Erika Harold is a former Miss America who announced that she is running as a Republican to challenge the Ilinois district's current congressman, also a Republican, Rep. Rodney Davis, who was first elected this past November. Ms. Harold also happens to be a graduate of Harvard Law School, a practicing attorney, and black. She was working in Chicago, until she decided to relocate back home to Champaign-Urbana downstate.
Apparently this didn't sit well with Montgomery County Republican Party chairman Jim Allen. Whether it's because she was daring to challenge a sitting-Republican -- or because she was black. Or a woman. Or, hey, maybe the trifecta of all three, who knows? But the fellow sent an email to Doug Ibendahl, who runs the website Republican News Watch. What he said was -- oh, hey, why paraphrase it, let the fellow speak for himself.
"Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in Shitcago by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires. The little queen touts her abstinence and she won the crown because she got bullied in school,,,boohoo..kids are cruel, life sucks and you move on.. Now, miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS."
It will not shock you to know that Mr. Allen was tapped on the shoulder, and told "This is not a good thing for any person, let alone the county Republican chairman, especially when we're trying hard to convince minorities that the GOP is not racist, and that we don't hate women and have a jihad against them." And so, he did his mea culpa dance.
"My comments are very inappropriate and wrong, and I apologize to Miss Harold and her campaign and her supporters," he told the State Journal-Register.
Just so you know, this is not actually an apology. This is an idiot sentence. These are the words of someone who meant what he said and doesn't want to take it back, but was forced to. And who thinks that if you use the word "apologize" or some synonym that that makes everything all okee-doke and makes the ow-ee go away.
There's something I like to do from time to time, and that's take what is supposed to be an apology from someone who really needs to apologize and rewrite it, showing what an actual apology would be.
If Jim Allen, Montgomery County Republican Party chairman, really truly wanted to apologize, this is what he would say --
"Earlier today, I wrote something that was truly awful, and I'm mortified by it. I was upset by someone challenging a sitting candidate, and let my disappointment stupidly get the better of me. I made a fool of myself and hurt many other people. First and foremost, I must apologize to Erika Harold. What I said about her was utterly groundless and shameful. She is a bright, accomplished woman, and not only is the Republican Party lucky to have her as a member, the human race is lucky. She not only has every right to challenge the sitting representative, anyone has that right. And the public will decide who it wants. But far more than that, I disgraced myself with angry words, trying to score a political point. I let my partisanship get the better of my sense of decency. This was all me. Rodney Davis's campaign knew nothing about it, and the proof of that is -- being far smarter and level-headed and decent than I was -- they would have stopped me instantly. Anybody would have . Instead, I made an idiot of myself. I believe nothing of what I said, I just spouted off to be hurtful. And in that I succeeded. I hurt Erika Harold, and I hurt women, black people, the Davis campaign, my family, my friends and co-workers, the people of Montgomery County, Republicans everywhere, and people everywhere. You all were innocent victims of my actions. It was wrong beyond words what I said. And I will do everything I can to make up for them every day. I apologize to them all, to you all. It is not for others to forgive me, but I hope they do. The only thing I ask of people is that they don't trust my words, but watch my actions. And in my first action, I am resigning as chairman. Not because of pressure, but because I want to. Because the party deserves someone better right now. I hope my future actions, however, will show me qualified to return to that position one day, as I work hard every day to regain people's trust. And I will work at that starting this instant. Thank you."
That's an apology.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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