The baby was sad this morning. His friends wanted him to play in the annual Birds vs. Squirrels fluffyball game at today’s 4th of July picnic. Fluffyball is the forerunner of softball, except humans changed the rules because you couldn’t get to the bases up in the trees. The baby declined, saying he was going to spend the day with his guirrel friend. They asked again, and it turned into an argument.

“They’re just jealous because I have a guirrel friend!” he said. “I think they’re trying to break us up.”

I hoped he hadn’t told them that. Alas, he had. In fact, that’s what set off the argument. I asked him whether it was possible that his friends just liked him and missed his company. I also noted that saying they were jealous and trying to break up his relationship made him sound like … well … a pompous and somewhat paranoid jerk.

“You mean like David VanderLeest?” he asked.

Well, now that he mentioned it, there were similarities. VanderLeest is the Republican challenger to Wisconsin state senator Dave Hansen in recall election later this summer. VanderLeest organized the recall and would have faced a GOP primary with state representative John Nygren, but Nygren didn’t gather enough valid signatures to be on the ballot.

But VanderLeest faces some challenges of his own making, including an unpaid judgment with a local bank, building code violations for his business, and a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence. Or, as VanderLeest puts it, they’re all out to get him:

I am an advocate for truth in Brown County. I have sued public officials for curruption and abuse of power, as an attempt to protect the hard working taxpayers, of NE WI. (see federal court case number 07-c-318) I am inocent of every criminal case ever brought against me. Every accusation ever brought fourth, happened because my then wife had a drinking problem, and made false accusations that she later recanted. These cases were intensified at the hand of currupt officials, who viewed me as a political threat, and wanted to silence, suppress, and minimize me, like Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate tryed [sic] to do today. Crooked public officals like this do not deserve the public trust. They fear my ability to polarize the public and expose true corruption that takes place at the hand of public officials who have different political views then me. People like this have no morals, and only care about winning, at any and all cost. These officials do not care who they hurt in the process, they are simply interested in protecting their place at the public trough. Hurting David VanderLeest and his seven year old son James, are just ways of getting currupt official the means they desire.

Innocent, except for that pesky guilty plea.

In short, everyone – his ex-wife, local officials, the bank, the Democratic Party – is out to get him. Because he’s just so wonderful. It’s typical of conservative persecution politics.

The baby has an excuse. Most teens are wrapped up in their own worlds and convinced everyone else hates them. But teens don’t run for state senator.

After we talked, the baby texted his friends to apologize, and said he’d be there for the fluffyball game. His guirrel friend will play too. Turns out she played shortstop last year, and was only skipping this year because thought the baby wanted to. So the squirrels’ lineup is all set, it should be tough for the birds.

As for VanderLeest … he’s for the birds too….

Good day and good nuts.