Michael Graham is a Tea Party activist and radio talk show host on Atlanta’s 106.7. He’s on from 9-noon daily. And yesterday was quite the banner day for him. He had noted Tea Party face and friend of Al Gore Debbie Dooley on his show to give her endorsement of Donald Trump. Those of you that are familiar with Ms. Dooley probably know how the script went.
You can listen to the entire program here. I started at the 40:00 minute mark.
Note at the beginning Dooley asserts her credentials as a conservative activist as having been involved since 1976. She goes so far as to claim credit for the Reagan insurgency and Reagan Revolution with “We found Ronald Reagan. He was able to do that (take on the establishment and win).” This is humorous both for what she later says about Reagan, and that it just followed the beginning of an attack on Ted Cruz, whom Dooley now wishes to classify as establishment and the choice of Wall Street. Got that? Because Graham didn’t. An exchange a bit later in their conversation:
Graham: Now Debbie, Debbie, you and I have been in the ditches with the Tea Party from the beginning, There’s no way you can compare Ted Cruz’s record on small government conservatism, to pro-eminent domain, pro-socialized medicine, pro-tax hikes, pro-government regulation, Donald Trump. You can support him any way you like but you can’t pretend that there’s any connection between movement conservative Ted Cruz and life long New York Republican (not sure if Graham had air quotes around “Republican – it is radio after all) Donald Trump.
Dooley: Well you know, I have been fighting for conservative principals (sic, I assume) since 1976, and I don’t need individuals or publications telling me what conservatism is. Donald Trump can win. Ted Cruz has flip flopped. On birthright citizenship…I watched a video of him from 2011 where he was saying it was in the Constitution and there’s nothing we can do about it and he’s going to uphold and fight for the Constitution. You go four years later in 2015 and all of the sudden he’s changed his tune completely and has decided he’s going to oppose it. Ronald Reagan changed his views. Ronald Reagan campaigned for both Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman. He was a progressive that was, you know, very much…if you look at some of his past statements, he was very much a progressive Democrat.
Graham: Wait. Wait. Wait. He didn’t endorse Hubert Humphrey in 1968 over Richard Nixon. That’s just not a fact. That is completely in error.
Dooley (now screaming, screeching, or whatever you call her indignant voice): He endorsed Hubert Humphrey when he was running for US Senator in 1947.
Graham: Exactly. In 1947. A guy that spends 30 years fighting and leading to change America’s values and you want the Tea Party to SELL OUT for a guy that has stood against everything the Tea Party has fought for. Everything. He opposed it every step of the way. You are a sell out! Debbie Dooley, you are a sell out!
Dooley: He is not. He is standing up for the Tea Party
Graham: I would be willing to wager right now that you are getting financial recompense for making this endorsement. That is my prediction.
Dooley: Screeching, over Graham (YOU ARE WRONG. YOU ARE TELLING AN OUTRIGHT LIE. THAT IS SLANDEROUS AND LIBELOUS.
Graham: Well, you know where the court is.
Dooley: YOU ARE COMMITTING SLANDER. I HAVEN’T EVEN SPOKEN TO DONALD TRUMP IN OVER A YEAR.
Graham: You know where the courthouse is, so you can find me. But listening to you smear Ronald Reagan, so you can defend your total sellout of our principles, I fought for Tea Party in Massachusetts. Mass-a-freakin-chusetts. You know what it’s like to be a Tea Party in Massachusetts? And have everyone call you a racists, and a bigot, and a hater? Because you support small government and you just want to be left alone? And you think people should keep their own money? And you hated Obamacare? Thats…thats…I have the bruises to show for it. The Governor of Massachusetts called me out! And attacked me as a racist, because I was fighting for Tea Party, and I have to listen to you smear Ronald Reagan? “You know Ronald Regan endorsed Hubert Humphrey…” Yeah, in nineteen hundred and forty freakin seven! Ronald Reagan spent thirty years saying over and over again “This is what I believe in.” He said it on television, he gave speeches, He gave that fantastic speech for Barry Goldwater. He had principles Debbie! Principles!
…and I thought the Tea Party was about standing up for principles. That’s what I thought it was about. But all over the country a mega-mega billionaire, in a movement that I’m sorry to say has shown signs of corruption. We’ve already had national news stories about Tea Party corruption..not Tea Party corruption but the so called “leaders” of the Tea Party…being caught being corrupt around the country. And NOW we’ve got Tea Partiers selling out their fundamental principles that I fought for. And SMEARING people like Ronald Reagan? And William F Buckley Jr.? You’re smearing THEM to make your case? This is my prediction, I’m not saying it’s a fact. I’m going to say it for the third time, I predict that when this is all over, you’ll find that money made its way to Georgia, into the Tea Party. I predict that when this is all over you’ll find that money made it’s way to Sarah Palin, I predict…because I was with the Tea Partiers.
I was there when we were surrounded by people, calling us names and treating us like crap. When we had people from the Progressive movement in Boston Common throwing crap at us. And we were trying to have an event with Tim Pawlenty and they were blocking our signs, and blocking our speakers, and we couldn’t get permits! Because the liberal government of Massachusetts didn’t want to…I was there! And the people I was with? They were there for principles! For causes they truly believed in. Truly believed in! I don’t care if you want to say you’ve changed your mind. You don’t care anymore about smaller government. You like the idea of the government seizing a little old lady’s property and giving it to Donald Trump. You don’t care about pro-life issues anymore. You’ve changed your mind on whether pro-life should be an issue. That’s all cool! I’m totally cool with that. But when you’re smearing people…to try and hide YOUR sellout of your principles? I’m sorry, somebody’s got to tell the natural truth.
First of all, golf clap for Michael Graham. That was on point, succinct, direct, and brutally honest. That was a great conversation between principle and principal.
Now for some quick analysis, then on to something that may help Mr. Graham should Debbie decide to follow through on her threat to call him slanderous.
First, note that Debbie’s reaction when challenged was to not respond with facts, but to assert that because she’s been involved since 1976 her credentials are impeccable and are not to be questioned. That’s very much like “the establishment”. Seniority or time served within the system does not make a conservative. It’s what you believe, espouse, work for, and accomplish. Graham’s takedown is brilliant in that he points out that because her actual answer is “Donald Trump can win”, she goes after the person who Trump believes is his greatest threat and smears him (Ted Cruz). That’s the first tell that this is not about principle, but leaves open the question about “principal”.
Debbie is famous for asking any question, and is a true believer that there is no such thing as a stupid question. She loves asking them to gum up any debate and/or to get on camera. That’s a tried and true practice for activists – and a business model for some.
But any time questions are posed to Debbie that demonstrate contridictions, or or someone turns her favorite line of “follow the money” back to her, all the answers revert to a first person “how dare you sir? I am offended…” rather than answer the questions.
So if Mr. Graham has her back on his show, or if he gets to ask questions in a deposition, perhaps he would like to ask her who funded her move to Ellijay two years ago, where she moved to quarterback a primary challenge to the Speaker? A post she put on Facebook shows that money was definitely involved. In May of 2014, Debbie posted this as a preface to why she moved to focus against one candidate (who won handlily) despite having other more vulnerable candidates literally where she already lived:
For the record, I was able to raise money to educate citizens about David Ralston specifically. That is what the big donors were interested in and wanted their money to go to only educating citizens about Ralston. I send donors a list of where the money is going to. . I tried to raise money for other candidates but was not successful. You can’t force people to donate and it would be highly unethical to divert the money raised for a specific purpose to other areas.
In her own words, Debbie Dooley wasn’t doing what the grass roots told her to do. She was answering to “the big donors”. Earlier in the interview with Graham, when she thought it was going to be her usual one sided diatribe, she said this:
“People don’t donate millions of dollars without expecting something in return”
Debbie loves questions. Michael Graham has raised some. For those of you that know Debbie, you can pass along these for your next conversation:
Who were these “big donors” that funded your move to Ellijay and a months long movement to campaign against the Speaker of the House?
More importantly, what exactly did they want in return? Because big donors don’t donate without expecting something Debbie. You just said so to Michael Graham yourself.