the Hypocrisy, Stupid
Defend Gay Man, Pigs Fly
are angry that the Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert story won’t go away. Guckert,
of course, is the now-infamous White House correspondent, the go-to
guy for softball questions, who turns out to have been a serial plagiarist
and a gay prostitute. He wrote under the pseudonym Jeff Gannon for a
website call gopusa.com, clearly an advocacy site for the Republican
his stories have been stripped from the website, and he is giving interviews,
complaining to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that “the effect of this has been
that we seem to have established a new standard for journalists in this
country, where if someone disagrees with you, then your personal life,
your private life, and anything you have ever done in the past is going
to be brought up for public inspection.”
of all, that standard is nothing new; it’s been in full effect since
the Clinton era at least. Second, Guckert is exactly the kind of weasel
who would jump on a story like this if it involved a Democrat.
Guckert is not alone in defending his largely indefensible position.
While most conservative columnists, along with the top newspapers in
the country are simply not addressing the story, hordes of Republican
bloggers, who usually wouldn’t touch a gay man with tongs, let alone
defend his reputation, are protesting that the left has gone too far,
that Gannon’s private life is off-limits, and, amazingly, accusing those
keeping the story alive to be homophobes. The hypocrisy is jaw-dropping.
people who are driving the Gannon/Guckert story are not homophobic.
Most of them probably think prostitution should be legal. But Guckert’s
homosexuality and promiscuity are absolutely fair game, because they
indicate a fundamentally flawed personal philosophy.
silly enough for Republicans to accuse anyone of hypocrisy while
they are defending a homosexual, but these people are simply missing
the point. To say his sexual orientation is an irrelevant issue is ridiculous.
It is extremely relevant, if only as a reference to his astounding hypocrisy.
If David Duke turned out to be a Jew, it would be newsworthy, and no
one would call those who reported it anti-Semitic.
wrote often about John Kerry's “pro-homosexual platform” in the runup
to the election. One of his stories was titled, "Kerry Could Become
First Gay President." These stories, needless to say, were not
positive, but designed to scare and anger homophobes, to fan the flames
of their dumb hatred. He espoused the imagined moral superiority of
his party and pandered to its most treasured prejudice, all while cornholing
rich businessmen for $200 an hour. That isn’t relevant? Ridiculous.
really got the Right’s panties twisted is that Guckert’s story is an
uncomfortable reminder of their own inner conflicts, a crack in the
wall of denial they’ve built in their minds to separate the standards
by which they judge others from the realities of their own personal
recent example of this comes in the form of a snippet of tape, a clandestine
recording of a private phone conversation between President Bush and
Doug Wead, former special assistant to the first President Bush, wherein
Bush clearly implies having used cocaine and pot, explaining that he
wouldn’t admit it publicly, “…‘cause I don't want some little kid doing
what I tried.”
revelation is hardly a shocker. Everyone on both sides has long known
that Bush was into his chemicals back when he was just a young middle-aged
man, whether they acknowledged it or not. But what it epitomizes is
the uncanny ability of conservatives to pride themselves in dishonesty
and double standards. Bush’s logic is so twisted he even finds fault
in Al Gore’s admission that he had tried reefer back in college.
than that is, again, the hypocrisy of it: Bush doesn’t have any qualms
about putting millions of non-violent offenders in prison for significant
fractions of their lives for doing less than what he won’t acknowledge,
but tacitly admits, he himself has done.
is a paradox in the heart of every fire-and-brimstone preacher, every
holier-than-thou pundit, every politician who campaigns primarily on
“moral values.” Their standards apply to everyone but themselves. The
moral values crowd is replete with immoral cretins, child molesters,
rapists, murderers, thieves, and prostitutes, and they are usually the
ones who shout loudest.
denial is a pervasive element of the Republican agenda, and extends
to policy: recent cabinet appointments are clearly designed to keep
the lid on any information that the neocons don’t want us to hear, or
just don’t want to hear themselves. The best examples of this are John
Negroponte, who will be in charge of intelligence, and still
denies the existence of death squads during his stay in Honduras, and
stealth appointee Allan Weinstein, a dubious conservative “historian”
who is now in charge of the National Archives, and will do everything
in his considerable power to stop or delay the release of any records
from this administration all the way back to Nixon’s.
and denial are as much essential components of Bush’s White House as
they are of a closet homosexual’s lifestyle. Penetrate the mirage, reveal
the lie, and people get angry. Right-wingers are mad because, in essence,
Guckert is Bush—a talentless pretender firing a cannon in a glass
not saying you can’t be a gay Republican. I’m saying you can’t be a
gay Republican and make any sense. It’s one thing to believe in smaller
government and free markets, but to choose to support a party that explicitly
finds you repugnant as a human being beggars the imagination.
is this enhanced capacity for denial and hypocrisy that the Bush administration
is relying on to get the job done. While they have spared no effort
in preventing incriminating evidence from ever seeing daylight, this
voluntary idiocy is their ace in the hole, ensuring that the inevitable
drips and drabs of evidence (a little torture here, some malfeasance
there) will in the end not be enough to topple them. Along with a complicit
GOP-dominated congress and a court system stacked with collaborators,
these factors combine to make the Bush White House a totally unbeatable
force, and leaves Democrats in the unenviable role of playing the eternal
loser Washington Generals to The Republican’s Harlem Globetrotters.
At this point, “Hannity and Colmes” is an accurate portrayal of the
political debate in this country and the power balance in our government.
of us outside the cult who are masochistic enough to keep paying attention
are horrified, watching our country’s future go to pieces and powerless
to do anything about it. It’s like watching someone kill your parents
on closed circuit TV in a jail cell—frustration and horror in the extreme.
Guckert, a liar, fraud and prostitute, is a perfect human embodiment
of the modern Republican. And that is why they are so desperate for
him to go away.