Recently on her show, Rachel Maddow took on what might be the most childish Republican attempt at gay baiting ever, as Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has been trying to spread the rumor that her primary opponent Rep. Mike Castle is gay in the clumsiest way possible. It would be funny if it was not so sad.
Here is the video via MSNBC:
Maddow first discussed O’Donnell’s work with a Christian group that claimed that it could cure gay people, and then she moved into the gay baiting of O’Donnell’s Senate campaign, “Gay issues have also been an undercurrent in the O’Donnell for senate primary campaign. A political consulting firm hired by Christine O’Donnell produced this video little more than a week ago with this bizarre out of the blue accusation that her primary opponent, mike castle, is secretly gay.”
The video stated that the rumor is the Castle is cheating on his wife with a man. Maddow added, “That’s the rumor. That’s the rumor because you just said it is. Yeah. The people who created this video were not still working for Christine O’Donnell at the time they made the “that’s the rumor” video but O’Donnell has distanced herself from the accusation by bringing it up over and over again, even as she denounces those dirty tactics, she keeps going out of her way to repeat the accusation, both in a written campaign statement and multiple times when she was asked about it on talk radio, I think that that’s a very tacky approach. I never said that mike castle was gay. I don’t endorse putting out rumors that mike castle is gay.”
Rachel mocked O’Donnell’s obvious attempts to repeat the rumor, “Now, did you want to ask me about whether or not Mike Castle is gay? Is that what you’re asking? I never said Mike Castle is gay. The Mike Castle is gay thing? That what you’re asking about? It’s kind of obvious what you’re doing. Christine O’Donnell has now outclassed even herself on this subject. Making clear if they weren’t before, the grounds on which she really is trying to run a U.S. Senate campaign against Mike Castle.”
Maddow concluded, “Christine O’Donnell has got Sarah Palin’s endorsement. She got the Tea Party endorsement and the out of state money that goes along with it and this year in this Republican Party, that puts you in reasonable standing to win a Republican senate primary. I keep hearing that the Republican Party is now really progressive on gay issues. Wishful thinking? I would like you to meet Christine O’Donnell, and no, there is no cure.”
The Delaware Republican Senate primary is one of the most interesting primary races in the country, because the state Republican Party is actually supporting O’Donnell’s opponent, Rep. Mike Castle. The state party has been doing everything they can think of to get rid of O’Donnell, and with good reason. Castle is a popular Republican in a heavily Democratic state. If he is the Republican nominee, the GOP is likely to win the seat. However with O’Donnell as the nominee, Democrats would be in a good position to retain the seat.
The Hill recently reported that the Tea Party is hoping for a Joe Miller like victory in Delaware, and they are investing heavily in O’Donnell to the tune of $250,000 so far. As of now, Castle still leads, but internal polls show O’Donnell gaining.
The Republican Party has not changed their stance on gay issues at all. The GOP is trying to seem more moderate, because their extremist Evangelical Christian influenced positions are way out of step with the opinions of a majority of Americans, so Republicans are taking a more moderate tone in the hopes of getting gay issues off the table, but the radical anti-gay positions of the Tea Party candidates, like O’Donnell appeal most to the GOP base.
O’Donnell’s junior high ask gay baiting is a custom fit for the homophobic far right. Rachel Maddow was correct. It is painfully obvious what O’Donnell is doing, and even more painful is the realization that this is exactly the kind of attack that is effective with a segment of Republican primary voters. A leopard can’t change it’s spots, and it will be actions not words that will determine if the Republican Party has truly changed it’s positions on gay issues, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the GOP to join the rest of us in the 21st Century.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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