Sometimes my Google Reader likes to harass me by including Gay Patriot on the featured “What’s New” screen, which leads me to, oy vey, read it. So, in the interest of moving on to other things, here are two recent posts from the “Blatt” one, and why they are wrong. First of all: Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz anti-gay? [No, and the premise of this one is particularly stupid, even for gay wingnuttia.] Basically, Wasserman Schultz’s response to the Anthony Weiner Twitter Wiener scandal has been to shrug her shoulders and say “whatever.” However, Dan Blatt points out [!!!11!!] that back in the day when “a male colleague” [ahem, Mark Foley] was caught sexting congressional pages, she was a bit more outraged. Is this, Dan Blatt asks, evidence that Wasserman Schultz is anti-gay?
[W]e should also note that she has called for a much harsher censure of the man sexually drawn to members of his own sex while seeking to excuse the behavior of an apparently heterosexual federal representative.
Could it be that she used the pretext of the 2006 scandal involving Congressman Foley to draw attention to these misdeeds of a gay man, so reminding people of the shibboleth that gay men regularly prey on teenage boys? And yet she finds it excusable that a married straight man would use electronic media to flirt with a woman less than half his age. This Democrat appears more ready to criticize a gay man than a straight one.
Uh. No. The very Republican Mark Foley was INDEED sexting UNDERAGE TEEN BOYS, whereas Anthony Weiner was stupidly texting women who are of age. So for Blatt to take a victim stance over the “shibboleth [Dan loves him some $5.00 words. Makes him feel smart.] that gay men regularly prey on teenage boys” is bizarre in the extreme, considering the fact that Mark Foley was preying on teenage boys. It didn’t have jack squat to with his sexuality! Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn’t need to remind anyone of anything, as Mark Foley was reminding the nation, as he sexted teenage boys, that he was, frankly, kinda pervy.
Now, we know that it’s uncomfortable for Republicans because Democrats’ sex scandals [even when there is actual fire] tend to involve people who are of age and/or don’t tend to involve anti-gay politicians caught tapping their toes for sexy cops in airport bathrooms. We know. Our sex scandals are boring. No one is arguing that Anthony Weiner exhibited good judgment here. But Republicans like Dan have to know, on some level, that the weird, paranoid, moralistic obsession with sexual purity and cleanliness that is part in parcel of the Republican platform tends to lead people, upon hearing of a Republican sex scandal, to ask, “live boy or dead girl”? Because that’s just how their scandals go.
In short, the easy answer to the stupid question is no, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not anti-gay. If you’re going to try to manipulate the facts on the ground to score political points, you ought to do so in more intelligent ways.
Okay, next post from Dan: The Gipper Helps Explain My Discomfort With Notion [sic] of Equality.
Okay, gay wingnuts talk all the time about how they don’t support “equality,” because they have been so indoctrinated into their parents’ fear of the Red Menace that words like “equal” automatically mean Communism x Socialism x Islamofascism x Gay in their minds. [Yes, even gay wingnuts freak out at things that are a little bit too gay, because they're trying to pass.] They prefer the words “liberty” and “freedom,” because these are the buzzwords they have been taught to have good reactions to! Also, they understand the correct definitions of exactly none of these words.
So Blatt has been reading some book about Reagan [their continued obsessive adulation of the very mediocre, even by Republican standards, Ronald Reagan, baffles me to no end, and creeps me out, quite frankly], and apparently “The Gipper” is helping Dan understand why he doesn’t support equal rights for gay people. Because when you need a prop-up pillow for your self-hatred, go to Reagan!
Reading today in the the latest collection of the Gipper’s writings,The Notes: Ronald Reagan’s Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom, I caught this note which gets at my discomfort with all this “equality” rhetoric:
The real Am[erican] idea is not that every man shall be on a level with every other, but that every man shall have the liberty without hindrance to be what God made him. The office of gov[ernmen]t is not to confer happiness but to give men the opp[ortunity] to work out happiness for themselves.
The policy, it would seem, would then be to eliminate laws which constrain our freedom rather than to enact ones which (supposedly) ensure our equality.
Erm, good try, but no, as this is an absurdly limited understanding of the words “liberty” and “freedom.” You see, for “every man to have the liberty [without hindrance] to be what [...] made him,” in a nation whose founding documents theoretically guarantee that all men are, um, created equal*, one has to presume that all citizens would have [ahem!] equal rights and responsibilities and freedoms and liberties, etc. [Duh.] Some of these are conferred by the government getting its hands off, such as a woman’s right to choose, and others are conferred with government intervention. Marriage equality is one of those! You see, everyone, the government is the one providing the benefits and responsibilities of marriage! Therefore! In order to pursue an agenda of
wingnut buzzwords Liberty and Freedom for all Americans, one would have to support all Americans equal access to the institution of civil marriage. There is nothing left to prove about the nature of sexuality that would make it anything other than a given that telling gay people that we can marry someone of the opposite sex is a ridiculous interpretation of equal access to this institution. Same goes for things like ENDA, which would ensure that bigots don’t get to deny people access to jobs simply because they don’t like the genital composition of their sexual relationships.
Of course, assholes will argue all day long that that would infringe on bigoted business owners’ rights to hire and fire at will, and it’s for the same reason they still not-so-secretly hate the Civil Rights Act. I don’t have to make a further point on that, do I?
I cannot believe I am having to explain these things, but then again, he was trying to score partisan political points above by whining that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is anti-gay because she went after a Republican politician for sexting teenagers, for god’s sake, so we’re at a very remedial level here.
Amanda Marcotte actually made a good point on this subject the other day, in a longer post about the bankruptcy of libertarianism as a philosophy, and it applies here as well:
The word for my beliefs is “liberal” or “progressive”. Or, if you like, “socially liberal”. Liberalism, at its core, is about maximizing freedom, but in a substantive and not glib way like so-called libertarianism is. We believe in civil liberties, but also other freedoms, such as the “freedom froms” that FDR spoke of: freedom from want, freedom from fear. Thus, regulating business and supporting labor maximize freedom for the most number of people. We consider the freedom to have a life outside of work for the working class to be more important than the freedom of the rich to make another buck, for instance. Using “libertarian” to mean “pro-freedom” is misleading; under a libertarian system, the vast majority of people live lives under the corporate bootheel and are not free people at all.
Ding ding ding! And now the corollaries: the government giving all the people equal access to marriage and an equal chance at employment and housing, etc., maximizes freedom for the most people! And paying lip service to a BS Republican idea of “freedom” and “liberty” means that whoever has the most influence and clout gets the most “freedom” and “liberty,” and the rest of the people pretty much get stomped on.
Liberalism: It’s freedom and liberty, but in a grown-up way!
*Yeah, “equal” is right there in the Declaration. Thomas Jefferson, that f*cking Islamofascist socialist Kenyan communist.