But Riding on Floats With Gay People Was One of Tom Leppert's Great Accomplishments

Categories: Schutze

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This Texas Republican primary for United States Senate is very compelling in a totally sick twisted way. The opponents are attacking our former mayor Tom Leppert for his few good qualities.

Very few. Needles in a haystack of bad. But his opponents have found those rare needles of good in the man's record and are trying to stick them in his eye.

As a communist hippie liberal pinko son-of-a-bitch Leppert-basher from way back, how do I feel about that? What is my motivation in this scene? Do I feel sorry for Leppert because they're attacking him for his few good qualities? Or am I just glad he's getting roasted no matter what?

Man. So far I feel sort of sad-glad good-bad thank-you-ma'am about the whole Leppert thing. Maybe I need a nap.

At a debate here yesterday, two of Leppert's three rivals lit into him for riding on a float in two gay pride parades while he was mayor of Dallas. Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (former what again?) and former TV sports person and helicopter parent Craig James said Leppert was a bad bad Leroy Brown for having been in the parade. Current Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst (current what again?) was a no-show for the Dallas debate.

In one of the more concise statements to date of his own political philosophy, James said, "Man, you have to stand up." He meant Leppert should have stood up to homosexuality by not riding on a homosexual float. I think.

And here's the thing. If Leppert did two even partially somewhat good things in his entire tenure as mayor of Dallas, it was: 1) Riding on a homosexual float, and 2) hanging around with black people on his own and apparently at ease without a huge armed entourage.

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In fact, if you really wanted to track the progress of tolerance in Dallas, you'd have to assign credit for a lot of it to the city's top corporate leadership ranks, from which Leppert descended to be mayor. It was the city's corporate leaders, after all -- not hippie commie liberal pinkos like me -- who recruited the city's first black mayor, Ron Kirk, in 1995. Kirk now serves as President Obama's United States Trade Representative. (His what again?)

Lotta people, lotta titles. Forget it. Think of them all as persons of enough importance to have titles but not of sufficient importance for anyone to know what their titles mean. The point here is that corporate people in Dallas probably have done more than anyone else to lead the city into the 20th century. (Given the standard 20-year Dallas time-warp, we'll start working on the 21st century in about 2020). The corporate people just get out of the house more. They tend to travel nationally and internationally, rub shoulders and sit on boards with lots of kinds of people. Then they come home to Dallas where the time is always 20 years ago, look around and say to themselves, "This is not viable."

What's not viable? Well, for one thing, rich white mayors who can't talk to black people. Rich white mayors who don't have respect for gay people. Rich white mayors who say Jesus stuff in city council meetings.

You know -- somebody who's been out and about a little is going to come back, look at that and realize Dallas is going to change one of two ways: good way, bad way. But the old way is toast.

I have to admit that Leppert always had an air of the new way about him. He traveled around in black South Dallas on his own without a squad of armed guards in a black SUV. Whatever his beliefs about how people should screw, he had enough decency and sophistication to keep his mouth shut about it.

I think Leppert knew from his corporate experience that the way you get respect in this world is by giving it. And he did. Now he's taking mortar fire for it from Cruz, the former Solicitation Lieutenant Representative Whatever, and James, the former Hey-Coach-Put-My-Kid-In guy, neither one of whom gets out of the house much, apparently, and both of whom feel perfectly comfortable uttering hate speech about people based on who and how they screw.

Oh, my word. What's a pinko liberal son of a bitch to do? I really disliked Leppert as mayor, based both on his positions on issues and a more personal problem with the way he handled the truth. I thought he was an opportunist and a puppet of consultants and The Money. Now these other Republicans are making him look like a hero.

Next thing you know, they'll go after him for only having one wife, raising his own children, never taking million-dollar bribes as an influence peddler and never having gone through rehab at the Betty Ford Whiskey School in California. Like a real Republican.

Am I going to wind up voting for this guy?

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21 comments
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Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

It still has me rolling on the floor laughing that these people who went ballistic over governmental regulation of light bulbs have no problem in dictating that women don't have a right of choice and that consenting adults can't decide who they want to marry.

It occurred to me the other day hen Newt Gingrich stated that marriage was "between one man and one woman," that in his case he really meant "one man and one woman at a time."

Sa
Sa

Good column, Jim.

And you're right about it always being 20 years ago in Dallas!  I've lived here almost my whole life, and I've never quite realized that.

Guest
Guest

I grew up in Amarillo, which is another 40 years behind here, so living here still feels like living in the distant future to me.

JimS
JimS

I have a friend who lives in Canyon. He has to travel at almost the speed of light just to get to Dallas the same day.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

It seems to me that the “Tal-i-ban-Republ-can’s” spend quite a bit of their energy fixating on the Gay issue.   I do not think of it that much if at all.  What people choose to do is their own business (now that is a concept that they should try to get their small evil minds around). I seem to recall, from a psychology class, that when you have a someone so fixated on an issue such as this that they themselves are probably trying to suppress their own latent homosexual feelings.    Perhaps we should require them to undergo tests (as they seem to be all on board for drug testing un-employment benefit recipients) that would disclose if they tend to bend in that direction. They can’t keep their nose out of women’s reproductive issues nor the equal rights for gay issues hiding behind their religious bigotry as justification for their hate (despite the scandal of the church molestations by priests).

S Aten
S Aten

The first year, he walked and did not ride on the float with the rest of the council.

Edward
Edward

I expected as much from Cruz, but I was stunned at James' stupidity and hatefulness. Gays will have to "answer to the Lord"? Leppert riding in a pride parade was setting a bad example for our children? 

And the best one: "Being gay is a choice". Whew! Let's just back ourselves up to the 1800's or so. Every single gay person who knows Craig James personally, played football with him, worked with him at ESPN, etc., needs to call him up and explain the world to him.

The Republicans have become shameful bigots spewing hatred - there's just no nice way to say it. Instead of focusing on making things better, they are spending all of their time sticking stuff up women's hoo-haws and beating up gays.

Guest
Guest

It says a lot about the current state of my chosen political party (that keeps getting further and further away from my views as time goes on) that they have a guy running who is the epitome of wasteful government spending (as defined by Republicans, certainly, and as defined by a lot of normal people, too), who got the government into the hotel business, and has shown he's at least partially a bad businessman since he was supposed to be keeping an eye on that whole Washington Mutual thing when it collapsed largely due to its own mismanagement and the only thing they bash him on is his being friendly to gay people.

I guess the lesson is that a Republican can sell out any number of supposedly core Republican beliefs, but the being nice to gay people one is sacrosanct.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Jim, Leppert is liar and would say and do anything to promote himself. I have no pity for him. He is a 100% fake. I hope he gets his head handed to him. He deserves a lot worse.

d. liriano
d. liriano

craig james is just a bigot, what an embarrasment to the state, like the governor; in 20 years, these clowns and their comments will be a  representation of bigotry like the kkk, or at least racism that was aimed toward blacks during the civil rights movement....awful

Sloppy Joe the Plumber
Sloppy Joe the Plumber

As usual, Jim Poop Schutze takes the easy way out.

Insult a walking Republican straw man? Check! (Craig James, I'm looking at you on this one.)

Pick off one of the easy GOP issues that they've lost their damned minds on? Check! (They'll figure out one that Jesus didn't hate people, nor did he petition the government to make hate an official policy.)

Now if Schutze would like to take on an intellectual heavyweight in Texas GOP politics like Ron Paul or talk about substantive issues like the economy, well I think we'd find Schutze on the receiving end of a punishing rod, which is perfectly acceptable in the gay community I might add.

Yuckster
Yuckster

They haven't lost their damned minds. They are just too stupid to be voting. Just like the Dems who believe that Schultz's money raining from heaven does exist and should be used to give everyone a house they cannot afford and free medical care.

Sloppy Joe the Plumber
Sloppy Joe the Plumber

And even though I didn't say it in that post, it should always be implied whenever you see my name that Joe Tone (1) sucks Michael Moore's fat hairy ass, and (2) should resign.

G_David
G_David

Actually, whenever one sees your name in a post, it's a signal to skip it and move on to the next comment.

john
john

Sometimes I wonder if these politicians have ever befriended or, at least, had a conversation with a gay person. I know Leppert probably has. He had gay staff members at least.

Should I even have to say that stereotypes are deceiving? Not all gay people are fans of pride parades. Some of them are even Republicans.

As for myself, I count myself lucky to live in Dallas, which has one of the largest gay populations of any city in the United States. In a small way, that makes up for my hometown's deep history of violent hatred towards others who are different. That's progress to me.

As for gay marriage --- I'll say this. I learned more about marriage and what makes a great one by watching, observing and marveling at two couples: my own parents, who have been married for 51 years; and my next door neighbors who have been together for 12 years but are forbidden to marry because they are gay.  

JimS
JimS

Yeah. Even on the third-grade playground, there were points to be made by saying, "Hey, let's beat up the kid who's not like us." Never a noble sentiment.

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Leppert has said he is against gay marriage. That's what gay voters should remember instead of any parade.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Leppert's "Gay Old Times" occurred for only one reason and that is political expediency.

So, the criticism is fair...but only leveled by someone who is not another politician.

As far as comments from others who are wading into the "Gay Is A Choice" waters, angling to get cozy with Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum are we?

Ah, yes, it is the silly season of politics as usual.

T. Erickson
T. Erickson

The gays and blacks vote, too. But they don't tend to vote in the GOP primary, or for GOP candidates. I agree that the criticism is unfair, but the political strategery on the part of Cruz and James is by the book.

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