Welcome to politics, Mr. Hovde

He’s not even 50 years old, but Eric Hovde may very well be the “get off my lawn” candidate of 2012. He has lashed out at the media for what he considers unfair treatment and has complained about being “attacked” since he entered the race “behind the scenes and in a lot of different ways.” But having lived in D.C. for so long, surely Mr. Hovde must have had an inkling that politics is a blood sport. Hovde’s victim mentality is wearing thin as he begins to attack his Democratic opponent, Tammy Baldwin, even, The Hill reports, calling her “a communist.”

As The Hill’s Cameron Joseph reports:

Hovde repeatedly expressed exasperation with other politicians and the media during the interview, showing an impatience with the electoral process and irritation with both parties — as well as with how his campaign has been covered in the press. His tone stayed combative as he discussed the economic crisis, the United States’s budget problems and other candidates, and seemed stunned that others didn’t seem as concerned about the issues that motivated him, especially the national debt.

“I frankly keep being amazed by the lack of maturity and lack of intelligence of those in the political world,” he said, ripping politicians and the media.

Regarding Tammy Baldwin, Hovde had this to say:

“I fundamentally disagree with Tammy on almost everything. She has a more liberal voting record than almost anybody in Congress…Her philosophy has its roots in Marxism, communism, socialism, extreme liberalism — she calls it progressivism — versus mine, which is rooted in free-market conservatism.”

In the headline of his article, Cameron Joseph wrote, “Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde (R) thinks Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s (D-Wis.) philosophy stems from communism.”

But apparently Hovde was not happy about this headline, and his staff “took issue” with it.

“It is a misleading headline,” said a Hovde spokesman. “Eric never called her a Communist. He was characterizing her liberal philosophy and vision which, if you look at her dismal record in Congress, is pretty accurate.”

So, to sum up, Eric Hovde conducts interviews with the press, but when the press doesn’t frame his statements as Hovde expects them to be framed, he throws a fit and challenges the press.

Either Eric Hovde is incredibly naive to the ways of politics and media, or he’s desperately seeking attention and figures all press is good press.  Neither option is attractive.


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17 thoughts on “Welcome to politics, Mr. Hovde

  1. I’m always surprised at how thin-skinned these political neophytes are. I find it hard to believe that Eric Hovde didn’t have someone sit him down and tell him how things would be.

  2. The ad he runs with his two daughters is an insult to the intelligence of all Americans. But you can’t insult the intelligence of the rad right today, unless you use no subtlety at all.

  3. Hovde’s indignation follows a pattern by Conservative extremists, and it reveals a great many things. Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, and Nikki Haley have demonstrated similar temper tantrums reacting to the media. Romney avoids the media or simply refuses to answer questions he doesn’t like. The exceptions, of course, are Fox or any of the outlets in the propagandist echo chamber that give the right wing its voice.

    Conservatives have been quite successful at nullifying and neutering the media that operates outside of the Conservative Propaganda Sphere. One way to achieve that is through incessantly challenging media integrity by insisting it doesn’t behave like Fox does – as an uncritical megaphone for Conservative Extremism. Criticism or thoughtful interpretation of Conservative “ideals” on the part of the media becomes an “attack,” a “personal attack.” The result being the media can never legitimately criticize any Conservative ideas.

    This, of course, comes on the heels of a small, but growing defiance against “false equivalencies” which the Right had successfully frightened the media into doing with its “fair and balanced” rhetoric. Rather than actual objective reporting “fair and balanced” rules the day – even if it means giving uncritical voice to nonsense and propaganda or unchallenged lies. Conservatives love “fair and balanced” until the media takes a side that balances the context. Conservatives will then cry, “You’ve taken my words out of context!” Because, for them, there is only one context – their own hyper-partisan context.

    Another revelation from all their “liberal media” squawking is that the resistance to scrutiny is an elitist position. Hovde’s disbelief that anyone would possibly ever criticize him or do exactly as he would like them to do reveals not only his elitism, but his authoritarian elitism.

    “Liberal media” squawking also reveals how increasingly dependent Conservative politics are upon “beliefs.” Criticizing Conservative ideals amounts to criticizing deeply held beliefs – this can plainly be seen in rank and file Conservatives who absorb Conservative Propaganda to justify policy.

    Huffington’s point about Hovde was on target. Hovde would have preferred she parrot his talking points, but her assessment wasn’t out of line. In the world of responsible media and responsible politics, the media asks questions to unpack the politician’s ideas, not simply to reiterate their talking points. The responsible, thoughtful politician with actual ideas answers those questions accordingly. The bottom line is Conservative Extremism cannot withstand scrutiny without revealing its true colors. It’s why they’re so thin-skinned. Doesn’t take much to peel away to the immoral hypocrisy that is at the foundation of their beliefs.

        1. Zach’s right, PJ. Definite compliment.

          Anyway, PJ, Suzy isn’t a “shooer-awayer”. Just another person recognizing your brilliance, just like the rest of us have.

          “WPJS” didn’t just become an iconic expression overnight, now did it? Okay, okay, yeah, it did. . .but it became an expression for a reason.

          With Phil gone now, you’re the sole remaining professorial voice around here, once whose wisdom and insight lends depth and breadth to any discussion in which it is to be found.

          That said, I’m with Suzy. You could put together and sustain quite the amazing blog. Maybe it’s something for you to think about. But, in the meantime, in answer to your apparent misreading of Suzy’s comment, “No, young PJ. Write, write like the wind [at Blogging Blue].”

          You’re the reason that I check in at Blogging Blue these days.

          1. Zuma Bound,

            I know you’re upset that Phil is no longer writing for Blogging Blue, but must you take swipes at the rest of us every time you comment? It’s not productive and I find it insulting. I ask that you please work out your frustrations with Zach directly, if possible. Thank you.

            1. Lisa, I respect you. Always have. But it truly seems like I struck a nerve with you here where I truly shouldn’t even have found one. There certainly wasn’t an intention on my part to rile anybody up with this comment, you, especially.

              While I do think that Zach made a mistake in how he dealt with Phil, THIS wasn’t a comment about that. It was exclusively intended to be a comment about PJ and the quality of his comments.

              In reality, it wasn’t a comment about Zach at all, even implicitly. That said, it almost did focus a little bit on Zach. In its original form this comment expanded on the reasons why I read Blogging Blue. In it, I cited Zach’s passion, his political views, his heart and overall integrity (he has his slip-ups, what happened with Phil, as I’ve gone into previously, to my way of thinking, being one of them) as THE other reason I hang out at Blogging Blue. [And if the truth be told, there is a third reason, you and your absolutely seductive, enlightening and thought-provoking niceness and fair-mindedness.]

              Anyway, I ended up eliminating “the other reasons” because I wanted to keep the focus of my comment on PJ.

              Surprisingly, since it just isn’t like you, you read a great deal into my comment that. . .just. . .wasn’t there.

              I hope that this clarifies that. Still love ya, though, a’ite? (*wink*)

              1. Oh, Zuma, flattery will get you everywhere. Heh heh.
                Your last sentence, “You’re the reason that I check in at Blogging Blue these days,” when combined with comments you made after Phil’s initial departure, seemed passive-aggressive to me (my biggest pet peeve-and a close family member’s worst quality).

                It seems I made the mistake of combining your previous comments with the comments you posted here. Also, I need to spend less time with that family member; I’ve been spending too much time with her lately…:)

                Thanks, Zuma

            2. I’m not upset that Phil is gone, Lisa. I know where to find him if I want to, and I do on a regular basis.

              Obviously, at the time all of the sh*t was going down between Phil and Zach, I wasn’t happy. I felt that Zach, in an effort to sooth the feathers of someone who had taken clearly unjustified offense at things which Phil and others at Blogging Blue had written, precipitously handed Phil his “walking papers”, and, as a result, diminished, in a heartbeat, the quality of a blog which I had grown to love over time.

              Anyway, having “said my piece”, I got over it almost immediately, something which my subsequent comments will verify.

              You missed the mark on this one, Lisa.

              But, it’s cool. Your emotional bank account [h/t to Stephen Covey] has such a POSITIVE balance, there’s no way I could hold it against you.

              Keep fighting the good fight, Lisa. You’re one of my heroes in Wisconsin. Zach, for the record, is another.

              Take care, Ms. Mux.

              1. Zuma’s entitled to his opinion about the quality of Blogging Blue without Phil. While I appreciate what Phil contributed here, we somehow managed to survive three and a half years before him, and I’m confident we’ll survive for the foreseeable future.

                I’ll also just note that the situation that led to Phil leaving had less to do with me “defending” the commenter who called Phil a sexist and more to do with this comment from Phil: “I will use whatever language, words or epithets I want…”

                Phil’s certainly entitled to express himself however he so chooses, but there’s an issue here when it comes to him using “whatever language, words or epithets” he wants on a blog that I’m ultimately responsible for.

    1. Suzy,

      Many apologies if my reply appeared sharp. My intent was humor, badly executed. Please take no offense. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  4. I guess I needed a smiley face behind my reply there. I’m not fluent in emoticon. I’m rather resistant to it actually. 🙂

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