I'm looking forward to the day when Eric Stewart's people sit down with him and explain to him that he's running for national office. I feel certain, based on his campaign strategy these past few weeks — and by "campaign strategy" I mean "lack of campaign strategy" — that he will be surprised by the news. But if he learns this in the next week or so, his campaign isn't completely unsalvageable.
In the meantime, though, after watching him go through "I can't say if I'm voting for the president" and "I can't support gay marriage," we're now stuck with "I can't pay my taxes."
You'd think in this election cycle, a man who doesn't pay his taxes would be hailed as some kind of conservative hero, but no. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais is just pounding Stewart with this:
DesJarlais campaign manager Brandon Lewis leveled a sharper critique.
"Given our nation's fiscal deficit and his repeated financial mismanagement, voters are left to conclude that Eric Stewart can't be trusted to manage his campaign, business, or personal finances, much less taxpayer dollars," Lewis said.
I know Stewart's people think he has an outside chance of winning, so that's why they don't just go for broke in a situation like this. But people, this was Stewart's limp response: "This tactic only distracts voters from the issues that are most important to working families, which are Social Security, Medicare, jobs and the economy."
I wish he'd shrugged his shoulders and said, "Much like Mitt Romney, I've had some troubles paying the taxes I was required to. I would hope that my Republican opponent can grant me the same support and understanding he's granted the Republican presidential candidate."
I'd like to see how DesJarlais explains that tax avoidance is cool for Republicans but a character defect in Democrats.