BY JACKSON BAKER | MAY 9, 2007
This will come as real news to most Memphians: Our city has a bona fide declared presidential candidate - David F. Diamond (ne Fentress) - who has just been attacked by another presidential candidate, Colorado Republican congressman Tom Tancredo, as something of a mad scientist. By our reckoning, it's Tancredo (pictured) who sounds more like a mad scientist. But judge for yourself.
In last week's televised MSNBC debate featuring 10 GOP contenders, each of the candidates got at least one question emailed in by a viewer of the program. Tancredo's came from independent Diamond, a former radio personality and conservative activist whose chief campaign plank is a concern for facilitating organ transplants.
Jim VanderHei, executive editor of Politico.com, read the question this way: "David Diamond of Memphis writes in: 'Do you have a plan to solve the shortage of organs donated for transplant?'"
Here, in its entirely, is the response from Tancredo, hitherto best known for his adamant opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants, whom he wants treated as felons:
""Well, I don't believe that the goal of the United States..that the president of the United States should be putting forth a plan to do such a thing. The reality is that technology and the advent of technology in a variety of areas is going at a pace where, I believe, we can look forward...we can look forward to a variety of things that will allow us to cure diseases that we do not have a cure for...."
Tancredo then went on something of a bender.
"But the idea that I take is inherent in this question - that we should somehow be growing these things, that we should somehow be cloning people for the purpose of using these kinds of, uh, attitudes is ridiculous. I absolutely would not support it."
Growing these things? Using these kinds of, uh, attitudes?
Okay, David, the debate's on. You have 30 seconds (or more if you need it) for a rebuttal.