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.