It is no secret how I feel about Sarah Palin. I think she is an incompetent upstart. I think she’s a hypocrite. I think she is an embarrassment to women everywhere who have fought long and hard to be taken seriously.
I would never wish death upon her, though.
Which is what New Hampshire State House candidate Keith David Halloran did on the Facebook page of Republican D.J. Bettencourt, who had a link up to the obituary of Alaska’s former Senator Ted Stevens. Stevens, a legend in Alaskan politics, died when his plane crashed en route to a fishing trip this past week.
In response to the post, Halloran wrote, “Just wish Sarah and Levy [sic] were on board,” referring to Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston, the father of her grandson.
Halloran’s statement received a quick response from the state GOP, which said, “His publicly stated death wish for Gov. Palin and her family is abhorrent, and has no place in our public discourse.”
You know, I don’t always agree with Republicans, but they were absolutely right on this one. I mean, that’s just … sick.
And with the internet creating immediate, perhaps knee-jerk reactions (as well as permanent records through screenshots—you can’t exactly “take it back” once it’s been posted), it’s even more shocking that a political hopeful would be so foolish, crass, and insensitive … especially in New Hampshire, where we had a recent Facebook fiasco with a school principal.
State Democrats were right in step with the GOP on this one.
“The comments are appalling and have no place in the public discourse. This person has no role in our campaign,” said Pamela Walsh, campaign manager for [Governor John] Lynch’s gubernatorial campaign.
Halloran issued the following response Wednesday to News 9, stating, “I have no interest in stirring up this tempest in a tea party tea pot who will do anything to cause more harm to our country. This is nothing out of nothing.”
You know, wishing death on someone you disagree with politically? That’s not nothing out of nothing, buddy. Sorry, but it’s just not.
And clearly Halloran saw the writing on the wall (and learned how to spell “Levi”) by the next day.
But Thursday morning, Halloran posted an apology to his Facebook page.
“For those of my neighbors who know me and know my true nature, I wish to offer an apology for my post on my Republican friend’s DJ Bettencourt’s Facebook page, and want to reassure everyone that I wish the best for Sarah, Levi and their family,” he wrote.
Not surprisingly, Halloran announced his withdrawal from the State House race on Thursday afternoon.
“After consulting with the secretary of state’s office, I am withdrawing as an active candidate for the New Hampshire House,” Halloran said in a written statement. “I urge registered voters to consider supporting and voting for the truly progressive candidates on the ballot on Sept. 14 and Nov. 2. Live Free and Move Forward.”
It gets even worse. Turns out that another New Hampshire Democrat, State Representative Timothy Horrigan, also left an ill-advised comment on Facebook, this time on Halloran’s page. Horrigan ultimately resigned, a move condoned (and probably orchestrated) by New Hampshire’s Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.
“(Well) a dead Palin wd be even more dangerous than a live one,” Horrigan wrote. “(She) is all about her myth & if she was dead she cdn’t commit any more gaffes.”
The Republican State Committee denounced the comment and called on Democratic leaders to do the same. Buckley sent a release at about the same time saying that Horrigan had resigned and saying his comments were “inappropriate and do not reflect the views of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.”
This is about so much more than party politics. I hate on Sarah Palin as much as anybody, but this is just crossing a line that should never be crossed.
I mean, I almost feel compelled to apologize to Palin on behalf of my home state, and that just gives me a ridiculously skeevy feeling.