Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Liberal Group Condemns Sen. Anthony Muse's Divisive Campaign Flyer // Marriage Equality Foes Admit Division is Goal

UPDATE: The national progressive blog Daily Kos has picked up the story of State Senator Anthony Muse's divisive flyer.

This week, Maryland Juice posted campaign flyers from State Senator Anthony Muse, who is currently trying to replace U.S. Senator Ben Cardin in the April Democratic Primary. We noted that Mr. Muse's literature may mislead voters into thinking that President Barack Obama had endorsed Muse, when in fact he had endorsed Senator Cardin for re-election. We also noted that Mr. Muse voted against the Dream Act and was a leading opponent of marriage equality in Maryland.

A number of readers, however, have also pointed out that Mr. Muse's literature seems to pit voters against Maryland's Jewish community. They point to the following portion of his literature:

One Maryland Juice reader commented:
...the anti-Semitism of that palm card just leaps off the page. Let's not forget that Ben Cardin is (ahem) Jewish. 
I particularly like the "subtle as a sledgehammer" use of "Jewish" alongside white, black, Hispanic and Asian, and the doubly insulting insinuation that Jews are something other than white. You stay classy, Anthony Muse. 
The overall thrust of this palm card, again beyond the lie, is Muse's completely transparent attempt to empower the African-American community by appealing to blatant bias against Jews. "Hey, look, THOSE people are overrepresented. That should be OUR Senate seat." Disgusting.
PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY CONDEMNS MUSE LIT: The liberal advocacy group People for the American Way (PFAW) picked up on the story and is condemning Sen. Anthony Muse's literature. Trivia: PFAW's former head was Ralph Neas - the 1998 Democratic nominee for the 8th Congressional District.
Disturbing Campaign Literature in Maryland

...Muse, an African American minister in the Washington suburbs, is challenging Sen. Ben Cardin in a Democratic primary election next week. Cardin is Jewish. Maryland Juice has posted a copy of a Muse sample ballot reportedly being distributed at some early voting centers that seems to indirectly make Cardin's religion an issue. The second page notes the underrepresentation of African Americans and other people of color, but also seems to go out of its way to imply there are too many Jews in the Senate.

What legitimate reason is there to include a count of Jews in this tally, when there is no count of any other religious group? Noting that Jews are 12% of the Senate but only 1.8% of the population seems designed to stoke unwarranted and dangerous resentment among voters who are justifiably frustrated that there are no African Americans in the U.S. Senate today.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY OPPONENTS ADMIT GOAL IS TO TURN COMMUNITIES AGAINST EACH OTHER: Notably, PFAW's piece recent post about Muse also notes that the anti-LGBT group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has also admitted that its goal is to stoke divisions between African American and Latino voters and other Democratic constituencies. Does this sound familiar to you? (Ahem  *cough* - Archbishop O'Brien & Anthony Muse).

PFAW commented:
The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage is being widely condemned as Americans learn from previously secret organizational documents the lengths it is willing to go in order to turn one community of Americans against another. This week, campaign literature from one of NOM's allies in the fight against equality, Maryland state senator Anthony Muse, is raising questions as to whether he is using similar methods himself.

HRC EXPOSES DIVISIVE TACTICS: If you haven't been following the new revelations about the disgusting, divisive tactics that are being employed by anti-LGBT activists, check out this recent article from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). They obtained copies of strategy documents, where the anti-marriage organizers detail the very strategies we are watching unfold in Maryland:
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF MARRIAGE: “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…” 
Another passage: 
"The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation." 
On PDF page 12, it talks about “sideswiping Obama,” painting him as a “social radical” and talking about “side issues” like pornography.

MARYLAND JUICE CONCLUSION: Wow. So Sen. Anthony Muse -- who has appeared at Tea Party rallies to fire up the anti-LGBT base -- is playing directly into rightwing divide-and-conquer activist tactics (see their playbook here). NICE!

This is what happens when one part of the Democratic base tries to capitalize on hatred towards another part of the Democratic base. That's why we all need to hang together, and its why Sen. Anthony Muse has no future as a statewide candidate in Maryland or in national Democratic politics.

Sorry, but its the truth!

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