AWFUL POST[Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The reporter here in the Washington Post this morning seems to be insinuating that these staffers are a gay couple — but he doesn’t actually say so. If that is not the case, it’s outrageous to insinuate.
The three — chief of staff Scott Palmer, deputy chief of staff Mike Stokke and counsel Ted Van Der Meid — have formed a palace guard around Hastert (R-Ill.) for years, attaining great degrees of power and unusual autonomy to deal with matters of politics, policy and House operations. They are also remarkably close. Palmer and Stokke have been with Hastert for decades. They live together in a Capitol Hill townhouse and commute back to Illinois on weekends.
In all honesty, if she hadn’t mentioned it, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to read that as an “insinuation” that Palmer and Stokke are a gay couple. They’re roommates. It’s unusual for older people to have that sort of situation and, therefore, it seems like a sufficiently noteworthy fact to put in an article. And, yes, now that she points it out, I suppose one might think they were lovers. When my roommate and I lived in a two bedroom rowhouse, people sometimes mistook us for a gay couple. Not being bigots, we didn’t take that to be “outrageous to insinuate.” Rather, it was a misunderstanding. These things happen.