aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Slash & burn
My friend Basil’s comments from the other day seem to compare conservative reaction to the Schiavo case to liberal reaction to Gore’s loss in the 2000 election. I wonder, can anyone find an example of a Democrat saying anything near this from Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King on All Things Considered tonight?
What we have today is a judicial branch that is totally out of control...I am for Congress to exert its rightful constitutional authority over courts… the Constitution establishes only one court and that’s the Supreme Court. All other courts, and they’re called “Inferior Courts” in the Constitution, being federal courts are all creatures of Congress...so whatever Congress gives it can take away. If we wanted to abolish the 9th Circuit for example we could do that. Now I’m not going to say I think that’s a prudent thing to do. We could also cut the budget; we could prohibit the Justice Department from enforcing the orders of the courts. There are many, many tools that we have.
Indeed. They also talk about “court stripping,” removing the court’s jurisdiction to hear certain issues (for example, gay marriage). Listen for yourself.
I pay taxes for a war I don’t believe in, for schools I have no children in. No, I didn’t like the outcome in the 2000 election but yes, I accepted it. Without argument. Gore made a widely admired concession speech that showed respect for the court and support for President Bush.
Since Marbury v Madison we have had and believed in judicial review. We have a separation of powers in our constitutional democracy. Democrats respect that. Show me statements where they don’t. The conservative right clearly does not. This is dangerous and destructive.
I’m happy to watch the show, but don’t look for me at the festival.
UPDATE: The party has been postponed. They’re recording the program for a party at another time.
Crain on outing
I am an advocate of outing. I believe if you make my sexual orientation a political issue and work against my rights to freely express that orientation through my sexual activity, you make your sexual orientation and thereby your sexual activity open for public inspection (most especially, but not only, when you put it in the public realm by posting it on phone lines, websites or indulging in public sex).
Much more interesting to me than the spurious allegation that I “spiked” a story outing Ken Mehlman are the suggestions between the lines about what sort of evidence would justify going forward with a report “outing” him. RawStory quotes me (accurately) as saying that you can’t fairly report as fact that someone is gay unless that person says it to you. [B mine] That may seem overly cautious to some, but it’s the simple truth.
Though Crain agrees that “sexual orientation, in and of itself, is not a private thing” he insists again and again “the private sex lives of anti-gay politicians and those who work for them” are off limits.
It is not the role of the media, and should not be the role of the media - or activists, bloggers, or activists masquerading as journalists - to dig into the private sex lives of others, no matter how much the policies they advocate impact the sex lives of gay people. To quote some apt clichÃƒÂ©s, two wrongs do not make a right and the end does not justify the means.
There are more legitimate means of investigation. Looking into someone’s sexual orientation doesn’t require scouring phone sex lines, or hiding out in sex clubs, bathhouses and adult video stores - even though you could argue that each of these venues is quasi-public. It could mean simply reporting that someone has a same-sex love interest with whom they flit about town, or that they regularly show up at gay bars or parties.
So he thinks it’s public to be at a party (what of the private party?) but posting on websites, phonelines and going to sex clubs ("each of these venues is quasi-public") is not?
Huh? You can only report for a fact that someone is gay if that person tells you they’re gay? Apparently the Washington Blade now only reports stories where the subject of the story admits the substance of the story. Otherwise they kill it…
You didn’t seem too appalled when I got you in the New York Times last year on this issue. You didn’t seem too appalled when you begged me to write you an op ed supporting outing for your paper, and I did. You also didn’t seem too appalled when Mike Rogers gave you story after story about the outing campaign, and you printed story after story that he gave you, and when you outed GOP Hill staffer after GOP Hill staffer that Rogers handed you.
All this fuss over a newspaper. Have you heard? Even newspaper people don’t read newspapers anymore, preferring instead the web.
I’d bet on John.
RawStory posted a response to Crain’s editorial.