One of the most infuriating things is dealing with people who simply can not think things through. They get upset about something and decide that they have to do SOMETHING, then pat themselves on the back for having “taken a stand” and “taken action” — when, most of the time, they’ve improved things not a whit, or often made them worse.
Liberals are notorious for this. They seem to think that “feelings” trump reality, that as long as you FEEL like you’ve achieved something, you’ve actually done something. It’s the same sort of attitude that has them banning keeping score in children’s sporting events — that way everyone can “feel” like a winner.
The latest reminder of this is the current craze among some of the crazier leftists out there — “outing” allegedly gay Republicans.
Others are doing a fine job of debating the ethics of the actions, the truth of these accusations, and other matters. What I find myself wondering is just what the hell these “outers” are hoping to achieve — and what they actually might achieve.
Let’s say that the next target of these morons is my own senior senator, Judd Gregg. (For the record: to the absolute best of my knowledge, Gregg is a firmly committed heterosexual, married with children and all that. I’m picking on him because 1) I know a little bit more about him than several other senators; B) as a lifelong New Hampshirite, I can gauge my fellow Granite Staters’ response better than I could those from other states; and III) I don’t particularly like him, so if I end up saying something mean, I won’t feel bad.)
OK, Mike Rogers says Judd Gregg is gay, and has a long list of Gregg’s male lovers — along with incrinating photographs and suggestive video. He announces this to the world. What do I, a constituent of Gregg’s, do about that?
The first thing is, I do NOT lambaste Gregg as a hypocrite. I’m still old-fashioned enough to think that what two (or more) consenting adults do in private is strictly their business. A person’s sexuality is strictly their own matter, and only the business of those who they choose to share it with. So unless Senator Gregg starts sending me suggestive e-mails, I don’t care.
The second thing is, I feel a little sympathy for the guy. (And as I said I don’t like for him, and even voted for the guaranteed-to-lose Doris “Granny D” Haddock instead of him in 2004, that says a LOT.) He’s just trying to live his life as he sees fit, not really hurting anyone, and now something that he’s tried like hell to keep private is getting it dragged out for all to see. I would personally like to see him take the offensive against the press:
“Senator Gregg, are you gay?”
“Unless you’re coming on to me, Katie, that’s none of your goddamned business.”
The third thing I’d think of is I’d start remembering a bunch of the standard liberal talking points. President Bush and the Republicans want to wiretap everyone without search warrants, the NSA is secretly tracing and recording every single phone call in the US, the whole notion of privacy is being eroded in the “war on terror” — so we should immediately support the party that has its people investigating and revealing details of people’s sex lives? I think I’d PREFER that the government know about my phone bill than my sex life. (Such as it isn’t, currently.) Hell, I’ll gladly e-mail them a copy of my cell phone statement every month if they promise to stay out of my bedroom.
The key element, in many elections, is which candidates do you trust — or, as is more often the case, do you distrust less. The very essence of the act of “outing” is betrayal — betrayal of trust, betrayal of confidences, betrayal of privacy. My gut instinct is to in no way reward such actions, but rather to strongly condemn them and firmly reject any side that embraces — or even tolerates — such conduct.
So, what was behind the move to “out” (allegedly) Senator Larry Craig? What was Mr. Rogers’ intended goal when he set out to do this?
Well, it couldn’t have been to get Craig out of office. His current term doesn’t expire until 2008.
It couldn’t have been to get Craig to “soften” his stance on gay issues. Craig has a fairly well-established voting record against those issues, and has won re-election while holding them. To change his stance would be to risk alienating his base.
It couldn’t have been to help the overall climate for gay people. The message being sent is that if you’re gay, you goddamned better well remember that your pansy asses belong to the Left, and if you even THINK of deviating from the accepted political dogma, we’ll destroy you fruits. That’s pretty damned similar to queer-bashing, and could easily lead to the same climate of fear that kept the gays so oppressed for so long. And it actually leaves them open to blackmail, much like homosexuality used to be grounds for denial or loss of security clearance — it forces people to keep their identity secret, or they risk losing their careers. That reason died (and with good cause) when more and more gays stopped hiding and pretending, and the threat of “revealing” their homosexuality became laughable.
What was Mr. Rogers’ goal in all this? I strongly suspect it was the one goal he’s achieved with stellar results — a whole bunch of people talking about him. The germaneness — or even the veracity — of his charges are utterly irrelevant.
And damn me, I’m playing right along with it all.