Less of an issue

In today's lead editorial, The (Del.) News Journal argues that "Gov. McGreevey should resign his office immediately":

The sudden resignation of New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey is not only a political bombshell, it is also a personal tragedy involving bad choices and badly flawed judgments. The fact that he is homosexual — or bisexual since he has fathered children — is less of an issue than putting his unqualified gay lover on the state payroll.

"Less of an issue"? It shouldn't be an issue at all. Yet apparently for the editorial writer(s) it is one — an "issue" that demands immediate resignation.

The editorial does argue that the other "issues" are more damning than the lesser (but still damning) fact that the man is gay. Which I guess means that homophobia is a lesser motivation for its argument.

Same newspaper. Same day. Page B5: "Teens accused of threatening man":

Three New Castle-area teens were arrested Thursday after they allegedly threatened to assault a father and his 20-year-old son with pipes and shovels because the son is gay.

New Castle County police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro said officers arrived in the first block of N. Kingston Road before violence erupted and arrested the teens. …

According to court records, officers were called to the residence after the three teens allegedly went to the victims' door armed with a 3-foot metal pipe and shovels.

When the 20-year-old looked outside and saw the boys, he called 911.

His father went outside and asked the teens what they were doing at his house.

The father told police the trio told him "they were going to hit him in the head with the pipe and kill him" as well as his son, police said in court records.

Wherever do young people get these hateful attitudes?

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  • none

    As usual, the heart’s in the right place, but the Delaware editorial, though not exactly tightly written, is hardly surprising. I mean, there will probably be some who won’t even do their homework on Golan Cipel, won’t they? Placing Cipel in those jobs has been suspect for several years, according to what little research I’ve done the last 2 days. McGreevey clearly did things that stink to high heaven with all those appointments that Cipel had not earned–at least in the usual sense.
    Hate of differences of all kinds exists–and McGreevey’s actions may have temporarily given the pathological homophobes some sense of license for them to indulge their low-rent sensibilities. Mcgreevey himself seems to have taught some hate in this case.

  • Brandon

    Of course, if McGreevey taught hate, Anonymous, it would seem that he taught hate against crooked politicians–if that’s what he was–rather than against homosexuals. Unless you’re arguing that his crooked appointments were a direct consequence of his homosexuality rather than his politics.

  • Brandon

    Unless I’ve misread your comment, Anon. Which is possible and in which case I apologize.

  • none

    I don’t know if you misread or not, Brandon. What McGreevey did does not have anything in it that warrants homophobia–I just said that it was logical that homophobic types would jump on it–and that I imagined far worse examples of homophobia would be expressed than this rather banal Delaware editorial that Fred posted.
    My emphasis was that McGreevey’s irresponsibility has to be the prime focus in his case–because appointing a lover or lover-hustler (which this sounds like)to jobs he or she, straight or gay, is not qualified for, is corrupt. And, since the appointments were obviously based on this sexual component, it is not really completely possible to separate the issues of public office and sex in the critique of it when it certainly wasn’t separated by the protagonists. Maybe “taught hate” wasn’t such a perfect phrase. I don’t think McGreevey was trying to promote homophobia, of course, but his corrupt mix of politics and sex here does give some instant ammunition to those who already hate homosexuals–he didn’t “mean to,” but he didn’t care much either, it appears.
    In other words, I agreed with Fred about what “should be” but I am not very interested in that in a case like this. You don’t ever get any results by concentrating on what should be after a certain point–but just rather with working with what is. So it’s McGreevey’s fault that his appointments to extremely lucrative jobs of Golan Cipel have played right into bigoted right-wing hands. It sounds as though the offenses–like appointing Cipel to a “Homeland Security” post that he wasn’t qualified for–ought to actually be punishable by something considerably greater than just having to leave office.
    The second story, about some teenage rednecks who wanted to assault a gay young man, is not really related to the first, in my opinion, other than that they appeared in the same newspaper. It’s actually refreshing, in that it may be the first time I have ever read of an attempted serious gay-bashing that was thwarted.
    In any case, aren’t “cronyism” and “casting couch” the same things when public office is concerned? Even when our side does it? I mean, if McGreevey and Cipel think they’re Paris and Helen of Troy, I’ve got news for them.

  • evan

    Young people are just bored, that’s where it all comes from:

  • TEd

    I would like to note that having had sex with a woman doesn’t make you bisexual. To quote Dan Savage, who should know: “I, like many other gay men, have successfully fucked women. It was tough and I had to think about guys, but I did it.”
    I’m actually bisexual. We have a hard enough time with it without people who say they’re gay being lumped into it.

  • none

    Fred–I just re-read the editorial and I cannot see that there is even a trace of homophobia in it–the only moral judgment made outside of the wholly serious one of appointing unqualified lovers to public office is that of adultery, when it says “Homosexuality is a congenital aspect of one’s life, but Mr. McGreevey’s choosing to violate marital vows for secret trysts creates a moral breech that also makes him unworthy of continued high political office.” (I don’t think that in itself is any more true of McGreevey than of Bill Clinton, but that’s neither here nor there just as thinking it is is neither here nor there. He should get out immediately because he appointed Cipel, an incompetent, as Homeland Security Advisor.)
    When it says that McGreevey’s homosexuality is “less of an issue” it is just acknowledging that that is the single fact that McGreevey himself emphasized when he made his announcement about the matter–with it’s five rather ponderous words chosen by a gay rights organization. If anything, McGreevey will only be so lucky if he can make his gayness the main issue–he can’t.
    This “lesser (but still damning) fact that the man is gay” is your own invention. It is neither stated nor implied anywhere in the text of the editorial. It will certainly be considered damning elsewhere, but it is nowhere to be found in the piece you placed here.

  • Rob Rodger

    Saying that something is “less than an issue” implies it is an issue, merely less of one than something else. If the editorial had said, “is not an issue” that would imply his homosexuality wasn’t an issue at all. I think it’s very straight forward.

  • Miss Authoritiva

    Slightly off-target, but what the heck. What I have enjoyed most about the McGreevy, uh, situation, is that he called a press conference and let it rip. No weeks or months of annoying and distracting media whore-mongering. No endless is he or isn’t he, did he or didn’t he. It’s been delightful. That press conference was the media equivalent of Claude Rains blowing his brains out in the Senate cloakroom in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Mercifully quick.

  • Richard

    What I don’t understand — or don’t choose to understand — is how this example of cronyism is any different from the current system of appointing FEDERAL CABINET MEMBERS. When Bush nominates Porter Goss (who admits that he’s **completely** unqualified for any sort of intelligence position) for Director of the CIA, where’s the outrage over the “misappropriation of public funds”?!
    The federal agency and department heads (not to mention ambassadors — and no one ever mentions ambassadors…unless they’re gay, like James Hormell) have almost always been appointed not based on their stellar qualities and decades of expenience running HHS of HUD, for example, but based on their political connections, and what political favors they can bring to the administration.
    If someone can construct an argument that explains how this is any different from appointing someone with sexual connections, who will reciprocate with sexual favors…I’m all ears.
    No, there is no homophobia going on here.

  • none

    Richard-there’s plenty of outrage about all of that, and the Republican cronyism is no different from McGreevey’s. It may well be even worse–I would certainly be unable to praise much of anything in the Bush administration and its appalling Cabinet appointments. Both kinds deserve outrage, and MrGreevey’s corruption deserves no special singling out for more nor less outrage. Cheney, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld are obviously far more dangerous (at least I think they are) than Cipel, but they are not “inexperienced” in the same sense.
    What I said was that the Delaware editorial is not homophobic–because it is NOT.
    Just because I hate it that a Democrat has been revealed as having appointed his lover or high-rolling “rough trade” (if that is what Cipel is) to a Homeland Security post, at a time when it can only make bloodthirsty Republicans salivate–doesn’t mean I can’t tell the difference between an editorial which is not homophobic and in no way promotes hatred of gays; and a report in the same paper about juvenile delinquent gay-bashers who do hate homosexuals–and obviously wanted to beat one up.
    There is homophobia everywhere. People who want to do something about homophobia should have no trouble finding the innumerable places where it so obviously rears its ugly head, much more effective than insisting it is in imperfectly written but obviously innocuous editorials like the one posted here. To say that such editorials promote the naked hate that is there for all the world to see in the article about the delinquents does not serve anyone well. If you want to fight a war against something unjust, know who your enemy is.
    Otherwise, it just comes across as paranoid and hysterical; or just whinging.