Party of Family Values: Father’s Day Edition



If you thought Tanner Flake was one seriously bigoted kid, wait’ll you get a load of Joey Heck’s twitterings . . .

Apparently, some of the “values” of the Party of Family Values need a little re-tooling.  How else to interpret the fact that, in one week, two separate spawn of the GOP—Tanner Flake (aka N1ggerKiller), son of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Joey Heck, son of Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)—are outed as social-media-opaths?  Two All-American white, Christian paragons (ok, ok one’s Mormon), sons of All-American white, Christian paragon fathers, spend their leisure time just frothing, fuming and twittering hate at anyone who isn’t an All-American white, Christian paragon i.e., faggots, niggas, women, Jews, Obama, Messicans, Obama, Indians, Obama, Muslims, etc. [in their words].  These kids, if nothing else, are equal opportunity bigots, they pretty much hate every one who isn’t a white male.

Now, I’m a mother, so I don’t need to be lectured on how hard it is to raise kids, how many things can go wrong, the deleterious effects of peer pressure, etc. by the “free to be adolescent a**holes” defense league.  It’s not easy to raise kids and I suspect that the internet and social media makes it that much more difficult than it was in my childrearing days.  But . . . seriously?  This is some hard core, deeply-rooted prejudice that just happens to mirror the hard-core, deeply-rooted prejudices of some movement conservatives and TEA Party activists that have been on parade for the past few years.

It’s pretty hard to believe that, with the casual frequency with which these kids laced their daily trivial conversations with hate-talk, that their parents were all shocked and awed by their kids blatant biases.  Things that become “second-nature” usually surface, at least occasionally, in the home.  And obviously, when these kids are in their “comfort zone,” they let it all hang out.

Both Sen. Flake and Rep. Heck have sort of apologized in strikingly similar, terse terms . . .


I am extremely disappointed in my son’s use of the offensive and inappropriate language on twitter: that type of language has never been permitted in our home.

I apologize to everyone he may have offended. My son also apologizes for his insensitive behavior. My wife and I have addressed this family matter directly with him and he has learned from it.

I wonder, does Joe Heck realize that just about everyone “may have been offended?”


I’m very disappointed in my teenage son’s words, and I sincerely apologize for the insensitivity. This language is unacceptable, anywhere. Needless to say, I’ve already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well


As a parent, I find those apologies on the lame side.  Both fathers say that they’re disappointed in their sons, but it’s unclear what they’re disappointed about . . . their kids’ language? their kids’ inherent bigotry? their kids’ stupidity in letting it all hang out in social media?  their kids’ obliviousness to how this news could impact Dad’s career?  What?

Both fathers seem to be focused on the “language” and keeping it out of social discourse but what about the feelings of hatred and prejudice that these boys are walking around with and infecting others with every day?  I’d much rather hear from Sen Flake and Rep Heck that part of their remediation is understanding why their boys feel the way that they do about others who are different.  Haters can be taught not to talk about their hate but that doesn’t mean that they won’t keep hating and act on it in different ways.

While I find it appropriate and admirable that both fathers apologized personally for their sons’ failures, I’m underwhelmed by both fathers’ assurances that their sons have apologized.  To whom did they apologize? to their Dads? to the targets of their hatefulness?  It seems to me that their apologies should be at least as public as their offenses . . .

I found I was not alone in that opinion:

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin is joined by other community leaders, including the Rev. Oscar Tillman of the NAACP, in issuing a letter to Flake condemning the recent racist remarks made by his son, Tanner Flake.

African-American community leaders said they want to meet with Flake in person to discuss the incident and his relationship with his African-American constituents.

“The Senator should meet with us. He apologized to thin air, not to us. This is an opportunity for him to do so in-person and to create what will hopefully be a lasting and healthier line of communication with the Black Community,” Maupin said in a statement Thursday.

The actual letter is well worth reading.

Over and above the “hate” problem, Sen. Flake has his work cut out for him and might even want to consider taking some “time away” from office to spend more time with his family (and I’m not talking about survivalist camp).  One of Tanner Flake’s social media exploits involved faking his own suicide on YouTube.  Is that a child-rearing alarm bell going off . . . ?

Just in case someone finds it relevant,  Flake supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. He has a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He has a 0% rating from the NAACP. He has a 7% rating from the ACLU.

Heck has yet to receive ratings for his actions in the House of Representatives.

Posted by Bette Noir on 06/14/13 at 09:32 AM • Permalink

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I am not a parent, but I am reminded of what my husband always says when he hears of this stuff: “it’s the parents, they learn this at home”.  Everything about Flake’s voting record supports my husband’s contention.  I have no doubt this kid learned it at home, but being an adolescent, he thinks expressing these things loudly and obnoxiously is both funnier and more macho.  I’m sure his friends loved it and echoed the same.

Mark Sanford, father of four boys, disappeared the weekend of Father’s Day.

“I am extremely disappointed in my son’s use of the offensive and inappropriate language on twitter: that type of language has never been permitted in our home,” Heck said.

The kid’s learning it somewhere.

I’m the father of two kids, so I know that parenting is hard work. But neither of my kids are sociopathic racist shitstains, so Flake and Heck must be really, really bad parents.

. . . so Flake and Heck must be really, really bad parents.

@Jamey, I tend to agree

Liberal pols’ kids can also be entitled cruds, but I can’t remember any of them spewing hatefulness~~their adventures in bad judgement seem to be more of the self-destructive, drinky druggy sort.

And let us never forget the adorable Palinettes, who couldn’t possibly have picked up their fondness for homophobic slurs at home….

Another example for Bad Fathers Day. I’m not sure how Pop Zimmerman believes this is helping.

That video is seriously disturbing shit. If my kid made that I’d be at the doors of a psychiatrist stat.  I hope his parents get him some help made available through his government health care plan.

Will no one here Help Reunite Autumn with her Father?”

Read the June 23rd entry, which explains what “the bitch” aided by a cruel, anti-father society did to this worthy young man!

Comment by Mooser on 06/16/13 at 10:53 AM

Kind of heartless of you to be making fun of an obviously hurt and grief-stricken father, don’t you think, Mooser?

Have you walked even ten yards in his shoes?

“Needless to say”?  Au contraire, Mr. Flake (if that really is your name).  Both of these “disappointed” dads write as though Junior called the opposing basketball team “a bunch of douchebags.”

THAT would be “disappointing.”  This is loathsome.  Both these apologies read as what they are—p.r. responses, the putting out of inconvenient little fires.  Does anyone, anywhere, think these kids understand the awfulness of the sentiments expressed?  Ie, are they ashamed?  Or just embarrassed and aggrieved for being in trouble?

We’ll hear from them again, you betcha.

The boys are just continuing the new Republican tradition of being loathsome little douchebags since Daddy will always fauxpologize for them to the media.

It could be worse, I suppose; they could be sexual predators, too.

Comment by Frank Stone on 06/17/13 at 02:25 PM
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