Monday, March 11, 2013

How The GOP Transformed Itself Into The Country's Biggest Walk-In Closet


Not everyone agreed with my assertion Saturday that Democrats are mentally healthier than Republicans nor with the premise that Democrats are emotionally and spiritually healthier as well. But so much of modern Republicanism is premised on hatred and negativity that just identifying as seriously Republican is toxic to anyone's well-being. Let's take one instance a look at Max Blumenthal's report on how the GOP has become, what he called "a sanctuary for repressed gay men" and how mentally and emotionally incapacitated self-loathing closet cases transformed it "into the country's biggest walk-in closet."

The pathology of Republican or conservative homosexuality doesn't start with Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) molesting pages, with Larry Craig's serial case of wide stance in public toilets coast to coast nor with the tragic ends of exposed Republican congressmen, all loudly, desperately homophobic, from Bob Bauman (R-MD), Ed Schrock (R-VA) and Jim McCrery (R-LA), yesterday's versions of the inevitable fates of Aaron Schock (R-IL), Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Instead, let's go back to Joe McCarthy's venomous little closeted sidekick, right-wing fanatic Roy Cohn, who died of AIDS still denying he was gay and still cursing the LGBT community he never quite bonded with despite his sexual obsessions.
"Roy [Cohn] was not gay," Republican operative Roger Stone remarked to legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin. "He was a man who liked having sex with me. Gays were weak, effeminate. He always seemed to have these young blond boys around."
"He was a man who liked having sex with me" means, in the objective world, he's gay. In right wing bizarro world self-loathing, gays thought of themselves as "weak, effeminate" and rejected it and rejected themselves. I've never met a right-wing closet case who wasn't seriously mentally and spiritually ill. After California gay homophobic state Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) was arrested while driving drunk with a young male prostitute, he dealt with it more forthrightly and more quickly than most Republican closet cases do. He told a reporter, "The best I can do is to say that I was hiding. I was so in terror I could not allow any attention to come my way. So any measure that had to do with the subject of sexual orientation was an automatic "no" vote. I was paralyzed by this fear, and so I voted without even looking at the content... I'm just trying to tell the truth from the reality of the life I've lived, which has been an amazing life. I have had the privilege of serving in elective office for 26 years and dealing with important legislation, and I did so with a huge secret and in many ways a career built upon lies and deceit. Now that the truth is known, actually I am comfortable talking about these things."

Republican closet cases live in darkness, fear and self deception. Their lives are a lie and lying becomes the norm. All Republican closet cases are, at heart, Roy Cohn. A lifelong homosexual-- and a swell guy-- Mark Foley, long before he was caught, drunk, sneaking into a boys dormitory looking for sex, was a critic of President Clinton. "It's more sad," he told the media, "than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

Like Miss McConnell, Larry Craig was discharged from the military after a very short time-- in his case, a week, after being caught fondling a private's privates. Both Craig and McConnell, of course, have always denied that that's why they were discharged. Both made up cockamamie stories about non-existent ailments... and had their records sealed. Miss McConnell hasn't been officially outed yet. He's very careful. Craig got sloppy and was known all over Washington for his prowling in public toilets. He was a ticking time-bomb for years, a destructive and virulently, hysterically homophobic time bomb who hoped to keep his closet door shut by destroying the lives of men and women in the LGBT community struggling to live normal lives live everyone else. Blumenthal:
One month after Larry Craig's arrest in June 2007, Bob Allen, a socially conservative Florida legislator and co-chair of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, was nabbed outside a men's bathroom for attempting to pay an undercover cop to allow him to perform oral sex on him. Allen claimed, after being arrested, that he was "intimidated by [a] stocky black guy" in the restroom and offered to fellate the undercover cop so he wouldn't "become a statistic." Days later, Glenn Murphy, Jr., the national chair of the Young Republicans youth group, a rising star in Indiana Republican circles who advised candidates to use gay marriage as a wedge issue, was arrested for performing oral sex on a sleeping man during a Young Republican convention.

In October, Republican Washington state Representative Richard Curtis, a stalwart gay right opponent, was arrested after calling the police on a gay escort who had robbed him of $1,000 after Curtis refused to pay him for having anal sex with him. When a detective arrived at the scene of the crime, a cheap motel room, he discovered a plastic sack that Curtis had been reluctant to open. Inside, according to the detective, was a "light grey length of nylon rope, a plastic doctor's stethoscope, and other items I could not immediately identify." For days, Curtis, married with three children, pointed to his family as proof that he was not gay. But finally, after his escort's testimony was made public, bringing to light allegations that he was a "freak," who sneaked out to adult bookshops dressed in women's lingerie, he resigned.

The bizarre imbroglio occurred in Spokane, Washington, a conservative bastion just across the border from the Idaho panhandle-- Larry Craig's political base. One of eastern Washington's most influential Republicans, Jim West, had a draconian record during his twenty years in the state legislature, including introducing bills to outlaw gays from teaching in public schools and teenagers from having consensual sexual contact. In 2003, West leveraged his popularity among local right-wing elements to win election as mayor of Spokane.

Bets West's tenure collapsed two years later when he was accused of molesting Boy Scouts and admitted to offering internships to young men in exchange for sex. Tipped off that West had solicited sex from young men by the gay chat website, editors of the Spokane Spokesman-Review assigned a forensic expert to investigate the rumors. Posing as a sexually conflicted high school student, the expert engaged West (who registered online as "RightBi-Guy") in probing conversations until he finally confirmed his identity.

"I could never be into the gay scene with its politics and all, West revealed during one online chat with the Spokane Spokeseman-Review's undercover reporter. "I've just seen too many guys decide once they come out that it becomes everyone else's problem to deal with. I'm not into femmy guys." In December 2005, just months after messages like these appeared on the pages of the Spokesman-Review, disgusted Spokane voters ousted West in a special recall election. The following year, he died from colon cancer.

There are few documents more illuminating about the mentality of closeted conservatives than West's online chats. For West and so many other closeted conservatives, coming out was a fad exclusive among self-indulgent, excessively self-reflexive semi-men-- or, as he called them, "feemy guys." Despite his privately acknowledged bisexuality, West has apparently decided that gaining acceptance as he truly was, amid the retrograde culture in which he was raised, was an impossible fantasy. West kept his deviant lifestyle shrouded in secrecy while exploiting his public platform to denounce that lifestyle. That was the way it had to be, after all. "If someone hires you to paint their house red, then you paint it red," West said, explaining his anti-gay voting record. "Even if you think it would look better green." In the conservative closet, those who imagined the way things might be different were "femmy." Those who accepted the way things were were still real men. In their own minds they were not even gay.

"The authoritarian character worships the past," wrote Erich Fromm in Esacape From Freedom. "What has been, will eternally be. To wish or to work for something that has not yet been before is crime or madness. The miracle of creation-- and creation is always a miracle-- is outside of his range of emotional experience."

Having submitted to the limitations of the past and internalized the nostalgia that has become so intrinsic to modern Republicanism, closeted conservatives carefully modeled their public identity after images of the rugged Middle American Everyman: a pastiche of icons from John Wayne to Rambo, from the Marlboro Man to Rock Hudson. Only by inhabiting alter egos (Maf54, RightBi-Guy) or as the anonymous, silver-haired man trolling airport bathrooms and patronizing male prostitutes with false identities (such as "Jeff Gannon" and "Rod Majors") have closeted conservatives been able to fulfill the essential urges they have denied themselves. But these secret identities, modeled after the hypersexual, leather-bound homosexual deviant of the right-wing imagination, are false too. In the vast gulf between the public persona and the private life of the closeted conservative, there is no moral core. There is no conscience, no self; there is only a void.

The closeted conservative, sapped as he is of his real identity, may never experience actual intimacy through sexual fulfillment. Sex becomes like a drug, a fleeting rush of pornographic lust that can produce titillation, but never emotional connectedness to another person. Thus he is deprived of the sensation of true love, the most life-affirming experience there is. Self-destruction, then, is the leitmotif of the closeted conservative.

"The more the drive toward life is thwarted," Fromm wrote, "the stronger is the drive toward destruction; the more life is realized, the less is the strength of destructiveness. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life."
Is it any wonder closeted conservatives are so aggressively anti-gay? They project their own dysfunction and perversion onto the normal LGBT community and shudder at the thought of a gay man being involved as a teacher, officer, priest or Scoutmaster. They know what those opportunities become in their own sick lives and assume it's the same for normal people who accept themselves.

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At 7:47 PM, Anonymous me said...

Conservatives are sick bastards, no doubt about it.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous robert dagg murphy said...

We didn't start the fire but we're sure glad it's burning.

For some the world is black, the world is white. So sad. Thankfully, it's multicolored and has shapes and sizes so beautiful to behold it is astounding.

I am grateful.


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