Sunday, May 15, 2005

Frank Rich on the case

via AMERICAblog

Today's NYT: "Just how gay is the Right?"

"What adds a peculiar dynamic to this anti-gay juggernaut is the continued emergence of gay people within its ranks. Allen Drury would have been incredulous if gay-baiters hounding his Utah senator had turned out to be gay themselves, but this has been a consistent pattern throughout the 30-year war. Terry Dolan, a closeted gay man, ran the National Conservative Political Action Committee, which as far back as 1980 was putting out fund-raising letters that said, "Our nation's moral fiber is being weakened by the growing homosexual movement and the fanatical E.R.A. pushers (many of whom publicly brag they are lesbians)." (Dolan recanted and endorsed gay rights before he died of AIDS in 1986.) The latest boldface name to marry his same-sex partner in Massachusetts is Arthur Finkelstein, the political operative behind the electoral success of Jesse Helms, a senator so homophobic he voted in the minority of the 97-to-3 reauthorization of the Ryan White act for AIDS funding and treatment in 1995.

But surely the most arresting recent case is James E. West, the powerful Republican mayor of Spokane, Wash., whose double life has just been exposed by the local paper, The Spokesman-Review. Mr. West's long, successful political career has been distinguished by his attempts to ban gay men and lesbians from schools and day care centers, to fire gay state employees, to deny City Hall benefits to domestic partners and to stifle AIDS-prevention education. The Spokesman-Review caught him trolling gay Web sites for young men and trying to lure them with gifts and favors. (He has denied accusations of abusing boys when he was a Boy Scout leader some 25 years ago.) Not unlike the Roy Cohn of "Angels in America" - who describes himself as "a heterosexual man" who has sex "with guys" - Mr. West has said he had "relations with adult men" but doesn't "characterize" himself as gay. This is more than hypocrisy - it's pathology.

Goes with my current Raw Story piece rather like chianti and pasta, no?


Anonymous karena said...

I loved your Raw Story article. I am really tired of the right saying that Arab men holding hands is just a custom Bush honors. Since when did he learn so much about foreign customs? When he trashed the Queen Mother's garden by landing his helicopters there? Or did he start down the path of foreign custom experise after he saw Poppy barf on the Japanese? Shouldn't he tell the fine Prince that holding hands in the wild flower garden would look fishy to Americans simply based on the fact that he was supposed to be talking tough with the Prince to garner cheaper oil prices? I think you may be on to something here. And the bald head fetish is way to hard to justify. His love for dressing in drag, drag war hero, drag cowboy, drag military dictator, whatever, is also hard to justify. Oh well, I could go on and on. I just wonder what little biking get-up he had on the day Laura and Nancy were honoring the Red Dresses and dragged into the secret bunker.

1:59 PM  

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