On the fictional HBO comedy show Veep this week the spokesman for the Vice President of the United States got trouble for privately calling a Secret Service agent something of an “ape” but he’s got nothing on the press flack for GOP Rep. Nan Hayworth of upstate New York.
Jay Townsend has now resigned after an uproar over one of his incendiary comments in a Facebook discussion last week, recommending that people should “hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.” Apparently he believes that those who back the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act are hypocrites.
Hayworth is the freshman Tea Party favorite who unseated Representative John Hall, a liberal Democrat, two years ago. I happened to know Hall back in the 1970s when he headed the popular rock group Orleans and wrote for my magazine, Crawdaddy.
Townsend—who had the honor of getting trounced 2-1 by Chuck Schumer in a 2010 US Senate race—had issued the usual no-apology apology, claiming his words were simply taken the wrong way: “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.” Hayworth’s campaign manager had called it simply a “manufactured” controversy.
The web site Wonkeltte has had some fun with it all, calling Townsend “the dumbest political campaign spokesman in history,” adding, “Townsend will now focus his efforts on chemically maiming liberal women in the private sector.”
I’ve found Townsend’s personal website where he is selling an e-book and audio tapes with this promo: “The Ten Worst Mistakes Candidates Make. Real Stories from the Campaign Trail of Dumb Stunts that Derailed Otherwise Good Candidates. Learn from their Mistakes.”
It also promotes his paid appearances as a speaker: “Looking for an entertaining, informative or engaging speaker…someone to motivate your group to fight for the conservative cause…a veteran of more than 300 political campaigns who can regale an audience with stories from the campaign trail, battles won and lost, commentary on the state of American politics and what it portends? Book Jay Townsend as your next Lunch or Dinner Speaker.”
One of his posts there is titled, “Are Middle-Class Whites Fleeing Obama’s Plantation?”
Four Democrats are competing to run against her: Sean Patrick Maloney, an aide to former Governor Eliot Spitzer; Mayor Tom Wilson of Tuxedo Park; Dr. Rich Becker, councilman in Cortlandt; and Mayor Matt Alexander of Wappingers Falls.