Michael Baumgartner, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington State, took exception to an article written about him this week, emailing the author to tell him to "go fuck yourself."
Josh Feit, a reporter for PubliCola blog at Seattle Met Magazine, had interviewed Baumgartner earlier in the week and written a story about how the Republican state senator's views on abortion were similar to those of embattled GOP congressman and Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin.
Akin sent shockwaves across the political sphere bysuggesting that "legitimate rape" victims had biological "ways to shut" down pregnancies on their own. Beyond being factually incorrect, Akin's statement also managed to put the strict anti-abortion views of the Republican Party front and center.
On Tuesday, the GOP followed the Akin controversy by approving a plank to its draft platform calling for a constitutional ban on abortion, without an exception for rape.
Baumgartner, like Akin, reportedly opposes abortion even in the cases of rape. While he was quick to condemn Akin's "inexcusable and stupid and ignorant" remarks, Feit reported that their views on abortion were fundamentally identical.
But Baumgartner was apparently upset by Feit's article. As a former diplomat serving in Iraq, and an embedded adviser to the Afghan counternarcotics team in 2009, Baumgartner has attempted to campaign on a platform of ending the war in Afghanistan, a detail that Feit noted in his original story. While reporting on the candidate's anti-abortion stance, Feit also included a statement from Baumgartner decrying the "culture wars" and urging a serious look at foreign policy.
Despite that, however, Baumgartner appeared angry at the focus of Feit's piece, noting his grievances in a terse email to the reporter. It included the following message, alongside a photo of Baumgartner and another man posing with guns:
"Josh, this is Pat Feeks, a Navy SEAL killed last week in Afghanistan. Take a good look and then go fuck yourself."
Baumgartner later released a statement apologizing to Feit for the use of such "strong language," but Feit notes that the Republican has since taken a different tack, telling a reporter from Washington's KIRO that Feit "had it coming."
The Associated Press interviewed Baumgartner, who reportedly said his frustration stemmed from the media's lack of coverage of the war in Afghanistan.
Baumgartner is facing an uphill battle against Democratic incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell, who currently holds a significant advantage in fundraising and name recognition.
Also on HuffPost:
Start of War: Oct. 7, 2001
<em>American soldiers hide behind a barricade during an explosion, prior to fighting with Taliban forces November 26, 2001 at the fortress near Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images)</em>
Number of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan: 88,000
<em>US Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed from the USS Bataan's Amphibious Ready Group arrive December 14, 2001 at an undisclosed location with field gear and weapons. (Photo by Johnny Bivera/Getty Images)</em>
Number of Troops at War's Peak
<em>U.S. Marines begin to form up their convoy at a staging area near Kandahar, Afghanistan, as they await orders to begin their trek to Kandahar to take control of the airfield 13 December, 2001. (DAVE MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the war's peak: About 101,000 in 2010. Allies provided about 40,000.
<em>U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a televised address from the East Room of the White House on June 22, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais-Pool/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Withdrawal plans: 23,000 U.S. troops expected to come home by the end of the summer, leaving about 68,000 in Afghanistan. Most U.S. troops expected to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, though the U.S. is expected to maintain a sizeable force of military trainers and a civilian diplomatic corps.
Number of U.S. Casualties
<em>American flags, each one representing the 4,454 American soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, move in the breeze at The Christ Congregational United Church March 17, 2008 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Number of U.S. casualties: At least 1,828 members of the U.S. military killed as of Tuesday, according to an Associated Press count. According to the Defense Department, 15,786 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action.
Afghan Civilian Casualties
<em>Asan Bibi, 9, sits on a bench as burn cream is applied to her at Mirwais hospital October 13, 2009 Kandahar, Afghanistan. She, her sister and mother were badly burned when a helicopter fired into their tent in the middle of the night on October 3rd, according to their father. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Afghan civilian casualties: According to the United Nations, 11,864 civilians were killed in the conflict between 2007, when the U.N. began reporting statistics, and the end of 2011.
Cost of the War
<em>An Iraqi man counts money behind a pile of American dollars in his currency exchange bureau in Baghdad on April 11, 2012. (ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)</em><br><br> Cost of the war: $443 billion from fiscal year 2001 through fiscal year 2011, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Number of Times Obama Has Visited Afghanistan
<em>US President Barack Obama speaks to troops during a visit to Bagram Air Field on May 1, 2012 in Afghanistan. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) </em><br><br> Number of times Obama has visited Afghanistan: 3 as president, including Tuesday, and 1 as a presidential candidate.