Keep talking, Herschel Walker

The man running for the office of dumbest politician in America has put out another ad, this time slamming trans athletes…right after the Club Q shooting. It’s not just the bad timing, but also that he has teamed up with Riley Gaines, the indignant transphobe, which opens the door to sick burns.

Barely a day after a deadly LGBTQ bar shooting killed two transgender people and three other patrons, Georgia senatorial candidate Herschel Walker (R) released a campaign ad slamming trans athletes. Democrats are pointing to Republican anti-LGBTQ campaigns like Walker’s as the type of rhetoric that led to the murder of five people at Colorado Springs bar Club Q on Saturday night.

The video featured Riley Gaines, a self-described 12-time NCAA All-American swimmer. In March, Gaines tied for fifth place with trans swimmer Lia Thomas. Gaines has been complaining about it ever since.

Fifth place. She’s complaining about having to share a teeny-tiny footnote in a record book with a trans woman. That’s a photo of two cranky losers up there.


  1. says

    In March, Gaines tied for fifth place with trans swimmer Lia Thomas.

    She tied with a transwoman for FIFTH PLACE?! That’s the only example the transphobes have of transwomen allegedly wiping ciswomen out of women’s sports? If I was one of the women in 1-4th place, I’d be laughing with contempt and shaking my head with pity. (Okay, I’m doing both of those things now anyway.) “A tranny didn’t get gold, silver or bronze but she cheated me out of the tin medal that was my sex-based right?” This sort of tantrum gives sore losers a bad name. What a jucking foke.

  2. wzrd1 says

    What a surprise. A party that embraced sore winners welcomes sore losers.
    Color me speechless – from guffaws of hysterical laughter.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    It seems the shooter’s attorney is now claiming he’s “nonbinary.”

    Suuuuuuuuuure you are. Sounds to me like someone is trying to mitigate a hate-crime multiplier: i.e. “I can’t hate LGBTQ people. I AM a member of the LGBTQ community.”

  4. moonslicer says

    On occasion on a transgender forum you’ll see one member (in a particularly down moment) wail, “Why do they hate us so much? What have WE ever done to THEM?”

    I know the feeling, and it is a question I’ve thought about a lot. It’s a hard one to answer, but having listened to them ad nauseam and considered all they say, I’ve come to two general explanations:

    (1) There’s certain type of mentality that loves and demands a neat, orderly, tidy, simple little world. They cannot endure complications. Transgender people and gender non-conforming people generally mess up their tidy, orderly little world. It should be simple: you have men, you have women. That’s all there should be. There’s no need for anything else. And it infuriates them that the world refuses to be what they want it to be. Don’t they have their rights? So they vent their fury on those unnecessary, infuriating complications.

    (2) They see transgender people as outsiders invading their turf. First of all, it isn’t “their turf”. Nobody has a title deed to Planet Earth. But it is true that they’ve set up their own little society and defined transgender people (among others) as unwelcome outsiders, so that any time any one of them sets foot in their hallowed precincts, it constitutes (in their eyes) an invasion. So simple: toss them out, banish them for good, then complain endlessly and sanctimoniously if they decide they’re tired of banishment. How dare they challenge our dictates?

  5. microraptor says

    @4: The only places I’ve seen making that claim have been the usual far-right tabloids that make that claim about every shooter. Has anyone else done so yet?

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Reactionaries -like the old spartans – loathe what stands out from the norm.
    We also saw this in nazi germany, not only must humans conform to a simple norm, the towns and cities AH wanted to build in conquered Russia once the locals had been “eliminated” were intended to be identical.
    Absurdly, this is one of the first things Albert Speer found revolting with the fuhrer as he gradually began to question his rule.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    The most anti- Republican, anti -MAGA culture I can imagine is the “Culture” in the novels by the late Iain Banks. That would be a true techno-utopia.

  8. astringer says

    That’s Iain Banks with an ‘M’… The literature of Iain Banks is wonderful but deeply disturbing.
    (yeah yeah I know they were the same person, which makes the difference in style, and optimism, so notable)

  9. flange says

    Herschel Walker is the perfect Black person candidate for Republicans. He fits every toxic 19th Century Southern stereotype of a Black person: he’s brain-addled, over-sexualized, athletic, blissfully ignorant, happy, and malleable.
    Republicans’ malignant cynicism knows no bounds.

  10. raven says

    Iain Banks was one of my favorite writers.

    I just found his Culture novels one day, read one, said WOW, and randomly grabbed all of them I could find and read them. As it turned out, I read them all.

    About a year later, Iain Banks was dead from cancer.
    I had hoped he would live a lot longer and write more Culture novels.

    Most science fiction these days is dystopian, reflecting the Zeitgeist of our times.
    He could envision a better future where the good people always won in the end.

  11. Wounded King says

    I saw that in a Guardian article via the Associated Press on the shooting and it struck me as such a bizzare non-sequitur.

  12. whheydt says

    I run convention registration for medium sized gaming convention. I got a membership submission a few days ago on which the full name had a first name generally associated with one gender and a badge name generally associated with a different gender. There was also a note requesting that the dead name not appear on the badge.

    When there is a badge name, the badge print program puts the badge name in a large font with the “real” (there is no enforcement) in a smaller font underneath. In light of the comment, I simply entered the “real” name using the badge name as the first name.

    None of this is a problem for the con. About all it does is to give an example of why getting from the web form to the registration database is a manual process.

  13. drsteve says

    @9 I’d suggest checking out The Crow Road, the only non-sf Banks book I’ve read so far. It’s focused on the coming of age of a young man from a lovingly realized small town on the west coast of Scotland, and the drama and intrigue among the extended family and friends . It’s a hopeful book overall— death is a major theme but so is romance as well as the positive values of atheism.

    (I’m pretty sure Pharyngula was where I first really heard about Banks, and it was specifically the story of how he faced his own impending death that inspired me to seek out all the Culture novels.)

  14. microraptor says

    Wounded King @12: It looks like a transparent attempt to claim that the shooter couldn’t have committed a hate crime against LGBTQ people because they’re an LGBTQ person themselves. Which is of course baloney.

  15. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    Or a pisstake. Hard rightist Matt Walsh has been gloating that ‘leftists’ have to accept the killer’s identity but “we don’t”.

  16. jaytheostrich says

    I’m just curious at one part of this post… “a self-described 12-time NCAA All-American swimmer”. Wouldn’t that be a ‘fact’ that is easily confirmed? Why is “self-described” in there?

  17. Tethys says


    Perhaps it is the same impulse that causes media outlets to use the term ‘alleged’ killer, to describe the absolutely, positively, known killer.

    Alternatively it’s highlighting her hubris, because who thinks participating in elite college swimming/ football is a qualification for any real life skill?

  18. tuatara says

    Moonslicer @5

    Nobody has a title deed to Planet Earth.

    Um, isn’t that what the babble is? At least, as far as the christofascists are concerned, the Earth belongs to them (even though that specific title deed is only a promissory note they still think ownership has been transferred already).

  19. Stuart Smith says

    Honestly, “self-described” is something I would use when I wanted to highlight the fact that a person is lying.