Thursday, May 01, 2014

Mocking victims of violence? That's low, even for Constantin Querard and other Republican "opinion makers"

Edit: I've received responses from both the original tweeter mentioned in the post and the retweeter, responses that include a threat of a lawsuit if I don't take the post down.  Not going to happen.

However, out of fairness, I will post those responses and my reply at the bottom of this post.

End edit.

Once in a while, something comes along that reminds me (and I hope, all of us), of the profound difference between the "opinion makers" in the GOP and the members of civil society (aka - the rest of us)...

On Tuesday night, EMILY's List, an organization dedicated to helping Democratic women win elections, held its annual awards dinner.  The highlight of the event was an appearance by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords of Arizona.

In 2011, she was a victim in a mass shooting in Tucson, one that killed six people and injured nearly 20 more (including Giffords).

The shooting occurred at a supermarket where she had just begun a "Congress On Your Corner" event, meeting and talking with her constituents.

While she did survive the shooting, she suffered a severe head wound, and has spent the last three years working to recover from the damage to her brain and body.

Her appearance Tuesday illustrated just how far she has progressed in that recovery.
Giffords (center) with AZ congresswomen Ann Kirkpatrick (left) and Kyrsten Sinema (right).  Picture courtesy CNN

It was a triumphant moment for Giffords and her friends, family, and everyone else who has followed her incredible efforts.

Many of the event's attendees tweeted during the festivities, so many that I almost missed this one -

At first, I didn't understand the reference - Tuesday was the night of the botched execution in Oklahoma, and most of my attention was focused on news coverage of that.

While at work Wednesday. the tweet popped into my head, with the realization that it was a mocking reference to the events of the Tucson shooting, when the Congress On Your Corner event ended so abruptly, and tragically.

My next thought:

That is seriously fucked up.

Before writing this, I ran the tweet by someone who has a cooler head than me, and even that person saw the reference right away, and agreed with my evaluation of the situation ("That is seriously f-ed up").

The originator of the tweet, Mr. Wurtzel, is someone I do not know personally, nor do I follow him on Twitter.

My guess, and it is only a guess at this point, is that he is one of the myriad mean people who use the relative anonymity of the internet to spew the most repugnant rhetoric.

Still, he's relatively small time and not especially influential (and, if by chance he should read this, that's not an insult - I'm relatively small time too; I'm just so wordy it takes me more than 140 characters to spout off :) ).

On the other hand, the person who I follow on Twitter who retweeted the posting (hence its appearance in my feed), is most definitely *not* small time.

He's Constantin Querard, a "player", so to speak, in Arizona politics.  He's a political consultant who has advised many candidates through the years.  He specializes in fringy, tea party-type candidates, but he'll take a retainer from any pretty much any Republican.

He should know better, and unless he advises his clients to mock victims of violence, he shouldn't do so either.

And if he's still tempted to do so, he should consider this question first:

Are you brave enough to look the families of Christina Taylor-Green, John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and Dorwin Stoddard in the eyes and mock their loved ones?  If not, don't do it in a cowardly way either.

Please note:  I am not tarring all Republicans with the same brush here.  I know many Republicans, and am even related to a few, and most are fine human beings.

...Fine human beings who have absolutely no chance of winning a Republican primary; they are not, nor do they kiss up to, GOP "opinion makers".

Edit to add responses from Mr. Wurtzel and Mr. Querard:

 Quoted as text:

Wurtzel - It's an abortion joke, you fucking idiot. What is Davis known for? Take down your post or I sue your ass. You have one hour.

Querard2 - Irony? You laud Emily's List whose purpose is 2 ensure that babies can legally continue 2b victims of violence. Real

Querard1 - Fail! The author was referencing the 1st Trimester abortions that Emily's List is so very very fond of. Better luck next smear.

My response to the responses:
They claim that the original tweet was about abortion, and I have no evidence that they are lying when they state that.  However, there are two issues with their assertion, not definitive evidence of falseness, but that undercut their credibility IMO.

1.  In the original tweet, there was no indication that the tweet referenced abortion; usually hashtags or something similar are used.

2. The tweet went up shortly after Giffords took the stage, making her the most likely object of the tweeter's (and retweeter's) derision.

3.  My original post was, and remains, critical of the tweet.  However, there is no threat in it, not even an implied one.  Mr. Wurtzel's threat in response to the further undermines his credibility, IMO.

The post is staying up.

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