By Scott Tibbs, December 7, 2011
Back in September, I said that Rick Santorum needs to stop whining about his "Google problem." Basically, Santorum is being trolled by people who are too intellectually feeble or emotionally unstable to address his arguments directly, so they instead engage in juvenile name calling. Now Kansas governor Sam Brownback has proven himself to be an even bigger crybaby than Santorum.
Now, let me be clear: As with Santorum, I respect Brownback as a person and I respect that he has been on the front lines fighting for conservative values for decades - especially in terms of protecting the unborn. I think it is great that he has led the fight to shut down Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in Kansas. He is truly doing the Lord's work in protecting the little ones.
But Brownback should not be seeking protection from being mocked by teenage girls.
When a high school student posted a juvenile but harmless tweet taking a shot at the governor, Brownback's staff tattled to her principal. That's right. When Brownback was mocked by a high school girl, his staff tattled to her principal. The principal asked her to apologize, and she refused.
The good news is that when the scandal blew up on social media, Brownback immediately backed down and apologized. The girl will not be punished by her school for her political speech, which would have been illegal.
But I have to think: What was the governor's office thinking? Brownback has made national headlines for Kansas' abortion restrictions, and much harsher things have been said. Brownback's office should not have even noticed the tweet. What would possess anyone to try to get the girl in trouble at school?
This was a truly boneheaded move, but some good may come of the scandal if it teaches politicians to develop a little thicker skin when it comes to citizen criticism. Unfortunately, I cannot imagine that politicians already prone to authoritarian overreaction will learn much other than "don't get caught."