The GOP Has A Bullying Problem

Earlier this month the Tennessee House expelled 2 members, both of whom are Black, for protesting about gun control in the chamber a few days after there had been a mass shooting in Nashville. Then there was the new Kansas law which stated that student athletes would have to submit to an examination of their genitals in order to play sports. All of that is bullying.

I didn’t know anything about Dylan Mulvaney before the Bud Light boycott crap so I went and read about her. As it turns out, the first person to bully her in public was Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican US Senator from Tennessee (AGAIN!, right?). The trigger for Blackburn’s disgusting behavior was a meeting Mulvaney had had with President Biden where he expressed support for trans people.

Blackburn was quickly joined in her mockery by Caitlyn Jenner, who herself is a trans women (I KNOW, right?), and Mulvaney quickly acquired a target on her back. And so the death threats began, and the door was opened to MAGAworld to bully her. In fact, there is also an attempt to boycott Maybelline and its parent company L’Oreal over a partnership with her.

And in a really weird twist, 2 Anheuser Busch marketing executives were involuntarily placed on a leave of absence for coming up with the idea to send free beer to Mulvaney.

All of that is completely ridiculous and completely wrong.

Then on Wednesday the Montana House of Representatives voted to punish Zooey Zephyr by banning her from speaking on the floor, and from entering the chamber itself:

 Zephyr, who is transgender, has been blocked from speaking since last week. That’s when she told supporters of a bill to ban gender-affirming care that when they bowed their heads in prayer, she hoped they would see “blood on [their] hands.” She says was alluding to studies that show that transgender health care can reduce suicidality in youth.

The formal punishment decided Wednesday bans Zephyr from attending or speaking during floor sessions. She will only be allowed to vote remotely in the remaining days of the legislative session. It’s a lesser punishment than expulsion, which was also on the table, according to House leadership.

“I have fielded calls from families in Montana, including one family whose trans teenager attempted to take her life while watching a hearing on one of the anti-trans bills,” Zephyr said during the debate Wednesday. “So, when I rose up and said ‘there is blood on your hands,’ I was not being hyperbolic,” she said.

It’s bullying, and it’s wrong. And it’s got to stop. There are so few trans people, they are so vulnerable, and it’s incredibly cruel. It makes me both furious and very sad.

The Anheuser Busch stuff is so maddening that instead of leaving you with some music, I’m going to leave you with John Oliver’s pitch perfect take on it from this week’s “Last Week Tonight”: