One bad person ain't bad. Half a nation though…

So this is circulating.  Apparently Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County GOP Chair, Jim Roddey, told a pretty offensive joke.  It’s below the fold for those who don’t want to glance at it.

“I was very embarrassed. I was in this parking lot and there was a man looking for a space to park, and I found a space for him. And I felt badly — he looked like he was sort of in distress. And I said, ‘Sir, here’s a place.’ And he said, ‘That’s a handicapped space.’ I said, ‘Oh I’m so sorry, I saw that Obama sticker and I thought you were mentally retarded.’”

That’s not what bugged me.  There will always be inconsiderate, petty people in the world.

This is the part that bugged me.

At an election party last night, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County GOP Chair, Jim Roddey, brought the crowd to laughter and applause by calling an Obama supporter “mentally retarded.”

These people make up about half the country.

Sometimes even stuff like this can’t restore my faith in humanity.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • busterggi

    Its hard to believe but apparently half the country isn’t sophisticated enough to find the Three Stooges funny, instead they resort to racial, ethnic and handicapped jokes.

  • smrnda

    For all of these people laughing at an Obama supporter being ‘mentally retarded,’ first off, does anybody still use that expression, and secondly, would these people laughing at the joke really like to take some measure of intelligence and stack themselves up against random Obama supporters or other leftists? Not to sound too nasty, but the idea that ‘all the lib’ruls are re-tarded’ is a common statement I hear from various conservatives who clearly are not exactly knowledgeable about much of anything. It’s kind of a sign that a lot of people’s politics is based less on reason and more on juvenile name-calling.

    • Kaoru Negisa

      Well, the thing is, they’ve developed a fool proof method for dealing with that. You see, any source that agrees with them is absolutely true, and any source that disagrees is liberally biased propaganda. So it’s easy to believe that the other side is stupid when your criteria for intelligence is whether the person agrees with you, not whether they agree with reality.

  • Kaoru Negisa

    I read this earlier and it came back to my mind. Essentially, it’s discussing the flip side of statistics (e.g. if 46% of decided Republican voters believe in climate change, that means that 54% of them don’t even think it’s happening). The idea that the GOP is not, by and large a party of rich white straight Christian men is kind of a joke, and so you’re going to see more stuff like this. Lee Atwater famously described what became known as dog-whistle politics, and jokes like this are just sly nods and winks to assure a largely bigoted crowd that, despite what they say publicly, of course they still don’t like those people.

  • IslandBrewer

    Yes, the party that doesn’t believe in evolution or global warming, that is trying to stop the teaching of “critical thinking skills” or results-based education, that want to intentionally teach lies and misinformation to public school children, and whose favorite news channel (fox) is lobbying in Canada to let it lie to the public – they think Democrats are mentally retarded.

  • Kassiane

    Am I the only person not surprised by this? Really? I mean, I hear oh so enlightened liberals/progressives/et cetera being ableist tools all the time, why do you expect better from people who pride themselves on being bigots?

  • IslandBrewer

    Am I the only person not surprised by this? Really? I mean, I hear oh so enlightened liberals/progressives/et cetera being ableist tools all the time, why do you expect better from people who pride themselves on being bigots?

    No, I pretty certain it surprises no one.

  • Eileen

    I cannot push the like button hard enough for the response from IslandBrewer. Seriously.

  • Stephen S.

    What if I told you…both parties are wrong, and there’s no hope of fixing the problem because the whole system, not just the politicians involved in it, is broken?

  • Kevin C.

    I’ve seen presidents come and go since John F. Kennedy. I would call myself an Independent but lean towards the left. I never really cared to much about politics until 1998. It was in 2008 that really discontented me about what is happening in this country. It seems half this country wants to revert backwards and the other half wants to move forward. The right side is so hateful and deny any truths because their biased racism, bigotry and religions get in the way of critical thinking. I blame Sara Palin for causing this political upbringing into this kind of Hitler atmosphere against the jews, creating lies and rumors into an acceptable behavior.