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August 5, 2005
The Explanation Was Almost Worse

Partisans of both sides have long lists of politicians they love to hate. For some on the Left, George Bush and Tom DeLay top their rosters, while others on the Right usually think of Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, and whichever Clinton happens to hit the headlines. Some gather near-universal disdain, such as David Duke -- but he still garners some idiotic support from the fringes.

However, in North Carolina, we may have found a truly unifying figure, one so disgraceful that just about everyone can feel repulsed by his actions. The AP reports that a Charlotte city council candidate had to withdraw after his extracurricular writings came to the attention of a weekly newsletter:

A city council candidate dropped out of the race Friday after it was disclosed that he posted comments to a white supremacist Internet bulletin board more than 4,000 times.

Doug Hanks said the postings were fictional and designed to win white supremacists' trust as he researched a novel he was writing. He said the book was also meant to appeal to white supremacists.

"I needed information for the book and some other writings I was doing," Hanks told The Associated Press on Friday. "I did what I thought I needed to do to establish myself as a credible white nationalist."

That explanation seems rather suspicious to me. As a blogger, and arguably a rather obsessive one, I have written over 5,000 posts for CQ -- but it took me almost two years to reach that number. That averages out to around seven or eight essays a day. It takes time, effort, and desire to do that.

Now we have Hanks posting 4,000 over three years, which adds up to about four times a day, every day, without fail. At what point did Hanks surpass what was needed for his supposed goal of hoodwinking the local Klansmen? Two hundred? Three hundred? Four thousand posts over three years tells me that if Hanks says he did nothing but act like a bigot, he got lost in his role.

That isn't even the worst of it. If that was all, Hanks would just be a cut-rate Duke. Hanks says he did all of this so that he could build enough credibility to write a book. Guess what kind of book?

Hanks said his self-published novel, called "Patriot Act," takes themes from "The Turner Diaries" the racist novel believed to have inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

"I saw how successful these 'Turner Diaries' had been and that was the path to take," he told the AP. White supremacists, he said, "have more of a tendency to word of mouth, to say, 'Hey, you ought to pick this up.'"

Riiiight. Hanks tells us that he's not really a white supremacist; he just wanted bigots to like him so that they would buy his book. And he planned on writing the next Turner Diaries so that he could inspire the hate-filled mob to follow in the footsteps of Timothy McVeigh.

It sounds like Hanks violated the First Rule Of Holes: quit digging. The explanation turned out to be almost worse than the original problem. Instead of just being a garden-variety racist, he now argues that he just wants to make a buck off of inciting such idiots to violence.

Fortunately, it appears Hanks' political career will be a short one. However, he has a bright future as a Jerry Springer talk-show guest, and as a man just about everyone can despise.

UPDATE FOR BRUCE: No one thinks this is reflective of Charlotte, Bruce. Unfortunately, idiocy and bigotry don't limit themselves to a particular city or region. And idiocy on this scale has to be considered such a wild outlier that it cannot be reflective of anything except its own depravity.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 5, 2005 9:32 PM

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