(EDGE) A right-wing Massachusetts official sparked controversy when he posted a provocative - though seemingly left-field - question on Twitter, reports Patch.com.
"Generally speaking, are gay politicians too self-absorbed and self-centered to adequately represent ALL of their constituents in a fair and equitable manner?" Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty reportedly wondered in a Feb. 20 tweet.
Beaty's Twitter feed is full of similar queries — including one that asks, "Is our Cape Cod & Islands legislative delegation engaging in political harassment and/or bullying tactics toward me?"
Beaty's post about openly gay lawmakers provoked a barrage of criticism, some of it from fellow Republicans such as state rep. Tim Whelan, who the Cape Cod Times reported had called for Beaty's resignation.
Conservative news outlet the Washington Times reported on the controversy, noting in the headline to its story that Beaty "Blames Trump" for the "When did you stop beating your wife?"-style query.
The Washington Times said that Beaty "said he was just following the lead of President Trump, who routinely uses his Twitter account to express his opinions."
Newsweek reported on this angle as well, quoting Beaty as defending his post with the explanation that "I pretty much only do what President Donald Trump does relative to his social media postings."
Added Beaty, "If it is good enough for our president, whom I support 100 percent, then it is good enough for me as well."
Beaty's Twitter feed resembles that of the president in that it brims with attacks on Democrats, especially, of late, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A post from Feb. 21 offered this:
"In my humble opinion, the Democratic Party does NOT produce leaders, it spawns deviant hate-filled persons who need to find their way back to God before their souls are condemned to hell for all of eternity! Agree?"
Other posts on Beaty's feed posed questions such as, "Did you know that Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty is one of the few truly Conservative Republicans remaining in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?" and "POLL: Do you believe 'if Republicans (like County Commissioner Ron Beaty and others) send fewer angry tweets and offer more bipartisanship, they could start to win over a new wave of voters?' "
Still another tweet declared, "In 2016, I was elected to 'shake things up' and every so often that is exactly what I do...shake things up!"
NBC Boston noted that Beaty posted his query just a week after two openly gay state lawmakers — state senator Julian Cyr and state rep. Sarah Peake, both Democrats — were named to leadership positions within the government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The NBC Boston report included an archival video report from April 3 of last year that covered another controversial post from Beaty, who slammed Parkland school shooting survivor-turned-activist David Hogg. Beaty's post attacked Hogg as being an "inept political insect and socialist twist," and encouraged other Twitter user to block Hogg's posts.
Beaty's more recent inflammatory tweet appeared to have been deleted as of Feb. 22. However, a survey of Beaty's Twitter feed as it now appears revealed another Feb. 20 tweet titled "Statement from Ron Beaty Regarding Recent Social Media Posts," which reads:
"In this country, we have something called the United States Constitution, which includes our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech!
"I happen to be an elected public official who frequently asks questions, and chooses to exercise that God-given Right from time to time.
"Moreover, in speaking my mind, I am not politically correct and hope others will speak their minds in an equally candid fashion as well.
"Since I have done nothing wrong, then I have absolutely nothing to apologize for, and most assuredly will not consider resigning from my position as Barnstable County Commissioner!"