Paul Hackett on gays, God, and guns

Ohio Senate hopeful Paul Hackett sat down with the public affairs team of the Columbus Post Dispatch:


“The Republican Party has been hijacked by religious fanatics, who are out of touch with mainstream America. Think of the recent comments by Pat Robertson - a religious fanatic by any measure - that the United States should assassinate a democratically elected leader in Venezuela, and that Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine punishment because Sharon wished to trade land for peace.”

“Since the Republican Party has been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans should be ashamed.”
[...]
Asked to define being pro-gay rights, Hackett said anybody who tries to deny homosexuals the same rights, including marriage, as every other citizen is un-American. Are you saying, he was asked, that the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted in November 2004 to constitutionally deny same-sex marriages are un-American?

“If what they believe is that we’re going to have a scale on judging which Americans have equal rights, yeah, that’s un-American. They’ve got to accept that. It’s absolutely un-American.”
Hackett's blunt rhetoric has earned him praise around the blogosphere. Pam Spaulding commends Hackett for his forceful stance on gay rights. onegoodmove links approvingly to the full text of Hackett's press release and the Ohio GOP's reply.

Many of Hackett's blogosphere backers were less comfortable with his blunt statements about guns in self-defense. Hackett, who's against the death penalty, but pro-gun rights told the Dispatch team:
Hackett said he opposes capital punishment – too much risk of executing an innocent person – for everybody except the fool who violates his family and home.

"Break into my house, we won’t have to worry about the application of the death penalty. It’s going to be a simple 911 call: Come pick up the body."
Angelica of Battle Panda accuses Hackett of going overboard with that comment on the whole tough guy schtick. Personally, I'm not sure he's crossed the line from a PR perspective. A lot of people think that way. I just think it's irresponsible to give people the idea that their Second Amendment rights cover the summary execution of suspected burglars.

[Pandagon, Battle Panda, onegoodmove]

--> Sign up for Peek in your inbox... every morning! (Go here and check Peek box).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close