A Reminder For A Monday

Before the work week starts to do its little dance of damage to your soul, I thought I’d share something with you.
From one of my favorite poets and one of the most inspirational human beings to ever pick up a pen, comes this compact revelation:

“I believe in kindness.
Also in mischief.
Also in singing,
especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
~Mary Oliver

I’m going to do all three today….

Ed Kemmick, Patriot

The Billings Gazette has one of the most reasonable and well-crafted commentators in the state of Montana- Ed Kemmick. His City Lights column really is a light, especially this week when he highlights the Montana Tea Party BS.

And he does it beautifully.

Check it out.

Suicide Prevention Week- Gay Youth At Higher Risk

Nick Seaver does a great job over at Americablog bringing attention to LGBT youth risk for suicide- with a great video.

Read it. Watch it. We need to keep our kids and let them know they are cherished- even if their birth families don’t.

Gays, Welcome To The Tea Party?

I was the first blogger to break the news of the hateful dialog in which Montana Tea Party president Tim Ravndal was caught. In short, he appeared to advocate the torture/lynching of gay people, conjuring up the disturbing image of Matthew Shepard. And yet, as a gay man living in the West, I couldn’t help but be surprised and somewhat impressed with the official response of the Big Sky Tea Party leadership in announcing Ravndal’s termination:

“We continually make it known that we will not tolerate bigoted dialog, behavior or messages at our functions, our meetings or within our ranks. “If a person demonstrates bigotry relative to race, sex, ethnicity, etc. they are not welcome in our organization. The Tea Party movement is about standing up for individual freedom for everyone,” said chairman Jim Walker.

Wow. Not bad.

So I naturally have to ask myself, “Is the Tea Party officially more gay-inclusive than the Republican Party?” Let me explain.

The Montana Republican party has in its platform plank (as, similarly, does Texas) explicit language calling for the criminalization of homosexual acts:

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

As a party that touts its tolerance, this seems to me to be quite intolerant. In fact, the Big Sky Tea Party now comes across as much more inclusive, less bigoted and homophobic than the Montana GOP, whose official platform (since 2008) clearly is loaded with prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.

I want to be clear- I am not a Republican, a conservative or a Tea Party member. I am an Independent, liberal, gay man living in Montana. But I can’t help but be struck by the diplomacy of my so-called right-wing adversaries vs. the silence and established prejudice of the Grand Old Party.

Which brings me back to the question, “Is the Big Sky Tea Party more supportive of basic human rights than the Montana GOP?”

I find it amusing that we even have to ask the question- and yes, I can honestly appreciate the full-on irony of this moment. But still, no major Republican or Republican groups (even the gay one) has denounced this plank publicly, or even made any semblance of a fuss. Hell, the Democrats haven’t even said anything officially- maybe because it’s too easy. Whatever. It’s just been a few gadflies with an outraged sense of injustice.

So, the answer to the question, on paper anyway, seems to be “Yes”.

Tea anyone?

Update:
Jay Stevens has a more in-depth analysis on Left In The West. Thanks Jay!

Montana’s Congressman Thinks Obama Gun Jokes Are Funny

Poor Denny Rehberg. His mouth’s starting to permanently take the shape of his foot.

Cowgirl again:

“Solid catch today from reporter Sepp Jannotta of the Ravalli Republic,
who reports on Rehberg’s joke about…wait for it…shooting the President of the United States:

Continues Jannotta:

“But as a politician who bills himself as a straight shooter, Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg also had a bit of off-color advice for Bonnie and Randy Jones, proprietors of Bitterroot Tool and Machine, makers of airplane bolts, grain mills and bullet-loaders.

“If Obama is president, maybe you need to spend more time developing a gun lock, a trigger lock,” Rehberg said with a chuckle, sitting across a lunchroom table from the Joneses in a suede jacket emblazoned with the U.S. government seal.

The comment came in response to Randy Jones asking about gun rights.”

Oh. My. God.

He said it with a chuckle…. This narcissistic, immature, ignorant bullshit has got to stop.

But I betcha it won’t.

It’s Gettin’ Harder To Keep Up

…but Jay Stevens is tryin’. He posted an excellent article today on Left In The West. Which by the way, I could have written myself (not as thoroughly or beautifully, of course- he’s a pro), but I agree with most of his points.

Check it out.

More to come….

Tea Partier Of The Week

Scary- and the gun's creepy, too.

Tea Partier of the Week: Montana GOP legislative candidate Kristi Allen-Gailushas

That’s the headline over at Crooks And Liars– Read it to believe it.
Oh, and they explain the picture. Yes, that’s her.

Oh, and check Cowgirl- the Tea Party membership is apparently furious with the leadership for firing Ravndal, backpedaling ensues…

A Kitty Whimpers

I called for a roar of courage.

What I got was an irrelevant whimper of agreement.

Dennis Rehberg, the highest ranking elected Republican in the State of Montana, through a spokesman, admitted he hadn’t seen the posting that outed Tim Ravndal as a homophobic and possibly violent bigot. But- and this is very important, folks:

“…he believes the movement to control government spending and protect small business from record tax increases is bigger than any one person so the folks running the Big Sky Tea Party made the right decision,” said Evan Wilson, Rehberg’s campaign manager.

Huh? A significant episode involving threatened brutality/murder to a specific group of human beings by a political official and this is the best he can do?

Not a word about the violent hate speech. Not a word to Montana’s gay people reassuring them of their safety. Not a word about anything, really. Well, unless you count  the subtle reassurances to small business, which is always more important than addressing specific threats of violence towards the citizenry, apparently.

Beh.

Independent Record story here.

And an excellent history of Rehberg’s homophobia from the Beaverhead Dems.

This Is Getting Good

I just love watching these right-wingnuts go further and further in their idiocy…. will they learn their lesson?

Not Tom Burnett.

Montana Cowgirl Blog:

One of Tim Ravndal’s “friends” on Facebook is Tom Burnett, candidate for the Montana Legislature in Bozeman.
Burnett keeps a really unique blog, and below is one of his posts, almost as awful as Ravndal’s comments.

Read the whole sorry thing here.

Tea Party President- Fired!

I wonder how he likes getting a pink slip? Start anymore queer slurs for ya, Tim?

There have been so many articles posted, it seems like all we need is another one, but, Mediaite does a great job of putting it all together: Well done, Colby Hall!

(thank you to Brody Levesque)

Update: This from  The Huffington Post

AND THIS FROM THE WASHINGTON POST!