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GOP Senator Apologizes to High School Kids for ‘A Guy Who Wears a Tutu…Asks for It’ Remarks on LGBT Equality

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‘A Guy Who Wears a Tutu and Goes to Bars on Friday Night and Is Always Surprised That He Gets in Fights’

Republican U.S. Senator Mike Enzi has apologized for remarks he made while speaking to students in grades 6-12 last week. Senator Enzi was asked a question about LGBT equality, and proceeded to suggest that LGBT people shouldn’t “push it in somebody’s face,” and if men wear tutus they’re asking for a fight.

“What work are you and your comrades doing to improve the life of the LGBT community in Wyoming? How do you plan to help Wyoming live up to its name as ‘The Equality State?'” Enzi was asked by a student.

Denouncing federal “one-size-fits-all” solutions, Sen. Enzi called for “a little civility between people,” as The Greybull Standard’s Mathew Burciaga reported.

“We always say that in Wyoming you can be just about anything you want to be, as long as you don’t push it in somebody’s face. I know a guy who wears a tutu and goes to bars on Friday night and is always surprised that he gets in fights. Well, he kind of asks for it. That’s the way that he winds up with that kind of problem,” Enzi said. 

He also denounced bullying, telling the students, “I guarantee it if you embarrass somebody, that they will remember it for life. It’s all about how you treat each other.”

As the Senator’s comments drew national attention, he issued an apology.

“None of us is infallible and I apologize to anyone who has taken offense,” Enzi said in a statement, as the Casper Star Tribune reports. “No offense was intended. Quite the opposite in fact, and so I ask for your understanding as well.”

“No person, including LGBT individuals, should feel unsafe in their community,” the statement continued. “My message was intended specifically to be about promoting respect and tolerance toward each other. I hope if people look at the entirety of my speech, they will understand that. I regret a poor choice of words during part of my presentation.”

Wyoming’s Matthew Shepard died a horrific, violent death as a result of anti-LGBT hate. The federal hate crimes law bears his name.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation issued a statement calling Enzi’s comments “exactly the kind of hateful remarks we are working against in Wyoming and beyond.”

“To tell a person that they are ‘asking for it’ is the same kind of harmful rhetoric people use to disqualify the claims of sexual assault victims,” the statement says. “It’s the same kind of rhetoric that keeps up to 61 percent of hate crime victims from reporting because they are afraid of not being believed while also having to be fearful of being re-victimized by those in power, who should be defending their rights.”

In 2014 Sen. Enzi was the chief co-sponsor of a bill that would allow faith-based organizations to discriminate against same-sex couples in areas including adoption and foster care.

In 2013 he voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. He has voted to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. That year he was the only Republican among 80 lawmakers to sign a letter calling to end the ban on gay men giving blood. In 2000, Sen. Enzi voted against including sexual orientation in hate crimes legislation. He is an original co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act.

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Image by CJ Baker via Flickr and a CC license

 

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COMMENTARY

‘We’re in Trouble’: Steve Schmidt Issues Dire Warning About Changed GOP After January 6th Insurrection

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Appearing on MSNBC’s the 11th Hour with host Brian Williams, former GOP campaign consultant Steve Schmidt warned that Democrats need to accept that the Republican Party has changed drastically after four years of Donald Trump and the Jan 6th riot — and failure to recognize that simple fact puts the entire country at risk.

Using one of Schmidt’s tweets where he called Trump’s “truth” a “hideous deception” as a jumping-off point, the former Republican warned, “We’re in trouble.”

“Objectively, since the insurrection on Jan 6th, the Republican Party is far more radical,” Schmidt began. “Far more committed to the lie that Trump has told, fully committed to the authoritarian movement.”

“Should the events repeat themselves, the Republican Party is in a much different place than it was this past election with regard to being prepared to subvert the legal and lawful results,” he continued.

“The Democrats have done nothing since coming into office,” he added. “They have done nothing to prevent any of the abuses we have seen, done nothing to harden any of the infrastructures”

He later added, “This is a serious moment.”

Watch below:

 

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ANALYSIS

‘Something That’s Under Way’: Trump Aims to Use Russian Tactic to Be ‘Installed Without Winning’ in 2024 Says Yale Historian

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Former president Donald Trump and his GOP supporters are hoping to rely on a tactic that’s common in Russia to return him to the White House in 2024, according to one prominent expert on authoritarianism.

“As someone who follows contemporary Russia, there is a Russian phrase that comes to mind, which is the ‘administrative resource,'” author and Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder told MSNBC on Friday. “What the administrative resource means in Russian is that sure, you have an election, but the people who are running the election are going to determine how the election turns out. What the Republicans are going for is precisely that thing, the administrative resource.”

Snyder then explained how this mechanism works and how Trump and Republicans might apply it during the next election.

“Historically speaking, what we know about a ‘big lie’ is that because of its very scale, it’s not about truth or not truth; it’s about living in a kind of alternative reality,” Snyder added. “What we’re looking at is people who believe in or pretend to believe in this Big Lie, actually carrying out our elections. And the problem with this, or one of them, is that since these people have already claimed that the other side cheated, that basically legitimizes their cheating. In other words, if you talk about the Big Lie now, you’re basically promising to cheat the next time around, and that’s very concerning.”

He concluded by saying that this is a clear and present danger, not merely a theoretical one.

“The scenario for 2024 for most influential people around Donald Trump, which unfortunately means one of the political parties, is precisely to be installed without winning the election,” Snyder said. “I don’t think it’s something that could happen. I think it’s something that’s under way, and the question is, can we accept this reality in time to take the measures we need to take to prevent it?”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Ghoulish’ Lauren Bobert Branded a ‘Sociopath’ for Attacking Alec Baldwin: ‘Grieving Family Just Lost Their Loved One’

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, the QAnon Republican lawmaker and gun rights activist who owns a bar named Shooters in Rifle, Colorado, is being criticized after posting a tweet mocking and attacking Alec Baldwin. The well-known actor who spent several years playing Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” shot and killed award-winning cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, apparently by accident, with a prop gun on set less than 24 hours ago.

Boebert dug up a seven-year old tweet Baldwin had sent in support of Michael Brown, the 18-year old Black man fatally shot by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

She then added a snide and ugly remark and posted it to Twitter, only too happy to use the pain of Hutchins’ grieving family, friends, and industry as a tool to attack Baldwin:

The outrage was palpable, even from a few on the right, like former Trump White House Director of Strategic Communications:

A Democratic U.S. Congressman weighed in:

This MSNBC correspondent made a keen observation:

And many others:

 

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