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Tilting at Windmills

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October 11, 2010

GOP MINORITY OUTREACH TAKES ANOTHER HIT.... Once in a while, Republican Party officials will argue they're sincere about reaching out to voters beyond their generally homogeneous base. And once in a while, we're reminded why such outreach usually doesn't go well.

Consider just the last few weeks. First we saw a GOP congressional candidate who published pieces for a racist publication, which criticized inter-racial marriage, school integration, Jews, and African Americans. Then we saw another ground of ugly anti-immigrant attack ads. This coincided with news of another GOP congressional candidate who spent years dressing up like a Nazi for recreation.

And yesterday, another high-profile Republican relied on old-fashioned gay bashing in the hopes of winning votes.

[New York's] Republican candidate for governor, Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year. [...]

"I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option -- it isn't," he said, reading from a prepared address, according to a video of the event.

And then, to applause at Congregation Shaarei Chaim, he said: "I didn't march in the gay parade this year -- the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that's not the example we should be showing our children."

Amanda Terkel has the video.

Paladino's prepared text reportedly included a sentence he chose not to include in spoken remarks: "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual."

By way of a defense, the Paladino campaign raised three points. The first is that the candidate did not actually repeat that offensive line in his prepared remarks. Of course, it's not much of a response to argue, in effect, "We didn't use that anti-gay rhetoric; we used different anti-gay rhetoric."

Second, the campaign noted that Paladino hired a gay person for his campaign staff, but once we get into "some of my best friends are [fill in the blank with minority group]" the discussion is over.

And third, the Paladino campaign argued that a "majority of New Yorkers agree with" his anti-gay attitudes. I rather doubt that's true, but no matter what the polls say, bigotry need not be subjected to a popularity contest.

What's more, I'd be remiss if I didn't note the irony of Paladino saying, "I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family." In Paladino's case, that should probably be rephrased to say "better off and much more successful getting married, committing adultery, and raising children from both my wife and my mistress."

The anti-gay ugliness is offensive enough, but where does this guy get off pretending to have the moral high ground on family values?

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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Comments

Mornin', Steve. Shouldn't that be 'homogeneous base?'

[Good catch. --Mod]

Posted by: azportsider on October 11, 2010 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not looking forward to the lunatics taking over the asylum in November, but maybe that's what's needed here-- at least until 2012. Maybe people will start to understand the virtues of moderation and compromise. Maybe-- at least, one can hope.

Posted by: MattF on October 11, 2010 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently the "Moral High Ground" is there for the taking. Carry a big flag and an R next to your name, and your bone fides are irrelevant- see Vitter, Ensign, Paladino, Gingrich. . . need I go on?

Posted by: DAY on October 11, 2010 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

The fig leaf occasionally falls off the bigot. The tea leaf, however, comes to the rescue. It's about being able to speak frankly without being shouted down! Because only liberals can be fascists. Or something like that.

Posted by: walt on October 11, 2010 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

And there he was trying to walk it back this morning on the Today Show . Gays? oh I love gays , just not that marrige stuff . I definately support limited equal rights for all , just like it sez in the original constitution. Maybe we can make them HOMO marriges like you know 2/5 or 1/3 of a regular union.

Posted by: John R on October 11, 2010 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Being a Buffaloian I've followed this "little man's" trajectory and ,like individuals of his ilk, they seem to rise from beneath the rocks they hide under ONLY when there s sufficient cover (i.e. lots of anger) to have their true personal feelings become secondary to that anger. That in and of itself is a scary aspect of what 's allowing him to get this far in the race. I read his emails and saw the images he sent to his "friends". He's a major bigot and homophobic for sure and the one's (whom I know) that support him, and I know a number of them, they too are nauseating racists, and homophobics who think the poor are in that state because they are lazy. The general state of NY State has gotten to a point where such thugs flourish and give power to the likes of Pallidino, and angry men like giuliani (small "g" for a small person). It's too bad both of these jerks are of Italian ancestry. I am embarrassed.

On the brighter side, at least he's being exposed through his own words. You have to give him credit for being stupid enough to be that up front on his views however nauseating they might be. I think what we are seeing in America right now is the breadth of racism and homophobia that has been "sotto tavola" in this nation that has been given a voice.

I too am mad as hell carl. Just not what you are mad at. Oh, and I'm no witch either...

Posted by: stevio on October 11, 2010 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, just wow. Nothing but the complete, utter and true moral decay to see here folks, move along!

PS. Dear Carl, fuck you and your sorry ass.

- teh gay

Posted by: Trollop on October 11, 2010 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

"... and raising children from both my wife and my mistress."

Oh fucking snap!

Posted by: chrenson on October 11, 2010 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK
In Paladino's case, that should probably be rephrased to say "better off and much more successful getting married, committing adultery, and raising children from both my wife and my mistress."
See? He's so straight he can be successful at raising two families! Posted by: Bernard Gilroy on October 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

So the guy who threatened to take out a reporter for bringing his kids into it is bringing his kids into it?

Posted by: martin on October 11, 2010 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

It's all Teh Gays fault. You see.... gay marriage caused him to cheat on his wife. It's all Teh Gays fault. Once gays could marry, he was SO threatened about his own masculinity he went and had an affair and fathered a love child to PROVE he's not gay. It's all Teh Gays fault.

Posted by: Eeyore on October 11, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

So has Eric Cantor denounced this guy yet? No? Why not?

Posted by: hells littlest angel on October 11, 2010 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

"better off and much more successful getting married, committing adultery, and raising children from both my wife and my mistress."

Or: "better off and much more successful getting married, comitting adultery, impregnating my mistress, and then refusing to acknowledge the child as my own."

Posted by: kc on October 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK
This coincided with news of another GOP congressional candidate who spent years dressing up like a Nazi for recreation.

He didn`t dress up as a Nazi soldier, he dressed as a member of the SS and then reenacted some of their battles.

If I left a Nazi reenactor alone with WWII survivors they would spit in his face...

If I left an SS reenactor alone with WWII survivors my sweet sweet nanny of 80 years old would f@#$ing lynch the guy. It would be a closed casket burial because they couldn't`t be able to remove the bits of aluminum walker from his skull.

Do not underestimate the power those two letters still have.

Posted by: rt on October 11, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

If the GOP wants to pretend to have balls, why don't they stand up and DENOUNCE all the hate speech? Maybe THEY need a 'stop whining and buck up' moment.

Posted by: SYSPROG on October 11, 2010 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Of all the irresponsible things to say... has this idiot not been paying attention to the tragic news of so many young people committing suicide because they've been bullied for being gay?

What a disgusting excuse for a human being. And yes, the Rs need to denounce this guy... hasn't he done enough to warrant that, at the very least?

Posted by: Hannah on October 11, 2010 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Paladino is exactly right on this and it's not just Republicans that think so!

Just ask former Democratic governor Jim McGreevey!
He walked the walk!

C'mon New York, ya gotta love a guy who thinks this deep!

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on October 11, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

What @Hannah said.

Posted by: June on October 11, 2010 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

i've seen or heard the guy a handful of times. my impression of him is a guy running on rage, with absolutely no tolerance for anyone who questions him or thinks differently. he is a bully who needs to grow up.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on October 11, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Then we saw another ground of ugly anti-immigrant attack ads.

That's a phrase that I'm not familiar with. I've always thought it was "another ROUND of whatever."

Posted by: josef on October 11, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

RE: GOP MINORITY OUTREACH TAKES ANOTHER HIT

Completely unsurprising. Take the GOP "Young Guns" for example. Several bloggers have noted that the "guns" aren't so young, with an average age over 50. Less noted is how they are 92% male and 93% white. Rounding out the pack are 3 Latinos (3.4%); 2 African Americans (2.3%); and 1 Asian American (1.1%).

This is the group, according to the Young Guns website considered to be "a new generation of conservative leaders" with "the best opportunity to move our country in the right direction."

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Bob

Posted by: Bob on October 11, 2010 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK
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