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The voice of anger

Back during the Mel Gibson and Michael Richards idiocies, I started thinking about the nature of anger, and just what effect it has on people. I speculated that such rage might bring out some people's "true nature," in other cases it will simply cause them to blindly lash out in the way that they think will be most harmful. In Richards' case, I said that he might indeed be a vile racist -- or, in his fury, simply latched on to the most visible, recognizable, distinguishable characteristic of his antagonists and used that as his weapon. I don't know enough about Richards to know which might be true, but I thought it was worthy of discussing.

It's something I've seen a lot of. Some people, when lashing out, aren't thinking rationally. They level the "biggest guns" they can find, and simply say it over and over again in hopes that mere repetition will give it credence. I once had a disagreement with a woman on a bus whom I knew extremely casually that kept escalating -- first I was a drug user, then I was a drug dealer, then I was a drug pusher -- one of the biggest in the city. There wasn't a scintilla of fact to her argument, but she made it so vehemently and strenuously that she probably had herself convinced.

Something very much like that might be playing itself out in New Hampshire political circles, and I don't like it one bit.

The Democrats had a very good November last year. They retained the governorship, they took both houses of the New Hamsphire legislature, the Executive Council, and both seats in the US House. (The only reason we still have two Republican Senators is because, I believe, neither were up for re-election this go-around.) In the wake of that election, the Democrats' long-standing chair, Kathy Sullivan, announced her resignation. She said that she had spent years and years working towards that victory, and wanted to go out on a high note.

In the wake of her announcement, one figure emerged as her likely successor: longtime Democratic activist and vice-chairman Ray Buckley. But before the largely token election, a Republican dropped a bombshell.

State Representative Steve Vaillancourt, a former housemate of Buckley's, came out and said that Buckley was heavily into child pornography. He said he'd seen it in Buckley's room, and reported his concerns to the police in a letter. Buckley, stunned, announced his withdrawal for the race.

Since then, a lot of questions have been raised -- and nearly all of them aimed at Vaillancourt. Does he have any evidence, or is it all based on his word? Why did he sit on this information for so many years? (He and Buckley stopped sharing a home in 1999, after 16 years.)

I have absolutely no knowledge about Buckley or Vaillancourt whatsoever, and have no opinion whatsoever on whether Buckley is a perv or if Vaillancourt is an asshole, or both. But I do know that there is an old truism -- "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" -- and Vaillancourt has shown absolutely nothing to back up his devastating charges, and pretty much says he has none.

All I have to say is that this whole sorry mess is downright embarrassing to the state of New Hampshire, and the best hope I have is that it can serve as a lesson to others on how NOT to do things.


Comments (8)

Roommates for 16 years and ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Roommates for 16 years and then they part and one accuses the other of a heinous behavior? Well, either the accused is a perv and the other guy is a blind idiot for not noticing for 16 years, or they were both in on it, or we have a case of hell hath no fury than a lover scorned.

If I were to apply Occam's Razor to the options...

IMO, people who don't get t... (Below threshold)

IMO, people who don't get to completely express and vent their true feelings, especially fear or hurt during childhood, can carry them twisted inside for years and even decades. Going untreated it can explode in anger or rage at totally inappropriate times and places and aimed at totally innocent victims. It may even explain some instances of bigotry and hatred as well as debilitating grudge-holding.

Such is to be distinguished from righteous anger at specific people for specific wrongdoings.

Now on Extras, I just saw t... (Below threshold)
epador:

Now on Extras, I just saw the Judge order the two arguing barristers to Kiss and Make Up.

Too bad no one in New Hampshire can do the same for this feuding couple.

Anger, or any strong emotion, can over ride the reasoning portion of our thought processes. The dialectic between opposing emotions and reason, the desire to avoid pain with the actions based on emotions rekindling the pain versus actions based on reason and accepting the emotions reducing the pain makes or breaks our efforts to behave in a mature and self-nurturing manner.

Or in other words, if you let your gonads do the talking, you are a dope. And you;ll get bad press.

When someone is accused of ... (Below threshold)

When someone is accused of something so heinous, the first thing we expect is a vehement public denial.

We expect this whether the charges are true or not.

If Buckley simply stepped aside meekly - which seems to be what you are saying - it says a lot about the veracity of the accuser.

The integrity of the accuser may be properly questioned, of course, due to the long delay between the purported discovery and reporting it. In fact, this constitutes a felony in itself in many states. But while an "ex" might say hurtful things as a result of an unfriendly parting, he might also know very well where the bodies are buried.

So, if the accusation were TRUE, what would Buckley do? My guess is he would try to slink away as quickly and quietly as possible and hope no investigation ensues. That sounds pretty much exactly what is happening unless your report omits something.

He and Buckley stopped ... (Below threshold)
paul a'barge:

He and Buckley stopped sharing a home in 1999, after 16 years

What kind of guy lives in a house with another guy for 16 years?

It sounds like both these guys are huge 'MOs.

If that's the case, why didn't both the 'MOs resign.
And, what's wrong with the police in New Humpshire? don't they investigate kiddie porn?

Vaillancourt says he is not... (Below threshold)
Tom Petty:

Vaillancourt says he is not gay? If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you!

Come out, Come out wherever you are, Steve!!!!

A person in the closet is to be scorned!

In NH in order for you to b... (Below threshold)
NH:

In NH in order for you to be investigated or for this to be a real scandal, you have to be a REPUBLICAN as Democrats can do no wrong.

And yes, the poster who says Where is Ray? is correct -- if he were innocent why would he not be proclaiming this from the rooftops??

Instead he has slunk away never to be seen again which is just the effect we'd hoped for. We are now rid of one of the most vicious and harassing partisans on the planet. Good riddance Ray.


NH is right. Buckley is a d... (Below threshold)
MHT:

NH is right. Buckley is a despicable wretch. He won't be missed.




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