Friday, August 13, 2004
McGreevey's resignation included an apparently heartfelt confession that he was a "gay American" and an admission of an extramarital affair with a man whom McGreevey did not identify, but the rest of the state knows to be Golan Cipel, McGreevey's erstwhile "homeland security advisor". While the resignation itself was a surprise, McGreevey's homosexuality was the worst kept open secret in Trenton.
Nevertheless, judging from the first press accounts and morning radio shows, the Democrats and the press are spinning this as a gay rights issue.
Several gay activists viewed McGreevey's announcement through the larger lens of the ongoing fight for equal rights. Being an openly gay citizen or politician advances the struggle, they argued, just as being on the "down low," or in the closet, hinders the fight.
On 101.5 FM (the biggest radio station in New Jersey) this morning, for example, various spokesmen for gay and lesbian organizations were trumpeting McGreevey's legislative accomplishments on behalf of gays and lesbians, and declaring him the country's first "openly gay" governor.
In fact, the Democrats and McGreevey are exploiting the gay rights movement to distract the voters from the deep corruption of this administration, and gays are falling right into the trap.
McGreevey's administration is corrupt to the core, and it has nothing to do with his admission of his homosexuality. For an extensive and link-rich account of the various scandals chewing at the edges of the McGreevey regime, read Tom Galvin (via the Tall Glass of Milk). Right now, then come back here.
McGreevey had to resign and disclose his affair because it would have been disclosed imminently, perhaps in connection with a sexual harrassment lawsuit. However, as Tom Galvin demonstrates, neither the affair nor the homosexuality implicit in the affair is the true reason that McGreevey must leave office. He needs to leave office because he has been committing crimes.
So what does he do? He calls a press conference, confesses to homosexuality, and claims that it was his "homosexuality" that "left the governor's office vulnerable." McGreevey claims nobility in "removing these threats [to the governor's office] by telling you about my sexuality."
What a disingenuous turd. He is claiming fraternity with gays who have been discriminated against, and using them as a shield against the inevitable calls for a more immediate resignation. He wants the world to think that an attack on McGreevey, a weasel if there ever was one, is now an attack on the first "openly gay governor." And the national Democrats are backing up this line because they are terrified that a special gubernatorial election in New Jersey will open the door for the Bush campaign.
It is a tragedy that the first openly gay governor is such a dirtbag. It is an even greater tragedy that gay organizations are letting McGreevey and the Kerry campaign use them as a shield against the legitimate criticism that he has harmed the people of New Jersey with his corruption, and he has disenfranchised them by delaying his resignation until after election day.
UPDATE (8-13-04 5:20 PM): Sterling of MemeFirst has written it better than I could:
So why has McGreevey come out of the closet now? And so publicly? Simply put, he's in deep doo-doo, and needs a way out....
By resigning - and simultaneously declaring himself a member of a persecuted minority - McGreevey may be able to dodge this and any number of other criminal investigations.
The current US Attorney for New Jersey is a Republican appointee named Christopher Christie. Christie has made a name for himself going after corrupt New Jersey officials all over the political spectrum. Crooked politicians in New Jersey are terrified of him, and I would expect McGreevey is no exception. Yet even the ferocious Christie may blanch at the idea of prosecuting Gay America's new poster boy.
Indeed, Sterling is even more cynical than TigerHawk, suggesting great things for McGreevey, all because his adultery is homosexual:
If he'd had the sense to do it six weeks ago, he almost assuredly would have been offered a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. Coming out on national TV increases his political profile, and saves his career at the same time. We'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future. Count on it.
I do not agree. I believe that McGreevey is in a tremendous amount of trouble, and that the gay rights movement is hurting itself enormously by allowing McGreevey to grab its flag.
From a strictly tactical point, this is a smart plan that relies on a predictable, knee-jerk response from the gay advocacy groups. Not being familiar with New Jersey politics, I originally took the televised announcement at face-value. However, the links you provided indicate long standing tradition of corruption in the McGreevey Administration.
It would be nice for these gay rights groups to see the forest for the trees. I suspect, like black groups who support OJ's innocence, McGreevey's gay supporters will play the ways over the means game. I agree that this a very hollow victory for those who celebrate "the first gay governor."
Great roundup on this issue. Thomas Galvin linked me over to your blog, which I hadn't read before. I especially like this:
>So what does he do? He calls a press conference,
>confesses to homosexuality, and claims that it was
>his "homosexuality" that "left the governor's office
>vulnerable." McGreevey claims nobility in "removing
>these threats [to the governor's office] by telling
>you about my sexuality."
>What a disingenuous turd.
Well put! Great stuff!
I have added you to my roundup on the McGreevey corruption issue over at DOUBLE TOOTHPICKSSteve Bragg
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