I just love how badly GOP freshman Nan Hayworth, who is running for re-election in New York’s redrawn 18th Congressional District, has handled this mess. If you’re just catching up with us, one of Hayworth’s spokesmen, Jay Townsend, was busted last week for writing on Facebook:
“Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.”
The blindingly obvious move for the Hayworth campaign was to just cut deadweight like Townsend loose—but instead, they defended him, with another spokesman saying his remarks “were clearly not meant to be taken literally.” But eventually realizing Team Hayworth had a problem on its hands, Townsend was goaded into making a b.s. apology, which began:
On May 26, I posted a stupid, thoughtless, and insensitive comment on a facebook page. It was stupid because my words were easily misconstrued; thoughtless because my choice of words obscured a point I was trying to make, and insensitive because some have interpreted the comment as advocating a violent act.
Misconstrued! How do you misconstrue “let’s hurl some acid”? Obviously you cannot. That fact finally dawned on Hayworth on Monday, when she at last kicked Townsend out the door. And her statement reveals how desperately eager she is to stop talking about this controversy:
“Jay Townsend has offered, and I have accepted, his resignation from his position with my campaign. Now let’s return to talking about issues that really matter to families: job creation, spending restraint and economic development.”
Hey—it was your campaign that decided to talk about hurling acid at women, not us! Ultimately, there’s a meta-point to be drawn here, which is that, as I said above, canning Townsend instantly was a no-brainer, yet somehow Hayworth decided to do the exact opposite and dig in. It makes you wonder about how competently her campaign is being run—and how smart she is. It’s all the more notable given that the revised 18th is a blue-tilting swing district that Barack Obama won 52-47, and Democrats have an energetic field looking to take on Hayworth. But if she wants to make our lives easier with blunders like this, I’m all for it.