Rick Sutton


If April showers bring Hoosier May flowers, what do May primaries bring?

Entertainment.  For politicos, at least.

Anyone who loves to follow politics got a quick and potent dose of 2016 political reality.  Like getting a drink of water from a fire hose.

In the short span of six days, Donald Trump visited Indiana twice.  With his usual nonsense.  Ted Cruz invited Carly Fiorina to be his vice presidential running mate.  Neighboring Gov. John Kasich inexplicably stayed away completely.

Trump and Cruz made gratuitous visits to the Governor’s Residence, in a smarmy media event that was, well, not pretty.

Our own Gov. Mike Pence endorsed this Cruz-Fiorina train wreck, only to walk it back seven days later.

And this just the Republican side of things.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made one Indiana appearance. Her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders criss-crossed the state named ended with a solid barrage of appearances, and ended with an epic Monument Circle Election Eve rally that had all the trappings of a Bobby Kennedy event.

The final result: Cruz and Kasich lose miserably and drop out, leaving Fiorina at the altar.  Trump triumphs and gets the anointment he’s sought since last fall: presumptive Republican nominee.   Sanders beats Clinton by 5-6 points but the final delegate count could be nearly even.

Any of you who have friends in other states no doubt got updates on “the Indiana thing” during that week prior to the primary.  While the candidates campaigned for our votes, the Republican candidates pulled out all the stops.

All the Republican candidates vowed to overturn Obergefell and Windsor.  As if they could.  The right-wing pandering was epic, if pathetic.  Many Republican friends are aghast that their nominee is someone who can’t even  get George W. Bush’s support. Pappy Bush is another matter, and so apparently in Speaker Paul Ryan.

The Democrats shouldn’t dance just yet—although it looks like their presumptive nominee, Mrs. Clinton, will be ripe fodder for Trump’s attacks.  He’s already started.

Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.  Since Karl Rove wads dispatched to gleefully peddle anti-equality nonsense to bolster GWB’s first campaign, the seeds have bene planted.  It wasn’t just an anti-LGBT message.  It was a solid southern strategy that targeted all social issues.

When you push that platform for 16 years, don’t be surprised when it comes home to haunt you in the form of a New York huckster who isn’t about to back off his outrageous public pronouncements.

For a couple of wild weeks, we were the center of the political universe.  Until Ted and Donald jumped the shark big-time.  I’ll never forget it.

Rick Sutton is a long-time LGBT rights activist.