Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Smear Campaign

"The List" (of Gay GOP Aides on the Hill)

No, this is not a link to a list of gay Republican aides, though that is probably available somewhere on the Web by now. But that list will be the next piece of the pie in the Mark Foley scandal, suggest both David Corn (above) and Josh Marshall. Not really a surprise, I suppose.

The theory is that Hastert & Co. will blame this whole affair on gay staff members who enabled Foley's behavior. While this would be reprehensible if true, something--namely Kirk Fordham's statement--tells me it isn't.

David Corn notes:
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 acucurate) 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.
This raises the question: Are these people sincere in their hate of homosexuality? If not, the base they've convinced that they are should be appalled. (And if so, of course, they're both bigots and, apparently, hypocrites.) Or are they merely opportunistic, willing to play to any prejudice to gain power? It's hard to look at those names and think of any nice way to spin this.

The fact remains, though, that in the next few days we're probably going to see two things: A desperate blame game by Republicans that blames gay staffers for this whole sordid mess, and a mass outing in Washington that will put other such campaigns to shame. I feel sorry for the great many politically-minded gay men who are about to be violently torn from the closet, but let's face it: They knew the score going in. They worked for forces of hatred at a time when those forces were pressing down especially hard on their fellow gays and lesbians. They brought this pain on themselves.

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