Recently the port side of the blogosphere have taken on a new tactic: outing.
Senator Larry Craig.... What's with the gay bashing?
And... the pitch... Another case coming soon
Sen. Larry Craig (R) of Idaho Outed by Mike Rogers on Ed Schultz
Okay, here's my fundamental problem with this. While I understand that many on the left believe that, for example, opposing same-sex marriage is tantamount to gay bashing, this whole process of outing relies upon homophobia to cost a candidate votes.
You see, it is possible for someone who is gay to oppose same-sex marriage. Simply put gay rights advocates missed a bet several years ago when President Bush went on record as supporting "civil unions" which granted all the rights of marriage except the word. When the opposing team is willing to put the football on the one-yard line, you don't say "fuck off; give me a touchdown or die!!!" You say "thank you very much", take your (massive) win, and wait a decade, when the public has become used to gay
marriages civil unions, take out the erasers and correction tape, and replace "civil unions" with "marriage."
See, there are two underlying assumptions of the gay rights crowd which are being violated by all this screaming "in your face" bullshit. First, the public has a streak of homophobia. And second, people fear what they are not used to. As soon as you permit civil unions, the public gets used to it, and rather than creating a civil war because
you hate conservative republicans and are using gay people as an excuse to create a political fight you want it all now for some inexplicable reason, you've gotten gay marriage without a fight--or even a raised voice.
In a way, one could argue that it is in the best interests of homosexuals to support civil unions and fly "marriage" under the radar. After all, both "in your face" bullshit and "flying under the radar" both nominally are attempting to achieve the same goal--but honestly: which will get you there faster?
But outing Republicans: now that's a problem.
It's a problem because it relies upon homophobia in order to cost Republicans votes. It relies upon re-emphasizing all the negative stereotypes--feeding homophobia and growing homophobia for political gain. It also relies upon assuming all politics is black and white and uncompromising--and it demands that "faggots" know their place. (What? You're a Republican Faggot?!? How dare you step out of your pre-assigned roles!)
This sort of gay (Republican) bashing is not going to advance homosexual rights. It's only going to reinforce the most base instincts of a homophobic crowd--and using (and feeding) homophobia (such as talking up Fowley's homosexuality, which only reinforces the notion that homosexual men are all pedophiles, rather than labeling Fowley as the creep he is) will set back gay rights by a decade.
I'm mindful of the fact that most of my personal liberal friends believe that this sort of gay bashing is a sort of "payback" for what they perceive as gay bashing.
But justify it all you will--it is what it is. Gay bashing.