Bob Franken


August 30, 2007
Straight and Narrow-minded (Bob Franken)
@ 1:35 pm

Back in the old days, didn’t “Red state” used to mean a communist country? Well, times have changed. Now the term has moved from left to right. Now it means conservative — gay-fearing conservative.

So in scarlet-red Idaho, you won’t get very far in GOP politics, just about the state’s only politics, if you’re gay. By the way, didn’t “gay” used to mean happy? It sure as hell doesn’t now. You won’t be at all happy in the Republican circles if you’re anything but a straight arrow, so to speak. And don’t give me Log Cabin Republicans. They’re not very happy. They’re gay.

Out in the Idaho bunkers, anything but unmanliness is next to ungodliness, unless you’re a woman of course. The point is no ambivalence is permitted, so it’s easy to understand why the priority for Larry Craig was to declare he had “— never been gay.”

Things would have been somewhat easier for him back home if the charges had involved his actions while he used the women’s restroom. But he wasn’t so fortunate. I guess it demonstrates again that what’s most important is “location, location, location.”

What this all furor really proves is that we are still a very homophobic nation. So many still must hide in the closet, or in this case, as one reader put it, the “water closet.”

Not only that, but some must thump their chests as they defend our way of life, whatever that means, against the “homosexual agenda,” whatever that means.

Whatever it means, whatever his private preferences, Larry Craig had found it necessary to be one of those defenders.

Yes it is true, Senator David Vitter’s alleged heterosexual pay-for-play was the lead story for a day or two, but the media uproar didn’t compare to Mark Foley’s and now Larry Craig’s.

We couldn’t wait to pounce on this. I was just one of those who tried out every one-liner I could imagine. We all claim that the issue is hypocrisy, but on reflection, I wonder if we are also showing our prejudice just a tad.

It is true, Bill Clinton’s escapades with Monica Lewinsky, and others, occupied years of our time. But we were talking about the president of the United States, and in the Lewinsky case it was encounters with a kid in the White House. And he kept his job.

Senator Craig, who’s alleged misbehavior occurred in various restrooms, may very well lose his.

We need to consider the possibility that part of the reason will be prejudice against gays. And honestly examine our biases.

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