Saturday, April 16, 2005


The Wonderfully Tolerant Minnesota GOP Strikes Again

Lordy, Lordy. Our very own wacky theocrat, Minnesota State Senator Michelle "Betty Bowers, except with less fashion sense and not played for laughs" Bachmann, has been getting much press lately, thanks to her anti-gay stances and her promoting David Horowitz' neo-Stalinist legislation designed to muzzle professors. Well, her craziness has hit the news right as Paul Koering, one of her fellow Republican State Senators, announced he was gay. (He did so after he voted against amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage.) His constituents have known for years and don't give a rat's ass one way or the other, but the Crow Wing County Republican Party wants to force him out of office -- and will almost certainly be running a candidate against him in the next primary. "Big Tent" my ass. Here's some letters on both Koering and Bachmann from today's Strib:

Bashed by the bosses Judging by the response of the Crow Wing County Republican Party chairman at the news that Sen. Paul Koering is gay (Star Tribune, April 15), it seems the new sign at the Crow Wing County line should read: "Welcome to Crow Wing County -- Home of bigots, a designated center of ignorance on the edge of the big woods." Brian Arnold, Mora, Minn. Sen. Paul Koering announces he is gay, and who is it exactly that is trying to run him out of office that same day? His constituents? Apparently not, because most of them seem adult enough to realize that his sexual orientation doesn't alter his integrity. No, his new predators are the career politicians in the Republican Party. Instead of embracing one of their own who is going through a challenging time and accepting that Koering is a staunch supporter of other high-profile Republican issues, Crow Wing County Republican Chair Brian Lehman -- in true, not-so-subtle Republican form -- is already working to undermine his reelection. All of this over one issue, one procedural vote. This is utterly despicable. It further proves that the leaders in today's Republican Party don't care about people, they only care about power. They only want yes-men in their ranks, not people who can form their own thoughts and opinions. Joe Schlefke, St. Paul. It seems the Republicans in Minnesota are ready to pull down the "big tent." That Crow Wing County Republican Party Chair Brian Lehman would pull his party's support of Sen. Paul Koering before the current session is even over shows how nasty and uncivil Republicans have become. It is hard for Republicans to claim that there is room for everyone in the party if the retribution for a procedural vote -- oh, and maybe coming out as gay -- is so swift. Ralph Wyman, Minneapolis. C. Ford Runge's April 15 commentary regarding Sen. Michele Bachmann's efforts to ban gay marriage through a constitutional amendment prompted the return of a question to my mind that, so far, no one has been able to answer satisfactorily: Just how in the world does the prospect of gay marriage threaten to "destroy marriage" and "bring heretofore unheard of consequences to this nation?" The question is conveniently ignored. Is it possible that these conservatives have such a degree of tunnel vision that they seriously believe such nonsense? Or is this part of a more sinister effort to manipulate the judiciary (Bachmann threatens the impeachment of judges with whom she doesn't agree)? Those not paying attention to this issue should; if these noisemakers have their way, an independent judiciary will be a thing of the past, all three branches of government will be under control of the right wing, and democracy as we know it will be gone forever. Sharon Anderson, St. Louis Park.

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