David Corn reports the existence of “The List” a roster of gay Republican congressional aides. Said staffers are becoming the target of anger from GOP types who believe Mark Foley was being protected by an insidious cabal of gay conservatives who somehow managed to prevent the leadership from doing anything about what was happening. More intriguingly, Corn writes:
I have a copy. I’m not going to publish it. For one, I don’t know for a fact that the men on the list are gay. And generally I don’t fancy outing people — though I have not objected when others have outed gay Republicans, who, after all, work for a party that tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians and that welcomes the support of those who demonize same-sexers.
I’ve always found there to be something of a generation gap among liberals in this town on “outings” with younger people saying go for it, and our elders being more hesitant. Certainly, I’m all for disclosre. The Republicans don’t just “welcome the support of those who demonize same-sexers,” they’ve made gay-bashing (along with terrorism) one of the primary emotional foci of conservative politics in America. If liberals got to make up all the rules of the game, homosexuality wouldn’t be an issue in American politics. But we don’t get to make up the rules unilaterally, and the right has decreed that it is an issue — a major issue — and the left needs to play by the rules of the game as it exists.
What’s more, the very fact that we’re even talking about a “list” here is indicative of how far into the fever swamps of homophobia conservatives have dragged us. We’re supposed to believe, I guess, that straight men have never behaved lecherously vis-a-vis women they have a supervisory relationship with? If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’d be interested in selling you.