Ever wonder whether running a campaign that calls an openly gay Republican opponent a “Mary”–a derogatory term for a homosexual–would play well in California? Freshman Democrat Scott Peters is poised to find out. Peters represents California’s 52nd district, which includes part of San Diego. Even after quietly removing the “Mary” post from the campaign blog, Peters has repeatedly tried to make Republican opponent Carl DeMaio’s sexual orientation a campaign issue, insinuating in one stump speech that it is the novelty of being a gay Republican that’s gotten DeMaio so much press:
He’s gotten stories in The Wall Street Journal, he’s gotten stories in the National Journal, all puff pieces about how this great, new, moderate, gay Republican is coming out and running for office. And they’re very psyched about it. And the Republicans in D.C., they love this.
Of course, maybe it’s smarter to talk about DeMaio as if he were a Republican curiosity than to take on DeMaio’s background (he was orphaned at 13; split up from his siblings by social services; put himself through university; built and sold two companies; passed pension reform as a city council member; and you know, has a perfect voting record when it comes to LGBT rights).
If DeMaio were a Democrat and Scott a Republican, I’m betting voters wouldn’t be as willing to overlook the prejudiced attacks launched in this campaign.