Yesterday, Mike Pompeo's Twitter account promoted as a "good read" a linked blog post that derided Pompeo's opponent Raj Goyle - not based on his record or his politics, but based on his race, his assumed religion, and asserted communist leanings. Of course, the blog made the same offensive and ridiculous claims about our president - but that's nothing new. That's just part of being Republican these days.
Below is a screen cap from Mike Pompeo's Twitter timeline. Someone was smart enough to grab it before the backlash started and Pompeo deleted the tweet.
The linked blog post at that URL has also since been removed. According to Raj Goyle's campaign manager, it contained the excerpt below.
"Just like his evil muslim communist USURPER comrad, barrack hussein obama, This goyle character is just another 'turban topper' we don't need in congress or any political office that deals with the , Christianity and the United States of America!!!"The assertion is that Barack Obama is a muslim. He's not. That's been refuted. But then, whoever wrote what Mike Pompeo considers a "good read" probably hasn't heard. The blogger can't even spell the president's name correctly! Must have dropped out of school to spend the day listening to talk radio. Now, whether Raj Goyle is a muslim or not is unknown to myself. I can't find anything online or on Goyle's campaign site that points to a particular religion. Quite frankly, I don't care unless he's using his religion to argue for policies restricting American freedoms. Wait, that's a Republican thing to do.
And while I don't care what Raj Goyle's religion is - or even if he subscribes to no religion - I have to say that I had a very dear muslim friend growing up and I loved him and his family very much. Being muslim is not some evil thing. Being an evangelical "Christian" spouting hateful diatribes against muslims IS an evil thing.
The blogger asserts that Barack Obama is a communist. He's not. He's a Democrat. Likewise, Raj Goyle is a Democrat. Not a communist. Another stupid lie.
But then the post goes from ignorant to repulsive by calling upon Raj Goyle's ethnicity as a reason to refuse him a chance at serving the people of Kansas. Goyle is presumably of Indian heritage. This racist blogger is lumping Indians in with Arabs, obviously. Anyone from that part of the world is a "turban topper" - nevermind that there are many very distinct cultures in that region that have little in common aside from the fact the men wear some sort of cloth head piece. That's like saying North Dakotans are just like Mexicans because they wear pants.
But I don't care if Raj Goyle is an Indian. Or an Arab. I don't care if he's white, hispanic, or an Australian aborigine. I. Don't. Care. The fact that Republicans do is just another reason to vote for anyone else. If this blog post was such a good read, as Mike Pompeo posted on Twitter, it's only because it exposes the true mindset of the Republicans in 2010.
At some point, Mike Pompeo's tweet was deleted. Nearly 24 hours after the tweet, Pompeo issued an apology on the campaign's Facebook page. The linked blog post was removed from Newsvine, so who knows what else Pompeo thought was such a good read. I'm guessing the blowback came harder and faster than they thought it would. They might even have thought it would go under the radar and only Pompeo supporters would read the post. You know, the kind of people who subscribe to the backwards bigoted views of the blogger. But this is 2010, and you have to be a complete moron if you think progressives are so dumb they're not going to keep an eye on your noise machine.
I wasn't born yesterday. I don't believe Pompeo's contention that some staffer posted the wrong link. I'm not buying the whole "honest mistake" crap. Don't you believe it, either! This tweet was no accident, and the link posted was the link intended. Pompeo's Facebook retractions claims it's easy to post the wrong link. No it's not, and anyone who spends any amount of time with social media is smart enough to know that's bullshit. God knows I've done my fair share of "posting", and not once have I posted the wrong link. Furthermore, to post the wrong link, you have to HAVE the wrong link selected, copied, and pasted. It's way more than a stretch to think some staffer did all that unintentionally.
What this means is Mike Pompeo is LYING! He's lying to your face. Right to your face. How's that taste? And do you want someone who will stoop low enough to tweet that tweet then LIE about it representing YOU in Congress? Really? That's the name you're gonna put a checkmark by? Seriously?
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that somehow it were a mistake. That would make the tweet highly irresponsible at BEST! Mike Pompeo is running a multimillion dollar campaign. It is incumbent on a serious political candidate to vet any link they promote on their Twitter timeline, or on their Facebook page, or on their official campaign website. Social media didn't start yesterday. It's not something new. And because Mike Pompeo is such a serious candidate, I'm justified in assuming he's serious about his campaign's social media policy. If they don't cover making sure staffers know what they're posting BEFORE hitting the send button, that's irresponsible! And indefensible. So is calling it an "honest mistake". See the section above on LYING.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is Mike Pompeo is at best an irresponsible liar. I think you have to take this tweet and linked blog post at face value, though. Taken at face value, one can't help but see a hateful, bigoted racist - on top of being an irresponsible liar. In other words, he's a 2010 Republican. Mike Pompeo thinks he can run a dirty campaign and call it an accident.
I Am Surprised That I'm Surprised.
I more or less grew up in Kansas. For more than 30 years, I've been surrounded by the small-mindedness of racism. That I'm surprised at the depravity of this tweet is in itself surprising.
But I've got kids now. I want them to see elected leaders who share the values I hope they'll decide are right for themselves. I want them to see elected leaders who are actually LEADERS. Not racists. Not liars.
But this is Kansas. My brand of leader might get elected when pigs fly. The Kansans my kids see go to D.C. get there when pigs lie.
What I'm Going To Do
I'm not a Democrat. I've been an independent voter my whole life, and I can't see that changing any time soon. But after this redneck fiasco from Team Pompeo, I won't just be voting for his opponent Raj Goyle - I'll be campaigning for him!
There's a certain wisdom that teaches it's better to be for something than against something. Instead of being vehemently against Pompeo, I intend to be vocally in favor of electing Raj Goyle. Unless you'd like your kids to share Mike Pompeo's values of racism, bigotry, dishonesty and gutter politics, I'd recommend you do the same.