Gay Outings

Ken AshfordElection 2006, Right Wing Punditry/Idiocy, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

If you’re not following the "gay outing" controversy, you should be.

A gay activist blogger has released the names of GOP Congressman including social conservative Larry Craig (R-Idaho), GOP governors, other GOP politicians and their staff who, it is alleged, are closet homosexuals.  This is apparently not errant name-calling, and there is (supposedly) proof to back up his claims.

Now, why would he do such a thing?

That’s the question right wing bloggers are asking themselves.  I mean, if this guy is gay, then why should he CARE if there are gays in the GOP?  Why is he trying to expose them?  And the rightosphere is shocked — shocked — that the left is using sex in a political way.

TBogg mimics the right wing reaction and reduces it to this:

"Larry Craig is not gay and even if he was, which he isn’t, it’s wrong for liberals to point out that he might be gay (BUT HE’S NOT!) because there is nothing wrong with being gay (which Larry Craig isn’t) and it’s a dirty trick because it might cause conservatives who actually love gays (a group that doesn’t include Larry Craig..the gay group I mean) but have a hard time showing it, to not vote for him because they think he might be gay (not that he is) and we loves us some gays…and Larry Craig!"

The answer of course is this: the object here is not to expose gays, but to expose hypocrisy.  The names on the list are people who, like Mark Foley, cater to the anti-homosexual "values" voters while themselves being, or employing, homosexuals.  Will it cause a rift in the GOP?  Of course.  But the rift was already there.  This just brings it into the bright light of public scrutiny.

Greenwald explains:

Why does it even need to be pointed out that the issue isn’t the sexual morality of Larry Craig, Rush Limabugh and Newt Gingrich, but their vile hypocrisy, equally embodied by the anger being expressed by Bush followers over the use of sexual issues for political gain?

While many Bush followers are aware of this fact and cynically pretend not to understand it, others (I think the majority) are genuinely incapable of understanding that point because they block out the reality that the political movement to which they pledge their loyalty has made private sexual morality and exploitation of people’s private lives a central political weapon. Just as they spent three years blocking out the extreme violence, chaos and civil war they brought to Iraq (and some still do), they just refuse to recognize facts that undermine their desires.

Watching Bush followers angrily objecting to the use of sexual behavior and homosexuality for political gain — or listening them oh-so-solemnly lament how the Good People are being driven away from politics because of the personal, invasive treatment to which they are subjected — is about as jaw-droppingly astonishing as any spectacle one can fathom. This is a political movement built upon claims of moral superiority in the sexual and private realms. It is truly difficult to express the level of contempt and scorn that is merited when the most fervent supporters of that same political movement pretend to be offended and angry when it is revealed that the lives being led by their political leaders are grossly inconsistent with the sexual and moral values they claim to monopolize.