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September 15, 2004



You're comparing apples to oranges. Divorces don't make you inelligable to teach classes on women's history. It doesn't mean that you 'don't get' women (and, really, as women are individuals, no one's ever going to 'get' them, anyway). It means that the women you had relationships with didn't work out, and nothing more than that. Anyone would try to read into it is looking for excuses to say that you shouldn't do it because you're a *man*.

The two things would only be parallel if, for example, you were a three-time divorcee who was against the concept of divorce ever being allowed, and even then there's a little wiggle room. You could have, very well, come to the conclusion through three divorces that it shouldn't be allowed.

The big ones are the important ones. Whether or not Dreier is a top or bottom isn't important. What's important is that he's a gay man who wants to hurt other gay men and women through legislature. A gay man who is using a false front as a straight man in order to further a political agenda that he believes will gain him power, and not better the world or stand for what the people believe. THAT is a 'gay agenda' more so than any other 'gay agenda' that the conservatives try to throw at us.

To some extent you are right, a person's private life should not entirely reflect on their public life, but when it comes to large, overriding issues of equality in this arena, it becomes achingly important. Consciously, I can not put myself behind a politician whom I don't believe BELIEVES in what he says. We have a representative form of government, and the ONLY way we can have assurances that a candidate is going to do what he says he will is by giving them a thorough background check.


Hypocrisy is indeed a sin, but as sins go I think it is overrated. All too often, we hear people (usually, but not always, on the far left), screaming "hypocrisy" at their opponents, where their real objection is to not to their opponents' failure to live up to their lofty standards, but to the standards themselves. Want to run for office as a thrice-divorced candidate? No problem. Just run on a pro-divorce platform, or at least be neutral on the issue. But if you advocate policies intended to discourage others from divorcing, well, that's going too damned far, no matter how sensible your proposal may be on its own merits.

It's all well and good to say "practice what you preach," if that's really what you mean: raise the standard of your conduct. Too often, people say "practice what you preach" but mean the opposite: preach what you practice. If your conduct doesn't meet the standard, no problem; just lower the standard.


The left does that? Both parties do, but I'd say that the grossest over-personalizer of all happens to belong to the right. The right, of course, is the side that pushed Bill Clinton through the smear factory and insisted that Americans impeach him based upon a "character flaw" that had nothing to do with his ability to be the president.

At least lefties try to keep the target of hypocrisy /relevant/ to the discussion at hand.


I agree, Astarte, I mixed up my fruits.

XRLQ, I agree with everything except the bit Astarte takes issue with.


I think there is another apples to oranges analogy here. Hugo may have been divorced three times, but he does not conceal the divorce. If Hugo ran for Senate as an anti-divorce candidate that would, indeed, be hypocrasy.

I am also, however, uncomfortable with outing. Yet, as a practical matter, I think these days, a politician can be fairly certain that some of their opponents will attempt to reveal any and all personal information the opponents think might sway voters against the politician. After the information is revealed, voters will decide what they think about the revelation, the politician and those who revealed the information.

I'm not entirely sure things have ever been that different-- it's just that technological advances make it easier for individual opponents to reveal information. Today, it only takes one blogger to spill some beans. If the evidence is even passably good, a reader will look into it. Eventually, the story may reach many people's attention.

Even if this is lamentable, for a politician to expect otherwise is naive.


Astarte, it's pretty lame to blame your own guy's moral failings on the opposition party. His acts are his fault, no one else's. Besides, they have nothing to do with this topic. Republicans criticized Clinton for many things, but hypocrisy was not among them. No one voted to impeach him for the high crime and misdemeanor of hypocrisy.

Hugo: Examples abound of knee-jerk liberals crowing with glee every time the conservative morality police gets caught with their pants down. I don't think you can provide too many comparable examples from conservatives, but if you can, by all means do.

Lucia: You are illustrating my point. If Hugo ran as an anti-divorce candidate, while making no bones about the fact that he had been divorced himself, there would be nothing hypocritical about that whatosever, any more than it is "hypocritical" for an ex-junkie to discourage children from experimenting with drugs. It's called living and learning. Not hypocrisy.



I think that conservatives crowed about Jim McGreevey. To wit this charmer:



Astarte, it's pretty lame to blame your own guy's moral failings on the opposition party.

Well, that would be great, xrlq, if I were actually DOING THAT, but as I'm not, you don't have much of a leg to stand on. We're talking about a candidate's private life having anything to do with their public life. For the life of me, I can't figure out what a blow job has to do with dealing with terrorists. Perhaps you can make the connection for me?

I'm not blaming the conservatives for Bill cheating on his wife. Only Bill can account for that. I'm blaming them for wasting precious country resources on prosecuting him for cheating on his wife, and dragging the country through long, off-topic impeachment proceedings, when we could have gotten a head start on fighting terrorism.

And liberals have EVERY RIGHT to 'crow' with glee whenever some morals cop gets caught with a dick up his ass, because it proves the hopeless inefficiency of the right. It proves neatly and without a doubt that the individual believes only that those values should effect everyone but himself (or herself). It proves that the person does not believe in American Democracy, and is not representing our interests, but whatever interests he thinks will make him popular or get him more power.


Lacking more information, I don't know that he necessarily votes the way he does out of cold political calculation. It's possible, but it's not like you have to be an anti-gay Republican to achieve political power in this country. If anything, it seems like a greater risk for a gay man to go that route, because exactly this sort of thing might happen.

Two other possibilities occur to me. One, he's in deep, deep denial. I've heard some bizarre rationalizations from people as to why having sex with the same sex doesn't really make you gay, it was just for kicks, or whatever. Two, he's like David Morrisson but without the self-control. He sees being gay as a vice, a compulsion, and wants to prevent other people from doing it. Since Hugo said not long ago that he votes Democrat so he'll be forced to spend his money on the poor and not on frivolities, that line of thinking doesn't sound too irrational to me.

Either way, I don't see the point of outing. It humiliates certain people, but it doesn't make an argument for gay rights. If this kills Dreier's career, I expect his district will vote in someone with similar views but a cleaner personal life. It seems more like vengeance than anything else.

La Lubu

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with demanding some consistency from elected public officials. After all, these are the people who are instituting laws; I don't think it's asking too much that they not hold themselves above the law that they would subject us to!

I think it's interesting that you compare this situation to Caesar Augustus. I think those politicans who don't practice what they preach imagine themselves to be like a Caesar....elite, aristocratic, above the law--which exists only to keep the "little people" i.e., peasants--in line.

"Outing" isn't just acceptable in these circumstances, it's necessary!! For Dreier to support anti-gay public policy which has a negative effect of the daily lives of gay people,while engaging in closeted gay sex show a complete lack of respect for his constituents....and not just the gay ones. What his actions are saying is, "I'm better than you. I don't need to follow boundaries that I would set for you, because I'm better than you." Not what we want from democratically elected officials no? Caesar, indeed.


Okay, you've won me over in Dreier's case. I still am squeamish about it, mind you -- but I realize that I had made the issue far too much about me and far too little about justice.


I have also entertained the idea of running for political office, but laughed my head off when considering what fun my opponent would have when they dug up my own marriage records, including one to a Mexican national...aka "illegal alien". Ha!


>Congressman Dreier, one of the highest ranking California Republicans in Washington, is now being "outed" as a gay man....

No, he's being outed as a man (it's impossible to determine whether he's gay or straight, since he has no public relationships) who, according to the "outers," is possibly engaged in a homosexual relationship.

Whether or not this "outing" is legitimate, let's get something--uh--straight. Payback is a bitch. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/08/0827_040827_punishment.html Do you understand the import of this study?


Could we have another word for payback, raj?


I think that certain kinds of hypocrisy are not only annoying and awful, but they undermine democracy. Examples from history are all well and good, but our leaders are supposed to be a) citizens and b) public servants, and to exempt them from following the laws they want to put on us is elevating them to kingship. Outing is good for a laugh, good for dismantling the right's power, and good for democracy. ;)


Hugo: I didn't say Republicans never crow about anything. I said they do not share Democrats' penchant for crowing over real and imagined instances of hypocrisy. The article you linked was not about hypocrisy - while several of your liberal commenter's comments in this very thread are.

Astarte: After bloviating inanely about Clinton's impeachment (which had nothing to do with hypocrisy), you basically conceded my point when you said "And liberals have EVERY RIGHT to 'crow' with glee whenever some morals cop gets caught with [unrepeatable]." It sounds like you agree with my basic premise - liberals love to play the hypocrisy card - you just disagree with my argument that there is anything wrong with that.

Camassia: good point. Also note that Dreier is currently the target of John & Ken's "political human sacrifice" for being too soft on illegal immigration. If he loses his "safe" seat for any reason, it will be most likely be interpreted as a vote for tougher immigration laws, not against his alleged hypocrisy over his alleged gayness. If you want stricter immigration controls, vote Dreier out. If you don't, don't.

La Lubu: everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but no one is entitled to his own facts. Do you have evidence that David Dreier has ever engaged in any activity that is either prohibited by law, or would be prohibited by a bill Dreier has supported? Or that he has claimed some specific legal benefit that he would deny to others? If so, let's hear the details, with links. If not, all the bloviating in the world about Caesar and the little people will not make up for the fact your entire argument is bogus.

Michelle: anyone married to a U.S. citizen is entitled to a "green" card. If your husband, despite being entitled to such an important document, chose to remain "undocumented" anyway, he's not just an illegal alien, he's an unusually stupid one. By that statement, I can I assure you that I intend no slight to stupid people, legal or otherwise.


Well, Xrlq, I'm sure that Dreier has committed sodomy a number of times, and that is something which the President and GOP leaders of Congress have repeatedly said must be restored as a criminal offense.

It's funny that Dreier voted against funding that would ease the pain and suffering of millions of people with AIDS. He voted to snatch children out of the homes of loving gay parents. He voted for legislation that could ban even hospital visitation rights for gay couples. And yet, he is a victim because he's a Republican, and because the person who runs this blog got a divorce.

BTW, Xlrq, it was a Republican, Bob Dornan, who got on the floor of the House and outed another Republican, Steve Gunderson, for "having a revolving closet door". Republicans also outed Mark Foley last year because they didn't want him to run for the Senate. Now of course they have a candidate who is more to their liking -- Mel Martinez, who runs ads that say gays are the new Fidel Castro.


I asked about Dreier's record, not Bob Dornan's or George Bush's, or anyone else. Simply sharing a party affiliation with those individuals does not make Dreier anti-gay (or, if he's gay, hypocritical), any more than sharing a party affiliation with Arnold Schwarzenegger or Boi From Troy makes him pro-gay. If anything, the latter, as Dreier took a proactive role in Schwarzenegger's campaign, while playing only a token role in Bush's (and, AFAIK, none at all in Dornan's). If you can show that Dreier advocates X while practicing Y (assuming X and Y are inconsistent), then yes, you've proven Dreier is a hypocrite. But if all you can show is that Dreier advocates X while Bush practices Y, all you've proven is is that Bush and Dreier are not the same person.

As to Dreier's personal voting record, I frankly don't believe you. Go ahead and prove me wrong, though, by linking to the full text of the Let's Snatch Kids Out of the Homes Of Loving Gay Parents Act, or at least providing a year and a bill number so I can find it on my own. Even if he actually for a bill that is as bad as you make it sound, that would only prove Dreier is a bastard; it wouldn't make him a hypocrite unless he tried to exempt himself from the same law he sought to impose on everyone else. Barring that, the hypocrisy charge is bure bunk.

Anyway, I'm done defending Dreier. I want the political human sacrifice succeed, so if confused liberals want to help that cause inadvertently, who am I to stand in their way?


OK, I finally found ONE link where a sort-of conservative exhibits a tiny amount of glee over someone else's hypocrisy, sort of:



I can't wait for the backpedaling. *evil laugh* The record-holder for pathetic backpedaling this election season is still Jack Ryan who argued that intimidating his wife in an effort to make her have sex with him in public was family values, since it wasn't *technically* adultery.


"Technical" adultery could be a whole other blog.

XRLQ -- I want Dreier out because the demographics of the district suggest a moderate Democrat can win and hold it. Once the power of incumbency is gone, we can grab it. I think John and Ken are hopeless troglodytes -- and I listen many an afternoon.


Hugo, you may be right about that. Maybe that political human sacrifice isn't such a great idea after all. I also think that an outing is more likely to help Dreier than hurt him, generating sympathy for him and disgust for the candidate the outing was intended to benefit (even if it's not really that candidate's fault).

As to my earlier observation that crowing over allegations of hypocrisy is a staple of the left but not the right, I offer the following:

Exhibit A: Astarte
Exhibit B: La Lubu
Exhibit C: Amanda
Exhibit D: James

And those are just from this thread. On the right we have ...?

I rest my case.


Y'know, in the legal field, when you offer an exhibit you have to show it to everyone. You also generally don't rest your case before offering evidence to prove it.

That is, if you're going to point to people as hypocrites, explanations would be better. "I think they're wrong so they're hypocrites" is silly.


Mythago, here are three free clues:

1. I didn't call those individuals hypocrites. I cited them as examples of how left/liberals are more prone than conservatives to make silly CHARGES of hypocrisy.

2. What's to show? The named indivduals all posted their own comments in this thread. There was nothing else for me to "show," except to point out which ones they were. Did you even try to figure out what I was referring to, or did you just want to carp?

3. I don't need you to lecture me as to how the legal profession works, thank you very much.

La Lubu

Looking at Dreier's voting record, I see that he's voted against domestic partner benefits for federal workers (which is anti-gay because gay people are legally barred from getting married). He voted in favor of the ill-named "Defense of Marriage Act", designed solely as a discriminatory law against gay people. He opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which bans workplace discrimination on real or perceived sexual orientation. He is in favor of "religious" groups being able to opt out of workplace discrimination against gays, all the while receiving federal funds (in other words, using tax dollars from gay people to discriminate against them)..."faith-based" initiatives, indeed.

So, yeah, I'd say that qualifies as hypocrisy. If he was joe blow, he'd just be a run-of-the-mill asshat. But as an elected representative, his hypocrisy is a real problem for his constituents.

Oh, and spare me the list of Democrats who voted for the odious "Defense of Discrimination--oh, yeah, Marriage" Act. They are a bunch of moral cowards too.

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