The WaPo Is Shrill

I’m not sure how this made it into Fred Hiatt’s loss leader for Kaplan, but more power to them:

But for House Republicans, and for the Family Foundation, an anti-gay group that stirred up opposition to Mr. Thorne-Begland’s nomination, his sexual orientation trumped his copious professional qualifications. Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who last year expressed the view that gays are “intrinsically disordered,” denounced the nominee as “an aggressive activist for the pro-homosexual agenda.”

Mr. Marshall — known in Richmond as “Sideshow Bob” — said that, as a gay man living with a domestic partner, Mr. Thorne-Begland had a lifestyle that would impede him from upholding Virginia’s constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. As if the nominee’s sexual orientation would cripple his ability to preside over traffic cases and misdemeanors.

Other GOP delegates impugned Mr. Thorne-Begland’s character by noting that he’d concealed his homosexuality when he enlisted in the Navy in the late 1980s. Never mind that the military’s own rules, reflecting America’s evolving views, have moved well beyond that debate.

No matter how they dressed it up, the Republicans’ opposition boiled down to old-fashioned prejudice. Even by voting at 1 a.m., they couldn’t hide the fact that bigotry and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is alive and well in the state of Virginia.

I agree with every piece of this editorial, with one minor quibble. This isn’t “old-fashioned prejudice” or “old-fashioned bigotry,” this is the new-fashioned bigotry that the Christianist and Bircher right have normalized for us all. In the old-fashioned kind of bigotry, you were at least embarrassed enough to hide behind a hood and robe as you sneaked around burning crosses in people’s front yards. In the new kind, you are accepted into polite society, allowed on television to every day spew your bile, and stand proudly in the well of your state house telling us that the baby Jesus demands that no gays adopt babies or become judges or are treated like human beings.

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33 replies
  1. 1
    c u n d gulag says:

    “Virginia Is For Lovers.”

    Just not THOSE kind of lovers!

  2. 2
    Clime Acts says:

    For these bigots, who surely know their kind is fading away, the GAY of today is the COLORED of the late sixties.

    The more they realize their days are numbered, the uglier and meaner they get.

    Fuck them.

    Not literally of course.

  3. 3
    Steve M. says:

    The future of American politics is an unyieldingly pro-corporate wingnut party that’s socially tolerant and an unyieldingly pro-corporate wingnut party that loves Jeebus. Basically Gilded Age + Gary Johnson’s social-issues stances versus Gilded Age + Rick Santorum’s. The WaPo is siding with the former.

  4. 4
    Ash Can says:

    Maybe the fishwrap board took a look at all the DC pols coming out in favor of gay marriage and immediately thought of all the cocktail receptions they’d be disinvited to if they didn’t hop on the bandwagon.

  5. 5
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Strange to me that any gay would vote for a party which is so openly hostile. So now gays cannot qualify for judicial positions? Just wow.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    Check out the readers’ comments on Richmond Times Disgrace story.

    Be prepared to be heartened. They’re appalled at what Bob Marshall and the General Assembly wrought too.

    Change comes to the Old Dominion.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    Once in a while, the WaPo editorialists take note of that fucking shovel and call it by its right name. Helps if the issue-at-hand has nothing to do with economics or foreign affairs.

  8. 8
    Redshift says:

    How did I not know that Bob Marshall’s nickname in Richmond was “Sideshow Bob”?

  9. 9
    Bulworth says:

    as a gay man living with a domestic partner, Mr. Thorne-Begland had a lifestyle that would impede him from upholding Virginia’s constitution, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

    So, there can’t be any judges who (a)live alone; (b)live with someone who isn’t their spouse? Because if a judge lived alone or lived with someone who wasn’t their spouse, they couldn’t “uphold Virginia’s Constitution”?

    Maybe this is why I don’t live in Virginia.

  10. 10
    Redshift says:

    And John, I must disagree with your quibble. They put on hoods when they were going to threaten three objects of their bigotry directly, and they didn’t do it out of embarrassment, but because it was more intimidating. In state legislatures and in broadcasts, the bigotry was much more open and direct than this.

  11. 11
    handsmile says:

    Homophobic zealots like NOM’s Maggie Gallagher and AFA’s Bryan Fischer and the anti-gay marriage group “Protectmarriage.com” attempted a similar stunt last year in California.

    A suit was filed in US District Court seeking to vacate the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8. They argued that Walker could not be impartial in his ruling because he himself was gay.

    Fortunately, that “reasoning” was laughed out of court. From Chief Judge James Ware’s opinion upholding Walker’s decision:

    “The presumption that Judge Walker, by virtue of being in a same-sex relationship, had a desire to be married that rendered him incapable of making an impartial decision,” Ware wrote, “is as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief.”

    While increasingly unsuccessful in the courts, efforts to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation continue to flourish in state legislatures. No surprise that bigots like Chris Christie are so hell-bent on seeking to proscribe minority rights through state ballot questions.

  12. 12
    Zagloba says:

    Gay marriage doesn’t cost the Kochs money, so the Village is all for it.

    Less flippantly: one of the rare upsides of the way the mainstream news media is run (bias toward balance, the View From Nowhere, etc) is that the default view is that rights are to be spread around as thickly as possible — when by “rights” is meant “allowing things one might do that don’t impact a company’s bottom line” and “prohibiting harmful things other people in one’s own SES bracket might do to one”. Denying marriage equality just feels squicky and wrong to everyone in the news business.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    @Bulworth:

    So, there can’t be any judges who (a)live alone; (b)live with someone who isn’t their spouse? Because if a judge lived alone or lived with someone who wasn’t their spouse, they couldn’t “uphold Virginia’s Constitution”?

    It’s a deeply silly justification. Commence the inquiry into judicial personal lives! God, they should be embarrassed. I know they’re vicious bigots, but apart from that they should be embarrassed for not coming up with something even slightly believable. They’re DUMB vicious bigots.

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Check out the readers’ comments on Richmond Times Disgrace story.
    __
    Be prepared to be heartened. They’re appalled at what Bob Marshall and the General Assembly wrought too.

    Yep, one of the few rays of hope in this ugly story.

    It’s also interesting to see that the Commonwealth’s Attorney condemning this act of bigotry is a black man.

    But it is clear that on the federal, state, and local level, the GOP has decided to take a stand on extremist fundamentalism and religious and social bigotry.

  15. 15
    gaz says:

    @Kay:

    They’re DUMB vicious bigots.

    Docked for redundancy. Mean and Dumb go together like PB&J. =)

    cheers

  16. 16

    Ot

    In an election-year speech designed to give Republicans the high ground in policymaking and the 2012 campaign, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday said President Obama lacked the “courage” to deal with the nation’s fiscal problems.

    And later, after the speech, and a good cry, Boehner was waxing poetic about the beautifical sunset over the shark tank.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    @Kay:

    They’re DUMB vicious bigots.

    Sadly, they are not dumb at all. There is clearly an organized, well-financed campaign to attack gays and women and other groups. State after state is pushing forward legislation that breaks new ground in bigotry. Amending state constitutions clearly tries to undermine federal law, and also to prepare the way for a federal constitutional amendment if the Republicans win the presidential election in November.

    Vicious. Oh, yes.

    Dumb. No. Crazy and determined.

  18. 18
    Another Halocene Human says:

    They’re losing, so they have to up the ante.

    Gays protested their ouster from the civil service back in the 40’s/50’s but the serious people were askeered of commies and booted them out anyway. (It actually made gays more likely to be compromised by the enemy, but never mind facts–IT’S AUTHORITARIAN FAILUTIONS TIME.) I don’t recall seeing photos of massive counter protests. The gay baiting didn’t start cranking until the 70’s, when serious people starting saying stuff like gays aren’t mentally ill, and why shouldn’t we have gay politicians and schoolteachers and gay bars that aren’t run by the mob in cahoots with the vice squad? Schaffly the elder started the gay-baiting, and the big Christ-stain groups followed rapidly in the early 80’s discovering that it was a consistent, major fund-raiser.

    You just don’t see homosexuality on the radar of buybull-believin’ christians in the early 20th century, certainly not up there with dancing and cards. The Holy Babble barely gives it a mention, in fact.

    So yes, this is new-fashioned bigotry. (Old-fashioned bigotry was blaming Jews for the Scottish Presbyterian-owned bank-sponsored rape of the Midwest farmer because (usury | Jews are icky).)

  19. 19
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s also interesting to see that the Commonwealth’s Attorney condemning this act of bigotry is a black man.

    Oh noes, what will happen to their divide-and-conquer the disadvantaged strategery?

  20. 20
    eemom says:

    As I’ve said before, notwithstanding the drekulous wasteland that comprises the Post opinion pages 99% of the time, there are certain topics on which Hiatt consistently pulls his head out of his ass and writes reasonable and responsible editorials. Virginia politics is one of them.

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    I think this could motivate voters to support Obama and Tim Kaine for the Senate.

    And that Tracy Thorne-Begland has a bright judicial future. Perhaps with a federal appointment.

    I think Sideshow Bob (?) Marshall may regret what he’s stirred up, sooner rather than later.

  22. 22
    mdblanche says:

    Semi-OT: When I was checking on the most read editorials in the Kaplan Daily last night, Mann and Ornstein’s fair and unbalanced calling-out of the GOP was number 1 despite it being two and a half weeks old. Usually nothing lasts longer on that list for more than 2 days. They’d better be careful with this type of thing down on the Potomac or people will start calling for more of it. And then where will they be?

  23. 23
    eemom says:

    @Clime Acts:

    Hey Timmy, are you still around? I have a question from yesterday.

  24. 24
    eemom says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet, but Sideshow Bob is the teatard challenger to has-been neoneanderthal thug George Allen, the “establishment” candidate against Tim Kaine.

  25. 25
    DFH no.6 says:

    There’s a reason that Christianity in America is primarily identified with being so virulently against equal rights (and thus equal humanity) for homosexuals.

    Religious (in this country, that’s almost entirely Christian) strictures against homosexuality as “immoral” are the only excuses for the bigotry.

    The pious ones here will object to my saying this, but the present effects of Christianity in our public life are large and mostly toxic.

    Which is particularly rich considering the 2,000+ year old fables it’s based on are as absurd and divorced from reality as, say, those in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, or Gilgamesh, or The Iliad and The Odyssey, or the Bhagavad Gita. Or a thousand others you could name (and thousands of others long forgotten).

    Diderot had it right: humanity will only be free when the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

  26. 26
    cmorenc says:

    @John Cole:

    I agree with every piece of this editorial, with one minor quibble. This isn’t “old-fashioned prejudice” or “old-fashioned bigotry,” this is the new-fashioned bigotry that the Christianist and Bircher right have normalized for us all. In the old-fashioned kind of bigotry, you were at least embarrassed enough to hide behind a hood

    Actually, you’ve got it exactly backwards here John. Until recently (within the last decade in most places outside a handful of very cosmopolitan places) it was broadly acceptable to openly express explicitly bigoted general anti-gay sentiments, and the primary inhibition against such expressions was precisely that accusing any particular person of being “queer” was considered such a devastatingly negative, even libelous accusation. Fear of falsely accusing someone of being “queer”, which was formerly the popular term for “gay”, is a very different motivation than fear of being thought bigoted for expressing negative attitudes toward gays as a general class (though once again, the word pejorative word commonly used back then was “queer”). The other major inhibition against expressing explicitly anti-gay sentiments was NOT fear of being seen as bigoted, but rather because most purportedly hetero people felt the subject-matter itself to be awkwardly icky and hence uncomfortable to bring up unnecessarily in conversation.

  27. 27
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Redshift: Hardly. They needed to provide themselves with cover to engage in terrorism with impunity. Once they had the populace (black and white) cowed, they were able to peel back the mask and engage in their crimes openly.

    When their power waned, they again attempted to hide behind the sheets, only to get infiltrated by a mole who made them a laughingstock on national radio, but that’s a tale for another time.

  28. 28
    bk says:

    @Elizabelle: Unless the composition of the Senate dramatically changes, no way that his appointment would ever come close to getting an up or down vote.

  29. 29
    RalfW says:

    It sure seems like the national GOP has decided to write off the vast majority of voters under 40. They seem to utterly not understand that today’s 30-something voter will vote against the GOP for a good 40 years to come….

    I sure hope the Colorado civil unions double-down bites them in the ass this fall. Kudos to Hickenlooper for the stark contrast.

    This judgeship F.U. just ads another ziconium bedazzle to the turd tiara of Republicanism.

    And, I would really like to know, at what point does the self-hate of GOProud and Log Closet get overwhelmed by the hate directed at them???

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DFH no.6:

    Which is particularly rich considering the 2,000+ year old fables it’s based on are as absurd and divorced from reality as, say, those in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, or Gilgamesh, or The Iliad and The Odyssey, or the Bhagavad Gita.

    I’m pretty sure that a few hundred million Hindus would not be happy to hear you compare the Bhagavad Gita to the books of long-dead Western civilizations.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @RalfW:

    They seem to utterly not understand that today’s 30-something voter will vote against the GOP for a good 40 years to come….

    I think it’s more of a “don’t care” than “don’t know”. The same mentality that makes them want to win the daily news cycle rather than think about long-term messaging shows up in a desire to win the next election rather than think about the long-term health of the party. They’ll try to win this election now and figure out how to win the next election in 2014 or 2016. I’m not 100% sure that they’re wrong to think that way. After all, today’s Republican politicians and voters are going to be dead pretty soon, so why should they care about the mess they leave for the next generation of the party?

  32. 32
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m pretty sure that a few hundred million Hindus would not be happy to hear you compare the Bhagavad Gita to the books of long-dead Western civilizations.

    Certainly no happier than the (what, couple billion?) Christians seeing their Holy Scripture likewise compared.

    I put the Bhagavad Gita in that list of confabulations deliberately, though it might seem out of place.

    But that’s only because a large number of people still believe the fables therein to be “true” somehow, while no one any longer believes in the supernatural truth claims of The Book of the Dead, or Gilgamesh, or the Iliad and the Odyssey.

    That’s the only difference (obviously a huge one): a lot of people still believe in the fables of the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita (and the Quran, and the Book of Mormon, etc.).

    Some day (not likely very soon) no one will. Jesus the Deity will seem no more plausible than Thor the Thunder God.

  33. 33

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