By Bill O’Brien

There is a rhetorical technique of distraction that politicians use when they have been called out for their actions or statements.

So, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that she was almost murdered by Sen. Cruz as demonstrators entered the Capitol and it was pointed out that she was not even in the Capitol Building at the time, she turned to this bombastic ruse. Her response was that she was being vilified because her opponents were using her status as a woman and a sexual assault victim to attack her. This despite the fact she had never before publicly disclosed the assault.

We see this distraction technique in use locally, perhaps less often than in Washington, but recently.  When it was pointed out that an endorsement of Keith Hanson for GOP state party chair was wrong, we see at least one endorser has turned to this technique. Rather than responding to the concerns that Mr. Hanson registered as a Republican weeks before his 2019 run for that position and didn’t vote in any New Hampshire primary and general elections in 2020, the response of his endorser was to claim personal vilification.

Take it from someone who for over 10 years has come to know something about vilification. Being vilified is when you are called a racist, misogynist, Nazi, and all the other insults that are the Democrats’ stock in trade because as a legislative leader you successfully reduced the size of government and taxes in New Hampshire. It is not because the problems with a candidate you endorsed are revealed and those problems challenge your endorsement.

Unlike Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and the extremists of the Democrat left and their progressive media enablers, Republicans in New Hampshire stick to the facts. And the facts support the reelection candidacy of our successful State Party Chair Stephen Stepanek over his challenger. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be distracted from that.


— Republican Bill O’Brien is a former NH Speaker of the House.