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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 12, 2004 10:13 PM

How much more Democrat hate can you take? First, Jeff Danziger strikes out at Condi Rice with the most heinous political cartoon of the year.

And now this disgusting campaign flyer from Tennessee Democrats (hat tip: Traditional Values Coalition):


Maureen Dowd no doubt approves.

Update: According to TVC, the person responsible for the flyer is Democrat Craig Fitzhugh. He is running for office in House District 82 in Tennessee. Contact info here.

Update II: Fitzhugh’s office is giving me the runaround; I’ve called several times, but have yet to receive a call back. I have heard from locals that a Fox News crew is down in Ripley now. Hopefully, they’ll have better luck catching up with him.

Meantime, some people are doubting that this story is true. I spoke with William Klutcs, the editor of the local paper, the Lauderdale Enterprise, which published a short feature on the flyer. He said he has been hearing complaints about the poster for the past two weeks. In addition, I spoke with Susie Ray, a Ripley, TN, citizen who obtained a copy of the flyer from a friend who picked it up at the town’s Democratic headquarters. Ray says the issue is “more personal than political for me.” She had a loved one in her life with Down syndrome, and she wrote the following letter to the editor after seeing the poster:

Dear Editor:

I was horrified this weekend when I was shown a disturbing piece of literature that is being distributed from Democratic headquarters here in our hometown. For those of you who have not seen this piece of trash, it is a photograph of the body of a Special Olympics Athlete who appears to be participating in a footrace. On the body, a photograph of President Bush’s face has been pasted. The caption reads, “Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics, Even if you win, you’re still retarded”.

I’m unsure where this photograph originated, but I do know this — I have many, many dear family members and friends that are members of the Democratic Party and I find it very hard to believe that this “trash” is being promoted by their organization. To the creator of this trash and the individuals who are responsible for its distribution: Did you ever stop to consider that the body in this photograph belongs to someone’s child – a child who is loved – a child who is special? Do you know what the Special Olympics are? Do you know who founded the Special Olympics many years ago? Do you know why? Have you ever heard of Eunice Kennedy Shriver? Have you ever heard of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation? Have you ever even heard of the Kennedy family?

I’m quite certain you are unable to answer any of the above questions, as you have shown how ignorant you are with the production and distribution of such horrible, sickening literature. I can’t help wondering if you have children. I wonder if they are healthy. I wonder if you have experienced the illness of a child that you love and perhaps prayed for that child to be healed. I wonder if anyone has ever hurt you by ridiculing a child that you love. You must be really proud of your poor attempt at humor — I wonder — are you ridiculing the child in the photograph or the President of our country? A country that allows a disgusting individual to live and have the freedom to distribute trash that goes far beyond the realm of poor taste. You are a disgrace, not only to the Democratic party, but to our community, our state, and our country. I cannot imagine the Democratic party condoning or tolerating such cruel behavior.

Now, to offer you a compliment on your achievement — You have made me even more proud than I already was to say I voted for President George W. Bush in the last election. It makes me proud to know that I will have the opportunity to cast my vote for him again in the upcoming election. It’s people like you that make me proud to say — I’m a Republican.

Take a long, hard look at the following — The Special Olympics Athlete Oath — “Let me win. But, if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Look at your flyer — and should your capabilities allow, read this oath over and over again. How does it make you feel? Is your flyer still humorous? I will pray that you feel brave enough to apologize to every family who has been touched by the life of an intellectually disabled child for your display of cruel, insensitive, ignorant behavior. And I will also pray for you that perhaps one day you will be fortunate, as I have been, to be touched by the life of one of these very special children.

Update III: A Tennessee political observer and former state General Assembly employee recounts Fitzhugh’s past political dirty tricks–involving an attack on his GOP opponent’s five-year-old adopted daughter–here.

Update IV: Democrats told the Associated Press that the infamous anti-Bush Special Olympics flyer was planted by a political opponent, implying it was a Republican.

James Mitchell, the man whom the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) promised could finger Fitzhugh, is quoted by the AP saying Fitzhugh was not responsible. “I don’t want it pinned on Fitzhugh,” the AP quotes Mitchell. “I want it pinned on the one who done it. Fitzhugh is a nice man.” The report also claims that Mitchell “said he has no idea where it came from.”

But that’s not what Mitchell told me this morning. I told him that another news report quoted him saying that he didn’t know where the flyer came from; I asked him if that was accurate and if he could tell me where the flyers originated. “The Democratic headquarters here.” Are you sure, I asked him. “Yes,” he said unequivocally. You mean the Democratic headquarters office downtown that also serves as the Fitzhugh campaign office? “Yes,” he repeated. When I asked if he thought the Fitzhugh campaign was responsible for the flyer, which had been circulating around town for two weeks according to the local newspaper editor, Mitchell told me “I think it was a fellow from the campaign.” Whoever it was, he was, “mean and stupid” and “it makes me mad because this hurts special needs kids.”

Update V: More from Tennesseean Bill Hobbs here.

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Categories: Condi Rice