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So it turns out that the business owner in that dumb Romney ad about the fake “You didn’t build that” line, and who it turns out actually did rely on government loans and contracts for some of his business, now haz a sad because some people have been calling and emailing his business to say mean things about him. Jack Gilchrist, owner of a metal fabrication company in Hudson, New Hampshire, appeared in the ad, above, whining about being “demonized” by the President for being successful, which of course rather badly misses the point.

Gilchrist is a self-made man whose wholly self-built business merely happened to receive over $1 million in loans from state and federal government programs, and continues to rely on defense contracts for about 10% of its business. But, you see, that is absolutely NOT hypocrisy, because he is just looking out for himself:

“I’m not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the government. As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting some of my tax money back. I’m not stupid, I’m not going to say ‘no.’ Shame on me if I didn’t use what’s available.”

A crazy person might even come to the ridiculous conclusion that Gilchrist was successful because our system works pretty much like that socialist Obama described it, some kind of wacky cooperation between the public and private sectors. And apparently a whole bunch of crazy people did come to that conclusion, because after the news of Mr. Gilchrist’s dependence on corporate welfare broke, he began receiving “emails calling him a hypocritical laughingstock, a liar and worse.” He also said that he received “threatening” telephone calls, “including one from a Chicago area code” that worried him a great deal! He reported it to local police, who apparently decided that inflicting butthurt does not quite rise to the level of harassment:

“The Hudson Police Department made a notification to the United States Secret Service in Manchester, N.H., and they were made aware of it,” said Hudson Police Capt. Bill Avery. “Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any threats made, other than some vulgar language towards the owner of Gilchrist Metal.”

(In an earlier discussion of the story, Gilchrist specified that he’d received about 600 emails, roughly half supporting him, and half mocking him, as well as two telephone calls; he admitted that although “there was no specific threat, to me, it’s harassment.”) Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams stopped just short of accusing the Obama campaign of orchestrating the unkind emails and phone calls to Gilchrist, but suggested that they constituted

“the same kind of Chicago-style politics that the Obama political machine has repeatedly used to push the President’s liberal agenda and intimidate anybody who disagrees with his failed policies”

Oh, those nasty Chicago-style politics, with the deep dish crust and the extra cheese! One wonders where anyone ever got the idea that non-politicians who spoke up in favor of particular policies are somehow fair game?


Mind you, Your Wonkette would never advocate calling people in the news and telling them that they are morons, because being a complete jerkface is just plain not a good thing to do. We would also like to emphasize that volunteering to play the martyr in an advertisement for a presidential campaign is a pretty public bit of speech, and that “receiving communication” is often the result of including a “Contact Us” button on one’s business website. (We have not seen any reports of people calling Mr. Gilchrist at home, which would definitely be sleazy.) Gosh, it sure would be nice if people would not be dicks to each other over politics. Civility, fuck yeah. One almost wonders if campaign ads based on wildly inflated claims about being “demonized” aren’t somehow part of the problem, maybe.

[Raw Story, WMUR-9 ]

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