Down Goes Another Threat to Iowa!

When I wrote a post yesterday about the brouhaha over a Scott Walker staffer who had in the past mocked Iowa on Twitter, I tried to explain it as an example of how political Iowans protect their privileged role in the presidential nominating process by swiftly and certainly punishing any signs of disrespect. But even I didn’t expect the hammer to come down quite this fast (per AP):

An aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s national political operation resigned late Tuesday after drawing heated criticism from the head of the Iowa Republican Party for questioning the state’s early role in the presidential nominating process.

Veteran Republican strategist Liz Mair told The Associated Press that she was leaving Walker’s team just a day after she had been tapped to lead his online communication efforts, citing the distraction created by a series of recent Twitter posts about Iowa’s presidential caucuses.

“The tone of some of my tweets concerning Iowa was at odds with that which Gov. Walker has always encouraged in political discourse,” Mair said in a statement announcing her immediate resignation. “I wish Gov. Walker and his team all the best.”

Yes, that’s right, the state party chair felt constrained to demand immediate action to deal with the blast from the past.

On Tuesday, Iowa GOP Jeff Kaufmann told the AP that Mair’s statements were “not only incorrect, they’re rather juvenile, they’re naive, they’re ignorant.”

Kaufmann said he wanted Mair to apologize and learn more about Iowa or “I’d send her packing.”

Walker senior aide Rick Wiley acknowledged Mair’s departure in a statement: “We accept those who have a variety of viewpoints on issue, but what we ultimately must have is absolute respect for people across the country.”

I kinda wish Mair hadn’t quit, if only to find out what sort of re-education campaign Iowa Republicans might have designed for her. A 99-county tour? A gig judging pies at the next Iowa State Fair? Maybe a week staffing a Republican Party booth at the I-80 Truck Stop? The mind reels. But like an incoming object crossing the DEW line, another distant early threat to Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation Caucus has been spotted and blown up.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.