According to the national media, being a gay Republican candidate for office automatically qualifies one as a moderate.
By Andy Cohen
Carl DeMaio has himself back in the news again. And this time—for him, at least—its’ for the right reasons. And no, it’s not the usual UT-San Diego drivel about how Carl is the “Savior of San Diego,” Doug Manchester’s Golden Boy (although given the most recent mayoral selection process, it seems that DeMaio may have fallen out of favor with his “Papa.”)
This time DeMaio has garnered the attention of the national media. The Wall Street Journal first picked up the story about the first openly gay Republican candidate for Congress to feature his partner in a web ad, a serious departure from accepted GOP norms and surely a shock to the system of the Republican establishment.
The Washington Post then picked up and ran with the story, calling him “a moderate Republican who is running for Congress in Southern California who is openly gay.”
Carl “believes in equality and diversity and is a defender of our personal freedoms,” declares the ad. This must have come as quite a surprise to the San Diego LGBT community, who let the then mayoral candidate know in no uncertain terms what they thought of DeMaio and his stand on equality during the 2012 San Diego Pride Parade. He was not exactly warmly received.
DeMaio has, in fact, been soundly rejected by the very San Diego LGBT community that he now so “proudly” claims to be a part of. “Since the days of Harvey Milk, the LGBT community has been a part of the populist movement to make the American Dream work for everybody. Carl DeMaio wasn’t a part of that movement; he was an anti-immigrant, anti-worker defender of the 1% who never lifted a finger for women’s rights. That’s why the LGBT community rejected him so resoundingly,” said local LGBT activist Linda Perine in Britain’s Pink News.
DeMaio is being packaged as a moderate Republican extraordinaire who is poised to take Congress and the GOP by storm, defender of gay rights and equality for all, which makes for a great and attractive story for the national media. And they’ve bought it, hook, line, and sinker.
But if the national media types had actually bothered to do any research, they would no doubt have to ask themselves why he was so loudly booed at the Pride Parade, an event where in theory he would be welcomed as a community hero. And they would have to ask themselves why DeMaio lost the San Diego LGBT vote by a two to one margin in the 2012 election, allowing a Filner victory.
Being gay does not automatically make one a moderate, as the WSJ, New York Times, and Washington Post would apparently have us all believe. By their line of thinking, a gay Republican candidate cannot possibly be a Tea Party extremist.
To paraphrase Sister Sarah, you can dress a pig up in pretty clothes and lipstick, but it’s still a pig, no matter how insistent you are in denying it. You can paint Carl DeMaio as a reasonable, moderate Republican all you want, but the guy is as Tea Party as they come, only without the batshit crazy and with a lot more snake oil.
DeMaio is so pro-gay rights that he happily and eagerly jumped in league with anti-gay zealots Charles LiMandri and his “Papa” Doug Manchester, two of the biggest supporters of Prop 8, California’s anti-gay marriage amendment that was passed in 2008 (and recently overturned by the Supreme Court). DeMaio never took sides in the gay marriage fight, revealing his true colors on the matter. Only recently has he rather meekly acknowledged a tepid support for same-sex marriage. Gay rights is the Civil Rights issue of our time, and yet DeMaio has sat idly by while Scott Peters—his incumbent opponent in the 52nd Congressional District race—has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights and marriage equality.
DeMaio’s idea of good governance is simple: The less the better. He stands for fewer consumer protections, no wage protections, and lower taxes on his wealthy friends. Collective bargaining is a no-no, having expressed his deeply heartfelt desire to turn San Diego into the “Wisconsin of the West,” referring to that state’s near elimination of union and worker’s rights. He is vehemently against a raise in the minimum wage. He is a staunch proponent of outsourcing, particularly when it comes to the public sector. The man would outsource city jobs to China if he thought it would look good on the balance sheet, which may earn him kudos in conservative circles, but it’s been proven to be bad for the economy.
Austerity is the name of the game for DeMaio. It’s doubtful that he’s ever met a budget cut he didn’t like. And as a member of Congress, we can look forward to DeMaio voting in lock step with the Tea Party to ban abortion, defund food stamps, privatize Social Security, and end Medicare as we know it. Not to mention countless more votes to repeal Obamacare in addition to the 40 some odd votes that have already taken place yet have accomplished exactly nothing.
And regarding health care: DeMaio would prefer a return to the old system where women paid higher premiums for health insurance than men just because they’re women; individuals can be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition; kids would no longer be able to stay on their parents’ health plan until they’re 26; insurance companies charge more for less coverage, and were not required to spend at least 80% of the premiums they collected on actual health care, allowing only 20% for “administrative costs” and profits (Medicare operates with only 4% overhead, whereas insurance companies routinely claimed 30% or more for operating costs).
In DeMaio’s world, insurance companies are the good guys, health care consumers are the bad guys.
Carl DeMaio may be gay, but he is certainly no moderate. It would really be nice if the national media types would actually do some research on DeMaio’s policy positions before they went on spreading that fallacy.
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