"Rich Girard's intelligence and talent has taken him far. All the way from West High School, across the Biron bridge, to a flower shop in Pinardville." -- Anonymous Ward 10 Resident
My late father was a "Tin Man", a "Sider", a purveyor and peddler of aluminum & vinyl siding and various other "home improvements" for any price he could get from the local gentry of various states with weak consumer protection laws. He built up a formidable reputation in the Wall Business, known coast-to-coast as a top-notch closer who could "handle a hot stove".
The Old Man would probably have been on the road into his eighties if the Democrats and Republicans, in the spirit of bipartisanship, hadn't looted the savings and loan industry in the 1980s. With the collapse of the S&Ls, his financing dried up and he spent the last 15 years of his life gardening and nursing the hemorrhoids that were the honneurs de combat of his many years and millions of miles odysseying 'cross the continental United States. At both speedometer-obliterating velocities on the Interstates and "mooch speed" while trawling through neighborhoods, the leather seats of innumerable yet memorable Caddies and Lincoln Continentals did a number on his own seat!
When I was a boy, he passed on to me two bits of wisdom worth considerably more than two bits that, in my many decades as a denizen of this planet, have never been disproven. "Jon," the man I called Dad told me, "the essence of life is somebody's always trying to sell you a horse made out of horse manure."
There was a corollary to that observation: "People will eat manure off of a rusty spoon."
I thought of both of Dad's maxims back in March when I attempted to listen to Rich Girard's smear of New Hampshire Executive Councillor Chris Pappas on his radio show, Girard at Large, and then thought of it again this week when listening to his phony "act of contrition" when his sexting scandal was revealed. Not does Girard maked a horse out of horse manure, but the reactionary audience for his brazen brand of bull would eat manure off of a rusty spoon.
(By the way, Dad used an earthy anglo-saxonism in place of "manure".)
Minister of Propaganda
Back in March, when the weather was still horrendous, the reactionary radio personality Rich Girard made a pathetic attempt to link New Hampshire Executive Councillor Chris Pappas to an allegedly Planned Parenthood-affiliated site supposedly promoting BDSM (bondage & discipline/sado-mascochism). Since Pappas has favored funding for Planned Parenthood, in Girard's ken, he was actively promoting BDSM!
Planned Parenthood's ties to the site "promoting" BDSM are so tenuous, one can only think of the word Manchester CIty Solicitor Thomas Clark used when describing Girard's take on the Queen City's proposed right to know law: "Absurd".
Needless to say, the politician in question was a Democrat. His prestigious office, that of Executive Councillor, seemingly is coveted by Girard's bosom buddy Phil Greazzo, who most recently lost election to the State Senate a year before Manchester voters bounced him from his position as alderman in November 2013.
(On Phil's behalf, it can be said that since he's won three of the nine elections he's contested since 2002, if he were a baseball player, his .333 average might put him in the Hall of Fame. Alas, in reality, his won-loss ratio consigns him to the politician's Hall of Shame.)
Rich Girard himself is a Republican, yet another former aldermen of the city of Manchester. His failed mayoral candidacy, when former mayor Robert Baines ate him up and excreted him as easily as a dog devours and passes a rawhide bone, distinguishes him somewhat from Greazzo. Since being drubbed in the 2001 mayor's race, Girard's main occupation is broadcasting right-wing rhetoric from atop a flower shop in Pinardville, the gateway to Goffstown, a suburb of the Queen City.
The more one listens to Girard's gibberish on a non-profit "Christian" radio station seemingly powered by a 25-watt light bulb whose airwaves can't even reach all of Manchester, the more one experiences a self-styled Minister of Propaganda for the reactionary, anarcho-libertarian faction that has taken over the Manchester City Republican Party and which runs amok in New Hampshire at large. Though occasionally capable of lucidity and sometimes a simulacrum of reason, when Rich Girard lets it rip, which is often, he comes off a kind of Josef Goebbels-Lite for the Granite State neo-fascist set.
Equating Rich Girard to Dr. Goebbels may be too harsh -- after all, Girard is no anti-Semite and has had no hand in genocide, except perhaps the near total wipeout of the New Hampshire Democrats in the 2010 elections -- but yet, Girard himself seems to be driven by demons and is no stranger to trucking in hate. I, myself, saw the dark side of the radio host when he tried to pick a fight with me in a City Hall men's room.
He has called for one school committee member in neighboring Hooksett who attracted his ire to have "his face pushed in" and during one of his frequent rants against Manchester Alderman Joseph Kelly Levasseur, he actually said that a certain alderman should be "hanged" in the aldermanic chambers.
Listening to Girard in full screech mode, when he starts to bray like a flea-bitten jackass being tormented by a sadistic child possessing a stout stick, one is reminded of Professor Henry Higgins remonstration over Eliza Doolittle's unreconstructed English at the beginning of My Fair Lady: "Heavens, what a sound!"
Perhaps it is fitting that Rich Girard toils over a flower shop, as compost if not manure itself is always readily at hand. He excelled himself in fabricating a horse made of horse manure when he attempted to link Chris Pappas to BDSM on his March broadcast.
Pappas is openly gay, and it did not surprise me for a man of Girard's ilk to try to smear a gay candidate by linking him to a sexual practice that many of Girard's conservative audience would consider deviant. His actual fabrication of the horse-from-horse-manure is not pertinent; what is important is that it illustrates the McCarthyite tactics that reactionary populists like Girard truck in.
Around the time of this broadcast, Girard actually "caught" me in the very wee small hours of the morning trying to take a picture of the flower shop that rents him an office to illustrate this article, which I planned for a relaunch of my Yahoo! column. For a hoot, I had placed an old campaign lawn sign of the man he currently hates most, Joe Kelly Levasseur (who unlike Girard, has managed to be reelected), in a snow bank to get a picture of both signs. Alas, Girard arrived unexpectedly early at the flower shop and me and my mother's old dog, who is diabetic and has a penchant for waking me up at 4AM to be taken out to relieve her bladder, vamoosed from his place in Pinardville.
Later that night, at City Hall, Girard tried to pick a fight with me in the men's room. I decided to put off the launch of my column as I was not expecting such a reaction from someone whom I believe is emotionally unstable and capable of violence.
The Cankered Soul of Richard H. Girard
Why I wanted a picture of the flower ship sign was because it was ballyhooing Women's Day, a holiday on March 8th that is little known in this country. Women's Day, the sign said, was a good reason to get the woman in your life some flowers.
Woman's Day is actually known as International Women's Day, and the first time I had ever heard of it was from a woman who had been born in the Soviet Union. Also known as International Working Women's Day, it was created in Europe in 1910 by European socialists and was a holiday in the U.S.S.R. and remains so in post-Soviet Russia.
If I were to engage in the kind of McCarthyite smear that Rich Girard engaged in to try to hurt Christ Pappas, I would, say, link Girard via the flower shop (specifically, the flower shop sign) to socialism (which is implicit in International Woman's Day), and might even go further and link him to the bullying of Putin's Russia, where Women's Day is a recognized holiday. After all, the Free State movement that Girard is so passionate about did invite Edward Snowden's lawyer to their "Liberty Forum" in Manchester just before Putin snatched the Crimea from Ukraine.
Such a smear would have as much substance as Girard's linking of Chris Pappas to BDSM. However, it would perfectly illustrate Girard's mastery of the horse-out-of-horse manure paradigm. From his perch in Pinardville, Rich Girard wields la cuillère rouillée to spoonfeed his listeners manure.
It is most upsetting, if not unappetizing, to witness the half-wits zealously supping on Girard's rhetorical diet of horse manure. My father is proven right once again, but I take no comfort in that.
We citizens of New Hampshire are the poorer for the likes of Richard H. Girard, who uses the First Amendment as a shield to hide behind while he vociferously vents his spleen against people who are far better than he can ever hope to be. Yet, I can take some consolation in the fact that there probably aren't 100 people in the million plus souls who call the Granite State home who take seriously this amateurish demagogue who sits festering in a flower shop attic, afflicted with moral and intellectual rot.
It is too bad the flower shop over which Girard perches, a fine establishment that I have patronized many times, doesn't have a spray that can remove the cankers that festoon Rich Girard's corrupted soul.