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The Lost Ogle told legislators,
Members of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee prepare to hear bills Feb. 20, 2017, at the Oklahoma State Capitol. (William W. Savage III)
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Here at NonDoc, we’ve taken occasional heat for publishing profanity and politically incorrect criticism, but we’ve always stood strong on our values as an independent public forum devoted to fair discussion, honest voices and a free press.

We have raised the ire of more than one Oklahoma legislator by reporting on bizarre political claims, and we have called others out for blatant demagoguery or inappropriate actions.

But what we have never done is call dozens of lawmakers “idiots” and suggest they need to be punched, before telling them: “Go fuck yourself.”

That’s what The Lost Ogle did Friday in a post titled How do we get “Punch a Lawmaker Day” at the Oklahoma State Capitol?

While TLO has defined the OKC-online snark scene for a decade, its reliance upon sensational shock over critical substance succeeds far more at belittling people for their looks than trying to unpack the workings of the Oklahoma Legislature.

Broad-stroked rage painting

Friday, while discussing the vote on controversial HB 1482 (which, after amendment, would make simple drug possession within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under age 12 a potential felony), TLO founder/editor Patrick Riley let fly the following barb, which opened with his trademark sentence-starter:

Anyway, on behalf of the 60% of Oklahomans who voted “Yes” on State Questions 780 and 781, I have a simple message for the 51 lawmakers who voted for this bill:

Go fuck yourself.

Unlike you, not every Oklahoma voter is a simpleton idiot. We’re able to see through your blatant pandering for what it really is – exploiting children and schools so you can get your dick hard and tell the right wing religious nuts who voted you into office that you’re “tough on crime.”

Penile firmness aside, that’s a pretty flaming hot take, replete with creative name calling and the sort of boldface punchline that can escalate disagreements into full-on bar brawls. Assigned to 51 elected officials, it’s a broad-stroked rage painting captioned by another sophomoric zinger two paragraphs later:

Seriously, you suck. I hope Dan Kirby’s old chair gives you genital warts.

How the sausage gets made

The rhetoric quoted above serves well to fire up a disgruntled liberal populace that often finds it easier to offer criticism of legislative caricatures than build positive relationships and influence among those involved in our imperfect democracy.

But it hardly helps the dozen-plus lobbyists — yes, lobbyists — who are fighting against HB 1482, which a myriad of groups roundly oppose.

In fact, the #GoFuckYourself crowd risks conflating its angry messaging with the measured and thoughtful efforts of people like former GOP House Speaker Kris Steele or former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman, both of whom are rallying diverse support against HB 1482.

That, of course, is how the sausage best gets made (or, in this case, potentially butchered in the Senate).

So while it may draw website clicks and gather a few giggles, the indolent idea of “Punch a Legislator Day” won’t help the coalition opposing HB 1482 swing a single vote.

It might, however, start a bar fight if The Lost Ogle ever hosts trivia night at Junior’s.