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Townsend fails the acid test

Jay Townsend

Jay Townsend Credit: Jay Townsend campaign

Rep. Nan Hayworth’s campaign adviser was right to step down after he wrote that people should “hurl some acid” at Democrats. The aide, Jay Townsend, was also right in saying he posted “stupid, thoughtless and insensitive” comments on his Facebook page as part of his mea culpa.

While you can easily suspect that he didn’t literally mean what he wrote, there’s no getting around the stupidity of it. He should know better. We're living in polarizing times. And with a long line of potential challengers wanting to knock off Hayworth (R-Bedford), no dumb act goes unnoticed.

Townsend, who ran against Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) two years ago, offered his resignation to Hayworth (she accepted) after he urged people on his Facebook page to “hurl some acid” at female lawmakers – “Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites” as he called them – “who claim to be fighting the War on Women” but not really abiding by it in their own private businesses.

Remove the part about hurling acid, and he’s got a legitimate argument. Townsend was going after Democrats who promoted the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay bill, legislation backed by President Barack Obama that is supposed to address income inequality between men and women.

But this isn’t so much a case about income discrimination as it is a cautionary tale about cyberspace: Be careful of what you post on social media sites. Those “friends” of yours might be looking to pounce.

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