Breaking up is hard to do.
July 15, 2003 10:26 PM   Subscribe

Breaking up is hard to do. U.S. Senate intern sends an ill-advised email to a young woman he calls his "intellectual, moral, social, and emotional" inferior. Unclear if he sent it from his senate.gov address or not, but it quickly finds a wider audience. Here's the WashPost article mentioned on the Snopes page.
posted by GaelFC (64 comments total)

 
By the end of the day if I wanted to, I could make a phone call and have your life absolutely ruined but there is no need because you are falling fast enough towards failure without me. In the end, all I can say is that people love me and people hate you.

Hmm. Just when I thought I probably couldn't find someone to like less than Tucker Max. : )

I understand that this letter probably had some context it might actually make some small degree of extra sense in, and it sounds like the intern was pretty young, so there are some excuses for the letter's folly, but anyone who talks about intentionally ruining someone else's life with their connections fully deserves some comeuppance.
posted by weston at 10:39 PM on July 15, 2003


Paul Kelly Tripplehorn, Jr. must hate google more than he hates liberals, fools and the needy combined. I wonder if it would be possible to actually get google to return that first link as the first result for the phrase pompous ass.
posted by mosch at 10:41 PM on July 15, 2003


Why don't you try that mosch and get back to us?
posted by Wood at 10:47 PM on July 15, 2003


Folks, he's just the one who got caught. There's zillions more, right behind you.
posted by HTuttle at 10:49 PM on July 15, 2003


For a college sophomore he spells and writes like a 5th grader. I guess there are no academic standards for becoming a senate intern? Intellectual superior, eh?
posted by AstroGuy at 10:51 PM on July 15, 2003


And I just noticed...looks like he sent it from his creatively named hotmail account--so not from work. So he's got that goin' for him.

Which means it got out not through someone at the Senate, but maybe just through the recipient passing it around.
posted by GaelFC at 10:55 PM on July 15, 2003


The juicy stuff, where Neil "Silverado" Bush admits--in a videotaped deposition--to having sex with several women in Thailand and Hong Kong, is down below. Man, these Bush guys are living the dream.
posted by y2karl at 11:21 PM on July 15, 2003


What a prick. He probably has a successful career in politics ahead of him.
posted by birdherder at 11:26 PM on July 15, 2003


to a young woman he calls his "intellectual, moral, social, and emotional" inferior

I have to sympathise. I find most women to be this way. Well okay, all except the social. But if this chick is his intellectual inferior, then one can only wonder what her spelling and grammar are like! His is appalling!
posted by wackybrit at 11:54 PM on July 15, 2003


Yeah, Wackybrit. Girls are icky.
I hear some of them even have cooties...
posted by Newbornstranger at 12:23 AM on July 16, 2003


... and it sounds like the intern was pretty young, so there are some excuses for the letter's folly ...

I'm twenty myself, and I wouldn't grant him any excuses. By the standards of my sub-generation, at least, Kelly Tripplehorn is an abusive, manipulative maniac who should never be let near a woman again.
posted by tweebiscuit at 12:24 AM on July 16, 2003


I have to sympathise (sic). I find most women to be this way. Well okay, all except the social.

That's one wacky brit. You poor thing having to spend your life tolerating such inferior beings. Being socially inferior yourself, it must be doubly hard.
posted by whatever at 3:18 AM on July 16, 2003


Now now people, chill - he wrote this when angry and just dashed it off - look! He didn't even use a spellchecker!

From what I've seen of breakups (eh, girls have cooties so I'm enjoying single life :), they can sometimes be pretty hard and raise a high degree of emotions - anger, spite, etc etc resulting from rejection of self or emotional hurt.

Sure, he could probably have made a phonecall like that, he would be an arse if he did though, I agree. Moment of anger magnified by the internet. Oh well.

Interesting hotmail addy though :)
posted by Mossy at 3:25 AM on July 16, 2003


Ahhhh...Time the Avenger.


Thanks to the Internet, he'll never be able to entirely escape this mistake. I look forward to oh, say about twenty years from now, when any of his underlings, secretary, etc. find this when Googling his name.
posted by alumshubby at 4:27 AM on July 16, 2003


Good, one less prick in the...politics arena ? That's like a drop from a bucket. What about making every politician email disclosable under FOIA ? :)
posted by elpapacito at 4:55 AM on July 16, 2003


20 Years? How about this Thursday night, when a young woman googles her date and finds a would-be lothario instead of a gentleman caller. Of course, this assumes he's more charming in person.
posted by Verdant at 4:57 AM on July 16, 2003


I've seen cereal boxes more literate than that e-mail.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:26 AM on July 16, 2003


I'm surprised he hasn't removed his email from the Amherst College directory yet.
posted by bkdelong at 5:39 AM on July 16, 2003


verdant: even odds that he's charming to the right type; if I read people correctly via snap judgements made from a single e-mail, i'd say he finds a way to work in "daddy made $2.4M last year" and "house in Aspen" on the first date. If she doesn't know what she's getting into, that's sort of her problem.
posted by Vetinari at 6:00 AM on July 16, 2003


Speaking as a DC native, I love to see interns go down...
posted by tommyspoon at 6:17 AM on July 16, 2003


To really appreciate this guy you have to see the shit-eating grin he was able to summon up for the Washington Post photographer. Guy's got his whole, consequence-free life ahead of him, doesn't he? He's already interning in another congressional office.
posted by coelecanth at 6:19 AM on July 16, 2003


Hey, whatever, sic yourself. Think wackybrit might be British?
posted by trharlan at 6:31 AM on July 16, 2003


Get used to that grin. Way things are going, it'll be on US stamps in thirty years. :(
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:33 AM on July 16, 2003


Wait a second here. I completely fail to see why he was fired for this. What does that have to do with anything? Yeah, he's a pompous dick who can't spell. And I'm sure his ex-girlfriend is much better off without him. But per GaelFC above, he sent it from his personal email, not his .gov. So exactly how does this mean that he is not fulfilling his job duties?

And whatever, what trharlan said.
posted by widdershins at 6:42 AM on July 16, 2003


Perhaps, just perhaps, his ex is in fact such a b*tch as the letter says.

But if she is, it rather looks like a couple that deserved each other, does it not?
posted by clevershark at 6:51 AM on July 16, 2003


Count me in the 'don't get it' camp. He seems a wee bit high on himself, but it appears that she's probably a rank bitch, too. And firing? Over a nasty email that was not sent from an official email address? If I got fired every time I said something unpleasant in my personal life, I'd never work.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:00 AM on July 16, 2003


widdershins:

Senate intern positions are positions of priviledge, they're not actual jobs with contracts or guaranteed workers' rights. You can't really fire an intern - but you can tell them that their internship is up.
posted by syzygy at 7:01 AM on July 16, 2003


To really appreciate this guy you have to see the shit-eating grin he was able to summon up for the Washington Post photographer.

Also get a load of the pink shirt with the little horsie on it. Wouldn't you know he'd be the type to wear that.

As for his being fired - yes, it wasn't right to fire him for a personal email sent from his personal account. I suspect it might have played out something like this though - his boss decided it was a huge embarrassment and bad publicity so something had to be done, so the unpleasant lad was "fired", then strings were pulled behind the scene to immediately fix him up with another job elsewhere.
posted by orange swan at 7:08 AM on July 16, 2003


Someone should send him a link to the discourse on this page.
posted by angry modem at 7:30 AM on July 16, 2003


Show of hands, please: How many of you think the lad would actually trouble himself to read it?
posted by alumshubby at 7:31 AM on July 16, 2003


I'm surprised he hasn't removed his email from the Amherst College directory yet.

Well, I'm always looking for more good reasons to trash those alumni fund letters, and this will do wonderfully.
posted by furiousthought at 7:38 AM on July 16, 2003


How many of you think the lad would actually trouble himself to read it?

Probably as many as actually give a damn what he'd have to say about it...
posted by clevershark at 7:40 AM on July 16, 2003


Who can find out which House member he's working for now? I got $1. Or is this like the mysterious girlfriend in the Niagra falls region.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:02 AM on July 16, 2003


Wait a second here. I completely fail to see why he was fired for this. ... So exactly how does this mean that he is not fulfilling his job duties?

If he's working for a Senator, his job duties include not being an embarrassing jackass while his name is on her payroll.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:08 AM on July 16, 2003


widdershins - ["Wait a second here. I completely fail to see why he was fired for this. What does that have to do with anything?"] I think his employer decided that he was a liability - not for what he said but for the fact that it got out.

jacquilynne ["...Count me in the 'don't get it' camp. He seems a wee bit high on himself, but it appears that she's probably a rank bitch, too"] - If so, maybe the two should be chained together and thrown into a pit, to fight to the death like pit bulls or snakes.

That way the world will be spared from all the suffering and mayhem they will leave strewn in their wake, as they arrogantly sail through life on their gilded ships of privilege.
posted by troutfishing at 8:16 AM on July 16, 2003


"Alfred Lord Tennyson defended [the Carlyles'] marriage, when it was suggested that it was a mistake: 'By any other arrangement, four people would have been unhappy instead of two.'"
posted by languagehat at 8:28 AM on July 16, 2003


Tripplehorn reminds me of every character played by James Spader in a move during the 1980s -- smug, spoiled, cruel. Kinda resembles him, too...
posted by contessa at 8:44 AM on July 16, 2003


jacquilynne: it appears that she's probably a rank bitch, too.

Um, based on what? His juvenile insistance that "everyone hates you, you suck, everyone agrees with me" or the fact that she probably forwarded this out into the world?

Depressing to think this creep probably has a bright future in DC. But I guess "I should not get worked up over suck trifles." (hee!)
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:58 AM on July 16, 2003


As for the firing - First, there's the PR aspect. Embarrasing to the senator, to say the least.
Second, there's the suggestion that Mr. Tripplehorny made in his email that he could use the priviledge of being an intern to affect his ex-girlfriend's life. The possibility of abuse-of-priviledge is taboo to talk about on Capitol Hill... it's consantly there, and it's constantly used, but they really don't like talking about destroying people's lives like a villan from an action hero B-movie.

So as soon as Tripplehorny over there starts spouting that shit off, someone's gotta shut him up. The mafia went out of style a few decades ago, so launching him is the easiest way...
Plus, because everyone on Capitol Hill has read that email by now, Mr. Tripplehorny wouldn't be able to do what he claimed -- he's lost all of the power that he had invested in favors from other people.
posted by SpecialK at 9:09 AM on July 16, 2003


I reckon if they really needed a reason to fire him (which I doubt they do,) the line where he threatens to use all of his fancy-schmancy connections to ruin her and her education probably would have done it. I mean, sure, folks can and do that sort of thing all the time, but I reckon the Senator would be less than pleased to have some pompous intern bragging about it while under her employ.

(On preview- SpecialK beat me to it. Damn it.)
posted by headspace at 9:13 AM on July 16, 2003


Someone should send him a link to the discourse on this page.
I was already aware of it because I'm him, and shame on all of you for casting judgement on me! Everyone hates all of you, and I'm gonna ruin all your careers.
Just kidding. What a dick.
The picture illustrates the email perfectly.
posted by ghastlyfop at 9:27 AM on July 16, 2003


or a college sophomore he spells and writes like a 5th grader. I guess there are no academic standards for becoming a senate intern? Intellectual superior, eh?

yeah, in texas. ever heerd da pressydent speek?

Think wackybrit might be British?

actually, i rather tend to doubt that. oops. did i type that out loud?
posted by quonsar at 9:50 AM on July 16, 2003


Well, obviously he was fired for the PR aspect. However, I don't think it's right to fire someone for a personal email that was not connected to his job in any way. What, none of you ever wrote something stupid and incriminating that could be taken out of context? Unless the communication was on company letterhead or specifically mentioned your job, there should be no employment consequences.

ROU: If he's working for [Walmart], his job duties include not being an embarrassing jackass while his name is on her payroll. Only if he's acting like a jackass while at work or representing his company.

The only thing that makes it somewhat OK to me is that he was an intern, not hired employee, as syzygy said.
posted by widdershins at 10:44 AM on July 16, 2003


Unless the communication was on company letterhead or specifically mentioned your job

Which the threat to make a phone call and ruin her life certainly did. Plus the intern thing. Good enough for me.
posted by soyjoy at 11:01 AM on July 16, 2003


Nobody is owed a job.

In most states, people are employed at will meaning they can let you go for almost any reason except those that are discriminatory.

Stupid isn't a protected class in this country. Somebody who does one thing that is stupid may well do other things that are stupid, and if I find out somebody was being stupid, then I don't really want to keep employing them anymore. I don't care when they were stupid only that it has now been brought to my attention that they were stupid.
posted by willnot at 11:06 AM on July 16, 2003


I love to see interns go down

I bet you do, tommyspoon, I bet you do.

Might could be he sent the email from his personal account but on the job using the job's computer, in which case they still have a reason to discipline him.
posted by rainbaby at 11:15 AM on July 16, 2003


Maybe Blair Hornstein can be his tutor. I hear she's wicked smart and not too busy with college this fall.
posted by briank at 11:19 AM on July 16, 2003


Only if he's acting like a jackass while at work or representing his company.

If you're working for a Representative or Senator, you're *always* representing the "company" while you're on their payroll (and, realistically, before that as well). What you do in your private life can and will affect the politician's electoral fates, so they have every reason to give a damn about what you do "off the clock." If you're not comfortable with that, go into a normal line of work instead.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:00 PM on July 16, 2003


Note that his ex-girlfriend also was an intern with Kay Bailey Hutchison. So this was connected to his job in an important way, widdenshins. Threatening a co-worker that you're going to ruin their career seems to be plenty of grounds for firing.
posted by pitchblende at 12:22 PM on July 16, 2003


If you're working for a Representative or Senator, you're *always* representing the "company" while you're on their payroll

I understand this way of thinking, but I don't agree with it. Call me idealistic, but this guy has not run for office and is not accountable to the public for a clearly personal email.

Which the threat to make a phone call and ruin her life certainly did.

I didn't get that from the email. The email does not once mention his workplace, and he's got enough personal power (money, knowledge of people who don't like her etc) that the threat does not have to be related to his work. Also, come on - the guy is an intern. Hardly a strong-arm position.

That being said, I'm not sure why I'm wasting my breath defending the guy. I think he's a jerk as much as most of you, but I don't agree with the blurring of the personal/public line in this case.
posted by widdershins at 12:29 PM on July 16, 2003


Unless the communication was on company letterhead or specifically mentioned your job, there should be no employment consequences.

I would say that most likely at 2:11 pm on a Tuesday afternoon, he might have been at work writing that email, so whether it came from an official address or not, it could be that it was written at work.

The email does not once mention his workplace ...

Because both the sender and the receiver know what workplace is meant by his use of "workplace" and "career". He doesn't have to spell out to her that they are interns at Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's office.

Who knows how it got out to more people, but a likely scenario is him sending it to one of his friends to say "look what I sent that bitch, I showed her". He's a pompous ass, and pompous asses like to brag when they think they have bested someone. Had I been the recipient of said email, I would have posted it on my website ... just 'cause I'm vindictive that way.

but I don't agree with the blurring of the personal/public line in this case

This line is blurred all the time in the political arena. Anyone remember a scandal involving a man getting a blow job in the White House? Or the one about a Canadian Premier arrested for drunk driving while on vacation? Those were essentially private issues that had public consequences. If Tripplehorny wants to continue in the world of the politicos, he better learn to cover his tracks better. Saying it to her face with an absence of nearby witnesses or tape recorders would have been the smarter move. Things you put in typeface have a way of coming back to haunt you.
posted by Orb at 1:16 PM on July 16, 2003


I'm sorry, whatever. I'll use your orthographically challenged dialect in future. I don't want to compromize (sic) the intregrity of your language, and it'll be a worthwhile exercize (sic).

Oh, forget all that, at least I've got.. er, got.. a bigger willy than you!
posted by wackybrit at 2:39 PM on July 16, 2003


Call me idealistic, but this guy has not run for office and is not accountable to the public for a clearly personal email

He's not accountable to the public for squat. He's accountable to Hutchison.

If a staffer does something sufficiently embarrassing, it calls into question the Representative's or Senator's own judgment and morality (whether it ought to or not, it does) -- it's fodder for an opposing ad in the next election (So-and-so hires people who do THIS! -- he must think it's fine and dandy. But I share your values...). That can cost votes, Hutchison's bottom line. So he got fired for screwing around in ways that can cost her votes. Can you dig it?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:51 PM on July 16, 2003


What an amateur.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 3:40 PM on July 16, 2003


I'll say this one more time. Never send an email you aren't willing to read aloud to your boss, your mother, and/or a judge.
posted by ilsa at 4:34 PM on July 16, 2003


plus, the people he mentions not liking her and talking about her behind her back appear to be coworkers and one sounds like a supervisor. you can bet your ass if an employee told another employee that their supervisor said they didn't like her he could get fired for it. it sets the company up for a lawsuit.
posted by centrs at 6:15 PM on July 16, 2003


trharlan: Hey, whatever, sic yourself. Think wackybrit might be British?

No! Really? You think wackybrit might be British? Damn you're good. Missing the point is my favourite (sic) part of the theatre (sic) that is Metafilter. His superior attitude is understandable now that I know he's a brit.
posted by whatever at 10:45 PM on July 16, 2003


One more thing. Wackybrit:

Oh, forget all that, at least I've got.. er, got.. a bigger willy than you!

Yes you do. And you still don't get it.
posted by whatever at 10:58 PM on July 16, 2003


Sounds like he should give Blair Hornstine a call...
posted by andrewraff at 11:26 PM on July 16, 2003


His superior attitude is understandable now that I know he's a brit.

Hey! So you react to an immature insult against a huge and varied demographic with an immature insult against a huge and varied demographic? Oh sorry, are you American? Your superior attitude is understandable now I know etc etc etc etc for ever amen. Unless you were being ironic in which case ignore.
posted by Summer at 3:53 AM on July 17, 2003


Allow me to explain. He insults women:

to a young woman he calls his "intellectual, moral, social, and emotional" inferior

I have to sympathise. I find most women to be this way. Well okay, all except the social.


The arguments on this board are always enlightening. No one has a problem with his blanket statement about women. I criticize his spelling of one word with a simple (sic), which only occurred to me because the spell check pointed it out. He claims superiority to half the world's population (except socially) and I'm the ugly American. I can live with that.

The brit part was in response to trharlan: Hey, whatever, sic yourself. Think wackybrit might be British?

Do you think he might be wacky as well? I am intellectually, emotionally and morally inferior so I couldn't have guessed that wackybrit might be British. To prove that I'm not completely brain dead, I figured the wacky part out myself.

Yes, Summer, I was trying to be ironic. I guess irony really is dead.
posted by whatever at 5:28 AM on July 17, 2003


Well, the fact that he chose to show his intellectual, moral and emotional superiority by echoing the words of a conspicuously stupid, immoral and emotionally retarded idiot speaks for itself.
posted by Summer at 6:06 AM on July 17, 2003


/me pulls on fireproof underwear.

For that matter, never post anything to MetaFilter that you wouldn't read aloud to your boss, your mother, or a judge.
posted by ilsa at 1:20 PM on July 17, 2003


whatever, count me in as one who "doesn't get it." Sure you had reason to criticize wackybrit's misogyny, but the "sic" was just plain wrong. That's how the word is spelled in much of the world, and adding "sic" indicated that, unaware of that, you were trying to get in a cheap shot at a typo. No wonder people jumped all over you.

Unless you were being ironic in which case ignore.

If putting "(sic)" after "sympathise" what passes for "irony" these days, yeah, I guess it really is dead.
posted by soyjoy at 9:22 AM on July 18, 2003


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