Rightwing Livingston County Daily Press & Argus editor and columnist Buddy Moorehouse has, not surprisingly, come out in a column agreeing with the chair of the Livingston County Republican Party that the county Democrats appearance in the Melonfest parade last weekend “wasn't appropriate.”
He can’t be serious?
The manufactured controvsary started when Allan Filip, the disgruntled chair of the Livingston County Republican Party, wrote a letter-to-the-editor full of false accusations that Democrats carried handwritten signs with hateful messages in the parade through downtown Howell on Aug. 18. Both I and Livingston County Democratic Party Chair Matt Evans put an end to that myth by actually posting what the signs said.
Thwarted by that truth, Moorehouse had to admit the signs were not hateful, but then he makes the ridiculous statement that it was not an appropriate place for the signs. Perhaps he should tell Filip, who was marching in the parade for always absent U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton?, and state Sen. Valde Garcia, who was also in the parade, that it was inappropriate for them to be in the parade.
The whole issue is ridiculous.
“The Democrats have every right to carry their signs anywhere they want. Nobody's disputing their right to free speech, and nobody's saying they didn't have a right to carry those signs in the parade. They did. They had every right to do so.
I just feel it wasn't appropriate for the occasion.
If you've ever been to the Melon Fest parade, you know that it's a festive, happy, family-friendly affair. Last Saturday, the parade was filled with marching bands and Girl Scouts and gymnasts and tons of kids, and they were all smiling and waving and having fun.
And then you had the Democrats and their signs.
It was a jarring sight, and they seemed totally out of place in the parade.”
If they were not hateful - which they were not - and the Democrats had a right to appear in the parade then why is he complaining and bothering to write this column? Since when is the truth hateful or inappropriate? The first time the Democrats heard that their appearance was considered "hatful, jarring inappropriate” by anyone was with Fillip’s lie-filled letter, despite having a booth at the two-day festival within sight of the Republican’s booth. I did notice Filip was rather lonely when I saw him in the booth on Saturday. Perhaps that’s the real reason for the letter.
Moorehouse does, to his credit, point out that he was “once a Republican candidate for state representative, but I'm trying hard not to let my political leanings get in the way of my opinion on this.”
He failed miserably in that effort, and he left out some of the story. He was a candidate for the open seat in the 47th District in 2002 that was just created by redistricting. The Republican primary, which determines the winner, was flooded with six GOP candidates, some very well known and respected. The goal was to out conservative the opponents, and Moorehouse did a pretty good job of that coming in third in the close race that saddled us with Rep. Joe Hune by just two votes. Moorehouse had to quit his job as an editor at the paper to run, and the Press & Argus management said publicly Moorehouse would never work at the paper again. Apparently they misspoke because they needed these fair and balanced opinions from him.
I didn’t see anything “jarring,” and I saw some friends of mine having fun. I have been to many Melonfest parades over the years, and this is the first time an unfair attack has ever been launched against the Democrats.
You have to ask why do people and companies march in this parade? The answer is the same reason the Press & Argus was in the parade or, radio station WHMI, Art Van Furniture, karate schools, gymnastic schools, churches and all the other participants in the parade who were also passing out coupons and ads along the parade route: to promote their business and cause.
Why was the P & A passing out newspapers during the parade? Why wasn't that considered inappropriate? If he wants to talk about what’s appropriate for a family parade, perhaps he should mention the display by the people promoting the Slaughterhouse and Corn Maze. It scared a few kids, including my granddaughter. That might be the only thing that could possibly be considered “jarring,” but they had every right to be in the parade. It was in good fun, just like the Democrats who were showing the flag in the parade.
“There's a time and a place for protests like that, and I don't think the Melon Fest parade was the time or the place. And I think I'd feel the same way if it had been the Republicans carrying signs blaming Gov. Jennifer Granholm for the state's horrid economy.”
First, It was not a protest, and I have no doubt you would never write a column if the Republicans bashed the Governor in any parade. Second, there was nothing stopping the Republicans from being in the parade, but apparently they could not find enough of them. Perhaps Moorehouse could have helped them out with something other than his writing and marched with them? Third, blaming the governor for the “state's horrid economy” would be a lie.
“If you're the only negative, angry entry in a parade, you might stand out, but it's not necessarily in a good way. I doubt they won many converts last Saturday.”
Sorry to disappoint both Moorehouse and Filip, but we did win converts. That’s why the angry letter and column. The Democrats were neither angry nor negative. In fact, they were the exact opposite. They were full of fun and friendly, and more importantly, truth.
Both Filip and Moorehouse owe the county Democrats an apology for their false accusations.