Right now, who knows?
Ever since last week, the Louisiana Democratic Party Chairperson and a high official for the national Democratic Party has been the poster girl for the state and national Republican Party’s re-election campaigns. When she tweeted an oped from former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens with the phrase “repeal the second amendment”, all heck broke loose in the political universe.
Strong second amendment supporter, Colonel Rob Maness and I discussed the controversy Friday morning. My initial response then was essentially that she didn’t really state that she wants to repeal the second amendment. However, I noted her tweet surely makes us wonder.
Maness challenged me and said, if we go after Trump for his tweets, we surely need to go after Peterson. As disgusted I am with Trump’s crazy tweet storms, I surely did not want to agree, but, honesty mandated that he made a legitimate point.
I replied that she owned the statement. Thus, essentially, she either had to stand behind it or shoot it down, preferably with an AR 15, mind you.
A couple days later, the issue came up on twitter and a liberal friend of mine responded to my statement that Peterson needed to own it, deny or disclaim. He made the point that there is a big difference between Trump’s retweeting of white supremacist and Peterson tweeting a repost from an oped by a Supreme Court Justice. On twitter, Peterson liked his reply.
True, I noted. Comparing the content of the two tweeters is unfair. There is no moral equivalence between her tweet and the Trump hate attacks of the past. Still, I responded that she has an obligation to clarify.
Then, the barrage of tweets in attack of this position hit tweetosphere.
“Trump never retweeted white supremacist”, “Peterson wants to take our guns away”, “Democrats are communists”, “Trump never retweeted a white supremacist”, “whenever democrats use the word “white supremacist, they know they are losing” and so on.
Boy, how fast the conversation was degenerating into the ugly recrimination twitter trash.
It turns out that on Friday, the Chairman of the Democratic Party, Stephen Handwerk responded to a media inquiry and said that Peterson does not want to take away guns and is a strong supporter of the second amendment.
Ok. Nice to know. So, where are we now?
Well, the hits keep coming. Those who believe the second amendment is the 11th Commandment from our Lord, are outraged. Others are scared that their greatest concerns one day might be realized. Then, there are some who are making false claims about her statement. You might infer from her statement that she wants the repeal and perhaps extend the inference that she’s coming to get your Smith and Wesson, but, neither statement is accurate. The truth is, she did not state either.
Nor can we say she is in support of the Stevens’s OPED. People do retweet and tweet things they don’t mean. They like things they really don’t like.
But, the problem is, we don’t know what she is for at this point. To my knowledge, she has not spoken on the issue, at least not publicly and certainly not personally.
She should and if the Democrats want to keep the Governor’s mansion, she must.
The story has gone national. Even Don Trump jr., in between his post-separation makeover, is promoting the controversy as evidence that the left is coming to take us all away.
Silence might be golden. But, in this case, Peterson shouldn’t take anything for granted. Her lack of any utterance on the issue only increases the speculation. It only hurts the local and national democratic parties.
This might have been an innocent mistake. But, anybody in responsibility and is likely to be a target of criticism must be prudent with their online statements. In her case, she not only represents her local but her state party. Thus, she has the duty, if not the burden, to not commit these types of errors. All she had to do was to have written a qualifier when she tweeted the original post. All she had to say was, “I don’t agree, but this is an interesting oped”. Now, all she has to do is to state whether she stands behind the tweet or doesn’t.
It is not the obligation of the Executive of the Democratic Party to address the issue for her. There might be a legitimate reason for his speaking out for her days ago. But, she is most articulate and can do it herself. This is simple.