CommunityPam's House Blend

A hypocritical senator's closet bit the dust today

[Read the August 27, 2007 post on the Craig scandal here.]

Another senator who sleeps with men yet casts votes for legislation that discriminates against LGBT citizens has been revealed, courtesy of Mike Rogers. He reported it on The Ed Schultz Show today.

Who is it?

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Idaho’s Larry Craig.

Craig on the issues:

* Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)

Craig has a 0% rating in HRC’s 2006 Congressional Scorecard.

Mike Rogers’ sources, in multiple cities around the country, have confirmed “characteristics” of the senator that only those who have been intimate with Craig would know. Craig’s office was contacted repeatedly in advance of the outing and refused to confirm or deny whether he has had same-sex intimate encounters.

[UPDATE: Of course, now that it’s blowing up all over the blogosphere…more below.]

Craig’s office issued a statement.

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. (Audio of Rogers on the Ed Schultz show is available here.)

The Right, of course, is losing its cookies and missing the big picture, about this (who’d a thunk it?). It’s not about the sexual orientation of Craig, it’s the hypocrisy, stupid. The GOP and the fundamentalist Base have done nothing but play the gay demonizing card over and over, and the fact is that, at least inside the Beltway, it’s a Castro district on the Hill where gays are in power as long as they keep their orientation professionally under wraps.

Craig represents a textbook case of hypocrisy. He also voted “yes” on the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be noted that when the first openly gay member of Congress, Gerry Studds, died on Saturday, he left behind a legal spouse, Dean Hara (they married in Massachusetts). However, because of DOMA, the federal benefits normally due to a spouse have been denied to Hara.

Glenn Greenwald has pulled a ton of righty indignation from the past over the Clenis. These are the same people braying now about “privacy” for Craig. Too f*cking bad.

.As should be painfully obvious, the issue with Larry Craig — or with pointing out the wildly promiscuous recreational-drug-aided sexual behavior of Rush Limbaugh, or Newt Gingrich’s multiple, overlapping broken marriages — isn’t to apply our moral standards to their private lives, but is to apply their own publicly claimed moral standards, as well as the core tactics of the GOP, to document that they live in utter contradiction to the sexual morality they relentlessly embrace for political gain…

…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.

These wingers can bleat about the Dem slime machine all they want, but they need to look in the mirror. These are the people who gladly take that call on the batphone from Uncle Karl, the master of taking out the other side using whatever means necessary to stir the Base.

This act of outing Craig is simply pointing out legislators (and enablers) who are more than willing to legislate against those who wish to live their lives openly. If they are going to play the gay card they can’t run once they are caught with a stacked deck.

Shakes Sis gets it:

I would absolutely not support the public outing of a private citizen whose sexuality had no bearing on his/her ability to do his/her job, and whose job had no association with perpetuating public discrimination against the LGBT community. That covers just about every private citizen in the country. Public officials, however, are actively involved in making decisions that affect the LGBT community, and if there’s a public official who consistently votes to limit their rights, but is only afforded his/her position to do so by virtue of the protection of a closet, that’s a real problem.

After all, some of our fundie friends are at least intellectually consistent, calling for a “pink purge” — and even then, many know this would blow up in their faces (LA Times):

“The big-tent strategy could ultimately spell doom for the Republican Party,” said Tom McClusky, chief lobbyist for the Family Research Council, a Christian advocacy group. “All a big-tent strategy seems to be doing is attracting a bunch of clowns.” …A recent incident that upset social conservatives involved remarks by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week. With First Lady Laura Bush looking on, Rice swore in Mark R. Dybul as U.S. global AIDS coordinator while his partner, Jason Claire, held the Bible. Claire’s mother was in the audience, and Rice referred to her as Dybul’s “mother-in-law.”

“The Republican Party is taking pro-family conservatives for granted,” said Mike Mears, executive director of the political action committee of Concerned Women for America, which promo
tes biblical values. “What Secretary Rice did just the other day is going to anger quite a few people.”

Some social conservatives deny they are interested in removing gay staffers from the party.

“We’re not calling for what I’ve heard referred to as a pink purge,” McClusky said. “We’re asking that members [of Congress] might want to reflect on who’s serving them: Are they representing their boss’ interest?”

Well, gee, isn’t that asking them whether they should be employing those homos? And what about Craig? Should he resign? In the fringe fundie world, he would be disqualified as unfit to govern based on their “moral values.” Even worse, Craig would fit into Cliff Kincaid’s (of Accuracy in Media) conspiracy theory that the Homosexual Agenda is being accomplished through the GOP (Homosexual Blackmail on Capitol Hill) because of the public meltdown.

My, we are powerful.


Blogactive’s post with video: Senator Larry Craig…. What’s with the gay bashing?.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding