At a Joe Miller for Senate campaign event today in Alaska, members of Miller's private security team 'arrested' journalist Tony Hopfinger of the Alaska Dispatch. Hopfinger later told local TV news station KTUU that he was asking questions when he was told by Miller's security detail that he was under arrest and placed in handcuffs. The security guards kept Hopfinger in custody pending the arrival of Anchorage police. But when police arrived they released Hopfinger and said no charges would be filed.If Miller refuses to answer questions about his "personal or professional background," then why on earth would anyone vote for him?
William Fulton, one of Miller's security guards, released a statement claiming that Hopfinger became belligerent and menacing to the candidate while asking about the scandal surrounding Miller's work as city attorney for Fairbanks North Star Borough in 2007 and 2008. The security guards were apparently part of a team provided by "Drop Zone", the Anchorage-based private security firm hired by the campaign.
Miller said last week that he would no longer answer press questions about his personal or professional background. [emphasis added]
Let me try to draw a parallel here. A few months ago, I started a new job. Among the requirements for the job was getting admitting privileges at a few well-known Boston hospitals, as well as a license to practice medicine in the state of Massachusetts. Meeting these requirements involved a lengthy vetting process, during which time I had to submit mountains of paperwork verifying my qualifications to practice and assuring the licensing board and hospitals in question that I actually deserved the privileges requested. While the hospitals in question are particularly prestigious ones (and yes, I'm mentioning that because I'm chuffed to be working there and this is my way of tooting my own horn a bit and if you don't like it well sue me), this is SOP for just about any doctor practicing anywhere.
I'm sure the same kind of process applies to most professions, though some are probably a bit less onerous. And, as tedious as it was to fill out reams of paperwork, I don't question the importance of having done so.
So why on God's green earth are voters (who function in lieu of employers per se) willing to vote for someone patently unwilling to discuss his qualifications for the job? He has a decent shot at winning, and I find that completely baffling. (Never did I think I would root for Lisa Murkowski, but we live in strange days.) It's as though I had sent in the paperwork to the credentialing committees with the words "trust me" scribbled on them. And I'm just one doctor working in a hospital with scads of highly-trained medical professionals looking out for my patients' well-being. As we've seen, one lone Senator can pretty much bring the important business of the Senate to a screeching halt for any reason.
It is not so much the conservatism of this year's crop of Tea Party nutcakes that drives me so blind with rage. It's that they are poised (inexplicably) to win while flipping the bird to the very people who will be electing them.
Update: Sully's take here.