Rhode Island Democrats Are Fucking Weird

There has been weirdness afoot in the Rhode Island Democratic Party! The tiny state once was known as the bluest in the nation (it has slipped in the rankings), but it's still pretty damn blue. So you'd think Democrats in power would support progressive candidates and positions, right? Nah! The party has just today rescinded its endorsement of Michael Earnheart for a seat in the legislature; the Trump-supporting "alt-right" moron voted as a registered Republican as recently as the 2016 election. Earnheart is running against a progressive incumbent named Moira Jayne Walsh, a popular young legislator who seems to have hurt the party bosses' feelings. The party also declined to endorse two other progressive incumbents, because "reasons."

Before we get into the meat of this story, it's important to point out that Rhode Island is fucking weird. Its "Democrats" are basically Republicans half the time, and the outsized influence of the Catholic church there has led to a "Democratic" legislature that hates abortion. No, seriously, they're fucking weird:

Rhode Island received an "F" grade from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2016 and has a General Assembly run almost entirely by Right to Life-backed Democrats.

"It's very bizarre," said Craig O'Connor, director of public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. "When I talk to my national colleagues, I have to explain that just because we're a state where Democrats have 85 percent of our legislature, it does not mean we are a state where reproductive freedom is safe."

But some people have been trying to change that! For instance, Ms. Walsh, whom we mentioned above! But nah, Rhode Island Democrats decided to go with this guy:

On his Facebook page, Earnheart describes himself as a "moderate" and responded to queries about his political positions in late May with statements of support for the "Second Amendment" and a promise to "defend against legislation that attempts to stop or interfere with lawful gun ownership." [...]

An archived version of Earnheart's Twitter page accessible on the Wayback Machine and surfaced by the group Organize Rhode Island also features retweets of posts by Roseanne Barr, Donald Trump Jr., Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, and alt-right journalist Laura Loomer. Earnheart also made Islamophobic comments over a retweet of a post by alt-right figure Gavin McInnes about "Muslim pedophiles." "We are normalizing grooming gangs and creating and lending legitimacy to rape culture by allowing these garbage human beings to live in civilized society," he wrote. "Is the UK government actually stupid?"


Party chair Joseph McNamara released a statement Thursday morning rescinding his endorsement of Earnheart. So that's nice, WE GUESS. Of course, it would be nicer if they hadn't endorsed that guy to begin with, or if they hadn't endorsed two other assholes running against incumbents who are progressive women:

[T]he party stood by a lawmaker who has previously been indicted on charges of sexual assault and is accused of domestic abuse, and who is currently under indictment on perjury charges. It also backed a former lawmaker with multiple arrests on his record, including one in 1994 vehicular homicide, over the vice chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party Women's Caucus.

Those folks sound just great!

As for the progressive ladies they haven't been supporting? There's Walsh, who apparently is in big trouble with the party because she has a habit of openly calling them on their shit:

Walsh told Slate that the state party's endorsement is "punishment" for her opposition to the positions of Rhode Island's House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, a pro-life Democrat who had an A+ rating from the NRA in 2016. "This is all very expected with the way our political machine is run in Rhode Island," she said. "It only took two years to piss off the speaker this thoroughly. I'm pretty impressed with myself."

Oh man, we like her!

Then there's Rep. Marcia Ranglin-Vassell, who as NBC News points out is one of only eight black elected officials in the legislature. The party decided to go with some white Catholic professor dude who hates abortion instead. Then there's state senator Jeanne Calkin, who, like the other women, committed the crime of beating one of the more establishment types. (And by "establishment," we mean "Rhode Island Democratic establishment," which as we have noted, is fucking WEIRD.) The party went with a buddy of the guy Calkin beat.

Rhode Island's primary election is on September 12. Wonkette heartily endorses all the women the dingbats who run Rhode Island's Democrats can't seem to bring themselves to support, because fuck those assholes.

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[Slate / NBC News]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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