A must-read on a stubbornly politically closeted pol
California Republican Congressman David Dreier was the center of Beltway controversy when he was promoted as the man to keep Tom DeLay’s House Majority seat warm last year, and then was mysteriously demoted, it was over much of the blogosphere that it was because he’s a big old homo.
This is common knowledge in DC, but not back home with his constituents. The local media keeps its mouth shut.
Mark Cromer, one of the the reporters who published a scorching outing piece in Hustler, is running an extensive series on how and why Dreier has managed to keep the local press (and in fact, the MSM) from politically de-closeting him, called No Articles Were Found. A snippet:
Dreier’s political paradox finds him simultaneously cavorting with his chief of staff and long-time companion Brad Smith (reportedly living with him as well) while making common cause with his party to strip gays of basic protections, from employment law and hate crimes legislation to the GOP’s kamikaze attacks on the radical notion of allowing homosexuals to say ‘I do.’
Thus, Dreier’s unflinching loyalty to the Republican platform and his skill at publicly living a charade has served him well in the GOP, just as he long as he never seriously hoped to reach beyond representing a safe congressional seat. The party leadership has been quite comfortable to allow him his seat and to chair the powerful House Rules Committee, but that’s where the leash ends.
The whole Dreier debacle over the majority leader post shows you the state of journalism today. It’s pathetic.
A staffer at the Daily Bulletin called me up right after Blount had been named interim leader and sardonically laughed that the newspaper’s readers were treated to a now well-established magic routine: Now you see Dave, now you don’t. The newspaper, he noted, reported that Dreier was a serious contender for the leadership post, but in the ensuing shuffle Dreier’s supposed candidacy simply evaporates and little if any contextual explanation is offered.
Since the newspaper’s reporters and columnists are absolutely forbidden to address the issue, even obliquely, Dreier’s supposed promotion ends up looking like a bad Christmas decoration that is left hanging outside long after December: everyone sees it, no one says anything and then one day it’s just gone.
…The reasons for protecting Dreier’s sexual identity differ between the Los Angeles Times and the smaller Tribune and Daily Bulletin, but there are common threads that connect them.
In the Times case, the primary issue seems to be one of shielding Democratic sacred cow Art Torres, chairman of the California Democratic Party and himself a closeted homosexual.
Oy, this is juicy. Go read the rest…
It seems like I’m blogging about an endless stream of losers like Dreier, and the damage that they are doing as long as they are willing to be used by the wingers to gay-bash. These conservative gay politicians need to get a backbone (to be fair, it would also help if all gay elected officials came out, regardless of party affiliation), and make an honest case for why there should be a marriage amendment, for example.
I think we all know that if they did come out — with all the baggage that entails — they might have a different opinion on the matter. But the closet is so good for power acquisition in the Republican party, isn’t it?
Dreier did learn, however, that there is a lavendar-tinted glass ceiling, huh?
As I’ve said before on the Blend, while folks can differ with theoretical fully out gay Republican legislators on many political positions, It’s pretty clear that we could unite on basic gay civil rights issues. But what’s common among the closeted Republican homo-hypocrites is that their padlocked closets are impeding their ability to think clearly. They are are living a lie, and often they are products of their environment — socially conservative families and neighborhoods, that make the personal aspect, let alone the political aspect of coming out too psychologically difficult to deal with.
Look at Ed Schrock.In my opinion, closeted gay legislators like Schrock who consistently work against the cause of gay civil rights have no business being in public office.
They are simply unbalanced and not able to carry the weight of the closet, a weight I can guarantee you is more of a burden, as a human being, than coming out and dealing with the fallout. I don’t know anyone who has come out that would prefer to be back in the closet. Late last year, Patrick Guerreiro of the Log Cabin Republicans (a group I just don’t understand most of the time) wrote a great editorial finally challenging the Dreiers on the Hill to kick open the closet door.
Now is the time for closeted gay conservatives to find the courage and personal strength to stand up and be counted. Now is the time we can really make a difference. If every gay conservative came out of the closet today, the journey to full equality would be over in years instead of decades.
It would soon become ineffective to use gay and lesbian families as wedge issues in campaigns. The cynical efforts to amend our federal and state constitutions would be stopped. The hypocrisy of anti-gay political tactics being used by way too many Republicans and some Democrats would be finally exposed.
One of the biggest unkept secrets in Washington, D.C., is that closeted gay Republicans are everywhere: the White House, Republican Party organizations, the halls of Congress, the most influential law offices, and the most powerful lobbying firms in our nationâ€™s capital.
Some of those who remain closeted have chosen to be either passive bystanders or, in some cases, active critics of our movement while comfortably partaking in the fringe benefits of our community work, sipping the finest martinis in our trendiest gay bars.
Time after time, we’ve seen that these folks are unable to reconcile who they are with their ethics, morals or basic priniciples. These politicians need to come out, get a shrink, and not any votes to restrict my rights until they resolve their personal demons about their orientation.
Hat tip, PageOneQ.