**UPDATE BELOW** Welcome readers from Instapundit, The Corner and Mary Katharine Ham!
From liberal blogger David Corn (of The Nation and “outing Valerie Plame” fame) comes this disturbing development in the Foley saga.
There’s a list going around. Those disseminating it call it “The List.” It’s a roster of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay.
On CBS News on Tuesday, correspondent Gloria Borger reported that there’s anger among House Republicans at what an unidentified House GOPer called a “network of gay staffers and gay members who protect each other and did the Speaker a disservice.” The implication is that these gay Republicans somehow helped page-pursuing Mark Foley before his ugly (and possibly illegal) conduct was exposed. The List–drawn up by gay politicos–is a partial accounting of who on Capitol Hill might be in that network.
I have a copy. I’m not going to publish it. For one, I don’t know for a fact that the men on the list are gay. And generally I don’t fancy outing people–though I have not objected when others have outed gay Republicans, who, after all, work for a party that tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians and that welcomes the support of those who demonize same-sexers.
What’s interesting about The List–which includes nine chiefs of staffs, two press secretaries, and two directors of communications–is that (if it’s accurate) it shows that some of the religious right’s favorite representatives and senators have gay staffers helping them advance their political careers and agendas. These include Representative Katherine Harris and Henry Hyde and Senators Bill Frist, George Allen, Mitch McConnell and Rick Santorum. Should we salute these legislators for being open-minded enough to have such tolerant hiring practices? After all, Santorum in a 2003 AP interview compared homosexuality to bestiality, incest and polygamy. It would be rather big of Santorum to employ a fellow who engages in activity akin to such horrors. That is, if Santorum knows about his orientation.
Let’s be clear about one thing: the Mark Foley scandal is not about homosexuality. Some family value conservatives are suggesting it is. (GP Ed. Note – So are most Liberal Chestbeaters…. calling Bob Beckel!)
But anytime a gay Republican is outed by events, a dicey issue is raised: what about those GOPers who are gay and who serve a party that is anti-gay? Are they hypocrites, opportunists, or just confused individuals? Is it possible to support a party because you adhere to most of its tenets–even if that party refuses to recognize you as a full citizen? The men on The List might want to think hard about these questions–as they probably already have–for if I have a copy of The List, there’s a good chance it will be appearing soon on a website near everyone.
Full citizen? No party has the power or right to tell me I am a full citizen. Supporting or opposing gay marriage does not make you a hypocrite. It makes you question the policy on its face. I am a full citizen thanks to the US Constitution.
Did it ever occur to Mr. Corn that the representatives and Senators he mentions that may or may not have gay staffers do not care about their sexual orientation yet value their participation as public servants? Is it not rational that you can hire a gay staffer, but at the same time oppose PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS that you are morally or philosophically opposed to without being labeled a homophobe?
Perhaps Mr. Corn is ignoring the fact that most gay conservatives identify more strongly in our American Identity than our Gay Identity. Did that ever cross your mind, Mr. Corn? Probably not since you seem to have had no problem outing a CIA agent and then letting others take the fall for your actions.
I am not surprised that this is where we are headed. But my question is…. why have our national gay organizations (HRC, Log Cabin, NGLTF) not stepped in to stop this witchhunt which originated on the Gay Left in the first place? I think we know the answer. Tolerance and diversity of opinion is a one-way street for the Gay Liberals and their masters in the Democrat Party.
By the way, the only people that are advancing or talking “The List” that I’ve seen are Liberals! And that List was begun by Gay Leftists years ago.
This witchhunt has got to stop.
**UPDATE** The first casualty of the Gay GOP Witchhunt has occurred. Forced out by Democrats politicizing the Foley Affair. Statement by Kirk Fordham, Rep. Reynolds Chief of Staff…
“I have resigned today from Congressman Tom Reynolds’ office. It is clear the Democrats are intent on making me a political issue in my boss’s race, and I will not let them do so.
I want to clarify a few things: When I sought to help Congressman Foley and his family when his shocking secrets were being revealed, I did so as a friend of my former boss, not as Congressman Reynolds’ Chief of Staff. I reached out to the Foley family, as any good friend would, because I was worried about their emotional well-being.
At the same time, I want it to be perfectly clear that I never attempted to prevent any inquiries or investigation of Foley’s conduct by House officials or any other authorities.
Like so many, I feel betrayed by Mark Foley’s indefensible behavior. Again, I will not allow the Democrats to make me a political issue in my boss’s race, and I will fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation.”
Where will it end?
[RELATED STORY – Ace Of Spades sees the dawning of liberal “conversion camps” for those pesky gay conservatives who have slipped off the plantation.]