>”You Lie” pol still popular; House expands hate crime definition

>Well, according to Politico.com, Rep. Joe Wilson has raised $2.7 million from right-wingers after Wilson’s infamous “You lie” shriek he made during an Obama address to Congress:

He raised the money from more than 50,000 people, with an average contribution of $53.49, in the third quarter. He’ll report $2.6 million on hand in the filing period.
Yes, people. Disillusioned with the “official” Republican Party leadership in Congress, grassroots conservatives are clinging to this ideologue with the hopes he’ll rise up and help get rid of this socialist activist from greater Chicago.
Anyway, onto good news.
The U.S. House of Representatives did vote to expand the definition of a hate crime. The new definition now covers crimes that are committed because of a person’s gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity or disability. The vote was 281 to 146, with most Democrats voting and more than 40 Republicans.

Republicans who opposed the measure said Democrats were essentially forcing through contentious social policy by tying it to a highly popular measure that authorizes military pay, benefits, weapons programs and other essentials for the armed forces. Even some Republican members of the Armed Services Committee who helped write the underlying legislation said they would oppose it solely because of the hate-crimes provision.

“We believe this is a poison pill, poisonous enough that we refuse to be blackmailed into voting for a piece of social agenda that has no place in this bill,” said Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, a senior Republican member of the committee.

Republicans also criticized the substance of the legislation as an effort to prosecute “thought crimes” in which the motivation of the attacker has to be discerned.

Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, called it radical social policy. “The idea that we’re going to pass a law that’s going to add further charges to someone based on what they may have been thinking, I think is wrong,” he said.

I don’t think protecting certain segments of our society is a personal social agenda, but maybe it is in the eyes of some of our “leaders.” I would challenge these Republicans to publicly say their opinions to the face of the families of Matthew Shepherd and others who’ve been killed because of their sexual preference, identity or gender.