“Conservative Coming Out Week” A Crock Designed to Piss You Off

“Conservative Coming Out Week” A Crock Designed to Piss You Off

Shawn Harmsen

April 3, 2012 

In today’s category of the disturbing, I refer to an email that just showed up a few moments ago (on Tuesday, April 3) in my University email…from the College Republicans.  The email is about something they call “Conservative Coming Out Week.”

It would be easy to consider this apparently annual event as a cross between nearly criminal stupidity and a complete re-writing of reality.  But really, it’s perhaps best understood as a cynical attempt to get people to react negatively so they can pretend to be the “victims” while enjoying privilege and power galore.  It’s really a win-win of propaganda.  If people protest them or react to them negatively, they will use that as “proof” of their victimhood.  If nobody says anything, they get to spew their idiocy and thinly veiled bigotry unchallenged.  In fact, last year a U of I professor got suckered into responding to this overtly and intentionally provocative event.   Rightfully offended on the many levels this is truly disgusting (I will list a couple shortly), this professor made the mistake of responding via campus email with profanity.  While I personally felt this person showed restraint, it was inevitably turned into grist for the GOP mill.

What I will try to do with this blog post is point out (without using profanity, however well-earned) the real problems with virtually every part of this pseudo-event that smacks of the ugliest Tea Party parts of the modern GOP.  I will not rise to the bait dangled before me, I will not get angry.  I will politely and calmly point out the problems and inconsistencies, but I am not going to embrace the anger.  I will be avoiding that particular trap, thank you.  But in recognizing that trap, I will not be tricked or intimidated into silence, either.

I won’t get mad.  I won’t get even.  I will simply try to get at the truth.

So, I respectfully submit the following critique.

Below is a copy of the email.  The email from the College Republicans is in italics, and my comments to each part are in bold, inside parenthesis. 

Conservative Coming Out Week is back again! Get involved with the College Republicans in events throughout the week!

(The appropriation of the “Coming Out” phrase is particularly odious.  Republicans from multiple-time loser Iowan Bob Vander Plaats to the presidential primary contenders are all solidly and vocally against gay rights and want to repeal (in some cases retroactively) the right of gays to get married in Iowa and a few other states.  It seems so intellectually dishonest.  It would be like former slave owners calling themselves “Whipping Boys.”  It’s not like gay rights advocates are saying Republicans can’t get married, or enjoy equal civil rights.  It’s just they want the same regardless of sexual orientation.  But somehow, in GOP-land, the ability to take rights away from people because we don’t like them transformed into a right unto itself.   For more on this see also my article on Jenny and Jess Buntemeyer and the treatment they’ve received at the hands of Republicans who are leading the fight against gay rights, as well as the recent update)

I know at times it feels like you are the only person that disagrees with this liberal town, but you are not alone! We are asking all Republicans, Independents leaning right, or just anyone frustrated with the People’s Republic of Johnson County to STAND UP!
(Why, it was just last fall when this hard-core liberalism was at the heart of Stephen Bloom’s scathing description of living in Iowa City.  But we see in the last phrase a veiled slam at our many foreign students (from the People’s Republic of China…McCarthy would be proud of these Red Scare Redux neophytes).  We also see nothing like a substantiated claim.)

Conservative Coming Out Week will be April 2nd – April 6th. Here is the schedule of events that will be going on throughout the week:

Monday: 2nd Amendment Day: Meet up with other conservatives at the IMU and go to the Hawkeye shooting range at 4:00pm. Transportation will not be provided.
DISCLAIMER: Do not bring firearms on campus. If you would like to bring your own firearms to the range, please contact uiowacollegerepublicans@gmail.com for further details.

(A couple things.  1.) This email went out on Tuesday, so, oops.  2.) The disclaimer seems particularly apt, doesn’t it?  It isn’t like there was a CAMPUS SHOOTING AT A COLLEGE YESTERDAY OR ANYTHING!?!  I can almost hear these wanna-be Rambos and John McClanes spouting how if they had their guns THEY would have stopped that shooter.  Because, you know, multiple armed scared people couldn’t possibly end in an even bigger bloodbath.  3.) This is the same party which damn near brought the “Stand Your Ground” law to Iowa this year.  You know, the one that let Trayvon’s killer walk away from shooting a kid armed with candy and iced tea.  You can read more about that connection here and here. 4.)  This is Iowa.  Even we Democrats shoot guns for fun.  5.) There is no threat to the 2nd Amendment, although saying there is both a great way to scare people into voting for you AND is a godsend of a marketing tool for gun manufacturers and the NRA.)

Tuesday: College Republican meeting at 8:00PM in 71 Schaeffer Hall with a showing of “Waiting for Superman” in support of education reform.
(Just last week I was in Des Moines when the GOP controlled House voted for its form of reform: slashing the budget.  And this comes in a time when the state is not actually in a financial crisis.  Because on the one hand, we need to see tax breaks for the rich as a necessary “investment” in our future.  But on the other hand, we can’t spend money on education for everyone, even the poor (gasp), because we can’t spend money to make money (investment).  Further, we must remember that the unfunded “teach them to take tests” No Child Left Behind was a Republican program.) 

Wednesday: Come pick up a cupcake in the Ped Mall from 11am-1pm in support of Voter IDs. Show a valid photo ID and get a FREE cupcake!

(While there is still no evidence of anything other than very rare instances of suspected voter fraud, there is plentiful evidence that Voter ID laws keep thousands of Americans from exercising their constitutional right to vote.  The only problem they are trying to solve is to keep those they are screwing over from having access to the political system.  This entire issue is a red herring, much like the “threat to the 2nd amendment” issue. )

Thursday: Animal Rights BBQ! Come meet with like minded Republicans for a friendly cook out at College Green Park at 6:30pm followed by a ‘spontaneous’ Campout.

(I love to grill a steak as much as anyone.  And I can do so without feeling so insecure about that choice I have to mock those who choose to not eat meat.  Again, this is Iowa.  It’s not like our meat source is any danger of drying up.  I do have to wonder if the “campout”, an obvious reference to the Occupy movement, will put up signs in favor of Wall Street.  I would find that mildly grotesque, but at the same time I would at least recognize their honesty.  Maybe they could sit around and tell funny stories about Mitt’s dad shutting down factories then asking those people to vote for him!  Hilarious!) 

Friday: Wear RED Day! Come out and show your true colors! If you are interested in a red “GOP – the P stands for Party” t-shirt, please email uiowacollegerepublicans@gmail.com.

(Uh oh.  Somebody may have hijacked the email at this point.  Red is clearly the color of those people from the People’s Republic.  I see a dilemma forming.  Can they wear the color of the “red scare?”  Luckily, cognitive dissonance isn’t typically a malady associated with this political party, so this may not end up being a problem.) 

Should be a great week! Let’s come out!


It will be a great week because with a bit of thought and reflection, this event really is informative.  Just not in the way I imagine the organizers had intended. 

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