Jonah Goldberg thinks so. He agrees with what we have said here after McGreevey first came out…. the same day he resigned for his corruption in office.
Whatever the truth, it’s clear that McGreevey only came out because the wheels were coming off his political career. He tried to leap to safety by grabbing on to the guardrail of identity politics, declaring with focus-group clarity: “My truth is that I am a gay American.” That formulation — “my truth” — was exquisitely postmodern, implying that truth isn’t something we can all lay claim to any more. It must be personalized, relativized. It’s all about me.
By buying into this secular gospel, McGreevey appears to think that he can be cleansed of his sins. But real redemption requires admitting your mistakes, not merely the prurient details. As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Monica Yant Kinney notes: “McGreevey didn’t come clean. He just came out.”
In his memoir, “The Confession,” McGreevey offers any number of revelations, but they don’t add up to a confession. “Some things I’d done, or allowed to be done in my name, were morally repugnant to me,” he writes, presumably referring to the various aides, mentors and backers facing criminal charges or mired in scandal. But he dealt with that by “forgetting” or never allowing himself to know. “I had my people strike back-room deals I kept myself in the dark about or forced from my mind if I learned too much. Obviously this is one root of my memory problems.”
Translation: “I feel so guilty about my corruption I can’t remember it. But hey, would you like to hear about my porny gay trysts at truck stops? I remember those perfectly.”
Some gay rights groups were initially eager to make McGreevey a homosexual hero-martyr. The Human Rights Campaign celebrated the “courage” of America’s “first openly gay governor.”
But they seem to be getting cold feet. He’s not selling well. His appearance on “Oprah,” intended as the first waystation toward his beatification, received high ratings, but he generally got poor reviews. McGreevey is posing as a victim of something, but it’s not clear what it is. He lives with an Australian tycoon in a lavish manse in New Jersey. He reportedly got half a million dollars to describe how he betrayed everyone he claimed to love in Penthouse Forum detail. He told Matt Lauer on “Today” that he behaved so badly partly because he had straight parents who couldn’t teach him to be gay.
Perusing various gay blogs, one can find expressions of sympathy with the no-doubt real anguish of being in the closet. But as for McGreevey the man, there’s mostly contempt or prurient fascination. What there isn’t is a groundswell to make this guy a hero. Because he isn’t one.
I’m really just hoping McGreevey goes away. He doesn’t serve our community well and now he’s just using us (again) to hock his memoirs.