Curse My Accursed Honesty!

This just happened, I SWEAR:

Phone guy: I’m calling for John Scalzi.

Me: He is me.

Phone guy: Hi, I’m calling from the Jon Huntsman campaign and we know that you made a contribution to his campaign, and we are looking for people to be Huntsman delegates for the Republican National Convention.


Phone guy: Sir?

Me: I’m sorry. Look, I’m not a registered Republican and I’m unlikely to vote for Huntsman in the general election. I donated to him because of all the Republican candidates, he is the most sane, and I thought that needed to be encouraged.

Phone guy: … oh.

Me: Yeah. He should probably have someone who is actually going to vote him. But thanks for thinking of me.

Phone guy: Okay. Thanks for the donation, anyway.

Me: You’re welcome. Bye, now.

And then I hung up.

And then I felt like kicking myself, because going to the GOP convention as a Huntsman delegate probably would have been awesome. And wrong. But awesome. Just the thought of me as a GOP delegate makes me want to chortle madly.

Maybe they’ll call back. Probably not.

Curse my accursed honesty!

62 Comments on “Curse My Accursed Honesty!”

  1. See, that makes you the perfect delegate. You’d definitely cast your nominating ballot for him, since you think all of the others there are complete and total whackos :)

  2. Hey, I LOL’d, or would have if I weren’t still at the office. Makes me wonder just how desperate Huntsman’s campaign is getting to find support if they’re just calling up random donors and asking if they’ll be convention delegates…

  3. Do you actually have to be a registered Republican to be a delegate to their National Convention? You could have reported on it from the inside! Perhaps there would be logrolling. I’m not entirely sure what logrolling is, but if there was any there you could tell your readers about it in a very entertaining fashion.

    Do you suppose they could still use your endorsement? “… the most sane.” — John Scalzi

  4. Not sure which is makes me more sad: that you turned this down or that the Huntsman campaign is reduced to offering delegate positions to $50 donors.

  5. If you phone them back and tell them you’ve changed your mind they’ll probably still accept you. I mean they are pretty desperate, and to have someone who is both sane and articulate would be a real feather in their hat when set against all the rest. The presence of a sane and articulate voice (even if you are not ultimately going to vote for him in the election itself) might just be enough to get him on the ticket when compared against the nutters and whack-jobs the other candidates have. You might actually get that sane and intelligent campaign you want. And the rest of the world could breathe out and be happy they aren’t going to be tippy-toeing around the enraged orang-utan for four years even if Obama loses… It’s win-win! Oh John , please call them back and say you have reconsidered, please, oh please.

  6. This is why that line about “and lead us not into temptation …” is in there.

    Ronald Reagan was a member of the same fraternity I am (at rather different times in the century) so when he ran in 1980, we were all supposed to go to the Missouri Republican Convention and cheer for the Gipper. Luckily many of the brothers from several chapters had been celebrating rather loudly, and lewdly, the night before, and had not stopped until actually piling onto the bus. A couple of socialist types such as myself, noting that our bunch had been located right next to some stick-in-the-muddish looking religious types, started a couple of the obscene cheers, which got picked up, and eventually caused our rowdier members to be told to shut up.

    I seriously doubt we set any records for political sabotage that day, other than diminutive ones.

  7. I daresay that you’d be a relevant delegate for what’s relevant, namely encouraging his candidacy.

    They could be pretty sure that you’d vote for him at the convention, and that’s actually a good deal for them!

    Sure, it’s wrong, in the ways you’re thinking. But it’s also pretty right! :-)

  8. John, I’ll tell you sometime face-to-face, perhaps at Chicon 7, how extremely close I came in caucus to being appointed a California Democratic Convention Delegate for Jerry Brown, when he was a candidate for President. Too crazy to openly blog. Too many eyewitnesses still alive, who might be offended…

    By comparison, the 3,750 words of molecular biology, quantum mechanics, and fire & brimstone theology, that I wrote in 2 chapters, this afternoon, for I AM HAMLET’S GHOST look simple and straightforward.

  9. Devil’s advocate, here – the reasons for donating to John Huntsman were probably good enough to go be a delegate to try to help him get the nomination.

    And it would have been totally awesome! I suspect that attendance at a political national convention for either party would be grist for a whole lot of mills for a while.

  10. It would have been awesome, indeed.

    Whether you have to be a registered party member to be a delegate to a convention depends on the State’s Party’s rules, the State’s laws, and the National Party rules (oh, and the Convention’s rules; you -want- to be on the Rules Committee, they draw the map for the Convention.)

  11. Well, I maintain my registration as a Democrat in my state even though I’ve been more likely in the last decade* to vote GOP or Libertarian since I want to be able to slightly influence the Dem primary in my state towards the less insane candidate. For example, in 2008 I cast for Hilary (not sane, just less of a complete nutjob, much more competent and a person who has a working brain cell unlike the person who won). So all’s good, John.

    *I spent the beginning half of the 90’s voting straight Dem and believing that the GOP just protected “the rich” (whatever that means) until I stopped drinking, switched from psychology to Chemistry and started having to pay my own way (meaning, I got a job) through school.

  12. Had you expressed interest, I suspect the next order of business would have been a request for a bigger donation.

  13. A just released book titled ‘Redshirts’ and a convention of red state delegates at the same time, coinsidence? I think not..
    Convince them to move the RNC to Chicago and have a joint convention. The possibliltes are endless.

  14. What a nightmare. Be glad you’re not going. Just because you may have been a sane delegate for Huntsman doesn’t mean the others would have been.

  15. Oooh, now there’s a thought. A joint RNC and Chicon, wherein the new Republican Candidate for President of the United States is… no, not John Scalzi, you fools. Ghlaghghee! For president, 2012!

  16. Dude! You totes could’ve infiltrated! Written an expose! You could’ve been the James Bond of nerdy, politically active writers!


  17. I spent the beginning half of the 90′s voting straight Dem and believing that the GOP just protected “the rich”

    Strange, you were right when you were drinking and a Psych major, and now you’re not.

    I’d say go back to the psych major, not the drinking, but, really, whatever’s required.

  18. if they’re just calling up random donors

    Random donor with a huge Web footprint. They may have been Googling names to see who would make a respectable (and talkative) delegate.

  19. Scalzi; this may have been bait and switch. As others have suggested, they may have just wanted more money from you.

    Phone Guy: Thank you for saying you’d be a candidate. Now would you like to be a Contributing Delegate, Gold Level Delegate, Platinum Level Delegate, Diamond Level Delegate, or Exclusive VIP Delegate?

    You: What?

    Phone Guy: Mr. Scalzi I am authorized, today only, to make you a delegate offer. For a contribution of only



    P.S. Dan Savage was a delegate to his state’s Republican convention once. He talks about it in “The Kid.” His story is part of why I WISH you’d agreed (and, you know, didn’t have a pre-existing commitment that same weekend.)

  21. Call them back. Become a delegate. Write about the convention. YOU WILL RULE THE INTERNET.

  22. While I think it’s OK for someone to support by donation, vote in the primary for and even work on the primary campaign for someone they think is the lesser of all evils in the party they know they aren’t going to vote for in the general; it’s over the line dishonest to take a leadership role such as being a delegate (since it exerts undue influence that voter’s and campaign donors don’t have and assumes that you’re “in it to win it” for the candidate and party).

    So I commend John for his honesty.

    As a side note, and a follow-up to the GOP thread I never contributed to, I’m leaning Romney. His full-throated defense of capitalism as an answer to Newt’s Bain attack actually made me think this guy isn’t just a Milquetoast, left-leaning pushover. And it’s the economy, stupid; this time much more so than in ’92.

  23. Wait, isn’t Ohio’s Republican Primary a winner-take-all contest? So Huntsman would have to first win Ohio (if we move our primary ahead and get a proportional distribution, he’d still have to take 20%+ to get delegates, IIRC) before you could go (if you had said yes and then didn’t ask you to become a bundler to get there).

  24. Wow. I always assumed the delegates were the serious volunteers who call me to annoy me about their delegate and other politically active folks. Possibly minor elected officials and the like. Just calling random donors? It seems kind of a silly way to get your delegates.

  25. You ever get that thing where you read a post and immediately a song starts playing in your head as counterpoint? “Build Me Up, Buttercup” by the Foundations.

    “…awesome! And wrong!” is right!

  26. Sara, et al:

    To be fair, I stopped the fellow immediately after he broached the subject of being a delegate. There may have been more hoops to jump through that he did not get to detail.

  27. On the plus side, at least you don’t have to go to the Republican National Convention, a place I wager could be described much like Mos Eisley. *note this is just a hypothetical wager. i don’t actually have any money.

  28. I’ve been to political conventions on a much smaller stage and I have to say it would be nice to be at one where I wasn’t stuck back in the control room watching college basketball.

    Holy crap I would go apeshit over the ability to liveblog the thing from an liberal pinko atheistic point of view.

  29. In my state, in order to become a delegate to the national convention, you pretty much need to start out getting selected as a delegate in your local caucus, then the district caucus, and the state convention. I’m pro-choice, so if I admit that, I will never make it past the local caucus because our district uses that as one of its litmus tests. Also, if you’re the only Huntsman supporter in your caucus, you’re probably not going to be selected to advance, regardless of the amount of money you contribute to the Huntsman campaign.

  30. I got to crack up one of the phone people tonight for Newt 2012, They called twice and this time I sat through the whole rhetorical mess hoping for a way to stop the calls. I was transferred to a very nice operator who started her spiel thanking me for listening ect. I stopped her the first time she took a breath and told her, “I’m a damn dirty liberal and I just held on long enough to see if I could get you guys to stop calling,” she giggled the entire time she was getting the info for their do not call list.

  31. All lot of these comments seem to believe that Huntsman will need to select delegates from Ohio. Current polling suggests Scalzi is himself almost as likely to pick up delegates in Ohio as Huntsman is – especially because the Republicans don’t have meaningful proportional representation for delegate allotment in their primary contests (it used to be all their contests were winner-take-all at the statewide level; they wanted to implement some sort of proportional representation to keep the contest alive longer, but compromised with the early states apportioning delegates winner-take-all at the congressional district level, and many later states remaining winner-take-all; this system means candidates who aren’t close to winning the whole state likely will get no delegates at all).

    @Naomi Kritzer
    I’m pretty sure Dan Savage did not make it to the state level – he represented his precinct at the county level, mostly on a lark, but iirc was not picked as a delegate to the state convention.

  32. Oh, and I totally want to read some serious gonzo journalism about the Republican convention (if anyone deserves such treatment it’s the current Republican party) but I don’t really know how gonzo Scalzi gets, or wants to get.

  33. Having gone to caucus with both parties I can assure you there is no way you would have gone to the national convention as a Huntsman delegate. Republicans use a winner take all selection method. You would have gone to your precinct caucus & voted for huntsman with a few of the people in your neighborhood. But, assuming the same percentage as national polls, you would have been the only ‘Huntsman’ there. Who ever got the most votes (say a Gingrish at 30% or a Romney at 22%) would get ALL the precinct votes to the State convention. You might have gotten selected to go to State but would be committed to vote for that person at least for the first few votes. Same thing happens at the state level. As long as there are 10 people running Romney & his 22% is a lock unless a single challenger emerges.

    The Dems use proportional representation where you get the same percentage of votes at the next level as you can muster at the current one (above Gingrich would get, say, 30% of your precinct votes at State) – if you were the only ‘Huntsman’ there you might not get any votes because you were less than a percent of the total. ITs a lot messier & more exciting (as well as more small ‘d’ democratic).

  34. @Clarence Rutherford,

    Actually, the RNC amended the rules in 2010: states that have Republican primaries or caucuses before April 1, cannot be on a winnner-take-all basis. As Ohio is having its primary on March 6, it is not winner-take-all.

    I don’t know the exact nature of how Ohio is going to allocate its delegates, strictly PR, based on congressional districts, or a mixture of both.

    So while it may not have been likely that Scalzi would have gone as a delegate, it wouldn’t have been impossible.

  35. Stay strong, John. The Dark Side is quicker, easier, more seductive. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

  36. JD The delegates pay their own way to conventions whether State level or the National conventions. I’ve been a delegate and remember doing so.

    Oh, John, sign on as a Huntsman delegate and go through the process. Go to Chicon first, then head on to the national convention if you make it as far as being a national delegate. We, your readers, would love to read your blog entries as you lived through the experience. Why, you could even turn them into a non-fiction book, which we would all buy a copy of from your publisher. Ka-ching!

  37. Fantastic, but the biggest laugh I got here was that someone in the comments somehow thinks the guy that made his fortune by firing Americans and shipping their jobs overseas (Romney) is the guy best qualified to grow the US economy. A hoot! Oh, that’s funny, funny stuff. :)

  38. I got a robo-call from Newt Gingrichs campaign that said calling all Republicans. I’m not even registered to vote. I have never registered to vote in the state I live in (10 years).

    I guess its just cheaper to robo-call everyone. They don’t care if they annoy someone who is unlikely to vote for them.

    In 2008 an Obama campaigner came by my house. I told her I was not registered to vote. She asked me if I was an illegal alien. I’m a white guy. Its not just hispanics who are oppressed and discriminated against over illegal immigration. The funniest part of the whole thing is that it was a black woman who asked me this. Take about the antithesis of all the stereotypes about people who discriminate.

  39. @Steve:

    “Fantastic, but the biggest laugh I got here was that someone in the comments somehow thinks the guy that made his fortune by firing Americans and shipping their jobs overseas (Romney) is the guy best qualified to grow the US economy. A hoot! Oh, that’s funny, funny stuff. :)”

    Lots of liberals send jobs overseas too. The CEO of General Electric is a liberal and just google how many jobs they send off shore. I used to work for a guy who handled the mass offshoring of jobs at AOL (it was after he left AOL). They slightly changed the job reqs to make the Americans appear unqualified (if your not a techy, you can’t tell one technical term from another so this was easy), fired the Americans, brought in an Indian vendor with an all H1-B, L1 visa staff. They worked with the guys offshore.

    The guy who did this was more liberal than Obama and shrugged when I asked him how a liberal could do this. Off-shoring has nothing whatsoever to do with party affiliation.

  40. (1) Creation Museum
    (2) Republican National Convention
    What could complete that hat trick?

  41. In 2008 an Obama campaigner came by my house. I told her I was not registered to vote. She asked me if I was an illegal alien.

    She doesn’t sound like she was very well-trained. I knocked on doors for Obama and the answer to “I’m not registered to vote” is “Would you like to learn how?” and then explain the process. One of my most lovely experiences on that was talking to a woman who had recently become a citizen and who was very excited to be voting in America for the first time.

    As for the affiliation of off-shoring jobs – it may not have anything to do with party affiliation per say, but it definitely has a lot to do with politics. The CEO of GE may donate to Obama, but his “business is everything, everything else is irrelevant” attitude sounds pretty conservative to me.

  42. Are you sure it wasn’t the Millard Fillmore quote? I mean Mill’s one of the GOP’s spiritual godfathers. (“Hmm… Donated money? We’ll think about it. Has a popular blog? Put him on the list to be vetted. He does live in a battleground state, after all. Oh, wait. He quoted Fillmore! Get Scalzi on the phone toot sweet!”)