Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Do You See What I See?

Today turned out to be a banner day for local politics on my Twitter feed. And the incident that sparked all the fun is just the latest example of the promise and perils of social media.

Until redistricting in 2010, Ryan Winkler was my state representative in the Minnesota Legislature. Since Representative Winkler was a Democrat he and I agreed on few political few issues. And Winkler was prone to engage in hyperbole and rhetoric that cast dispersions on anyone not enlightened enough to share his progressive views. So during the last few years, I’ve engaged in more than a few debates with him on Twitter as have a number of other local conservatives (at least the ones he didn’t block).

After this morning’s Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act (VRA), Winkler took to Twitter to weigh in with his reaction:

(screenshot courtesy of Tea Party News Network)

It didn’t take long for local folks to react to Winkler’s offensive reaction:

I too wasn’t shocked by Winkler’s comments when I passed them:

Meanwhile, Winkler must have realized he had gone too far and started to backtrack:

The classic non-apology apology, “I’m sorry if you were offended by what I said.”

Then Winkler deleted his original tweet and might have been able to control the damage if he had not violated the first rule of holes:

Now the real fun began as the story started getting traction nationally:

The floodgates were opened at that point. There are just a few of my favorite among the many tweets on the matter:

Those of you who follow conservative media no doubt recognize many of those names. But it wasn’t just limited to conservatives.

When national leaders from your own party are distancing themselves from you it’s not a good sign.

The story also appeared on Drudge and in many other outlets such as the Washington Times. It was amazing to watch how fast the story exploded and how quickly Winkler had to walk back his remarks. It’s still unclear if this incident will have any lasting damage on his future future political ambtions. For now, I’m just happy to see the whole country get to see the same Ryan Winkler that I have for years.

(A good recap on The Late Debate page.)