There’s a race for a seat in the U. S. Senate shaping up that’s sure to be high comedy and hotly debated for some time to come, not because of the seriousness of any issues to be discussed, but rather because the conservative candidate, Erick Bennett of Maine, is a jerk.
In a Facebook post dated December 11, conservative candidate Bennett made a comment about U.S. Representative and gubernatorial hopeful Mike Michaud, calling him a “closet homo” despite the fact that Michaud came out publicly over a month previous to Bennett’s statements. It’s clear that Bennett doesn’t understand what being in the closet means.
Here’s the full statement in all its homophobic splendor:
When his own Facebook friends called him out regarding his remarks, he defended his use of the derogatory term “homo” saying it was short for “homosexual”, the intent here to deflect comments that “homo” has ever consistently been used as an insult, or that bringing up a candidate’s sexual orientation has anything at all to do with the ability to govern.
Here’s his defensive statement on Facebook:
At the very least, Bennett is a jerk for including an already-known fact about another candidate in such a way to make it appear to be some sort of scandalous revelation. This kind of tactic has been used before in political campaigns with varying degrees of effectiveness. The only people who will really pay attention, and be shocked, are ultra-conservatives who don’t follow the local political news, blissfully unaware Michaud came out to everyone, a month before.
Here’s where things get interesting. Bennett has an arrest record of spousal abuse. The initial response might be “OH MY GOD HE’S GUILTY!” Indeed, he was found so in a court of law; the final ruling was that “the court did not commit clear error or abuse its discretion in excluding irrelevant evidence at trial,” and that “sufficient evidence does exist in the record to support his conviction.”
The problem is that we all know that “law” doesn’t mean “right and wrong” as it should. Just ask anyone who has served years of their life in a state penitentiary over a bag of pot or a few lines of coke. Better yet, just ask anyone on Wall Street. One in four families in the U. S. have at least one family member who has served time in prison or is currently housed in prison. The US imprisons more people per capita than China does. We Americans LOVE our guilty verdicts, and innocence has nothing to do with it.
Bennett unabashedly told reporters at a news conference that he was innocent regardless of the final verdict and that the system is stacked against those facing charges in domestic violence cases. He went on to say “All that needs to be done is you have to repeat what you wrote down in the police report and that allows the victim to be viewed as a credible witness.”
Bennett continued, “So basically, if someone writes something down, it doesn’t have to be true. All they have to do is repeat that on the stand … That’s grounds for anyone to be convicted of domestic violence.”
Bennett’s final defense was this: “The fact that I have been jailed repeatedly for not agreeing to admit to something I didn’t do should speak to the fact of how much guts and integrity I have. If I go to D.C., I’m going to have that same integrity in doing what I say, and saying what I do, when it comes to protecting people’s rights, as well as their pocketbooks.”
Of course, he’s right. Standing up to “wrong” regardless of the outcome is so noble, so heroic, it’s downright quixotic. The problem is that the rest of his rantings make him seem crazier than Don Quixote ever was.