I'm sure by now you've heard the story.
Jeff Flake's 15-year-old son, Tanner, had a number of his recent tweets publicly exposed and instead of a computer, they belonged in a landfill. He spectacularly was able to combine anti-gay slurs, the liberal use of the "n" word and references to Hispanics as "the scum of the earth", all in just a few electronic messages.
The Guinness people are examining the transmissions for consideration as the "world record for idiotic tastelessness". But is this example of vile vocabulary by a 15-year-old also the sin of the father? I don't think so.
I've known Jeff Flake for a number of years and nothing could be less characteristic of him than this rant from a teenager addled by adolescence. I'm a father. Sometimes my kids have embarrassed me. Often I've embarrassed them. They were not me growing up, and Tanner is not the U.S. Senator.
But Senator Flake, now it's your turn. How about arranging for your son to do volunteer work helping gays and minorities. That's an apology.
I'm Pat McMahon.