Beltway smarties love to slag the Democrats for supposedly mismananging the abortion issue. Wouldn't it be nice if this happened to the Republican Party once or twice?
Well, it's theoretically possible in Maine.
You see, there's a Republican in the Maine House of Representatives named Brian Duprey. He's a far-right zealot and a clown: He opposes abortion and gay rights (a bill supported by Maine's governor that would merely extend Maine's nondiscrimination laws to gay people is too extreme for him), but he's proposed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Maine and -- most notoriously -- he's also proposed a bill that would make it illegal to abort a fetus that has the (yet-to-be-discovered) "homosexual gene."
No, I'm not making this up.
The guy's just a childish right-wing prankster -- he pulls this crap strictly for effect. He sounds as if he'd be Ann Coulter's dream man, except that he's married, and he and his wife have five children ("whom they home school," as he is careful to point out on the Maine House Republicans' Web site).
The "gay gene" stunt is making him semi-famous:
He recently appeared on the Rush Limbaugh radio show and on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor." On Thursday, a crew from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" visited the Capitol for a story on Duprey. House Republican staffers say the Stewart segment will air Thursday.
And the thing is, he's thinking of running against Olympia Snowe, one of Maine's two pro-choice GOP senators:
Q. Are you going to seek higher office in the next few years?
A. I am considering running for the Senate against Olympia Snowe. If I can raise enough seed money to kick off a credible campaign, I will take the initiative and run. I will be watching her voting record very carefully. If she votes against President Bush’s judicial nominees, or tries to block the President’s agenda, it will speed up my decision to run.
That's from an interview at the Web site of the Christian Civic League of Maine, which seems to be closely allied with Duprey, and whose head sounds like a real sweetheart:
The issue of a so-called "gay gene" came up at the State House last fall when the head of the Christian Civic League of Maine issued a statement questioning whether Gov. John Baldacci had one.
Wouldn't it be nice if, in a blue, tolerant state, the voters of the Republican Party rejected a moderate and put an unelectable gonzo extremist on the ballot?
Maybe it could never happen -- Snowe's surely going to have quite a bit of financial support from the banking industry, given the fact that she voted for the bankruptcy bill and her husband has worked as a consultant for MBNA -- but is it possible? Could a national groundswell among right-wingers result in a serious challenge to Snowe?
I say: Run, Brian, run!
(Some links via Progressive Reason, Maine Politics, and scoopernicus.)