Have you ever wondered if, just as people are “born this way,” to be gay, they may also be “born this way” to be conservative or liberal? Studies show that indeed, people may be genetically predisposed to become liberal or conservative. So, can we fault our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters if they are born Republican? (Can we fault them also for being birthers?)
Perhaps not, but that doesn’t give them the license to attack without cause their fellow Democratic, Liberal, Progressive, Independent, or even Republican/Conservative gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters. And the anti-Left rhetoric and hate — especially unprovoked — coming from GOProud, its founders, and supporters, is unacceptable.
GOProud claims it is, “committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy. GOProud promotes our traditional conservative agenda by influencing politics and policy at the federal level.” No mention in there of constant anti-Left and at times, anti-gay hate.
Coincidentally to Mike Signorile’s excellent post today in the Advocate, calling GOProud — the gay Tea Party Republican group — “self-loathing,” this past weekend I “hung out” in a conversation on GOProud’s Facebook page.
Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud’s co-founder, who has said, â€œOur organizationâ€™s number one goal between now and November 2012 is defeating Barack Obama,â€Â posted a link to the Advocate’s review of an NPR interview with LaSalvia,Â about which I had also written.Â I was appalled at an initial comment by a reader in theÂ thread,Â which said,
“If the Left and the Democrats really supported equality for gays, they could have proved it by repealing DOMA and passing ENDA when they had control of Congress and the White House. They didn’t, because they don’t. They were dragged kicking and screaming into repealing DADT. Obama is viciously anti-gay. Gays who are conservatives and/or Republicans are fiscal conservatives. There is plenty of support for gay equality among fiscal conservatives. Our battle for equality is with social conservatives on the Right AND the Left who believe in imposing their values through the coercive powers of government.”
Wow. Just wow.
“If Obama and the Democrats supported equality for gays, Prop. 8 would not have passed and gays would have federal equality right this minute.”
Usually I don’t bother with these social media battles — I used to, but realized what a time-suck they are. But I could not help myself!
“I’m so sorry. I was under the obviously false impression that Obama signed the Hate Crimes bill into law, and that he refused to defend DOMA, and that he is the first president to even mention positively and consistently the LGBT community,” I responded, rather infuriated. “I must have read the news wrong today when I thought I saw that Obama’s DOJ today encouraged an LGBT supportive environment in schools I missed the news that detailed how John Boehner decided to not spend $500+ million unappropriated tax dollars on defending DOMA, and how he is pushing for ENDA to pass, along with the DREAM Act. And how could I have missed the news when Newt Gingrich fought tooth and nail against Bill Clinton and the Democrats against DOMA and DADT? I guess my Wall Street Journal subscription must have expired when Denny Hastert railed against Bush and fought to get ENDA passed, and begged George W. to not use marriage equality as a wedge issue to drive his base of rigious bigots to the polls.Â Thank you for straightening me out.”
And true to their leaders’ behavior, the fireworks ensued.
But what I was honsestly surprised at was the level of ignorance and the embrace of misinformation that almost every person who commented exhibited. Evidently, even gay Republicans watch Fox News, which, as we know, is responsible for the highest level of misinformation in the cable news world.
Some more ignorance from the GOProud group:
“What exactly has Obama done for gay america?”
“Don’t say he brought an end to DADT, because that’s a joke. If he wanted that done, it would have been done while he hadÂ the entire 3 branches of gov’t.” (No, the President cannot control all three branches, which include the Supreme Court — especially not this Supreme Court!)
“If Obama and the Democrats supported equality for gays, Prop. 8 would not have passed and gays would have federal equality right this minute.” (Um, Obama was a Senator when Prop 8 passed, and Prop 8 is a state referendum, not a federal issue. There was little he could have done, aside from speak out more than he did. And, Prop 8 and DOMA are not the same. Wow.)
“The Left exploits and abuses gays without shame and you lap it up and beg for more. And you get the worst of all worlds because not only do you support people who believe it is their holy duty to kill you for being gay — Muslims and illegal immigrants from anti-gay and anti-feminist cultures — AND put THEIR interests ahead of those of gays — you also are fighting the fiscal conservative principles that provide the financial liberty that gays need to survive because of employment discrimination. Why are you such a self-loathing doormat?” (Pot. Kettle. Black…)
“The “gay left” have hijacked the gay movement…”
“The left is too focused on “social justice” issues.” (Right… Where are the jobs, Mr. Boehner? And why have Republicans introduced over 600 anti-abortion bills this year alone?)
“I am certain that Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and FOX NEWS do not hate Gays…absolutely certain. FOX NEWS is the only major media organization that presents the news through the prism of capitalism and limited government…I appreciate that bias.”
My reponse also included,
“YOU folks here are the Republicans. Why don’t you stop wasting your time bashing the Left, and start focusing on your Republican elected officials to support repeal of DOMA, and support ENDA, and stop trying to delay DADT repeal.
The Left is FAR from perfect. But we’re trying. Like I said, what Republican elected officials are working to repeal DOMA, working to make ENDA happen, working to get DADT certified? If you folks, and your illustrious leaders Jimmy and Chris would stop bashing the Left and maybe partner with us, together we could get things done.
Honestly, it’s pretty embarrassing that we all share something in common and yet we can’t put aside our differences and fight the real opposition – the people who are actively oppressing us.
I hope someday that will happen. But until the bashing and name-calling stop, it won’t.
I also chided,
“just stop the Glenn Beck parroting and start getting your side to do its job.
The left is too focused on social issues?
The GOP has introduced over 600 anti-abortion bills this year alone.
Get on the damn phone and call your elected representatives and tell them to focus on creating real jobs, not abortion, not banning same-sex marriage, not anything but jobs. Have you?”
Born this way? Perhaps. But you have to admit, it takes a lot of self-loathing, as Signorile wrote, to be gay andÂ against the right of LGBT people to marry, to be in favor of DOMA, to be against ENDA. It just does.
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Democrats Discredit GOP Claims on IVF as Republicans Try to Regain Ground After Fallout
One week after the Alabama State Supreme Court ruled frozen human embryos are “children,” causing several medical institutions to pause their in-vitro fertilization (IVF) programs, Alabama and the GOP have seen tremendous nationwide anger, upset, and confusion from the left and the right over the decision, the Christian nationalist chief judge, and the Republican Party that set this in motion.
Now, GOP lawmakers and political groups are trying to regain ground after some Republicans quickly embraced the decision that, as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre predicted Tuesday, would cause “exactly the type of chaos that we expected when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and paved the way for politicians to dictate some of the most personal decisions families can make.”
“As a reminder,” Jean-Pierre added, “this is the same state whose attorney general threatened to prosecute people who help women travel out of state to seek the care they need.”
President Joe Biden condemned the Alabama ruling: “The disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families is outrageous and unacceptable.”
But U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) cheered his state’s Supreme Court, while appearing to not fully grasp what IVF is.
“I was all for it,” he said of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, calling young people “our number one commodity.”
But when pressed, Tuberville declared, “I’d have to look at the entire bill, how it’s written, I have not seen it,” referring not to legislation but the ruling.
And when told that women will now not be able to have IVF treatments, Tuberville repeatedly replied it was “unfortunate.”
“Oh…my…God.” Morning Joe hosts gobsmacked by clueless Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville twisting himself into knots. (Video: MSNBC) pic.twitter.com/huTuksbnuV
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) February 23, 2024
On Thursday night, speaking to a group of religious broadcasters, Donald Trump denounced the Alabama ruling and vowed to protect IVF. On Friday, the beleaguered Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) issued a memo directing Republicans to defend IVF. Also Friday, the Attorney General for the state of Alabama, mentioned earlier by the White House Press Secretary, effectively suggested he would ignore the state supreme court’s ruling, promising to not prosecute IVF families, as ABC News reported.
But Democrats are making clear that despite whatever claims or promises Republicans make, the IVF ruling is the direction conservatives are taking the Republican Party.
“First Republicans banned abortions so women couldn’t terminate a pregnancy. Now they are coming for IVF so women can’t begin a pregnancy. The GOP agenda is about one thing: government control of women,” observed U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) (photo).
CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox reports a new NRSC memo “instructs [GOP] candidates to reject clearly and concisely government attempts to restrict access to IVF.”
Just hours later, Sen. Murphy responded, saying, “umm the chairman of the NRSC sponsored the bill to ban IVF.”
He added, “newsflash: no matter what they tell their candidates to pretend, when they get power they use it to control women.”
The NRSC’s goal is to help get Republicans elected to the U.S. Senate. It is chaired by Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, a MAGA Republican and member of the Senate’s Pro-Life Caucus.
As Bloomberg’s Matthew Yglesias notes, Senator Daines is an original co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act.
Steve Daines, who is advising GOP candidates to say they don’t want to ban IVF, co-sponsored an IVF ban. pic.twitter.com/r4jpD32ViA
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 23, 2024
The Center for American Progress’ Colin Seeberger adds, Daines “quite literally has been a longtime co-sponsor of the Lifetime at Conception Act, which would establish legal protections for the unborn just as the Alabama Supreme Court ordered and has led to the suspension of fertility care across AL.”
Meanwhile, Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz notes that the “text of GOP‘s most recent platform claims that ‘the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed’ and calls for a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortions — and jeopardize IVF — by granting 14th Amendment rights to fetuses.”
Indeed, as The New York Times reported, far-right Christian conservative Tony Perkins, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ extremist group Family Research Council, called the Alabama Supreme Court ruling a “beautiful defense of life and the Alabama Constitution.”
Friday afternoon Donald Trump followed up his vow to protect IVF with a social media post that claims in part, “Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, healthy American families. We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America. Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby.”
Former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer responded, asking: “Why would anyone believe this? In 2016, Trump pledged no cuts to Medicaid and then spent four years trying to gut the program.”
And as Axios reports, “House Democrats’ main super PAC is promising to pour money into attacking Republicans on fertility treatments in the wake of a controversial, first-of-its-kind Alabama Supreme Court ruling, Axios has learned.”
“Trump’s call came a day after President Biden’s re-election campaign blamed him for the ruling, noting his appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court, which overturned Roe v. Wade,” Axios adds. “House Majority PAC, in a memo set to be released Friday, listed nearly a dozen current and former House Republicans in competitive districts who have co-sponsored at least one version of the Life at Conception Act between 2021 and 2023.”
In new memo obtained by CNN, NRSC instructs its candidates to reject clearly and concisely government attempts to restrict access to IVF pic.twitter.com/kZR5LqRt5p
— Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) February 23, 2024
See the social media posts and video above or at this link.
Why Was GOP’s Star Witness Re-Arrested? He May Have Been Trying to Flee the Country: Report
The re-arrest of Alexander Smirnov, the former FBI informant who allegedly may have provided House Republicans with Kremlin propaganda that was the basis for their efforts to impeach President Joe Biden and attack his son Hunter, raised some eyebrows on Thursday.
Smirnov, once considered House Republicans’ Jim Comer and Jim Jordan’s star witness, was re-arrested even after a magistrate judge ordered him released, and at his attorneys’ offices, raising eyebrows from even national security experts, insisting there had better be a good reason for it.
Now, according to a noted legal expert, it appears there was.
“A California judge seems to be suggesting [Smirnov’s] lawyers are complicit in his efforts to flee, in a remarkable line ordering detention for the FBI source whose lies propelled Biden impeachment efforts,” writes professor of law and MSNBC legal contributor Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney.
U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II in his order wrote on Thursday: “It has come to this Court’s attention that counsel for defendant has sought an emergency hearing in the District of Nevada to arrange the release of Defendant Smirnov, likely to facilitate his absconding from the United States.”
After detailing Smirnov’s arrest and release, Judge Wright ordered his re-arrest, adding: “The U.S. Marshal Service is advised there is to be no deviation from this Order.”
“They did not respond to questions about the language in the judge’s order suggesting a ‘likely’ aim to ‘facilitate’ their client ‘absconding from the United States.'”
Vaccine-Laced Lettuce and Tomatoes? Tennessee GOP Lawmaker Worried
A Tennessee Republican state lawmaker says he’s worried Tennesseans might overdose on vaccines if they eat too many tomatoes.
State Rep. Scott Cepicky claims vaccines can already be added to foods like lettuce and tomatoes, and to tobacco products, so he has filed legislation to require grocery store items containing vaccines to be labeled.
“University of California Riverside has already perfected the ability to put human vaccines into our lettuce right now,” Rep. Cepicky told his fellow lawmakers Wednesday while discussing his legislation. “Also, tomatoes, has the ability to do that also per UC Berkeley. And then big tobacco, RJ Reynolds and stuff has perfected the ability to put a human vaccine in tobacco products.”
Cepicky, who has been endorsed by U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), warned, “there is no law, deeming those that when you go into a grocery store, you should know as a consumer, this head of lettuce is a head of lettuce. The head of lettuce right next week could contain a vaccine in it. All we’re saying is if it does have the vaccine in it, make sure it’s listed as a pharmaceutical so people can get the proper dosage.”
Facing some pushback from Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Cepicky went on to say, “This is more of a consumer protection bill right here, is to make sure that if you’re going in to buy tomatoes, and there’s a polio vaccine in there, that you are aware of what you’re buying has a polio vaccine. The problem you have is if it’s not treated as a pharmaceutical, being the size and difference between you and me, how many tomatoes do I have to eat to get the proper dosage versus how many tomatoes that you have to eat? And if you eat too many do you get a overdose?”
Asked if his legislation was necessity, Cepicky added, “Well, if you’d have a child that is allergic to a certain vaccine, and it’s not disclosed, when you go to buy that, that vegetable, whatever it is, and your child dies from that, I would think that having place is going to make sure that that is treated as a pharmaceutical so that the consumers know exactly what they’re buying.”
Anti-vaxers gained a foothold during the COVID pandemic, spreading false claims about vaccines. Last year the fact-checking website Snopes deemed it “false” that “mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines has entered the food supply via genetically modified plants bred to contain it or through the consumption of vaccinated livestock.”
“Claims regarding COVID-19 vaccines ‘in your salad‘ have persisted on the internet and recirculated due to misreadings or misinterpretations of several press releases or scientific research,” Snopes added, “Mike Flynn, during a September 2021 podcast appearance, referenced this research, describing it as ‘putting the vaccine in salad dressing.'”
Flynn, the former Trump U.S. national security advisor, is a far-right Christian nationalist and Trump MAGA activist.
Tennessee lawmakers voted to move Rep. Capicky’s forward.
Watch Rep. Capicky’s remarks below or at this link.
Tennessee State Rep. Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) defends his bill to label vaccines (?) in food:
“When you go into a grocery store, you should know … This head of lettuce is a head of lettuce, the head of lettuce right next to it could include a vaccine in it.” pic.twitter.com/Q7fd33H05D
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) February 22, 2024
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