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DC's gay GOP is hitting the bottle over Foleygate

Not one ounce of pity for these professional closet cases. The blowback from Foleygate has these warped Republicans heading for the sauce. From Michael Crowley at The New Republic, “Gay GOP Misery“:

Until recently, says one gay Republican lobbyist, his counterparts on the Hill “had reached a point where you come to your work, you do a good job [working your ass off to legislate bigotry], you don’t cause problems for your boss, and you go home.” But then along came the Mark Foley scandal, with its rightwing anti-gay moralizing, liberal snickers about closeted hypocrisy, and a merciless wave of Internet gossip and “outings.” The lobbyist says he assumes every gay Republican staffer is “terrified right now.” And that has been enough to drive some of them to the bottle.

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One gay Washingtonian recalls running into an aide to a senior House Republican at a gay bar soon after FoleyGate broke: “He went out to get shitfaced, because he was so stressed out.” Chris Crain, a blogger and former editor of the Washington Blade, a gay weekly in Washington, D.C., also says such encounters have become typical. “This weekend, I noticed that the gay Republicans I saw were notably more inebriated than usual. I think they were self-medicating–and I can’t blame them.”…

It’s so much hard work protecting that closet, isn’t it, you losers? None of these gay Republicans actually fears losing their jobs — their homo-hating bosses up until this scandal blew wide open would never throw them under the bus. All of this agita stems from the anti-gay hypocrites starting to worry that the winds are shifting — they’ve bedded down with politicians who prize self-preservation over loyalty — and they aren’t sure where they stand if the closet door gets flung open because of this scandal.

This is a terrific piece (well worth the registration), covering some of the past pathological GOP anti-gay closet cases like Roy Cohn, the outing of Steve Gunderson (including the infamous bar confrontation with activist Michael Petrelis), and the differences on the left regarding outings in light of Foleygate — there are interviews with John Aravosis and Mike Rogers as well.

A priceless passage recounts a recent Washington dinner party — with both Dem and Republican gay movers and shakers — and apparently a gay former Clinton aide let into one of these gay hypocrites working in the Bush administration and said what we’ve all said in our minds (and on our blogs) a million times —

‘What you do for a living is hurting me, and my family, and my daughter I have with two lesbians. I personally view Bush as the most corrupt, vile politician in the world, and if you’re working for him, to me you’re one and the same.’ People were horrified.” But, he adds, “I refuse to be cordial or friendly or polite to these people. I think they are our mortal enemy. They ask the gay community to indulge them when they want a social life, but when they punch the clock they are trying to tear apart our families. They want it both ways.”

Amen. The free ride is over when you work to deny rights to taxpaying LGBT citizens for a flipping paycheck, willingly and publicly sucking up to the evangelical homophobes. These boozers would be better off spending the money that they are drinking away on a good therapist.

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You should also check out Michelangelo Signorile’s op-ed in the LA Times, “Media Should Have ‘Outed’ Foley.”

By not reporting on Foley’s deceitful life for more than 15 years — during which he portrayed himself as a heterosexual politician — the media enabled a man overwhelmed by the destructiveness of the closet to ultimately implode in the halls of Congress. By looking the other way on something that made them uncomfortable — reporting on closeted gay public figures, particularly those who are hypocrites — and by deluding themselves that it’s a privacy issue, reporters, producers and editors took part in perpetuating a fiction, one that may well have led to an ugly outcome.

…Foley’s closet wasn’t just about protecting his political career. He seemed to be filled with shame. According to one gay man quoted in the Washington Post last week who challenged Foley on his voting for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, Foley justified marginalizing gay marriage by saying, “I could never compare any relationship I have ever had to the nature of my mother and father’s relationship.”

For Foley, homosexuality meant second-class status.

Again, people in this mental state of self-loathing have no business holding public office — where they can determine the rights of other people. Foley — and others like him — are head cases. In this instance he was a powerful elected official who was protected time and again by those who should have known better.

Hat tip, Holly.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding