In which I admit I’m a Republican.

I don’t talk much about my personal politics here on That’s Church because as we’ve previously discussed, I might as well just fling myself into an active volcano because it’d be less painful than reading 500 comments that range from, “How does it feel to be so stupid?” to, “I’ll pray for you and your lost soul and the lost souls of your children and also, I hope you get run over by a bus and when you do, I’ll continue to pray that hell doesn’t burn your soul to Extra Crispy.”

But this Sunday while reading an article about the Port Authority service cuts that went into effect today, I was first shocked to see the 67J was cut, because I assumed that was a pretty profitable and popular route. But I was the most shocked that transit union president Patrick McMahon said this to the media:

Dan Onorato — union buster,” Mr. McMahon said. “That’s the label you will have whatever else you do in your life. You stink. You’re a Republican.”

The very day I outed myself as Virginia Montanez instead of PittGirl, Chad Hermann at the Radical Middle latched on to this letter to the editor I wrote when George Bush was re-elected, wondering how my readers were going to like me knowing I was a Republican. This resulted in some uproar from readers who were shocked I ever voted for a “war criminal.” Yes. WAR CRIMINAL. I voted for him because as you already know ME LOVE KILLING! GRRRRR.

And for those times when I might be talking to a reader or new friend who is a Democrat, perhaps over a drink, and I utter the words, “I’m a conservative,” I can see something happen in their eyeballs. Like their brain seized and then slammed the door behind their eyes. A shutter. A flutter. I can practically hear their train of thought as it screams past the brain station. “OMG. She’s a Republican. She hates gay people. She loves Sarah Palin. She probably agrees with the Westboro nutjobs. She hates freedom. She loves the rich and hates the poor. She hates good. She hates the flag. She hates black people. She is what’s wrong with America. SHE PROBABLY KILLS BABY EAGLES FOR FUN AND THEN STUFFS THEM AND USES THEM TO SCOUR HER POTS AND PANS.”

Yeah. None of that is true. But please, those of you that think that, please continue to paint me Evil with your giant self-righteous paint brush of Truth.

I’m used to it.

I live in Pittsburgh, a Democratic stronghold. Almost every single one of my friends is a Democrat. I spent a decade working for two non-profits in which almost every employee was a staunch democrat. Each election I’m  bombarded on twitter by tweet after tweet about how every Republican is evil and how every problem can be traced back to Republicans and about how Republicans are not worth the filth they must roll around in. (I’m sure there are Republicans on twitter who say the same things about Dems. I think I just follow mostly Dems or something.)

I have learned to ignore it. It doesn’t upset me. I still like those people. They’re still my friends. I hope my actions will eventually prove to them that not all Republicans are radical evil-doers.

Unlike Mr. McMahon, I don’t believe every Republican is a union-busting stinky poo-pants. I’m all for unions helping their members earn fair wages and benefits. I’m not all for unions being bullies that demand more than most of America’s workers are getting and who give unions a bad name by refusing to allow poor employees to be fired.

I don’t believe every Democrat stinks either. I know too many amazing Democrats.

My personal politics have me in the middle, really. There are certain issues I side with the Dems on and certain issues I side with Republicans on. But if you put me on the scale, I probably lean more to the right than the left. Somewhere, my father is congratulating himself for raising me right.

Until I start defending Obama to him, and then he thinks about all the ways  he went wrong.

But yes. I’m a registered Republican. Or as Patrick McMahon might spell it, “FILTH-BATHING GAY-HATING UNION-BUSTING BABY EAGLE KILLER. WHO STINKS.”

Mr. McMahon has taken a dangerous road here. Not just labeling every Republican as a fool. A union-buster. A loser. But going all playground bully/Top Gun sniffing, “You stink,” on a whole lot of Republicans who are riding the buses, who don’t agree with the service cuts, who want nothing more than the Port Authority and the county to come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to the employees of PAT and the people they’re driving around town.

Maybe you don’t know this, Mr. McMahon, but Republicans use public transportation too.

Enough with the name-calling. The painting with strokes so broad you can barely lift the giant brush.

The childishness.

Uncalled for. Unnecessary. Unproductive. Uncouth.

And as far as I’m concerned, you can stick it up your nose with a rubber hose.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there are baby eagles that must needs die. I have dirty dishes.


  1. Anthony Andolini
    April 6, 2011 1:34 pm

    I agree, I am burned out on all of this. Take care all!

  2. bucdaddy
    April 6, 2011 1:52 pm


    Or the symphony (see: Bucdaughter).

    I don’t know that it would be any less productive for students who are really interested in theater, music and other arts, math, science or sports (and let’s include coaching under that) as careers to sit in a half day of classes they really aren’t much interested in as opposed to a full day of classes they aren’t much interested in. Seems like kind of a waste of resources to me. Plus, I’d think the more school time devoted to subjects of high interest, the more likely that student will show up for school raring to go every day, and at least pick up a little bit of knowledge in outside areas of interest.

    I told Bucdaughter when she was in college that that “Always do your best” stuff parents feed their kids is nonsense. Learning to set priorities is far more important. If it comes down to putting in an extra hour of practice for a recital or studying extra hard to try to turn that C in geology into a B, then come on, the choice is obvious. Plus, she’s in a profession where nobody is ever going to ask to see her transcript at her auditions. As you know, it’s performance-based, just like with any athletic tryout or professional theater casting call.

    And that goes for other professions as well. I don’t care how much my oncologist knows about Greek history or English literature, unless I regularly run into him at dinner parties. I want him to be really really good at one thing.

  3. NewBurgher
    April 6, 2011 2:22 pm

    Does anybody else hate seeing things like this?

    Anticipated Sale of Iron City Brewing

    Part of what I love about living here, is the history. I hate seeing a company leave behind a location that it’s been at 148 years; or that a NYC company is going to own something so inherently Pittsburghian.

  4. Butcher's Dog
    April 6, 2011 3:01 pm

    @bucdaddy: I agree with you as I nearly always do. I don’t think any issue’s cut and dried, however. I want my oncologist to be really really good at what he does, but I also want him to be able to look around (literally and figuratively) and to be open to a variety of possibilities and solutions. One-trick ponies seem to me (and I’ll admit right up front I could be very wrong on this) to be head-down, hell-bent-for-election types with only (or primarily) one way to do things.

    In 37 years of teaching at my small school, which never in any one year graduated more than 225 and more often was closer to 125, I had the pleasure of teaching (by my best count) some 27 or 28 kids who became medical doctors. I pushed them (and everyone else I came into contact with) as hard as I could. My overriding theory was that I never wanted them to be operating on me or someone I loved and be talking about how easy school was for them. I know that’s not exactly what you mean by the magnet school concept, but using the child’s interest isn’t always the best case either. How many of us are doing at 54 what we were most interested in at 14? I was, for one, but I think I’m probably in the minority. Plus, there’s so much more to being an informed citizen than skill at one’s job.

    Anyway, I’m fervently hoping along with the rest that the tapping I hear at the door is Virginia seeking re-admittance. Get the hell in here, woman! You only need to scan this post to see how desperately we’ve missed you!

  5. Bram R
    April 6, 2011 4:15 pm

    Wow, I had tuned out of this just before Infinonymous arrived to rile everyone up on hot-button issues like abortion and grammar.

    The point I most want to address is again @Heather — On the issue of each side “spinning” things for maximum manipulation. Certainly that is the case all over, but I don’t see how it could be said the Dems are merely “spinning” that Republicans AS A PARTY hate gays. Well, you could say Republicans don’t hate gays but are repulsed by gay behavior, or hate the sin but love the sinner. But there is such a long record of clinging to sodomy laws, opposing civil rights measures, restricting access to services and education which is generally accepting of the fact that gay humans exist. I’ve got a political buddy who was basically drummed out of the GOP for supporting a modest LGBTQ protection ordinance. As Ginny says that may not need to be the #1 issue in calculating any individuals’ party affiliation, but that part’s not spin it’s both history and current events.

    On abortion (glutton 4 punishment time!) suffice to say I believe we have laws against murder because that’s the only way to maintain a coherent, defensible civilization and national economy, NOT because earthly government has the competence, power or right to identify “life” and declare it “sacred”. There are truths which it cannot be claimed are at all self-evident. We as a people hold that men’s and women’s rights are endowed by their creator when those creators (working in miraculous tandem) deliver them to term, into our world, wholly created. And if that’s not persuasive, check with the Supreme Court and decades of jurisprudence, the only method we have available for determining such tings. Why it continues to clog our politics at this point is beyond me, as Infinonymous suggests there are indisputable 2-year olds, 12 year olds and 112 year olds to worry about.

    I want to thank Ginny for gingerly twisting off the 2-liter pop cap and letting her diverse multitude of minions drop their Mentos inside.

  6. Dave
    April 7, 2011 8:03 am

    Political parties be damned. I could care less if you were a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Green Party. It’s all how you see the world and what your beliefs are. I myself am an, uh oh get this, bleeding heart liberal! Oh noes, someone stake me and burn me! Especially since I live in the south / bible belt.

    I have had friends that run the full circuit when it comes to party views and I could care less what you are. You entertain me. Thank you for all the laughs and keep em comin’!

  7. Pingback: No. (Was that hard?) « Carpetbaggery

  8. Smooter
    April 11, 2011 4:51 pm

    To be honest, as one conservative to another, I find baby seals work the best for those really stubborn grease stains the bald eagles just can’t handle. I think the whiskers somehow cut right through the grime…