Nobody, not even local gay activist Jim Maynard himself, actually believes that his write-in candidacy for the 9th congressional district, announced last week and still not acknowledged by some news outlets, can succeed. He is, after all, running against the hugely popular Democratic incumbent, Harold Ford Jr., and even he cannot suppose that his animating issue opposition to a constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be heterosexual only reflects majority opinion.
But Maynard has, to say the least, the courage of his convictions something that is not in generous supply among politicians overall and something that is not, sad to say, the dominating feature of the otherwise excellently equipped incumbent. In response to Maynard's claim that Ford had gone back on a prior pledge not to support the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment, the congressman issued a statement affirming both his support for workplace rights for gays and his opposition to gay marriage.
Fair enough and perhaps even correct. But Ford has developed the unfortunate habit of parsing and calibrating his utterances to the point that, as one critic said of another politician, "he never enters a sentence without leaving himself at least two ways out."