Recently, I wrote how Republican lawmakers in state legislatures across the country are making shockingly vile comments that we have come to expect from many Congressional Republicans. My last example was about Alaska State Rep. David Eastman, who talked about the “cost savings” to the government following the death of an abused child.
Colorado Rep. Richard Holtorf, who has gone off the rails before, has now truly thrown his hat into the ring. In a speech Tuesday, Holtorf took a stance against people with disabilities that paints him as a bully and a lunatic who is out of touch with both human decency and rationality. Discussing HB23-1032, a bill that briefly clarifies aspects of available remedies for violations of Colorado law barring disability discrimination, Holtorf managed to offend and confuse with his outlandish and hateful argument.
“If you’re dumb enough to get on this road and run the eight blocks, ten blocks and run in the ring and you get hurt, you own it,” he said, claiming “that’s Spanish law.” Holtorf added, “There’s no liability, there’s no lawsuits, you don’t get to do any of that. Because you’re responsible for the risks that you take in this running of the bulls.”
Wow. Citing the law of another country to criticize a Colorado bill is the least of the problems here. Acting as yet another seemingly outraged Republican, Holtorf likened all people with any disability to Spaniards who engage in bull fighting. His argument appears to be that people with disabilities somehow assumed a risk and as a result deserve no dignity or basic protections, including the right to live free of ugly discrimination.
The backlash was swift on Twitter, with one user summing up the insanity perfectly, tweeting “Apparently, I took the audacious risk of being born. My bad.” It is incredible that people like Eastman and Holtorf are elected lawmakers who still have a mouthpiece for such hate and ignorance. They are walking advertisements for why voting Republican is a colossally bad idea.