Tag Archives: Wyoming

Bigot of the Week Award: December 7, Sen. James Inhofe and his “Fellows”

7 Dec
BIgot of the Week

BIgot of the Week

This week a number of U.S. Senators have simultaneously taken one stand against human rights and refused to take another stand in favor of human rights. What ties these bitter white men together is their membership in a secretive faux-Christian sect known as the Fellowship. (It’s also called the Family — they couldn’t decide which word to misappropriate…) This nasty sect, founded in 1935, purports to be a prayer group celebrating the teachings of Jesus. What they really are is the worst of Who Would Jesus Hate hypocrites, pushing homophobia, misogyny, racism, and “traditional values” while secretly supporting the long-term extramarital affairs of Sen. John Ensign (R of course – NV) and former SC Governor Mark Sanford.

The Fellowship has international membership, and its members in Uganda, with support from U.S. members like Scott Lively, have been active sponsors of the viciously anti-gay bill currently working its way through the Ugandan Parliament. Five Republican U.S. Senators who are known members of the Fellowship — Charles Grassley (IA), James Inhofe and Tom Coburn (OK),  Jim DeMint (SC), Mike Enzi (WY) — (have actively resisted calls to condemn the bill. Sen. Inhofe notoriously argued with Rachel Maddow about the content of the bill and its connection to his organization in an interview last March. American “missionary” voices have been instrumental in fanning the flames of homophobia in Uganda. The refusal of these men to distance themselves from this potentially lethal legislation is inexcusable.  On the plus side, the nefarious Jim DeMint is leaving the Senate to lead the backwards hate group The Heritage Foundation–only white, heterosexual, homophobes need apply.

Another international manner arose in the Senate this week. Treaty 112-7, a resolution from the U.N. on the rights of people with disabilities came up for a vote. This treaty already ratified by 126 countries, supports equal rights and support for the disabled. Even though it proposes nothing that is not already U.S. law, a core group of U.S. Senators blocked the treaty as “intrusive.” Treaties require a 2/3 majority, so the 61/38 vote failed to pass. All five of the Fellowship Senators voted “nay.” What a nice way to show their KKKristian values.

As a sad coda, retired Sen. Bob Dole appeared in the Senate chambers to support the treaty. I’m hardly a fan of Sen. Dole, but he is a disabled veteran and served for years beside many of the current Senators. They greeted him, slapped him on back, listened to his plea for support for the disabled, and voted against him. What more proof do we need that these nasty, narrow-minded monsters have jumped the legislative shark?

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Women’s History Month 2012: Nellie Tayloe Ross

10 Mar

Today we celebrate a woman who broke the glass ceiling in two political offices, Nellie Tayloe Ross. Born in Missouri in 1876, Nellie Tayloe was raised in Tennessee and Kansas. She completed high school and teacher training school, then began teaching kindergarten and offering piano lessons. She met William Bradford Ross in 1900; they married in 1902.

The couple moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming where William established a law practice. He became very involved in Democratic politics and ran for office several times, always defeated by the Republican. Curiously, his first successful campaign was a run for governor. Pushing a progressive platform that appealed to both parties in this western state, he won and took office in 1922. Unfortunately, he died barely a year later from complications of an appendectomy.

Impressed by her support of her husband’s platform and campaigns, the Democratic party of Wyoming nominated Nellie in the special election to replace her husband. Fearing a Republican would win if she did not step up, she agreed and easily won the office. In doing so, she became the first female governor in U.S. history. She worked hard to support the platform she believed in and had supported with her husband, including government assistance for poor farmers, banking reform, and laws protecting children, women workers, and miners. Despite her success, she narrowly lost re-election, probably because of her unfortunate support for the growing prohibition movement.

She remained active in politics, however, working hard for the Democratic National Committee. These efforts included regional support for Al Smith’s 1928 run for President, a term as vice-chair of the DNC, and a term as the director of the organization’s Women’s Division. In 1933, FDR appointed her director of the U.S. Mint; she was the first woman to hold this office. She served five full terms, retiring in 1953 when Republicans won the White House. In retirement she traveled extensively and wrote articles — many about the worker’s rights causes she had championed as Governor — for the influential women’s magazines of the day. She died in 1977 at the age of 101.

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