Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gay Newspaper Rolls with Stone

No Apologies from Republican for Hijacked Blog

When a strange silence suddenly falls upon a gay pride parade, you can bet that the Sunshine Republicans are nearby; a group of LGBT Republicans who split off from the Log Cabin Republicans over concerns about political tone and conservative values. The Sunshine Republicans were closely associated with (although not formally in sponsorship of) Florida’s first Transgender Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, Donna Milo, who incidentally did not believe in Gay Marriage… but she intended to go up against Florida's Pro-gay Democratic Rockstar Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Nick Stone is their Vice President. He operates his own website at .

Recently he wrote a blog piece called “Do Words Matter to Debbie Wasserman Schultz”. In this piece, he attempted to counter-attack Mrs. Schultz’s opinion that we all need to cool our heads and tone down the political rhetoric because “words matter”. In the news broadcast that Stone refers to in his rant, Congresswoman Schultz (D-FL) tells CNN’s TJ Holmes that we all need to be conscious of what we say in light of the recent assassination attempt on her good friend Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).

Never once in the referenced news broadcast did Schultz ever say that the man who shot Giffords was a Republican. Nor did she make any other kind of partisan divide in that speech. Nonetheless, Stone wrote his counter-attack by questioning Schultz’s integrity, her honesty, and her motives. From there he connected all of America’s most beloved Democrats to the worst violence in US History.

"I want to clarify that just about everything you've heard from me or that I've written is just my opinion,” said Stone in an interview on Friday, “and should not reflect on The Sunshine Republicans or be seen as an official statement on any matter."

When he wrote the item for his blog, it was geared mostly toward his fans, friends and fellow Republicans. It was meant to be sort of a morale booster for the sort of Republicans who like to turn up the volume on rhetoric and defy what they refer to as our “PC Culture”.

But when Stone wrote the piece, he didn’t intend for the Florida Agenda to swipe it from his blog and publish it in the context of an editorial in their newspaper…

“I could be wrong but I believe that the author would have addressed things somewhat differently,” said Andy Eddy, a Log Cabin Republican, “if he were under the impression this was an op-ed piece for media consumption and not just blogging among friends and cohorts.” Eddy has met Debbie Wasserman Schultz once before, unlike Stone, and remembers that even though he was introduced to her as “one of those Republicans”, she said something reasonable like “it is most important that we, as Americans, are politically involved regardless of our differences.”

Stone says he never gave permission to the Florida Agenda to re-print his blog post at all and that he thinks the media sometimes uses Republicans to label as crazy and weird for a sort of boost in readership. He says journalists will often pick “the weirdest statement” to highlight. “I didn’t pursue the Agenda about it and they didn’t pursue me about it.”
Now, aside from the already scandalous way that The Florida Agenda (a gay newspaper) selected this particular gay-friendly Democratic Congresswoman to attack in their newspaper, there is the matter of all the other Democrats who were dragged through the mud in Stone’s original blog entry.

For instance, Stone stated boldly that President Carter and his wife Rosalynn had been “close friends” with John Wayne Gacy - a serial killer who preyed on teenage boys. He evidenced this accusation by showing a photo of Rosalynn with Gacy which was taken at a large Democratic event in the Chicago area. Gacy was just one of many people who were photographed with the President’s wife that day.

“Whether or not Gacy and the Carters were ‘besties’ is not the point,” said Stone when pressed for clarification on the matter, “the fact that Democrats and violence have a long and sordid history together was my big point.” But for every statement in the entire piece there should be a separate retraction and apology if it were to appear in a real newspaper.

As another example of his propagandizing spin, Stone cites the Discovery Channel Hostage situation in which James Jay Lee, who stone describes as an “enviro-terrorist” [sic] and a “left-wing nutjob”, held hostages at the popular science show headquarters. It’s important that we realize this, according to Stone, because “everyone in the media” had supposedly jumped to the false conclusion that “since he had a gun” he must have been a conservative or Tea Party member.
When pressed to come up with a source of who Stone believes originally blamed James Jay Lee of being a “Tea Party Extremist” in the media, he admitted that it was “just a sort of rumor that got started”.

But Stone has dug his own hole even deeper by choosing this particular event to highlight because environmental terrorists are not what Stone thinks they are (check the definition) and Lee was actually what’s properly called an eco-terrorist. On his own website, Lee ranted about “immigration pollution” and “anchor baby filth”. When asked about this particular section of the piece, Stone said plaintively, “I feel that being an enviro-terrorist [sic] is generally a left-wing ideal and everything else is tangential to me.”

As predictable as his spin can become after a glance or two, the dapper young Republican is not without his surprises… He speaks more favorably of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow than he does of Fox News’s Glenn Beck and he’s not so quick to toss Hillary Clinton into the fray either.

At the end of the day, a lot of Stone’s criticism of Democrats seems reactionary to an either real or perceived hatred that he feels is directed toward him by the majority of left-leaning gays and lesbians who can tolerate just about everything EXCEPT Republicans in their midst. He perceives danger and hostility at what most of us consider as being rather benign events like Gay Pride Parades. For this reason, much of what he says becomes self-fulfilling prophesy for him. Because he thinks negatively about Democrats, some Democrats behave negatively toward him. He really doesn’t seem to think of his writing or opinions as hostile or unwelcoming either - but if you use a term like “teabagger” in his presence, you’ll likely not be forgiven.

It must be this sensitive side of himself that is bothered by Congresswoman Schultz. Some Republicans have referred to as "the DNC's Head Cheerleader" or "The Mean Girls version of Nancy Pelosi" because of her biting wit and clever use of props on the house floor... But even her Republican counterparts in the House are generally humored by her antics. She doesn't use "violent rhetoric" or "tell bald-faced lies" as Stone states in his blog... She's just very partisan... because that's her job.

In the end, Nick Stone is also just a puppy. That is to say he is a young guy with a pleasant demeanor whose bark is worse than his bite. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz is right,” he says, “in the sense that if her party does their part as well, we can make things better […] but it has to be fair and even handed. No, I won’t apologize for what I’ve written.”

An apology for threatening the congresswoman with damnation to “the darkest pits of hell” if she dared to use any rhetoric herself, was in the end, too much for him to manage. But in his defense, he went on to list even more supposed connections between Democrats and violence. I’ll leave it to his fellow Republicans to correct him on those matters if they would be so kind.

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