Teabagger v Closet Case

Reading some of the coverage of last night’s Crist/Rubio Fox News debate, and the coverage of the race in general, just makes me think about things that cannot be discussed.

One of the real issues in voters’ minds must be the recent poor track record of beard-loving closet cases. Setting aside homophobia, there’s a real practical issue of whether someone like Crist, who seems more of a Massa/Craig style of closet case than the Lindsey Graham model, will be caught in some airport restroom during his first term.

The other issue is that the role of a Republican Senator from the South could be accomplished by some form of trained animal. It merely requires voting against anything that comes to the floor and taking one’s turn blocking appointments and threatening filibuster.

Instead of confronting these two issues, we get questions about whether Florida should have a sales tax or higher user fees, a real hot topic in recent Senate debates.






30 replies
  1. 1
    AnderJ says:

    Cheap bit of gaybaiting, no?

  2. 2
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    There is nothing wrong with being gay mistermix. Let us elevate the discourse.

  3. 3
    Woodbuster says:

    Dude, when even BoB is criticizing you, you have screwed up. Kinda tone deaf this morning, huh?

  4. 4
    jon says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: When Godwin’s wins, it’s God’s win.

    I guess that means The C(h)rist will be sacrificed again, for the collective good.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I agree with your second point, mistermix. The issue of knee-jerk obstructionism in the Senate, reflecting the will of the electorate even when that will doesn’t align with GOParty discipline — these are certainly points worth debating.

    But Crist’s or any other candidate’s sexuality should be off-limits. You may be right that it’s a real issue for voters, and if they believe Crist is gay (with or without a beard) and if they think this trumps everything else, they are free to vote against him. But that’s a far cry from your contention that this needs to be discussed publicly and be part of the debate questioning. If, and only if, Crist or anyone else commits an act that is clearly illegal or unethical, then fine, he’s fair game. But AFAIK this is not the case so it’s rightly off the table.

    (Florida sales tax vs user fees, I agree, is not the stuff of US Senate debates and if these were the topics that were brought up — I haven’t read any of the coverage yet — then bad on the moderator or questioners.)

  6. 6
    mistermix says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    When it comes to closeted conservative politicians, I’m more on the Kirby Dick side of the fence: their personal lives become fair game because they have decided to demonize homosexuals and use them as political pawns. If their position is that we should hate and/or fear teh gays, they why shouldn’t their closeted sexuality be an object of discussion, since it is something hateful or scary?

    And I do think that practical-minded voters, who really don’t care a whole lot if someone is gay, might legitimately wonder if Charlie’s closet case status will end up in a scandal which will leave them unrepresented. That’s not gay-baiting, it’s a real issue. I live in Eric Massa’s district. I don’t have a Representative today, and I may not for months.

  7. 7
    David says:

    Both Crist and Rubio have brought up each other’s “manliness” deficits.

    I like how a Republican’s sexuality becomes the focus of other Republicans when it’s convenient to do so.

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @mistermix: Serious question — *has* Crist demonized homosexuals? I truly don’t know. If he has, then call him out on his bigoted positions and policies.

    I understand your frustration as a (former) Massa constituent. But people leave office for all kinds of reasons, not all of them having to do with sexual hypocrisy. The people of Minnesota were underrepresented in the Senate for half a year. There are probably quite a few Reps from both parties who are simon-pure on sexual matters but who routinely fail to show up for votes. Not to mention financial manipulation and other abuses of power. You (the voter) simply can’t know in advance everything that might go wrong once the candidate is in office, including accident, illness, death, family crises, and a raft of other unlikely but real possibilities.

  9. 9
    Menzies says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I’m not sure if Crist has gone as far as to demonize them, but he has opposed gay marriage and gay adoption in the past. His “moderate” character stems mostly from where he’s been willing to work together with Democrats, or more specifically Obama, on economic policy.

    Other than that, this.

    @mistermix:

    I agree with your reasoning, but the smell of this to me isn’t too different from that of the 1994 Republican goons who ran Tom Foley out of office on the basis of his supposedly being closeted. It’s worth calling Crist out for leading a life he publicly demonizes, but I don’t know just how far you can take it before it becomes less calling the candidate out and more being as willing to make an issue out of it as the other side.

    More relevantly, though, I don’t know that many people in his state realize he’s in the closet, if he is. I’ve got family in Florida (Cubans, read: Rubio supporters) who had apparently never heard of such rumors, but I’m not sure how well-read they are in state politics, and I know when Lindsey Graham was “outed” in South Carolina a lot of citizens seemed rather confused – and unlike Graham, Crist did marry during his term in office, which could help allay suspicions.

    @David:

    As Ashcroft might say, “They’re saying you can’t talk about sexuality. Well, I think all we should talk about is sexuality.”

  10. 10
    mistermix says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Crist supports a ban on gay marriage and a ban on gay adoption rights.

  11. 11
    geg6 says:

    @Menzies:

    More relevantly, though, I don’t know that many people in his state realize he’s in the closet, if he is. I’ve got family in Florida (Cubans, read: Rubio supporters) who had apparently never heard of such rumors, but I’m not sure how well-read they are in state politics, and I know when Lindsey Graham was “outed” in South Carolina a lot of citizens seemed rather confused – and unlike Graham, Crist did marry during his term in office, which could help allay suspicions.

    I find it hard to believe that they hadn’t heard the Crist rumors. It’s pretty common knowledge and was even the subject of a documentary film called “Outrage,” which has been shown multiple times, I think on HBO. I know I saw it there. And I remember the uproar when it was first shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

    That said, in checking for the link to “Outrage” by going to Crist’s Wiki page, I am a little taken aback to find out that Crist is a native of Altoona, PA. I did not know that. A bit of a weird place, Altoona, though we have a very nice campus there.

    Edited to add link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O.....mentary%29

  12. 12
    Lee says:

    Was I the last person on the internet to find out Lindsey Graham is gay?

    In my defense I never really paid that much attention to him.

  13. 13

    I’m a Floridian, and the thing that disappoints me most about the Crist-Rubio kerfluffle is that Dems are not capitalizing on a golden opportunity. Our candidate, Kendrick Meek, is doing a shitty job of presenting himself as an alternative to these two clowns, in my opinion.

    His organization seems, well, disorganized. They’ve wasted months on a silly initiative to collect signatures to put Meek’s name on the ballot, which is wholly unnecessary (no one does it — I believe every other senatorial candidate paid a fee, thus waiving the signature requirement).

    I like Meek. I’m going to vote for him. If his campaign coordinators ever bother to get in contact with me about the offer to volunteer I made two months ago, I will work my ass off to get him elected. But sadly, it looks like we’ll end up with Crist or Rubio. And the statewide Dem organization’s and Meek’s deficiencies are part of the reason why we will likely lose .

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @mistermix #10: I agree those are abhorrent positions and worthy of debate time. But the debate needs to be on the merits of the argument not the (alleged) personal life of the one making the argument.

  15. 15
    cleek says:

    @Lee:
    i don’t think it’s been confirmed, yet.

  16. 16

    Crist’s sexuality is fair game as far as I’m concerned because of the reasons mistermix stated, but in terms of this election, they’re pretty much irrelevant.

    And Florida has a sales tax. It’s an income tax we don’t have.

  17. 17

    @Betty Cracker: Will Meek ever be anything other than the Blue Dog that he’s been?

  18. 18
    Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Wrong. Hypocrisy in public policy is fair game, and playing let’s pretend is how we got here. When you make other people’s private lives the basis for legislation, you’ve made your own a fit topic for public discourse.

  19. 19
    danimal says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Exhibit A in my contention the BoB is a spoof.

  20. 20

    @ Calvin Jones — meh, probably not. Still, he’d be a damn sight better than either Rubio or Crist.

  21. 21

    The other issue is that the role of a Republican Senator from the South could be accomplished by some form of trained animal.

    Based on the behavior of Southern Republican Senators since 1994, I thought this had been put to rest already.

    Though I do question the priorities of the trainer.

    @Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion: This – its the blatant, destructive hypocrisy that riles.

  22. 22
    Dr. Squid says:

    You mean only one of them is a closeted gay who’s against gay marriage?

  23. 23
    Steeplejack says:

    @AnderJ:

    I don’t think this is gay-baiting. The point being raised is not whether Crist (or any politician) is gay but whether his (or any politician’s) handling of his sexual identity presents problems down the road. It’s not really anyone’s business whether Crist is gay, or whether he chooses to stay in the closet or whatever–but, like it or not, it is an issue in his chosen career as a politician. Not because of whether he is or is not gay but because how he deals with it goes to the issue of his judgment.

    The poster-boy example is Roy Ashburn, the California state legislator who was arrested for DUI after leaving a gay nightclub. He is married and a father, and he has voted against every gay-rights measure in the state senate in his tenure, apparently because “that’s what his constituents want” (paraphrasing from another article).

    So he appears to be–or was, at least–deep in the closet. Fine, I don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is someone who is so psychologically fucked up that he is basically voting against himself just to stay in office. That level of self-loathing, or lack of self-awareness, is something that I do not want in my elected representative. Especially if it leads to him driving around drunk in the wee hours of the morning.

  24. 24
    mclaren says:

    @mistermix:

    The other issue is that the role of a Republican Senator from the South could be accomplished by some form of trained animal. It merely requires voting against anything that comes to the floor and taking one’s turn blocking appointments and threatening filibuster.

    LOL. Excellent.

    @BOB:

    There’s nothing wrong with being gay.

    Unless, of course, you want to serve in the military. All that doublethink — so confusing, no?

  25. 25
    Menzies says:

    @geg6:

    I’d heard of the documentary, and was reminded by mistermix’s “Kirby Dick” link, but given the apparent unawareness of my relatives I wondered if the film had just failed to penetrate into the Florida market.

    I suppose it’s also possible that they just refuse to believe them enough that they forget the rumors even exist.

  26. 26
    Steeplejack says:

    @geg6, @Menzies:

    Coincidentally, Outrage will be on HBO-P (HBO-2) at 3:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow morning (Tuesday). Good movie.

  27. 27
    Menzies says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I don’t have HBO. :(

  28. 28
    Steeplejack says:

    @Menzies:

    Readily available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Netflix.

  29. 29
    Church Lady says:

    I was out of the country for three weeks and used that time to ignore anything and everything political happening here in the States. Who the hell is mistermix and where did he come from?

  30. 30
    fucen tarmal says:

    if you are running for a lawmaking role in a government that you believe isn’t ever the solution to anything, and can only screw up whenever it aims to do anything;

    i don’t see how being self-loathing can be a handicap, in fact were i considering voting for, supporting, funding, or advocating for such a candidate, i might insist on it.

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