don’t want to go there unless you have years of free time and are lucky souls by nature.

    Hope this satisfied your curiosity, K. Fenner. I really do not care to know the professions of those who comment here, but do find the opinions and Brad’s conflicted biases rather interesting.

  9. Brad Warthen

    “Conflicted biases” — I rather like that.

    I’ve always considered it unjust when I am accused of A bias. Just not fair at all. If I had A bias, then no doubt other people would share that bias, and there would be comfort in numbers — I would be on a side, a team, like the partisans. No doubt I would find warmth in comradeship and zest in opposing the “enemy” together.

    But I don’t enjoy any of that, so it’s unfair to be accused of it.

    But multiple biases, even conflicting biases. Well, that’s all right. It’s almost like saying “counterpoised biases,” which would be to say that I am well-balanced. Or at least, I choose to take it so.

    Actually, you said “conflicted biases,” which sounds even better than “conflicting.” It suggests a struggle, a constant questioning, which I think is virtuous. Like the quotation from Chaplain Tappman that I keep on my Facebook page…

  10. bud

    Brad, I understand where you’re coming from. You like to be an independent thinker who makes up his mind about an issue rather than relying on partisan doctrine. And that’s commendable.

    But it’s crystal clear to me that in striving to be an independent thinker you miss something very important. Simply put, the Republican Party in this country has just gone off the reservation. It doesn’t behave in a rational or thoughtful manner. You would claim the same thing for the Democrats but the evidence simply does not support that. The Democrats are trying to do what’s right for this country but face an increasingly hostile and dangerous GOP opposition. The result is both high unemployment and a huge deficit problem. Both of which would be solvable with proven solutions offered up by the Democrats.

    The president seems to be winning the debate on the debt limit ceiling. But this is a fight that need not have happened. The debt ceiling was an issue entirely independent from spending priorities, deficits and other important considerations. But the ceiling absolutely has to be raised. Let’s just have a clean bill on that then move on. Why all the drama? GOP drama that is.

  11. Karen McLeod

    Because, Bud, as Mr Bohner once said, the Republican party’s primary goal is to assure that this president does not have another term.

  12. sc mom

    WHY Dick is going after Huntsman? Check out how much money the SC GOP received from the Huntsman Campaign.

  13. Doug Ross


    If your professional goal is to emulate Harpootlian, you should consider a soul transplant.

  14. Mab

    @ sc mom

    Maybe you just answered your own question.

    Or maybe Dick now realizes that not all Mormons are created equally and he didn’t really mean all those bad things he said about ~Mitt Romney~ and will leave ~Mitt Romney~ alone for his entire term as candidate for and president of these United States of America.

    Or maybe Dick has uncovered seditious activities between the Redneck Mafia and China with Huntsman as the go-between (secession, a resurrected Confederate States of America, convoluted financial scheming, a complete and utterly treasonous shebang).

    If we are to dream, we should dream big, I say.

  15. `Kathryn Fenner

    Some of my brethren on the left believe in doing anything to discredit any candidate on the right. I believe this is misguided and irresponsible.

    We on the left should stop with the same dirty tricks the right uses and stop nit-picking every little wrong, especially by credible candidates–by which I mean those who haven’t said patently crazy things!

  16. Nick Nielsen

    Republican candidates who haven’t said patently crazy things? That narrows the list greatly, and depending on your definition of ‘patently crazy’, may even empty it.

  17. `Kathryn Fenner

    My husband was on about how Bachmann says crazy stuff, and I asked him for an example. He said,”She wants to do away with all regulation on business.” I find that a sane, if deeply misguided position–that’s not “crazy.” “Crazy” is Bill (“Science over Religion”) Maher opposing vaccines b/c he believes, contrary to all evidence, that they cause autism.

    We have to stop calling people we disagree with crazy, un-American, unpatriotic, socialist, Fascist, etc. Be precise. Eschew hyperbole.

  18. Brad

    Oh, by the way — late yesterday, Dick finally picked on a GOP candidate other than Huntsman. This time it was Bachmann. Here’s the release:

    Harpootlian Slams Fiscally Irresponsibility, Ambitions of Michele Bachmann
    Columbia, SC — As Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann campaigns in South Carolina today, the country’s finances hang in the balance. Without a deal that reduces the nation’s deficit and puts our fiscal house in order, the government could be forced to stop or delay payments including Social Security and Medicare Benefits, and interest rates for mortgages, car loans and credit cards could rise.
    South Carolina Democratic Party Chair, Dick Harpootlian, released this statement concerning Bachmann’s campaign swing through South Carolina:

    “South Carolina’s families work hard to provide for their families: They pay their mortgages and they repay their debts. As a candidate and Member of Congress Michele Bachmann is advocating extreme policies that would force the government into default – creating the potential that it would be unable to send Social Security checks that many South Carolinia seniors depend on.

    “The ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ plan that Michele Bachmann has endorsed would cut funding for education and cost millions of Americans their health care coverage; would almost certainly cause the reduction of Social Security benefits, unravel seniors’ budgets; and would slash the investments needed to win the future. Instead of working to find a balanced solution to meet our obligations, she’s endorsed an extreme, unworkable plan that would further damage our economy and has no chance of becoming law.

    “How can South Carolinians trust Michele Bachmann’s ability to govern when she’s made clear that her number one priority is to score cheap political points? That’s not leadership – it’s politics at its worst.”


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