Tuesday, September 04, 2007

After the Purge of Larry Craig: Who's Next?

As I indicated yesterday, I fully support "outing" anti-gay voting closet case politicians regardless of party affiliation. Related to this topic is a column by Michelangelo Signorile (http://signorile2003.blogspot.com/2007/09/after-purge-of-larry-craig-whos-next_03.html) that explains why outing these hypocrites is relevant and timely. Moreover, the longer the LGBT community participates in the practice of hiding sexual orientation because it is potentially detrimental to career, financial and social success, the longer all of us can expect to be treated like second class citizens. The strongest offense is for as many of us to be openly gay as practicable and thereby change stereotypes. I know that my own totally out status has caused a number of people to re-think their old prejudices and homophobia. Therefore, let's out these anti-gay closet cases. Here are some highlights from Michelangelo's column:
The speed -- and brute force -- with which the Republican Party purged the newly-revealed bathroom sex troller among them is pretty astounding. The New York Times reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell forced Larry Craig's resignation by threatening Craig with a sensational, televised, McCarthyesque ethics investigation that could bring forth Craig's history of prior male-on-male sexual activities and force him to answer to all the lurid details.

The Republicans were fretting big time about their homo-hating base -- it's really all they've got left -- and they would do whatever it took to banish Craig, including bludgeoning him into submission with threats of further exposure. The Idaho senator may have pleaded guilty to a crime but his was a minor infraction --compared to the sleazy business of other Republican senators, including Alaska's Ted Stevens, whose home was raided by the FBI and IRS in the midst of an investigation of official favors he may have done for an oil company -- and Craig paid for his crime (with a fine).
Just a few weeks ago Republican Senator David Vitter appeared to have admitted committing a crime yet hasn't been investigated, let alone charged or paid any consequences. Glenn Greenwald exposes the double standard of the GOP evident in the treatment of Craig and Vitter, noting that, "the only kind of 'morality' that this movement knows or embraces is politically exploitative, cost-free morality," which is "why the national Republican Party rails endlessly against homosexuality and is virtually mute about divorce and adultery."

If the Republican Party has no choice but to tell its base that purging the queer members of Congress is the way to go, well then, there seem to be a few more Republican senators and house members that must be banished. It is now even more relevant for the traditional media to report on these alleged closet cases, considering how the party leadership has treated Larry Craig.

If, for example, the Senate Minority Leader himself, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, were secretly gay -- and there have been unsubstantiated though persistent rumors about him for many years, a la those previously unbelieveable rumors about Craig -- his antigay voting record wouldn't now be the only criteria that would make his secret homosexuality relevant. We now have him using blackmailing tactics against another senator, threatening to reveal that senator's past homosexual activities. Certainly that would rise to the level of relevancy to report on McConnell, wouldn't it?
If the rumors about other Republicans are true -- or not -- then there is even more reason now, in the post-Larry Craig Republican Party, for them to be investigated. So let's have a real investigation of the rumors about South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who, like Larry Craig until shortly after the gay rumors reached a crescendo in the 80s, is, at the age of 52, unmarried, and has been rumored to be gay for years. Like Larry Craig, Graham has voted antigay -- including for the federal marriage amendment -- while people in South Carolina and Washington have discussed what some say is an open secret for a long, long time.

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