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Blunt: The other shoe drops
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Last week Dale let off a little steam after the conference call with the three GOP representatives running for Majority Leader in the House.

It was a fairly typical Dale rant which included the now classic quote:
I would rather lick fire ants off a stick than see Roy Blunt as Majority Leader.
As I told Dale in our podcast, that was a coffee-through-the-nose moment for me. Of course you have to know Dale and understand his style of humor to totally appreciate the comment. During the podacast Dale also wondered out loud whether we thought they'd actually read that up there in the hallowed halls.

Well the answer is yes. And they're missing the humor of it all:
“Dale Franks [libertarian blogger] should get the soothing balm ready and beware: Fire ants attach themselves to a person by biting with their jaws, then pivoting their heads and stinging from their abdomens in a circular pattern at multiple sites. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers — just like bloggers.” — Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger, 1/24/06
To me, that presages another Franks rant and, well, I just wanted to be the messenger who brought it to Dale's attention. BTW, if anyone has a subscription to Roll Call News and can get us the full story (It's under "Heard on the Hill" and entitled "Blunt: Not a Fave of Bloggers"), it would be much appreciated.

Until then the anticipation builds.

HT: Think Progress

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UPDATE [Jon Henke]

It's as if they're intentionally trying to make our case for us. The spokesperson for Rep. Blunt who criticizes Dale—and bloggers in general—is Jessica Boulanger. Which is curious, because...

  • Jessica Boulanger is a former aide to. . .wait for it. . .Tom DeLay!

  • She's married to Todd Boulanger who is. . .wait for it. . .a lobbyist!

  • Todd Boulanger was a member of. . .wait for it. . .Team Abramoff!

She's making the case that Roy Blunt is the best choice to lead the GOP past the era of Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff? Wonderful.

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UPDATE: Thanks to a QandO reader, the article can be seen below the fold. Sorry, no link. And naturally the writer got the web address wrong. "QandA.net" indeed.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:
Ms. Mary Ann Akers, the author of the article, has dropped us a line to say she's correcting the site address. Thank you, ma'am.
 
While Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) appears to be the favorite Majority Leader candidate among conservative Web loggers, Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) seems to rank somewhere between least favorite and most reviled.

Apparently, Blunt was a real turn-off during a conference call with GOP bloggers last Thursday. Dale Franks of the Libertarian-esque QandA.net Web log, wrote: "I would rather lick fire ants off a stick than see Roy Blunt as Majority Leader. I'm not at the point of making a firm endorsement of either Reps. Shadegg or [John] Boehner [R-Ohio], but the sun will set in a blazing red sky to the east of Casablanca before I'd want Roy Blunt as Majority Leader."

Franks wrote that Blunt "just outright pissed me off" during the conference call. First, he said, Blunt would only take questions submitted in writing, unlike Shadegg or Boehner during their conference calls on the same day with the GOP bloggers. Therefore, Blunt faced only "softball" questions, Franks said.

Then, the blogger's blogging continued, Blunt told the conference call participants that he already had the votes locked up, so he sure hoped the bloggers weren't going to "write or do something that would jeopardize our ability to work together later."

Franks took that as a threat. Which he didn't appreciate. So for good measure, he ended his posting with: "I'll go ahead and write whatever the hell I want to write. In return, if Rep. Blunt doesn't like it, then he can cry me a river." (Cue scene in the movie "Race For Majority Leader" of bloggers rowing up the River Blunt.)

Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger wound up a trademark fast pitch and let loose on the blogger, warning, "Dale Franks should get the soothing balm ready and beware: Fire ants attach themselves to a person by biting with their jaws, then pivoting their heads and stinging from their abdomens in a circular pattern at multiple sites. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers — just like bloggers."
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
It also made national radio.

AirAmerica’s morning drive time host, Rachel Maddow, gave her thoughts,
…but today they (the candidates) have topped themselves. All three candidates did conference calls with conservative bloggers, Roy Blunt apparently did not impress one blogger, named Dale Franks who wrote on his obscure right-wing blog, “I would rather lick fire ants off a stick than see Roy Blunt as Majority Leader.”
Which is kinda funny, but it’s an obscure right-wing blog, the kinda thing any sane politician would ignore, but not Roy Blunt. His spokeswoman came right back…
[…quote…]
The official statement from Roy Blunt’s office. I told you I would continue to cover this thing as long as the various Republicans involve continue to embarrass themselves.
Just thought I’d pass that along.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Oooooo...Dale’s in trouuuuublllllle....
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Ahem ... "obscure"? Coming from Air America, that’s funny.

I’ll have you know we’re number 47 in the ecosystem with a bullet and probably have more readers than AA has listeners (not to mention we’re close to passing the 2,000,000 mark on Site Meter). And we have stolen no funds from children lately.

Speaking of obscure ... Rachel who?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
And we have stolen no funds from children lately.

Didn’t Jon tell me that you once stole girl scout cookies. ;)

Anyway. Rachel Maddow!! She’s featured almost nightly on Tucker Carlson’s MSNBC show. She also claims to have the number one rating in NYC and various other markets...

Just FYI
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Ahem ... "obscure"? Coming from Air America, that’s funny.

Question.

Aren’t you happy that Rachel Maddow of AA, in effect, plugged your site?

I would think that her listeners may be curious of “Dale Franks” of an “obscure blog”. It may prompt thousands of listeners to seek out QandO and find out what “Neolibertarian” is all about.
(btw, I posted a link to this site on Rachel’s blog. Hope you don’t mind.)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
“Dale Franks [libertarian blogger] should get the soothing balm ready and beware: Fire ants attach themselves to a person by biting with their jaws, then pivoting their heads and stinging from their abdomens in a circular pattern at multiple sites. They tend to attack and sting in great numbers — just like bloggers.” — Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger, 1/24/06
Wow. Now that’s just solid humor! She could write for Leno.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I like how Rachel insinuates that this blog is obscure and therefore far right wing. Man, talk about not knowing what you are talking about. Must be pretty obscure to be 1 of 8 blogs on the call.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
Dale et al -

This is the comment I sent to the blogfather:

I don’t have a strong preference among any of the 3 candidates for the Majority Leader’s race. I am rather conservative, but I think that the position is about more than ideology, and I’ve never heard anything from any one of the 3 candidates to make me say ’wow, we really need his eadership.’ That makes me sad, because there are a bunch of guys in the House of whom that’s true.

That said, I cannot believe the astounding gall of Roy Blunt!

Now, not everyone likes blogs. I can totally live with that. But I bet that 100% of bloggers are primary voters, and I bet that of the people who regularly read blogs, a substantial majority are primary voters. They are the most politically active folks in the electorate, I bet. So what is Roy Blunt’s message to them? F*** you. We don’t need you; we don’t like you.

How big a moron is this guy? And for the other folks in the Republican conference, is this the kind of political judgment you want in a leader?
What was the proper response to the criticism? Something like:

Roy Blunt is running for a position of leadership, not a popularity contest. We know that we’re not going to get the support of every Republican out there. But while we may differ on internal House politics, we share a common agenda of a strong national defense, smaller government, House ethics and lobbying reform, and support for the President. Bloggers and others who share that agenda will always have a seat at the table, when Roy Blunt is Majority Leader.

How tin an ear do you have to have to blow something this simple? I have had good interactions with Blunt’s people in the past, but this ought to be a red flag to his supporters.
 
Written By: Lebowski
URL: http://
Aren’t you happy that Rachel Maddow of AA, in effect, plugged your site?
Of course I am. Doen’t mean I can’t be snarky about it as well.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Personally, I didn’t find Ms. Boulanger’s comment all that funny (and I have quite a sense of humor). It came across as the sort of joke a nerd would make. Heaven knows that being a nerd, I’ve made tons of jokes of that sort... and they ALL went over like a lead balloon... and I stopped trying to make them sometime in my early twenties. But I did like the "fire ants off a stick" and the part about the sun setting to the east of Casablanca. That’s why I like to read Dale’s posts.

For what it’s worth, I don’t like Blunt either (and unlike Dale, I actually DO have an obscure right-wing blog). I noticed the other day that Shadegg and Boehner went on Sean Hannity’s radio show, but Blunt didn’t. For all his faults, Hannity is hardly so insignificant that one should refuse to go on his show when one’s other two competitors are on.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
For all his faults, Hannity is hardly so insignificant that one should refuse to go on his show when one’s other two competitors are on.
Unless you’re so arrogant you think you have it won and don’t need Hannity.

Oh, and ...
Personally, I didn’t find Ms. Boulanger’s comment all that funny (and I have quite a sense of humor). It came across as the sort of joke a nerd would make.
Neither did I ... what was funny was the level of reaction. And, btw, have you read the stuff Jon dug up on her? Priceless.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Blunt needs to run, not walk, to the bookstore and get a copy of Hugh Hewitt’s book Blog. Even though Hugh is pretty much in the GOP’s pocket, he did a good job in the book of explaining the importance of blogging in the cases of Trent Lott, Eason Jordan, and of course, Rathergate, in pretty non-ideological terms.

Or maybe Blunt just needs to trot over and pay a visit to Trent and talk about those insignificant bloggers.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Poor Blunt. I mean no offense to Dale, Frank, or McQ and enjoy reading you guys all the time. But dealing with bloggers is like dealing with terrorists. The more you try to tear them down, the more legitimacy (and viewers I might add) they get.

Dropping the other shoe? More like shooting himself in the foot.
 
Written By: Tezcatlipoca
URL: http://
Crap, now I feel like an idiot. Dale, Jon, and McQ.

Sorry Jon, Dale’s name confused me.
 
Written By: Tezcatlipoca
URL: http://
People like Roy and his staff give us Democrats hope.

Of course, then we have idiots like Joel Stein writing columns in the LA Times.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
She’s featured almost nightly on Tucker Carlson’s MSNBC show
Tucker who? ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Actually, Joel Stein is at least intellectually honest. Dead wrong, but intellectually honest. That means that his position is arguable, whereas most anti-war types are so self-mythologizing that no coherent argument is even possible.

Also, I found the fire ant comment by Boulanger amusing. And symptomatic. And it’s the symptomatic that’s going to bite the Republicans if they don’t clean up their act. Because if there’s one thing that the Canadian and Palestinian elections (assuming the Palestinian elections go as expected) and the recent Chinese unrest show: it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, corruption is the one thing that can completely sink your chance to continue governing.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
I know this isn’t profound, but am I the only one who now thinks that Congressman Blunt is embarassingly well-named?
 
Written By: Scott Crawford
URL: http://
...Congressman Blunt is embarassingly well-named?

As in...
abrupt, bluff, brief, brusque, crusty, curt, discourteous, impolite?

or as in...
dull, edgeless, insensitive, obtuse, pointless, round, rounded, unsharpened?

Yes, yes I do.
 
Written By: Coffee
URL: http://
Coffee - While your analysis of the terminology of "blunt" where it regards Our Presumptive Fearless Leader, I think he was referring to more of a "street" definition of blunt (from urbandictionary.com): "Cigar hollowed out and filled with marijuana, can be smoked in public (somewhat)inconspicuously."

Usage: Blunt and his staff be smokin’ blunts if he thinks he can piss all over bloggers like that.


 
Written By: JD
URL: http://
"Blunt and his staff be smokin’ blunts if he thinks he can piss all over bloggers like that."

JD,

Funny you should say that... Since the bloggers have come out in support of Shadegg - and stark opposition to Blunt - Blunt has gained public support, while Shadegg has received none.

And Boner... Where has he been?

 
Written By: Hamlet
URL: http://

 
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