Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another lawmaker who writes laws that apply to you and me, but who gets off scot-free when he breaks them

Meet Sen. James Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, Congress’ most reliable defender of dirty energy and evangelizer against the “hoax” of global warming and a bonafide homophobic hater to boot. Mr. Inhofe campaigned for his Senate seat in 1994 using the phrase "God, guns, and gays," reflecting his ability to master political support in opposition to gay rights in general (and gays in the military in particular).

Mr. Inhofe made absolutely no bones about the fact that if he was elected to office he'd dedicate his career to making sure my gay son would always be a second-class citizen and denied the dignity, equal rights, and protections every other American citizen enjoys. And good ole boy that he is, he kept his word:

Inhofe has generally been seen as overtly hostile by LGBT advocacy groups, earning a 0% in every one of his terms on Human Rights Campaign's position scorecard. Inhofe is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes, and voted against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Inhofe’s office has said he “does not hire openly gay staffers due to the possibility of a conflict of agenda.”

Over the years since I found out my son was gay and finally started paying attention to politics and the politicians who would make it their mission to legislate misery and second-class citizenship into laws that would forever single my son out as "the other", Mr. Inhofe's unusually hateful record has always kept him at the top of my list of especially hateful, ignorant, and despicable lawmakers. But today (and I am a little late in getting to this story since the actual incident happened in October of 2010 and the news of it first started leaking out a few weeks ago), I am seething with a rage so intense, that it scares me.

It seems that the "Honorable" lawmaker from Oklahoma had some fun landing his plane on a clearly marked CLOSED runway at an airport in South Texas. The runway was closed so that construction workers could safely get the needed work done without being maimed or killed in the process. But the "Honorable" lawmaker from Oklahoma who admitted seeing the big yellow X that marked the runway as closed apparently didn't feel that it should apply to him:

On October 21, 2010, Inhofe landed his plane on a runway that was closed and marked with an X, apparently scattering construction workers and nearly hitting a truck. According to an FAA report, Inhofe noticed the X, but "still elected to land avoiding the men and equipment on the runway."

Shortly after the incident, the man supervising the construction, Sidney Boyd, spoke on the phone with the FAA, and said the landing "scared the crap out of us." (Listen to the audio here.) Boyd said he thought the driver of the truck Inhofe almost hit "actually wet his britches."

"James Inhofe, they tell me he's a Senator from Oklahoma," Boyd can be heard saying.

According to Boyd, Inhofe's plane initially touched down, and then "sky hopped" over six vehicles and personnel working on the runway, before landing for good.

"He was determined to land on that runway come hell or high water, evidently," Boyd said.

Now you'd think a dangerous stunt like this would be dealt with seriously. And you'd also have to believe that there would be some serious consequences for the blatant disregard of laws and the total lack of concern for the people who could have been killed. But you'd be wrong:

In a letter dated January 4, 2011, FAA Aviation Safety Inspector Robert J. O'Keefe indicates that Inhofe agreed to a "program of remedial training" as a substitute for legal action on December 9, 2010, and had since submitted evidence of "satisfactory completion" of the training.

Funny that. Makes you wonder if you or I had pulled a dangerous and crazy stunt like that if we'd have been treated as kindly as the "Honorable" lawmaker from Oklahoma. I think not.

It absolutely turns my stomach to think this wretched SOB will probably have no problem getting voted back into office so that he can continue his work making laws that demonize my son and keep his second-class citizenship intact.

Is it just me or should this wretched SOB be warming his homophobic arse in a jail cell rather than working to protect polluters and deny our glbtq children rights he enjoys (and abuses without consequence)?


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