As a self-described protector of the U.S. Constitution, Mike Detmer is a big fan of the Second Amendment. It appears he’s not so crazy about the First.
In a comment on Facebook this week, Detmer – a Republican from Howell who’s seeking the 8th Congressional District seat – threatened to sue me for calling his campaign a “train wreck.”
This is true. I did indeed call his campaign a train wreck. In a blog post I wrote in which I opined on which races were the top 10 primary races in Livingston County this year, I referred to “the train-wreck candidacy of Mike Detmer.”
This did not please Mike Detmer, so he is now threatening to sue me for voicing my opinion of his candidacy. He left a Facebook comment on the blog post, and you can see for yourself what he said:
That’s right, folks. A candidate for the U.S. Congress is threatening to sue a piddly little blogger for the Livingston Post for criticizing his campaign. It’s now apparently illegal for someone to criticize Mike Detmer’s campaign. I really wish someone had told me this.
He’s already standing in a hole that’s 500 feet deep, and just when you thought that Mike Detmer couldn’t possibly top himself, he said, “Hold my beer.”
Now, I’m very sorry that whatever copy of the U.S. Constitution Mike has been looking at doesn’t have the First Amendment in it. Just to refresh your memory, Mike, here’s what it says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press, Mike. Those are in there.
In layman’s terms, let me tell you what that means: It means that anyone – even a loudmouth blogger for the Livingston Post – gets to criticize your campaign. It means that I get to say that in my opinion, you’re not fit to be a Congressman. It means that I get to call your campaign a train wreck.
Now, like you, I love the Second Amendment, too. I love all the amendments. Even the First. But we don’t get to pick and choose which ones we want to follow.
So, let me say again what just happened here: Mike Detmer – a candidate for the U.S. Congress – is threatening to sue someone for calling his campaign a “train wreck.” In Mike Detmer’s America, it is now illegal to criticize Mike Detmer.
But, since you’re demanding a retraction, I’ll give it to you.
Mike, your campaign is NOT a train wreck. It is, instead, the most brilliant campaign I’ve ever seen.
In fact, I’m trying to think of which part of it is the most brilliant – the part where you posed for a selfie in the middle of a pandemic with a bunch of people huddled closely together not wearing masks, or the part where you strongly defended an organization that many consider to be a white-supremacist hate group.
I can’t believe the other candidates didn’t think of this, Mike. You sure pulled a fast one on them!
So, please accept my apologies for calling your campaign a train wreck. It’s not a train wreck. It’s sheer political brilliance.
Now that we got THAT out of the way, let’s go back to the First Amendment for a second.
See, not only does it guarantee ME the right to call your campaign a train wreck, but it also guarantees YOUR supporters the right to call me every name in the book. Which they have!
They’ve called me a loser, a hack, a moron, a failed journalist and a liberal. And most of them have pointed out that I lost to Joe Hune in the 2002 Republican primary for State Representative, in case I had forgotten about that.
Now, all of these comments hurt my feelings a lot, and I’ve been crying a lot as a result, and I suppose that using Mike Detmer’s legal interpretation, I should start filing lawsuits.
But instead, I’ll just recognize that in this country that we all love, we’re allowed to voice our opinions. We’re allowed to say that a candidate for the 8th Congressional District is an awful candidate, and we’re allowed to say that a blogger for the Livingston Post is an awful writer.
And I’ll let the voters form their own opinions about a Congressional candidate who wants to sue someone for it.