As the Minnesota Independent first reported earlier this month, 1st Congressional District candidate Jim Hagedorn removed blog posts disparaging of gays, fellow Republicans and Native Americans from his “Mr. Conservative” blog within days of announcing his candidacy. Now, as new deleted posts are discovered, the state’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy group has called for Hagedorn to retract his statements.
While Hagedorn hasn’t responded to the Minnesota Independent’s request for comment, he did tell the Rochester Post Bulletin that he removed the posts prior to 2004 for space concerns. But contradicting that is a July 13, 2004, post that Hagedorn scrubbed – and it’s a post OutFront Minnesota is responding to.
Removed sometime after Oct. 23, 2009, the post likened two men who’d had consensual sex to “barnyard” animals and said that in overturning Texas’ sodomy law, the Supreme Court “injudiciously fisted two hundred and twenty-seven years of the Republic’s mores into the bowels of cultural debauchery.”
To that, OutFront’s public policy director, Monica Meyer, says, “He focused on what feels like bathroom humor, although he probably thought it was more clever than that. It’s not OK.”
“I feel like he was trying to figure out a way to try to make it funny but still pointing out that gay people aren’t the same as everyone else and we can make fun of them,” she told the Minnesota Independent, adding that often candidates will use GLBT people as a “wedge issue” to draw supporters.
“You know there’s still fear out there about gay people, and sometimes that leads to violence,” she said, citing a new FBI report that found an 11-percent increase in hate crimes against people perceived as GLBT. “We really should have elected officials and candidates who really call out for fairness for everyone… [Hagedorn] should say that he doesn’t stand by those words.”
Indeed, Hagedorn writes that his blog is all about “cutting humor” mixed with “reflective analysis and hard charging commonsense to promote the brand of conservatism established by America’s Founding Fathers, reintroduced by Senator Barry Goldwater and perfected in modern times by President Ronald Reagan, the author’s hero.”
But some of that humor didn’t make the grade. Posts that were visible on the site as recently as mid-October 2009 were removed, including: a joke, days after Sen. Paul Wellstone’s death, about the “treehuggers” and pedophiles Hagedorn says attended the late senator’s memorial service; a post critical of fellow GOPer, then-Sen. Rod Grams; and his commentary on voter registration problems at South Dakota reservations: “Leave it to liberals to ruin John Wayne’s wisdom of the only good Indian being a dead Indian.”
That last one was dubbed racist by the state Democratic Party on Dec. 5. “If I had racist posts out there, and I was running for office, I would want to hide them, too,” DFL chair Brian Melendez told the Rochester paper.
Two more deleted posts have recently been recovered: a Mar. 13, 2003 piece entitled, “Liberal Reassurances and the Vision Thing,” and a post of June 12 of the same year (prompted by the publication of Hillary Clinton’s book “Living History”) which goes heavy on the double entendre in conjuring Bill Clinton’s sexual proclivities. A sample:
Hillary Clinton’s latest quest to prostitute history nauseates all with a pulse…
Were Hillary to “gulp for air” every time some adulterous hussy gulped good old Bill, she’d be in a perpetual state of vapor lock….
… During the most pitiful of the pitiful segments, it was “revealed” that the Heroine relied on faith (not God, mind you) to endure after the splotched blue dress exposed the depth of Monica and Bill’s Macanudo and Domino’s parties. “My faith was so instrumental,” the Heroine shamelessly acknowledged, “I got down on my knees.” Amazing how Bill cajoles his gals to head below the human equator one way or the other…
But OutFront’s Meyer sees some hope in the fact that Hagedorn removed some of these posts, perhaps after realizing they’re offensive to some Minnesotans.
“Perhaps that shows we’re slowly changing the culture of politics,” she said. “Maybe he realized that viable candidates don’t succeed by putting down a group of people. He’s hopefully thinking that doesn’t play well for his political future.”