Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Advice to a Senator: Embrace teh Gay

Bathroom sex. Perhaps I’m just a prude, but bathroom sex seems weird to me. Particularly anonymous bathroom sex with people you’re not planning to see again. But then again, perhaps you wouldn’t want to see anyone after bathroom sex. I don’t know that I would. Perhaps that just depends on the bathroom.

And the thing is, I don’t know much about gay culture. I’m not gay. Haven’t been gay. Haven’t had gay sex. But I can’t imagine that it would be all that hard to arrange to have gay sex in a non-bathroom setting. Particularly not for a rich-guy Senator who can easily afford hotel rooms. In fact, bathroom sex seems like one of the more risky ways to go about it.

So I’m wondering if perhaps Senator Craig’s bathroom peccadilloes aren’t necessarily a result of his homosexuality, but rather that he really liked it that way. That it wasn’t enough to just have gay sex. He liked anonymous gay sex in bathrooms. Hell, it’s possible that he just liked anonymous bathroom sex, but couldn’t find any girls in the bathrooms he frequents. I never do.

And it’s not just him. It seems like all the closeted gay Republican leaders are into the freaky stuff. Or maybe not. Like I said, I don’t know much about gay culture, so maybe the stuff they’re into is just standard. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of Craig in the bathroom. The Rev. Haggard always on bottom. Congressman Foley and his barely pubescent boys. (Many of those Catholic priests also liked them young.) Then there’s Florida Congressman Bob Allen, who claimed he offered a “pretty stocky black guy” money and a BJ because he was scared he was “about to be a statistic.”

And it’s not limited to gay Republicans. Self-righteous Congressman Vitter apparently had some diaper fetish or something. And then there’s anti-sex-abuse crusader and former South Dakota legislator Ted Klaudt who got caught molesting his foster children; including performing medical “exams” on them so they could sell their eggs to a fertility clinic. I’d go on, but I’m about to vomit just thinking about that last one.

And it just seems that there’s something more for these “family values” hypocrites than just sex. This isn’t just gayness or adultery. It’s something naughty. Something perverted. I mean, I’ve been in a few nice bathrooms in my time. Some which were even nicer than quite a few motel rooms I’ve stayed in. But all the same, bathroom sex just doesn’t seem like a normal activity if sex was all you were really after. That’s not to knock any of you, if that’s your thing. I’m just saying that there seems to be more to this than just a convenient location.

Going Negative

And I can certainly understand why Craig lied about it. I can even understand why Craig was anti-gay in public. At a minimum, it’s always a good way of getting rightwing support; akin to kissing babies and ridiculing any macacas who might be in the crowd. Especially as I believe a politician’s job is to represent their constituents, and not impose their own values upon them. I don’t care if a Dem politician opposes abortion, just as long as they don’t try to stop anyone else from having one. And while I’m not cool with Craig making America worse for gay people, I’m not cool with straight politicians doing that either.

And this might have just been part of Craig’s big kick. Perhaps he really enjoyed being a naughty hypocrite. Someone who likes his gayness to be all sly and perverted. Again, that’s not to knock anyone who does what he does. As long as it’s consensual, I don’t really have a problem with it (assuming I’m not in the same bathroom at the time, of course).

But once he got caught, he really needed to just go with it. One of the biggest contributions Rove taught us was that you should not only embrace your negatives, but you should flaunt them. For example, if your candidate is so irredeemably stupid that he can’t form complete sentences without hurting himself, then just put a cowboy hat on him, buy him a ranch, and have him talk with a stupid accent. And if his running mate is a bullshitty secretive bastard with a scowl problem, tell everyone he’s the weighty big daddy who will keep the moron in line with his “gravitas.” The more their opponents try to take advantage of these flaws, the more they say “Yep, that’s right. Just an average Joe and his dad’s serious friend.” Works every time.

And the same goes for Craig. If he wanted to fight this, he really needed to do it in court and not have pled guilty. I don’t know about you, but if my wide bathroom stance and habit of tap dancing and high-fiving people while taking a dump ever got me arrested, I’d fight it. But for whatever reason, he pled guilty. And now he’s done for. Time for fighting is over. It’s time for him to embrace teh gay.

The Gay Neighbor

And how he needs to go about this is to insist that there’s nothing wrong with being gay and that homosexuality doesn’t hurt families. I know, that’s a stretch to think this would work against Republicans, but it’s his only hope. To come out, stand on his record, and loudly proclaim “This is the political record of a gay man. A gay man served Idaho proudly for almost eighteen years, and he’ll continue to do so."

Do I think this will save his career? If played right, it’s unlikely, but possible. Because I don’t think the anti-gay thing is nearly as strong as people believe. In fact, I know several Republicans whose rhetoric is anti-gay, but who have no problem with specific gay people they know and like. And that’s all he’s really fighting for: to get people to admit that, even if they don’t like gay men, they like this gay man. Sure, there are many people who truly hate gay people, but I think those are a much smaller minority than anyone realizes. And seeing as how many of the loudest anti-gay people turn out to be gay, even the gay haters might not be as big of a problem as we imagine.

Most of what you hear is simply rightwing rhetoric that people don’t really believe. It’s all about denouncing “special rights” and nonsensical arguments on how gay marriage destroys families. But when you get back to reality, many of them don’t really believe this stuff. They’re not saying it necessarily because they hate gays. They say it because they’re Republicans, and Republicans usually follow the script they're given. They do it because they’re against Democrats and the “Gay Agenda.” But it really doesn’t have anything to do with actual gay people or reality. As I said, some of the strongest anti-gay people are gay.

But the bigger issue is that he’s probably finished in any case. Conservatives are already denouncing him in droves and his denials won’t stop that. And so the only chance he has is to come out proudly. If he goes down, he should at least go down in style. He should apologize for the deception and insist that he’s happier now that he got it out of the way. And it’s possible that he could actually get the Idahoans who supported him to realize that they always supported a gay man, and that’s alright. And who knows, after that, maybe he could start using hotel rooms. Assuming he’s into that kind of thing.

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