First off, congratulations on your win in the primary.
Yes, I am a week late, but I had a lot of thinking to do and I apologize for my tardiness.
More importantly, thank you for your gracious note of thanks to BlueNC, a group that was very skeptical and critical of your stand on numerous issues. It is a gracious gesture, especially after such a lopsided victory, to extend an olive branch to one's critics.
I want to believe in the sincerity of the gesture, and very much hope it is sincere. I am, obviously, a very cynical person, but then eight years of George Bush and Elizabeth Dole (and Ultra-racist Jesse Helms prior to that) does tend to takes a toll on one's faith in humanity, especially political humanity.
Being the cynic, and having lots of experience with politicians and what they say, what they claim they said, and what it turns out they actually said, I always read their words very carefully. While I know what I hope you meant when you said:
I'm going to talk to you and meet you and ask for your support.
I also know that it may not mean what I hope it means.
Certainly, you can talk to us. You can meet with us. And you can ask for our support. What I hope you mean, but what was not explicitly mentioned by you, is that you will LISTEN to us.
Now "listen to us" doesn't mean "agree with us". "Listen" means you actually hear what we say, and consider your position based on what you hear. You may still disgagree, which is fine. Just explain the rationale for that disagreement. You may also find that the evidence you use to support a position (say, the evidence that leads you to support immunity for telcos) is flawed or incomplete, and thus you may change your mind.
Contrary to what your high paid political consultants tell you, the liberal blogosphere has been right on just about every political issue of substance in this country for the last eight years.
We were right about Bush being an extremist.
We were right about Cheney being a crook.
We were right about the war.
We were right about the Patriot Act being abused.
We were right about the subprime loans fiasco.
We were right about Alberto Gonzalez.
We were right about Alito and Roberts.
We were right about Ashcroft.
We were right about the price of oil.
We were right about using mercenaries in Iran.
We were right about war crimes.
We were right about torture.
We were right about Lieberman.
We were right about global climate change.
We were right about religion being promulgated by the government.
We were right about Rumsfeld and Rice being incompetent and war criminals.
We were right about massive fraud occurring in Iraq because of "private" contractors.
We were right about the disintegration of the GOP.
We were right the media being complicit in the Bush administration's "selling" the war to the American people.
We were right about Rove.
We have caught and documented lie after lie uttered by Bush and his cronies, and by the professional chattering classes who shamelessly shill for them.
Aside from being right about many things, we also helped put a lot of candidates in office, and some GOPers out of office (see: Trent Lott, Tom Delay, Dennis Hastert, Alberto Gonzalez, Donald Rumsfeld, etc).
I could go on for quite a while, but I think I have made my point.
The liberal blogosphere is a powerful ally. An army of unpaid, highly intelligent, politically observant analysts, researchers, citizen journalists and investigators.
They don't do it for money, glory or fame, but because of a passionate belief in what is right and just. A firm belief that what they do MATTERS. You will not find a more TRULY patriotic Americans anywhere, and probably not a single one of them owns a flag lapel pin.
But they are funny. To them, patriotic does not mean blind obedience, or supporting those who place pragmatism above principle. They may like you, you may be like family to them, but just like family they get to criticize you when you are wrong, sometimes harshly.
In the world of political warfare, you will not find a more devout group to have your back. They will fight your battles, take on your critics, and dig into the background of those attacking you.
Conversely, you will also not find a more implacable foe if crossed or played the fool. I do not mean that to sound like a threat, it isn't. Unlike Republicans, they don't cut off their nose to spite their face. They will help you win when you are the only choice for our side. But they will dog you all the way and watch and report on your every misstep from the path of principle. If you are particularly difficult, you will find them working for your primary challenger next election (see: Al Wynn).
Now some may chide me, and you yourself may write me off as just another "rude" blogger you can ignore. This is true enough. But, any perceived rudeness on my part should be placed in the context of the rudeness you have shown to the people you expect to give you money and to vote for you.
For example, Pam Spaulding asked you a very polite and very specific set of follow-up questions and you ignored her. This was rude. Yet you expect her and the LGBT community who support her to fall in line and help you. That is rude AND arrogant. The only possible reason you could have for refusing to answer those questions is that you don't support her position, and thus the position of many in the LGBT community. If you in fact hold this view, you seem to believe that evasion is the politically "expedient" course of action (or perhaps that's what your big dollar advisers advise). Trouble is, we and the LGBT community know all about this tactic, and aside from the fact that we will now treat you as if you are opposed to our position, we will also have zero use for your word, since you have chosen evasion, rather than honesty in answering our questions. It is one thing to have a difference of opinion with a family member, something else entirely to have a family member who choses to deceive us about that opinion, rather than express honest disagreement.
Make no mistake: Answering questions evasively does not fool us. What is does do is destroy your credibility and reduce our respect for you to about 1 point above that for Republicans. Evasion is no longer a "clever political tactic" it is another nail in the evader's political coffin.
If you wish my support, and people like me, then answer Pam's questions, completely and truthfully, with no hedging. By this action we will judge your sincerity.
Please, Senator Hagan, prove my cynicism unfounded.