David Corn disgraces the left by channeling Joe McCarthy as he explains that the left will only stand up for the privacy rights of their allies:
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.
...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.
Mr. Corn's position on outing Republicans is clear enough but he does not explicitly state a position on the merits of outing gay Democrats. However - if he had any journalistic integrity at all he would have to be opposed to "stealth advocacy". A black man arguing for "black" issues does not need to separately declare his personal stake in the discussion, nor does a woman discussing "women's issues".
But surely Mr. Corn agrees that it is unseemly to advocate for gay issues under the pretense of having been swayed by force of argument when, in fact, the advocate is touting his own self-interest. So presumably Mr. Corn, troubled as he is by closeted Republican gays, is equally troubled by closeted Democratic gays.
Or maybe not. Let's go back to Mr. Corn:
Let's be clear about one thing: the Mark Foley scandal is not about homosexuality. Some family value conservatives are suggesting it is. 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?
Let's be clear as mud - the Foley scandal is not about homosexuality but it would not be unreasonable to out gay Republicans in response to it. Can anyone follow that? I would suggest the outing of those who are abusing their power but that logic may be too linear for someone from the reality based community.
I also love this evasion of responsibility - "anytime a gay Republican is outed by events". No, David, it won't be "events" that post that list, it will be activist Democrats trying to win an election. Hope that helps your understanding. A likely candidate would be Mike Rogers of BlogActive.com, who has spent years outing gay Republicans and whose current fund raising appeal says this:
Please help me with this effort. We have five weeks to save our nation from these right wing homophobes in the closet -- and there are more in Congress!
As to "What about those GOPers who are gay and who serve a party that is anti-gay?", well, what about those GOPers who favor lower taxes (and happen to be gay), or who favored a robust national defense in the Reagan era (and happened to be gay), or who favor gun owner's rights (and happen to be gay), or for some other reason don't fit themselves neatly into the special interest group boxes drawn up by earnest Democratic strategists?
Or what about GOPers who were put off by Bill Clinton's "Don't ask, don't tell" debacle or by Clinton's signing of the "Defense of Marriage Act", or by John Kerry's insistence that his position on gay marriage did not differ from Bush's? Are they allowed to think that maybe the Dems are more talk than action, and that other issues are more important? Does David Corn really agree with 100% of the Democratic Party platform?
This is the current state of the left - sexual privacy rights for their political opponents are trumped by a desire for power.
The right answer to that question [of sexuality], from anyone except a potential sexual partner, is “None of your f—-ing business.”
I really, really disapprove of gay-baiting, even if the gays being baited hold disgusting political positions. And I thought that attitude was part of the definition of liberalism.
We will see whether any Dems speak out against this now, although with an election to be won I am not optimistic.
That is quite a working theory - a group of evangelical Reps, outraged by the gays in their midst, worked up a list of gay Republican staffers ands then leaked it to their natural ally, David Corn. Mr. Corn then choked back his abhorrence at this sexual McCarthyism and penned a few paragraphs rationalizing their effort. Uh huh. Can I guess the rest - some lefty blogger will print it "just to show us what awful tricks those crazy House Republicans are up to". Please.
Personally, I figure that since there are Dem activists who do this routinely, my money is there.
But we have nothing to fight about since we all agree this is awful. And since Josh Marshall and Kevin Drum think "The List" will be coming from Republicans, I encourage them to denounce the concept unequivocally and pre-emptively, as I am doing here.
If The List appears, they will be on record as having condemned it, and perhaps other Dems will join them. And if it is the work of crazed evangelical Republicans, condemning it should be easy, yes?
I just know Dems will hurry to denounce this "List" and stand up for privacy rights for all gays, even Republican ones.
STRANGEST THING I EVER READ: From Mark Schmitt at TPM Cafe:
But when it comes to Foley, this is a case where it is us liberals who have the absolute moral value: Don’t mess with kids sexually. Adults must not mess with kids, people in positions of authority should not mess with kids. It’s not about the legal line or the age of consent in Florida or DC. It’s morality: Fifty-two year olds must not mess with 16 year olds. Remember that rule and all this complexity falls away. Don’t tolerate people who mess with kids, gay or straight. Not complicated. As Robert George would say, it’s "foundational." If you know that basic rule, and don’t hesitate to take action if people break it, or raise alarms if you suspect them of breaking it (as in, asking for a picture) then guess what?: Life gets a little simpler. Gays can be Scoutmasters because, like any other Scoutmaster, they know that you don’t mess with the kids. Straight men can be high school teachers of girls because they maintain that boundary, they treat it as a moral absolute. And so on.
On what planet? Under my sun, Democrat Gerry Studds was censured by the House in 1983 for having sex with a seventeen year old page; the voters of Massachusetts sent him back to Congress for years thereafter.
And more recently, Bill Clinton commuted the sentence of Mel Reynolds, who was "serving a seven-year sentence for corruption and having sex with a 16-year-old campaign worker."
[That Clinton-Reynolds pardon from USA Today is misleading, apparently - try this:
Reynolds resigned from Congress in 1995 after a state court convicted him of sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer. He served 2 1/2 years in prison for the crime. Two years later Reynolds was sentenced to a 6 1/2-year prison term on federal corruption charges, including wire fraud and bank fraud.
In November 1999 the former Rhodes scholar wrote a letter to Clinton and asked to be released from prison to a halfway house so that he could earn money for his family.
So Clinton pardoned a sex offender, but not for the sex offense. Got it.
Snopes has a bit as well.]
Moral absolute. Absolutely.
UPDATE: I am guided to evidence of Dems with both a brain and a conscience:
"We're getting into very dangerous territory, and I've warned my colleagues to be careful." That's what a Democrat leadership aide was saying on Wednesday, as word circulated about David Corn's blog posting that revealed that a list of gay Republicans congressional staffers was circulating through emails.
Such a list has been talked about for months, if not years, by more militant homosexual activists, who have threatened to out Republican congressional staffers or even congressmen if they take positions counter to their gay lifestyle.
..."If that list is made public, all of the political gains we've made in the past 96 hours get flushed down the toilet," says the leadership aide.
I apologize - this may not be evidence of a conscience at all. just a recognition that as a pragmatic matter this is dumb idea for Dems. But one can hope.
And one can wonder - why, if the list is coming from the homophobic right, would it reflect badly on Democrats?