So I guess there are only two things in Idaho- steers and queers, and it turns out that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) is reported to be the latter:
Mike Rogers, who calls himself “the nation’s leading gay activist blogger” has just finished a nationally-broadcast interview on the Ed Schultz Radio Show in which he alleges that Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig has engaged in same-sex sexual activity.
Senator Craig’s office flatly rejected the claims. “The Senator says this story is absolutely ridiculous – almost laughable,” said press secretary Sid Smith. “It has no basis in fact.”
Rogers said he has talked to three men unknown to each other who all reported in detail their sexual encounters with Craig over the last four years. The men were of legal age, Rogers said.
My attitude- so what? Who cares if he is gay?
Oh- that is right- the GOP cares if he is gay, because if he is, it might suppress the voting base. Which is, of course, the only reason why the right wing is having a collective hissy fit about this ‘outing’ of Larry Craig. Even now, the GOP is running on a platform of gay-bashing.
I think these intentional outings of people is wrong- if Larry Craig is, in fact gay, it was his business and his business alone. If it were not for the GOP running around demonizing gays, pretending that acceptance of homosexuality will be the end of the world, and engaging in gay-bashing as political sport, closeted gays would not be closeted. I don’t know if Craig is gay, and I don’t care, and even though I disagree with people being outed against their will, it is, in large part, the GOP’s fault that being outed as gay is still considered a smear.
*** Update ***
And I am generally sympathetic to this viewpoint:
That’s how it’s done. You decry the gross invasion of someone’s personal life.
Then you take advantage of it.
To the extent Democrats speak about this at all, that’s a close approximation of what they’ll say.
Sure, unadulterated outrage is the decent reaction. But where’s the political advantage in that?
It is a shame that someone’s sexual orientation will be used as ammunition against them in a political campaign, and if the republicans had not been doing it for years, I would be furious. But hey- the party that has made whisper campaigns an art form (“Ann Richards was a dyke, you know!”- “John McCain has a black baby!” And for a look at the way Republican bloggers behave, look at the attacks on Andrew Sullivan.)
I think it is wrong that Craig was outed, but I think it is wrong my party has demonized gays for electoral gain for several decades. You reap what you sow, folks.
*** Update #2 ***
Commenters reminded me of the attempts to ‘out’ Glenn Greenwald. Here is Dan Riehl, today, on Larry Craig:
Not only has the party of John Kennedy, once dominant on national defense, given itself over to the blame America, appeasement movement represented by John Kerry … the party of Martin Luther King and civil rights has given itself over to the tactics of homophobic hate and Jim Crow in a quest for a power they can almost taste.
The closer they get to winning, the more of their sad, hate-filled, shallowness they expose. America needs to reject the demogogy we’re currently seeing from the Democrat Left by voting against it at the polls.
The loony Left has done what Republicans could not, re-energize the Republican base.
Here is Dan Riehl, just a few months ago:
To paraphrase learned Constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald, I don’t have the bandwidth to quote him, we cannot accept this blasphemy, treason and eliminationist rhetoric as representative of blogospheric political discourse. Or, something like that.
But I like the marketing angle. So, I’m thinking, what better way to take advantage of the current Liberal Blogosphere bonanza of attention we’ve been hearing about … mostly from them, than to launch a series of Gay Blogger Boy Toy dolls, so every Liberal commenter can take a likeness of their favorite Liberal Boy Toy blogger home.
According to our Liberal focus groups, we’ll need anatomically correct dolls for Gay male Liberals, but not so for the Liberal ladies and feminists – they like their Boy Toys neutered, research has shown.
And of course, you can’t offer a Gay male doll without a cat, so we’ll also be offering our special Wolcott addition – a charming, though mildly provocative Ocicat.
We may eventually come out with a sort of rag doll model for Conservatives who might like to have one around for a pin cushion – but our Liberal focus group informs us, we should put a hold on the manly bits for that model. You know those always seeking the moral high-ground, overly religious types, no telling what they’ll sneak off to the closet to do with a doll that comes with manly bits.
*** Update #3 ***
The outing crusade gains momentum. Look: I loathe the closet. I despise the hypocrisy in the Republican party. But a witch-hunt is a witch-hunt. If the gay left thinks it will advance gay dignity by using tactics that depend on homophobia to work, that violate privacy, that demonizes gay people, then all I can say is: they are wrong. They will regret it. It will come back to haunt them. And they should cut it out. The fact that their motives might be good is no excuse. Everybody on a witchhunt believes their motives are good. But the toxins such a witchhunt exposes, the cruelty it requires, and the fanaticism of its adherents are always dangerous to civilized discourse. What you’re seeing right now is an alliance of the intolerant: the intolerant on the gay left and the intolerant on the religious right. The victims are gay people – flawed, fallible, even pathetic gay people. But they are still people. And they deserve better.
He is right, of course. People shouldn’t be outed. And what has happened to Craig is, unequivocably wrong. But it wouldn’t be an issue if we hadn’t spent the last two decades villifying teh gay. Sullivan should look back at some of the things said about him- the numerous attempts to just waive his views off as irrelevant because Andrew is nothing more than a fag and the only thing he cares about is gay marriage.
*** Yet Another Update **
Dan Riehl continues to be hysterical:
The Senator denies the report. AND HE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO. This is America, at least I thought it was.
If you think this is a small matter, I’d argue you’re wrong. In total, from swimming in a sea of hate that responded to the death of innocent contractors in Iraq with “screw ’em,” prominent Democrat candidates have profited to the tune of $3.5 Million dollars. Below are just a few.
Last I looked, Tester running in Montana had half a million dollars in the bank. Half of those dollars came from a Netroots web now claiming an Idaho Senator is a homosexual three weeks before an election, as if it’s anyone’s business besides his, even if he were.
Is that the type of Democrat Tester is running as in Montana? Lamont is an empty suit, but he had no trouble filling his pockets with $400k from the very same source. And what of Jim Webb? Does he have a position on Gays in the military? Perhaps it’s out.
DNC Chair Howard Dean, Senators Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid, among others, traveled to Nevada to solicit support and lavish praise on the same individual whose blog is now featuring the clearest example of homophobic-laced hate in politics I’ve ever seen. Even today, they are raising money for a so-called expanded field.
Let’s face it- Dan Riehl knows homophobic-laced hate when he sees it. /snicker.
Dan is right, though. This is America. We could take Larry Craig out, waterboard him, and find out if he is teh gay.
*** What the hell. One more update. ****
Drudge links to this timely story:
Vernon Robinson, who has run a series of brash advertisements about the two-term Democratic congressman, charged that Miller wants to import homosexuals to the United States and supported scientific studies that would pay teenage girls to watch pornography.
“Those are San Francisco values, not North Carolina values,” said Robinson, repeating a common theme of his campaign.
A bemused Miller countered by blasting Robinson for a campaign mailer that implicitly suggested the congressman was gay and criticized Miller for being “childless.” Miller’s wife had a hysterectomy more than two decades ago.
“It’s clear that Vernon Robinson is obsessed with sex,” Miller said after the 40-minute debate, which also touched on issues ranging from Iraq to North Korea to illegal immigration.
During the debate, Robinson complained that Miller was one of 129 co- sponsors of a bill that would have allowed homosexuals to bring their partners to the United States.
Not only do Democrats support teh gay, they want to import them.