Thanks For Sticking With Me.

Well. That was interesting.

As the inestimable Eugene Volokh, Bill Torpy and others have now noted, I am a free man, unburdened by the legal menace of Tom Owens and his execrable temporary protective order barring me from within a football field’s length of him. I am now at liberty to stay away from him simply because I want to. God bless America.

My story about court is rapidly growing into another chapter in the book, though this time I think I’ll spare you the full dose. Suffice it to say that the closer I look at the sheer bloody-minded stupidity and perjury committed by Owens and his crew yesterday, the more I think there’s something fundamentally broken with the lot of them.

It’s not that they simply lied in court — and no, I don’t lay that accusation lightly — but that I’m legitimately wondering if they were capable of perceiving reality as most people do, or wish to do.

Tom Owens, his campaign manager Wayne Witter and the genuinely terrible human being Joe Newton walked into court yesterday prepared to testify that I had physically and verbally threatened Owens. In their hands, they carried a digital video recording that showed almost exactly the opposite — me, asking questions, while Newton hurled insults at me about a foot from my face.

It’s one thing when someone misremembers an event. Eye witness testimony is notoriously fraught. But it’s another thing when you have immediate access to a video recording of an event and still get the details radically wrong.

The video made a complete mockery of their case. The word pitiful might be appropriate, were they not such raging mattress stains and the kind of stupid that requires watering twice daily. To the typical observer, three minutes of me explaining why it’s important to ask questions of a political candidate while Newton calls me a violent Muslim and a fool would be quite enough to convince them who is on the right side of the question. A magistrate summarily spanked them yesterday with this approach. We have the video. I’ll post it soon.

Faced with that failure on Tuesday … they took exactly the same approach again yesterday.

They used the same video, only more of it, which made it worse. They made variations and elaborations on their testimony, which caused their statements to deviate even more from their own damned video evidence. They leveled accusations that were directly contravened five flipping minutes later on video.

I didn’t even have to testify.

So … what were they thinking would happen? That a new judge would magically decide to ignore the video evidence that they themselves brought and believe them when they said I was physically threatening? That they had video of my encounters with Owens and the phrase “I will destroy you” just by happenstance is absent?

Their own weird wiring appears to have led them to radically interpret what they saw on the tapes as beneficial to their case. But even during Owens’ ham-handed pro se “questioning” of witnesses — an entirely comic experience I’ll write about at length later — they insisted on describing their experiences in entirely subjective terms, trying every way possible to express their feelings as legally valid submissions of fact.

There’s a deeply troubling psychology at play here, a kind of confirmation bias reinforced by groupthink. The fact that they reinforce each other makes their biases harder to penetrate — even for themselves.

The Peach Pundit community has been unbelievably wonderful throughout this mess. I am in your debt. The outpouring of support from both liberal and conservative readers has bolstered my belief in the essential goodness of people involved in politics. Someone will, of course, disabuse me of that feeling quite soon.

Also, in an entirely unrelated note, I’ve ceased to pretend Harry doesn’t exist.

I sincerely hope, when all of this is over, that it renews interest in the vital discourse that fuels democracy … and that the Georgia First Amendment Foundation outraises Owens for the quarter.

41 comments

  1. Charlie says:

    For once, we celebrate that the good guy won yesterday.

    Congrats George. You didn’t pick this fight, but you didn’t shirk away from it when it came to you.

    Not many will. Even fewer persevere.

    Well done.

  2. Harry says:

    George, thank you. I apologize for my thoughtless and hurtful comments. I didn’t intend to offend but I did and should have known better. No matter what was said, no matter the ideology, please know that we’re kindred humanity with baggage. If we live without wishing the other dead, then we are friends. I want to engage with you and have a little pissing contest on occasion. I hope you too.

  3. Michael Silver says:

    Thank you George for taking up this fight for Liberty.

    Regardless of which side of the political spectrum we are on, each of us was offended and angry that the power of the State was used to silence critics. That is something they do in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and reflects poorly on Tom Owens and his tyrannical wannabe crew.

    Good Job and MANY THANKS!!!!!

    • George Chidi says:

      That … depends.

      Joe Newton threatened in court, twice, to attempt to get a TPO of his own. If he pulls that crap, I don’t think I’ll have a choice.

      And Wayne Witter has publicly accused me of lying about my own military record. I brought a copy of my DD-214 to court yesterday, showed it to him and made it clear that if he continues to make noises about my service where I can hear it, I’d sue.

      But it’s generally a bad idea for writers to sue people. I depend on people being willing to speak freely with me. I don’t want people to think there’s are legal consequences to their interactions.

      Also, I’m pretty sure Owens is almost as broke as I am. I’d never be able to collect.

  4. Will Durant says:

    George, having spent some time browsing the net on this guy I look forward to your book. Georgia has a long line of, shall we say, quirky politicians. But to quote Barney Fife, “He’s a NUT!”

  5. Ed says:

    George,

    You’ve certainly had some… interesting challenges the past few weeks. Glad everything is working out for you.

      • Doug Grammer says:

        Good job George. This pokes many holes on many of the Owens camp statements. The holes are so big you could drive a truck through them. Some of the first words said are “I read your stuff.” Now how can one claim to not know another person is a journalist when they profess to reading their work?

        If the cameraman worked for Owens and you told the cameraman that you had an article coming out the following day, are we to believe that Owens DIDN’T know you were writing an article?

        This is exactly why I wanted to see the video. Good work, George.

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