OK, these people should no longer hold office

EDITOR’S NOTE: I wrote the first 600 words or so of this a week ago, and ever since then, I’ve been totally absorbed with other things — first, a project I needed to complete for ADCO, and then, a very fun trip my wife and I took to Asheville. We got back late yesterday. Of course, it’s still timely, so I thought I’d add an ending to it and post.

I know some of y’all think I’m a really stubborn, arrogant guy who never changes his mind. Not so.

Here’s an example, from yesterday:

Y’all may be familiar with my views on worrying about who holds what congressional seat in a district somewhere else in the country. I don’t approve of it. I think I initially decided this in connection with the fact that folks where I lived — either when I lived here, or in Tennessee or Kansas — would run off at the mouth about how they hated, say, Ted Kennedy. I decided that it was none of their business whom the people of Massachusetts chose to elect to represent them in the Senate.

And you can’t say that without also believing that it was none of other people’s business whether South Carolinians wanted to keep re-electing Strom Thurmond. The whole point of representative democracy is that people in each state — who may have different sets of values — get to elect whomever they want.

Therefore I’ve always harrumphed at people trying elect the people they want in other people’s states and/or districts.

And I still see it that way. But I had just really had it with the yahoos in question. Y’all know how much I despise these stupid, repeated fights over the budget in which nihilists who hate our country threaten to shut down the government, or actually do it, simply because they can. And the Garland thing was so deeply offensive to anyone who values this country or believes in the most basic demands of civility. And while I haven’t taken the roll and compared all the names, it’s basically the same sort of people.

But however much it irritates me, I don’t change policies for personal reasons. I came to this fork in that road (and took it, as Yogi would say) because this country can’t continue to function with these people in these positions. We’re just sinking lower and lower, and our liberal democracy is ceasing to function to such an extent, that these people who live to destroy can’t be in these positions any more.

They just can’t. This is not about party (and usually in the past, people were concerned about who won contests elsewhere because they wanted their party to control Congress). And it’s not about ideology, in any conventional sense. Traditionally, ideology’s role in politics was to drive debates between people who all wanted the good of the country, but disagreed over how that might be obtained.

But in the last few years — mainly since the Republican Party ceased to be the Republican Party in 2016 (it had been creeping that way for several years, but 2016 was the final explosion) — we’ve seen the emergence of a new sort of creature, slouching towards Washington. At this point, one of my more cynical friends will offer a list of people from history who ran for office because they were out for themselves. Certainly. And we still see such people. Currently, this Menendez guy is charged with being one.

But this is different. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the cheap Trumpist hustlers of the House are people who are in office because they represent any sort of consensus of views in the places where they come from. I mean, I know that Westerners aren’t nearly as refined as us East Coast types (ahem), but I don’t think Lauren Boebert is in any way a fair representative of…

SECOND EDITOR’S NOTE: The rest is what I added this evening, in order to finish this.

… Colorado. I mean, that’s where John Denver hung out, and he was a pretty normal and pleasant guy, for the most part. Just an ol’ country boy.

And why do people who are not normal or representative get elected? Well, when you’re talking about the House — and we are here — the problem, as I’ve said again and again, is gerrymandering. Both parties have worked hard to draw themselves as many safe districts as possible since 1990, and the Republicans have been way more crafty at it than Democrats (although not everywhere, but I’ve never lived in New York).

Crafty, but not very smart on an individual basis. In 1990, you were dealing with fairly normal, garden-variety Republicans. It was before Newt Gingrich, before Club for Growth types such as Mark Sanford, before the Tea Party, and before You Know Who.

But over the next few decades, those “safe” seats elected “Republicans,” alright, but not the kind that Robert A. Taft would recognize. And the center-right folks found themselves getting knocked out of office in their own primaries by extreme yahoos who didn’t have to appeal to a majority of people in the district — just to a majority of the small minority that turned out for party primaries. And sometimes, the yahoos themselves got tossed out by more extreme yahoos.

And so we got to where we are now.

Now I’m not saying we need to round these people up on buses and drive them out of the country, as poetic as that might be.

I prefer to start reversing the process. Serious redistricting reform, combined with something like ranked-choice voting, and (my fave) the universal primary — in which everyone seeking an office runs in one primary, regardless of party, and the top two go on to the general.

That wouldn’t fix things immediately, but it would be the most lasting solution.

However we do it, though, these folks have got to go. I’m not particular as to where they go, as long as they’re no longer running our country. Send them to a resort, if you want…

FINAL EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, I saw Congress reached a deal to keep the government operating… for 45 days. Call me crazy, but I really, truly believe we’re going to need it to keep going somewhat longer…

McCarthy is SO proud he led the House to keep the country going for a few more days. Are you proud, too?

53 thoughts on “OK, these people should no longer hold office

  1. Doug Ross

    Term limits would help here and faster. It’s not the recently elected who cause this.. it’s the McConnells, Pelosis, Schumer’s, McCarthys who create these fake emergencies.
    There is no reason why someone like Dianne Feinstein should be allowed to die of advanced dementia in office because her staff and Democrats knew they could manipulate her vote however they wanted. Her death is a tragedy of political greed. It’s the same reason that McConnell should resign now before he dies in office.
    Since incumbents rarely lose, term limits are the only solution. 3 terms for senators and 10 for representatives is more than enough. If they still want to serve, run for a different office.

    It’s all a joke anyway because there is no fiscal sanity in these negotiations. It’s all about how many extra deficit dollars will be spent, not about creating a budget that balances. I’m fine with politicians who refuse to fund Ukraine as part of the process to keep American government running. If we want to send money we don’t have to continue a proxy war with Russia, find a way to actually pay for it

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Actually, without taking an hour to go check every vote, I’m pretty sure you’ve got that wrong — such insanity as deliberately trying to shut down the government, and the idiocy of the Biden impeachment proceedings, seems at a glance to be driven by people who would still be short of most proposed term limits…

      I haven’t seen any of the people you named playing any significant role in any of this recent madness…

  2. Ken

    All those folks from other states — why start with them when we’ve got plenty of that sort right here in this state? In the latest vote on the budget, for instance, all but Clyburn, Graham and Wilson voted against funding govt. (Scott didn’t vote. I expect he was too busy out hyperventilating about how the Biden Admin. is ruining the country.) Start at home if you’re looking for folks who’ve got to go.

    Though, admittedly, that may be easier to accomplish where folks ARE more normal. Which brings us to the universal primary, which, in these parts, is more likely to get us two Rs to “choose” from.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I oversimplified that in the tweet, and didn’t elaborate in the post, because it gets complicated, and I had other things to say. The principle I’m casting aside (to some extent) applied to people in other districts as well as other states, just not to the same extent.

      From the how-they-voted lists I’ve seen recently, if we want to talk SC, we should probably start with Ralph Norman. What a crying shame it is to see that guy sitting in the same seat once held by one of the smartest men in Congress, John Spratt. He’s even worse than Mick Mulvaney…

  3. Barry

    Reminder – The House Speaker finally decided to work with Democrats to pass a funding bill. They supported it and passed it pretty quickly when he finally agreed to work with the other party.

    None of the crap from Republicans was necessary over the last several weeks. It was a choice.

    Democrats in California should have gerrymandered him out of his district.

    It’s way past time to return the favor. Hopefully, as soon as Democrats are able to get enough people in office in various states, they’ll gerrymander Republicans out of office whereever they can and return the favor.

  4. Carol+Smith

    Such a brilliant observation of the mess these MAGA crazies have created!! It has to change!!
    Thanks for being a wise voice in these times!

  5. Doug Ross

    Or put in an age limit. No one can run after age 75.. we could get rid of these out of touch geezers.. there is no reason for an 80 year old to be in office.

    Here’s a list of the oldest members of Congress. Getting rid of all of them would be fantastic.. especially Pelosi, McConnell, Hoyer, Maxine Waters, Clyburn, Sanders . Interesting that most of the elderly members who have any power are Democrats. Says a lot about their party. Hard to give up those payoffs from lobbyists and pacs.

    1. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, 90 (dead)

    2. Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, 89

    3. Representative Grace F. Napolitano, Democrat of California, 86 (retiring)

    4. Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, 86

    5. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democrat of the District of Columbia, 86

    6. Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky, 85

    7. Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, 85

    8. Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, 84

    9. Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, 83

    10. Representative James E. Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, 83

    11. Representative Danny K. Davis, Democrat of Illinois, 82

    12. Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, 82

    13. Representative John Carter, Republican of Texas, 81

    14. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, 81

    15. Representative Frederica S. Wilson, Democrat of Florida, 80

    16. Representative Anna G. Eshoo, Democrat of California, 80

    17. Representative Kay Granger, Republican of Texas, 80

    18. Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, 80

    19. Senator Jim Risch, Republican of Idaho, 80

    20. Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, 80

      1. Doug Ross

        If you don’t think getting rid of all the elderly people who are in the leadership of both parties would help then you aren’t serious about fixing it. The geriatric, corrupt fools are the ones who drive the agenda, hold the leadership positions on committees, trade committee seats for supporting their bills.. why do you think AOC fell in line after making all her big statements about changing things? She has no power except to kiss Nancy Pelosi’s ring and just keep getting re-elected until she eventually, magically, becomes a multi-millionaire like Nancy did… bartender to billionaire.. that’s the American political dream.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          “why do you think AOC fell in line after making all her big statements about changing things? She has no power except to kiss Nancy Pelosi’s ring”

          And that’s a good thing. One way to describe the problem on the other side is that Matt Gaetz hasn’t learned to sit down, shut up and listen to the grownups…

          Mind you, I’m not at all convinced that AOC has taken that step you describe. She just has been largely ignored lately. Of course, she mostly got attention from the other side, trying to paint the whole Democratic Party (or as they would say, the “Democrat Party”) as essentially being “the Squad.” Maybe their polling is suggesting they should demonize someone else these days.

          Now if we could just get the same to happen on the other side — have the loud kids of the right fade away from lack of attention. But the opposite is happening, as I observed this morning:

          1. Doug Ross

            It’s so silly that you think adults over the age of 40 should listen to their 80+ year old elders.. or should be the other way around.

            There isn’t a single other job that these ancient has beens cold hold except for politician. None. They are figureheads led around by their staff. Joe Biden couldn’t balance a checkbook or speak on any topic without notecards.. he’s a puppet

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Yes, I know that’s what he is to you, based on your imaginings of his capabilities. I assure you, Joe can speak endlessly on any subject. In fact, if he HAS slowed down since the last time I spoke with him (and he probably has, since it’s been almost five years), he might have dropped down to more normal level of talkativeness.

              If I worked in Joe’s West Wing, I’d be more worried about trying to keep Joe from saying things, rather than feeding him things to say. And that has nothing to do with age. That’s just Joe

              But you know, you’re sounding kind of old-timey yourself. Who uses checkbooks these days? 🙂

            2. bud

              Checkbooks? Notecards? Doug you’re dating yourself. Do you still use a typewriter? How about a VHS machine? I suggest you’re probably not the best person to talk about aging issues. Why don’t you go grab a Tab before your next groovy rant.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Tab? That takes me back.

                I never drank Tab, but… I may have told this before… I know I’ve written about how insanely focused I was on television — everything that was on television — in 1965, after two-and-a-half years without TV in Ecuador.

                And I mean everything, including the ads. Remember the Kool-Aid competitor, Funny Face? You know, Goofy Grape and the rest? I do, although it would probably be good if I could clear out that memory space for something more significant.

                Anyway, I was totally seduced by the ads for Diet Pepsi. They convinced me that it tasted wonderful, and I insisted my Mom pick some up at the store. And she did.

                Then I had my first sip. That was it for me and diet drinks, for good. How could the TV, which I loved so much, have lied to me like that? I still remember the taste. What I don’t remember is what we did with the other five bottles in the six-pack.

                Anyway, after that, I never got around to Tab…

              2. Doug Ross

                Apparently bud hasn’t seen the notecards in Joe’s hand in every public setting where he has to speak. Ok, if balancing a checkbook is too dated, do you think Joe could write a two page speech without help on the topic of social security reform? I could.

                Today, while Israel is in the middle of a terrorist attack, Joe and Jill hosted a BBQ with a live band at the White House. It’s like the parties they hold at nursing homes to keep the residents happy.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  You have the oddest way of looking at things.

                  As for this: “do you think Joe could write a two page speech without help on the topic of social security reform?”

                  Of course. Except being Joe, he’d have a really hard time writing it that short. I know I would. (Making assumptions about what “two page” means. That’s another oldie like checkbooks. It assumes there’s a standard, which you sort of had with manual typewriters. But even then — and certainly now — it was and is more helpful to do a word count.)

                  Finally, I know you’ll never understand — because your mind doesn’t work the same way mine does; people are different — and will continue to assume that I don’t normally approve such comments as this is some lame-headed attempt to “protect Joe.” (I guess you think I’m that stupid because I turned 70 last week.)

                  No, I don’t post them because when someone wants to say something that I (the person whose opinion counts, since I’m the editor here) regard as completely wrong (not to mention petty and cruel, in the case of your Joe attacks), I don’t believe in posting it without thoroughly explaining why it’s wrong. And while it takes you only a few seconds to say (Look at the stupid old guy!, it takes time to explain why, in our country’s current state, this old guy is the only intelligent choice available to be president.

                  That involves a LOT of complicating factors, and would take far, far too much time for me to respond to you each time.

                  But for the moment, here’s a pretty good attempt to do that, by David Brooks. It’s headlined, “Can We Talk About Joe Biden?

                  It’s a LOT longer than a normal column (most are about 700 words, this is 3,367), but minimal for addressing the question. And he doesn’t do so NEARLY enough to convince Doug Ross, I’m sure. To keep it shorter than book-length, he has to make statements that I get immediately because Brooks (probably more than any other nationally-known columnist) tends to see things pretty much the way I do. Not that we agree on everything. But he processes each issue much the way I would. That wouldn’t work for everybody, since we’re all different.

                  So consider this your answer. Now, I apologize now if the pay window prevents you from reading it. I can’t help that. Unfortunately, most writing that’s worth reading in our country today is protected that way.

                  If you and others CAN’T read it, and you tell me you’d like to know more about it, I’ll try to write a post that tells you enough to follow it without the NYT lawyers getting on my back. Of course, that too will take time I don’t really have, but hey, I’ve gotta post something sometime, right? Meanwhile, I’ll go back to catching up on that email…

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Oh, and as for this: “Apparently bud hasn’t seen the notecards in Joe’s hand in every public setting where he has to speak…”

                    You don’t know much about public speaking. I never wrote a speech for James Smith in those five months in 2018. But I would give him talking points, which he preferred. I can’t tell you to what degree he depended on them, but they’re good for a speaker to have — if only to glance at before you get up to the podium. Of course, I guess he’s senile, too — after all, the poor old codger turned 51 during the campaign.

                    If I were working for Joe (which would be awesome, but sometimes nerve-wracking), I would insist that he not only carry the talking points up to the microphone, but look down at them FREQUENTLY. Why? Because he’s Joe Biden, and if he didn’t have a brake on him like that, he’d go on for hours. And he was that way when he was quite a bit younger than I am…

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Just for fun — here are some pics from that birthday party in 2018. It was held in the alley that starts behind Mast General Store. Might as well use some of those gazillions of pictures I took during the campaign for something

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Oh, and as further demonstration of why I usually simply don’t approve of these kinds of comments, rather than answering, here’s something I meant to say above and forgot…

                      If I learned that Joe Biden was personally writing speeches of ANY length, it would worry me. Remember how Jimmy Carter caught all kinds of criticism for getting involved in the scheduling for the White House tennis court?

                      Well, this would be just as bad (maybe worse, since Jimmy’s micromanaging seems to have been a tad exaggerated). It’s hard to imagine anything more wasteful of the president’s time than writing his own routine speeches. It was a good thing, and even salutary, for Abraham Lincoln to write the Gettsburg Address when his entire staff consisted of John Hay and John Nicolay. But today, it would be absurd…

  6. bud

    Happy 99th birthday Jimmy Carter. He is a true statesman, better POTUS than he’s given credit for and a truly good man in all respects. Quite a contrast to our current crop of politicians.

  7. DougT

    What’s up with Nancy Mace? One minute she seems insightful and perfectly sane. Next minute she’s accusing the Biden family of running a prostitution ring.

    Boebert barely won last go round. She may finally be sent packing in ’24. The Taylor-Greens, Gaetzes, Biggs and Gosars…apparently their constituencies think they are doing a wonderful job.

    OBTW, the homeland of some of my ancestors (Slovakia) just elected Trump lite. Former East Germany has a growing neo-nazi issue.

    Democracy is in trouble.

      1. bud

        Fact check: The voters have NEVER voted for Donald Trump. The voters are not perfect but the system is also a problem. I think Gerrymandering is a bit overrated as a problem. It has nothing to do with POTUS or senate races. And look at how kooky some of our US senators are, Tubberville for instance. Regardless of how the districts are drawn there are going to be many non competitive districts. At the state level Gerrymandering may be a bigger problem. The biggest problems are 1 – voter suppression 2 – the damn electoral college 3 – dark money 4 – Gerrymandering and 5 – the right wing propagandist machine. Term limits is undemocratic. Without it Obama would have easily beat Trump.

  8. Barry

    Crime News – in Republican dominated Tennessee

    A prominent Tennessee businessman was shot and killed by a career criminal with 66 prior arrests while in Tennessee and on his way to his high school reunion.

    Christopher Wright, a father of 3, including an 8 week old baby, was shot in the head on the street by Darryl Roberts.

    The Roberts rap sheet includes assault, theft, robbery, various drug charges, burglary, aggravated robbery among other crimes.

    He broke into a home in 2010 and fired 6 shots through a door to gain entry. In ruby red Tennessee where Republicans take crime seriously, Roberts never served more than 6 months in jail.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I don’t see what “Republican-dominated” has to do with it.

      Although it feels kind of like this is a “what-about” comment, responding to Republicans talking about crime in cities run by Democrats. And I know you don’t like “what-about-ism.”

      Either way, it makes no sense. I can tell you equally hairy crime stories from Tennessee when I was there. Part of the time, our governor was a Democrat (and a crook), and part of the time, we had a Republican — one of my favorite Republicans. But the whole time, Speaker Ned Ray McWherter and his fellow Democrats ran the legislature. I kind of doubt crime decreased when Ned Ray himself became governor, but I was gone by then…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Party rivalry was more fun in those days. More sportsmanlike. An example:

        I was there during the early heyday of Space Invaders. Whenever I saw one of these machines in a bar or convenient store, I’d head over and spend at least a quarter or two.

        Lawmakers were not immune to the lure. There was this woman who was one of my best friends at the paper, and she was in our Nashville bureau for awhile, and told me about one state rep, a member of the GOP minority, who was an equally avid player.

        Remember the big spaceship that would glide across the top every once in awhile, briefly introducing a greater challenge to the screen?

        Whenever that appeared when this guy was playing, he’d cry out “the Dread Ned Ray!” as he anxiously maneuvered to evade it or shoot it down.

        Hey, it sounded like fun to me. But then, I loved the game…

      2. Barry

        When you were in Tennessee 40 years ago really has no impact on the current issue.

        “I don’t see what “Republican-dominated” has to do with it.”

        Republicans are tough on crime Brad. I was just describing a man who was murdered this past weekend in a tough on crime Republican state at the hands of a man with 66 arrests, including numerous felonies, that has never spent more than 6 months in jail.

        Not sure why you labeled that “what-about-ism” because I know you detest that too- from what I hear.

        You might have missed it but the highest rated cable news network in the United States spends hours upon hours almost every day talking about “democrat crime policies.” Amazingly, they haven’t mentioned the Tennessee story or similar stories from Republican states.

        A shock I know.

        That network doesn’t matter to you or me. But that network controls elected republicans all the way from Columbia, SC to Washington DC.

        A news story over the weekend was written describing a Florida group with GOP ties who built a home studio in Florida so that local GOP candidates from town council to school board could appear on Fox News for various segments to help their candidacy. They appear on Fox as “Concerned parent” or “Concerned citizen” but are actually activists or Republicans openly running for office (things the Fox audience isn’t told).

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Again, I ignore that stuff. You pay attention to it, and it upsets you, and I’m sorry that it does.

          As I said in another response a moment ago, I look around and listen and hope someone will say something worth hearing. Life is too short to constantly listen for the other stuff…

          1. Barry

            I agree with you- but one of our two major political parties is paying A LOT of attention to that stuff- and often takes direct marching orders based on it – including some of our very own “best and brightest” elected politicians here in South Carolina from state senators to elected “good guy” reps.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I’ll take that statement about “one of our two major political parties” a step further.

              The party to which you refer doesn’t exist anymore. It hasn’t existed since 2016. There were still some real Republicans around then, and they were horrified that Trump was about to become their nominee. But they failed to coalesce around a single candidate in order to stop him.

              And then things got worse. Much worse. After Trump became their nominee, and then was elected, and they heard all the criticism and insults hurled at him, and party loyalty — that destructive force to which I referred a few moments ago — kicked in. They hadn’t liked Trump, but now he was officially their guy. So they embraced, and defended, him. And they’ve stayed in that mode since.

              No, it doesn’t make rational sense. But that’s party loyalty for you…

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Of course, the Republican Party had long before 2016 ceased to be a fully functioning political party. And so had the Democratic — it just hasn’t yet suffered the death blow that the GOP has.

                Parties used to be things that had leaders, and those leaders decided who their candidates would be. They discouraged, or actively barred, unfit candidates.

                That was a useful function. In those days, you would never have had Alvin Greene as Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. And everyone would have just laughed at the indignant objections from the Bernie Bros claiming that party leadership was trying to rig things for Hillary. That used to be what party leadership was FOR.

                There are plenty of other examples that could be cited. For instance, party leaders would never have allowed either Mark Sanford or Nikki Haley to be the GOP nominees for governor….

      3. Barry

        You reply to my comment as if locally elected reps right here in the midlands area (some that you have stated you like and support) don’t campaign as if Republican controlled areas don’t have crime problems.

        Maybe I just keep up with some of the nonsense they spew on social media more than you do.

          1. Doug Ross

            Barry looks for opportunities to be offended, enraged, and obsessed with Republicans and Trump .. and you give him the forum to spew his bile.

            An old commenter from this blog sent me an email the other day saying he left because of Barry and buds nonsense and your enabling of their anonymous trolling. Think about that before you delete this comment. The person who sent the email is one of the most levelheaded people who used to comment here

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I don’t think Barry is particularly bilious. He’s focused on the partisan talking points far more than is healthy for anyone.

              And as I keep telling you, as much as I appreciate your use of your full, real name, you have as much as anyone convinced me that that is by no means a guarantee of civility.

              Besides, we all know who bud is. He’s William Bloom. Here’s a picture of him. I wish he would sign with his full name, but he doesn’t.

              But you know what? Even if he did, I would probably still occasionally edit or not approve his comments. At least, that has happened in the past.

              Almost everyone gets carried away sometimes…

            2. Barry

              “ Barry looks for opportunities to be offended, enraged, and obsessed with Republicans and Trump .. and you give him the forum to spew his bile.”


              Getting upset with me because I will never agree with you on anything is unrelated to “bile”

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Now see, that’s why I hesitated to approve Doug’s message, but went ahead because I wanted to respond to it.

                Anyway, I’m not going to approve anything else that y’all have to say about each other, because this exchange has already gone on two comments too long…

  9. Barry

    News Update – and I mention this because Doug, referenced the social media entity in a recent post.

    A man in Wisconsin who leads an anti gay/anti-trans group called “Gays against Groomers” has been censured by a court and a restraining order has been issued against him for threatening statements against school employees, teachers, staff members, and school board members. “Gays against Groomers” is a group mostly made up of anti gay- anti trans individuals who target other people, while often not being concerned about the truth or facts.

    Jose Rodriguez was motivated by a post from right wing account LibsofTikTok which posted a misleading video online calling out a special education teacher in the Pulaski Community School District, who performs as a drag queen in his private time.

    Libs of TikTok (never one to pay much attention to details), accused the teacher of requiring students to watch his performances online which subjected him to death threats and other threats of violence. He also posted pictures of a staff member and addresses of individuals after saying “This is not going to end very well for you.”

    The school district conducted an investigation and stated that there was no evidence discovered or provided that the teacher ever told students about his private life or directed them to anything about his drag queen persona.

    Police have now said they are considering criminal charges against Jose Rodriquez.

    As is the case with many of these “concerned parents,” Rodriquez does not living in the district and not have any children in the district.

    “His statements are calculated to incite others to join in his harassing and threatening conduct” the school district stated.

      1. Barry

        That is what group members want the public to believe.

        but apparent most of them aren’t.

        Just like some of the “Parents against….” groups have members that aren’t parents. They are just activists.

        Their name was inspired by the group, “ American, God Fearing Patriots Against Brad Warthen”

      2. Barry

        Remember, their idea of a “groomer” is anyone that doesn’t agree with their right wing social views.

        These folks, as some other right wingers have done, have accused teachers that happen to have a same sex spouse or have a gender dysphoric or trans child as a “groomer”

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Barry, I allowed that one because, while I disapprove of and disagree with the “get a life” part, I worry about you obsessing over the nastier back-and-forth of what passes as “politics” these days. All that “look how horrible those people on THAT side are” stuff.

        I fear that it has alienated you in ways that are not helpful. For instance, you’ve stopped voting, right? Well, someone who cares as much as you seem to should be voting. It’s a waste not to.

        I just put it differently from the way Doug does…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Please correct me if I’m wrong about that not voting anymore thing.

          I just seem to recall you mentioning it recently, and when you did I thought I remembered you having brought it up earlier. But when I tried to find it just now, I couldnt’…

          1. Barry

            correct. I will not be voting anymore. I decided that several years ago. I reached out to my county election board.

            I was accused of voter fraud by someone online after the last election so I decided would not longer participate. I registered while still a high school student over 32+ years ago in my government/economics class.

        2. Barry

          That “All that “look how horrible those people on THAT side are” stuff…….

          impacts real people Brad. It impacts people I care about. This isn’t made up stuff. This is happening all around- with more and more frequency.

          I am sick of the hypocrisy

          Today, I learned some info about a mayoral candidate for the city of Franklin, Tennessee. I happen to have a dear coworker that lives there.

          The candidate recently enjoyed the support of neo-nazis/white supremacists at a candidate forum. They escorted her to the event.

          What the heck is going on where these candidates are being supported?

          The candidate, a favorite of the far right in Franklin, has been targeting gay people in and referring to gay people as groomers wanting to groom children. She tried hard to cancel a gay pride event in Franklin, Tennessee. She failed- but she sure tried.

          A local tv news station discovered that her husband marched in a Pride parade in Chicago back in 2008 wearing nothing but a speedo.

          When confronted by the news media at the candidate forum about this fact, and when asked why her husband dressed provocatively by wearing nothing but a speedo in public in front of children, no answer was provided. Her husband, who was present, refused to answer and walked away from news media asking the question.

          Gabrielle Hanson fought Franklin Pride, but celebrated her scantily clad husband at Chicago Pride


      2. Barry

        The subject of my post was because you earlier posted about the site right wing extremist social media site Libs of TikTok

        Then I saw the story- just the latest one- where Libs of TikTock posted clearly false information to target someone they didn’t like.

        Thankfully, officials in that town investigated the claims and discovered they were not backed up by any evidence.

        That’s not an unhealthy obsession with the news. That’s simply posting information that shows Libs of Tik Tok, that you cited, made up something that clearly wasn’t true.


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