My plugged-into-the-wall home telephone seems to provide a useful public service in that it is available as a destination for telemarketers, pollsters and politicians to direct their robo-calls.
Likewise, the newspaper's e-mail address provides a target for politicians to direct their pleas and attacks in the hope that someone in the media will repeat it to provide them with legitimacy.
Now that the election season is over (well, almost; we still have a runoff Nov. 30), the losing candidates have been sending their condolence letters, and the victors have been strutting like little bantam roosters.
Or, oddly, doing both.
Just the other day, I got a personalized - it had my first name on it and everything - letter from Russell Edwards, thanking me for "having the courage to believe that together we can move mountains."
Oh - sorry. I suppose I should tell you who Russell Edwards is. He's the guy who dressed up like Don Quixote to joust with the Paul Broun windmill.
Democrat Edwards, if you remember, first introduced himself to the public by forming an organization dedicated to finding someone to run against Republican U.S. Rep. Broun.
He visited the Columbia County library for a forum to promote the Obama health care reform, which is sort of like going to a cop convention to sell meth-lab kits.
Edwards, who at the time was attending law school at the University of Georgia, didn't have any success recruiting a patsy to lose to Broun. So he signed up to take the fall himself.
Now, he earned a little respect for his effort, bringing in a sizeable amount of campaign donations. But he didn't have enough money to beat on Broun enough to force him to acknowledge Edwards' existence by meeting him in a debate.
A debate actually would have been interesting; Broun is not a bad speaker, but he isn't a great debater. As a law-school student, however, Edwards would have been drilled on grilling and could have been formidable as an on-stage opponent.
Alas, poor Edwards couldn't catch a break, and couldn't catch many votes, either. Columbia County voted 76 percent to re-elect Broun, and the 10th District as a whole backed Broun with 67 percent. (Broun got 71 percent against Democrat Bobby Saxon in 2008 in Columbia County, by the way, and 61 percent in the district.)
Even so, a few days after the election, Edwards sent out his thanks-for-your-help letter, noting that his side "wasn't strong enough to defeat the incredible anti-Democratic tide."
But, he offers, "I still love Georgia." Well, whew.
Edwards then pledged to get to work first by vacationing in a Spanish-speaking country (I am not making this up) to "brush up" on his language skills, before returning and fighting against restrictions in Georgia's voter laws designed to prevent illegal aliens from voting.
Somehow, I still don't think he gets it. But I should have known that when he thanked me to start with.
Suitable for framing
Speaking of thanks, National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman John Cornyn also thanked me "for everything (I) did in the past year to elect more Republicans to the U.S. Senate."
As Russell Edwards might say: di nada.
Meanwhile, I'm still giddy over the certificate we received at the newspaper the other day from the U.S. Census, thanking us for our support "in helping the U.S. Census Bureau to achieve a complete and accurate census count in 2010."
Um, thanks? Not exactly sure what we actually did.
The full-color certificate comes in a blue presentation folder, and all of it was in a big envelope with "You Made a Difference" emblazoned in 2-inch red letters. Just the postage cost $1.22.
Somehow, I have a feeling this sort of piffle is how they managed to "create" so many jobs in the Census Bureau.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow at twitter.com/barrypaschal.)
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