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Outing Gay Republicans to Advance a Partisan Agenda

When I used to read Andrew Sullivan’s blog with great regularity, I would find that while I didn’t always agree with him, when I did agree with him, it sometimes seemed that he nearly perfectly expressed my own thoughts. Just today when linked to his post on outing (via Ann Althouse, via Instapundit), I discovered the old Andrew Sullivan whose blog I once very much enjoyed.

Andrew doesn’t mince words when taking issue with what he calls the “outing crusade:”

The fact that their motives might be good is no excuse. Everybody on a witchhunt believes their motives are good. But the toxins such a witchhunt exposes, the cruelty it requires, and the fanaticism of its adherents are always dangerous to civilized discourse. What you’re seeing right now is an alliance of the intolerant: the intolerant on the gay left and the intolerant on the religious right. The victims are gay people – flawed, fallible, even pathetic gay people. But they are still people. And they deserve better.

While I’m not so sure there’s an alliance between the intolerant gay left and the intolerant social conservatives, I do think that the intolerant gay left is trying to use the intolerance of those social conservatives to split the GOP.

I agree with Ann that this tactic will likely backfire, that “these creepy, gleeful efforts at outing will only make social conservatives more conservative, and they will continue to look to the Republican party to serve their needs.” Jonah Goldberg (also via Instapundit) agrees: “The sort of scorched earth attack liberals have mounted in the wake of Foley is creating precedents I guarantee will haunt them in unexpected ways in years to come.

That there are those on the left who would attempt to play into the prejudices of the most anti-gay forces in our society in order to help defeat the GOP shows that they are more interested in advancing their own partisan agenda than in respecting the private lives — and personal choices — of individual gay men and women. For them, it’s all politics. (I’ve said this before. As have countless others.) While they may express noble sentiments about helping gay people, they could care less about gay individuals who happen to be Republican.

I can no longer count how many times those on the left have wondered how I could support a political party which has contempt for gay people. And yet while I don’t always agree with my party — or the attitudes of some of its members — I have never encountered the level of hate or vitriol that those involved in the outing campaign have directed against closeted gay Republicans.

On the one side, certain social conservatives criticize gay people in general. On the other, certain voices on the left, many of them gay, show no regard for the private lives of individual gay people. And demonize those with a political agenda at odds with their own.

It’s time to call these angry voices for what they are. I’m glad that Andrew has taken on those who would compromise the lives of individual gay men and lesbians to further their partisan agenda.

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81 Comments

  1. random m nailed it in post #33

    and fear of being associated with people like mike rogers is the best reason to live life in the closet

    Comment by sloop — October 19, 2006 @ 2:45 pm - October 19, 2006

  2. Instapundit has a link to Iowahawk… it’s a letter from Dean to the anti-homo Republican base (satire). “It’s the Homos Stupid!” I think it’s still on the top of the main page.

    Comment by Synova — October 19, 2006 @ 3:03 pm - October 19, 2006

  3. “Scott” wrote: Supporting to elect a candidate who likens your own life to beastiality, incest and polygamy to me

    So, Scott, to you “beastiality, incest and polygamy” are all equally bad?

    Thanks for that wonderfully tolerant comment. I’ll be happy to pass it on to folks in the poly community. I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear where they stand.

    Comment by Greg D — October 19, 2006 @ 3:05 pm - October 19, 2006

  4. monty writes: “No more drive by sniping from me.”

    I’m glad you appreciate a fair assessment of your role here, monty. You nailed it perfectly. The snide corner is still all yours.

    Then further monty writes: “And further, if Dan (only) ever asks me to leave….I will respectfully leave. I promise.”

    LOL! Come on monty, your promise isn’t worth the time it takes to hold you to account.

    Gheez Dan, with “friends and fans” like these, you might want to rethink some of your positions.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 19, 2006 @ 4:35 pm - October 19, 2006

  5. I am new to the comment section of this blog, but I must say that theres a whole lot of what you’d call snideness on both sides of the debates here. This is true even by the standards of other online forums I participate in. I think it’s a bad idea to take that tone; although it makes your opponent madder, it inevitably makes third parties think less of the commenter, not the target.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 19, 2006 @ 6:07 pm - October 19, 2006

  6. V the K, #39: The unsubstantiated allegation about Ted Strickland is that he vacationed in Europe with his “boy toy”.

    BTW, I’ve since read press reports that the Ohio Republican Party and the party’s candidate for governor, Ken Blackwell, originally raised the charges against Strickland. The radio nut from Ohio and Fox’s empty suit Sean Hannity merely passed it on to a national audience.

    Comment by Ashley Hunter — October 19, 2006 @ 7:56 pm - October 19, 2006

  7. Ashley, you may not like Hannity –which is your choice (notice, I didn’t say it’s your “right”). I don’t care for Cooper, King or Matthews. But none of them are “empty suits” as you put it. The only empty suits I see on the MSM are Katie Couric and Jon Stewart… “empty” as in void of substance and gravitas. Which is far different from the MSM types who play fast and loose with the privileges of the 4th Estate and know that they’re doing exactly that.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 19, 2006 @ 8:06 pm - October 19, 2006

  8. And now, along the lines of Ian’s rant above:

    “The so-called outing that led to Sully’s rant is really an exposure of lewd public behavior engaged in by a supposedly staunch “pro-values” liberal, Ohio gubernatorial candidate and current Congressman Ted Strickland. The last time I checked, engaging in indecent exposure is illegal in all jurisdictions I’m aware of and in some is serious enough to result in sex offender status for someone convicted of such a crime. Is anyone going to argue that such illegal activity should NOT be exposed due to the fact that exposure would be an invasion of that person’s privacy? Frankly, I think you can argue that Strickland’s exposure as a hypocritical lawbreaker is even more warranted than that of Ed Shrock who IIRC wasn’t committing crimes when he was searching for sex partners.”

    Now, let’s see if Ian has any problem with that.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 19, 2006 @ 10:27 pm - October 19, 2006

  9. #48: Good grief, can’t you take ANY responsibility for your gullibility? In effect, you and others have been calling me a liar for several months in spite of plenty of evidence that you were wrong. If the owners of this blog had ever had the slightest idea that I was not who I claimed to be they would have banned me in a heartbeat. And I wouldn’t blame them for doing so. That you and others eagerly continued your little fantasy is not the fault of Dan or Bruce. Rather you only have yourselves to blame if you now look a bit foolish. Instead, you whine that Dan’s to blame. Sheesh.

    Comment by Ian — October 19, 2006 @ 11:30 pm - October 19, 2006

  10. #58: No one has suggested that Strickland has engaged in indecent exposure so your pathetic attempt at at comparing the two situations is patently absurd. I also note that you don’t seem to have any qualms in making up and spreading allegations when it’s a Democrat.

    Comment by Ian — October 19, 2006 @ 11:38 pm - October 19, 2006

  11. You note incorrectly.

    But, since you yourself have made it clear that you see nothing wrong with making up and spreading allegations against people, especially when they’re Republicans, you are criticizing me for doing something that you praise and promote yourself.

    Not that I’m terribly surprised.

    But I think GPW may be a little less trusting now that your hypocrisy, dishonesty, and hate on the topic of outing are so blatantly obvious.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 20, 2006 @ 2:12 am - October 20, 2006

  12. Thanks sloop. I wasn’t sure any thoughts typed at midnight would make sense.

    kdogg36 – My starting place is religious so the “just a man and a woman” standard would fit. However, not being a theocrat (what a funny idea for America – I cannot imagine Baptists and Mormons for instance sitting down to hash out a party platform) I do not think my religious belief ought to be enough of a reason for anyone else.

    A serious question for me is why does the “gay community” want same-sex marriage? From what I have seen, it is about two things, benefits and status. Neither of which are enough to change such an important institution. My best friend does not have insurance. Should I “marry” her so she’ll have benefits? I could go on for quite awhile about her suffering, pull a lot of heart strings. But is her suffering enough a reason to change the definition of marriage? And the status reason is as weak. If a gay couple can marry will that convince all those who who are bigoted against gay people “whoops I was wrong”?

    I was told on an earlier thread that my idea that marriage should be monogamas was “totalitarian”. My sense is there are a few gay people who want marriage for the same reason the majority of heteros want to be married – long term establishment of families. The authors of this blog are the first to lead me to believe that that is the case, BTW. I find this possibility heartening.

    But the majority treat marriage as a prize. “Check it off the list, we’ve met our goal.” No regard for the institution of marriage in this attitude. Marriage is about families, which usually means children. The institution has been damaged over the last decades and children have suffered for it. Yet here are many saying “oh well if you feel that strongly about it, why not”. No one seems to think about the long-term consequences of such a change. It is all about what we want now, not what is good for society over time.

    Once upon a time people regarded marriage as a fundamental building block of society. It carried with it a whole host of assumptions along with the codified (inheritance, immigration, etc.) affects. Assumptions perhaps often honored in the breach, but to this day if you hear a couple has married what do you assume? That it is intended to be long term, monogamas, a financial and emotional partnership, and probably you expect kids to come too.

    Would that change if gay marriage were allowed? Since the majority of gay people do not seem to share these same assumptions, then yes, I believe a sudden influx of thousands of gay couples into the marrieds pool would affect how people look at marriage. I would expect actually that once the goal is achieved the next step would be to hammer into all our heads that it is “intolerant” “totalitarian” etc to expect that marriage means anything other than what a married person feels like it means at the moment. There are few enough already who take the vows seriously. Marriage as an institution may survive such an assault. But it will be damaged. And so a pillar of society will be damaged. A pillar that has a lot to do with raising healthy children. There are other ways to leave your property to your loved one and other tasks marriage has built-in.

    And of course gay marriage opens the door wide open for polygamy. Which is another way I do not want marriage to change for both the fear that women’s status will take a hit and again that children will suffer overall.

    Comment by random m — October 20, 2006 @ 3:01 am - October 20, 2006

  13. And so a pillar of society will be damaged. A pillar that has a lot to do with raising healthy children.

    In the 2.5 or so years since gay marriage has been a reality in Massachusetts, which children do you think have been damaged, and how? Since you admit it’s kind of a statistical question (not all gay couples would weaken the concept of marriage, just most of them), which specific couples in that state do you think are damaging the institution of marriage?

    Given that gay marriage is no longer theoretical in one state, I think it’s fair to challenge those who believe specific harms will happen as a result of gay marriage to show how it has happened there. (Indeed two of the original plaintiffs from the marriage case there are divorced, which is certainly sad and, frankly, annoying, but hardly unique.)

    Incidentally, I’m someone who cares so much about the institution of marriage that I want to see the government get out of it altogether. It’s too important to be

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 8:01 am - October 20, 2006

  14. …left in the hands of the State. (sorry)

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 8:02 am - October 20, 2006

  15. In the 2.5 or so years since gay marriage has been a reality in Massachusetts, which children do you think have been damaged, and how?

    Dude, do you think in say, 1967, two or so years after the Great Society, that the damage had already been noticed? No, it took a generation for the damage wrought by easy divorce, welfare dependency, socialist-run schools, high-taxes, soft crime policies, and all the other abominations of Sixties liberalism to manifest themselves. It will take at least that long to see if same-sex marriage was a good idea. Stanley Kurtz would make a case that in countries that have had same-sex marriage for longer, the social fabric is showing signs of fraying. Others dispute his findings, but there is, at a minimum, evidence for both sides.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 8:11 am - October 20, 2006

  16. #59… lol. Nice try at spin, Ian. For someone who literally plays the sleaze smear game on Senator Craig and then, in the same thread, tries to whine that as a smearer he has been unfairly treated? Spin, spin, spin.

    Like Slick Willie’s recent mixed metaphor… Ian is “just trying to run that dog down the same old path and it ain’t working… it’s just an old dog” that don’t hunt. Spin away Ian.

    Like I wrote above, my beef is with Dan’s “Road2Damacus” conversion on the sockpuppet artistry here by several GayLeftBorg commenters and spinsters. If he knew you were who you said you were and weren’t a deceitful incarnation of raj, Dan should have said so earlier… maybe he did, maybe I and all the other readers just missed it? But out of respect to his readers, he should have said something. I don’t think he did. Or maybe he just met you the night before last and he took the earliest opportunity to correct the record? Or maybe there’s some other rationalization out there to explain Dan’s silence?

    But you go ahead and spin away Ian. Smear away as well as you’ve most recently done with Senator Craig… and lots of others. But try to get the facts right for once: Bruce did block raj and others here. Appropriately. And long overdue. I didn’t mention Bruce in my comments; he acted appropriately.

    But I doubt the truth is something you actively pursue or protect –because for you, it isn’t of value.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 9:15 am - October 20, 2006

  17. #66: “Bruce did block raj ”

    And when I kept posting, that didn’t give you a clue? There were plenty of other clues but I suspect you simply wanted it to be true else you would have simply emailed Bruce, the blog owner, privately and asked him. Frankly, you and others jumped on the sockpuppet bandwagon so quickly and completely that you were going to have egg on your faces no matter what Dan or Bruce said or when they said it.

    Comment by Ian — October 20, 2006 @ 10:28 am - October 20, 2006

  18. I used to be supportive of outings for the most extreme cases. These would be politicians who almost always supported anti-gay legislation and also continued to denigrate homosexuality, gay men, and lesbians in their speeches. And although I generally believe in the right to privacy, I had trouble being concerned for these individuals who sought to ruin the lives and families of millions of gay Americans. And the thought that there seems to be politicians who constantly vote antigay, stump about how immoral “sodomy” is, how gays shouldn’t be in the military, etc., but yet are gay, have been in the military themselves, and go to Massachusetts to get married, still makes me seethe. And I still wonder why it seems that many people are more concerned about the privacy of a distasteful politician than a gay teenager who is bullied.

    I changed my mind about outing after several back and forth exchanges with some of the posters here and other blogs (including NDT). As distasteful as some of these “victims” are, I’ve come to the conclusion that outing doesn’t help the cause for gay rights, and in fact, hurts it. Because even in the extreme cases I talked about, what happens is that Americans now find out that another gay person is a distasteful hypocrite (or whatever term you want to use). Also, even if the outing has legs, and causes the politician to resign, he/she will mostly get replaced by someone who is just as anti-gay. The other problem is the question of where one draws the line. And then outing easily becomes a form of blackmail against someone who may disagree with you on some positions. For example, there are many gay people on the left and the right that do oppose gay marriage. And I otherwise abhor some of the tactics that the outers use.

    The reality, unfortunately, is that outing will apparently continue and perhaps escalate. It simply has been added to the list of exposing hypocricy or perceived hypocricy. And yes, it is all political. Many people think that this is just a fair a game as when John Kerry, who campaigned partly on the environment, owned 3 or more SUVs, and was exposed. So now at least the closeted politicians know what they are up against, and now have to decide like any other hypocrite if continuing in politics is worth the risk of having their closet door opened.

    Even if there wasn’t any outing, I would still like to see more politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, to start coming out on their own. At least the circumstances would be more favorable, and give the gay community a more positive light in the eyes of American voters. And as mentioned on this blog, the only voices we seem to hear are the extreme left, which clearly isn’t helping our cause. But at least they aren’t afraid to speak out. When will the others, the (not as extreme left), moderates, and the right speak out as well, and show the rest of America that the gay community is not a monolith?

    Comment by Pat — October 20, 2006 @ 10:38 am - October 20, 2006

  19. #66: It never mattered to me. RajIan or IanRaj, they were both interchangeable members of the gayleftborg. 2 of 9 or 3 of 9, what’s the difference? Neither their opinions nor their manner of explressing them were in any way distinguishable.

    On the left, and especially in the gay left, there is zero tolerance for diversity of opinion beyond you can disagree that Bush is Hitler, but only if you say it’s because Bush is worse than Hitler. Try going to any left-wing blog and expressing support for the Iraq War, or tax cuts, or criticism of state-run health care. Or, ask Joe Lieberman how tolerant the Democrat party is of people thinking independently.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 10:38 am - October 20, 2006

  20. Again, Ian, you have significant problems with the truth. I did email Dan and Bruce, both replied. “Other clues” as a defense just don’t cut it, Ian. I would argue Dan had a positive duty to his readers –let’s leave off wild-assed rumor-mongering amoral apologists like you he might wish to defend– to set the record str8. His readers deserved better.

    My beef isn’t with you –although you’re trying hard to spin it that way. Try to develop the skill of discernment, eh? You may not need to use it anywhere else in the blogland you habit –DialyKos, MyDD, BlogActive etc– but it’s a critical skill here.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 10:41 am - October 20, 2006

  21. #66 – Bruce’s ability to block anyone is limited, or largely moral / symbolic. I won’t offer technical details, but raj and all the other sockpuppetmasters know it well. The fact that one particular sockpuppet identity disappears, Ian, means this: absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 10:44 am - October 20, 2006

  22. #61: “You note incorrectly.”

    Then you’re inconsistent since in #58 you allege that Strickland has committed lewd public behavior and indecent exposure:

    “…lewd public behavior engaged in by a supposedly staunch “pro-values” liberal, Ohio gubernatorial candidate and current Congressman Ted Strickland. The last time I checked, engaging in indecent exposure is illegal in all jurisdictions I’m aware…”

    I am all for exposing hypocrisy and illegal activity among politicians and I’m not going to make an exception for such hypocrites just because they’re closet cases. That said, a principled case can be made that “outing” a homosexual is always wrong and should never be done. But those who would do so should consider carefully such an absolutist position and its implications. Just as an example, if you had clear evidence, say video, that the President of Iran engages in homosexual activity, would you hold to your principle and refuse to expose him as a hypocrite?

    Comment by Ian — October 20, 2006 @ 10:50 am - October 20, 2006

  23. VdaK, the GayLeftBorg is apt description of how the gay left community responds to all things –political actions, govt economic policy, cultural aversion to sociopathetic impulses on the gay left, etc.

    It’s this big, self-sustaining, evil presence on the landscape and it intends to succeed in its goals even if it means harming the gay community’s long term interests.

    I think it’s why people like Ian and Kevin and sean and jimmy hate Bush so much… they wrongly see in him a similar kind of relentless, tenacious drive toward political purity and it fries them to no end.

    Why do they hate so much in others that which is so prominent in themselves?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 10:50 am - October 20, 2006

  24. Calarato speaks the truth, Ian. Without requiring credentials to post, as I pointed out here repeatedly in the past, a pesky little mind can circumvent the system all day long… as raj, QueerPat, CowBoyBob, monty and others demonstrate.

    Thanks for the reminder, C.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 10:54 am - October 20, 2006

  25. V the K: Dude, do you think in say, 1967, two or so years after the Great Society, that the damage had already been noticed?

    No. But I also know that most of the liberal abominations you mention are ones that I would oppose on general ethical principles, the principles on which most of my political beliefs are based. I wouldn’t need to try them out and examine the results to know that they were wrong.

    Gay marriage, however, is a bit tricker. Why? Because I really think that the government shouldn’t be fooling with personal relationships at all, other than enforcing contracts between people. So, I really don’t think marriage should be a legal category.

    However, that is a far-off idea that probably won’t happen anytime soon, so the question I have to deal with is: as long as there’s a government concept of marriage, should same-sex couples be able to participate? Part of me says that it would only mean further entrenchment of an aspect of law I don’t support anyhow. But the other, greater part of me knows that there’s nothing inherently different about gay partnerships as opposed to straight ones; they are entered into for the same reasons, and are identical in all the essentials. And thus I think that, as long as the law recognizes marriages at all, it should recognize both gay and straight ones in the same manner.

    I suppose I could be wrong that gay life partnerships aren’t essentially the same as straight ones, but I have a lot of evidence supporting my belief that they are. So it would take significant evidence to the contrary for me to change my mind.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 1:50 pm - October 20, 2006

  26. Just as an example, if you had clear evidence, say video, that the President of Iran engages in homosexual activity, would you hold to your principle and refuse to expose him as a hypocrite?

    Yes.

    Even though I detest Ahdimejad as a bigot, a racist, a lunatic, and an anti-Semite, outing is wrong. I can demonstrate that he is incorrect without having to root through his garbage cans.

    In addition, by outing a gay person in Iran, I would be condemning him to death. I dislike the man, but my dislike is not sufficient grounds to have him killed.

    Furthermore, Ian, if one attempts to justify outing using the moral relativism of “hypocrisy”, the problem with doing so becomes immediately apparent…..”hypocrisy” means different things to different people.

    For instance, I can show you an example in which the person involved was clearly hypocritical — they were engaged in an activity which confirmed that they were gay, but did so in secret, hiding their homosexuality and maintaining a public image as a scion of an influential institution that flatly condemned and opposed homosexuality.

    But I have yet to see gay activists support his outing.

    And whenever I am tempted to resort to something similar, I remember his case…….and that my actions against someone else would justify the wrong that was done to him.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 20, 2006 @ 3:15 pm - October 20, 2006

  27. All, I know this person who posts on the web as “Ian” who, as Dana Milbank knows, was found to have touched another male student in a lewd fashion on the penis in 1991.

    This is but one instance so far, we know of a lot more but will hold off right now, that is, until he stops posting on the web.

    Comment by ben internet. — October 20, 2006 @ 10:12 pm - October 20, 2006

  28. As someone who works within an appendix of the Beast itself (the fed’ral gub’ment) I can tell you that one of the worst kept secrets in goverment is that Capital Hill staffs are loaded with young homosexuals, whether closeted or not. Why? They make great employees for their slave driver bosses: very few of these staffers have families and children and so they can work long hours and travel a lot without having to stay home to deal with ear infections and leave work early to attend school plays. That is the real truth.

    Finally, outing someone for purely partisan political purposes is a downright shitty thing to do.

    Comment by Letalis — October 21, 2006 @ 11:29 am - October 21, 2006

  29. Sounds like a bunch of gay republicans want to use a code of silence, the same code police departmens used in the fifties and sixties when they raided bars, actually killing people or ruining their lives. Live and let live but trust and verify. If your actions or your bosses actions cause glbtg harm you can expect to hear about it.

    If all else fails, you should be outed for your cruelty. Hell, they should throw you out of gaydom.

    Larry LA

    Comment by l sprenger — November 2, 2006 @ 2:11 pm - November 2, 2006

  30. Who is worse the politicians who get elected by preaching family values ,God ,etc or the trained monkeys who continue to fall for that ?

    Comment by Luis — August 27, 2007 @ 7:47 pm - August 27, 2007

  31. I think the problem is that conservative Christians aren’t as stupid as the left thinks they are.

    I also think this tactic will eventually backfire.

    Comment by just me — October 18, 2006

    I live in a Southern “BIble” state and I disagree they are that stupid and they continue to fall for that nonsense. Lack of health care ,jobs,etc thats not an issue but anyone who preaches “Gods values” they vote for.

    Comment by Luis — August 27, 2007 @ 7:50 pm - August 27, 2007

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