Coward Chris Collins: Internet Troll

sign

The re-election campaign for Congressman Chris Collins (R-CNN) released this incoherently childish nonsense yesterday: 

1. Former SCOTUS Justice Stevens is a Republican. President Gerald Ford nominated him to the Court in 1975. 

2. Neither Democratic candidate for NY-27 Nick Stankevich nor Nate McMurray are “radical extremists”; neither of them has uttered a syllable in support of a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. This is nothing more than Collins trying to rile up a rural, NRA-supporting base that doesn’t like fancy lawyers like McMurray, Slavic names like “Stankevich”, or – more significantly – rich, entitled, city slicker assholes like Chris Collins very much. 

3. Everyone take note that Stankevich and McMurray marched against mass school shootings this past weekend, but Chris Collins is completely and utterly silent on the subject. While Stankevich and McMurray stood with schoolchildren who are tired of being sitting ducks for well-armed, but poorly regulated, lunatics, Collins did what Collins does – probably diving into a basement pool of gold like a cartoon duck or something

4. Collins’ spokeskid ends this stupid missive with a demand that Stankevich and McMurray “let voters know” if they support calls from Republican former SCOTUS Justice – or as the spokeskid says, “far-left” – to repeal the 2nd Amendment. He adds, “if radical extremists want to make this election a referendum of the 2nd Amendment, we look forward to that debate”. 

That last line is nonsense. Chris Collins will not debate his opponent, not ever. He will not agree to hold a town hall in his own district to listen to constituents who might disagree with him. He won’t hold a public debate with anyone who disagrees with him, going so far as to hold a private meeting with Stankevich in Washington a week or so ago, but no one could hear what either one said, and neither one’s stance could be vetted or challenged. When Collins last trotted out this “let’s have a debate about guns” line, County Executive Mark Poloncarz took him up on the offer, but Collins chickened out

Locally, Clarence High School senior Andrew Kowalczyk is one of the organizers of that school’s recent anti-gun-violence activism. Clarence High School is an easy walk from Collins’ own Spaulding Lake home. Kowalczyk was one of the organizers of that school’s walkout, and appeared several times on WBEN as part of its massively disingenuous effort to kick off a reasoned debate about mass shootings. He is a smart and well-reasoned young man who is neither “radical” nor “extremist” nor “far-left”.  He is just a high schooler who doesn’t want to see any more of his peers gunned down. Kowalcyzk and high schoolers like him are the people who organized the massive “March for our Lives” action last weekend. It wasn’t a march to ban guns, confiscate guns, or abolish the 2nd Amendment; it was a march to protest the mass murder of kids, and to find Constitutional solutions to the problem. 

There were a lot of moms, dads, and kids at those marches. You call them all “radical extremists” at your peril; the only reasons you’d use such laughably extreme hyperbole is if you’re scared, and you need to rile up a shrinking base. 

In any event, here’s what Stankevich has to say on Facebook about repealing the 2nd Amendment: 

Here is what Nate McMurray has to say about it

and, at a public forum (or as Collins calls it, “Kryptonite”): 

Kowalczyk and others are organizing a forum on gun violence to be held on April 7th. Representative Brian Higgins will attend. So will Stankevich and McMurray. Collins – who claims to “look forward to” a “debate” on the 2nd Amendment will be conspicuously absent. But not just absent – hostile. Another of Collins’ (not campaign, but Congressional) spokespeople said: 

Sadly, radical partisans have co-opted the Parkland tragedy in an effort to score cheap political points. 

Oh, do tell me more. Tell me more about how many kids have been gunned down in how many mass school shootings since the late 90s. Tell me how they’re all “radical extremists” or “radical partisans” because they dare challenge the notion that homicidal cretins should be able to own a military arsenal, so as to maximize killing efficiency. 

Tell me more about how Chris Collins cares more about guns and gun owners than he does about the mass murder of high school kids – or, in the case of Sandy Hook, 1st graders. 

In this country, an 18 year-old cannot legally buy a beer in a restaurant, but that same 18 year-old can instead take the money his mom gave him for a tattoo and buy an AR-15 and 500 rounds of ammunition in order to commit mass murder in his school

Never fear, however, Mr. Collins. These children that you spit on, as they try to change their world, are immune to your consultation. They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Kowalczyk said he was disappointed but not surprised.

“He kind of closed himself off by calling us radical partisans,” said Kowalczyk, a 17-year-old senior at Clarence High School. “We’re just trying to look for solutions.”

As the kids would say, tfw a 17 year-old schools you on behaving like a responsible adult. 

The Buffalo-area teens began planning the event with Collins in mind, calling it a student forum rather than a town hall.

“It’s kind of because Chris Collins has said he would never do a town hall,” said Erin Byers, a 17-year-old senior at Pioneer Central High School in Arcade who is also involved in organizing the event. “So we’re calling it a student forum. We thought that might make him react more positively.”

He didn’t. He’s cowering in the corner, afraid of a demographic inevitability. 

Asked about their thoughts on the Second Amendment, both Stankevich and McMurray said they support it — and that it is compatible with reasonable gun restrictions that they favor, such as universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

“What I’m for is making sure madmen can’t get their hands on military-grade weapons and kill kids,” McMurray said.

Both Stankevich and McMurray also said Collins should attend the event the students are organizing.

“Those are the future voters,” Stankevich said. “They’ll be voting in the next election, if not in the election this fall. Chris Collins is sort of choosing his own adventure on that one.”

Meantime, McMurray said: “It’s an open forum. Let’s see if he can face it.”

He can’t. All he can do is trot out his spokeskids and surrogates to troll people who have a genuine concern regarding federal policy, and hope against hope that he can shore up his base and convince the handful of conservatives who don’t like him that the opposition are “radical extremists“. 

Kowalczyk, the student organizer, stressed that the forum is intended to be a positive experience where lawmakers and students can interact.

“It can be beneficial, not just to for us to hear what our legislators are thinking, but because of what we want our legislators to hear,” he said.

Remember this every and any time Chris Collins’ name is on a ballot after this: he talks about guns like he’s some sort of bigshot woodsman alpha militia freak, but when it comes to talking with schoolkids who don’t want to be murdered, he cowers at home, hoping these kids and their parents don’t vote. 

Cynthia Nixon and Upstate

nixon

I watched Cynthia Nixon’s YouTube video kicking off her anti-corruption-outsider-to-the-left-of-Cuomo remake of the original, starring Zephyr Teachout, and came away disappointed. I like Nixon’s passion about public education, but the rest of it was as if she was running for a city council seat, not governor of a huge and diverse, economically complicated state. 

It’s 126 seconds long. It starts out with her chatting indistinctly with her kids at the kitchen table, which carries powerful political symbolism. “New York is my home. I’ve never lived anywhere else”, she says as she is shown loving her kids. At 0:19, an image of her as a kid with her mom is mated to her voice-over about growing up poor, raised by a single mother. “New York is where I was raised, and where I’m raising my kids”, she redundantly adds, as the video shows her sitting on her couch drinking coffee with her kids.

“I’m a proud public school graduate, and a prouder public school parent” brings us to 0:30, and she is shown walking her child to school in the City. “I was given chances I just don’t see for New York’s kids today”, she says as she is shown dropping her child off at school. 

“Our leaders are letting us down”, she says against a backdrop of lower Manhattan’s majesty and the Brooklyn Bridge. “We are now the most unequal state in the entire country…” she says as the image switches to a depressing residential cityscape of abandoned and dilapidated homes. At 0:45, she adds, “…with both incredible wealth, and extreme poverty.” Redundant, and again juxtaposes imagery of Manhattan against some abandoned, boarded-up brownstones. 

0:48: “Half the kids in our upstate cities live below the poverty line.” 0:52. This line is spoken against an image of a rather charming, unidentified main street with a backdrop of snowy Adirondack-looking mountains. “How did we let this happen?” she adds against an image of the corner of a boarded-up house. This brings us to 0:55. 

We are not yet half-way done with this video, and everything she has to say about any part of New York outside of the City’s five boroughs has been said. Seven seconds out of a 126 second ad. Seven seconds; just 5% of the ad. 

We then quickly cut to Nixon walking in slow motion down a New York City street as her voice-over declares “I. Love. New. York. I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else” – this is second time we’ve heard this sentiment structured in exactly this way. We get it; we’re here, too.  

At 1:02, the camera shows us a corner of the Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village. “But something has to change” shows the image moving from a busy, peopled midtown Manhattan street to another dilapidated urban neighborhood. “We want our government to work again”, she says as the camera shows her heels walking along the sidewalk, then the back of her head, then her face. “…[O]n health care, ending mass incarceration…” It’s now 1:10 and we’re back in midtown Manhattan. “…[F]ixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power…” cut to an image of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center, “…than they do about us.” 1:20, cut to video of Nixon giving a speech somewhere, saying, “it can’t just be business as usual anymore” as the camera cuts to her entering the subway.

“If we’re going to get at the root problem of inequity, we have to turn the system upside down”, as she is shown at 1:29 waiting for her train, bodega coffee in hand. “We have to go out ourselves,” she says as she’s shown standing in an empty subway car at 1:33, “…and seize it. This is a time to stick our necks out”, she says against images of her addressing various protest rallies to establish her activist bona fides, “…to remember where we came from. This is a time to be visible. This is a time to fight.” 

Cut to an image of Nixon on an Amtrak train. “I’m Cynthia Nixon. I’m a New Yorker. And together, we can win this fight.” Her gaze shifts from looking out the window of the train, to looking right at the camera at 1:57. The video ends with the campaign logo and what purports to be a conductor announcing, “next stop, Albany”. 

1:23 to 1:33 shows Nixon on the subway, which is a huge issue for City denizens. She also mentions it at 1:12 to 1:13. That’s 11 seconds dedicated to the MTA, and 7 seconds devoted to literally every part of the state of New York that isn’t within the five boroughs, not counting the Amtrak ride to “Albany” which is where New York’s governor has to work. 7 seconds devoted to everything from Buffalo to Middletown; Poughkeepsie to Plattsburgh; Binghamton to Watertown.

We learn from this video that Nixon has concerns about economic inequality, the subways, and the schools. These are all valid and good, but upstate isn’t some monolith for people in million-dollar Brooklyn brownstones to dismiss and stereotype. Not everything north of Dutchess and west of the Hudson is a poverty-stricken, post-industrial Dickensian hellscape.

I get that this is a “get to know you” video, but running for governor isn’t the same as running for city council. Western New York, Central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Hudson Valley, the Southern Tier, the Catskills, and the Adirondacks and North Country all have very specific and often divergent and conflicting issues that don’t all allow for a dismissive, seven-second, ‘upstate kids are poor and whatnot.’

Zephyr Teachout literally wrote the book on American political corruption. Cynthia Nixon is an actor who has been active in LGBTQ and public school advocacy. The YouTube video has a little over 100,000 views, and the channel has 288 subscribers. The tweet has 75,000 likes and 19,000 retweets

I think Nixon has a lot to learn about the state she seeks to lead, and there’s a whole, big, complicated state beyond Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and Pelham. 

What’s in the Bill?

hoyer

Like Minority House Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), I’m old enough to remember the Republicans and the “Tea Party” demagoguing “what’s in the bill”, and “have you read the bill”. Now? The House passed the omnibus spending bill just 24 hours after its 2,300 page text was revealed. 

Reject the Rehabilitation of OJ Simpson

Mug_shot_of_O_J__Simpson_jpg_738×1_119_pixels

Let’s also interview Jerry Sandusky about football things, and completely ignore the child rape. 

Too bad Aaron Hernandez committed suicide, because we could have found out whether he also resembled “Mr. Rogers” as he sat in prison for murder. 

How is Oscar Pistorius doing? 

These are all questions with which the male sports writers at the Buffalo News can busy themselves in the wake of its abominable “everything but the murders” interview with disgraced felon OJ Simpson

In 1994, OJ Simpson murdered Ron Goldman and his ex-wife, Nicole Brown. He was famously acquitted of murder; i.e., a jury did not find him guilty of the crime of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. The Goldman family, however, brought a civil lawsuit against Simpson, and a jury there found by a preponderance of the evidence that Simpson was liable for the homicides – the “wrongful death” – of Goldman and Brown. He did it, and you don’t need his faux-hypothetical take on it. He did it, and the Goldmans were awarded a judgment of $33.5 million, which they’re still trying to collect. 

Nevertheless, if you watch that recently released decade-old interview Simpson granted Judith Regan, it’s clear not only that he did it, but that he was someone who had to have total control over Brown’s life. He had abused her physically and psychologically before he all-but-decapitated her, and murdered her and Goldman in a jealous rage, and he came armed and ready to commit the deed. 

Tim Graham is a writer who possesses extraordinary abilities to tell a story, but this interview is a betrayal. It is nothing more than the Buffalo News – and Mr. Graham – being used by an unrepentant killer to rehabilitate his image after a 10-year long penitentiary stay for kidnapping and armed robbery. 

The story has accomplished one of its goals – clicks and eyeballs. But it’s a story we don’t need. I don’t care about OJ Simpson’s thoughts on football; I don’t care about how his retirement is going, or how much he loves Summerlin, NV. I don’t care about OJ Simpson’s visits with his kids, or his football career, or his thoughts about football today, or CTE. The story itself would not even exist had Graham not agreed beforehand not to bring up the bloodthirsty 1994 murders of Goldman and Brown. Literally nothing else matters – ‘why did you almost slice your ex-wife’s head off, and why did you murder her friend’ is the only question with which I’m interested in OJ Simpson being confronted. 

Are there no women in editorial positions at the News who would have been able to quash this paean to OJ’s thoughts and life, omitting the fact that he’s a homicidal monster? I know the people at the News, and I have to assume that this came up, but did no one think it would be smart to offer an explanation to readers as to why they would allow themselves to be complicit in some sort of OJ rehabilitation PR stunt? 

Especially, if you think about it for a half-second, in this age of #MeToo, how irresponsible it is of the Buffalo News to give OJ Simpson this much ink to talk about his gated community, his golf course, how “spectacular” he looked years ago, his football statistics, his thoughts on Ralph Wilson, his prison fantasy football leagues, his lamentations about life on the inside, his thoughts about Donald Trump, his opinion about Colin Kaepernick, his dishwasher, his leaky ceiling, or his thermostat. 

Literally every syllable of that story was aid and comfort to an unrepentant killer. A man who abused the mother of his children. 

I’m not a football fan, so far be it from me to tell the Bills or the Hall of Fame what to do with him, but as a consumer of news I can say fuck OJ Simpson, and never, ever let a media outlet give you the chance to like him or forgive him. 

Maybe the News can find out what Mo Hassan thinks of the 17/18 Sabres season. 

Tea Party Radio Feigns #NationalWalkOut Sincerity

Gun rally

On February 14th, an expelled student returned to his Florida high school, pulled the fire alarm, and started shooting. Within a span of just six minutes, this teenager had managed to murder 17 people; 14 of them students

It was the 8th school shooting of 2018 in the United States

The Columbine mass shooting took place in 1999

On February 14th, something snapped. The kids had had enough. Enough of being ignored; enough of being sitting ducks for lunatics with easy access to military arsenals. The kids in Florida organized. They went not just to traditional media – these are kids for whom social media is a sixth sense. 

Here in western New York, our local media outlets began suddenly taking this issue of guns and school shootings more seriously than they had in the past, as well. This wasn’t just another incident that was going to get swept under the rug with empty thoughts and rote prayers. 

Even the Buffalo region’s most prominent right-wing media outlet – WBEN – seemingly began to take the issue of school shootings seriously. Gone were the self-satisfied septuagenarian SCOPE spokesman, and instead there was a “12 Voices in 12 Hours” feature where the topics of gun violence and school shootings were suddenly important. Discussion was to be respectful; a conversation.

That’s quite the sea change for WBEN; the station is the official organ of the local Tea Party, where you’ll occasionally find Assemblyman David DiPietro (R-Gun), convicted vote fraudster Rus Thompson, and developer/perv Carl Paladino filling in for the “Financial Guys” with some of the literally dumbest radio no one hears. 

On Wednesday, schoolkids all over America walked out of classes at 10am for 17 minutes for a variety of reasons; to honor the 17 Florida victims, to agitate for gun control, to protest against gun violence and school shootings – as many reasons as there were kids. WBEN covered this walkout with uncharacteristic respectfulness. I guess someone realized that it would not be good for ratings if they denigrated the offspring of the station’s suburban listenership.

Just a week or so ago, occasional WBEN fill-in DiPietro voted no on these two common-sense bills:

A.8976B (vote 115/20) – Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) – Would establish extreme risk protection orders as a court-issued order of protection prohibiting a person determined to be a threat to himself or others from purchasing, possessing or attempting to purchase or possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun and establishes procedures for the application, administration, and expiration or termination of such protection orders. This legislation in FL may have stopped the Parkland shooter. (DiPietro voted No)

A.2406 (vote 121/14) Would establish a waiting period (10 days) before a firearm, shotgun or rifle may be delivered to a person who does not receive an approval/disapproval from the NICS system. Similar legislation in S.C. would have prevented the Charleston shooter from getting the gun he used in killing 9 at Emanuel AME Church. (DiPietro voted No)

Yet this week, WBEN – the tea party organ – changed its tune, as their air personalities and management came to the realization that the mass murder of school children may be a hot topic. Last week, I heard Clarence senior Andrew Kowalczyk essentially debate PM host David Bellavia on gun control and school shootings. I want to applaud Mr. Kowalczyk, who was eloquent and dignified beyond his years. Mr. Kowalczyk is a credit to his school and his community. He held his own against Bellavia, and advocated for his opinions and positions quite persuasively.

He also helped to organize the walkout in conservative Trump country bastion Clarence, where this happened: 

WBEN’s Tim Wenger took a more measured and serious tone than one would expect: 

Mr. Wenger, who is the Operations Manager at WBEN, has not, however, been shy in the past about showing his disdain for protests with which he doesn’t agree. 

So all of this – WBEN’s “12 voices”, Wenger’s sudden respect for teens – all of it smacked of concern-trolling; all of it reeked from disingenuousness. Consider the other 360-ish days in any given year, when WBEN in particular is like flypaper for the most radical and extreme gun supporters. You know who they are. 

After Sandy Hook, I wrote often and extensively about the 2nd Amendment. I wrote an article (with apologies to the Buffalo Beast’s Ian Murphy) called “Fuck Your Gun“. All that rhetoric about how the 2nd Amendment exists to enable suburban dads and rural welfare recipients to battle “tyranny” is garbage. The 2nd Amendment enables citizens to possess firearms for protection and for lawful purposes like hunting and other sport. You don’t get to take up arms to battle the government. You don’t get to play Ruby Ridge or David Koresh from your subdivision’s model home.

In response to Sandy Hook, the New York legislature passed the NY SAFE Act, a basket of various regulations aimed at preventing mass shootings. You’d have thought that Kenyan communist Muslim Obama had conspired with “il Duce Cuomo” to take away all the guns. Against that backdrop, in December 2014, WBEN sponsored a bus to take listeners to Albany to protest the new law. Here’s the banner they used at the protest (it was on display in Entercom offices for some time afterwards) – the banner is paid for and sponsored by Carl Paladino’s various corporate entities.

I don’t know who paid for the bus, but WBEN offered wall-to-wall coverage of that demonstration during the ostensibly straight morning newscast, as well as the opinion programming later in the day. 

I mean, does this seem like objective journalism or advocacy and propaganda? If any other nominal news outlet tried to pull a stunt like this, it’d be a scandal. 

But when black people protested police brutality, WBEN’s Tim Wenger just didn’t get it

Therefore, when you examine “12 Voices in 12 Hours” against the backdrop of the “Gun Rally Express”, the only reasonable conclusion is that WBEN is merely feigning respect for the students and their walkout. Sure, they’re treating these brave young adults with kid gloves now, but never lose sight of the fact that their genuine loyalties are inexorably with the NRA and the ammosexual lunatics who can take time off to take a free bus ride to Albany to agitate for the right to own and possess a military arsenal. Why? Because they believe the 2nd Amendment to be somehow absolute or not subject to any governmental restriction whatsoever. Yet, like it or not, the SAFE Act is Constitutional. 

I am not against the 2nd Amendment; I recognize the individual’s right to bear arms for self-protection and for legal activities like hunting. I am also, however, anti-gun, and I am anti-slaughter-of-schoolchildren. So, I support the student walkout,  and applaud the kids whose political consciousness is now awakened. 

I encourage and admonish them to be especially wary of right-wing media in Buffalo peddling phony concern and an insincere search for solutions, when just over 3 years ago, they were all “GUN RALLY EXPRESS!”

And National Security Advisor Vova Putin

TrumpG20

Last week in a shopping area of Salisbury, Sergei Skripal and his daughter were severely injured after being poisoned by some sort of Russian-developed nerve agent called “Novichok”. Skripal is a former officer in Russia’s FSB who was convicted in Russia of treason for passing secrets to the British. As part of a 2010 spy swap with the US, Skripal emigrated to the UK. The Daily Telegraph claims that Skripal is close to Christopher Steele, he of the now-infamous Steele Dossier, which is a dump of raw intelligence related to the Trump family business and its ties with the Russian state and its mafia subculture. 

En route to DC from Nigeria last night, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with reporters in the back of the his Air Force jet to offer harsh criticism of what appears to be Russian state-sponsored murder-by-nerve-agent in the streets of Salisbury. 

“It’s almost beyond comprehension that a state, an organized state, would do something like that.”

The answer is right there in the quote. “Russia” and “organized state” are oxymoronic. 

Just four hours later, Tillerson is summarily and unexpectedly fired, replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. 

On Monday, British PM Theresa May told the Commons that Russia was “very likely” behind the attack on the Skripals; that a hostile foreign intelligence agency had attempted to commit murder by poisoning of British residents in Britain. 

On Monday, White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused three opportunities to echo our ally’s assessment of causation

… when asked ― three times ― at a White House press briefing about Russia’s link to the poisoning or any possible repercussions for the country from the U.S., Sanders carefully did not say “Russia” — or otherwise address who may have been responsible for the attack. She characterized it as an “indiscriminate” attack, although British authorities have concluded that Skripal was clearly targeted. 

“We’ve been monitoring the incident closely, take it very seriously,” Sanders said. “The use of a highly lethal nerve agent against U.K. citizens on U.K. soil is an outrage. The attack was reckless, indiscriminate and irresponsible. We offer the fullest condemnation.”

“So you’re not saying that Russia was behind this?” a reporter asked.

“Right now, we are standing with our U.K. ally,” Sanders said again. “I think they’re still working through even some of the details of that.”

Pressed a third time, an annoyed Sanders answered, “Like I just said, we stand with our ally and we certainly fully support them and are ready if we can be of any assistance.”

Thanks to this new book, we know that Trump has had a weird crush on Putin at least since the Moscow Miss Universe pageant, but is this White House’s refusal to even gently chide Russian malfeasance due to a childish Presidential desire to become friends with the Russian dictator, part of a deal that was struck, or the omission of someone who is being blackmailed? It has to be one of those; logic and reason prevent any other explanation. 

The Washington Post is reporting that Trump asked for Tillerson’s resignation on Friday, which may explain why Tillerson felt free to critique Russia on Monday. But this: 

And the State Department is now confirming to CNN that Tillerson learned of his firing today – Tuesday – when the President sent a tweet

Something is coming. 

Betsy DeVos Seems Knowledgable and Qualified

devos

President Trump’s strategy of appointing the equivalent of an aggressively ignorant WBEN caller to Cabinet positions seems to be paying dividends. 

It is almost admirable how quickly and how fundamentally these people crumble at even the most gentle questioning by journalists who are not in the tank for the Trump administration. 

The “best people”. 

Legislator for Life

mcmurray

The elephant is scared of the mouse. 

Don’t you unhinged leftists know? Like his predecessor Dale Volker, Demented Dave DiPietro thinks he – not the electorate – gets to decide when his Assembly tenure is complete. Nothing sends the local right into a bigger frenzy than Facebook activism (no coincidence, the most preternaturally annoying and unreasonable right-wing trolls I’ve ever encountered are white men over the age of 50 on Facebook.) 

Sure, it’s a “tiny” group by most measures, but I’m a member and from what I can gather, everyone’s showered, tolerant, and not remotely vile. Compared to, for instance, the crusty, faux-alpha freaks who show up to DiPietro’s gun raffle fundraisers, where they vie for the chance for them or their family to be the latest homicide or suicide statistic, we’re downright responsible and reasonable. 

If these “leftists” “don’t stand a chance” to beat “Dave”, then surely this “tiny” group would hardly merit a mention from his attack dog. This is an example of a special kind of aggressive snowflakeism that is a hallmark of the MAGA radical set. 

The anti-Trump left may not have – or ever have – its shit completely together. I mean, who does? Certainly not the West Wing. But it’s motivated af, and it’s coming for guys like Demented Dave and Creepy Chris Collins because the y’re Trump lieutenants, and they’re complicit in the rapid erosion of American democracy and values, which has motivated millions of people who had until recently taken these things for granted. 

Like DiPietro, Collins also wears his public office like a title of nobility. Days ago, his endorsed Democratic challenger, Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray, bumped into Collins. McMurray wasn’t rude to him – he didn’t angrily confront him or anything else we vile, unshowered, intolerant leftists are wont to do. He merely introduced himself and invited Collins – who has never once held a town hall meeting to listen to constituents who may conceivably disagree with him – to a debate. 

Here’s how it unfolded at the Pride of Wyoming County Agricultural Dinner:

Collins laughed. He refused. He told McMurray he’s too big of a deal to “debate”. It’s the same thing as when County Executive Mark Poloncarz invited Collins to hold a public discussion about gun violence. Collins and DiPietro think that elections are mere formalities they have to endure every couple of years. They think they’re entitled to their seats in Congress and the Assembly. Even the tiniest suggestion of a credible challenge – regardless of how credible or organized it is – drives them to apoplexy. 

Maybe Collins and McMurray can debate at DiPietro’s church, since that seems to be the fashionable new venue for overtly partisan political events. 

Sure, unseating DiPietro and Collins may be an uphill battle, but elections aren’t mere formalities. These two need to stand up before the voters and defend not only their own scant accomplishments, but the degradation of American democracy under their leader, Trump. 

No wonder they’re terrified.