The president called a porn star “Horseface” on Twitter on Tuesday, and it was only the second-most disappointing thing to happen on social media this week.
The biggest disappointment was, of course, the Facebook archive of state senator, U.S. Senate candidate and Minnesota Mean Girl Karin Housley.
Reporters from the Huffington Post ransacked Housley’s Facebook wall and came away with old posts where she compared former First Lady Michelle Obama unfavorably to a chimp, questioned why President Barack Obama didn’t pronounce Pakistan “like an American” and called Hillary Clinton a “porker in a royal blue pantsuit.”
“Michelle is soooo far from cool,” Housley, an adult, wrote on her Facebook wall one day in 2009. “Don’t we expect our First Ladies to at least stand up straight?”
The new first lady, on her first trip to England, bent down to hug the queen and Housley, for one, was not amused.
“I do miss Nancy Reagan. Ronald even more,” she wrote. “Speaking of Bedtime for Bonzo, I think even that chimp [from the movie starring future President Reagan as a professor trying to teach human morals to an ape] stood up straighter than Michelle. Uh-oh, someone is going to make a comment.”
Asked for comment Tuesday, Housley’s campaign pointed out, correctly, that this is Old News. They also argued, incorrectly, that this is Fake News. No big deal. Just some archival nonsense ginned up by the radical left “using an out-of-context Facebook post from 10 years ago to manufacture outrage.”
Housley, a Republican, is challenging U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, the Democrat who was appointed after U.S. Sen. Al Franken resigned his seat under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations. The winner will fill out the final two years of Franken’s term, then turn around and run again in 2020.
We’re three weeks from Election Day and Minnesota is running on outrage. We have four of the most competitive congressional races in the country, two U.S. Senate races and a governorship up for grabs. Everything is spin and hyperbole and out-of-state campaign cash. Cringing at mean campaign ads is Minnesota’s primary ab workout these days.
But if you had asked me a few days ago, I would have sworn there were a few bedrock principles that all Minnesotans could get behind:
It’s mean to make fun of what people weigh or what they wear. Kindergartners know better.
And it’s racist to compare African-Americans to apes. Even in the misty days of 2009, people knew that for the ancient, ugly slur it was.
The president never apologizes for calling people fat or horsefaced, but I expect better of Minnesotans.
The real-world Karin Housley of 2018 had a chance to show she was kinder than the online Karin Housley of 2009.
Instead, she launched an attack and blew her chance.