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Some Republican women unhappy about Sid Miller

Noted for the record.

Sid Miller

Sid Miller

For many female Texans working in Republican politics, last month’s release of a video showing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump boasting about groping women was bad enough. They have since watched in astonishment as male elected officials from their own state have engaged in coarse rhetoric of their own.

The simmer turned into a full rolling boil on Tuesday, when someone using state Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s Twitter account used a four-letter word that is frequently described as “the worst word in the English language.”

“When I heard about the tweet, I was stunned,” said Jennifer Waisath Harris, an Austin-based public relations consultant with a long history with the GOP. “I have not been surprised with some of the words that came of the commissioner’s mouth … but it’s one of those words you just don’t utter.”

The consequences of what Miller’s camp describes as an accidental tweet, juxtaposed with both Trump’s tone and recent comments from two Texas congressmen, has the potential to run off an entire generation of the party’s female talent pool, according to several women with strong ties to the party in Texas. They’ve spent their careers fighting for hallmark conservative values including school choice, opposition to abortion, limited government and a strong national defense.

“I can’t believe he even employs anybody who would post such a thing if he didn’t do it himself,” wrote Elizabeth Ames Coleman, a former Texas Railroad Commission chairwoman who also served in the Texas House, in an email. “Is everybody just so desensitized by the barrage of gutter-level talk that they don’t recognize it anymore? How embarrassing to have any Texas elected official perpetuate this kind of discourse.”

See here for some background. The story goes on in that vein for awhile, and I’ll get back to it in a minute, but first let’s jump over to this Statesman story, which provides more context for Miller’s tweeting habits.

At 1:43 a.m. Tuesday, more than 12 hours before a tweet from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s Twitter account referred to Hillary Clinton using a sexually explicit, derogatory term for women, Miller, or whoever was tweeting on his behalf at that hour in the morning, tweeted a question — “Can we bring Milo back?!?”

Milo is Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart senior editor who Twitter in July banned for life for directing his vast army of 300,000 Twitter followers to bombard “Saturday Night Live’s” Leslie Jones with racist tweets for her starring role in the “Ghostbusters” movie remake.

Miller’s middle-of-the night Twitter query was directed at four other cult figures, like Yiannopoulos with large social media followings at the alt-right edge of the Donald Trump political orbit.

There is Ricky Vaughn, who commonly uses the vulgarism for Clinton, and it appears might have been the source for Miller’s offensive tweet, which was quickly taken down.

There is RooshV, a renowned “pick-up artist” who on Oct. 17 wrote that women should confine themselves to reproductive sex, child rearing and homemaking, and who has warned that if Clinton is elected, a heterosexual male will never again serve as president.

There is Mike Cernovich, the man The New Yorker in its Oct. 31 issue profiles as the “meme mastermind of the alt-right,” who, on his “Danger and Play” blog, developed a theory of white male identity that posits that “men were oppressed by feminism, and political correctness prevented the discussion of obvious truths, such as the criminal proclivities of certain ethnic groups.”

And there is Jack Posobiec, special projects director of Citizens4Trump, who maintains that the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump talking about his predatory behavior with women was part of an attempted coup against Trump by House Speaker Paul Ryan and his GOP allies.

TM Daily Post riffs off of this and provides a few links to help illustrate who this particular basket of deplorables are. The point here is that the tweet that brought on this latest firestorm wasn’t just some accident of the kind that could happen to anyone. It’s that Miller and whoever else runs his social media accounts regularly swims in this cesspool of racist misogynistic douchebags. They’re buddies who laugh at the same jokes and share the same worldview. Put politics aside for a second and imagine that you’ve found yourself at a happy hour with these characters. Would you order a beer and hang out with them, or would you get the hell out of there and be glad to be rid of them?

Back to the Trib story, the theme of professional Republican women who have suddenly realized that they have been at this particular happy hour from hell all along but only began to notice it when the men they have worked for and supported have failed to say or do anything to derail these jerks is one that has started to appear. It’s not just Miller and Trump, either – the story notes recent comments by US Reps. Blake Farenthold and Brian Babin, among others, as part of the problem as well. Part of me feels sympathy for these women because how can one not feel sympathy, and part of me wonders what took them so long to figure out what was plainly obvious to the rest of us. Mostly I wonder what if anything they will do about it now that they have had this realization. The Trib story mentions some write-in votes for Evan McMullin, a lessened likelihood among Republican women to run for office (already a problem for the GOP), and some vague talk about reforming the party from within or splintering off into something else. The real question comes at the end:

[Randan Steinhauser, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee,] suggested that with Miller, at least, women would have the final word.

“We are political consultants by trade,” she said. “We’re conservatives, and as a strong conservative woman, I open the door to a strong conservative woman challenging Sid Miller.”

I’ll believe that when I see it. I might even take it seriously if it happens. As I’ve said many times about other matters of political controversy, nothing changes until someone loses an election over it. The filing deadline for 2018 is in a little more than a year. Put your money where your mouth is, and then we can talk. The Press has more.

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23 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I wonder just how horrified these women would be if they had attended Hillary’s rally last night with “Jayz” frequently using the “N” word, the “F’ word, etc., all while Hillary stood by smiling and applauding. Bread and circuses combined with double standards. Love it.

    One thing a Trump win will do for America is give the finger to political correctness, safe spaces, trigger warnings, and being perpetually offended.

  2. Joel says:

    imagine my surprise to find bill here, already making false equivalences.

    meanwhile, i wonder whether these women will ever notice that the common denominator in all these stories is “republican” and “conservative.” continuing to ask where the principled conservatives are misses the point completely. these *are* the principled conservatives. witness bill daniels making a straight-faced defense of them.

    comes over to the light, ladies.

  3. voter_worker says:

    Milo, as he’s affectionately known as in the alt.right netherworld, should be deported back to his homeland. The New Yorker article on Cernovich is an eye-opener. I suspect Miller is an aging goat-roper who hasn’t a clue about being circumspect on Twitter because he grew up in rural Texas where such talk has always been a-ok as long as you didn’t do it within earshot of the womenfolk or the preacher. Better late than never for these ladies to learn the truth.

  4. matx says:

    The kind of talk Miller and his ilk engage in when they think everyone around is in agreement is definitely not confined to rural Texas – some of my own family members in so called “liberal” Chicagoland would freely engage in ugly racist language assuming everyone in earshot agreed – and they still do along with the younger generation they reared.

  5. brad moore says:

    Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill….

    ….just so sad.

  6. mollusk says:

    Definition of “political correctness:” Not being an openly offensive a******.

    But I guess respect for all is a difficult skill to learn when one has always been entitled in one way or another.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    @Joel:

    Last go-round, the Pubs gave you a very moral, and soft spoken, if somewhat milquetoast candidate who did NOT cavort with domestic terrorists and communists, and the country passed on him. This go-round, the Pubs were co-opted by a true populist, albeit one with a potty mouth, who doesn’t (or can’t) hold back from spouting his version of what it is, and what is ought to be.

    As far as Voter’s take on Sid Miller, I’d say he’s exactly spot on, except he failed to mention the lack of a fiduciary responsibility gene in Sid’s DNA.

  8. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Bill do you ever think about what you write?

    Your so called argument is illogical. So if you have a nice guy and he doesn’t win let us come back with a foul mouth bully?

    The reason Republicans don’t win and will probably never win a national election again is because the Republicans go of their way to offend anyone that is not white. This year they progressed they also offended women, which come in all colors.

    I expect Clinton to win with over 340 electoral votes and Harris County will elect all Democrats this year. We can wait 3 days to see if I am correct.

  9. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Bill ask yourself why is Putin supporting Trump? Because Putin loves our country? Because he thinks Trump will be good for our country? I consider Russia as an adversary and people who support its goals as traitors.

    http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia-hillary-clinton-united-states-europe-516895

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Hillary already sold Russia 20% of our uranium reserves. Hillary/Obama already conceded Crimea back to Russia, and it’s looking like they are going to give Iraq to Russia as well.

    A Hillary presidency would be the best thing in the world, for not just Russia, but ALL of America’s adversaries. Maybe an apology tour by Hillary would be in the offing, should she win?

    You don’t think an old KGB man understands the power of doublespeak?

  11. Ross says:

    Bill, what do you mean “conceded Crimea back to Russia”? Would you really be willing to go to war over the Crimea? Just how do you think Obama et al could have stopped Russia from taking the Crimea? Same thing for the Ukraine – I have no idea why anyone thought offering protection to Ukraine was a good idea, unless they are willing to sacrifice US lives and money there, which seems pretty stupid. How would you feel if Russia started arming Mexico, with an eye to annoying the US?

  12. Bill Daniels says:

    @Ross:

    You view people who support Russia’s goals as traitors. So, how does selling 20% of our uranium stocks to Russia stack up? Is that traitorous enough for you? Or does that get a pass from you?

    As to Crimea, I actually agree with you..that’s their problem, not ours, and we shouldn’t have gotten involved. Of course, Hillary failed bigly, at staying out of Libya. That’s on her and Obama.

  13. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Bill like always you respond with something that is not even remotely related and illogical. If Hillary was so good to Russia why would Putin be against her? Think on that. Trump is obviously a Putin/Russian supporter.

  14. Bill Daniels says:

    Neither:

    So selling our uranium to the Rooskies gets a pass from you. Got it. You also conveniently sidestepped my very plausible explanation that Putin, a KGB thug skilled at, among other things, subterfuge, would publicly back the candidate he wants to LOSE.

  15. Bill Daniels says:

    Neither:

    Have you considered that maybe Putin, like Hillary, has a “public” position, and then a “private” position on issues of importance?

  16. Ross says:

    @Bill, first, no one sold control of 20% of the US uranium stockpile to Russia. Russia bought a controlling interest in a company that has about 20% of US uranium production capacity. There have been no export licenses to ship uranium from the US to Russia, and likely never will be. Russia’s interest in the company was likely due to the ownership of uranium reserves in Kazakhstan, not the US. The US is not a big player in uranium, and in fact, imports the metal.

    I am no fan of Hilary Clinton, and wouldn’t vote for her for dog catcher. She’s a venal, nasty politician with few redeeming qualities (I don’t like Trump either, or many of the Republican leaders in Texas). However, there is no way she made the decision to allow Russia to buy control of the company by herself. It takes approval from many cabinet level positions to approve that sort of transaction.

  17. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Ross, she is the type of person that the Democrats need to get the country moving in the right direction, Obama was not nasty enough, or strong enough, or experienced enough to get too many things done. He is partially to blame for the huge majority of Republicans in the House.

  18. brad moore says:

    Neither,

    When you get back from Mars let us know.

    GOP gerrymandered districts that allowed nut job Republicans to get elected into super safe districts that allowed them be gonzo 24/7 with impunity ,and then the GOP leadership was scared of the beast they created, and then required them to do nothing, literally nothing, for 8 years except talk obstruction was the real reason Obama wasn’t able to “get too many things done”.

  19. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Brad as the saying goes, opinions are like anal openings, you can believe what you want and I can believe what I want.

    I would suggest you read;

    THE PRINCE
    by Nicolo Machiavelli

    Then read other play books by Republicans. Have no idea how old you are, but compare what Bill Clinton did with the Republican Congress to what Obama did. Or better yet read some LBJ.

  20. brad m says:

    Neither,

    1) Bill Clinton wasn’t black
    2) The GOP was not as racist back then.
    3) There was still a residual of construction dialogue between parties and the leadership of different parties.

  21. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Brad has nothing do with racism, has to do with persons knowing that there are repercussions. While it was illegal, Bridgegate ring a bell? Some things are not illegal, some may be unethical, maybe immoral, but not illegal.

    Read LBJ and how he got things done.

  22. brad m says:

    Neither,

    The world is not static. The environment and rules of game have changed.

    Repercussions don’t happen in the GOP, because the congressmen aren’t concerned with fallout with GOP leadership. Congressmen are worried about keeping their base angry, donating and voting. It is all about staying in a elected office rather governing.

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