By VIC SPROUSE

I'm sorry, but the vitriol being thrown Gary Abernathy's way is incomprehensible to me.

I guess I'm just not getting it.

What I don't understand is the desire of some to just completely destroy a guy who has done nothing to deserve the treatment he is getting.

Again, I don't get it.

Well, first, I think its easy to hide behind anonymous comments and say mean and nasty things.

Well, let me clarify, the actual "commentary" on the Not Gary Abernathy blog is pretty reasonable and not hateful. The person who runs this blog is obviously concerned about paying Gary and sticks to the debate about whether or not Gary should be the state Republican Party's Executive Director. It's the comments that are vicious and unnecessary.

Look, I can understand people not being happy with Doug McKinney. I can understand them not wanting Gary. I can understand them wanting to take the Republican party in a different direction. There's a legitimate debate in those differences.

I understand it and there is a legitimate process to make that happen (a change in leadership and direction). Find a leader, have them run against Doug and get the majority of votes on the State Committee and there you go.

I can understand the backlash against Doug and Betty if you don't want Gary in there.

What I don't understand is the outright desire to completely destroy a guy that has done nothing but help the party and candidates. I mean, they are attacking Gary with some nasty personal attacks that are just unnecessary.

Gary doesn't need me to defend him. But, I cringe when I read some of the nastiness directed toward him.

On a couple of the other comments, I had to chuckle.

One said that the reason Dan and Gary Howell and Bob Adams lost was because the Democrats didn't like Gary or me. GASP! Darn Republican consultants, not currying favor with Democratic leadership so they sign off on our candidates.

I feel bad for Republican candidates, I mean you have Greg Thomas, Roman Stauffer (I'm sure the reason Beth lost was because of Roman's past help of Blankenship), Suzette Raines and Richie Parsons who all helped Don Blankenship, so they aren't going to be Democrat-approved Republican consultants. If Bill Phillips wasn't hated by Democrats before, his negative campaign against venerable Gus Douglass certainly took him off the list of Democrat-approved Republican consultants.

Then, me and Gary who are on most hated status and there is but one solution for Republican candidates.

Hire Democratic consultants.

Yeah, that's the ticket. If Dan had only hired Mike Plante or Rainmaker, he would have won. If Beth had hired some other Democratic consultant shmoe, she would have had a lay up. Because after all, Republicans can't win if the Democratic leadership doesn't sign off on their Republican consultants.

Look, here's my point to those who don't like Doug, or Betty, or Gary, follow the process to oust them. Get the votes on the state committee and get another leader in there and have that leader fire Gary.

I don't have a problem with their desire to defeat Doug and fire Gary. That's their perogative. My problem is with their outright desire to destroy the guy. Actually, I think its counterproductive. I read some of those personal, nasty comments and it pushes me to the other side. And, those types of attacks are simply going to make Gary a sympathetic figure. Attacking him on child support? Come on. The other nasty things that are being said? If only this type of vitriol was directed toward the Dems.

I won re-election three times, the last two were after personal foibles on my part. The Dems always scratched their head as to why they couldn't beat me with this long list of grievances. Well, part of it was that I outworked my opponents.

But, another aspect was the fact that the Democrats allowed their hatred of me to cloud their campaign judgment. They ran ads and mailers against me beyond the bounds of decency. Why? They just couldn't help themselves because they simply hated me. Their campaigns against me were so personal and nasty that they took those people in the middle willing to look at another candidate and placed them squarely on my side.

My caution to candidates is always to not let hate cloud your judgment. When you get attacked, don't get angry and allow that anger to cloud your response.

The people against Gary hate him. I'm not sure I understand it, but it's there.

And, its clouding their judgment. And, their personal attacks will simply drive people to Gary and Doug's side.

I keep coming back to this simple fact.

If you want Gary or Doug gone, go out and get the votes on the State Committee to defeat them. There is just no reason to try to destroy the guy in the process.

If you win at the State Committee, you can guillotine them on the Capitol steps if you wish.

If not, then hateful, absurd, anonymous comments on blogs will only drive those who would consider a coup against Doug to line up in his defense.

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