The special election for Massachusetts' 5th District isn't winning much national attention because there's no chance whatsoever of Democrats losing it. When he ran for Senate, Ed Markey left behind a safe blue seat that was carried by 32 points by Barack Obama last year. Republicans have failed to recruit anyone for the general election, leaving them with a choice of frequent, unsuccessful candidates. So whoever wins the Democratic primary will probably be a congressman. State Rep. Carl Sciortino, who's openly gay, is getting attention this way:
A slightly-less-liberal district sent Barney Frank to Congress for decades, so this isn't the sort of "hey look at that" eye-opener that it would be in, say, Alabama. (If we're naming states holding special congressional elections that no one cares about.) But most people are old enough to remember when coming out to one's parents wasn't a cute, life-affirming moment you'd play with if you wanted to win an election.
TODAY IN SLATE
The World’s Politest Protesters
The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.
The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans
How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.
Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses
Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.