Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Todd Courser: You're Sure That's Just Tea You're Drinking?

Here's a question:  If you were a state lawmaker (male, married) known for sniffy, holier-than-thou, just awful Tea Party politics and you were having an affair with another sniffy holier-than-thou Tea Party lawmaker (female, married) and you realized you were about to get caught, how would you handle it?  Would you think, seriously, that the best way to deflect from the real affair was to invent a phony story about being accused of a liaison with a male prostitute and then get really pissed at the person spreading that story, even though that person was you?

If you answered "no", you can pride yourself on the fact that you are among the multitudes.  Only one person on the entire surface of this earth can (and would) answer "yes", and his name, if you haven't heard, is Todd Courser.

You couldn't have missed the stories coming out about this whole tawdry affair.  (Don't you love that word, "tawdry"?  Couldn't you see someone like Todd Courser using it?)  The stories are everywhere now, all over the national airwaves, with our friends at Eclectablog staying right on top of it so we don't have to. (updates galore!)

(Photo:  Dale G. Young/AP)
Todd Courser appeared on the scene in Lansing on January 1 of this year, when he was sworn in as a Freshman legislator (along with said inamorata and all-around legislative partner in crime, Cindy Gamrat).  Before the month was out he was throwing his weight around about his office furniture (he didn't like it) and about the seating arrangement in the House (he was offended by his placement).

Twenty days after he and his pal Gamrat were sworn in, they were already responding to the governor's State of the State message.
"Greetings friends and fellow Patriots, We want to first thank God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for our salvation and His abounding and generous gifts, blessings and His grace, and mercy on our state and nation. It is important to acknowledge that it is only by His power and might that our state and nation remain. It is not the bills or the laws or the regulations that make our state and nation great, rather, it is recognizing who God is and submitting to His authority and dominion in our lives and as a state and nation; without this acknowledgement and also valuing God’s gift of life, then all other steps to set our state on the right course will be amiss."
From there they went on to the hazards of a bloated government,  the constant collecting and shameful misuse of our taxes, the need to move away from "cradle to grave" government care-taking (As if!)  and an entreaty to trust in the Lord.

Which led, of course, to this:
America is a Christian nation founded on Judeo-Christian values and God has given us incredible freedom and opportunity.  Let us enjoy all that we have been blessed with as we carry forth with the responsibility to bestow these same freedoms and opportunities to future generations.
They did actually mention corporate welfare, and for that I was forced to give them brownie points.  Which I promptly took away after reading their core liberties in something called The Contract for Liberty Project.  (See State of the State response, linked here, in case you missed it above.)  The list begins with "The freedom to be born" and "The freedom to defend ourselves" and ends with "Free from government intrusions" and "Free and independent states".

And we're paying them for this.

Ordinarily, I'm one of those people who doesn't give a flying foofoo about who's sleeping with who.  Whom.  Whatever.  It's a personal matter, affecting only the injured private parties, and as long as it doesn't affect their ability to govern it's none of my business.  In this case, I'm making an exception. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat are such insufferable Right Wing pseudo-religious hypocrites, I can't think of anyone in my state who deserves this kind of exposure more.   It couldn't happen to two more narrow-minded, ill-equipped, pretend-politicians.

Joshua Cline, a former staffer for both Courser and Gamrat, quit in disgust in April, just months after the new session began.  He recently agreed to an interview with the Detroit Free Press. The article  focused, of course, on the inside story about the romantic hi-jinks, leaving what I thought was the real gem for later:
Cline, a Lapeer County native, knew Courser before he became a legislator and worked on previous campaigns for the Lapeer Republican. So, he said, he was shocked to become a staffer and encounter a boss who treated his staffers with disrespect and adopted a 'haughty and elitist' attitude.
"We had a staff meeting in early January and [Courser] said, 'Let's get it straight boys. We're not here to pass legislation. We're here for the messaging moments and media,' Cline said. He said the decision to quit was wrenching."
So the newly elected taxpayer-employed public servant thought he'd found the perfect pulpit.  Fancy that.

But when the feces hit the fan,  Todd couldn't leave well enough alone.  He couldn't just go into his closet and pray quietly (Matthew 6:6) like Cindy apparently did.   No, he had to take to Facebook (where he seems to spend a lot of time) and do a little crying out loud
My lack of righteousness does not negate God’s righteousness –
In all of this – it is nothing short of a massive earthquake for me and my family and those who have supported me and even to those who hate me; thru this a series of common themes have emerged and many will take days weeks months and generations to see the full fruit of, but one that is clear is that I am now the poster boy for those who would say “God is dead,” or “ Christians are failures,” or “Christians are hypocrites.”
I didn't say that.  Did you?

Two days ago Todd told his Facebook followers that there would be an announcement on his website. Naturally, everyone thought for sure he was going to resign.  But, no.  No, he didn't.  Instead, he announced that he was requesting an Attorney General investigation into the purchase of an expensive and unnecessary legislative office building in downtown Lansing.  (You go, Todd!)  But at the very bottom of the announcement--easy to miss if you neglected to read the whole thing--was this sentence:  "I am also working on a statement in regards to this current call for my censure..."

Oh dear.  This doesn't look good.  But then neither does Todd's website page, where his Fourth of July greeting called for Privatizing Marriage:
We are living in the last days...
2 Chronicle 7:14 - if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sins, and heal their land…Please sign the Religious Freedom Petition Now!
At least I think that's what he was doing.  I don't exactly know how one goes about keeping marriage private and still legal.  If it's marriage in the eyes of God, they tried that.  Stamp your foot three times, turn your back on your spouse, and the marriage is annulled.  (Male foot-stampers and back-turners only.)

Betcha Todd wishes there had been something like that in place for affairs. Huh?

(Cross-posted at Dagblog and Liberaland.  Featured on Crooks and Liars MBRU)

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