Disappointing but not surprising is just one reaction among many after a Democratic state lawmaker in Pennsylvania filmed himself berating pro-life activists.
When Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to appear in The Keystone State last year, state Rep. Brian Sims “welcomed” the vice president to his state of “soaring diversity” by flipping him off in a Twitter post.
“No class. No class. There’s no reason for that,” a Pennsylvanian told a Fox News affiliate that was seeking reaction with on-the-street interviews.
Almost a year later, Sims is making news headlines again after he posted video footage showing him berating and mocking a middle-aged woman, then chasing away teenage girls, outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia.
He probably didn’t expect the response: everyone from a Catholic archbishop and a U.S. senator have condemned his bullying tactics, and the father of the girls dared Sims to confront him the way he bullied his children.
Sims' own behavior kicked off plans for a pro-life rally at the Locust Street clinic tomorrow, May 10.
Among those scheduled to gather in front of the clinic are pro-life leader Abby Johnson, pro-life writer Matt Walsh, and Live Action president Lila Rose.
Walsh has credited Rose and Live Action for organizing the protest but Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood executive, is calling out Sims.
In a Twitter post, Johnson challenged Sims to come with his “little camera and shaky voice” to confront a “young, empowered, pro-life woman who won’t back down from bullies.”
She finished the challenge with, “Bring it, coward.”
Sims has a record for the type of aggressive behavior he demonstrated in the videos, Catholic theologian and writer Matthew Bunson tells OneNewsNow.
“So it wasn't a shock that he might be doing this," Bunson observes.
What made the lawmaker’s behavior a “new low” in both culture and politics, Bunson says, was that Sims demanded to know the identities of the woman and later the girls, a tactic known as “doxxing” in which social media-savvy people dig up the background on others in order to mercilessly harass them online.
Sims has since posted a video supposedly apologizing for his behavior, although many reacted in surprise that his supposed apology contained no apology to the woman and teen girls.
News website Hot Air said Sims appeared to be apologizing to Planned Parenthood, and Johnson similarly suggested it appeared Sims had frustrated Planned Parenthood behind the scenes.
"I would use the phrase ‘non-apology apology’ as well," Bunson tells OneNewsNow.
The result of Sims' behavior so far is long and getting longer: a planned pro-life rally; a police complaint by the mother of the teens; and calls by fellow lawmakers for a criminal investigation of his behavior.