Mr. Smith will not be going to Washington.
Jesse T. Smith, a Democrat who is running for Congress in Alabama, believes that the sins of the Middle East's most prolific active jihadist group are insignificant compared to those of Republicans in Congress. On Monday, perhaps thinking the best way to gain traction for his campaign in the Yellowhammer State's deep red 3rd Congressional District would be to position himself as a radical alternative, he Tweeted: "The greatest country on earth is being bullied from within. Actions of Republicans in Congress are worse than #ISIL," using a variant name for the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS.)
Yes, who could forget the time John Boehner sawed Nancy Pelosi’s head off and documented the whole thing on YouTube? Or when that group of conservatives led by Paul Ryan stormed into Massachusetts and mass-executed all the healthcare-loving libtards?
Needless to say, one irrelevant congressional candidate does not represent the party. But so often, when discussing the polarization of American politics, the left is quick to counter that to say “extremism exists on both sides” is a false equivalence: There is no liberal counterpoint, they argue, for the Tea Party. There is no way MSNBC’s partisanship, by any reasonable measure, is comparable to that of Fox News. Et cetera. But what does it say about the across-the-board radicalization of party politics that a candidate could be under the impression that comparing Republicans to a terrorist organization Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called “as sophisticated and well funded as any group that we have seen ... beyond anything we have seen,” is in any way reasonable?
Smith deleted the offending Tweet, and then issued an apology:
Asked by The Daily Beast whether he saw any irony in criticizing others for "bullying," and in the same breath, comparing them to a terrorist organization which has, in the past few weeks, beheaded two American journalists on video, Smith said: “Bullying requires that I have some power over people. I don’t. I am running for office. I have no power. If I am elected, then I will have power and the ability to ‘bully’ Republicans, as you say. So no, I do not see any irony in my comment.”
Further, Smith offered a non-apology: “I now understand that the Tweet was not the best way to phrase things, but the comments were fueled by my passion to shed light on the atrocities being committed against the lower and middle class of this country.”
Atrocities. ISIS, for its part, claims to have slaughtered some 1,700 Iraqi soldiers and has gleefully focused their fire at children.
Smith expressed dismay that the media had ignored him until he Tweeted the comment, which he said he did not run by anyone else before posting, because, “I didn’t think any Republicans or media outlets were paying attention. ... I now wonder why the media cares about an analogy about Republican leaders and not all the others issues I have been Tweeting about?”
Welcome to politics!
According to Smith's biography, which can be found on his low-budget website, he is a Georgia native and Army veteran, who served tours in Bosnia, Germany, and Iraq, and has truly incredible "leadership skills." Really, nothing says leadership quite like comparing some people you don't like to a group of psychotic mass murderers and then deleting the Tweet.