Gub-Ment on the Down Low: Fear and Self-Loathing in New Jersey

When it comes to understanding what’s going on with newly-admitted ‘gay American’ Governor James McGreevey, there’s so much more than seems to be meeting the eye. It’s hard to know how much is self-examination, how much is extortion, and how much is plain old politics. (I haven’t yet even figured out who stands to gain or lose what from playing politics with this revelation.)

I’ve been trying to think of a rational reason why a public person would feel the need to resign under these circumstances, unless the threat of something worse were looming over his head (such as the threat of a down-and-dirty lawsuit). It seems almost preposterous that merely the revelation that the man is gay, in this day and age, would be sufficient to make someone feel unworthy to govern any longer. But we also don’t know the extent of self-hatred that McGreevey feel about being gay.

Of course, then there’s the little tidbit about appointing his alleged paramour to a high-paying position for which he was clearly not qualified. That wouldn’t be the first time that happened in politics, nor will it be the last.

The most troubling thing to me is the delta between what is happening now, under these particular circumstances, and what would be happening in an equivalent heterosexual situation. Clearly, there’s more than an element of self-loathing on the part of McGreevey. I have no doubt that there’s also an additional degree of lasciviousness, perhaps assigned by the media or perhaps embedded in the minds of the beholders, because this involves a gay man.

When the sordid gets sorted, as this eventually will, I hope that two things will happen.

First, I hope that McGreevey will come to terms with himself in a healthy way and minimize the damage to himself and those around him because, as a public figure, he has now made himself a posterboy for gay men and — so far, at least — I’m not rating him too high in that regard. If he gonna be representin’, he better be representin’ to a higher standard.

Second, I hope that whatever punishment, glory, disgrace or regard is applied to McGreevey is exactly commensurate with that which his heterosexual counterparts would garner. Because, let’s face it. The double standard not only exists, it’s heinous. In California, multiple sexual harassment charges, revealed well before our governor was even elected, didn’t seem to be sufficient reason for him to disqualify himself.

 

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Just What This Country Needs: More Hate Legislation

On the heels of George W.’s press conference yesterday, in which he informed us that his lawyers were working on a way to pass a national law to prevent gay marriage, the Vatican has launched a worldwide campaign to attempt to stem the tide.

Apparently, the blissfully unaware Bush forgot about D.O.M.A., the ‘Defense of Marriage Act,’ that his right-wing cronies managed to force through Congress. Or perhaps he’s worried that this essentially flawed piece of partisan hack legislation isn’t even remotely able to withstand judicial scrutiny should a state’s law put it to the test.

And apparently, the Vatican believes that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. And gay sex should only be between a priest and his altar boys.

The Savage is Restless … and Jobless

Three cheers to the fan/crony/colleague of the ‘Don and Mike Show’ who made the call that provoked the bigot that spewed the hate that triggered the outrage that scared the network that fired the bigot that rationalized the behavior that insulted the ‘gay mafia’ that lives in the town that media built.

In case you missed this episode, I’m referring to the firing of Michael Savage from MSNBC, which doesn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room these days when it comes to losing viewers. I have only two questions: (1) What brainiac put this lowlife on the air in the first place? and (2) What took the network so long to take him off?

The only downside of the firing is that this asswipe will now have martyr ammo. You know how these right-wing hatemongers like to make themselves into the victims, especially when their media empires begin to crumble. Dr. Laura used this approach. So did Bob ‘Child-Beater’ Enyart.

Never heard of Bob Enyart? A few years back, he eked out a pathetic little local TV career doing God’s work by reading the obituaries of local people who had recently died of AIDS and calling them sodomites and telling his UHF/cable-wasteland audience how much these folks deserved to die. What a lovely way to make a living. But this loser didn’t get fired for this, in spite of the protests. No, the axe only fell after he was convicted of child abuse for beating his own kid. (Expect at least one more Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris in Colorado when this poor spawn of satan grows up.)

Sanctimonious Santorum

Voted “most likely become a right-wing homophobe.”

Just had to weigh in on the Rick (“Sanctum”) Santorum idiocy of the last few days. (See the New York Times article for the details, in case you missed them.)

This guy is a textbook example of the hypocrisy and contradictions of right-wing conservative reasoning.

Aren’t the conservative Republicans always saying there should be less government? That always seems to hold true, except in the bedroom. (Sometimes I think that’s the only way some of these politicos can get into anyone’s bedroom.)

What’s that sucking sound in Washington? That’s the sound of Santorum filling the hate vacuum left by uber-bigot Jesse Helms’ departure from the Senate.

ACTUP=UNF?

It only took sixteen years.The ‘Silence = Death’ message of the AIDS activist organization ACT UP was a little too unpalatable for its time. The slogan was formulated in response to the Reagan administration’s failure to acknowledge the disease or devote any resources to finding a cure. Back then, it was all but impossible to rustle up any interest in the subject of AIDS.

But flip the pages of the calendar forward a sixteen or so years, and we now see a slightly soft-pedaled variation of that same message – ‘Apathy is Lethal‘ – as a cornerstone of the United Nations Foundation’s campaign to stem this global epidemic. It seems the world view is now virtually identical to the view that the AIDS activist visionaries of the ’80s were professing. Tragically, the delay in adopting such awareness has cost many millions of lives.

I don’t care how sorry anyone now feels for the bumbling old coot. Can anyone still say with a straight face that Reagan wasn’t evil, down to his core? Wouldn’t it be safe to say, since his administration did absolutely nothing regarding AIDS, that ‘Reagan is Lethal’?

Lying Sack of Shit Alert

Under grilling from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Attorney General designate John Ashcroft denied that the fact that sexual orientation had anything to do with his preventing a 1997 senate hearing which would have confirmed James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg. Hormel, who is openly gay, was highly regarded as an ideal nomination by virtually everyone, with the exception of Ashcroft’s co-conspirator, Jesse Helms. Helms managed to hop off his Li’l Rascal just long enough to help contaminate this process. The two wielded their power in order to refuse to allow the nomination come to a vote on the floor of the Senate. At the time, the only reason they gave was that Hormel was gay and that he was therefore not qualified to represent U.S. interests in Luxembourg.

However, when questioned today about this nomination, Ashcroft first said “I don’t believe I put a hold on Mr. Hormel’s nomination.” Then, he repeatedly stammered that his decision to deny this hearing had to do with “the totality of [Hormel’s] record.” Sadly, neither Leahy nor any of the other Senators on the committee pressed Ashcroft any further about what in Hormel’s record, if not the fact that he was gay, would have disqualified him. It is doubtful that Ashcroft could have named any one thing that was objectionable in Hormel’s record, who by all other accounts was pretty much above reproach.(Ultimately, Pres. Clinton did an end run around this travesty and appointed Hormel ambassador while the Senate was in recess.)

You can see the transcript of the hearing in the Washington Post.

P.S. I’ve been threatening for years to dance in the street when Jesse Helms takes his dirt nap. And my dance card is filled to capacity. Will someone please cue up Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?

 

Hey, Norton!

As part of Scary Right-Wing Bitches week, let me respectfully remind you to write your senators to request that they object loudly to George W.’s nomination of former Colorado State Attorney General Gale Norton for the post of Secretary of the Interior. (You can find out how to contact your senators on SayNoToNorton.org.)

Many environmental organizations, including The Sierra Club, have been objecting to her on her environmental record, which in and of itself should be enough to disqualify her from being the chief steward of our natural resources. But don’t forget (or perhaps you didn’t know) that, early in her term as State Attorney General, Ms. Norton was one of the driving forces behind Colorado’s now-overturned Amendment 2, the legislation attempted prohibited individual communities from passing any non-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians. Do we really need this kind of hate-monger in office?