Thorns & Roses: The Worst, Best And Most Absurd (3/17)

Thorn: Apologize, Piagentini 

On Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, someone tweeted their heartfelt appreciation for their provider, who extended extraordinary care to him and his wife as they endured the excruciating episode of having to terminate a nonviable pregnancy. Republican Councilman Anthony Piagentini grandstanded on their pain, quote-tweeting the original tweet with the response, “I remember when President Clinton talked about abortion being legal, safe and rare. Today, people are celebrating the people who kill unborn children. Count me out. I celebrate adoptive families like mine who have welcomed children into their homes.” It’s difficult to imagine a more cruel, insulting, dehumanizing response from a public official. When the person responded, explaining the circumstances around the abortion, which came after the 20-week checkup, Piagentini didn’t apologize or retract his self-righteous ridicule. He doubled-down, saying in part, “…Can’t comment on your specific case but I don’t celebrate people dedicated to killing unborn babies.” And, yet… you did comment. What makes this particular brand of grandstanding worse is that you clearly don’t know, or don’t care, that there are stories like this one out there; that these stories are not uncommon stories; that these stories are why there is an appreciation day. And, if you haven’t realized it yet, it means you don’t even understand the issue. There’s always time to do the right, decent thing, and apologize to the person. You could also open your ears, mind and heart to a buffer zone ordinance, so these patients don’t have to endure harassment on the way to the most painful day of their lives. 

Absurd: I said that out loud? 

After Senate Bill 4 passed the upper chamber — a watered-down version of curbing no-knock warrants — it was sent to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. WFPL statehouse reporter Ryland Barton was covering the committee hearing last week when a rather unusual nugget of candor and honesty slipped out of Republican Rep. Kevin Bratcher’s snack hole: “At one point during the discussion over the no-knock warrant bill, Rep. Kevin Bratcher said ‘The most I know about cops is what I see on TV,’ said TV cops usually announce themselves,” Barton tweeted, before noting, “Bratcher sponsored the ‘blue lives matter’ law a couple years ago.” Hey, Bratcher, we knew you were a mindless dope when you authored a bill to extend hate crime protections to police officers… we just thought you were smart enough not to say the quiet part out loud. 

Absurd: How did we get here?

House Bill 520, which has been derailed in committee, would have made it a crime to print or post online any information that identified a police officer, judge and other public officials. We’d love to give the fact that the bill is dead a rose, but it’s more of a why-the-fuck-was-this-even-a-thing situation. It was a tragic, pathetic shot at the First Amendment and local journalism, and almost definitely illegal, but it seems like more broken-brained Republicans have had their baby fascism emboldened lately for some curious reason. So, to the sponsor, Rep. John Blanton, R-Salyersville, we’re not sure if you’re a moron or evil, or some cocktail of both, but… come on, this was ridiculous.