The South Carolina GOP Senate primary just got a whole lot more interesting. Incumbent Lindsey Graham has been guarding against an attack from the right wing of the party because he’s insufficiently delusional to satisfy the base. (He’s still a crank.) What he may not have prepared for was an attack on his heterosexual creds. One of his primary opponents, Nancy Mace, retweeted a tweet from a Florida supporter that included the sentiment “Nancy Mace vs Nancy boy Graham,” presumably because she agreed with it.
Mace deleted the tweet after ten minutes, apparently unaware that nothing ever disappears from the internet. Her campaign did not respond to media requests for comment. Mace, the first female graduate from the Citadel military academy, is a Tea Party favorite who has criticized Graham for being insufficiently conservative and, now, insufficiently straight.
The tweet raises a delicate issue for Graham, who has long been dogged by gay rumors. Bloggers regularly refer to him as Huckleberry Closetcase. Graham, who has never married, keeps having to deny that he is gay to a variety of media sources, including GQ (not exactly the straightest magazine on the newsstand) and The New York Times. Tea Party activists, who have the same kind of weakness for conspiracy theories that closeted Republican Senators have for bathroom sex, have alleged that Graham is nice to the Obama administration (i.e., he acknowledges Obama is president) only because he’s being blackmailed by the Kenyan Socialist cabal that knows he is gay.
Needless to say, Graham is unalterably opposed to anything gay, at least in legislative terms. He was against including protections for same-sex bi-national couples in immigration reform, opposes marriage equality, and has a 15% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, which is about 30 percentage points too high for the Tea Party’s taste.
The South Carolina primary is not until June 10, 2014. Given that Mace just launched her campaign a few days ago, it promises to be an interesting ten months.