A star is born: Joe the Congressman…
By the time the night was over, Congressman Wilson had raised tens of thousands of dollars for his opponent, Rob Miller, as outraged viewers poured in online donations on sites like Actblue.com and others. According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Miller had raised more than $100,000 from more than 3,000 contributors in the first eight hours after Wilson’s outburst. Wilson had been forced to make a public apology – fellow Republican John McCain being one of the first to call for it. His Wikipedia page contained a notice: “Editing of this article by new or unregistered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.” His office phone number was being passed around on the internet like a new Britney Spears video.
This is what happens with anti-social comments in the age of social media. Word gets around. Quickly.
I’m not going to jump out and say that Joe the Congressman is necessarily going to end up being the loser on this thing just yet. It could well be that dysfunctionals of the conservative stripe will shore up his campaign fund just as generously as his new flock of detractors from far and wide, if not more so. It could be that in the Carolinas – which brought us the dark entertainment of high-profile scandals like John Edwards from the North and Governor Sanford in the South – this is small potatoes. At this point, Joe the Congressman probably has just as great a chance of becoming a folk hero as “Going Back to Carolina,” in the words of James Taylor.
What is pretty much certain, however, is that Joe is going to be seeing a lot more of his opponent over the next year, thanks to fattening up Rob Miller’s campaign fund and giving him the kind of national fundraising fodder that most opponents could only pray for.