Thursday, December 14, 2006
Andrew Sullivan honors me with a response to my post this morning. Here's his reply with my comments intermixed:
Rather than defend Mitt Romney's inexplicable u-turn on gay rights (because he can't), David Frum tries to make the issue about me.
Actually if Andrew had kept reading, he would have noticed five (short!) blogposts lower, that I did comment on Romney's seeming reversal on gay rights. But write first, research later or never, seems alas to have become Andrew's fixed intellectual method.
Power Line piles on. Surprise! Whenever neocons have to defend the indefensible, they attack the enemy as a form of distraction.
For the record, I don't regard Andrew as "the enemy." I think he's a lively and interesting writer who should try harder to hold himself to the same ethical and intellectual standards he demands from others.
But they're both factually wrong and need to issue a correction. Frum cites my own long-held opposition to employment discrimination laws, as reiterated in Virtually Normal and more recently in the Advocate, a position that does not exactly endear me to the gay establishment. Then he claims I have recanted this.
But if Andrew has not recanted his opposition to ENDA, why does he berate and abuse Mitt Romney for the offense of agreeing with him?
But I have never recanted this as such (and didn't today), although I have given up fighting actively against ENDA, because the principle of non-discrimination is so widespread, exempting only gays from it seems a somewhat quixotic crusade.
As a matter of fact, it is not "only" gays who are exempted from nondiscrimination laws. Try being an Asian-American applying to Princeton if you want to see a really tough exemption.
Meanwhile, the priorites I have long argued for - marriage and military service - have indeed become central to the struggle for gay equality, and so, in many ways, the central argument in Virtually Normal won out. I wanted to focus on the way the government discriminates against gay citizens, not the private sector. And that should hardly surprise anyone given my libertarian leanings.
But, to repeat: I haven't recanted anything on ENDA. I was never for it.
But Mitt Romney had better be.
I'm still not.
But anyone else who objects to what I object to is a bigot, hypocrite, and flip-flopper.
Mine is a lost cause,
well not strictly speaking a lost cause, since in fact ENDA was never enacted
as a huge majority of Americans support it,
every other minority has employment non-discrimination rights,
and only a handful of gays agree with me. So I have reconciled myself to its inevitability, but won't support it. If I were in Congress, I'd vote against it.
OK, now I understand: Andrew may vote against ENDA, but everybody else must vote in favor. That's the philosophy of doubt in action.
No flip-flop here.
But both Frum and Mirengoff ignore the central question. My point is that Romney specifically cited ENDA as federal legislation he once supported and now doesn't. The question is: why?
That is a good question. But of course Andrew doesn't need to wait for any answer from the governor to make up his own mind about the man's malign motives.
Frum is uninterested in Rommey's answer. Another surprise.
Actually, I'm very interested in Romney's answer. I'd like to hear it. But I do have to admit: Andrew's public exhibitions are a good deal more entertaining than any answer we might expect to hear from the governor.
12/14 05:07 PM