Thursday, September 23, 2010

Be Careful What You Use As Campaign Fodder

By now, most people have heard of Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for Delaware's senate seat.  She's the candidate who spoke out against masturbation and who may have illegally used campaign funds for personal expenses.

What has been getting the most attention, however, is her dabbling (her words) in witchcraft.  And apparently she went on a date with a woman (gasp) while she was doing this.  Don't get me wrong.  I think Christine O'Donnell is completely unfit to serve as Senator of Delaware.  I stand unequivocally opposed to just about everything she supports.  But I'm extremely uneasy about the glee many Democrats have expressed at this new revelation about O'Donnell.  I think the Democrats are entering ethically questionable territory when they start using people's spiritual beliefs -- or even the exploration of a specific spiritual belief -- in order to score political points.  I find it just as disturbing that her going on a date with a woman has become political fodder.

It's one thing to highlight a candidate's hypocrisy during a campaign.  And indeed, O'Donnell has been wildly hypocritical in her anti-gay, anti-anything but Christianity stance.  But that's not what I'm hearing from the Democrats.  They seem to be implying that her exploration of a spiritual belief and the fact that she had a date with a woman is juicy enough to keep her from being elected.

I'd prefer that the Democrats just not go down that path.  There is a great deal to question about O'Donnell's readiness for elected office, not the least of which is her possible violation of campaign laws.  That's serious.  And I think it's a lot more acceptable to question that rather than her spiritual and romantic past.

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