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September 17, 2004

Meet Buckhead

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The LA Times has uncovered the identity of "Buckhead" the freeper who made the first round of Killian typography charges. Outside the Free Republic, he is Harry W. MacDougald, a prominent Atlanta attorney with close ties to the GOP.

[...] MacDougald is a lawyer in the Atlanta office of the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and is affiliated with two prominent conservative legal groups, the Federalist Society and the Southeastern Legal Foundation, where he serves on the legal advisory board and has been involved in several high-profile cases.

Founded in 1976, the Southeastern Legal Foundation advocates "limited government, individual economic freedom, and the free enterprise system," according to its website.

The foundation has fought affirmative action and domestic partner benefits for government employees, and successfully challenged a Clinton administration plan to use proportional sampling, rather than a hard count, to estimate the population in the 2000 census.

MacDougald helped draft the foundation's petition in 1998 that led to the five-year suspension of Clinton's Arkansas law license for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.

And MacDougald assisted in the group's legal challenge to the campaign finance law sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). The challenge, ultimately presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, was funded largely by the Southeastern Legal Foundation in conjunction with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the law's chief critic, and handled by former Clinton investigator Kenneth W. Starr.[...]


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Seems like a decent bloke.

Does being credentialed in this manner make him less of a Freeper or more of one?

So? He just made a common sense layman's claim that led to more expert people uncovering the truth. Good work, and an ad hominem attack, under the guise that this may mean some sort of Rovian conspiracy, makes one sound like a Bolshie!

Is it really an earthshaking revelation that a poster to Free Republic is - gasp - a conservative activist? That would be as shocking as finding out that a dailyKos regular was a longstanding Democratic Party stalwart: in other words, not in the least.

It seems strange to me that one should be "unveiling" a man who disclosed a bit of knowledge anyone with even a cursory understanding of typography* would possess, even as the identity of the person who perpetrated this fraud is doggedly defended by CBS. I realize that most political ideologues would like to see their own side "win", but surely that shouldn't get in the way of recognizing the truth for what it is? I suppose it depends on the audience one wishes to speak to - the true believers will swallow this stuff up uncritically, but anyone who thinks this sort of desperate politicking will sway the undecided is living in a dream world.

In this case, it is that someone tried to palm off on CBS a bunch of documents that state what most liberals already "know" to be true, and that even had the scam succeeded, it would have done little to hurt an incumbent who is running on his actions of the previous and next 4 years, not on what he did 3 decades ago - unlike John F. Kerry. Every moment spent arguing about what was or was not in a bunch of memos 30 years ago only serves to damage Kerry's candidacy; here's a guy who's been handed an opponent with a legacy of bad policies most challengers would kill for, and he ignores them to go rehashing stuff the electorate already showed it could care less about way back in 1992. That may not be a sign of lousy judgement in general, but it does indicate severe political cluelessness, both on his part and those of his supporters grasping at straws to keep this story alive.

*Yes, including myself. This is the sort of thing one would have casually picked up reading MacWorld in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when QuarkExpress, Pagemaker and the like were a very big deal.

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