Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Trippin' the gay bombastic

Hope I live to see the day when someone's sexual orientation ceases to be a topic of public speculation. It won't be today. The speculation finally hit the establishment media when Ben Smith posted a "defense" of Elena Kagan's hetero creds and I see on Twitter that the bobbleheads are taking it up on the TV tonight. I checked in with James Joyner hoping to find a level headed response from the right. I didn't find it.
Does it matter? I think so. Sexual orientation is at least as much a part of one’s identity as race, ethnicity, and religion — all of which we openly talk about with Supreme Court nominees. Few of us care about a nominee’s sex life, per se, which is surely none of our business. But to the extent it shapes a person’s worldview, it’s a reasonable topic of conversation.
I don't think we do openly talk about religion and race and ethnicity only comes up when the nominee isn't lily white as near as I can recall. In any event, sexuality is a complicated aspect of the human psyche and isn't material at all. As I said at Joyner's place.
The problem isn't whether she's gay, it's whether someone's sex life is anyone's business assuming they're not rapists or pedophiles. Wonder if you think it would be appropriate for a prospective employer to question you about your sexual habits? Do you think they're material to your ability to do your job? Assuming you're hetero, there's many flavors of that. Should everyone be required to describe their favored sexual pratices before employment? The speculation is ridiculous and her orientation is unwarranted and immaterial.
I don't buy that it's an identity issue either. One response I got asked what if she has to rule on gay marriage? So what? Aren't the hetero justices also going to have a natural bias? And what about porn? Lots of porn cases come up. Should the Justices all be required to disclose their porn viewing habits? Roberts looks to me like a guy who might be into bondage, as so many Republicans seem to be and Alito looks like a guy who might enjoy strip clubs. Anybody questioning their ability to be impartial?

Which is the point of course. Everyone is shaped by their life choices and experience and these hearings focus on way too much personal history and demands for predictions on theorectical decisions. The only question that's material is do they have the ability to interpret the law fairly despite their personal views and connections. And of course the body of their public writings is fair game. The rest is bullshit.

The focus on Kagan's sexual preference arises out of prurient curioisty from apparently sexually repressed observers. Furthermore it's rooted in thinly veiled sexism. The same people who think Sarah Palin's overt sexy ditziness is cute simply can't believe an accomplished, somewhat overweight, rather plain woman with short hair could possibly be straight. Sad commentary on our politics and our society.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The focus on Kagan's sexual preference also has something to do with desperation. If that attack fails, they'll go after her weight, her shoe size and whether her underwear was made in Taiwan.

Like everything else Republican, the plan is to attack,attack,attack,attack,attack,attack,attack and then attack some more until something works.

Actually my worry about her -- that she may favor a more powerful executive above constitutional concerns, may make it harder for Republicans to criticize her on anything meaningful, so we'll see much more of this kind of garbage, I fear.

10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I'm not entirely comfortable with her myself and wish he had picked a more obviously liberal candidate. But I'm not really focusing on it too much because I don't see there's much that can be done at this point. I expect her to get confirmed. All this noise, is just idle hollering because we're in the slow summer cycle for news.

2:29:00 PM  

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