Friday, July 25, 2003
Sorry for the light posting; I've been moving, and it's taken a lot out of me. I should be posting up a storm tomorrow, however; I now have broadband internet. (grin)
posted at 02:02 PM | permalink | Comments (3)
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
More on Stark
Henry Hanks sent me a link to this Fox News story, which serves as a nice followup to my post this past Saturday on Pete Stark's slurs.
While no cameras recorded the event, a stenographer took down every word Stark uttered. Republican Rep. Kenny Hulshof recited them back on the House floor.
"'You little fruitcake, you little fruitcake, I said you are a fruitcake,'" Hulshof, R-Mo., read from the unofficial transcript.
Stark directed the word ó considered by some to be a gay slur ó- at Republican Rep. Scott McInnis, who is married and by all accounts not gay.
Republican sources also claim that during the chaotic scene in the committee, Stark fired another gay slur in the direction of Chairman Thomas. The word is too vulgar to print in full, but the last half of it is "sucker."
Not one anti-gay slur, but two. C---sucker doesn't have the same anti-gay impact on its face as "fruitcake", but it is still vulgar and essentially homophobic.
At least one congressman is tired of the free pass Stark has received to this point.
"This isn't the first time. That's the problem here. The Democrats fail to recognize this is an ongoing problem," said Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla.
Stark has a long history of making outrageous remarks. He once called Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson "a whore [to the insurance industryed]" and said former Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan is "a disgrace to his race."
Foley questioned whether Democrats get a pass when it comes to casting aspersions, and whether there is indeed a double standard.
"I trust that you would understand that if a Republican said that, there would be a public lynching," Foley said.
The largest Gay-Rights group, however, doesn't seem to be all that upset.
And instead of condemning Stark, Human Rights Campaign seemed to agree.
A spokesman from the gay activists group, usually quick to condemn hints of slight or slur against the gay community, defended the hot-headed lawmaker, saying he probably used the word to mean McInnis was nutty.
"I think Congressman Stark's use of the word, he probably regrets having used it. I think he meant nothing by it, but I think in the 2003 context, it's probably a poor choice of words. But it's also important to note that Congressman Stark is one of the gay community's staunchest allies," said Winnie Stachelberg, political director of the Human Rights Campaign.
Oh, he's an ally, so it's okay to toss gay slurs around. This must be akin to the strong support NOW gave Clinton when the Juanita Broaddrick case surfaced. Or how Ted Kennedy ALSO receives high marks from feminists, despite the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. They're good on women's rights, so we'll overlook their egregious violations of THOSE two women.
Stark, for his part, has issued a self-serving, smug, sanctimonious statement (on his website):
Much has been made today about my conduct in the Ways and Means Committee markup of HR 1776. Letís be clear. I am not the issue here. Never was I approached by a police officer or questioned about what happened.
The issue is that the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee called the police to throw Democrats out of a room where they were meeting to determine how to respond to a bill we first saw this morning. It is yet another step in their continued effort to shut out Democrats and stifle debate.
Sometimes I feel so passionate about an issue that I am not as diplomatic as I should be. Whatever was said, I never physically threatened anyone. I did exchange words that were not becoming of my office. I regret that.
Republicans are using my intemperate words as a diversionary tactic. Republicans cannot stand up and defend the calling of the police to remove Democrats from a room in the peopleís House. Chairman Thomasí behavior today should not be allowed in a democracy. Itís reminiscent of a police state, not America. Thatís the issue.
No, Mr. Stark, you are the issue here. You know darn well that if any Republican had called another congressman a "fruitcake", you and all your half-wit leftist colleagues would be screaming bloody murder. "Homophobe" would be the mildest imprecation emenating from your pie holes. If we lived in a police state, your ass would be locked up in a jail with a tattooed cellmate named Spike who calls you "honey" (as Bill Lockyer, another mature Democrat, once wished upon Kenneth Lay). Bet you wouldn't call HIM a fruitcake, would you?
posted at 11:47 AM | permalink | Comments (1)
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Bye, bye, Gray
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports 51% would approve ouster of governor, survey finds. The wording of the headline is a little obtuse, but a quick read of the first few paragraphs makes it clear that it is a poll of likely voters, and their voting intentions. *(The headline implies support of non-voters, which is not the case.)
The article also discusses some of the potential candidates if Davis were recalled. Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from Vista (suburban San Diego) is the only major candidate thus far. However, several other Republicans appear to be interested, which could create a problem for the GOP. If the Democrats field one candidate, on a ballot with three or four Republicans (and the usual crop of minor candidates), the chances are very good that the Dem will win. I personally don't think that Issa is the best candidate the GOP has to offer; he is too conservative for California as a whole. However, he has been the primary source of funds for the recall effort, and he was the first to announce a candidacy. The moderate wing of the GOP either needs to field a single candidate now, throw their support behind Issa, or risk having the unpopular Davis get recalled but with a Democratic successor.
(Link courtesy of Ipse Dixit, which actually linked to a related article. Make sure to read his link as well.)
posted at 11:31 AM | permalink | Comments (1)