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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:22 PM

Is the Anti-Hagel Campaign a Step Forward for Gay Rights?

By David Weigel | Posted Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at 9:26 AM ET

Chris Geidner treats the "gay rights" attacks on Chuck Hagel with a lack of cynicism that's missing in the rest of the media. It's a step forward for gays, writes Geidner, that Hagel's been forced to apologize for his 1998 derision of a gay nominee and his expired Don't Ask, Don't Tell stance.

The Republican use of anti-LGBT views to tarnish a Democratic administration's nominee reveals something that many Republican leaders have begun to say in private: Active support for LGBT rights is on the verge of becoming a default, mainstream position even if the Republican Party hasn't (yet) arrived there.

Maybe, but isn't this a purely cynical exercise? Whenever a non-white, non-male conservative is nominated for a high-level political job, conservatives up and dare liberals to attack them. Go ahead, criticize Clarence Thomas, you high-tech lynch mob! Go ahead, demean Allen West, because you want to keep blacks on the "plantation!"

The "Hagel's bad on gay issues" attack is another version of this, and not a particularly effective version. Anti-Hagelites briefly brought the Human Rights Campaign and Barney Frank onto their team, so outraged were they about Hagel's 1998 characterization of James Hormel as "aggressively gay." But the HRC and Frank flipped back, and the only gay organization of the left that's still criticizing Hagel is GetEqual. No offense meant to GetEqual, but the California-based group is so obscure that the Drudge headline it inspired -- "GAYS TURN ON OBAMA PICK" -- felt like bait and switch. (Imagine a story headlined "HOLLYWOOD STARS SPEAK OUT," and when you click, you're reading about Pauly Shore and Pia Zadora.)



An OP on Geidner's column is here:

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Reply Is the Anti-Hagel Campaign a Step Forward for Gay Rights? (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Mass Jan 2013 #1
SunSeeker Jan 2013 #2

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:51 PM

1. What is his point? I have a hard time with Weigel, and have had since

he was all in love with Scott Brown in 2010 and against Martha Coakley. More recently, he was still predicting Scott Brown would win against Warren.

Now, he writes at Slate, another place for middle of the road reporters who try to look independent.

IMHO, it is more a sign that things have changed on this topic. Ten years ago, no Republicans and few Democrats would have faulted a nominee for being anti-LGBT. Now, even the GOP does.

Now, I'd like to know why Weigel is against Hagel.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:47 PM

2. It's no more a step forward than the VP nomination of Sarah Palin was a step forward for feminism

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