We live in interesting times, times full of lustful people, gluttonous people, lazy people, envious people, greedy people, angry people, prideful people,…., and just generally disagreeable and hateful souls. So sometimes conversation — much less debate — is worse than futile. It just stirs up the wrath of lustful people, gluttonous people, lazy people, envious people, greedy people, angry people, prideful people,…., and just generally disagreeable and hateful souls.
Still, I was mildly surprised when I heard this news on WMAL
Long-time Republican incumbent Del. Bob Marshall said he will not debate his opponent, Danica Roem, an openly transgender woman. Marshall said he has debated candidates in the past, but he believes right now there is a distinct lack of civility. He said his opponent is exercising what he called “an extreme attack” on his record. (from here)
What is going on? Well, here is a bit more on how Marshall explains the matter.
Incumbent Del. Bob Marshall is refusing to debate his Democratic challenger, Danica Roem, because he says her campaign has referred to him as “Bigot Bob,” an insult he says “disqualifies” the two from face-to-face discourse.
Marshall, R-13th, said the phrase “is simply not correct” and suggests his Roem is more interested in “hurling insults” than discussing public policy.
In the same interview, Marshall doubled down on calling Roem, a transgender woman, “he,” asking a reporter: “Why do you call Danica a female? Did Danica’s DNA change?” (continued here)
Because it is “historic”, the news media is hyping the race between Danica Roem and Delegate Bob Marshall. Marshall leaves little doubt that he does not believe it is government’s role to cater to the whims of the sexually confused. Roem, on the other hand, has made an issue of his transgender status while at the same time claiming his status should not be an issue.
Surprisingly, The Washington Post has a somewhat objective article on the debate on the debate.
“In the last few elections, there’s been a distinct lack of civility,” said Marshall (R), a 13-term incumbent who has participated in candidate forums in the past. “Prior to that, it wasn’t so bad. You weren’t automatically identified as a bigot, or a hatemonger or anything like this. That has changed.”
Marshall, 73, is facing an aggressive challenge by Roem, 32, who would be the first openly transgender person to win elective office in Virginia. So far, Roem has outraised the outspoken conservative by a 5-to-1 margin, collecting nearly $568,000 as of last month from both local and national donors, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Marshall had raised nearly $97,000, VPAP reported. (from here)
Without question, Roem is getting a huge amount of funding because his status as a transgendered candidate has attracted national attention. The vast majority of Roem’s campaign donations are coming from out-of-state, and they are coming from big donors. Just one out-of-state Democrat gave Roem 20 percent of his funds, This Wisconsin Democrat gave $115k to elect Va.’s first transgender lawmaker.
So what is likely to happen if Marshall debated his opponent? Well, here is an observation from that relatively objective Post article.
Marshall’s Republican allies say it’s smart for an incumbent to avoid engaging with a challenger in a public forum, especially if that opponent is capable of drawing a crowd of supporters eager to focus on issues they think will benefit their candidate.
“It would totally turn into Danica Roem supporters making it about their sexuality and gender identity,” said Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine M. Lawson (R-Brentsville.) “They’re so fixated that they cannot help but make it about it that.” (from here)
Undoubtedly, Roem would relish turning the debate into such a circus. Consider this item from his facebook page.
My driver’s license identifies me as female.
My passport identifies me as female.
And after nearly four years of hormone replacement therapy, five years of gender therapy, 12 rounds of facial laser hair removal, a legal name change, and overcoming a lifetime of gender dysphoria to present to you as the woman I am today, my delegate still refuses to acknowledge my lived reality.
Please help me defeat him.
In the same interview, Marshall doubled down on calling Roem, a transgender woman, “he,” asking a reporter: “Why do you call Danica a female? Did Danica’s DNA change?”
In a free country, why does anyone have to acknowledge Roem’s lived reality, whatever that means? Consider the irony. DNA doesn’t matter? In spite of everything Roem has done to change his appearance, his DNA still identifies him as male, and it is that fact that has made candidacy such a draw for prurient interests, especially those in the news media. Hence, a debate would create a news media circus, but what good would it do the people who live in Marshall’s district? None. None whatsoever. Is anyone spending any time seriously considering local issues like transportation and congestion? Thanks to Roem’s candidacy? No.