I must confess that I have not been a huge fan of Dancing With The Stars, my viewing is usually limited to catching highlights if they happen to have a contestant I find interesting. I’m also not particularly a fan of former Congressman Tom Delay, I found him to be arrogant in his attitude towards his peers and his rivals.
However when I heard he was going to be on DWTS this season I was interested enough to check things out and was surprised to find he’s actually pretty good. Not as smooth or practiced as a Donny Osmond but still he was pretty good from a purely technical standpoint.
Today it was announced that he will be pulling out due to stress fractures in both feet. My reaction was relatively neutral, I was sorry to see him go under such circumstances and I hope that he gets better quickly. But I can’t say I was horribly broken up by his departure.
But I was disappointed, if not particularly surprised, by the reaction on the left. The Huffington Post in particular has been following the show and the comments have ranged from indifference to outright hostility towards him. Many have implied, and some have outright said, that they are happy for his pain and suffering. The comments about his performance have been largely cruel and vindictive.
Now I do understand that for many on the left he is the man you love to hate, but I don’t see why such hate has to continue years after he is out of office and when he is on a silly reality show. I’ve got plenty of people on the left and the right who I don’t care for and some who I fervently hope will be retired from public office. But I don’t wish them pain and suffering, I don’t see the need to attack them personally.
If Nancy Pelosi or Charlie Rangel showed up on one of these shows I probably wouldn’t root for them, and as is the case with Delay I wouldn’t particularly care if they lost or had to leave the show. But I’d feel badly that they were hurt and I’d wish them the best in trying something new.
I am well aware that people on both the left and the right have spewed venom and their political rivals and some have even celebrated the pain and death of those rivals. But that is pretty classless behavior and I would think that in something as innocuous as DWTS we could put those things aside.