They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Citing Email Flap, McKalip Says He'll Withdraw From Public Debate Over Healthcare

As we noted in our original post, McKalip -- an energetic and widely quoted conservative activist -- had recently written an anti-reform op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times, and had appeared with at least two GOP members of Congress in an online townhall meeting aimed at stopping reform.

In response to McKalip's announcement, many fellow Tea Partiers pledged their support. One, Nancy Meinhardt, wrote:

Ok I had not seen the picture before and it reminded me of all the hellish depictions of our former Preisdent, the legitimate one. I would not have apologized to the fraudulant (sic) President. But thats (sic) just my opinion.

The email exchange obtained by TPMmuckraker also shows that even McKalip's apology to President Obama last night wasn't quite the heartfelt act of contrition it was presented as.

When McKalip showed the apology to his Tea Party cohorts, he included a separate message just for them -- published earlier by the Florida alt weekly Creative Loafing -- in which he minimized the email as a "lapse in judgment" and blamed the flap on "powerful enemies."

It reads:

I have had a very hard day. When you stand up and fight effectively for freedom and to protect the rights of patients from control by the government and insurance companies - you develop powerful enemies. They have used the opportunity of a lapse in judgment to try to discredit me since they can't discredit my arguments. I am proud of my accomplishments in this fight. I am more proud of the hundreds of thousands of Americans I have come to know who feel as I do and are willing to stand up for freedom. The next few days will be difficult, and I ask for your support.

The emails also show that McKalip's original response to the criticism he began to receive after we revealed his racist email was equally defiant. About an hour after our post went up yesterday morning, he wrote to fellow activists, in an email titled: "Race Baiting by Obama Camp on health care":

Here they come. The first of what likely will be many emails accusing me of being a rascist (sic) for forwarding this email of Obama as a witch doctor. Almost like Hillary and the Obama photo form the presidential campaign.

ADVICE TO ALL: DON'T GET ANGERED AND TAKE THE BAIT ON STUFF LIKE THIS. Remain calm and cool and discuss health policy at all times. The worst they got from me was that people are worried about the health care plans Obama has and that I am busy and had to end the call.

So Talking points memo is apparently painting me as a racist for sending around a picture that points out that health care will get worse if the government takes it over. Looks like I made the top of the list and they BUT THEY DID USE THE ONLY QUOTE I GAVE THEM!! (see below). Apparently they have a professional "Muckraker" for a reporter (see below).

This may be worth doing a story on about how these ultra liberal groups like to race bait and avoid the issue. Professional muckraker? Please. Now they are calling my office phones too!!! Yippee.

Lesson learned: Any attempt to discuss politics will lead to a race-baiting war. Also: Don't engage on anything that looks like personal attacks on Obama. It casues distraction that confuses the issues.

Don't let them bait you. I will choose to ignore them and always talk about the issues.

In response, one recipient, Robin Stublen, listed as the "FL Co-State Coordinator Tea Party Patriots" wrote:

What we cant tell them to kiss our white ass anymore? Man you guys are no fun at all.

Later, after McKalip had apologized, Stublen wrote that what McKalip had done in sending the email was "no different than what liberals did for eight years with Bush cartoons" and "no different than the passing of Jib Jab videos that we all have shared." Stublen called McKalip a "victim," and a "great man fighting for a great cause" and charged that "radical members of the left" had tried to "silence" him.

Here's Stublen's full email:

David,
I like and respect you for your undying faith and conviction concerning our Constitution and our health care. I admire you for what you have done in the past and what I know you will do in the future.

I realize why you have apologized and respect your decision to do so. Yet, I want you to know that you never offended Obama. My guess he has never seen the picture in question and more than likely never will. What has happened is that you, my friend are a victim. You like millions of us across this great country of both parties saw something that was humorous to you and you passed it along to your like minded friends. This is no different than what liberals did for eight years with Bush cartoons. This is no different than the passing of Jib Jab videos that we all have shared. You are no different. You are human.

The difference lies in the fact that radical members of the left saw an opportunity to try and destroy and outspoken and effective leader against socialized medicine and they took it. Their attempt to silence you must not succeed. I realize that they have contacted the hospital where you practice. I realize that your career in many ways is jepordized and that you will have to defend yourself in the coming days. Please know that all of us not only in this group but accross the country admire and support you. We believe in you and believe in our hearts that you have done nothing wrong.

I am sure in this situation that I speak for others when I say, we support you now more than ever. We respect you now more than ever and we will never fail to come to your defense when we are needed. You sir are a great man fighting for a great cause and in the end our country will be better for it.

I thank you, my children thank you and your country thanks you.

God Bless and Keep You Safe.

Robin Stublen

Late Update: McKalip has now resigned as president of the Pinellas County Medical Association.