Saturday, August 18, 2007

On Senator Graham

From the blog Down with Tyranny, we have this example of homophobia, written back in February:

Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an unmarried/never married 52 year old with a funny, forced way of walking, has been far more fastidious with his homosexuality. Again, "everyone" knows-- except the voters in conservative South Carolina. Not that it doesn't come up from time to time; people talk. In fact, the head of the Democratic Party in South Carolina said something when the effeminate Lindsey decided to run for Thurmond's senate seat. "He's a little too light in the loafers" to succeed Strom Thurmond. Graham got into a really queenie tizzy fit and loudly threatened to sue-- although he didn't. (They never do.)
We ain't stupid in these parts, okay? Fact is, the right wing has been (mostly) happy with Graham until recently, and they decided to put up with the rumors. And the left doesn't usually pick on politicians, even Republicans, for that reason. South Carolina Democrats do not want to gay-bait Graham, although several have in the past.

I know it's an old question, but unfortunately still very pertinent: Is it homophobic to out a closeted politician, if he is himself supporting a homophobic Republican party? Lindsey Graham has voted against gay adoption, and has predictably and faithfully supported the family-values crowd throughout his time in office.

The more powerful Graham gets, the more pertinent the question. Graham was recently censured by the SC Republican Party , for his stance on immigration. So, even under attack from the far right, it's notable that he has barely missed a beat. He doesn't seem at all worried.

If Senator Graham can trumpet his military service in the Gulf War to put forth the proposition that his experience as a veteran makes him particularly knowledgeable about foreign policy, it seems reasonable to ask why a big family-values fella like himself still isn't married. (How knowledgeable can he be about family values, if he has no family?) He used to make a lot of cutesy jokes about taking over Strom Thurmond's Senate seat, since Strom didn't get married until he was 45. The difference, of course, is that Strom was a known womanizer, and Graham is now 52. (It's pitiful he thinks he will get points comparing himself to Strom in that way.)

Then again, read Down with Tyranny, above. It's unpleasant.

Your thoughts?

13 comments:

KH said...

Yuh, it is unpleasant. And I wonder what people would propose to replace him with. I don't know SC politics. Could anybody to his left get elected, or is all of this more likely to lead to a primary defeat by an even more reactionary Republican, who'd then go on to win in Nov?

drakyn said...

I don't follow politicians close enough to give any opinion of specific individuals, but I think in theory sometimes it would be best to out someone. But, I think it would depend on what they were supporting/supported, who would replace them, how you out them, what the most likely outcomes are, etc. And I think it should only be done sparingly because I think it is wrong. Moreover, with xtian/Republicans, many seem to go "ex-gay" and then they become a problem again.

Anonymous said...

i disagree he's getting more powerful. lg will bury himself soon enough, so fuck him.

the campaign commercials by his sister trying to make him look -respectable- were pretty obvious.

Anonymous said...

oh sorry, that last was me, bryce.

Daisy said...

Could anybody to his left get elected

Nope

or is all of this more likely to lead to a primary defeat by an even more reactionary Republican, who'd then go on to win in Nov?

Yep!

See, it gets so complicated. :(

alphabitch said...

I don't oppose outing closeted folks who actively and publicly promote anti-gay attitudes and legislation. I do, on the other hand, oppose outing celebrities when the motive is pure gossip. I think its silly to be closeted in the first place, but mostly it makes me sad that people feel they need to go there at all.

Daisy said...

I am getting hits from Columbia, down there at state gov. Uh-oh!

Hi, Lindsey! (Or, hi Lindsey's staff!) Stop voting against gay adoption!!!!

KH said...

See, it gets so complicated. :(

Or so simple. Bad is better than worse. Graham is bad, but if any likely replacement is worse, then Graham, while bad, is better than any likely replacement. Most, if not all, politics is a choice of the lesser among evils.

If there were a reasonable chance that a conservative Democrat - who'd vote exactly the same way Graham does, including on gay issues - could win, then he'd be preferable, if only because he'd caucus w/ the Democrats. But how low are you willing to go on the basis of that possibility?

Whatever you think of the ethics of outing as practiced by, say, Michelangelo Signorile, the practice was hardly invented by the modern gay rights movement. It's long been a staple of gutter politics in culturally conservative areas of the country (i.e., where homosexuality is concerned, pretty much everywhere but the Castro, West Hollywood, & Greenwich Village), & the pretense that in the present SC context it's just a high-minded reaction to hypocrisy, rather than just another sordid example of the kind of nasty rumor-mongering politics practiced by, among others, Atwater & Rove, isn't entirely persuasive.

(Lest anyone forget, a Rove-inspired whispering campaign that the incumbant Governor, Ann Richards, was a big ole lesbian, played a non-trivial role in George W Bush's 1st election as Governor of Texas, which led to ...)

Daisy said...

If there were a reasonable chance that a conservative Democrat - who'd vote exactly the same way Graham does, including on gay issues - could win, then he'd be preferable, if only because he'd caucus w/ the Democrats. But how low are you willing to go on the basis of that possibility?

Not low at all.

Thing is, once someone is elected to the Senate from SC, they usually remain in the Senate until retirement or death, and that is ALSO a very unpleasant possibility. :(

Daisy said...

Since the gay scandal erupted over Idaho's 'family-values' Senator Craig, I've had a large increase of folks viewing of this thread. I wonder why? ;)

Greetings, yall!

Anonymous said...

Since the gay scandal erupted over Idaho's 'family-values' Senator Craig, I've had a large increase of folks viewing of this thread. I wonder why? ;)

Maybe waiting for the other shoe to drop?

DownWithTyranny said...

I'm the guy who wrote that DownWithTyranny post you quoted and even i find it unpleasant!

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