State Senator with Mind of Two-Year Old Wins Dumb-Off with Constituent

Brian nieves This guy clearly has senator-itis. 

Senator-itis is a deadly brain disease that leads to delusions of self-importance, rudeness and bizarre behavior. Coupled with the instantaneous communication of the internet and the “send” button on email software, it can cause homeric public stupidity.

Something happens to people’s poor little brains when they walk into capitol buildings and take their seats in legislative chambers. They start believing the flattery. They start thinking that they are as important as the office that they hold on a temporary basis.

In truth, elective office belongs to the people. The house seat I represent is not “mine.” It belongs to the people of District 89. They chose me to speak for them in state government and they allow me to exercise their bit of power in government in their name. But both the power and the position belong to them, not me.

I’m just the messenger.

Missouri State Senator Brian Nieves appears to have forgotten all this. He got an email from someone who didn’t like the newsletter he sends. The emailer told him to take them off the mailing list.

In my office, the reply would have been I apologize and of course we will remove your name from our list. Thank you for letting us know your preferences. Done and done.

But Senator Bozo replied with a hectoring insult, initiating an email exchange that sounds for all the world like a couple of bratty kids yelling barbs at each other across a playground.

Aside from wondering how this guy managed to get himself elected, I do find his veiled threat about being “threatened” more than a little over the top. It is against the law to threaten an elected official, but so far as I know, there is no law whatsoever against insulting them.

Here’s how it works: If you tell me that you’re going to harm me or my family if I don’t vote the way you want, then that’s a crime. And it should be. We can’t run a government if the people we elect are in fear for their lives because of controversial votes.

However, if you tell me I’m 20 kinds of fool who could easily be replaced with a snail in a business suit, that’s not a crime. It’s an insult. If you tell me that you’re going to take my newsletters and flush them down the drain and that if I ever show up at your house to ask for your vote, you’ll sic the dogs on me, that’s still not a threat. In fact, I’d probably think that was funny … before I x-ed you off my list.

But Bozo the Senator evidently thinks that when someone insults him or tells him to go soak his head, they’re threatening him. And he feels obliged to issue a veiled threat back. I find that disturbing.

All in all, I think this senator needs to consider a return to private life. He’s doesn’t appear to have the mental equipment to handle public office. As for the John Q Citizen who thinks his senator is a douchetard … what can I say? He lost the dumb-off, but not by much.

From Yahoo News:

When an unsolicited email arrives, most people hit delete and move on with their lives. Not Bart Cohn.

The Wildwood, Mo., resident received a newsletter from Brian Nieves, a Republican member of the Missouri Senate with whom Cohn does not see eye to eye on the issues. According to River Front Times, which originally reported the story, Cohn wrote a seven-word reply to Nieves’ newsletter. “Take me off your mailing list. Freak.”

And thus began a wackadoo exchange of insults between Cohn and Nieves, all of which were forwarded by Cohn to River Front Times.

After Cohn’s tersely worded response, Nieves issued a retort:

Who are you? Is there something wrong with you? Are you incapable of communicating in a way that common, decent people do?

Tell me this, how did you ever even get on MY Distribution list?

Cohn fired back:

Remove me from your list. I despise you.

Nieves then wrote this:

Tell me who you are and how you ever got on my list. I don’t take we’ll to some troll sneaking on to my distribution list.

Things get weird(er). From Cohn:

I don’t care what you take well to. Take me off your list. I don’t know how I got on your list. And I don’t sneak. I’ll tell you to your face I think you’re a freak. Now act like a big boy, senator, and remove me from your list as I’ve requested. And stop harassing me or I’ll make an issue of it.

Nieves apparently took issue with the word “issue.” He wrote:

Explain “issue”

Are you threatening an elected official? I’m sure your very Big & Bad & Tuff.

The ONE and ONLY way for you to have gotten on my list is by YOU having communicated with me via email. I guess your the type who wants to be able to throw something my way but not hear back?

You’ll be removed but be Very Careful to NEVER Threaten me! Also, don’t ever send anything to this email address again because every time you do, you automatically get put back on the distribution list. :-)

Think that’s the end? Nope. Cohn responded with more insults:

I didn’t threaten anyone, you tool. You are such a douchetard it’s not even funny. Now go do some work on your insane conspiracy theories that everyone laughs about behind your back. You’re a joke!

Read the rest here.

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com: neenergyobserver

    They make quite a pair, don’t they? I agree, the senator won, but it was close. In some ways they deserve each other, but the rest of the constituents certainly deserve better. Reminds me of the not so old song, “know when to walk away, and when to run.”

    Have a good day, Rebecca.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You too, neo.

  • Helen

    Your headline is in error. There were no winners in this exchange.

  • FW Ken

    Thanks, Rebecca, I need a laugh. My response writing to my legislators, or talking to their caseworkers has been mixed, but never unpleasant.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    I actually prefer him to most political office holders these days. Most of them are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are polite as the day is long, but all the while they are screwing you and the country over. This guy seems more real to me.

  • Dale

    Rebecca, I was wondering if you had seen that bit of news. :)

    Here is a little extra spice: In most of the emails, the senator signed his name, followed by the district he represents. But that changed in his final two emails. After saying “You are way out of your league with me,” his signature changed to identify himself as the Senate Majority Whip.
    http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2013/04/brian_nieves_insane_emails.php?page=2

    Now, I don’t know how party whips go about getting people in line. Maybe the senator was simply responding to a constituent in the same way he treats his fellow legislators?

    If so…. yikes.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right. I’ve seen strong arm tactics used many times. Of course, you can always refuse to be strong-armed. I do it all the time.

  • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

    Helen, the readers were the winners, including us. Like FW Ken, I could do with the laughs.

  • Peg

    Perhaps not surprising is this isn’t even the worst antic this guy has done this year…it gets much worse. I’d love to laugh but it’s my state actually I wouldn’t want this for any statehouse.

    To think this guy is going to work in my state just miles from my house is very sad . I think we need to pay more attention and get more involved with state and local gov’t. I can hear Jim Rockford in my head calling him a chucklehead. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Peg

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/the-platform/editorial-sen-brian-nieves-shameful-act-wears-thin/article_7fc2ac69-20ff-5ba3-b0d1-f70e28d5d152.html

    Don’t know if I copied the link right but here is more outrageous behavior. I hadn’t noticed the date earlier but he’s been doing this for a few years now. Not a good Show Me state examples.

  • Birthday girl

    Next thing you know, someone will ask him if such-and-such legislation is constitutional and he’ll reply “Seriously?”

  • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

    Peg does seem to have a point. After you read a few of this guy’s public deeds, he stops being funny and starts feeling toxic. http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/the-platform/editorial-sen-brian-nieves-shameful-act-wears-thin/article_7fc2ac69-20ff-5ba3-b0d1-f70e28d5d152.html

  • Fred

    I shared this story with a few friends and we individually emailed unflattering responses to Brian thanking him for the best entertainment this morning. Guess what? He’s STILL firing back sarcastic and biting responses, almost immediately! I suggest everyone in the US contact Senator Nieves email and we will see how long it takes until the Missouri Republican caucus takes away his laptop!

  • Theodore Seeber

    Hahaha- the real stupidity comes in the last e-mail from the Senator, where he fully admits that he can’t remove the offending name from the list because some brain-dead techie on his staff set up the distribution list to *automatically add any e-mails sent*.

    And thus the real PEBCAK.

  • Peg

    Okay now I’m laughing. Too funny Fred! My son and I are home sick today and we laughed so hard we fell off the couch!


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