* Last week, Eric Zorn quoted Rep. Monique Davis’ tirade against atheist activist Rob Sherman during a House committee meeting…
Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy — it’s tragic — when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school.
I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know?
I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous–
Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?
Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!
Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court—
Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.
* Yesterday, liberal MSNBC host Keith Olbermann gave Rep. Davis his nightly “Worst Person in the World” award. Watch it below…
* Other than Zorn and Olbermann, Rep. Davis’ comments have been all but ignored by the mainstream media, although a post at Daily Kos has over 1,400 comments as I write this.
The one Statehouse reporter who has picked up on the story, as I told subscribers yesterday, was Scott Reeder with Small Newspapers. He had this snarky comment in his latest column…
Illinois politicians have a long history of being tolerant of crooks, adulterers and liars — as long as they believe in God.
* One of the reasons this has gone mostly unreported locally is that strange statements are often the norm at the Statehouse. Last night, some pals of mine and I were discussing the dumbest things ever said in Springfield, and one of the goofiest was former Rep. Willis Harris’ objection to a bill that would have closed some parks at dusk. Harris said many of his constituents were too poor to buy a watch, so they wouldn’t know when it was dusk.
Let that one sink in for a minute.
* Rep. Davis is a Barack Obama supporter, after refusing to back him in his 2004 Democratic Senate primary. Obama hasn’t yet been asked about her comments, unlike Obama’s Illinois delegate who was ticketed by Carpentersville police for telling a group of kids to “quit playing in the tree like monkeys” and then had to step aside.
Squid, because the green party is not much. They are still fighting for respect, but as long as they are not seen as viable, they will not do much. Continue fighting, this is not an insult about you or your party.
People watch Olberman? He is about as important as Bill Maher
He might need to get out of NY. He kept calling her an assemblyman. Well technically she is, the Illinois General Assembly. Anyway I’ve have been confused because he calls her an assemblyman and then turns around and uses her more “correct” title.
Mr. Sherman, a truly brave man, is probably used to these attacks.
It’s astonishing the way uber-liberal Democrats, the ones who routinely excoriate the Christian right, are silent when it comes to the excoriation of those of us who are not, shall we say, religious. Freedom of religion, or freedom not to be religious, according to these folks, is ok only if it meets the political correctness test. Out here in uber-liberal Oak Park, Chicago suburb and home of countless Democratic extreme libs, there was an extraordinary silence on that moment of silence in the public schools. It’s unusual for these Oak Park libs to go along with anything. Guess they were going to go along with the moment of silence, though. Or maybe (many libs are rich) their kids all go to private schools where religion is not imposed on the attendees.
“strange statements are often the norm at the Statehouse” Rich
To strange statements, you could also add hysterics and screaming. Were these people like that before they came to Springfield? Does Springfield select people that fit this role? I am sure there are many voices of reason, moderation, and restraint, but they are all tainted by the “norm”. Perhaps Capitol Fax needs its own “Worst Legislator of the Week” honor to expose more of this nonsense. I am sure you would have much to work with.
I could always ask if Blagojevich was always the person we’re witnessing right now. I would say yes, although I’m sure he kept it under wraps when he needed to. Especially with him being in the background for many years.
That being said, Monique Davis, may have always held these beliefs. I also remember a couple of years ago she went after Mary Mitchell for questioning the actions of civil rights leaders at a funeral for Coretta Scott King. They were critiquing Bush who had the misfortune of attending. Davis took this as a criticism of them, it was, still it was almost as if Davis took this as criticizing the black America.
Back in the 80s, old Ken Hall from East St. Louis had been dozing through an excruciatingly boring committee meeting. As he started to come around, the discussion had turned to the funding of a Math-Science Academy in Aurora. When it was his turn to speak, now fully awake, Ken expressed his opposition to the funding of a “Mad Scientist” academy when schools in the Metro East were being shortchanged.
Keith Olberman is an idiot. If Ms. Davis’ ridiculous tirade is the worst in America, he obviously isn’t following Illinois politics and definitely not the sham we call the U.S. Congress. Read the congressional record sometime and you will find more outrageous ramblings and activities every day.
Keith Olbermann rocks. For those of you who don’t watch, he is 1) highly entertaining, just as he was on Sportscenter (which I quit watching when they fired Olbermann).
2) The Worst Person in the World award is awarded daily. So it’s really the Worst Person in the World Today. It’s also delivered rather tongue in cheek. I’m pretty sure there is some rapist soldier in the Congo who was a worse person than Rep Davis was.
The objective of the award is to highlight stupidity and ridicule the stupid.
Rep Davis deserves to be ridiculed for making such an absurd statement.
We need to get back to being a country that doesn’t have an implied religious test for public office. Agnostics and athiests used to win office all the time.
the bigger picture here is that today’s technology — internet, social networking sites, digital media and bloggers — will bring a new level of accountability to the traditional political setting. Rep. Davis has plenty of company in the “weekly rant” department. next up, Rep. Bill Black featured on a YouTube “Rep Rant.”
- Way South of the Border - Wednesday, Apr 9, 08 @ 10:06 am:
The full audio reveals Davis threw this embarrassing, unbecoming hissy fit not only because Sherman is an atheist, but also because she feels he isn’t doing enough to keep guns out of schools.
Okay… This from a member of the same General Assembly that keeps cutting CeaseFire’s funding.
Looking forward to hearing her screed when Pilgrim Baptist Church and that out-of-compliance, unopened child care agency fail to give their (I mean our) sweet million to the same cause.
Watching “Countdown” is akin to getting your teeth pulled or having a terrible 24 hour stomach virus. Olbermann goes out of his way to demonize anyone who has an opposite view of the world. He is no better than Hannity or Michael Reagan. And his show is one of the lowest-watched programs on cable news channels.
- Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Wednesday, Apr 9, 08 @ 10:41 am:
I think Olbermann is fantastic. But whether he’s a hack or a god, doesn’t matter. Rep. Davis’ comments were disgraceful. I think she should apologize.
>* Other than Zorn and Olbermann, Rep. Davis’ comments have been all but ignored by the mainstream media, although a post at Daily Kos has over 1,400 comments as I write this.
There’s a simple explanation as to why it’s not being covered much. She has a “D” by her name. That’s all you need. Had it been a “R” by her name every journalist in the country would be all over her by now.
So, now that Rob Sherman, and many others, have been slated as Green Party candidates in Illinois, they want to legislate and end to slating with HB 5263? It’s so highly ironic how undemocratic Democrats can sometimes be.
Speaking of completely outrageous comments, I believe it was also Monique Davis who suggested in floor debate a couple years ago that it would be better for the State to legalize and regulate crystal meth.
The bottom line is that our freedom of speech is being assaulted by the State. Whether it is a State Representative attacking an individual for espousing their beliefs, the Carpentersville Police criminally charging a person for trying to protect children, or a campaign forcing an elected delegate to resign for using the M word, the bottom line is we are taking great strides away from individual right of expression.
I am supporting Obama but if he is going to employ and surround himself with people like Rep Davis and members of his campaign staff that forced the delegate to resign, then I will re-evaluate my thinking and I hope others do also.
Quite frankly, I am surprised Obama’s opponents are not all over these issues already.
“Speaking of completely outrageous comments, I believe it was also Monique Davis who suggested in floor debate a couple years ago that it would be better for the State to legalize and regulate crystal meth.”
Not so fast.
Users are not exactly model citizens. Witness Levine.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s better for the State to incur the expense of supplying their habit as opposed to passing on the costs to citizens by way of muggings, armed robberies and what have you.
Skeeter says, “Please tell me she is not a product of our public schools. If so, then work needs to be done.”
I hate to tell you Skeeter, it’s even worse: she is an administrator at the Chicago Public Schools.
But not to worry, she has a do-nothing job which she holds onto through extortion. Whenever the Chicago Public Schools threatens to fire her for her everyday incompetence, she sponsors a “fetcher bill” (or threatens to), which would badly harm that school system and they let her keep her job in exchange for her withdrawal of the “poison pill.”
“Worst Person in the World?” She’s too incompetent to be but she is venal enough to be.
Unique Monique is a teacher (on leave) in the Chicago Public Schools.
Another unforgettable moment in GA history was also in the 80’s when Rep.Younge introduced a bill to cover much of East St.Louis with a geodesic dome. Bob Terzich was chairing and as the clerk calls the bill, he says “Is this the solar rib pit bill?” Speaker made him apologize in front of the entire House.
Comparing Bill Black to Monique Davis has to be one of the most ridiculous things on this page. Perhaps the volume and maybe intensity of remarks could be compared, but comparing her statements like this one to Bill Black generally arguing against spending, constitutionality of bills, or underhanded deals at the state house is ludicrous AT BEST.
Totally apples and oranges - perhaps even some sour grapes?
“Umm… Excuse the typo. That’s Rob Sherman, and here is his campaign website. Scroll down to see a picture of what we Greens have been calling “the Sherminator.””
He seems to have a few good ideas, some bad ones and a couple that just seem strange and/or the Government has no business being involved in, such as regulated how theaters advertise movie starting times or making it a holiday when a local team wins the World Series/Super Bowl.
Maybe, we do have a representative government after all. After talking to a few of Rep. Davis’ constituents last night at church, I think they are proud of her. I know….. let’s see if it becomes an issue in her next election.
Rich: You say that comments such as Davis’ are so common in the Patch that no one reports them. I think that’s a problem. I was surprised to learn of this via Olbermann (I had missed Zorn’s earlier piece — even though the press had been reporting on Pilgrim Baptist and the moment of silence law.
If the capital press corp would quote comments like this routinely, it might give rise to a badly needed increase in civility in this crazy place. Its silence feels like complicity in the incivility — and worse.
I’m not suggesting that reporters focus only on the screaming and seething, the bile and vitriol, and the rancor and acrimony. But it does mess with the process and intimidate regular folks who show up expecting a measure of decorum. Sure, a guy like Sherman can take it, but should really tough skin be required of witnesses?
How about if you post an outrage of the day, just to keep the worst people in the world on notice?
Upon further review, Davis does not qualify.
Instead, that award goes to the woman in the SUV who almost ran me over today as she nearly went over the curb while making a turn and who was more concerned about the small dog on her lap than about pedestrians standing on corners waiting to cross the street.
This kind of stuff has been happening in the Capitol building a long time. When I was in college in the early 70s, some friends and I ventured to Springfield to lobby for a couple of environmental bills. For a young person, it was very demoralizing to have your representatives heatedly spew their nonsense and prefixed and ideological stands in your face instead of listening intently and politely to what their constituents had to say about the pending legislation.
I would have loved to be in crowd for that hearing. The peanut gallery crowd comments would have been great. This incident would make a perfect MAD magazine cover with a 4-5 panel strip, a character using the quotes screeching at someone at a desk with hands folded, and a big headline of ILLINOIS POLITICS
Anonymous45 - Describing Rep. Davis’ comments as a “gaffe” is akin to characterizing Hurricane Katrina as a minor thunderstorm. What she said not only embarrasses herself, but it also speaks to the judgement of those in power in the Democratic party who allow her to hold a legislative leadership position. From wrongfully (and openly) characterizing Republican representatives as “racist” on the house floor when debating the merits of a piece of legislation she has introduced to calling for the regulation and taxation of one of the most devastating scourges (methamphetamines) ever to strike rural Illinois, Rep. Davis has earned every bit of scorn being leveled at her at this time. And BTW, I can barely stomach Keith Olberman, but he could name Rep. Davis the worst person in the world every day and I wouldn’t disagree.
Crimefighter is right. Lack of media coverage of this incident is typical of the lefty media in this country. Had it been a Republican it would have been the lead story in the NY Times and on every network newscast. They can gloss over it any way they want, but the overt bias of the media is the reason people no longer watch network news or read daily newspapers.
As an American citizen Rob Sherman has the right to express himself, his beliefs, or lack thereof. I personally feel somewhat threatened by his actions against those who express their beliefs publicly. However, if we take away this man’s freedom, we all lose ours too. If Mr. Sherman’s freedom is trampled upon, it won’t be long before freedom vanishes. Religious freedom must be upheld for ALL. We need to respect one another. Unfortunately, respect was not given at the hearing. Its one thing to speak back and forth with someone who opposes your views. Its American to listen to opposing views. The danger does not lie in an athiest having his say. We will all chose what we believe. A citizen expressing himself will not change what I believe, nor will it do harm to my children or Grandchildren. A person who believes something different than me should not automatically become my enemy. Difference is healthy. Listening is healthy. Agreeing to disagree is healthy. What happened here……NOT healthy. Since God’s name was mentioned in this verbal attack…. I must go there….. According to the Bible, God doesn’t force himself on humans. He gives each of us free will. We could really learn if we paid attention. Oy!
- some former legislative intern - Wednesday, Apr 9, 08 @ 5:49 pm:
well, let me say this. When I was an intern on staff in ‘94-’95, I found the nutty statements by all manner of reps surprising, liberal and conservative. Then I got used to them.
The ones I never got used to were Shirley Jones. Everybody remember Shirley? She not only made crazy statements, but I think she was truly nuts. Most reps and senators I think simply make crazy statements. With Shirley, I think it was more than that. Why then, did she constantly get reelected? Because of 1) support from leadership and 2) the fact that people in Chicago don’t pay any attention at all to the legislature.
- Hope to see Rob tonight - Wednesday, Apr 9, 08 @ 6:04 pm:
The Democratic Wheeling Township Commiteeman is being sworn in tonight and I hope to see Rob there. It would be entertaining
The real shame is that her nutty harangues bring doubt upon the good things she might do. It’s also a shame that her district, which has real problems other than the scourge of atheism, doesn’t have a representative more grounded in reality.
“He seems to have a few good ideas, some bad ones and a couple that just seem strange and/or the Government has no business being involved in, such as regulated how theaters advertise movie starting times or making it a holiday when a local team wins the World Series/Super Bowl.”
Yeah. Rob is a Green Party candidate; but he doesn’t exactly tow the party line, and that’s okay–the platform isn’t a straitjacket. He is independently minded; but as he says, he’s about 99% Green. The Illinois Green Party is becoming more of a big tent as new people join. It was interesting to participate in some of the platform revision workshops recently at the state convention (Sherman participated in those, as did Rich Whitney, and many others, and surprise surprise, not everyone agreed on every issue!)
Team Sleep, if you would look up figures instead of making them up, you would see that Olbermann’s MSNBC show is BY FAR the highest rated part of their prime time lineup, and among the cable news channels it is one of very few non-Fox shows with Fox-like ratings. He’s certainly the only good thing MSNBC has got going right now. The mediabistro web site has a comprehensive cable ratings list.
And yet Ken Dunkin and Ricky Hendon walk around free…
Should we really start a tally? I think not.
Davis’ gaffe is even more horrible when you get to the point that she was attacking a guy who questioned why the state twice paid a million dollars to a school that didn’t exist, and gave the head of the school a fast and free pardon, among other bizarre activities.
Sometimes I look at these folks on the floor and think to myself: “That person is the best guy/gal they could find in their whole district? What did the REJECTS look like!?!?!”
Everyone seems to missing the point. Rep. Davis was, herself, spewing religious prejudice. What Davis is doing is perpetuating the persecution I have experienced my entire life, namely the idea that a person who does not believe in God does not have morals. Just as she claims that Sherman (and all atheists) will attack anything related to God, she is quick to dismiss the “philosophy” of an entire population of people (despite not having any cohesive philosophy).
It is this blind hatred that I find most disturbing. When she dismisses the non-religious as destructive to this state, then she is certainly not representing me. After all, she attempted to revoke Sherman’s right to be involved in our government.
[…] Rep. Davis’ apology was a direct result of the pressure put on her by the thousands of bloggers from around the globe who commented on the various news sites and the hundreds of people from around the world who contacted her office by telephone or e-mail. Each and every one of you really did make a difference. Your comments didn’t just go out into thin air and get forgotten about and ignored. By each one of you taking the time to carefully craft your intelligent message, pressure built up on Rep. Davis. Meanwhile, more pressure built as additional news outlets picked up the story, including the Countdown show with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, which gave Rep. Davis the Worst Person in the World award; the Capitol Fax in Springfield, Illinois; and a half-hour appearance on WTDY radio in Madison, Wisconsin. Blogs and direct contact with the offending party really do make a difference. They may not get read everywhere, but they are read by people who matter, so I thank each one of you for your efforts. […]