Righties are twisted, mother-fucking sons of bitches, if you'll pardon me for saying so. That makes me deranged? Pass the Prozac. From Democratic Underground the story of one Andy Stephenson. Behold:
That left only the money. Out of state patients must be prepared to pay the full costs of their surgeries in advance. So, a group of Andy’s friends set out to try to raise the funds needed, armed with only love and hope and a very short window to come up with the cash before we were all turned away.
That we did indeed raise $50, 000 in 11 days, in small donations and in many currencies is a measure of how beloved Andy was. None of us had the skill to open wallets, per se. This was for Andy.
And at this point, the story becomes bifurcated. One fork is the progress of love and hope and generosity that he elicited among the progressive community who shook junk drawers and upended sofa cushions and did without one trip to the mall to send in a donation. They made Andy’s surgery possible. And it is true that when I announced to an incredulous employee at Johns Hopkins that we had raised the money, I’m sure she heard me say, we found Monopoly Money and would she accept that? Paypal and Amazon accounts seem not to be used very often by Johns Hopkins clientele.
But the other fork of this story is the profound disturbance it created in the Bush right wing. I didn’t understand this until much later. But, the watchers saw our effort, watched the community response and were inspired with what can only be called hatred. Because only such a reaction could account for the vicious attack that was set into motion.
The first weekend of my fundraiser was without incident, but our jubilation of raising $25K in only one hundred hours must have goaded the Bush right. Before the week was out, the rumors of fraud and malfeasance began. I began to get anonymous email demanding to know Andy’s most personal information. During the second and last weekend of our effort, the contact information I had made available to donors resulted in my email box being spammed with hate mail. I at that point ignored it. It simply never occurred to my that our effort for our friend would become a political death match.
I was in no way prepared for what followed. And, although I have no proof, what followed was a concerted political attack on Andy, on our progressive community, and in specific on our ability to raise funds for our projects as well as, an attack on Andy’s productive work as an elections reform activist and watchdog.
What followed was a coordinated effort to block Andy’s medical care or his benefit from the medical care we could secure for him. In specific, the Bush right had its agents make small donations so they could then call Paypal with allegations of fraud that froze Andy’s account. They also called Paypal, misrepresenting themselves as the hospital to “verify” that this effort was a scam.
And it got more vicious from there. Due to the frozen funds and the confusion it caused us all, Andy’s surgery date was cancelled by Johns Hopkins. It was with great difficulty that we were able to persuade the doctor to be put Andy back into the surgical rotation. That cost him two weeks while he suffered from the most aggressive, invasive form of cancer.
The smears and the rumors were seeded all over the internet, to many sites. Ill, on hold waiting for his surgery, Andy and the rest of us cast about trying to answer questions that were more often simply calculated accusations meant to discredit us all, meant to make Andy’s health care as difficult as possible.
Andy called me one day, happy because he’d been given a new date. Then again, because they’d moved the date up. He was terrified, sobbing and I was caught flatfooted. Torn between trying to mind Andy’s care and trying to stop or answer the horrible accusations being sown all over our community, I had very little to offer his terror, dealing with my own.
After Andy was admitted to the hospital, the rumors turned into threats. A bounty was offered by the Bush right for anyone who could sneak into his hospital room. It was said he was getting a face lift. A telegram was sent just to see if it could be successfully delivered. The harassment was nonstop. And we tried to shield Andy from it, with less success than we would have liked.
A day or so after his surgery, Andy called me from his bed in ICU. I picked up the phone and he began to sing to me, “Come out, come out, wherever you are.” I started crying. And when we hung up, I offered that bit of good news to our on line progressive community at the Democratic Underground. Immediately, the opposition took that as evidence that Andy was not in fact recovering from a surgical marathon. And this was their pattern. Every specific I offered to comfort the community was taken up by Andy’s stalkers and used as evident that we were frauds.
There's much more - go ahead, read it all for yourself. You didn't really need that lunch you just ate, did you?