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September 03, 2004

How to Nominate a Minority Republican

By Byron LaMasters

I think its a good thing that Democrats and Republicans have collectively nominated five Hispanics and African-Americans for U.S. Senate (Obama D-IL, Keyes R-IL, Salazar D-CO, Majette D-GA, Martinez R-FL) in this cycle. While there are currently no Blacks or Hispanics in the U.S. Senate, there will likely be two or three next year. That's a good thing for the progress of race relations in America. But what's not good for America is the manner in which racial minorities campaign in order to win the acceptance of a party that is super-majority White, has no African-American congressmen, and only one non-Cuban Hispanic congressman.

In order to win the Republican nomination, minorities must prove to the base of the Republican Party that they can hate just as well as Tom DeLay, Tom Tancredo and Rick Santorum. For Vernon Robinson - who emerged from nowhere to almost win a GOP primary in North Carolina last month - it was about hating immigrants. For U.S. Senate nominees Mel Martinez and Alan Keyes, its about hating gay people.

The Boston Globe reports on Mel Martinez:

Martinez, a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Bush administration who ran as a moderate, created a furor in the last weeks of the Republican primary campaign when he accused opponent Bill McCollum of being hostage to the ''radical homosexual lobby" because McCollum, a former US House member, supported hate crimes legislation. Martinez also said McCollum was antifamily because he backed embryonic stem-cell research.


But Democrats say Martinez's remarks about gays in a television ad and a campaign mailing reflect a ''bigoted" GOP agenda, followed by recent remarks by Alan Keyes, the Republican US Senate nominee in Illinois, that gays, including Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary, were guilty of ''selfish hedonism."

''Why don't they have Alan Keyes, who said what he said about Dick Cheney's daughter, and Mel Martinez, who bashed Bill McCollum as a sympathizer with the 'extreme homosexual lobby,' on the podium? They can show the true diversity of their party: an African-American Republican and a Cuban-American Republican who equally hate gay people," said Brad Woodhouse, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

In the Republican Party, supporting additional penalties for hate-related crimes is considered giving in to the "radical homosexual lobby". I can only see two possible explanations. Either the Republicans are soft on crime, or Republicans hate gay people. Any of my Republican friends care to answer that question?

In fact, Martinez's attack were so hysterical, that the St. Petersburg Times rescinded their endorsement of Martinez in the final week of the campaign:

The Times originally recommended former U.S. Housing Secretary Mel Martinez to Republican voters in Tuesday's U.S. Senate primary, but that was before Martinez took his campaign into the gutter with hateful and dishonest attacks on his strongest opponent, former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum. The Times is not willing to be associated with bigotry. As a result, we are taking the almost unprecedented step of rescinding our recommendation of Martinez.


No matter what else Martinez may accomplish in public life, his reputation will be forever tainted by his campaign's nasty and ludicrous slurs of McCollum in the final days of this race. The slurs culminated with Martinez campaign advertisements that label McCollum - one of the most conservative moralists in Washington during his 20 years as a U.S. representative - "the new darling of the homosexual extremists" because he once favored a hate crime law that had bipartisan support. A few days earlier, the Martinez campaign arranged a conference call with reporters in which a group of right-wing Martinez supporters labeled McCollum "antifamily." Why? Because McCollum supports expanded stem cell research to find cures for deadly diseases - a position that is identical to those of Nancy Reagan, Connie Mack and many other prominent Republicans.

At Friday night's Republican Senate debate, McCollum confronted Martinez and called on him to repudiate his campaign's sleazy, homophobic advertisements. Martinez refused. Later, he said he "wouldn't be in favor of that kind of rhetoric." But the rhetoric calling McCollum "the new darling of the homosexual extremists" and accusing him of making "statements in order to appease . . . the radical homosexual lobby" was included in advertising paid for by the Martinez campaign. If Martinez failed to review the ads before they were sent out under his name, he was irresponsible. If he knew what was in the ads and is now trying to distance himself, he is being dishonest. Either way, Floridians deserve better in a U.S. senator.

We don't need any more hatemongers in the U.S. Senate. Donate to the Democrat in the race, Betty Castor.

As for Alan Keyes - it's pretty much the accepted conventional wisdom that he's a certifiable nutcase, but in case you missed it, he took the opportunity to attack Dick Cheney's family at the very convention that was renominating him for Vice President. It would have been comparable to Barack Obama calling Jack and Emma Claire Edwards "dumb, retarded little kids". Here's what Keyes said about Mary Cheney:

Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois, told a radio reporter at the Republican National Convention that gays and lesbians are "selfish hedonists," including Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney.

A spokeswoman for the vice president called Mr. Keyes's statements "inappropriate.''

Mr. Keyes, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, made the comments in an interview with Sirius OutQ, a radio station aimed primarily at a gay and lesbian audience. Asked about his views of same-sex marriage, Mr. Keyes said he believed marriage should be limited to heterosexuals because it is grounded in sexual reproduction. Same-sex relationships, he asserted, manifested "selfish hedonism."

Asked if that meant Mary Cheney was a "selfish hedonist," too, Mr. Keyes said, "Of course she is," according to a transcript.

Memo to minorities running in GOP primaries (or wanting to get appointed to a nomination after the primary winner's divorce records are unsealed) - If you can convince the rank and file that you're one of them, talk about how much you hate gay people. It's a guaranteed winner.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at September 3, 2004 01:21 PM | TrackBack


That is hilarious. And of course, that's the problem with Republicans. Their whole agenda revolves telling you to do this, restricting you from doing that, and slapping your ass if you don't get in line. It's the politics of the RIGHT versus every other satanic hedonist out there. It's the lady two doors down who hears Jeff Ward say something she doesn't like and decides to inform me, "he's going to hell".

Want to toe the party line? Pick any group to hate. How about midgets? C'mon, they've got it coming! I might also suggest adopting a few pets for experimentation. That'll put you in line for the majority leadership.

Posted by: Greg at September 3, 2004 02:08 PM

I heard that Pres. Bill Clinton is going to the hospital with the likly diagnosis of a heart attack/blockage. Is he suppose to have bypass surgery or an angiogram?

Posted by: S. Craig Calame at September 3, 2004 02:23 PM

Don't forget Brad Carson of OK, who's a Cherokee.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner at September 3, 2004 04:59 PM

And Melvin Scott, R-IN, is African-American. But he's going to lose to Evan Bayh as bad as Keyes is losing to Obama.

Posted by: Alex Power at September 4, 2004 06:01 PM
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