Colorado Senate Republicans Get Ugly on Orlando

With a few days having passed since last weekend’s horrific domestic terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, here’s a roundup of some of the more distasteful reactions we’ve seen from Colorado Republican state senators and staff on social media. Hopefully we’re not too close to the event now for this to make you as angry as it might have a few days ago.

Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs, who has benefited in his career more than once from rank anti-gay smear campaigns, posted this item only hours after the killings:

Baumgardner facebook

Later in the day, Sen. Baumgardner took to Twitter to declare his outrage at ISIS terrorists and the American leftists who would “use” the attack to move forward a gun control agenda:

Baumgardner twitter

As we know now, the Orlando shooter was a natural-born U.S. citizen who by all accounts “self-radicalized.” In addition, news reports suggest much more complex psychological motives for the shooter, including possible repressed self-hatred directed at gay people. Given that the shooter was a U.S. citizen with a firearms license and no prohibition on gun ownership, the conversation must become one about easy access to semi-automatic high powered weapons–even if Republicans and their gun lobby benefactors really don’t want that.

And as Colorado Senate GOP spokesman Sean Paige makes clear, they don’t want that.

Senate GOP June 14

Senate GOP June 15

Obviously, if the shooter was an American citizen, and the guns were legally purchased with background checks, it’s absurd to suggest that the attack was the result of any “failure” by President Barack Obama on “national security.” After all, Republicans steadfastly oppose checking the terror watch list during gun purchase background checks, and the shooter wasn’t on the list regardless. Due-diligence investigations of the shooter by the FBI related to other suspects years prior didn’t turn up anything to act on.

laura-woods-retweet

But don’t tell any of that to the most vulnerable Republican in the Senate, Laura “Waters” Woods. No matter what the middle-class surburbanites in Woods’ district may think about what happened in Orlando, for Woods the conversation begins and ends with Obama and foreign Muslims who want to kill us. No acknowledgement of where the shooter was born, how he obtained the weapons he used, or what appear to be personal motives concealed by the jihadi rhetoric this natural-born citizen appropriated.

It’s true that these are not the only Republicans making inexcusable asses of themselves over the Orlando LGBT terror attack. They’re just the ones we have to write about in Colorado politics. It’s a sad story of missing the point, perhaps deliberately, playing out from coast to coast.

33 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. gertie97 says:

    They’re getting their marching orders from the fat one, as usual. The hate radio crew is screaming to high heaven that Trump and all Republicans can win by pounding the Muslim theme and nothing else.

  2. Voyageur says:

    I gotta admit I'm with Randy on the GMO foods issue.   I guess it's true that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    • BlueCat says:

      I too have a tough time getting worked up about higher rather than lower tech genetic modification. I'm one of those people who wants to crawl under the table when dining with a friend who keeps the busy server standing there to be grilled about all the various things they find unacceptable in their food. Not talking real, much less serious life threatening allergies and heath issues but all the other stuff some people make a hobby of obsessing over until that list becomes non-operational and is replaced by the next.  Usually the person sticking to whatever list of does and don'ts is the latest thing never shows any signs of being healthier or thinner than anyone else. 

      • Voyageur says:

        We do have to watch the gluten thing carefully, because my wife has Celiac;s disease.   But we've been modifying food genetically since the first thumb sized ears of corn came over in the Columbian exchange.   I try to stick to semi-vegetarian, just for health reasons (meaning meat is sparingly used as a condiment.)  But I admit a side of Bacon is often my undoing.

        • davebarnes says:

          Bacon is one of the 4 food groups.
          Along with beer, pizza and chocolate.

        • BlueCat says:

          Celiac is a real thing. Most people who claim to be gluten intolerant aren't. It's estimated that 90% of people buying gluten free not only don't need to but would be better off not avoiding it.  There is a higher incidence of Celiac disease among the Irish and those of Irish descent. But even so, the vast majority of Irish ancestry people don't have it. My son in his server days always got a kick out of people who would ask for gluten free pizza at the Italian place where he worked but would happily drink beer along with it. They could tolerate the gluten in beer because they didn't know it had any.

          • Voyageur says:

            A bit under 2 pct of the population actually has celiac.   For the rest, gluten is not a bad thing.   I personally love the gluten free fad, because it has given my wife and daughter a vastly wider choice.  Sadly, they do have to choose gluten free beer, which is generally fermented camel urine or something like that.   However, hard apple cider is naturally gluten free and a great sub for beer.   As a diabetic, I have to avoid a lot of stuff my wife eats, like rice, mashed potatoes etc.   We're a bit like Jack Spratt and his wife.

              • BlueCat says:

                Interesting but the fact is there is a an aspect of fashionable complaints to the urge in people who imagine themselves to be gluten intolerant. For a lot of people having  imaginary strict diet restrictions or becoming devotees of every new fad that comes along, whether it's deciding that there are 8 foods you can never eat or that that you require periodic cleansing with things like coffee enemas, it's a way of feeling special. 

                Don't get me wrong. I often choose organic foods or things like old fashioned coarse ground cornmeal because, besides the health aspect (fiber good) they just taste better, like organic strawberries over the ones that are about as tasty as sawdust or cornbread made in a skillet with a nice crunchy crust and great texture all the way through over an insipid "cornbread" that might as well be cake. But if I'm having dinner at the home of friends I'm not going to make demands because eating whatever they serve isn't going to hurt me as long as I eat the way I prefer most of the time. Ditto with tormenting waiters with an endless grilling.

                I completely understand why people with real food related health issues have to be careful but it's a pain in the ass when I'm out with, say, my sister who has come up with new sets of wacky food issues for decades and takes forever to order with all her questions and requests for substitutions. 

                When I'm having lunch out with her I tip even better than usual.

                • MichaelBowman says:

                  The farther I stay away from wheat products the better I feel but I'm not a food nazi in public or private.  I make my purchases based on my preferences.  It's an Adam Smith kind of thing for me. 

              • Voyageur says:

                Mostly, the article focuses on white bread.  I only eat stone ground whole wheat bread, which is vastly better for diabetics and tastes better too.  The exception is sourdough, which is also low glycemic index and also tastes great.  I also like rye and dark rye but it is harder to get that stone ground.  White bread is the devil's work.

                • Gray in Mountains says:

                  Agree

                  white bread is a marker for civilization decline

                • BlueCat says:

                  My early childhood was spent growing up with my extended family (great grandmother down to my brother and I) with grandparents, great aunts and uncles and great grandma being Russian Jewish immigrants, parents, uncle and Mom's cousins born here. We occupied most of a Chicago apartment building. White bread was simply not in evidence or mayo either. Grandma (Bubbie to us) used to tell us that white bread is just like library paste. Of course we wanted Wonder Bread as an exotic treat but we now know Grandma was right. Also told us that if you left a tooth in a glass of coke over night it would disintegrate but I'm pretty sure that one wasn't quite accurate. Probably close enough.

            • JeffcoDemo says:

              I've heard Hoiday Brewing Company in Golden is making decent gluten free beer.  I haven't been but I've been told it's pretty good, if a little pricey.

               

              http://www.holidailybrewing.com/

    • MichaelBowman says:

      There is a lot of conflation between 'hybrids' and 'GMO'.  The right questions never get asked on the subject, which should be what are the effects on our environment in growing the crops.  True, enhanced brown rice, etc. are valuable inventions.  What we should be concerned about is the massive applications of glyphosate on crops like cotton, corn, soybeans and sugar beets.  Are they safe to eat, wear?  Maybe.  Jury is certainly out in the global community (Monsanto, the purveyor of all things glyphosate has managed to buy a Congress that disagrees with the global consensus that it's a carcinogen).  I'm not a nazi on this issue in my daily consumption.  If I have a choice I'd always choose something not made from what I consider the toxic soup, Round-up (high fructose corn syrup, soybean proteins) – but I am interested in getting us weaned off the Monsanto product and getting Monsanto extracted from being the kingmaker on Capitol Hill during the Farm Bill negotiations.  Our subsidy programs have turned themselves upside down; we incentivize almost nothing of nutritional value in the food pyramid.  

      In other news Monsanto, desperate to find a merger so they can drop their name that has become synonymous with poison, may be the sucked up by Bayer, AG. Global predation at work.  What could possibly go wrong?

      • I don't get too upset over GMOs when they're close to what a natural hybridization could produce, but I get concerned about the unknowns when GMO's go far afield for their source material, as it were. (E.g. inserting a salmon gene into a vegetable; stable and fully safe? I would argue that there's not enough testing to be sure) Also, I would like to be able to eat heirloom varieties without worrying whether Monsanto is going to bust me for "stray" GMO genes. And yes, GMOs designed to allow heavy application of chemicals that could be dangerous to us has proven already to be a Bad Idea, if not for the GMO portion, then for the overuse and lack of safety review of those chemicals.

        • Voyageur says:

          Unlike you, PR, I want the widest experimentation in GM I can imagine.   In my daydreams, I learn to make a squash that tasks exactly like rib-eye steak, with even the same texture.  You'd save a billion cows and maybe the planet to boot.  Cow methane, more from burping than farting, so they say, is a big time greenhouse gas.  So, yeah, a fake cod that lets the natural variety rebuild.   And soy milk as rich and tasty as the moo variety.   Make veganism the cheaper and tastier alternative.  Live longer, for less money and eat really well.  

          We're not there yet, but we're making progress.   I use recombinant DNA everyday in the form of insulin just to go on living.  Decoding the double helix will prove to be one of the two greatest achievements of humankind.   The other, of course, was drafting Von Miller.

      • Voyageur says:

        Given a choice between revealing my ignorance and perpetuating it, I'm going to opt for the former, Michael.  What exactly is a glyphosate and why is it a bad thing?  And what is Round-up made of?  in general, I am not afraid of GMOs.   But since we have more or less abandoned the venerable chisel the straw under farming system in favor of smothering everything with roundup, I do worry about the accumulation of poison in our soils.   I spent many unhappy hours toiling with one ways, chisels and rod-weeders.   But at least I knew the soil I tilled was fertile and safe.   Today, if I was in the game, I'd love to do what my hero Henry Clay did and grow hemp.

    • It's a false equivalency, though, and it sounds like Baumgartner is trying to take it out more on the trans persons than on the GMOs.

    • Blackie101 says:

      It must be confusing just to be Randy Baumgardner.

  3. Les Ismore says:

    I had the (dis)pleasure of talking to this knucklehead on Lobby Day. Literally ran away when he realized he was losing the debate…I mean RAN AWAY.

    • Duke Cox says:

      I have seen that behavior before. Incompetent legislators have a tendency to hide from their constituents whenever possible. They move quickly and furtively through the halls, hoping to avoid meeting people …and reporters (who are very much like actual people, but who are always writing shit down, dammit!)

      Laura Bradford (remember her?) was just such an elusive Capitol bunny rabbit. She was so shocked when she won the election because even she knew she was totally unprepared to do the job. She spent her first session darting between offices so she wouldn't have to talk to anyone.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Former Republican senator Al White has endorsed either Baumgardner's primary opponent (if he has one), or his Dem opponent. 

        • The realist says:

          Al White endorsed Baumgardner's general election opponent, Emily Tracy (D). I'm guessing the biggest challenge in the District is the "low information" conservative voter who looks for the R on the ballot. People who have had any dealings with Baumgardner know he's worthless, and worse.

          • Duke Cox says:

            Yes, and I had the pleasure of chatting with Emily and her husband, Del, at the CD3 caucus. She is smart and engaging and seems to understand her district,,,,and is genuinely concerned by the truly pathetic representation her district has been receiving from "El Mustacho".

  4. Craig says:

    You should expect nothing less from Laura Woods.  She's a puppet of her church, just as Libby Szabo is, and I'll bet that church is with the Baptist guy in Orlando who thinks that gays should be executed.  Why doesn't someone ask her.  I'm sure she'll tell you right out that she thinks gays should be executed.  I know for sure she believes that in her heart.

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