March 1, 2009

You know who really grinds my gears? Steve Nass.

You may have seen this story last week in the Wisconsin State Journal about a four-way jabfest between One Wisconsin Now, Mark Pocan, Nass, and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (Leah Vukmir took a swing too, but her press release was so ridiculous nobody really took it serious).

The rundown is basically as follows: OWN called out WTA for pushing a conservative agenda while claiming to be non-partisan; Pocan did the same; then Steve Nass defended WTA (sort of proving our first point) and in doing so called OWN an ‘extremist gay rights group’.

Nass says we’re extremist because we seek ‘special rights’ for gays and lesbians. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the LGBT movement is about seeking some semblance of equal rights, not ‘special rights’.

And what exactly does Nass mean by ‘extremist’? Does he think it’s ‘extreme’ to afford one group of people the same rights entitled to another group of people? Even if, say, those people seeking equal standing are legal residents of Wisconsin and Assembly District 31?

Nass also says OWN and Pocan are on a ‘jihad’ to attack anyone that ‘questions their radical agenda of tax increases’¦ and government control of everyday business decisions.’ Seriously Nass’ … a JIHAD?!?!?!?!

Nass’s use of hyperbole is offensive at best. Calling people that fly airplanes into tall buildings ‘extremists’ on a ‘jihad’  is one thing. Using the same language to describe elected officials and organizations in Wisconsin seeking equal rights for legal residents of this state is another.

When Nass throws around language like that, he threatens to lead honest debate down a dirty road and takes away from the true malevolence we’ve associated with those words since 9/11.

And that’s what really grinds my gears.

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Cody currently oversees online communications, web development, and graphic design at One Wisconsin Now & the Institute, having served previously as Deputy Research Director.

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