I have every intention of keeping this incident in mind when, as the months and years unfold, folks on the right are asked to endure diatribes about our homophobia and pandering on this issue. The silence greeting Dean tells me all I need to know about the left blogosphere’s real commitment to this issue.
Frankly, I’ve condemned Democrats for insufficient support of queers any number of times. Tom, just to make sure you’re not a partisan hack – could you link to a couple of examples of you criticizing Republican queer-bashing? Or is it only something you comment on when Democrats do it?
But what I really object to in Tom’s post is his endorsement of moral equivalence. (Damn, it’s fun to say that to a conservative!) Yes, it’s sickening that Dean is coming out against legal equality on the 700 club. I condemn his words, his acts, and his lousy character. But I don’t imagine that what Dean did is the moral equivalent of proposing to amend the friggin’ Constitution to ward off legal equality.
Not to mention the many anti-queer ballot measures and laws proposed and all-too-often passed around the country: laws which bar lesbians and gays from things like protection from being fired for being queer, or which forbid them from adopting, or which threaten queer teachers’ jobs.
I’m against people punching other people. I’m also against people attacking other people with guns. But I can be against both without having to pretend that shooting someone is no worse than punching.
Many democrats are lousy for queers, leeches with a hand in every queer wallet who crawl away from every queer fight. But that doesn’t justify a false moral equivalency. Bad as the Dems are, the Republicans – the people who write and support every damn anti-queer law in the country, and who agitate for votes by spreading every vicious anti-queer bigotry they can think of – are far worse.
Tom’s attitude, at least as expressed in this one post, is total partisan hackery. “Howard Dean sucks from a queer rights perspective; therefore I can ignore all criticism of the bigotry in my own party.” That’s garbage, Tom. Bigotry is wrong because it’s immoral, not because it gives one side or the other a partisan advantage. Either you’re against bigotry, or your silence enables it.
At the least, if you choose not to oppose the bigots in your own party, please spare us the whining when you get criticized for your choice.