The Greatest Political Scandal Ever

The Greatest Political Scandal Ever August 9, 2015

Last year two Republicans were elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Even by right-wing standards, these two are way the hell out on the fringe. They managed to get kicked out of the Republican caucus almost immediately for their bizarre behavior. And now they have been caught red-handed in what may be the single greatest and most hilarious political scandal in American history. No, I’m not exaggerating.

Get this. These two God-soaked Christians, both married with multiple children, who rail constantly against the evils of sin and how those damn gay people are destroying the sanctity of marriage, have been having an affair. I know, that’s not enough to make it the greatest scandal ever. But I’m just getting started. When someone sent them an anonymous text making clear that they were going to expose the affair to the world, they hatched the most ingenious plan to blunt the impact of that revelation: They were going to leak a story to the press about Courser being caught with a gay prostitute behind a gay bar in Lansing, the idea being that after that story hit the press, the story of the affair would be “mild by comparison.” Geniuses, right?

State Rep. Todd Courser planned the distribution of a fictional email alleging he had sex with a male prostitute in a bid to conceal his relationship with Rep. Cindy Gamrat, according to audio recordings obtained by The Detroit News.

Courser, a Lapeer Republican, said on one recording the email was designed to create “a complete smear campaign” of exaggerated, false claims about him and Gamrat so a public revelation about the legislators’ relationship would seem “mild by comparison.”…

A now-former House aide recorded Courser in mid-May directing him to send Republican activists and operatives an email that would appear to be from an anonymous political enemy that said Courser had been “caught behind a Lansing nightclub” having sex with a man…

During the May 19 meeting, Courser instructed Graham to send rank-and-file Republicans across Michigan what he called “an over-the-top story that’s obscene about me.” It was designed, Courser said on the recording, to “inoculate the herd” — an apparent reference to Courser and Gamrat’s followers in the tea party movement.

“It will make anything else that comes out after that — that isn’t a video — mundane, tame by comparison,” Courser, a married father of four, told Graham.

“I need a controlled burn,” said the lawmaker, who used the term three times during the meeting.

Graham recorded the calls but refused to do it, so Courser apparently got someone else to do it or did it himself.

Written using the pseudonym George Rathburn, the sexually explicit email was received by Republicans on May 20 and 21, the two days following Courser’s meeting with Graham. The missive claimed Courser was removed from the House GOP caucus after being caught having “paid male on male sex behind a prominent Lansing night club,” among other claims.

During the May 19 meeting, Courser twice read aloud portions of a draft email to Graham. Most of the sentences Courser recited match copies of the email sent to Republicans and obtained by The News.

“Nobody’s gonna believe any of that,” Graham said about the draft email.

“Correct,” said Courser, who then added: “No, they’ll believe some of it. They’ll believe some of it.”

Courser does not explicitly say he wrote the letter, only telling Graham “it’s already written” and that Gamrat “agreed” with sending it.

“It’s what they won’t expect,” Courser said. “At that point, if they don’t have some really, really, really offensive stuff … it will be tough for them to bring it after this.”

I cannot stop laughing about this. If this were a storyline on House of Cards, it would seem too unbelievable. The speaker of the house is launching an investigation into this. There’s no way in hell either one of them can survive this politically, but so far they are refusing to step down. The scuttlebutt around Lansing is that Gamrat’s husband caught them at a hotel near the Capitol and that a fight ensued, but no one at the hotel or in law enforcement is confirming that.

It’s the most hilarious political scandal ever. The affair just shows the utter hypocrisy of these two liars for Jesus, but the astonishingly stupid plan for covering it up takes it to a whole new level. If there’s an LD-50 on schadenfreude, my life may well be in danger at this point. I suggest everyone involved get down to Planned Parenthood, which Courser and Gamrat want defunded, for an STD test.

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  • John Pieret

    scuttlebutt

    And we accuse the bigots of unconsciously using sexual terms. 😉

    • DingoJack

      A scuttlebutt was a large barrel of water placed at the bottom of the masts of sailing ships so that the sailors (particularly those in the rigging and therefore exposed to the sun and wind) could drink. The sailors had a habit of malingering around the water, gossiping with each other and spreading rumours. (The officers, always fearful of munity, tried to break up these impromptu meetings).
      Curiously there’s a term ‘Furphy’ in Australian English, which is believed to relate to the name of a company that delivered water in tanks on bullock trains to country towns, which means ‘unsubstantiated rumour’ too…
      Go figure!

      • In short, “scuttlebutt” was the equivalent of standing around the water cooler and gossiping.

        Ah, humans. Some things never change.

  • raven

    There’s no way in hell either one of them can survive this politically, but so far they are refusing to step down.

    ???? I don’t see this at all.
    1. The three main sacraments of fundie xianity are Hate, Lies, and Hypocrisy.
    2. Hypocrisy is a very important sacrament. These xians were just fulfilling their sacred obligations.
    3. In fact, nothing much ever happens to fundie leaders who get caught doing horrible things.
    Data. Ex-governor Sanford of South Carolina is now in the US congress. The sociopathic Desjarlais of Tennessee was reelected. Hovind is a hero for doing 8 years for income tax evasion. Jim Bakker is doing great after his fraud conviction.
    4. Xianity is not a source of morality. They have a Get Out of Jail free card and use it often. As even they say, xians aren’t better just forgiven.
    (Actually they aren’t better, statistics say they are worse than the general population.)

  • D. C. Sessions

    Serve only in small portions, best shared with friends:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2006/09/26/how-to-make-a-schadenfreude-pie/

    • otrame

      That list of ingredients makes my teeth hurt. VERY small slices, indeed.

  • raven

    FWIW, adultery in the bible is equal to gay male sex or sabbath breaking..
    All are death penalty offenses, by stoning to death.
    Then again, if the fundies starting stoning their adulterers to death, there wouldn’t be many of them left.
    They are all cafeteria xians but that at least keeps the streets from being littered with dead bodies.

    • democommie@gmail.com

      Dead white KKKristian MALE bodies, yes.

      For poor, black, female or teh GAY (in any combination, or singly) not so much.

  • democommie@gmail.com

    If anybody loses their seat it will likely be the gal, as FEMALE adulterers are whooooooorz and temptresses who lure GOODLY GODLY KKKristian men to sin!

    • Crimson Clupidae

      It would be entertaining if they turn on each other.

      Oh waiter, more schadenfreude pie, please!!

      • democommie@gmail.com

        I haven’t got the time, right now, to look at the link, I will later. I just keep hoping that some forensic accountant with his nose out of joint over having been “FIRED” by Trump or some dipshit like him will comb through his financials and drop a bombshell.

  • KB

    When I first read this story, I was at work. I laughed so long and so loud that one of my co-workers that I kind of scared one of my co-workers. I literally had laugh tears streaming from my eyes.

  • uykhvasdrvtjyku

    It was designed, Courser said on the recording, to “inoculate the herd” —
    an apparent reference to Courser and Gamrat’s followers in the tea
    party movement.

    Jebus, has their ever been a political movement, if it can be called that, that treats its followers with more disdain than the Tea Party?

    • Artor

      Considering who their followers are, wouldn’t you? I think the Pied Piper had more respect for his rats, but they are generally more decent & intelligent than your average Teabagger.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      the ‘inoculate’ portion is precious, especially as I’d bet both these LegislataClowns are probably anti-vaxxer and anti-evolution in their public stances.

  • raven

    Another example of Fundie Xian Induced Cognitive Impairment.
    As everyone knows by now, it isn’t the crime that gets people, it’s the coverup!!!
    Ask Dick Nixon or Bill Clinton how that works.

  • ArtK

    “There’s no way in hell either one of them can survive this politically…”
    Assumes facts not in evidence. They will cry repentance and claim that God has forgiven them and life will continue for them just as it has in the past.

    Didn’t I see something recently about Courser manufacturing a child molestation accusation in order to garner sympathy in his primary?

    False flag operations — where’s Alex Jones? Why isn’t he on top of this one?

    BTW, I can’t seem to copy and paste text from the article into a Discus comment. Why, oh why, did you choose a blogging platform that uses Discus?

    • raven

      Courser, a Lapeer Republican, said on one recording the email was designed to create “a complete smear campaign” of exaggerated, false claims about him and Gamrat so a public revelation about the legislators’ relationship would seem “mild by comparison.”…

      1. I haven’t had any problems cutting and pasting. This is from the OP as an example. I’ve also been able to do it from Google. Might be your system.
      2. Reading Patheos shows just how well FTB’s was designed. Patheos and disqus load much slower and are less user friendly.
      3. The fault here isn’t with these elected officials. They are generic fundie xians doing generic fundie xian stuff. Dogs gotta be dogs, after all.
      The fault is with the voters who elected them. And will probably reelect them. I don’t know Michigan well, but this area has the look of inbreeding and toxic metals in the water supply. Or perhaps, toxic religion in the Noosphere.

    • Jeremy Shaffer

      BTW, I can’t seem to copy and paste text from the article into a Discus
      comment. Why, oh why, did you choose a blogging platform that uses
      Discus?

      It can be a hassle copy-pasting from the body of an article. It may depend on what you use (Firefox, IE, etc…), but it gets me too. The best work around I’ve found is to just paste it to notebook and copy it again from there.

      • If you do this, mind the formatting — Disqus will insert line-breaks in weird places.

      • Die Anyway

        I’ve discovered that I can’t paste at all into a Disqus text box. Doesn’t matter where I copied the text from. Paste just simply doesn’t work. It works fine over at FtB and every other forum I post to. I’m on a touchscreen tablet with WebOS.
        Oh yeah, and the ads here suck!

        • Landslug

          WebOS, the little OS that could.. R.I.P.
          Sorry for going off topic, but that caught my attention

          • Die Anyway

            I used to work for HP and got a good price. The tablet is handy but there are no OS updates so I’m gradually losing the ability to properly display web pages.

  • Phillip IV

    Wow, if this turns out to be the start of a trend, I might consider going into business as a Republican spin-doctor, just for the lulz.

    “You got caught wearing Klan robes? No problem, my story about you celebrating Fuhrer’s birthday in a SS uniform will make that seem tame by comparison!”

    “You got caught embezzling party funds? No problem, I’ll leak a story about how you used the dollar bills as kindling to set an orphanage on fire!”

    And whenever I’m not motivated to invest much time, I’ll leak the original story and just append “…while smoking crack and clubbing baby seals.”

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Aaaannnnd…thank you for the LD50 reference…I learned something new 🙂

    • otrame

      I knew what LD50 was, but I am frequently sent to Google by people here and I love that.

      • Synfandel

        So am I (or is that SAI?), but it’s usually to find out what all these text-message acronyms mean.

  • DingoJack

    Who is their chief of staff? Wiley E. Coyote? @@

  • teele

    This story isn’t so hilarious when you live in a district “represented” by one of them. As to ending their political careers, Gamrat succeeded Bob Genetski, who was reelected shortly after getting nabbed for drunk driving. We have term limits here, and he was in for the full allotment, and I can just about guarantee Gamrat will be, too. She’s a fast worker, though — she’s been in Lansing less than a year, and already has a boyfriend there (not sure how many she’s got back home…).

    Welcome to Michissippi!

  • Nik Snow

    Cynical manipulative assholes are cynical and manipulative, hold the front page!

    What a catch both of them are….their spouses must be so happy, and they are Xtians, what could possibly go wrong?

    …oh…yeah!…as you were!

  • Synfandel

    Hypocrites gonna hypicrize. I’m just gonna shake shake shake my head.

  • Jack_Carter_USA

    Plans this well-thought-out and level-headed usually begin with someone saying “hold my beer and watch this.”

  • David E

    There actually was a Hercule Poirot story with this idea. Create a an outrageous fake story, so when the truth comes out it will either not be believed or shrugged at. It worked much better in the story.

  • Thumb Billie Mama

    Courser is my state representative and at this time has no intention of resigning. Knowing how the political process and politicians work in Michigan, I would not be surprised to see both Courser and Gramrat survive the scandal. The Michigan Tea Party Ultra conservative Christians, controlling the state, will protect their own. God will tell them, they must forgive the fornicators as It was the devil that made them do it.

    I have no idea why reality TV hasn’t set up shop in Lapeer County, MI.

    • teele

      Yeah, I head this morning on Michigan Radio that Courser issued a rambling audio statement to his supporters today, in which he said that while he felt guilty and ashamed, he’s already asked God for forgiveness — and he seems pretty sure he’s going to be granted his wish (sooprize, sooprize).

  • Teto85

    Unf$&*ing believable. SMH.

  • Unrepentant Atheist

    I hear Benny Hill music as I read this…

  • Craig G Clark

    Do Jimmy Swaggart ring a bell? Jim Bakker? Their entire delusional polemic is fabricated on half-read accounts of imaginary events. Their bronze-age “morality,” as well demonstrated by King David, is a top-down “do as I say, not as I do” proposition. If you have a problem with that, ask your priest.

  • Cage KY

    These people are undeniable morons, self-deluding jerks and obvious hypocrits. What I don’t get is how, after years (decades) of demonstrably effective alternatives in how to handle socio-political scandals used without fail repeatedly by both Clintons, why aren’t these people taking lessons? It’s pretty simple in it’s planning, highly consistant in it’s efficiency with the new low attention span and memory of most Americans today, and incredibly devastating to any future plans to probe further…: Deny, Delay, Defuse and Destroy. It’s easy. All parties should give it more of a go.

  • justdave

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! If you want to do an adequate cover up job, use Hillary as an example, not the three stooges. Xtian hypocrisy at its best.