So the News Journal published a piece yesterday, “Progressive 2020 Candidates in Delaware Want to Unseat Democratic Incumbents.” Kinda of an obvious headline, because why else do you challenge an incumbent in an election except to unseat them, but whatever, I was glad our newspaper of record for local political news was actually covering local political news.
And everyone should read the post for profiles on 5 races where a progressive is running against a longtime incumbent. Well, really 4 races, since Sarah McBride in the 1st SD is not challenging an incumbent as Harris McDowell is retiring. And while her politics are progressive, and she is running as a progressive candidate, she has been embraced by the Democratic “Establishment” for quite a while now. So her race doesn’t really fit into the rebels v. establishment narrative.
Neither do the races featuring Larry Lambert v. Rep. Ray Seigfried and Keith James v. Rep. Sean Matthews, since neither incumbent is what I would describe as longtime incumbents or non-progressive. But the races featuring Eric Morrison running against Rep. Earl Jaques, and Madina Wilson Anton against Rep. John Viola, do fit that narrative. And this is what the News Journal had to say about it:
It’ll be the first time in a decade that incumbent Rep. Earl Jaques, D-Glasgow, has had to fight a member of his own party for the seat. Since first being elected in 2008, Jaques has only had one Democratic primary challenge, in 2010.
This latest race has quickly become a church-versus-state battle, particularly over LGBTQ rights. Morrison, who is openly gay and has performed as a female impersonator for nearly a quarter of a century, hosted an October campaign fundraiser in the form of a drag show.
And it’s caught Jaques’s attention. “That is so far off-base for our district, it’s unbelievable,” Jaques said. “You wonder what the point is. You can have fundraisers, I don’t care about that. But dressing in drag? Really?” The lawmaker pointed to the several churches in his district.
“I’m not sure he represents the people who attend those places of religion,” said Jaques, who is Christian. “If he’s actually having a fundraiser in drag, I don’t think those churches would endorse that … I’m just saying it’s a little different, that’s for sure.”
So Jaques is obviously anti-equal rights for gays. Indeed, he voted against marriage equality, and abstained from voting to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors in 2017. His comments reveal a bigotry that wants to hide behind his or “his district’s” religion. For good measure, he is also anti-choice and pro-Handmaid’s Tale when it comes to reproductive freedom. I don’t know about you, but if allowing moderates in the Democratic Party has to mean allowing bigots hiding behind religion in the Democratic Party, then I am for a complete and total culling of all moderates. If the choice is between the Equality Morrision or the Bigoted Jaques, guess where I land?
To be fair, Jaques has apologized.
In a statement on Wednesday, Jaques, 72, said his comments were “insensitive, hurtful, and simply wrong.” “It is wrong to attempt to pass judgment or impose one person’s belief structure onto others,” Jaques said in his statement. “My job as a State Representative is to represent all constituents of the 27th District, regardless of gender, race, creed, orientation or identity, period.”
However, I subscribe to the Maya Angelou quote “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Despite the apology, Jaques is still defending his “belief structure.” That’s like saying “I’m sorry for what I said, but I still hate gays.” We all now know who Earl Jaques is, and he no longer belongs in the General Assembly or in the Democratic Party.