October 8, 2006
The Return of Sexual McCarthyismBy Thomas Lifson
The left, in possession of a scandal which they think can drive a wedge between evangelicals and the GOP, is behaving like a shark driven mad by the scent of blood in the water. Certain individuals strike out blindly in a political feeding frenzy. There's no telling what wounds will be inflicted on whom.
How else to account for the dynamic at work, with people like Lawrence O'Donnell coyly dropping itty—bitty hints in the Huffington Post that a certain key GOP figure might be a little light in the loafers, nudge—nudge, wink—wink.
Of course, O'Donnell, with both a DC and Hollywood imprint on his career, stays in the realm of deniability. But his Huffpo commenters get it. A brief sample:
I do not think that the feminist organizations have ever recovered from their betrayal of all their principles in their defense of Bill Clinton's behavior with Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey (among others). They lost legitimacy in the eyes of too many in the public, and even in the press. Flamboyantly—betrayed principles do not ever again function as an effective political weapon.
Mainstream members of the homosexual community have a lot on the line with the Foley case. A new rule book is being written for behavior expected of homosexuals with consenting adult young males. It appears at this moment that Foley has not either touched or solicited anyone under 18.
Our society as a whole, and specifically our federal government, has already decided that it is perfectly legitimate to be a homosexual and function as a valued member of Congress or federal employee. But now, homosexuality is being treated as a matter of shame, and Republicans are being castigated as insufficiently suspicious of a gay male. Homosexuality is being taken as a danger sign, requiring extra care.
And the fact that Foley is claimed to have had a sexual relationship with a 21 year old former page is making headlines in the Los Angeles Times and beyond. Foley evidently was punctilious about observing the rules.
Are gay men from now on supposed to have nothing to do with younger men until they are above the age of consent? What about all those gay scoutmasters the left wants to empower to go out on camping trips?
The mind of middle America is deeply uneasy about the idea that older homosexuals become friends with underage men, and then when they come of age, engage in sex. That's why the visceral reaction to Foley, whatever the legalities, is so strong.
Shall we propose legislation that criminalizes sexual activities between consenting adult homosexuals if they came into contact before one of them was 16 or 18 or what ever the local age of consent is? And for that matter, what about heterosexuals?
Such a comprehensive law would be welcome, certainly by parents of both boys and girls. But I doubt very much that the gay community is interested in its passage. In fact, I strongly suspect that is a cause it would prefer not to discuss.
But once the point is conceded in the case of Foley that something truly objectionable has taken place, can ordinary homoexuals working in ordinary jobs ever feel secure again? Conceding that homosexuality combined with friendliness to young males is a danger sign warranting official inquiry is a big step in that direction.
And when the frenzy turns to outing or casting aspersions, nobody is safe, even practicing heterosexuals who happen to like show tunes, or have close male friends, or dress more elegantly than others.
Hat tip: Larwyn
Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.