Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Tale of Two Cities: Antigay Family Values Defend the Girls of the Big Easy and Attack the Boys of Boise

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Tale of Two Cities: Antigay Family Values Defend the Girls of the Big Easy and Attack the Boys of Boise

Article excerpt

IF SCHADENFREUDE COULD be compared to a gourmet meal, let's just say the unraveling. of Sen. Larry Craig's political career certainly qualifies as a veritable four-star feast at Le Cirque. Decades of rumors of a closeted lifestyle. A viciously antigay voting history. His hysterical denial after last fall's expose by gay activist Mike Rogers on Craig's extracurricular activities at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. Finally, the almost orgiastic piece de resistance: the virtual gang bang conducted by Craig's former friends and fellow family values conservatives after the senator's "wide stance" was publicized. "Unforgivable," in the words of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. "Disgusting," from Mitt Romney, 2008 presidential hopeful (who only days before was Larry's BFF).

Care for an after-dinner mint? Try the senator's delicious claim of innocence: "We'll fight this like hell," Craig promised as he drove off into the sunset, sounding just as convincing as O.J. vowing to catch the "real killers."

Naturally, gourmet meals are accompanied by a hefty price tag. In this case, the (reality) check was brought by none other than Patrick Buchanan: "Rarely has a United States senator fallen so fast from grace or been so completely abandoned." As much as we hate to agree with the likes of Buchanan--he has never been a friend to gays, closeted or otherwise--the archconservative pundit has a point. The rightwing cannibalization of Craig was a perfect illustration of the antigay core values of the Republican Party's social conservative base. That Craig was self-destructing just as the presidential campaign season unofficially began should be a warning for the months ahead.

Compare this scenario to the conservative man-crush that broke the fall of Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana (a Republican, of course). Implicated in the "D.C. Madam" scandal, Vitter had also been racking up frequent-flier points in a New Orleans bordello. Somewhere between floor speeches supporting "traditional marriage" and cosponsoring a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage, the serial adulterer found time to call the escort service--from the Senate Republican Cloakroom, reportedly. Unlike his closeted colleague from Boise, the senator from the Big Easy was never pressured to resign by his colleagues or, perhaps more important, the party apparatchiks who telegraph right-wing talking points to the social conservative base. …

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