It’s time once again for The Future American’s FAIL OF THE WEEK! Every Saturday, I name a person or group who has spent the past seven days behaving in a particularly idiotic way. Since it’s my belief that idiocy knows no politics, nobody is safe.
This week’s fail was brought to you by Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and the Shawnee Mission School District. This is the second time this year that the word “Shawnee” was included in a Fail of the Week column and, for the county’s sake, I sincerely hope it’s the last. But if they don’t drop the ideas that a) educators are responsible for a student’s private tweets and b) anyone’s private tweets need the governor’s attention unless they incite harm . . . well, tough shit.
18-year-old Emma Sullivan tweeted this following a school visit to the state capitol:
Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot
She didn’t, for the record; she never got an opportunity to address him personally. So you can’t accuse Brownback of whining because he was humiliated by a high schooler, even if she’s a registered voter. (Yes, she’s a Democrat.) Was the tweet in poor taste? Yes. Did it reflect on her school? No. Did it merit the ensuing meeting with her principal, in which Sullivan was made to write letters of apology? No. Did it merit any attention from Sir Blowsalot’s office at all? Oh, dear Jesus in heaven, no.
Remember when I posted that column about my favorite debate tactics? The one in which I told you what happens when you complain about personal attacks against you? This is all the attacker will see when they look at that complaint. Some people have pointed out the Big Brother-esque quality of this incident, but at least Big Brother had balls. If Brownback’s biggest problem is a tweet, Kansas must be an awesome place to govern. (Not knocking Kansas, but come on.)
It’s one thing for Brownback’s office to keep track of what constituents are saying about him on social media. He might have found a way to respond to Sullivan with some measure of humility, i.e. “Sorry you feel that way . . . what should I do better?” Just think of all the tweets that have been sent out about him since this happened! I’m not going to be all “You go, girl” toward Sullivan, but she’s as free to speak her mind as any other American. They should encourage that.
You have to be on your toes with Brownback now. He’ll probably write an indignant letter to the prime minister about me after reading this. (Dear Gov. Brownback: Please, please, please do that. It would be hilarious.)