Thursday, June 7, 2018

Q Toon: For the Record

When I'm up late on Sunday night cussing at a blank sheet of bristol board that stubbornly resists becoming the editorial cartoon that I have to send to my editor by Monday morning, it would be really, really nice if I had some inside source on the Supreme Court who would leak to me that the justices were going to issue a ruling of particular interest to the LGBTQ community the next day.

Which is to say that this week's syndicated cartoon is not about the First Fondantmentalist Church of the Sacred Wedding Cake.

So instead, Buzz and Killer have noticed something remarkable about 2018 off-year elections. According to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, there are nearly 400 openly gay, lesbian, bi, transgender and queer candidates for local, state and national office — over 50 in Texas alone.
Former Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez, another Texas-based candidate, already shattered a ceiling last month when she became the first Latina and openly gay nominee for governor in the state. ...
Valdez, 70, is no stranger to breaking barriers. Despite her family’s fear that her running for public office would ignite a homophobic backlash in Texas — where it is still legal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity — Valdez was not deterred. In 2005, she became the only Latina sheriff in the U.S. and one of the country’s few out LGBTQ public officials.
Elsewhere, Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin has been targeted by right-wing PACs for defeat as she runs for a third term this year. Her TV ads focus on keeping American manufacturing plants open, but she has also opened up about her childhood with a mother who struggled with drug addiction. Colorado Congressman Jared Polis is giving up his seat to run for Governor, taking the risk of appearing in his TV ads with his husband and son by his side — standard practice for heterosexual candidates, but something most LGBTQ candidates have been counseled to avoid.

Consider the example of Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee for Texas's 23rd Congressional District. The former Air Force intelligence officer is an out lesbian, but only to a degree.
“My girlfriend teases me sometimes for not sharing enough about myself on social media, particularly as I endeavor into an arena where people need to know the person before they want to hear the policies,” Jones wrote in October, referring to a partner she did not name. “I can’t help but think that some of that is still related to the precautionary steps I took as a cadet and officer. All this to say, there are effects to not coming out, or feeling as though you’re not able to come out.”
But if some candidates now feel confident running as openly LGBTorQ, other candidates have decided that it's safe to run as an open Nazi.
In Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, in the state’s northwestern corner, Democratic incumbent Cheri Bustos will face a GOP nominee named Bill Fawell, who believes, according to CNN research posted Friday, that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job, and that Beyonce and Taylor Swift are stumping for the Illuminati, a worldwide domination sect that some conspiracists insist exists.
In the same state’s 3rd district, comprising southwest Chicago and its suburbs, Arthur Jones, a Nazi — not a sobriquet, his preferred affiliation — became the GOP candidate despite being rejected by national Republicans and the state party for denying the Holocaust.
Party leaders have also gone out of their way to denounce Paul Nehlen, who is seeking the soon-to-be-vacated seat of House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st, and Patrick Little, who is running for the U.S. Senate in California. Nehlen proudly attacks his enemies as Jews and Little is a white supremacist.
Mr. Little finished twelfth in Tuesday's "jungle primary," and Nehlen is unlikely to win in my home district (he's got carpetbagging Green Beret Nick Polce to split the pro-fascist vote with him).

Happily, there are hundreds of LGBTQ candidates and only eight seven Nazis running for office this year. If it's unlikely that any card-carrying Nazis will be sworn into office next year, however, there are plenty of Republicans running just to the right of Mussolini who will be. They may not call themselves Nazis — they may not see themselves as Nazis — but the Nazis recognize their fellow travelers.

As Patrick Little told MSNBC before the California primary, Donald Trump "dog whistled about globalists,” even if he "didn't understand he was talking about Jews until after the election.”

Radical right-wing candidates have had the wind at their back in 2010, 2014, and 2016. For all the talk of a "blue wave" this year, Trump has the bully pulpit (and his Twitter account) and a devoted following that believes any bullstool he, Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, or their Facebook friends from Smolensk tell them.

Besides, I seem to recall all the experts predicting a Hillary Clinton landslide not very long ago.

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