Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson, who runs T2 Partners, sent out an email last night that appears to have offended some Republican recipients.
Tilson, who is one of the founders of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and a big supporter of Obama, opened his email with, “This is a much more political email than usual – but with the election two weeks from Tuesday, what do you expect?!”
Following a fundraising dinner for Obama, Tilson wrote about Bill Clinton saying the Republican Party is hurting itself by being “anti-immigrant.”
Because of this, Clinton said the Republican party is losing the Hispanic vote and that population is typically very religious and culturally conservative, Tilson wrote. What’s more is Clinton said many African Americans don’t support gay marriage, the email said.
According to Tilson, Clinton mentioned how he despises that the Republican Party’s strategy for the election is to suppress Democratic turn out by trying to pass laws making it harder for traditional Democratic voters to vote.
Tilson agrees with Clinton.
Now this is the passage in the email that appears to have ticked off some of the Republican readers (emphasis ours):
I feel just as strongly. Every time I write about this, somebody emails me saying something along the lines of, “You have to show a driver’s licence to do X, so what’s the big deal about requiring it to vote?” or “Hey, both sides play lots of dirty politics like gerrymandering districts.” My simple answer is: BULLSH*T! If you think Republicans are really concerned about voter fraud, please contact me immediately – there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you. Republicans know exactly what they’re doing and who they’re targeting – and it’s despicable. Moreover, what’s the word to describe a calculated attempt to deny minorities the ability to vote? RACISM, pure and simple. And it’s not some fringe Tea Party group doing it – Republicans are passing voter suppression laws in nearly every state they control. Thank goodness the courts (for now anyway) are killing most of these laws…
An hour later, the investor then sent another email saying he’s received a bunch or responses like, “Please remove me from your mailing list. I am Republican, and I dislike being called a racist.”
This is how Tilson reply to the angry reader:
I didn’t say you were – I said your party is engaging in racist behaviour and should stop doing it. Just like my party was (and to an unfortunate extent still is) selling out poor and minority kids when it comes to schools, denying them a fair shot at the American Dream. And I’ve been just as tough on my party on this issue, calling it despicable, immoral, outrageous, sickening, and un-American numerous times.
The difference between us is I didn’t get mad at Republicans who (rightly) attacked my party on this issue – instead, I joined (and, I’d like to think, to a small extent helped catalyze) a movement of Democrats who joined forces with Republicans who care about this issue. We’ve worked to try to change our party from within, because our Republican friends can’t do it – it has to be an inside job. (I see a similar dynamic today on gay marriage – it’s hard-core Republicans like Paul Singer who seem to finally be moving at least part of their party on this – see:www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/opinion/sunday/the-gops-gay-trajectory.html.)
Did you even bother to read further down my email, where I had nothing but praise for Jeb Bush? As a partisan, I hope the Republican party continues to self-destruct into an increasingly marginalized party of old, angry, white, Southern men, but as an American (which is far more important to me), it concerns me greatly when I see a great party filled with intellectuals and moderates get hijacked by anti-intellectual extremists – and let’s be clear, they’re no longer the fringe, but the mainstream…
So enough sending me foolish emails. Your time would be much better spent standing up to people in your party doing outrageous, un-American things.
You’re off my list.
Tilson let him have it.