Last week, a Virginia Republican official got into trouble after using the word “twat” in a Facebook post.
Bob FitzSimmons is the official Treasurer for the Virginia Republican Party. He is also the Chief Deputy Clerk of the Prince William County Circuit Court. In a Facebook post, FitzSimmons was discussing the ongoing primary election to replace retiring Congressman Frank Wolf (R). One candidate seeking the nomination is Barbara Comstock, a Virginia Delegate. When a commenter made discussed supporting Comstock and discussed the strength of women voters, FitzSimmons responded as such:
This is clearly one of the worst ways that FitzSimmons could responded. He deleted the post and blamed it on word confusion, thinking he was using the word “twaddle”:
I posted something earlier and used an inappropriate word. I would not have used such a word deliberately and I apologize for anyone who was offended. I was trying to say that I don’t appreciate sexist stereotypes and apparently used one myself. I have removed the post.
However, FitzSimmons did not escape calls for his removal from party office. As the Virginia Pilot story notes, Virginia Delegate Chris Peace (R) has called for the Republican Party to remove FitzSimmons from his office, saying that the language he used is “highly offensive” and “unbecoming an elected official.” This was over a week ago and FitzSimmons is still in office, so it looks like he has escaped the worst of this one.
That being said, wow, what a blunder. The obvious lesson is to be aware of what language you use and not use anything offensive or inappropriate. If you believe FitzSimmons’ explanation and he really was just confused…wow, just wow. My inclination is actually to believe him, since he deleted the post right away and quickly clarified apologized. Unfortunately for FitzSimmons, credibility and prior incidents do matter: FitzSimmons once found himself at the center of controversy when he joked, on Facebook, that Obama would go to hell when he died – and blame former President Bush: