Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

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        My takeaway is that you shouldn’t mess with Brandon Williams’ family.


               That seems to be the message of a cellphone video which emerged from a lobbyist’s party held Thursday night at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.


               In it, a clearly angry Congressman Brandon Williams confronts a younger man in a suit. There are stern words, a closely wagged finger, the assertion that the younger man has done something to harm or ridicule Brandon Williams’ family, and the assurance that if he does so again, the congressman will destroy the young man’s political connections, key to making a living in the DC curia.


               Also, he uses the F word.


               As in he literally said, “You f—k with my family, I’ll end every relationship you have.”


               It’s called a “conditional statement,” wherein a hypothesis is presented along with its resultant conclusion. If you do A, then I am going to do B, and if you don’t want B to happen, you shouldn’t do A. It is a threat of consequence. Your action, undesirable to me, is going to be met with my reaction, undesirable to you.


               That’s what Brandon Williams did.


               And it made the news. All around the world. A shaky cellphone video of a seemingly alarmed young man getting a stern talking to by a clearly upset older man. Complete with profanity.


               The feigned outrage is universal. People are tripping over themselves to see who can be most indignant. As the nation teeters on the verge of insolvency, civil strife and world war, all attention is on a pissed off Brandon Williams and the condemnation of him.


               Which is nuts.


               Because he did nothing wrong.


               More than that, he didn’t do anything that any other normal man or woman wouldn’t do. To be honest, among real people, this is the best thing that could have happened to Brandon Williams politically.


               Let’s review a couple of things. Brandon Williams didn’t touch the young man – his former staffer and campaign manager – and he didn’t threaten to touch him. There were no blows, there was no incidental contact, there was no threat of punched noses or kicked asses. There was no threat of misuse of governmental power. And this was not an inappropriate workplace exchange because the young man had not worked for Brandon Williams in something like 10 months. This is two guys who have an issue between them and one of the guys communicated a point.


               And that point was: Don’t F with my family.


               Brandon Williams wasn’t engaged in an act of ego, he wasn’t engaged in an act of selfishness, he wasn’t engaged in an act of political ambition, spite or envy. He was defending his family.


               Let me repeat that: He was defending his family.


               Say or do what you will about me, but if you go after my family, you’ve got trouble.


               That is what all would say. That is what all would feel.


               That passion is not a vice, it is a virtue. It is a natural response, an instinct. You and I would defend our families, and the congressman would defend his.


               And I suspect that carries over to his district and constituents. In a Congress where things can get pretty cutthroat, where half the people are scheming snakes, you want to be represented by someone with a backbone, who’s not afraid to lean in and point a finger and take a stand.


               That video proves that Brandon Williams has it in him.


               The congressman did a stint in the Navy, and it looks like he paid attention. When the call goes out to repel boarders, he’s not going to be on his bunk shining his shoes, he’s going to be at the battle’s front doing what needs to be done.



               We want smart people, and Brandon Williams is that. But we also want people who can fight, and now we know Brandon Williams can do that.


               I think he comes out ahead because of this video. I know I like him more because of it. If I was some political action committee running ads to support him, I’d use this video, telling people that Brandon Williams is our political dad, and he fights for his family.


               Further, I’d note that there is also video from his presumed opponent – state Sen. John Mannion.


               In the Mannion video, the guy mocks his constituents. In the Williams video, the guy defends his family.


               I’m not confused about which I prefer.


               And I’m not confused by this Brandon Williams video. Neither am I offended by it.


               Because a man who defends his family is a man like the rest of us.


               And my takeaway is that you shouldn’t mess with Brandon Williams’ family.


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