Stay Classy, Dave Schultheis (Redux)

UPDATE: Please, Sen. Schultheis, stop trying to explain yourself.

What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, [Pols emphasis] have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that,” [Schultheis] said. “The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

He…hopes “that person may have AIDS?” We have no words, folks. We’re not sure we’ve seen anything quite like this before. It’s scarcely believable that something so heinous would come out of the mouth of an elected official–we’ve gone back at least twice now, just to be sure this is really what we just read.

UPDATE #2: Perhaps the only thing more unsettling about this situation than what Schultheis said is Minority Leader Josh Penry’s indifference. Rocky:

Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry said he’s not going to muzzle his caucus.

“People are entitled to their opinions,” the Grand Junction Republican said. “It’s not my job to go around and censure people and tell them what to say.”

He added that he thought Democrats were trying to “gin up the outrage machine” and said their hands aren’t clean when it comes to questionable comments…

How tone-deaf can Penry possibly be? When one of your Senators says that he hopes babies get AIDS, the response one can reasonably expect is not an “outrage machine.” It’s just outrage.

And saying that “Democrats hands aren’t clean” when it comes to questionable quotes? This isn’t a partisan issue–this is a stupid, horrible, insensitive thing to say, and if Penry had any idea what he was doing in his ‘leadership’ position, he would say as much unequivocally.

The Rocky’s “Live from the Legislature” blog relays the latest shame:

A Republican lawmaker voted “no” against a bill that requires pregnant women be tested for HIV. His remarks outraged some Democrats.

“We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior,” said Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, who also talked about “sexual promiscuity.”

Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Adams County, a nurse, pointed out that people get AIDS from blood transfusions, also. The tests are to help prevent the transfer of HIV from an infected mother to her baby…

Afterward, Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver, said she was upset that Republicans – particularly those in leadership – didn’t protest his comments. She said Schultheis’ comments are “a thing of the 70s.”

She complained to the Senate minority leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, who later pointed out he co-sponsored the bill. He said he wasn’t going to start censuring his members. [Pols emphasis]

Awesome, Josh Penry, just let your out-of-control subordinates go on with their bad selves–they’re doing such a terrific job embarrassing you and your entire caucus every time they open their mouths, after all! Ignoring them while they witlessly sabotage your message and alienate sane people everywhere…well, it’s not exactly what we’d call “leadership,” but the Democrats will definitely take it.

69 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. twas brillig says:

    Renfroe and now Schultheis (yet again).

    Hey, these two clowns are getting plenty of attention. Kevin Lundberg must be getting restless! Can’t wait.  

    • Another skeptic says:

      They’re so smart. After all, they’re legislators, people who don’t have anything better to do.

      I have mixed feelings about testing pregnant women for AIDS. Why not means test them to see if they can afford the kids? Education test them to see if they’re baby ready? Opinion test them to make sure they’ll bring up good little socialists?

      • Aristotle says:

        No good to society can come from testing for a deadly disease in pregnancy. How nannyish! Let’s do away with this and all other public health items.

        Nice class warfare you’re engaging in, btw.

      • twas brillig says:

        Once again, you are fact-deprived. Schultheis was the only Republican who voted against it (even Lundberg voted for it!). Hence, there was broad bipartisan support. The rest of your gibberish merits no comment.

        New material, please.  

        • Libertad says:

          I do think that Sen. Dave is probably hoping the Rocky doesn’t put him on the front page tomorrow. Seriously, having a serious case of AIDS is a more serious outcome then just being tested HIV+. At the end of they day they have both been seriously proven to usually result in well, serious death.

          On to the next issue. With all the drug testing required for new employees, I am just wondering about drug testing for the unemployment check. Not necessarily physical testing, but a verbal that they off the bugger sugar, horse, pipe, meth, etc.

          If we are requiring the unemployed to verify they are searching for work and employable, shouldn’t we also verify they are won’t DQ themselves and be back in line for unemployment.

          I know the arguments … not all employers require a drug test, etc.. But in a concern for public health and as a deterrence measure to illegal drug use this might have some upside.

          Obviously the social benefits of this would far outweigh the small cost to the state to make this little system change in their processes. Heck those that fail would likely make up all the implementation costs.

      • Karinthy says:

         ,until I am able to tell you how your shoes must match your belt and how your pants must be creased. That is my goal.

      • Arvadonian says:

        don’t abort the fetus, let it be born HIV+ (even though given treatment, this can be prevented) and die a slow, painful death as punishment for its Mom’s alleged “promiscuity”.

        What a good “Christian” attitude!

        • Haners says:

          Schulties is way off base with this one.  One of the pro-life arguments is that it isn’t right to punish a child (through abortion) for the “mistake” of the parent/mother.  If that is the case, why in the hell would we not want to test for HIV and prevent it, thus allowing the child that the mother is choosing to keep to be healthy, because it is more important to make the mother feel bad?

          Senator Dave Schulties does not represent my conservative values.  He needs to apologize and withdraw his statement.

      • abraham says:

        The bill has an opt-out provision for any woman who does not want to be tested.  The bill says they have to be tested unless they opt-out.  Besides, the blood is being drawn anyway, the law requires testing for syphilis.

        I’m not a doctor, but I understand that the transmission of HIV to the baby can be prevented with modern medical interventions.  Seems like making an informed choice about getting tested is not much of imposition.

      • ohwilleke says:

        that you certainly hope that none of their babies have AIDS and that you truth mothers to do the right thing, not that you hope babies die.

      • G Pulviczek says:

        The reason to do AIDS testing on pregnant women is that you can cut the incidence of AIDS in their baby by a factor of 10 or more if you detect it before the baby is born.  I’m hoping you are just ignorant of this fact.  If not, my opionion of you just dropped many more notches.


        Can HIV be transmitted from a mother to her baby?

        An HIV positive woman can transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy, labour and delivery, and through breastfeeding. If she takes no preventive drugs and breastfeeds then the chance of her baby becoming infected is around 20-45%.

        Can this risk be reduced?

        Modern drugs are highly effective at preventing HIV transmission during pregnancy, labour and delivery. When combined with other interventions, including formula feeding, a complete course of treatment can cut the risk of transmission to below 2%. Even where resources are limited, a single dose of medicine given to mother and baby can cut the risk in half. AVERT is currently running a campaign to ensure that all women have access to these drugs.  

  2. dem83 says:

    The entire group of State Senate Republicans (with the possible exception of Al White) are about as far right wing as you can get. The people of Colorado should be ashamed and embarrassed of them. They offer no solutions but sure do talk a lot.  

  3. Arvadonian says:

    Keith Olbermann’s e-mail? Surely one of these clowns qualifies for “Worst Person In the World”…

  4. Progressive Promoter says:

    You ARE capturing this craziness on video and audiotape, yes? Can’t wait to see campaign season 2010.

    • Another skeptic says:

      Republicans can come back with a charge that the Dems are Nanny State Dems who want to control your toilet habits.

      • Steve Balboni says:

        I’m not exactly sure what you’re talking about but I wish you nothing but the best with your efforts at messaging in 20101. Seriously, this is great stuff. Keep it coming!

      • twas brillig says:

        A more accurate question that fits reality, “Why is your senator trying to protect babies?”

        Which begs the question, AS, why do you hate babies? Or, are you some kind of moron?

        Just asking.  

      • Half Glass Full says:

        Vote for the GOP in 2010! We’re not “nannies.” Instead, we actually HOPE that babies will DIE OF AIDS so that their mothers will feel guilty!

        THAT’S change we can BELIEVE in! Vote Republican!

        (Sen. Dave Schultheis’ actual quote: “What I’m hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that.”

        Actual quote.

  5. WesternSlopeThought says:

    next claim that Penry, Renfroe and Schultheis are deep cover Democratic plants meant to embarrass the Republican Party?  Wasn’t that her answer for Swastika guy?  

  6. DavidThi808 says:

    He said he wasn’t going to start censuring his members.

    Didn’t they give Marostica a major spanking for badmouthing Jon Caldera? So it looks like speaking truthfully about Caldera is worse than Schultheis’ comments.

    Got it.

  7. Robert Jordan says:

    The democrat lawmakers are concerned about the health of unborn babies.  But it’s ok to kill them.  

    • Aristotle says:

      That was easy. Next!

    • Aristotle says:

      check out Arvadonian’s comment above. This is a great example of the conservative ideal that life begins at conception and ends at birth.

    • Steve Harvey says:

      Let me count the ways….

      Let’s bring a little ordered reason to the table, shall we? In any issue, the first step is to identify all relevant interests, including the interests of the state (which include protecting the interests of all others involved, in some balanced and welfare-optimizing way). Some of the interests easily identified here are the interests of the parents, of the fetus, and of the tax-payers and/or private health insurance payers who will share a part of the burden of future health care for the baby born with HIV-AIDS.

      If you continue down this path of reason (undoubtedly, “the road less traveled” for some), you will see that many interests are involved, not merely those of the fetus.

      The issue of abortion is one issue, and the issue of screening for HIV infection is another. I recognize the difficulty of finding space in which to separate such conceptually distinct issues in a mind that is either too small to make such accomodations, or simply too crowded with useful information. But finding or making the space not only is worth the effort, but is a prerequisite to making intelligent commentary.

    • Arvadonian says:

      the concern is for the health of the baby when it is born.  That is the purpose of the tesing of the Mom-to-be for HIV.

      How on earth can anyone oppose this with a clear concience?

      • Robert Jordan says:

        I was just pointing out the glaring contradiction that the democrats think it is ok to kill the baby before he is born, but they are concerned about preventing diseases in babies before they are born.  

        • Steve Balboni says:

          We also support pre-natal care for the working poor, which Republicans vehemently oppose at every turn. So there’s plenty of “contradictions” to go around Mr. Jordan.

        • Arvadonian says:

          I’m 100% pro-choice.  I think a woman should certainly have the right to choose to terminate her own pregnancy without seeking permission from some government bureaucrat, elected official or non-elected judge.  

          If the woman decides to carry her pregnancy to term, then I’d like to see everything possible done to ensure that the baby is  born healthy.

          You may be correct that not many people oppose it but one of our State Senators does.  Guess that shows just how out of touch he is.  

        • Aristotle says:

          An unformed zygote is not a baby. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your hysterics.

        • Ralphie says:

          You’re reading too many of your own party’s bullshit talking points.

          Choice isn’t about killing babies.  It’s about the government not inserting itself between a woman and her doctor.

          I see no double standard here.

  8. twas brillig says:

    “What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that.”

    In recent years, the Religious Right has tried to attack “utilitarianism” as some sort of Nazi-esque ideology, without really understanding it.

    But suffice to say, David Schultheis seems to be employing the most ultimate “utilitarian” argument ever: It is preferable to doom an innocent human life to teach a “moral” lesson to others.

    Maybe that’s what he’s meant by opposing communicable disease immunization for children of undocumented immigrants and emergency contraception for sexually-assaulted women.

    I’m sure Another Skeptic will now denounce Schultheis for “nannyism.”  

    • Bondo says:

      If it works. And there is little reason to think his proposal, even if you ignore the ethical qualms under other analyses, would actually produce a better communal outcome. And my primary critique of Schultheis here is that he doesn’t understand human nature, leading to his faulty argument.

      He is laying out a case assuming that everyone (but himself) is rational and thus they actively and fully take consequences into account when making decisions. This is the same principle that leads to abstinence-only education because promoting condom use or HPV vaccines would remove consequences for the actions they oppose.

      But people are not rational in the economic definition, not purely so anyhow. There are limits to the information considers actively when making a decision. Since people frequently ignore the risk of STIs when making decisions about sex, making sure the consequences remains is ineffective, and thus NOT utilitarian.

      Of course, Schultheis was also worried about women lying about being raped, despite the legal penalties that would involve, in order to get emergency contraception, so perhaps we should consider this latest act a sign of improvement.

    • Half Glass Full says:

      You nailed it.

  9. Arvadonian says:

    Perhaps we should stop treating lung cancer if the person who has it smoked or was ever exposed to second hand smoke…the disease is a result of natural consequences; Same with heart disease or diabetes for anyone who has eaten fast foods.

    If a child is born with Downs’ Syndrome and the mother is over age 40, then the child should not receive any treatment because there is a causal link between the age of a mother and a child who is born with Downs’.  

    In each of these situations, the person should feel guilty and their affliction should be published in the newspaper and perhaps 9News could do a nightly feature on these unfortunate idiots who are being justly punished for not “living right” and they could serve as a warning to the rest of us to “get right” in the way we are living our lives.  

    Now really, who is advocating the Nanny State?

    • Half Glass Full says:

      Schultheis’ comment was the most awful thing I have ever heard. And the Republicans who don’t immediately denounce it are the most politically tone deaf people ever.

      “”What I’m hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that.” – Dave Schultheis.

  10. Aristotle says:

    Let shit like this slide and watch more “safe” GOP seats go to Dems. Watch as you ensure Democratic hegemony for the next 20 years by displaying the ignorance and idiocy that lurks under all your social policies. Good going.

  11. twas brillig says:

    I don’t think it’s even had time to get caught up on this one. Rather, it seems that the outrage is ahead of the curve.

    Senator Penry, y’all have got problems. And it’s the kind solved by first looking in the mirror. Not scapegoating others. Sheesh.  

  12. sxp151 says:

    The Bible says you can be healed, even from death, if Jesus wants you to be. And Jesus likes most people, right? He’s a friendly guy.

    So if you’re dying, it’s probably because you’ve offended God. In which case, you totally deserve it. You socialist.

    [/Right wing douche]

    • Half Glass Full says:

      We shouldn’t lift a finger to protect them.

      “What I’m hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that.” – David Schultheis

      Un-freaking-believable. I hope someone is praying for Dave Schultheis and whatever passes for his soul.

  13. Jambalaya says:

    …this asshole’s commentary has driven me to Tanqueray……..yet my outrage machine is not yet sated.

    To say he hoped children would contract AIDS in order to punish their parents?  This is not human.  


  14. parsingreality says:

    Definitely one of the biggest jerks in the lege.

  15. H-Dog says:

    C’mon, guys & gals, make an effort to understand the political dynamics here! Renfroe suddenly becomes the #1 right wing crazy in the state senate-and this is absolutely unacceptable to us in Colorado Springs, who believe that our senators/representatives are the only folks nutty enough for that role.  Absent Douglas Bruce, Dave Schultheis bravely stepped up to the plate and, metaphorically, put it 30 rows up in the center field stands!! Awwwwright!! Match that, you weak-kneed wingnuts from the north!! Go ahead-we’re waiting!! But you know, and we know, that no one can out-looney the Schultster!!!  He da man!!

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