Billy has a fair question and I’m going to answer it now

Posted: May 12, 2010 by datechguy in opinion/news
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was approving comments today and a fellow named Billy asked what I think is a very fair question:

If “Kagan has to stand or fall on her record,” why has every single one of your posts about her been related to her sexual orientation?

It’s a good point worth answering, particularly since I’ve claimed that it has non bearing on her qualifications for the court.

First Two people I like, Robert Stacy McCain and Cynthia Yockey wrote stories on the issue. I thought that Cynthia’s was particularly good and I found it a good reason to link to them. I must not be alone in that opinion since she has been invited on two radio shows since her PJ media piece.

Second: Frankly the Elena Kagan nomination story is… well boring. Very important mind you, will affect the country for decades but boring nonetheless. You have a liberal president with a 59-41 Senate nominating a supreme court nominee. Barring a revelation that she was working secretly for the Taliban there is a greater chance of this president naming me to replace her in the solicitor general’s office than there is of her being defeated. If the Senate was closer it might be different but with these numbers, until the hearing it is just a giant yawner.

Third: We have been told over and over again that republicans and conservatives are “homophobic” and the democratic party is the one place that is welcoming for gays, yet during the course of the year this administration has stuck their finger in the eyes of Gay groups on more than one occasion. Thus how the administration handles the first “Gay” nominee to the court is significant.

Fourth: The reactions themselves have been telling. The suggestion that she is a lesbian is being treated by Democrats and the administration as a slur. This totally contradicts the image the democrats have of themselves as Gay friendly. It is that phoniness that is the only interesting story at this point, at least until the hearing start, then you never know.

Finally: It gave me a chance to quote Andrew Sullivan. For reasons that will be clear in just under three weeks I wanted an excuse to link to and quote Sullivan. This story provided it.

I hope this is an adequate answer to your question.

  1. Billy says:

    Thanks for the response. I agree that there isn’t much interesting about Kagan herself, so the more interesting story is about the White House’s framing of the nomination. I would like to believe that an openly gay person could be appointed to SCOTUS, but I seriously doubt it. I think all senators have a lot of constitutuents (both Republican and Democratic) who would be opposed to a gay justice. You basically concede this in your post about allowing MA people to voice their opinion on gay marriage in the privacy of a voting booth. I bet the nomination would fall from the pressure without ever reaching vote. Let’s assume that Kagan is gay. Why would the White House sabotage its own nomination by proclaiming to the country that she is gay? No, their options are to pass her over because of her sexual orientation or not to call attention to that fact (just like Obama didn’t announce that she was jewish). Sullivan notwithstanding, I don’t think that declining to bring up Kagan’s sexual orientation themselves, or shifting the conversation away from her sexual orientation reflects an attack on the right for being homophobic or the left’s uncomfortableness with homosexuality.

    One more thing — I am seeing on many blogs this meme of libs using this nomination as an excuse to accuse republicans of being homophobic (with many analogies to tea party and accusations of racism). First, I don’t think any of your links really support this meme. I don’t see any examples of a Republican making a substantive complaint about Kagan’s fitness to be a justice only to be accused by a lib (preferably someone connected to the WH or MSM and not just a blogger) of being homophobic. Please let me know if I missed something. Second, you give a good explanation of why you picked up this meme. But for many others, I don’t think it is too cynical to suggest that the meme is the best way to spread the word regarding Kagan’s alleged homosexuality because it doesn’t fly to simply say, “Kagan is a lesbian and will constitutionalize gay marriage so we shouldn’t vote for her.”