MITCH McCONNELL: LIVING IN THE CLOSET HAS MADE HIM INTO A LIFELONG DECEIVER AND A PRACTICED LIAR
A couple of far right loons attacked DWT last week for making public what so many people in Washington already know, that homophobic Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell lives the secret life of a closet queen. I had to laugh since their indignation and outrage wasn't unlike the indignation and outrage directed towards us when we exposed other closeted Republican hypocrites like Mark Foley (R-FL), David Dreier (R-CA) and Jim West (R-
Last November a national gay magazine, Out published a story by British author Miranda Carter, whose definitive work on closeted gay spy Anthony Blunt (Anthony Blunt: His Lives) won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Orwell Prize and was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the seven best books of 2002. Her article in Out, "From Russia With Love" is subtitled "An Authority on Britain's Biggest Espionage Scandal Debunks The Myth That Gays Make Good Spies." The sensational story of how 4 upper class Cambridge lads, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt-- 2 gays, a bisexual and a straight man-- were Soviet spies "helped to cement the other definitive stereotype of the British spy-- the apparent diametric opposite of the suave, super-heterosexual James Bond-- as, to quote the phrase much used by the always-delicate British tabloid press, the 'gay traitor.' ...That idea caught on. It was at one point intellectually fashionable to argue that there was some fundamental connection between homosexuality and, if not necessarily treachery, spying..."
What does this have to do with McConnell? He's from Kentucky-- well, he's from D.C.-- not London. Yes, but... "Something about the need for gay men to mask their sexuality that paralleled a spy's [or an outwardly homophobic Republican official's] need to hide his identity; something about gay men's pursuit of sex in dark places that suggested an innate appetite for danger, secrecy, and clandestiness. And what could be better training for leaving a letter in a dead drop than cruising public bathrooms?" Carter quickly debunks the absurdity of the argument that gays are prone to spy or that spies tend to be gays. However, she then hits upon something more applicable to GOP closet cases like McConnell:
But there is something in the idea that there's at least a partial affinity between some of the kinds of secrecy imposed by living a closeted life and the secrecy of spying. One of the most sophisticated proponents of this argument is the literary critic George Steiner, who has suggested that the account of gay sensibility given by Proust-- secret homosexuality as a system of codes, a secret language-- can be extended to the work of writers such as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. To live as a closeted gay provides training in the practices of secrecy, codes, and interpretation... Another way of putting it would be to say that in a society [or an hysterically anti-gay political party] that criminalizes all homosexual activity, to be gay is already to be a kind of secret agent within one's own life.
A Freedom of Information Act suit will determine whether McConnell-- who has consistently prevented anyone from seeing his military discharge papers, but who claims he got out of the army in 1967-- after just 10 days-- for optic neuritis, was really discharged because he fondled a private's privates. (An alternative version is that Kentucky Senator John Sherman Cooper managed to get him out. Cooper's letter to the commanding officer at Fort Knox, where McConnell was stationed, is housed at the University of Kentucky Library with all of Cooper's official documents.)
That said, in greater detail than I had planned to go into, today's McConnell piece is not about his life in the closet per se but about how a practiced and expert liar, whose every single waking moment is lived in fear of exposure, tries to wiggle out of being caught dead to rights in a big fat lie. And who caught him? Get ready... Fox News!
Think Progress has the video and the story.
This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace aired archived video of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calling on the Clinton White House to testify before Congress under oath. Here’s what McConnell said on June 16, 1996:
"I think the testimony obviously ought to be sworn testimony. And we ought to go all the way into this and take as much time as we can to reassure the American people that this sort of thing’s not going to happen again in the future."
Challenged with this quote today, McConnell said, "With regard to White House officials, it will be up to the President to decide frankly whether and when and under what circumstances members of his [own White House staff] testify."
Wallace questioned why the same rules McConnell applied to the Clinton White House shouldn't apply to the Bush White House. McConnell offered that he was merely a Senator in 1996 and that the President made the ultimate decision. Wallace said, "But you're still a Senator so the question is: do you call on this President to do the same thing?" McConnell responded, "I'm calling on this President to do what he thinks is appropriate."
The Old Kentucky Homo isn't used to being called on his hypocrisy on national television-- especially not on the Republicans' own propaganda network. He tried filibustering Wallace and Wallace wasn't having it. I wonder if McConnell will get him fired.
UPDATE: WINGNUTS LOVE THAT CRUISIN'
Image soaking in a jacuzzi with Kate O'Beirne or seeing "a Las Vegas-style production" with the likes of Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru, Michael Steele and Jonah Goldberg. And the ice is free. Your idea of a fun-filled vacation?