A recent post-primary article of mine about how conservatives were celebrating too early caused quiet a stir in certain circles. Causing a stir is putting it mildly, as what I wrote brought in a slew of hate mail, physical threats, and promises to boycott our advertisers.
Right after the primary, I wrote an article about the results of the election. In cruising down the list of ballot winners and losers in that article – all the while showing how there were quite a number of Democratic Party victors – I casually mentioned that the Republican candidate in the 53rd Congressional District Nick Popaditch – who was beaten by Democrat Susan Davis – was “a white-supremacist”. Here’s the actual quote:
In the 53rd – Susan Davis – a Democrat of course, over-powered extremist and white-supremacist Nick Popaditch with her 57%.
This sent up a howl of protest from Popaditch and his supporters. I’ll show you some of the hate mail we received in a bit. But first, I do want to offer a retraction … of sorts. Nick Popaditch is not a white-supremacist, he’s anti-Semitic. I just wanted to clarify that.
So, why do I label this fine, upstanding veteran, wounded in the battle for Baghdad, “anti-Semitic”? Well, let me count the ways.
Nick Popaditch crashed onto the local political scene in November 2011, when he and a large group of his supporters corralled and threatened Congressman Bob Filner and a handful of his folks at Golden Hall on election eve. Popaditch was then only known politically as a candidate of the tea party – who would set up his tent at their rallies and hand out brochures and give speeches. But he decided to run against Filner, one of the most liberal members of Congress, someone who had gained his bruises from the civil rights struggles of the Sixties, and someone … who is Jewish.
Popaditch and his group of supporters did more than just “corral” Filner and a handful of his supporters that night in GoldenHall, November 2nd, 2010. Republicans all over the country were winning the House – it was a GOP surge.
But not for Popaditch. He was losing. He was losing to Bob Filner. Popaditch gathered up his people around him that evening. They had signs and were feisty. Popaditch – who goes by the name “Gunny Pop” – tried to fire his people up, by assuring them he was going to beat that Filner, that “liar”. There’s a video where you can see Gunny riling up his people – and they yell and applaud vigorously, religiously, fervently.
And he says to them:
“When Bob Filner comes into the hall … (garble) … you start it up! You start it up!”
They cheer. They yell. They’re fired up.
When Bob Filner and a few members of his staff, his family and a few supporters did enter Golden Hall that evening in early November, they were met with the most raucous mob even seen on an election eve in San Diego history. They were yelled at, spat at, forced into a corner, forced next to a column and surrounded, there were some pushing, some shoving, a few fists were thrown – the Filner people were far out-numbered. Popaditch even shoved Filner himself.
Yes, of course, every election has candidates and their supporters chanting the name and waving their signs, and they parade around Golden Hall very enthusiastically.
But this was different. There are a number of citizen and news videos taken that night that recorded enough of what happened to support any inference or suggestion or downright assertion that Popaditch and his supporters constituted a mob that night.
And when they surrounded Filner, they chanted so loud as to totally drown out any discourse, any dialogue, any ability of Filner to speak to the press. It was an aggressive mob – and some of its members shouted “jew!” at Filner while others simply smiled. Popaditch was one of them. He smiled while his troops stormed the enemy. And he had led them on.
One eyewitness to the incident reported:
I was purposely pushed and shoved by no less than two 30-40 year olds. At one point, KUSI was interviewing Filner on the floor of Golden Hall and an SDPD sergeant had to ask Popaditch to take a few steps back away from Filner because his supporters were picking fights with the Filner supporters. Popaditch argued at first, and then complied. After the interview, the KUSI anchor turned around and lectured the Popaditch crowd about civility to no avail.
Later in a KPBS interview, Filner admitted that he had been threatened and that anti-Semitic chants were hurled at him. Here’s another video of what went down that night:
Popaditch never recanted, never apologized, and never distanced himself from the actions and ethnic slurs seen and heard that evening on election night. He has had openly white-supremacist supporters but he is not one of them. But, nor has he attempted to distance himself from those politics either.
So, yes, Nick Popaditch – that tea party favorite – carries the baggage of the tea party. When it first appeared on the political landscape, it’s hatred of Barack Obama because of the color of his skin was very obvious. Since then some of the tea parties have toned down their rhetoric.
But not Popaditch that evening. He was in full force and glory that election eve a year and half ago. He riled up his crowd, made it into a mob – and breaking all rules of election-night decorum – he led a charge against the enemy – a small band that included a sitting member of Congress who is Jewish. It was planned, it was intentional. It went way over the top.
Filner and his crew were saved by Mayor Sanders’ personal bodyguard and some police officers.
Although I don’t have any “proof” that Popaditch is a white-supremacist, most anti-Semitics are also white-supremacists.
If a leader of a group encourages followers to intimidate, threaten, and even use force against a Jew, and smiles while some of those supporters yell slurs in his presences – that leader must be held accountable and responsible for the actions of his followers.
Nick pounds his chest – glories his war record, his loss. Yet, he seems to be totally lost when it comes to the concept of democracy, majority rule, and balloting for candidates. Isn’t the military supposed to uphold our democratic values – isn’t that what it’s all about? One of the ironies of this whole scene is while Popaditch is this disabled veteran, disabled vets had no better friend in Congress than Bob Filner.
Our Hate Mail
Some of Popaditch’s buddies came to his defense. The OB Rag received a bunch of hate mail both in comments to my article and also to the blog itself. Some threatening us physically, some threatening to go after our advertisers. Here are some samples:
Don Hamel on Jun 18 to me:
If you continue to support Liberals/Socialism; some day you will not have “Freedom of the Press”
Royal A. Brown III, LTC, USA-Ret wrote:
I am writing to strongly protest your false characterization of hero Gunnery Sergeant Popaditch as a white supremist. Your slanderous attack on this disabled veteran is baseless and should be retracted.
Geoff Ross and Joseph R. John, wrote on Jun 16 a very long rant:
The Ocean Beach Newspaper recently mounted a slanderous and false attack on a Heroic Disabled American Combat Veteran, GySgt Nick Popaditch, USMC (Ret) who lost an eye in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq…. GySgt Popaditch was falsely called a White Supremacist by the Ocean Beach Newspaper, yet for 16 years, GySgt Popaditch served, lived, and worked closely with Black, Asian, and Hispanic US Marines … Popaditch has been married to April, … a Latina and American Indian. … Unless the Ocean Beach Newspaper publishes a full retraction and apologizes for the unfound and slanderous remarks it printed about GySgt Popaditch, we request that you cease advertising in the Ocean Beach Newspaper. If the paper doesn’t print a retraction & apology, and you continue to advertise in the paper, we will inform supporters in our data base of 5000+ to, in turn, contact everyone in their address book requesting that they all boycott your business. We will wait to see if the Ocean Beach Newspaper retracts and apologizes for the unfounded malicious and slanderous remarks about a true American Hero and Patriot.
Craig Candelore: Shame on you for slandering GySgt Nick Popaditch, USMC (Ret). As a combat veteran, I take personal offense to any defamatory attacks on Nick Popaditch.
David Huckabee actually made a threat:
Not sure what rock you found this worm, but you need to review your legal standing, because he has put you at risk. When the sh—t hits the fan, do not look for sympathy, from your military neighbors. Freedom of the press, still requires reporters to maintain a certain amount of ethics/morals and professional standards. Looks like your RAG has crossed over to the dark side. You may want to cut your loses now. There will be a hard price to pay. Just wait and see!
But Don Kepus got serious:
Look you rat-bag scum sucking racist. Take your crapo and shove it up your ass. Whoever gave you the right to slander a great Warrior, had better find some place to hide as we will be after you in the very near of days. Keep looking over your ass if you dare to stop running. You rat-bag piece of shit. Retract your comments in bold print or we will be all over your ass.
Are you going to retract your slanderous miss-statement of Mr. Popaditch? Do you have the backbone to stand up and do what is right or are you like the rest of the newspaper’s in America, withering away on the ash heap of history because they refuse to have any integrity. The world wonders.
Some were polite: “This is R.A.Wall, a retired E-7, USN, requesting that you retract your statements about GySgt. Popaditch.”
Lance ll2c00l yelled in a comment:
WHAT?! “extremist and white-supremacist Nick Popaditch”…REALLY?! That is not ever close to being true! Why is it that you liberals always resort to personal attacks? Jeez, it wasn’t even necessary to do it with Mr. Popaditch but you did it anyway. I supposed it’s in your DNA. Sooner or later (and I am praying for sooner) you will be held accountable for you libel and slander. Nick Popaditch is a good man who believes in conservative values. For that you attempt to label him an extremist and white-supremacist? He’s married to a Latino/Native American for crying out loud!
You’re an idiot.
jeffschwilk submitted the following:
Frank GormLIE, you are one sick ####! Just because Bob Filner’s dad was a card-carrying Communist in Pittsburgh (Google it, its true), does not mean Bob Filner is a Communist. Of course it doesn’t mean he’s not a communist either. The apple can’t fall too far from the tree.
Frank seems to know an awful lot about white supremacists. I’m betting he’s a closet Nazi while Nick Popaditch obviously is not. I smell a giant lawsuit coming against Frank for libel. Frank might soon be in the unemployment line with plenty of time to campaign for his favorite communist candidate.
P.S. – Your little Marxist movement is dead. Crushed by American Patriots…. again.
Some got nasty. Gary Rumain scrawled:
Fucking traitors! I hope you stupid dhimmis get what’s coming to you as well as the filthy koranimals you all love so much.
I got called an idiot a lot. Doc G:
What an idiot. Using your logic Nick Popaditch had “white supremist supporters” so he is a white supremist? Really, then Obama must be a socialist terrorist based on his friends and supporters. Or for that matter any of your friends must be idiots because they associate themselves with you, an idiot.
Yes, I’m sorry guys, Nick Popaditch is not a white-supremacist, … he’s anti-Semitic.