Sunday, March 4, 2007

Is John Edwards fabulous?

I'm just gonna throw this out there: I'm fabulous. There's just no way around it. Sure, I have my flaws, but on the whole I'm pretty great.

That's why I can't figure out, no matter how much brain juice I lose to the effort, why someone as unfabulous as Ann Coulter would reference me (and all my equally fabulous homobrothers and sisters) when trying to knock John Edwards down a few pegs. I mean, there are lots of ways you can tar candidates, several of which deal specifically with their job performance or political philosophies.

Setting aside for a second that it's inappropriate to talk about a candidate's sexuality in the first place, what I really want to know is why insinuating that someone is gay is the worst of all possible insults.

The reaction to Coulter's comment has betrayed the deep-seated homophobia on all sides, conservative and liberal. They're all absolutely beside themselves, waiting for their opportunity to grab the spotlight long enough to take Coulter to task. Only in their zeal to be the Righteous Ones, they're doing no favors to the gay community.

The overall tenor of their comments seems to be, "How dare she call John Edwards gay? That's beyond insulting!"

But is it? Really? I don't mean to suggest that what Coulter did was acceptable in any way. Her use of the word "faggot" alone was over the line. And her intention to smear is absolutely contemptible. But her actual insinuation? It's only bad to call someone gay if you believe being gay is bad. And that's why the "liberal" reaction to this has been so disappointing. The affront here was not to John Edwards. It was to the gay community.

Edwards could have scored some points if he had pointed this out. He released a statement saying that "in America, we strive for equality and embrace diversity" and that Coulter's use of an anti-gay slur was "un-American." I agree with him on that point - "faggot" is undeniably hate speech. But he didn't say that her use of gayness as the ultimate bogeyman was offensive. I might have let him slide with his mild implication of such if he hadn't also released this:

Can you help us raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" this week to keep this campaign charging ahead and fight back against the politics of bigotry?

Yes, because when there's a decision to be made between lifting up a community and trading on the very thing you're denouncing to raise a boatload of money, we know on which side politicians of all stripes will come down. If the Edwards campaign really believed that Coulter's comments were offensive to the gay community and not just to John Edwards, they'd donate every dollar of that "Coulter Cash" to gay organizations.

Now, that would be fabulous!

1 comment:

Amy said...

I agree with you 100%...and think J.Edwards could have responded a helluva lot better.