O Utah Democrats, Where Art Thou?

Over the weekend the Utah Democratic Party voted to not put up a candidate to run against the insurrectionist Mike Lee. Instead, they decided to throw their support in with the independent candidacy of Evan McMullin.

Their reasoning—if you can call it that—is that this is the only chance they have of unseating Lee. Democrats on Twitter think this is a great idea. They are wrong. All of this is so incredibly, and depressingly, wrong.

Now you’re already thinking “But Angus King and Bernie Sanders are Independents and that has worked out really well for the Democrats.” And you would be right. But there is one fundamental difference with McMullin:  he has offered no guarantee that if elected he will work with Senate Democrats.

That means that Democrats will get nothing in return for their time, their organization, their money, and their votes. Nor is there any punishment if he reneges on his promise and joins the Republican caucus. Mike Lee might be defeated, but how does that help Democrats to just switch out one right winger for another? To put it cinematically:

McMullin hailed the decision as “Utah Democrats are putting country over party.” But whose country is being put over the party? And why do the rights of women, BIPOC, disabled people, LGBTQ people, and poor people deserve to be subservient to what a bunch of straight white guys want?

To start with, abortion rights are hanging by a thread, and McMullin opposes a woman’s right to choose. He opposes funding Planned Parenthood. He opposes any government subsidies to assist women to seek out this safe, legal (for now) medical procedure. The Utah Democratic Party threw the women of this country under the bus. It’s sickening.

Beyond a statement of rote support for the Supreme Court decision that legalized marriage equality (and a note that his church is against it so personally he’s against it too), McMullin literally has no position on LGBTQ issues. He has said he wants to move on from the issue of marriage equality, but he has no desire to spend one second thinking about how to help and support LGBTQ people. That’s appalling.

McMullin is completely nebulous on voting rights, apart from saying he wants to make sure all “eligible” people can vote.  He’s against the Affordable Care Act. He’s opposed to raising the federal minimum wage. OK, he’s opposed to the death penalty, but that doesn’t seem like much of a payoff.

The thing that just irks me to no end is that there was no forking effort made to tie the support of the party to any of his possible future votes. This year in Utah the state Democratic Party is going to spend their donors’ money to elect a right wing Republican. Wonderful.

The Utah Democratic Party needs to resist the siren song of stupidity.