This could have a more general title like “Why do politicians have bizarre and stupid responses to questions or criticism?”
I have no reason to believe that Heath is stupider than average for a Georgia Republican politician. Yet he hid behind a printer to escape questioning from a local reporter after sending out a bizarre form email in response to emails from Georgia citizens.
If you haven’t followed the whole story, click on the links above to come up to speed. What I’m going to peruse here is Heath’s responses, and what might have been a more rational response to both the Georgia citizens who sent the emails, and to the reporter. I’m going to put aside the politics, and just focus on his potential sane and intelligent (or at least not stupid) range of options.
First the emails: A better approach (and one not as likely to attract reporters) would have been to have a robo-message stating something to the effect:
"Thank you for your email. I happen to disagree with you. Chip Rogers is a fine man, etc"
This would have been both predictable (often good in a canned response), and final.
Once the reporter arrived, assuming the email I outlined was used, Heath could have said: “I don’t have but a minute, but I stand by the email. Chip Rogers is a fine man … etc”
But assuming the actual, crazy email that he sent was already out in the wild, a partial walkback would be in order:
"I regret some of the wording of my response, but I think Chip Rogers is a fine man, and I was inundated with form emails and responded a bit too … etc"
Of course, instead, we were treated to Heath hiding behind a printer, something that somehow lacks gravitas and dignity.
Why did he do it? Well, my own view is that the GOP in Georgia has become both arrogant and a little on the crazy side, so Heath was behaving true to form. The question is, how long do the voters in Haralson, Polk, and Paulding counties want to be represented by a senator who is, to say the least, somewhat odd and unstable.