Wehby: When support for rights is no support at all

T.A. Barnhart

You’ve seen the headline:

New Wehby Ad Touts Her Support For Equality

Except, of course, she didn’t. What Dr Wehby did was distribute a press release that says she supports equality. Clever, huh? At no point in her ad does Monica Wehby explicitly state that she supports marriage equality.

This is why the Koch Brothers spend millions to support campaigns like this: to develop lies that sound like something they are not. Here’s how the money and wordsmithing suckered one notable Beltway media outlet, “The Hill” —

Republican Senate candidate touts support for gay marriage

By Alexandra Jaffe

Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby is touting her support for gay marriage in a new ad, an unusual move for a Republican and perhaps the only example of such an ad from a GOP Senate candidate this cycle.

But here’s what the Wehby campaign actually says:

I’m proud and humbled to have the endorsement of Ben and Paul. Their courage to stand up for their family, and against inequality is inspiring and embodies the spirit I will serve with as Oregon’s next Senator.

Someone please point out where this is an endorsement of marriage equality. It is not. Wehby does not endorse marriage equality. She does not endorse the rights of Oregon’s GLBTQ community. She does not state that every Oregonian shares the same legal right to create a family via marriage.

She instead posts a video and sends out a press release that encourages people to believe that’s what she has done.

This dancing around an actual endorsement of marriage equality is not an accident. When she wants to endorse a policy matter, she’s crystal clear on that. From her website:

Dr. Wehby will fight to protect all our constitutional rights – including the Second Amendment, which is constantly threatened by outside interests wishing to abolish it. She’s an unapologetic and unstinting champion of the individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

She’s received the endorsement of the NRA, and she is very clear that she supports NRA goals and policies (although who the “outside interests” are that wish to abolish the 2nd Amendment goes unstated; should one assume that she doesn’t believe those who support universal background checks are Americans?).

Oregon Democrats, progressives and political activists: Read this stuff carefully. Monica Wehby is no friend of our causes. She is using Ben West and his husband as political props. I’ve no problem with them endorsing her for the usual political and policy reasons. Being gay doesn’t mean you’re a liberal, or believe in justice, or care about the needs of those most vulnerable in our society. Being gay means you are gay.

It’s not even a guarantee you’re smart enough to avoid being a tool for the Koch Brothers.

But if you think you’re better than the sheeple following Faux News, you can’t look at a headline like this and let it drift past unexamined. To be honest, I paid no attention to the ad or press release until a friend brought it to my attention. I am impressed at the skill behind this snowjob. The Koch Brothers’ money was well-spent. The propagandists got their job done.

We have to be smarter than that, however. Monica Wehby has not endorsed marriage equality, and she certainly has not endorsed full civil and legal rights for GLBTQ Oregonians. If she wanted to do that, she would. She endorsed the NRA’s right to determine gun safety policy. She’s endorsed term limits for the U.S. Senate. She’s endorsed expansion of charter schools and voucher programs. Explicitly, clearly.

Exactly what she’s not done for marriage equality. But she has approved suckering voters.

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