When you’re a candidate running against an incumbent, there are usually qualities that people want to see in you – like the ability to identify and properly handle problems in a calm and reasonable manner. Because, let’s face it, if you’re elected, you’re going to be helping constituents with a lot of red tape and general bureaucratic messes. It would seem that Mike Starr, running for election to Minnesota’s 31st Senate seat, might not be the most qualified for handling problems in a calm and reasonable manner.
It seems he has since tried to send the tweet down the memory hole, so I guess he learned that acceptable political rhetoric from a candidate rarely involves demands to “kiss [one's] ass” directed at a major interest group for a key demographic.
Now, I’ve been involved with a campaign whose opponent was unfairly given an inflated grade and ignored in the endorsement process when it was a clear choice for gun owners in a winnable seat. You know how they handled it? Ask around and contacted NRA about the grades. Guess how NRA handled it? They reconsidered the race, acknowledged the need to revise the grade, and sent out postcards noting the correction. Don’t get me wrong, the internal folks were initially very upset with the situation. But, they didn’t react by cursing at NRA publicly.
On Starr’s website, he indicates he has previous grades of A & B from NRA. I went searching and found that he has run for office before, and his grade was already on the decline due to his answers on his questionnaires. More importantly, his grades were from years ago, not the most recent election cycle. The issue has fundamentally changed since he first answered a questionnaire. Heller, McDonald, the expiration of a federal gun ban – all monumental game changers that happened since he first answered NRA and his grade has fallen since those things started happening.
Now, I’m not arguing that NRA got it 100% right in this case because, clearly, I haven’t seen his responses. On the other hand, I can say that this type of outburst on behalf of his campaign account doesn’t exactly bode well for any gun owners who might want to talk to him about concerns about his positions. It looks like he would just tell them all to “kiss [his] ass” and walk away.
UPDATE: To Starr’s credit, his demand for gun owners to kiss his ass still stands. Twitter was just acting up and telling me the tweet was no longer there when I gathered the information for this post. Here’s the Twitter embed version:
@nrapvf As a 25 yr mil service member a gun owner, a coach for the HS Trap Tm spt C&C spt 2nd Amendment to get an “F” you can “KISS MY ASS”
— Mike Starr (@StarrforSenate) October 5, 2012