Isn't it Weird That ... The GOP Missed a Chance to Trash the Democrats on Gay Rights?

There's something weird—or missing—from the GOP's critique.

By Ezra Parter April 22, 2014

Isn't it Weird That

Isn't it Weird That... 

Yesterday, the Washington State Republican Party put out a press release alleging that the Democratic Party marginalizes female candidates.

They were making hay out of state Rep. Cyrus Habib's (D-48, Kirkland) announcement that he's nudging former Kirkland mayor Joan McBride aside in the race to fill state Sen. Rodney Tom's seat. (Tom, the dissident Democrat who has caucused with the GOP for the last two legislative sessions, was Public Enemy #1 for the Democrats this election season and McBride was the only candidate to step up and run for the seat ... that is, until Tom dropped out ... which prompted Habib to go for it.)

Don't worry, that's not the weird part. The GOP certainly has the right to criticize the Democrats for the oafish maneuver.

Former GOP spokesman (and Tom spokesman) Keith Schipper tweets the Habib news

What strikes us as as weird, though, is that while making the case against the Democrats, the WSRP quoted PubliCola as folllows:

As Publicola reported on April 17, "Habib's apparent machinations are reportedly annoying other Democrats, who don't like the idea of undermining McBride's run....  Habib runs the risk of angering female voters and female party members ... who may see a boys-club aspect to Habib's potential move."

What the GOP omitted with those elipses is that we also said gays and lesbians had cause to be angered by the Habib news. McBride, who recently married Margaret, her partner of 14 years, is gay. But the WSRP didn't knock the Democrats for marginalizing a gay candidate.

We asked the GOP why they weren't appealing to gay voters about the apparent slight, but WSRP Interim Communications Director Steve Beren declined to discuss it.

You'd think a party championing equality would be quick to point out all possible slights committed by their adversaries, but it seems the Republicans don't believe homosexuality deserves to be used as political ammunition. 

We dream of a day when all people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, can be used within the rhetoric of political squabbles.

We have a call in to Democratic state Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27, Tacoma)—the only remaining lesbian in the state legislature (Rep. Mary Helen Roberts is retiring)—to get her take on the Democrats' decision to pass over the chance to elect the first lesbian to the senate. There are currently two gay male state senators and two gay male reps.



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