Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Anti-Gay Loudmouth Shuts Down Utah Senate

We talked the other day about this Buttars guy, what a piece of work. Out there in Utah his Republican colleagues don't really disagree with him, they just feel a little funny about a guy saying the things he says so, you know, openly. They shut down the state Senate so they could go away and talk about it. This is the strangest thing.
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Senate stopped working for about two hours Monday as Republicans privately met to discuss a lawmaker's recent comments that gay people don't have morals and that gay activists are among America's greatest threats.

Not a single bill was debated on the Senate floor Monday morning, increasing the backlog of bills that may never become law simply because lawmakers will run out of time to approve them before the 45-day session ends.

Republican Sen. Chris Buttars of West Jordan told a documentary filmmaker that gay people don't have any morals and he compared gay activists to radical Muslims, saying they're one of America's greatest threats. Anti-gay remarks raise ruckus in Utah Senate

Thinking about it, I can't see any similarities at all between gay people and radical Muslims. It seems to me that radical Muslims cut gay people's heads off, don't they? Radical Muslims crash airplanes into tall buildings, I can't even remember a gay person crashing a party. Okay, I'm being silly, but really ... this guy sounds like he should be in a mental hospital, not a state Capitol building.

Do you ever have that feeling like you might have just fallen here from a distant planet, and the aliens native inhabitants have strange and bizarre ways that you just can't quite get a grip on? Okay, well maybe that's just me, sorry. How about the other way around? -- Do you ever feel like some kind of weird aliens have landed on earth and live among us, with strange and bizarre ways that you just can't quite get a grip on? Let me put it this way: can you imagine being one of these Utah Republicans? Me neither.
Last week, Senate President Michael Waddoups removed Buttars from a judiciary committee he chaired. Buttars frequently took pride in using the chairmanship to kill gay rights legislation.

Waddoups said he wanted to remove a distraction and wasn't trying to punish Buttars for the comments. Waddoups also said that his colleagues agree with many of Buttars' statements, but has refused to say which statements.

That is beautiful, isn't it? They will go on record as saying they don't agree with some of his statements, but won't say which ones. Like, privately they will admit that when Buttars said it was a beautiful day they thought it was too cloudy -- that's what they meant. That stuff about gay people, what'd be wrong with that?
Sen. Greg Bell said Monday he disagrees with at least one of Buttars' comments.

"I think I could say that, to a person, everyone in our caucus supports traditional marriage. Many of us, however, feel that the tenor, the examples, some of the phrasing that Sen. Buttars used in his controversial comments, were intolerant and immoderate," Bell said. "I don't believe that all gays have no morals whatsoever."

Buttars' comments and his removal from the judiciary committee have created a rift in the Senate Republican caucus, prompting the private meeting. Senate leaders said Buttars wouldn't face any more sanctions and that no position was taken on the issue during their meeting.

"It was a venting process, in my judgment, and that's why it took the time that it took," said Sen. Pete Knudson. "I think that's a healthy part of this whole situation, is that no one is being told what to think, no one is being told how to think, but they had their opportunity to express and I think that was very, very good for our caucus."

Buttars' comments first aired last week on the Salt Lake City ABC affiliate KTVX and a copyrighted audio clip is posted on its Web site. The documentary filmmaker he spoke to, Reed Cowan, formerly worked at KTVX and is now a reporter at WSVN in Miami.

Last night I watched the President's speech, and now I can't help seeing these Republicans in relation to that. The biggest criticism of the President last night was that he was "too ambitious." He sees some problems that he thinks we need to do something to solve. The economy, education, health care, wars, torture ... there are real problems in the world, and they require clear thinking and hard work.

In comparison, listen to this: "I don't believe that all gays have no morals whatsoever." Man, these Utah Republicans are going out on a limb!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally would say that some anti-gay bigots are not complete jerks to every person all the time.

February 25, 2009 11:40 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"I don't believe that all gays have no morals whatsoever."

Thank you Senator Bell, and as a reciprocal gesture of good will, might I add that I don’t think you are 100% devoid of a conscience.

February 25, 2009 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems some other GOP elected officials are having similar problems making outrageous statements. Today Salon reports:

What's the matter with Colorado?

Every state has to deal with the occasional stupid, embarrassing elected official now and again. Sometimes, though, it seems like one is getting hit with more than its fair share. This week, it's Colorado, where two state senators have done their best to cover their constituents in something other than glory.

It all started with Republican Scott Renfroe of Greeley, who got some attention for comments he made Monday about a bill that extends health benefits to same-sex partners of state employees. It's "an abomination according to Scripture," Renfroe said, according to the Colorado Independent, to "[take] sins and [make] them to be legally OK.”

Renfroe -- apparently a magnanimous kind of guy -- was willing to admit that homosexuality isn't the only sin listed in the Bible. "I’m not saying this is the only sin that is out there. Obviously we have sin -- we have murder, we have, we have all sorts of sin, we have adultery, and we don’t make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal," he said.

Another Republican in the Colorado Senate, Sen. Dave Schultheis, wasn't about to be outdone. Explaining why he cast the lone vote against a bill that requires health care providers to test pregnant women for HIV (with their consent, of course), Schultheis said:

"Sexual promiscuity, we know, causes a lot of problems in our state, one of which, obviously, is the contraction of HIV. And we have other programs that deal with the negative consequences -- we put up part of our high schools where we allow students maybe 13 years old who put their child in a small daycare center there.

We do things continually to remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior, quite frankly, and I don’t think that’s the role of this body.

As a result of that I finally came to the conclusion I would have to be a no vote on this because this stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part."

― Alex Koppelman

So gays are like murderers according to Renfroe, and if you get yourself pregnant, we won't test you for HIV because if you got it, you apparently deserve to have it *undiagnosed* according to Schultheis. Great guys. Tell it to your new GOP leader, Bobby Jindal.

Jindal's response to Obama's speech the other night was a disaster, just like the GOP these days. Joan Walsh said it best: compare his own story to Obama's was tone-deaf. Even sillier, bordering on scandalous, was his decision to use Hurricane Katrina as an example of why government can't be trusted. Bobby, Katrina is why Americans believe Republican government can't be trusted. There's a difference.

Later, Joan added:

...and his Katrina stories are the perfect symbolism for the current GOP: They'll rescue wealthy bankers from oblivion, but leave low-income black people on roofs. Also, Politico caught it first, to my knowledge: The sheriff Jindal lionized in his speech, Harry Lee, is most famous for gruesome racial profiling during his tenure as Jefferson Parish's top cop. His Wikipedia page has all the details.

Great guys, keep up the good work reminding voters of the Bush/Cheney/Brownie failures of Katrina and throw in a southern racist cop while you're at it.

Tellingly, yesterday, RNC Chairman Michael Steel sent out an email blast to the GOP, extolling Jindal's reply to Obama, saying:

In case you missed it, I hope you take a moment to watch Governor Jindal's appearance on NBC's Today Show this morning. As he did in the Republican address last night, Governor Jindal laid out the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

I guess even the GOP found Jindal's actual response to Obama's speech too embarrassing so they've linked GOP supporters to his Today Show appearance instead of the actual speech. I can see why. Even the talking heads at Fox News panned it.

February 26, 2009 8:26 AM  

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