I find Friends for Fullerton’s Future (FFFF), which most people seem to call “Tony Bushala’s blog” so I’ll do the same, to be important reading for understanding Fullerton and OC politics. At its best, it’s very interesting. At it’s worst, it’s much like the worst of Orange Juice Blog or Lib OC or Pedrozastan or OC Weekly or The Register, but there’s just so much more of the worst than anywhere else. This bothers me because I have a lot of respect for Tony Bushala as an activist, even if we agree on only half of our issues. When I push him on what solutions his slate of candidates supports, it’s not so much a matter of politics as it is of really wanting to know whether they are going to throttle Fullerton for the sake of anti-government ideology. I would love to hear a firm commitment that the answer is “no.”
I’ve tried to avoid writing about FFFF nearly as much as I’m tempted to. It’s a fascinating place — suffused with the Tea Party spirit of right-wing Mme. LeFarges, above which the more respectable types like Tony and those running for office present their arguments that the cheering section will repeat like screaming drunken fans.
Not my cup of tea — but, again, they’re right about some issues and I try to respect that when I visit there. They make no bones of wishing that I would shut up, but it’s still generally without the bounds of normal politics.
Where I have a problem — there and here — is with vicious personal attacks made from the cloak of anonymity. I know that Dan C., Pedroza, and other bloggers claim to be opposed to them as well, especially when they’re the targets. Normally, I try to respond to something particularly offensive with a comment that undercuts it. Occasionally, something will get deleted, but it’s rare — and when it happens, it’s never (so far) been about me.
Sometimes, though, something comes through that’s so stark that I doubt that people who aren’t really part of the OC political scene will believe it. That happened tonight.
A commenter has appeared on FFFF with the name of “Matt’s Evil Twin” who believes that I am the liberal analog of Matt Cunningham. (If being the liberal analog means not earning any money through politics, that’s one argument for it.) He, like other pseudonymous and anonymous posters at FFFF (and elsewhere, here included) likes to toss out insults and accusations. My attitude is that this is cowardly — and I said so. Here’s what ensued:
I was at a meeting of the Democrats of North Orange County tonight at our new field office in Fullerton, and as often happens someone commented on how I was so brave to run for office here, that they wouldn’t have the thick skin for it. That need for thick skin to deflect the slings and arrows of cowards keeps a lot of good people out of politics. Lucky for me, my wife comes from a country where political candidates sometimes get kidnapped and murdered, so vicious lies like this, while unpleasant, aren’t the end of the world.
I do with that people would give up the bigoted notion that foreign-born wives who come here are just out for U.S. citizenship — and I presume that Bob Huff and Chris Norby, for two, would agree with me. My hope is that some of the FFFFsters will speak up and shame that FFFFwad, but I won’t hold my breath.
I just thought that people here might be interested in a glimpse of politics that they don’t usually see — or seek.