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]

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