There are similes, and there are analogies, and there is such a thing as hypothetical speech.
There are metaphors and allegories. There is virtual speech and there is figurative speech.
There is even heated debate. And there is angry but constrained civil debate.
There are also figures of speech.
But there is really only one meaning when chatting on Facebook, and exhorting your audience “Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic senators….” It’s not figurative, it’s not metaphorical. It’s not virtual nor is it hypothetical.
When the subject is that there is no War on Women, it is, however, particularly ironic.
But that doesn’t make it any less literal.
What it means is, “Let us, you and I, hurl acid at those female democratic senators.” Not, “wouldn’t it be whack if we…” or “think how liberal’s heads would explode if we…” or “here’s a weird thought I can’t believe I’m actually typing on Facebook where anyone can read it, but…”
It is an actual exhortation, an enticement, and incitement: a recommendation, a call to arms, one man’s encouragement to violence against senators who dare to be female and democratic, or perhaps against females who are democrats who dare to be senators.
Violence. Against women. Who are Senators.
In any case, it’s acid for them. Types (and subsequently deletes) GOP human Jay Townsend.
How is it possible that Congresswoman Nan Hayworth’s campaign spokesman is still employed? How is that even possible? This guy isn’t some newbie working his way up the campaign-spokesing ladder — he was the GOP nominee to oppose Chuck Schumer in 2010. Huff Post reports:
Townsend also maintains a Facebook page called “How to Run for Public Office” offering free “campaign and communications tips.”
And yet he’s still employed. And the Congresswoman has no comment.
How is that even possible?
Right — there’s no War on Women.
But — it’s completely acceptable political speech for a GOP Congresswoman’s campaign spokesman and the state GOP’s most recent nominee for US Senate to call for others to join him in attacking female Democratic Senators. With acid. In 2012.
Tonight, Townsend issued a pretty forthright apology, although he did mention that his words were ‘easily misconstrued,’ which goes to the point of my post here. Not really, Jay — not really.
His apology, on his personal Facebook page, reads:
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.
To friends, associates, and clients I have offered my apology for the embarrassment I have caused, and do hereby offer it to the many who rightly found fault with my incendiary choice of words.
The mistake was mine, and mine only and the post in no way was intended to represent the views of anyone for whom I have worked or represented.