Sunday, October 23, 2016

It matters. It matters not. Or does it?

With less than 24 hours before the start of Early Voting for the 2016 Election, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson found herself, yet again, receiving some negative publicity that her opponent Kim Ogg could capitalize on.  All of the local news outlets were reporting about an interview Anderson did on a local podcast, The American Chronicles, with Vlad Davidiuk.

About nine or ten minutes into the interview, Davidiuk brings up the fact that many of Right Wing voters are unhappy with Anderson over the indictments of two pro-life filmmakers who were attempting to film representatives of Planned Parenthood breaking the law.  Acknowledging that the Right Wing voters are unhappy, Anderson responds by saying:
They have a problem with me on one, maybe two cases.  When they get a liberal, pro-choice Lesbian District Attorney, I wonder how many cases they'll have problem with with her.
Kim Ogg, of course, pounced on the statement and accused Anderson of stating that Ogg was unqualified due to the fact that she was a lesbian.   Courthouse people blew up Facebook battling back and forth over whether or not the statement was homophobic or not.  The comments even drew some national attention.

First off, let's just be very clear here that Anderson never utters the word "unqualified" in this statement, at all.  From an intellectual standpoint, she is merely pointing out that the hard core Right Wing people who are unabashedly conservative, pro-life, and homophobic anti-gay marriage are going to be even less happy with Kim Ogg at the helm because she is all of those things.  She's touting how she is the true Right Wing conservative that they should vote for, and a couple of bad court-thingies shouldn't stop that in the face of such a liberal demon.

If she had stopped her sentence after the words "pro-choice," then nobody would have batted an eye.  I'm reminded of one of my comedy favorites, Mike Birbiglia, who does a routine on "What I should have said was . . . nothing" when detailing a heated situation that his own words got him into.  But, instead, she uttered the word "lesbian" and all hell broke loose.  It wasn't relevant and it opened her up to all the criticism she is getting.

But did she use the word to insinuate that Ogg was unqualified?


And Anderson's Administration certainly does not reflect that she thinks a person's sexual orientation has anything to do with their qualifications as a prosecutor.  Without identifying anyone in particular, it is fair to say that the Office employs numerous gay and lesbian prosecutors.  They aren't discriminated against for their sexual orientation and they seem pretty damn happy to be working for Devon Anderson.

So, it shouldn't matter that Devon Anderson said the word "lesbian" on the radio when describing Kim Ogg, right?

Well, not so fast.

She may not be calling Kim Ogg unqualified for being a lesbian, but she sure is dropping that fact to curry favor with those far Right Wing voters that are so mad at her.  It's absolutely not relevant, but she attempted to make it so.  That's kind of like not actually being racist, but pretending to be so that you can land the Supremacist vote.

That's a pretty sad testament to the State of the Harris County Republican Party, isn't it?

Unfortunately, for Anderson, dropping the L-bomb is turning out to be a lose-lose situation.  Not only did it garner the negative media attention, but Republican web sites like Big Jolly's are showing their mock outrage, too.

Too little bigotry, too late, apparently.


Anonymous said...

Given the absolute vitriol directed at Houston's last mayor that so often focused on her lesbian status, I can see where she was going with it even if it doesn't help her. The wackos at Jolly's website are still butt hurt over Mike Anderson kicking Lykos to the curb so easily in the primaries years ago, their willingness to say or do anything to shave a handful of votes away from Anderson as telling of their lack of character as any of their other exploits. True conservatives can pick Anderson or live with the liberal, progressive Ogg for at least 4 years to their dismay. Like you, I don't think the world will stop spinning no matter who wins, each catering to their core constituency more than the general public.

Jig said...

That was an unnecessary goof that Devon should know would get her in trouble. There are lots of reasons to vote against Kim, but given the political climate today, that kind of goof is gonna hurt. Don't think Mike would have made that mistake. It won't take too many republicans to be turned off to give the office to Kim.

Jason Truitt said...

What political climate is that, Jig? The one where Texas passes statute after statute attempting to limit same-sex marriage or transgender protections? Where Paxton solicits a school district to pass a rule on same-sex bathrooms just so he can sue and challenge the law?

You cannot seriously be insinuating that a Texas politician isn't at least more likely to get elected by making a homophobic pandering statement like that.

Anonymous said...

Wait, you think this was meant to get right-wing support? Did the HERO vote teach you nothing? To the degree Kim's sexuality has any play in this election, it will be to swing the votes of blacks who normally would vote for the Democrat but who don't approve of lesbians.

Unknown said...

11:56, you're kind of all over the place, or maybe you're not aware that HERO was City of Houston only where Parker's actions against churches is what finally motivated Houston conservatives to come out in Tea Party style numbers. The white suburbs have absolutely no problem with homophobes and come out in those numbers on a regular basis--in fact, Harris County has traditionally been conservative specifically because of the suburbs, and it takes something very unusual like Obama on the ticket (or hopefully Trump) to overcome that trend. Until Obama's coattails took effect, there was not a single county-wide Democrat on the bench. And I think the only county-wide Democrat at all was the county attorney. When Obama was on the ticket, he helped Democrats almost completely sweep county-wide.

In fact, my own nut job of a state rep, Debbie Riddle, just recently lost her primary because she wasn't conservative enough. If you want to know just how crazy that is, Google "Debbie Riddle Quotes" (or "Debbie Riddle crazy", it gives you the same results). Specifically, her statements on transgender folks just needing to look in the mirror after a shower to know where they need to go to the bathroom should tell where she stands on some of these issues, and she lost to someone who was less tolerant than her.

Anderson's statements on Ogg being a lesbian were out of bounds for civil politics. But today's Republican Party is anything but civil.

Anonymous said...

Anderson’s statement was political pandering: perhaps an attempt to “throw red meat” to the conservative base and/or to appeal to conservative Democrats. Her statement also seems true to a certain extent, albeit poorly worded and politically daft (and arguably homophobic). Essentially, Ms. Anderson asks whether the uber-Conservatives that are pillorying her will actually enjoy an Ogg administration? They won’t. Ironically, Ron Pooper is writing posts suggesting that he’s incensed by Ms. Anderson’s and her surrogates’ “whisper campaign” attacking Ogg for being a lesbian (note—not really a whisper campaign if it involves emails and public statements). Funny, Pooper (a noted energy executive—fart methane recapture—whose favorite weapon for road rage assault is The Club (TM)) has been screaming lesbianism and other ad hominin attacks against scores of candidates and public servants throughout the past decade. Ms. Anderson’s comments seemed geared to highlight the irrationality of such “conservative voters”: their anger over a single issue has caused them to support Ogg, an individual with whom they would disagree both personally and politically, solely to spite Ms. Anderson. Ogg has done nothing to show that she would have a positive impact on the office of District Attorney or that she’s qualified. Laughably, one of Ogg’s supporters suggested she had great management skills from “running a law firm”—as if she’s the managing partner of Vinson & Elkins. Anderson’s comments reflect her general political tone deafness—just like her vehement defense of the dunderheaded prosecutor who seemingly jailed a rape victim with a “set it and forget” mentality. Note that Ogg has not presented exactly how she would handle that difficult situation differently—only that she won’t “jail” a rape victim. A soundbite everyone can get behind to be sure, but nothing meaningful or accretive to the discourse of how to fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

Heh, he said "butt hurt".


Anonymous said...

Under the Anderson administration there is racial discrimination and office bullies. Devon should be glad the media has not looked at EEOC records and ADA exit interviews. Im sure Ogg will fire alot of people once she starts reading the employee files.

Anonymous said...

Too many Rosenthal leftovers in the DA's office for Anderson to survive much longer.