Lordie. Had quite a lot going on, and I’m finally able to chill out and provide some tips to you and, hopefully, certain parties in the state and federal legislatures who I’m sure read this blog religiously. Actually, this is pretty good advice for all of us.
Wanna know? Click on…
1. Social media is cool. And when you’re a private citizen, you’re certainly not in the limelight like you are when you’re in Congress. Which is why, when you’re in Congress, you need to be constantly aware that you are under a microscope 24/7. Everything you post is fair game. And nothing is EVER EVER EVER erased from the interwebs. So BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU POST.
2. It is never a good idea to send photos of your nether regions, clothed or not, to people who are not your partner/spouse over a social media platform. Frankly, it’s never a good idea to send those kinds of photos to people — regardless of your job — who are not your partner/spouse because you will eventually get caught and you will eventually hurt a lot of people. But the stakes are far, far higher when you’re in Congress. And when your dalliances go public, they go international. Keep that stuff off social media. And if you’re smart, keep it off your phone (smart or otherwise) and don’t email ’em, either.
3. It’s PUBLIC servant, not pubic. Do you see the different spelling? When you serve in Congress, you are SERVING, and technically, though some among you argue otherwise, you are not there to get serviced. You are a PUBLIC SERVANT. That means you are beholden to your public, and your public doesn’t want to know what you do in private. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Your public wants to think that you’re busy working on legislation, holding meetings, answering letters from your constituents, and addressing concerns. They don’t want to think about you grabbing your ying-yang in the Congressional gym or sending photos of your ying-yang to blackjack dealers in Vegas who are not your spouse/partner. Remember, you are under a microscope 24/7. A big, fat, international microscope. And once this stuff goes viral, there is no way you can retract it.
4. Since you’re in Congress, use your social media sites as a less formal but still professional way to keep in touch with your constituents. Take some lessons from Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark. That guy knows how to use Twitter as a way to stay in touch with the public without being crude or unprofessional. He Tweets updates about legislation, events around town, info about how to contact various governmental departments, and he’ll break it up with things like “How’s the blizzard treating you? Just helped dig some people out.” In other words, do not use Twitter as a meat market, especially under your own name. I mean, really. And never, never, never post personal photos on social media platforms. Have your media team vet them and make certain images available on your website and supply the link via social media.
5. If you do these lame-o things that I’m telling you not to do here (and you’re stone-cold busted), as painful as it is and as humiliating and embarrassing, OWN IT. You only make it worse when you obfuscate and/or outright lie. This ain’t the 50s, friends. It’s really easy to prove you wrong through technology. If you are a public servant, you need to think about what your lame-o-ness is going to do for your party. It’s already screwed up your personal life if you’re married/partnered, but on the larger political stage, there are other things you need to think about. No, dalliances aren’t illegal (though if you use your government-issued equipment to engage in it, you’ve breached rules), but they are enormously distracting and in this day and age, political opinion rises and falls in accordance with scandals like yours. So, you might have to actually fall on your sword. Especially if your dumbassery is affecting your party and getting things done. The media in this day and age are sharks in the water. You’re a bleeding swimmer. So if you do step down, remember that America also loves a comeback, as Bill Maher points out.
All right. Be careful out there, friends. Because once it’s on the interwebs, it’s NEVER coming off.