Remember how we all were gay for Daniel Hernandez, the awesomest intern in history, who saved Gabby Giffords’s life by applying pressure to her gunshot wounds, keeping her from bleeding out? And how proud we were of his humility and basic decency? Hernandez, who was a student at the University of Arizona at the time, has gotten involved in local politics himself, and now serves on a local school board. And he is now one of four members of that district’s five-member board facing recall elections. We won’t even attempt to make sense of why; as RightWing Watch says, it’s “the kind of byzantine saga found only in local politics.”
But some people are apparently not big fans of this guy who literally kept a shooting victim alive with his bare hands, because he is both gay and, for some reason, in favor of gun control. Above is one of the flyers that have reportedly been handed out to parents as they drop their kids off at district schools. The leader of the recall effort against Hernandez says he doesn’t know anything about the flyers. Oh, and also, the leader of the recall effort against Hernandez is the brother-in-law of the school board president. Forget it, Jake; it’s Arizona.
Lest anyone think that the flyers are motivated solely by anti-gay bigotry, there is a second flyer that is motivated by simple old-fashioned paranoia. You see, Hernandez has been on the teevee advocating for maybe doing something about all the guns that are out there. And so there’s this flyer, too:
It’s kind of a sad commentary on the prevalence of political ratfucking that one of our first thoughts on seeing this was, “false flag!” (Why, look at that perfect wingnut-speak! A little TOO perfectly misspelled, are we right??!!1!eleven!!) But then we remembered that Tucson is also home to some genuine Old West looneycakes, and that Gabrielle Giffords was elected to the congressional seat previously held by Jim Kolbe, one of the few Republicans that Yr Doktor Zoom has ever voted for, back when there were such things as “moderate Republicans” (ask us about the onion on our belt, too). In 1996, Kolbe acknowledged that he was gay (after his vote for DOMA led some to try to out him), and managed to get re-elected several more times — Tucson liked him. But not everyone in Tucson. Shortly after he came out, this privately printed smear sheet appeared all over the U of Arizona campus:
It was completely fabricated, and the same tabloid also explained how the Holocaust never happened. We aren’t suggesting that the publisher of this nonsense is behind the Hernandez slurs, just that Tucson, for all its progressive coolness, is also home to a whole lot of, well, there’s just no other way to say it … Arizonans.