California Republican Ted Howze thought he could run for Congress without anyone checking his social media, or maybe he assumed everyone would stop using social media and have more “game nights" with their families. Neither happened and now he has to answer for offensive posts about Muslims and immigrants that appeared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The inflammatory content is your typical Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coulter garbage: Hillary Clinton is accused of murdering Seth Rich. Rep. Maxine Waters doesn't just have distracting black lady hair, she's also a crackhead. Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg is a fraud who hasn't witnessed real gun violence. Also, Islam sucks. None of this is true or all that “shocking." It's boilerplate rhetoric from your MAGA relative. But Republicans like to gaslight us into thinking their party isn't a pack of bigots.

Howze claimed he didn't know how those "negative and ugly" posts got on his accounts. He certainly didn't write them! He was a regular user of Facebook, but he apparently never read its security guidelines, so he gave people access to his accounts ... for reasons. Facebook isn't Netflix or Hulu. Facebook is free.


Earlier this month, Howze tried to smooth things over with a social media security PSA.

"Like many folks in my middle-age group, I learned the very hard lesson to never allow anyone access to social media accounts or passwords," Howze said in a statement.

Dude is in his early 50s. Generation X is middle-aged, sure, but we're not your nana. We understand the Internets. Howze is was even a member of the GOP's “Young Guns" program.

"I made the mistake of allowing others access to these accounts unknowingly — and I am angered, horrified and extremely offended that these ugly ideas were shared or posted by those individuals several years ago."

Howze declined to identify the drooling bigots he trusted with his account (probably because they don't exist), but his flimsy excuse was enough for the GOP. Then more posts emerged. He signed his name to one and tagged family members in others. It's a dumpster fire of anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as conspiracy theories about Hillary the serial killer and Obama the secret Muslim who's going to impose Sharia law.

Facebook/Politico

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed Howze before the March primary. No one in his office thought to check social media, either, but now McCarthy is preparing to cut his losses.

MCCARTHY: The content in question on Mr. Howze's social media channels is disappointing and disturbing. Bigotry and hateful rhetoric — in any form — have no place in the Republican Party.

They keep saying this as if Trump isn't a Republican. He gave Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom shortly before the world ended and yes, there is a connection.

MCCARTHY: These posts are unacceptable and do not reflect the Ted Howze that I have briefly interacted with.

See, McCarthy didn't know Howze was a creep when he endorsed him. It's not like he spat on a Muslim or anything during the five minutes they spoke at a meet-and-greet.

National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer was also shocked and appalled.

EMMER: These statements are unacceptable and not indicative of the Republican Party and what we are building here at the NRCC with our diverse slate of candidates.

McCarthy and Emmer pulled Howze from their “Young Guns" roster. They no longer want him, dead or alive. This makes reelection much easier for freshman Rep. Josh Harder, who represents California 10th district. He is neither a bigot nor does he hand out his social media account passwords like candy.

[Politico]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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