Posted by Christopher Johnson | Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 | Uncategorized | 27 Comments
(1) Congressman, you’re a conservative Christian as am I. And without any doubt whatsoever, I know that you’re a fine and decent man who’s distraught by all this controversy. You’re quite correct that everyone makes mistakes and you were quite right to apologize for the one you made.
But you also know, or should, that politics is a contact sport. And you also should know that there are some situations where “Sorry” can’t be said. If you “jokingly” drop an N-bomb in front of your African-American friend, it’s a pretty good bet that your friendship is well and truly dead no matter how abject an apology you make.
Is this situation one of those? That remains to be seen. But you know that Missouri Democrats are not going to let go of this any time soon. Why should they? You’ve got a huge obstacle to overcome that’s entirely of your own making.
(2) When you make a major public screw-up like this, the best possible thing to do, as Jim Rome always says, is to own it. Admit your mistake and admit it publicly. E-mails alone won’t work. So agreeing to go on Piers Morgan was a good concept. Going on the show, apologizing on television for your screw-up and taking your lumps would have done a lot to make all this go away and would have given your campaign a real boost.
(3) Except that you never showed. You stood Morgan up. I have to know something, Congressman. Who constitutes your senatorial campaign staff? Trained monkeys? Because the ONLY thing dumber than your original remarks was that. You were drawn and quartered on Twitter and deservedly so. Because now you not only look like a fool, you look like a coward. And once you get that reputation…
(4) Don’t get the idea that only you can beat Claire McCaskill. You only got 36% of the vote, there were two other strong conservatives in the race who together got more votes than you did and if one of those conservatives had not been in the race, there’s a pretty good chance that you would have lost the nomination. This is the major leagues, Congressman, and you’re neither essential nor irreplaceable. So if you truly want the GOP to take this seat, withdrawal from the race had better still be on the table.
(5) Can you still pull this out? Yes. The prospect of six more years of Claire McCaskill will get you a lot of votes all by itself. Provided, of course, that your campaign is pitch perfect from now until November. One more screw-up and lots of people who would otherwise have held their nose and voted for you will vote for the incumbent, vote for a third party candidate or won’t vote for Senator at all, all of which will probably guarantee Claire McCaskill another term.
And if that happens, if the Republicans throw away a seat that was theirs for the taking and that they absolutely had to have, I hope your regular business is a lucrative one. Because your political career in this state will be over. Forever.