Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The principle of privacy

We spent a week watching Democratic Senators lecturing Judge Alito about the vital importance of privacy. Now that Alito's nomination is finally up for a vote, however, the privacy of at least one Republican Senator is worth nothing: Vote our way or we'll out you.

You know, I'm not a lawyer, but doesn't that sound kind of like blackmail?

But scandal and blackmail are such fun. It's like a mystery, and here's the really fun part:

If, when the Alito vote is over, no Republican senators are "outed," then we'll know that one of the Republican senators who voted "no" is gay.

Boy, talk about the horns of a dilemma! This GOP Senator -- whom Mike Rogers accuses of having oral sex with another man in the Union Station restroom -- now faces this choice:

1. Vote "NO," and Mike won't out me. But if only a handful of Republicans vote "no," then the process of elimination might have the effect of outing me, anyway.

2. Vote "YES," and then Mike destroys what he calls my "fake marriage," not to mention probably ending my Senate career.

Right now, every conservative in America is probably running down a list of his favorite "GOP maverick" or RINO (Republican In Name Only) Senators, hoping against hope .... OK, I won't name names.

Here's some questions for Mike Rogers, though:

-- In a Union Station restroom, for real? I used to ride the Metro train to work, so I'm familiar with the men's rooms at Union Station and talk about nasty! You could get a disease just by walking in there. I figure, a Senator ought to be able to afford a motel room, at least -- how are you sure this wasn't just someone who looked like [name of a notorious RINO omitted]?

-- It's a free country, Mike, but have you really thought about your tactics here? I mean, suppose your closeted GOP Senator is from a very conservative state like, just for example, Arizona. If he comes out, he can't get re-elected and his political influence becomes zero. But if this hypothetical hypocrite stays in the closet, his guilty conscience might sometimes prompt him to go against the rest of those homophobic Republicans, kind of like a "maverick," you see? So this GOP hypocrite and his "fake marriage" might actually work to your advantage, if you play your cards right. (Though I'm thinking maybe somebody might need to rename their campaign bus.)

-- Let's talk about "choice," Mike. Obviously, you've chosen to be very public with your sexuality and, hey, it's a free country. But this GOP Senator who's tricking in the men's room at the train station, he's made another choice. Are you saying that no one should ever be able to keep their sexual preferences private? Or are you just saying that only someone who votes the way you like is entitled to their privacy?

-- It's just politics, Mike. For crying out loud, lots of Republicans voted for Ginsburg and Breyer. And even though the right-wing base opposed those nominees, I don't recall them making any threats other than the usual "see you in November" stuff. You don't have any idea how Alito will vote on gay rights or any other issue. He might be another David Souter, for all you know.

-- We have a representative form of government, Mike. Maybe this GOP closet-case Senator would, if he had his druthers, vote for the whole gay rights agenda. But he was elected to represent the people of his state (come on Mike, is it Arizona, huh? huh?), and the voters in his state are totally against that agenda. What's he supposed to do? Commit political hari-kiri, just so the guys in the Union Station restroom don't think he's a hypocrite?

But, hey, considering the way the GOP-controlled Senate has been pork-barreling us into deficits lately (Alaska? Is it Alaska, Mike?), I don't have a dog in this fight. If you expose a gay Republican Senator, I'm betting he wasn't much of a Republican anyway. Destroy his career, destroy his "fake marriage," and a Democrat gets elected in his place -- six of one, half a dozen of the other as far as most conservatives are concerned.

Honest, Mike: The way the GOP Senate has operated in recent years, I'm guessing that in every state with at least one Republican Senator, many conservatives are saying to themselves, "Please let it be my unprincipled, spendthrift, sold-out hack!"

So, really, the only person you would hurt is some pathetic woman in a "fake marriage." Exposing her as an Arianna-type loser would just be cruel, don't you think?

-- MCCAIN (no relation to any "GOP mavericks")

P.S.: Mike, it's ONE SEAT on the court. Ralph Neas & Co. have been yanking your chain as a fund-raising gimmick, OK? When the whole Alito nomination process started, it was a lead-pipe cinch the guy was going to get confirmed: He's a long-term federal judge, rated highly by the ABA, and smart enough not to say anythng stupid during his confirmation hearing. There was never any possibility that the Democrats would stop Alito -- never. Repeat: never. You're getting scammed if you take Ted Kennedy seriously. So your friends' extreme "never going to vote for those #$@%& again" rhetoric is ill-considered. What are you going to do -- vote Libertarian? Green? CPUSA?

UPDATE: I just went back to Mike Rogers' site and noticed that he claimed to have "outed" Matt Drudge. Ridiculously low standards of "proof" there. Suppose that Mike Rogers, when he was 17, took a girl to his high-school prom. Does that make him secretly straight? Rogers quotes Drudge saying that he was "nearly married a few years ago." How is that evidence of homosexuality? But on the other hand, suppose it is true that Drudge -- as David Brock asserts -- has occasionally ... whatever. Rogers is judging Drudge according to a "once gay/always gay" standard that is just silly.