Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Minnesota State Senate Candidate Makes Inflammatory Comments, Then Later Defends His Statements

Last week, Mike Parry, Republican candidate for the Minnesota State Senate used his twitter to call Obama a "power hungry arrogant black man," as well as take a jab at the opposition and the Matthew Shephard Act, writing "what's with Dems and Pedophiles?" While Parry attempted to clarify his Obama statement, he kept the origins of his "pedophile" comment vague, stating "I would think that's wrong. If it's on my account I wouldn't know how that one got on there." Responding to criticism over calling Obama a "power hungry black man," Parry said the following:
"I know specifically about what you're talking about - the tweet that I had sent using my opinion and fact. My opinion is that our president is arrogant and angry. The fact is that he is a black man. Now if the Democratic Party and the liberals want to take my opinion and the fact and mix it together and use it to bring a bad light about me and keep them away from discussing the real issues they can do that all they want. They're grasping for straws."
Can you see what Parry is doing? He claims the Democratic Party and the liberals are twisting what he said, mixing together the opinion and fact, when in reality, he mixed opinion and fact calling him a "power hungry arrogant black man." Others simply pointed out what he said, which is reminiscent of Glenn Beck saying Obama has a "deep seated hatred of white people."

Is it possible that Parry is race baiting? Absolutely. In a district where 93.4% of the population is white, and where the presidential election of 2008 was pretty tight, Parry seems to be trying to differentiate himself from the rest of the fold, infusing tea party politics into his campaign.

Will this help? I am not to familiar with the Minnesota scene, but if Parry continues to race bait and make inflammatory comments, all in the name of combining opinion and fact and blaming any misinterpretation of his own words by the opposition, then I feel that he may narrowly lose the election, but given the economy, if Parry strongly attacks the economic policies of the administration, minus the hate speech, I think he may have a chance, sadly. Either way, I am interested in how this race plays out because this is another instance of conservative candidates adopting the voice of the fringe in their public campaign.

What I find amazing is that Parry brushed off his "pedophile" statement, shifting from not knowing how it got there to not knowing what he was doing that would have made him write such a statement, if it was in fact him, despite making the following statement:
"When people post through social media and are afraid to use their names it means nothing to me. Anything that I do has my name attached to it because I was raised that when you say something then you stand up for what you say and you're held accountable for what you say. I don't hide behind the anonymity of having an Internet name. People need to know who I am."
I assume this statement applies to things said that won't come back to haunt you, like making implications that all homosexuals are pedophiles.

So what actions had Parry taken after the tweets were brought to attention? Parry offered no apology, but somehow the tweets were removed. Parry pleads ignorance.

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