To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, April 25, 2024


Portraitgate, Redux



In response to my piece about Rep. Lewis H. Moore, R-Arcadia, [Redecorator-In-Chief, 3.20.10], he sent me a message. I began my piece with this from an article in the Edmond Sun:

Some of the Democrat representatives are obnoxious and thin-skinned, Moore said. Being in the minority causes a constant grab for attention, he said.

Here is his message:


I never said that. My attempt at humor was misunderstood. I would not do it again. I went to rep shelton the same day… About an hour later and told him I had switched the photos. We talked, shook hands and mike and the speaker agreed it was over.

That was before spring break.

Call me if need more info.


Sent from my iPhone

My answer:

Who were you trying to amuse, the guys who were with you?

I might have believed the humor excuse, except it had been done more than once. When tea-baggers and protestors started showing up with guns at presidential events it stopped being funny. People were arrested for wearing shirts with a “W” crossed out in a circle at President Bush events because they were a threat. In Denver people were arrested because someone reported that they had anti-Bush bumper stickers on their car at a Bush event and now having guns is fine.

I realized something was really wrong when I was put in a free speech zone at the second President Bush event I went to and it was in May 2001, a long time before 9/11 and war and no protestors at that event were armed with anything, but signs. In fact I have never seen a weapon at any event I have attended and I have been to a lot of them.

My first event was in Miami the day one vote in the Supreme Court gave Bush the presidency before all the votes were counted. I took a tour, all by myself, up to where all of the GOP staffers from DC disrupted the counting and realized the only way they could have gotten there was with help from the Florida Secretary of State. That is a very secure building.

In Austin in May 2001 we were not supposed to be anywhere where the president might actually see us. We were moved four times in Austin, TX and then they lined up empty school buses between us and where he would speak at the dedication of the Bullock Library. We were protesting his election.

After the dedication about 25 of us moved to a corner across from the governor’s mansion where President Bush was having dinner. All we had were signs and we were not on the sidewalk. We were under a tree in a triangular corner between the sidewalk and a parking lot. There were 25 police motorcycles down one side of the street and about 30 police officers in the street between us and the governor’s mansion.

Then four mounted police officers [and I got all of the officer’s names] came into the group and trapped a young woman in a wheelchair against the tree and nearly knocked her over. One police officer, who was about my daughter’s age, mid-20s, came right up to me. I said, “Bull Connor is still alive and in Austin,” and I am sure he had no idea who that was or even cared, but he spat on me anyway. I was old enough to be his mother. I said no bad words and he spat on me from a horse. And then the limo with the President in it went speeding down the side with all the motorcycles with sirens going.

And today, a guy can show up at a presidential event with two guns strapped on and people cheer. Why is that? I have never seen what is happening today and I lived through the ‘60s and the Vietnam War.

Is there a particular reason you didn’t capitalize Mike’s name [Rep. Shelton] in your message? I wouldn’t have thought much about it if you had used no caps because some people never use them. You used caps on my name, yours and the beginning of all the sentences.

You better be careful about that sort of stuff.

If everything was so humorous why won’t they release the tapes of you changing the pictures in front of your friends.

You said there were only about 10 representatives there when you did it. What were you doing while you moved it? What were the other Reps doing while you moved it?

Just to let you know, I think it is really, really low to prevent Oklahomans from even being offered health care reform and the legislators are not being willing to do it themselves.

As usual, you want to be able to say, it was the decision of the Oklahoma people, not me. You did the same thing on gay rights. I do not get to vote on who my neighbors are so I can’t figure why letting them decide whether or not I get offered health care reform is a good thing.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.