This is very good news. I wrote about the campaign between Democrat Liz Mathis and Republican Cindy Golding yesterday, focusing on the weird robo calls that were going out to voters in that Iowa district, instructing them to ask Liz Mathis which homosexual sex acts she “endorses.” For their part, NOM and the local wingnut group [I refuse to type their English-language-assaulting name again on this blog] loudly proclaimed that they had nothing to do with the robo calls, as they transmitted the same exact message as NOM’s, but without the media-tested language they prefer.
Well, the Democrat, Liz Mathis, did indeed win the election, but as Jeremy points out, this is not a “victory for gay rights” — because the election wasn’t even freaking about that:
It wasn’t about marriage, largely. Liz Mathis’ victory over Republican Cindy Golding in Iowa’s 18th Senate District was about jobs, education, local business, property taxes, and a whole host of other true concerns. But by and large, the state’s marriage equality law doesn’t seem to have motivated voters in the area in a major way.
But that’s not what you would’ve heard from NOM, had the candidate that they backed to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars ultimately prevailed. This morning, you’d be reading NOM press release after NOM press release about Cindy Golding, her commitment to putting marriage up for a public vote, and how last night’s results send a message both in Iowa and nationwide. Regardless of what anyone on the ground is actually saying, NOM would still reduce and spin the results so that they spoke to one issue and one issue only.
[U]nlike NOM, I see a need to operate within the confines of reality rather than that which is most convenient to my cause. I truly believe that we, as an electorate, deserve better than contrived “culture war” fires, which is a big reason why I fight so hard to extinguish NOM’s rhetorical arson. So no: I’m not going to say Liz Mathis won because of her support for marriage equality.
Because they’re liars. BUT, and there is a “but,” and you really need to read all of Jeremy’s analysis, while this election was not about marriage equality, because of the way NOM inserted itself into the race, it was, in a way, about NOM, and the way their efforts to desperately insert bigotry into politics are going quite a bit too far for normal humans these days:
In fact, NOM’s overplayed hand seemed to turn off a lot of voters. I noticed on a couple of occasions how “just not into” NOM Cindy Golding seemed to be. Plus there was credible polling showing only a tiny fraction of voters who considered same-sex marriage a top priority, noticeable attempts from both campaigns to not talk about the (non-)issue, and much anecdotal evidence suggesting NOM had trouble finding a real local support system. That had to feel like a great slight to NOM, considering the considerable capital the organization invested in this race.
A pointed slight, I would say. Even though it wasn’t about marriage, largely, I would argue that this race was VERY MUCH about the National Organization for Marriage. Considering the enormous attention that NOM brought to the district via their quest to nationalize this hyperlocal race, local voters had no choice but to consider what NOM was selling. Ultimately, those voters — whether or not they support marriage equality or even support letting the current law stand as is –decided that NOM’s hyperbolic “protect the families” rhetoric was out-of-touch with the local flavor. Voters repudiated NOM.
Seriously, read it all.