KS Governor Is Ridiculous, Tried to Get a Teenager in Trouble for Saying He "Blows" on Twitter

Either Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is unaware that Twitter insults are very common, or he gets his feelings hurt far too easily, because he's created a national to-do over the fact that a teenage girl said he "blows" on Twitter. The teen, Shawnee Mission East senior Emma Sullivan, tweeted:

"Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot."

Sullivan didn't actually meet the governor; that was a joke. And if Gov. Brownback was a rational person, that would have been the end of this exchange. But no -- one of his staffers read the tweet and tattled on Sullivan to her high school administrators. Really! Via the AP:

Sullivan received a scolding at school and was ordered to send Brownback an apology letter. She said Prinicipal Karl R. Krawitz even suggested talking points for the letter she was supposed to turn in Monday.

As any stubborn teenager -- and any sane person -- would do in this situation, Sullivan refused to apologize. Because why should she?

Over at Slate's XX blog, Amanda Marcotte explains why we shouldn't be surprised at Brownback's outrage:

I suppose it's not that big a surprise that someone like Brownback, who has a strong belief that women should not be in control of their own ladyparts, would also find the notion that teenage girls have the legal right to make fun of him deeply threatening. First he comes for your abortions, then your contraception, and next any fancy electronic devices that could be used to register displeasure with dudely authority figures. The freakout over a teenage girl having a less-than-flattering opinion of him was also predictable if you look at Brownback's long history with the C Street Family, a religious-political group that specifically promotes patriarchy and disdains the idea of women holding political power. (Though they have been known to make exceptions for the occasional woman who has economic goals in common with them.) To a large extent, Brownback has created a bubble around him that has a pleasing 19th-century cast to it, where young people and women knew their place, and men of privilege are protected from the opinions of those who are most subject to social control. No wonder a juvenile bit of tweetage caused such an oversized reaction.

Now someone go get Brownback and his staff some teenager sensitivity training.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at November 28, 2011, 7:41am

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