Patterico's Pontifications

9/4/2007

Mike Rogers: The Most Feared Thug on the Hill?

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 12:41 am

Mike Rogers is an extortionist. He is a blackmailer. He is a thug. And today, he is lionized on the pages of the Washington Post.

It should be utterly uncontroversial that Rogers is nothing more than a political shakedown artist. He makes this quite clear in the Post article, eschewing the usual indirectness of the professional blackmailer for the shockingly direct threat:

“I write about closeted people whose records are anti-gay,” he says. “If you’re a closeted Democrat or Republican and you don’t bash gays or vote against gay rights to gain political points, I won’t out you.”

Of course, to Rogers, any vote against gay rights is cast “to gain political points” — because he can’t conceive of such a vote being cast on principle.

And so, Rogers’s message to politicians is simple and straightforward: if he doesn’t like the way you vote, he will expose embarrassing information about you. If you toe the line, however, he will protect you.

That is the classic position of the extortionist.

Rogers is trying to influence politicians’ votes with threats. I can’t put it any more plainly.

But Rogers attempts to gain respectability for his bullying by dressing up his threats as a mere attempt to expose hypocrisy — and the Post today gives him the cover he seeks. The Post‘s article asks: is Rogers The Most Feared Man on the Hill? The reporter describes Rogers as “basking in the attention” generated by the recent resignation of Larry Craig, who was outed by Rogers on his blog. In paragraph after paragraph, Rogers is given space to deliver his Sermon on Hypocrisy:

Rogers reasons that there’s justice behind his tactics — “odious,” “outrageous” and “over-the-line” as they might seem to his detractors.

In Rogers’s mind, if you’re against gay rights in your public life and you live a secret homosexual life, all bets are off.

. . . .

[L]ast October, he says, he targeted Craig — months before an undercover sex sting in a Minneapolis airport men’s room, and before the Idaho Statesman started its months-long investigation. Two years earlier, Rogers notes, the three-term senator had voted for the failed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

“Hypocrisy,” Rogers sneers, “plain, hate-filled hypocrisy.”

The opportunities for self-justification go on and on:

A little volume titled “The Book of Questions: Business, Politics and Ethics” is tucked under his coffee table. There, on Page 193, is the question: “How much right do we have to know about the private lives of elected officials?”

Rogers says, “When those private lives are in direct conflict with the public policy that these officials espouse, I think it’s fair game that their private lives be brought into this. And I have to blog to do that with. Here’s the question: What community is expected to protect its own enemies? Don’t beat up the gay community, and then expect us to protect your secrets and your double life. It’s just not right.”

The article seems to agree, providing a soft focus through which we may view Rogers’s tactics. A journalist (who is also a 20-year friend of Rogers’s) praises him merely as an involved gay activist. A Poynter ethics expert helpfully tells us that Big Media is no longer the gatekeeper of information. (The ethics expert was apparently not asked about the ethical issues involved when a blogger attempts to manipulate politicians’ votes with threats regarding their personal lives.) And we see Rogers praised by other bloggers:

To some, Rogers is a hero, which is what BlogPac, a political action committee that funds progressive blogs, called him in July when presenting him with an award. His supporters say he’s been more effective than the established gay press and gay organizations in exposing the GOP’s “image problem.”

“He’s a sort of a muckraker, and he’s sharing good information that other people don’t,” says Matt Stoller, the liberal blogger who heads BlogPac.

Opposing viewpoints are muted, or come from sources the reporter expects you to find discreditable — such as one of those damned gay Republican hypocrites that Rogers so righteously outed.

So is Rogers morally justified as a crusader against hypocrisy, as the piece portrays him?

Of course not. Any blackmailer can justify his actions with similar arguments. After all, if someone is blackmailing you, you have something you don’t want exposed. Which means you’re hiding it, which means you’re being dishonest, which means you’re a hypocrite. That doesn’t morally acquit the extortionist.

Let me turn the tables on you for a moment with a hypothetical.

Imagine that a conservative Republican senator from Idaho typically votes according to the views of his conservative constituents — with one notable exception: he supports a wide range of proposals endorsed by homosexual activists. He supports gay marriage, allowing gays to serve openly in the military, and laws that confer “protected class” status upon homosexuals for purposes of filing discrimination lawsuits. His constituents are puzzled by this one uncharacteristic breach in his conservative facade, but accept his explanation that he is motivated by principle.

But he doesn’t tell constituents that he, personally, is gay.

Now imagine that an anti-homosexual activist has learned that the senator is gay, and tells the senator that he will expose the senator’s secret homosexual life . . . unless the senator decides to start voting against the gay rights agenda, in which case the activist will remain silent.

That would be extortion. But the activist could justify it with arguments similar to those advanced by Rogers. The revelation of the senator’s secret life would expose as a half-truth his lofty principled reasons for supporting the gay agenda. Instead of concerns about equality, maybe his votes were cast to keep his lover(s) happy. By revealing this, the activist could argue that he was simply exposing dishonesty. And there are all sorts of other possible conflicts lurking under the surface in such a situation. For example, the activist could even argue that the senator voted for the gay agenda out of fear of being exposed by someone like Mike Rogers!

Somehow, if a conservative thug threatened to out a Congressman unless he voted against the homosexual agenda, I don’t think the extortionist would be the subject of a puff piece in the Washington Post. Do you?

Nor should he be. And neither should Rogers.

P.S. Let’s get away from hypotheticals. Where is the hypocrisy in this real-life situation?

I haven’t followed this story over the last couple of weeks, but it seems to me that an important component is sorely lacking from the stories about Craig: namely, evidence that he has made public statements espousing hatred towards homosexuals, or describing their lifestyle as deviant, or something along those lines. I’m open to correction if I’m wrong about this, but even Rogers cites no such examples in the Post story. The best Rogers can do is to point to Craig’s votes, arguing that Craig has opposed gays in the military, and has voted against gay marriage.

Rogers’s message appears to be that a gay man cannot oppose pro-gay legislation as a matter of principle. But that’s demonstrably wrong. There’s a local conservative radio talk-show host named Al Rantel who is openly gay and opposes gay marriage. And Rantel is not alone. Conversely, I am not gay (and unlike Larry Craig, I’m telling the truth when I say that!), but I support gay marriage and gays in the military. The plain fact is that one’s views on gay marriage, or gay issues generally, need not be dictated by their personal sexual preference.

Last October, I said:

I understand the Rick Ellensburgs of this world are saying that it’s all about the hypocrisy. This is just a dishonest hook on which they can hang their glee at what they perceive as an embarrassment to a Republican.

If you can show me where Larry Craig has denounced homosexuality as deviant or immoral, and you can prove he is homosexual, you’ve got a good hypocrisy charge. But if the only thing you’ve got is his votes against gay marriage or special rights for homosexuals, then you’ve got nothing. Plenty of homosexuals oppose both.

Glenn Greenwald and company are using the hypocrisy charge as a phony justification for thuggery on private matters. They should be ashamed.

So should the Washington Post for providing political cover to a rank extortionist.

P.P.S. This is not a defense of Craig, who has pled guilty to a criminal charge. This is a post about whether an extortionist should be treated as a hero. Other posts in the past few days have discussed Craig’s culpability, and those arguments should be held in the appropriate thread.

132 Comments

  1. Patterico:

    Welcome back, o oft-misinformed one!

    This post is a perfect opportunity for me to drop a name or two. And a long post deserves a long, rambling, Robert Byrd-type filibuster…

    Back in the day (that day being May Day, 1981), while I was attending UC Santa Cruz, studying mathmatics and dropping a lot of acid (they seemed to compliment each other), I hooked up with a fellow student named Ron Record.

    Both of us had a deep and abiding interest in the current project of one Dr. Timothy Leary; Leary was on a worldwide, whirlwind talking tour promoting his SMI²LE project — Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension — which he thought then and I still think today is humanity’s next great leap. (In case the filters purge it, there is a superscripted 2 after the I in that acronym.)

    So Ron and I formed a club and beat the school authorities over the head with it until they relented with some dough. We brought Tim to UCSC (which is not pronounced “Uck-Suck”) and, in the best Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland tradition, put on a show.

    Yes, this is a shaggy elephant story.

    After Leary’s lecture, he took questions (as always), and he was asked about his misadventures with the Law (as always). This was before Leary went on a debate tour with his personal Captain Ahab, G.Gordon Liddy.

    “Isn’t there any way,” asked a dozen different people over the years we kept inviting Leary back, “isn’t there any way to stop the government from compiling dossiers of our secrets and using them against us?”

    “Yes,” sayeth Tim; “speaking from personal experience, there is one and only one way. Just as there’s only one way to stop a blackmailer from finding your secrets and blackmailing you.”

    He paused, and eventually a bunch of people shouted out “How?” more or less in chorus.

    Leary grinned his leprechaun SMI²LE and said, “your only sure-fire defense is — don’t have any secrets!”

    Realistically, that is the only defense that gay politicians will ever have. If you are a closet homosexual and a conservative, then your pal Mike Rogers will out you. If you are a closet homosexual and a liberal, then somebody else will do it… maybe someone with a personal vendetta.

    But there is one certain defense against being propelled out of the closet: Don’t be in the closet in the first place.

    If being out will get you fired from your job, then it’s time to get a better job. If your spouse doesn’t know what you do in airport bathrooms, then it’s high time you told her (or him)… on so many levels, it’s unfair to keep such a secret.

    Those few words of wisdom had a profound effect on me. Since then, I have made it a point not to have any secrets. I will keep the secrets of others, but there is no truth about me that I would be willing to pay even a dollar to suppress. I may not answer a question if I consider it boorish; but I will not dissemble or lie.

    This is not because I’m inhumanly clean, like Doc Savage, Man of Bronze; rather, I do it because I have so many enemies that one or another is bound to ferret out anything I try to conceal. So why give them the ammunition? Why put myself through the temptation to pay people off to keep my good name? It’s just easier — not to have any secrets.

    And I suggest the same is true for everyone else.

    It’s not right; it’s not fair; but it is reality, and reality is, well, the real world. I urge all secret homosexuals, secret Capitalists, secret DUI arrestees running for president, secret bathroom-sex maniacs, and secret Bruckner fans to out themselves.

    Until you do, you will live in ceaseless terror that some Mike Rogers of some persuasion will do it for you — at the worst possible moment. And you may not survive.

    Dafydd

    Comment by Dafydd ab Hugh (445647) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:27 am

  2. I should have mentioned… one side benefit of having no secrets is that you can tweak Mike Rogers’ beard and laugh in his face.

    You need never fear the blackmailer again.

    Dafydd

    Comment by Dafydd ab Hugh (445647) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:29 am

  3. When Rogers posted Gurley’s Gay.com profile on his blog, the GOP fired Gurley

    Hmmm?

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 9/4/2007 @ 3:53 am

  4. Yes, Patterico, Mike Rogers is a thug. A cheap thug. To say that he outed Craig, simply because Craig is a hypocrite, is just so much bull. Rogers is on a crusade to destroy as many lives as he can, no quarter.
    Craig, like all politicians, was elected by the voters to carry out the will of the voters. I don’t care if Craig thought that the Federal Government should pay for every gay wedding in Massachussets. He was elected to vote according to the will of his district, not his own personal views. And while there are many politicians who do believe as the voters who elected them, many do not. The fact that the Washington Post would give any credence to this blackmailer, is more than appalling. It is no more than a political Abu Ghraib giving a hachet to a political assassin. Rogers does this for one reason and one reason only; the Stalinistic power it gives him.
    Rogers would be the first to use the tired mantra of the government staying out of his bedroom. But he wants to poke his nose into every Republican bedroom he can find, damn the torpedos, full speed ahead.
    Dafydd says if you don’t want your secrets exposed, don’t have any. Perhaps then Dafydd would like to publish his IRS return along with his full name, address, place of employment and balance in his checking account. But somehow, I don’t think so. So there seems to be some secrets (call it personal information) that Dafydd does espouse to hold close to his belt.

    Craig, and any person, has the right to keep their private life, private. Unless they are breaking the laws of our nation, and are simply going about their business, what they do in their private moments is none of anyone else’s business.
    You can get into the whole “personal choice vs. by birth” thing about homosexuality, but in the end, it is no one’s business but your own.

    Being gay is not an easy life. You are looked upon as an abnormality. That’s just the way it is. I have many, MANY gay friends who have not come out of the closet publically. Sure, I know it because I am a trusted confidant. But what they do between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. is not the business of their employer. Nor is it the business of their dry cleaners, house keeper, mail carrier or anyone else. It is only their business and it is not for me, or anyone else, to “out” them.
    This is “gotcha” politics in it’s worst form. And it does nothing to raise the bar for what is acceptable and what is not. In fact, it lowers it.
    Being a public servant is not an easy task. It was not easy for Jefferson, Madison or Washington. One always has enemies. But at least there was some pretense of respect for your advasaries. No longer.
    Rogers is one, who had he be active during the time of Martin Luther King, would have killed the opportunity for the “I have a dream” speech because he would have revealed that King had a penchant for girls of the night. Rogers would have taken great joy in bringing down a man who achieved much, even though he himself never quite reached personal perfection. We would have lost the gains that were made possible by Dr. King as his reputation, and effectiveness, would have been lost.
    What a person reveals, or doesn’t reveal, to the outside world is a personal choice. But we all understand that Rogers has an agenda. Not to garner tolerance for homosexuals, but to force acceptance of homosexuals, no matter a person’s view points or opinions. Roger’s doesn’t want a free society, he wants a society that’s free to think as he does. Gramsci would be proud.

    I am not a subscriber to the philosophy of Politics of Personal Destruction. It is not only Craig, and those like him who are hurt, it is the innocents, his family, his friends, that are hurt. And while I am sure that Rogers worries over the collateral damage in Iraq, he has no problem with the collateral damage he creates for other Americans. He is fully aware that the one, most precious thing that any man holds is his dignity and Rogers has no problem putting that dignity on the chopping block.

    If exposing hypocracy is Rogers’ aim, perhaps he could take on those like John Kerry. Kerry had no problem touting his religious beliefs as a Catholic, with opportune photo ops of he and his wife entering a quaint little Catholic Church, while he voted to continue the practice of shoving a rod into a full term child’s head because that child was an “inconvenience” to the mother. But I guess saying that, as a Catholic, you do not believe in late term abortion, but have to vote the will of your constitutants inspite of your personal beliefs, is not hypocritical to Rogers. And while I would not mind seeing Kerry reduced to the Club of Ex-Senators, it is not for his religious hypocracy and I have no desire to destroy his family in the process.

    Mike Rogers is another Michael Vick. Vick killed pit bulls in a most henious manner. Rogers aims to kill those he considers the “dogs” of politics. Somehow I don’t think his fashion of politics is what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

    Comment by retire05 (e18723) — 9/4/2007 @ 4:17 am

  5. The only sex life I care about is my own.

    That said, after some 20 years of hearing teh gay thing I’m bored with the cross-dressing cosmetic minstrel show.

    Comment by syn (7faf4d) — 9/4/2007 @ 4:55 am

  6. My co-blogger and I have been talking and talking and talking about Rogers’ tactics for a few years now. We tried to make a big deal out of Rogers’ blackmail attempt targeting Craig during the Alito nomination. No one cares. It’s a sad testimony to the state of our media (and the gay community in general) when an unabashed criminal is feted in a publication like the Washington Post. Don’t worry, Rogers is invited to panels and is generally considered a mainstream activist in the gay establishment – even if one or two people here and there object. They’re generally an exception.

    No one cares.

    How to make them care? I’m not sure. Can’t someone contact law enforcement? How is blackmailing a U.S. Senator to change his vote during the Alito confirmation not a crime?

    I’ll never understand how Rogers operates in the open the way he does with no legal retribution. I would have thought the dextrosphere would’ve been all over this guy, but he’s managed to slip through and continue destroying lives. Maybe your post will make a difference. I hope so, but I’m not expecting much.

    Comment by Robbie (d671ab) — 9/4/2007 @ 5:08 am

  7. Robbie, Rogers will hide behind the 1st Amendment while he goes about his business of destroying lives. He is no different than any other assassin, even if his field of expertise is political assassinations.

    He will be fueled by the far left who touts their tolerance. He will be hailed as a hero, a truth seeker, a man of his times. He is scum. A power seeker who cares only for his own fame. The left need to purge themselves of this slug. But they won’t. To those like Rogers, it is not how you play the game, but how many times you can win, even if it requires cheating.

    Comment by retire05 (e18723) — 9/4/2007 @ 5:31 am

  8. “…if you’re against gay rights in your public life and you live a secret homosexual life, all bets are off.”

    It’s that simple.

    “Mike Rogers is another Michael Vick. Vick killed pit bulls in a most henious manner. Rogers aims to kill those he considers the “dogs” of politics. ”

    Sonofoabitch. What an idiot.

    Comment by AF (e7839e) — 9/4/2007 @ 5:41 am

  9. Great post. Although I also have little sympathy for Larry Craig, it’s worth pointing out, as Jonah Goldberg and James Taranto have, that even if Craig had described homosexuality as “deviant,” that still wouldn’t make him a hypocrite. To be a hypocrite, you have to behave in a manner that directly contradicts a belief you actually hold. There’s nothing inconsistent or hypocritical a gay man who a) believes homosexuality is wrong, b) opposoes pro-gay public policy, and c) wants to keep his homosexuality under wraps. Larry Craig would only be a hypocrite if he opposed against gay marriage, while simultaneously believing it would be sound public policy.

    Comment by NYC 3L (b57b55) — 9/4/2007 @ 5:54 am

  10. I propose that all politicians of any political persuasion who advocate and try to enact policies that:

    1 – Declare illegal, activities that don’t involve the use of force or fraud
    2 – Afford one group in society more “rights” than other groups, and;
    3 – Exempt themselves from the policies and programs they enact.

    should be:

    1 – Mocked incessantly and without concern for them or their family members who stand by them,
    2 – Made so uncomfortable in order to make their “elected” life intolerable that they;

    a – Resign, or;
    b – Elect not to run for re-election.

    If a politician won’t trust me to run my own life as I see fit as long as I don’t engage in the initiation of force or fraud doesn’t deserve my respect, tolerance, or any benefit of the doubt.

    No matter how nice or personable or intelligent they are, in the final analysis, they are in power to use the monopolistic use of force afforded to government to enact legislation that makes what was not a crime yesterday, a crime today.

    Frack ‘em and the horse they rode in on.

    Comment by Horatio (55069c) — 9/4/2007 @ 6:04 am

  11. Daffydd:

    Well, Tim Leary had his own substantial secret: He was a long-time confidential informant on his friends. *That’s* a good example of hypocracy, no?

    (On the main issue, I agree with Pat.`)

    –JRM

    Comment by JRM (355c21) — 9/4/2007 @ 6:19 am

  12. One of the principles of the religious right, and the politicians who try to get the backing of the religious right, is that the government should be able to stick its nose into private bedrooms whenever and whyever it wishes.

    Which means that the religious right, and the aforementioned politicians, have no right to complain when someone else sticks their noses into their private bedrooms, whenever and whyever they wish.

    Comment by secret Bruckner fan (5f8747) — 9/4/2007 @ 6:28 am

  13. One of the principles of the religious right, and the politicians who try to get the backing of the religious right, is that the government should be able to stick its nose into private bedrooms whenever and whyever it wishes.

    How’s that? What proposals are out there that hope to cause government to intrude upon and/or regulate sexual conduct?

    Comment by Pablo (99243e) — 9/4/2007 @ 6:35 am

  14. Bruckner – You knoiw this about the religious right how? Reading?

    Comment by daleyrocks (906622) — 9/4/2007 @ 6:36 am

  15. [...] the Washington Post features a puff piece on Rogers, which Patterico dissects and fisks soundly here, appropriately labelling Rogers as an [...]

    Pingback by Sister Toldjah » Dissecting the infamous outer Mike Rogers (1466f5) — 9/4/2007 @ 7:05 am

  16. Since Rogers has stated his motivation and his threats on public record, could he be sued for blackmail? If so, who would be the plaintiff?

    Comment by aunursa (ef5ca8) — 9/4/2007 @ 7:18 am

  17. Not merely an extortionist, he is the runaway slave catcher for the plantation.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 7:30 am

  18. It is amazing to me that intelligent people such as those who participate on this blog afford so much respect to politicians.

    Politicians don’t care:

    1 – About you
    2 – About your issues unless they can force them down the throats of those who don’t like your issues
    3 -About anything other than staying in office
    4 -Power and ego gratification

    “Pity the poor, diseased politician. Imagine: to spend your days and expend your efforts making rules for others to live by, thinking up ways to run other lives. Actually to strive for the opportunity to do so! What a hideous affliction!” –F. Paul Wilson, Enemy of the State

    Comment by Horatio (f61519) — 9/4/2007 @ 7:45 am

  19. You don’t get it, Horatio. All that you say is correct, but Rogers is lower.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 7:46 am

  20. You don’t get it, Horatio. All that you say is correct, but Rogers is lower

    On the contrary, I do get it. Those of you complaining about Rogers give politicians respect. I don’t.

    Comment by Horatio (f61519) — 9/4/2007 @ 7:56 am

  21. Well, no obviously you don’t get it. Regardless of the lack of respect for politicians, we should condemn someone who is blackmailing people for political gain.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:08 am

  22. “Rogers’s message appears to be that a gay man cannot oppose pro-gay legislation as a matter of principle.”
    Even you are referring to it as “pro-gay” leglislation. If that’s the case by your own definition, voting against such legislation is obviously “anti-gay.”
    Craig also voted against a 1996 bill prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, which failed by one vote in the Senate.”

    Should a light skinned mixed race politician be allowed to “pass” in order for him to serve the interests of his conservative white constituency? I’ll ask this of the commenter who yesterday referred to the civil war “the war of northern aggression.”
    Should it matter that the racist Strom Thurmond had a nigger lovechild?

    “How’s that? What proposals are out there that hope to cause government to intrude upon and/or regulate sexual conduct?”
    Lawrence vs. Texas
    And you’ve never heard of Sodomy laws?

    Privette, a 74-year old retired pastor, has pleaded guilty to six counts of soliciting a prostitute. Privette is a long-time participant in North Carolina politics, spending eight years in the state house and another nine as a commissioner of Cabarrus County. He is a staunch social conservative and, until recently, President of the Christian Action League.”

    Comment by AF (e7839e) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:14 am

  23. I took a look at Rogers’ list of names on Blogactive and it struck me first of all as being pathetically meager. Most of the people on it are not law or policy makers, and although he brags about exposing “hypocrisy in gov’t” some of the people on there are not in government.

    How does Mike Rogers know these people are gay? I looks to me like he knows because some POS emails him and says “I hooked up with so-and-so, why don’t you out him on your blog while keeping my name out of it?”

    Joe McCarthy wouldn’t have called someone a communist just because an anonymous accuser wrote him a letter. HUAC and the FBI got thousands of letters like that – they didn’t publish them in the newspapers.

    Comment by Glen Wishard (b1987d) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:20 am

  24. Well, no obviously you don’t get it. Regardless of the lack of respect for politicians, we should condemn someone who is blackmailing people for political gain.

    I understand what you’re saying, and to that extent, I do agree with you

    Comment by Horatio (f61519) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:32 am

  25. one commenter asserted, wrongly, that the right thinks that “the government should be able to stick its nose into private bedrooms” ..
    nonsense.

    and marriage is not in the bedroom. it is a public institution.

    and now, straights are limited to marrying someone one of the opposite sex, just like gays; therefore the law which defines marriage as between a man and a woman is NOT DISCRIMINATORY.

    Comment by reliapundit (b2a00d) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:36 am

  26. Representative Democracy by extortion – a liberal’s dream.

    Comment by Perfect Sense (b6ec8c) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:36 am

  27. If being out will get you fired from your job, then it’s time to get a better job.

    That’s great advice for the people with skills in industries where people generally don’t care.

    It’s not helpful for those with no skills, or with skills in industries where tolerance of homosexuality does not exist.

    It would be much easier to act on this advice if it weren’t legal for an employer to fire you simply because he doesn’t like the fact that you are gay, or if there were a social code which restrained him from doing so. In some parts of the country, there is no such legal or social restriction.

    [That said, I agree with the advice in general: it's *much better* to be out than to be in the closet, and it's certainly much less scary.]

    He was elected to vote according to the will of his district, not his own personal views.

    That’s an interesting debate all on its own: at what point does it become dishonorable for a politician to vote for something he believes is unethical or immoral, just because the voters in his district want it?

    We can debate all day whether or not any particular vote by a politician rises to that level. But surely you agree there is *some* line across which an honorable man may not tread, even if his constituents desire it?

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:47 am

  28. But surely you agree there is *some* line across which an honorable man may not tread, even if his constituents desire it?

    Comment by aphrael — 9/4/2007 @ 8:47 am

    Does blackmail count?

    Comment by daleyrocks (906622) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:53 am

  29. Daleyrocks: yes. I’ve stated before, although I suppose it always bears reiterating, that I think outing someone against their will is unconscionable and abusive.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/4/2007 @ 8:55 am

  30. “It should be utterly uncontroversial that Rogers is nothing more than a political shakedown artist.”

    I have no problem with calling Rogers a ‘thug’ or an extortionist. It is, what it is.

    I don’t think Rogers cares what you call him, either.

    But, information about the hidden agendas of politicians is what I wish disclosed, whether it be from ‘D’ or ‘R’ or ‘I’.

    I want to know if Sen. ‘X’ has financial ties to a Bill he supports. I want to know if Rep. ‘Y’
    votes against matters of public policy which might offend his constituency, when personal behavior
    ‘in the same vein’ might cost his job, were those voters informed.

    Truth is like iodine. It doesn’t help unless it hurts. Information, whether disclosed because of partisanship, or out of objectivity, is still inforattion. Feel free to debunk, or obfuscate in your reply to such info, but when it, in the end, is truthful, it disinfects.

    Comment by Semanticleo (4741c2) — 9/4/2007 @ 9:01 am

  31. But is Rogers in any way different from the leftwingnuts that dominate our media, academia, or unions? The sin is being queer its not towing the line. This is what the Left is about, no dissent is tolerated. The privacy of the bedroom is just an excuse for the trolls as demonstrated by Rogers.

    We should rejoice in seeing the tactics and principles of these thugs in action. If they held control you have a clear example of how dissent would be treated. Just look at how women and children were treated at Waco.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/4/2007 @ 9:13 am

  32. Don’t Vote. It only encourages them…

    +++++++++++

    P.J. O’Rourke on Politics:

    Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

    When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

    People who are wise, good, smart, skillful, or hardworking don’t need politics, they have jobs.

    Comment by Horatio (f61519) — 9/4/2007 @ 9:50 am

  33. #27
    We have what is called a “representative” government. That means that we elect representatives to enact our will. If we decide that we want a wind farm off the coast of Massachussets, that is how Senator Kennedy should vote, in the “aye” column. Instead, the left have caved to those who vote their own personal interests, not ours. At that point, our representation is non-existant.

    What ever Craig’s personal beliefs, he was sent to Washington to carry out the will of his electors.

    For a slug like Mike Rogers to use extortion to garner a policy that he favors, is just as wrong as extortion in any other form.

    Being gay is not a cause. It is a part of a person but it should not define a person. Those that march in the streets of Austin and San Francisco in their pink feather boas and lime green g-strings would find another reason to be exhibitionists if they were not gay. Those people seek attention, not equal rights. Ever attend a Renaissance Festival? You would understand what I mean.

    Most gays are just average people who live their everyday lives like everyone else. They pay their taxes, go to work, see movies, mow their lawns and just want the ability to go about their business like you and I. People like Rogers does more harm than good and he sets acceptance back 30 years. If you want privacy in your bedroom, don’t broadcast what you do there.

    Rogers is a slug. And someone needs to dump a lot of salt on his tail.

    Comment by retire05 (e18723) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:11 am

  34. I’ve always had a problem with the left’s insistence that if you are a member of a “group” you have to be for anything and everything that could even remotely be considered good for that particular group.

    I am a female, over 40, and disabled. I am not necessarily for everything that comes down the pike that could be considered good for any or all of those groups.

    The sad part is those that use what’s already been passed as “good” for their group against the system. For example, I am currently studying for an MBA and I am the holder of a bachelor of science degree in business with an eBusiness concentration. I am in no way qualified to be a chemical engineer. However, being a member of three, count-em three, protected classes, I could conceivably (and could find some lawyer to represent me – sadly) file suit that I wasn’t hired as a chemical engineer because I am a disabled woman who is over 40 years of age. I don’t have to worry about the fact that I am in no way qualified for this position, I’ll just sue big pharma for not giving me the job. Sad.

    There are so many ‘protected classes’ out there now – how many people don’t fall into one or another? All of them should go away.

    Comment by kimsch (a05a17) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:14 am

  35. many of you rogers critics have never supported gay privacy before in your lives. many of you bemoaned the supreme court decision a few years back granting privacy to consenting adults of whatever gender in their bedrooms. now that rogers is going after your peepul, peepul like larry craig who represented legislated morality and statist authority, suddenly you’ve discovered individual privacy. better late than never, i guess.

    Comment by assistant devil's advocate (3747e3) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:16 am

  36. #33: thank you for the condescending civics lesson, but I think you missed my point.

    Imagine that the voters of a given district badly wanted a law which would reintroduce slavery. And imagine that there were some constitutional process for this to be done. I would argue that a man who stood for office in that district, promised to do it, and did it, all the while believing slavery to be immoral, would be a dishonorable man. At some point, he has a responsibility to himself and to his community to stand against those things he believes are wrong, and to not facilitate them; and if that means he cannot serve as a representative, then he should not do so.

    Do you agree that there is a point at which an honorable man must refuse to sacrificing his sense of morality to carry out the wishes of those who voted for him, and instead must either resign in protest or announce that he disagrees and will not vote that way, and invite voters to endorse or reject his position at the next election?

    Most gays are just average people who live their everyday lives like everyone else. They pay their taxes, go to work, see movies, mow their lawns and just want the ability to go about their business like you and I.

    Given the context that I’m a gay man, I find this one of the most amusing things I’ve read in weeks. :)

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:23 am

  37. Just skimmed this post and comments, so I hope Im not being thick here, but …

    … but … well, if one man can blackmail a Senator, so can another. I have speculated in the past that Bill Clinton was prob a prime target, in that he had a great open secret (his philandering) that he was nonetheless willing to lie under oath about, even risking his presidency. So what else might he have been willing to do? I’d be shocked if various bad guys didn’t at least try to garner a few favors; like, duh.

    Same w/Larry Craig. Anyone at his political level of power needs to be trustworthy, and if they have such powerful secrets hanging over them, they are instead a risk. This is no way exonerates dirty little Mike Rogers, blackmailer, it just points out that Rogers is merely an obvious blackmailer; most are quieter.

    Were I running either of the major parties – you might like that, actually, but I digress – I would be much more vigilant in checking out the candidates beforehand to see if they were easy blackmail targets. Is the candidate gay? No prob, and he doesn’t have to shout it from the rooftops if he doesn’t want to, but he can’t leave it hidden and denied, either, lest the blackmailers move in, as they inevitably will if there’s an opening.

    Ditto on financial and other scandals, of course. The shortlist of top-blackmail possibilities hasn’t changed much throughout history, has it?

    Comment by ras (adf382) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:28 am

  38. aphrael, what exactly do you find amusing about my statement? As a gay person, do you not do all the things in your everyday life like straights? Do you not have a job? Pay taxes? Eat in restraurants? Mow your lawn and water flowers? Pay your bills?

    What exactly is it that makes you different from me? Nothing, except what you do in private. I am not gay. My son is. And our lives are pretty much the same except for our choice in the sex of our partners.

    And how about Mike Rogers Ebay site? Guess you approve of that?

    http:cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=180155962278&Category=1467

    Rogers is a political hack of the worst form.

    Comment by retire05 (e18723) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:36 am

  39. Sorry; here’s Mikeeeee

    http://cgi.ebay.com/wa/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=189155962278&Category=1467

    Comment by retire05 (e18723) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:38 am

  40. Rogers ebay item has been removed. It was Larry Craig’s business card along with a couple of other items.

    Maybe this will work

    http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZpageonenews

    Comment by retire05 (e18723) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:42 am

  41. many of you rogers critics have never supported gay privacy before in your lives. many of you bemoaned the supreme court decision a few years back granting privacy to consenting adults of whatever gender in their bedrooms. now that rogers is going after your peepul, peepul like larry craig who represented legislated morality and statist authority, suddenly you’ve discovered individual privacy. better late than never, i guess.

    What a load of BS. Leaving aside the broad brush you paint ‘many’ of us concerning how we feel about privacy, it has nothing to do with privacy. It’s about the hypocrisy on the left. Outing sexual preferences as apt punishment for someone who does not toe the political line is abhorrent. Doing so after assigning anyone who shares those preferences no matter what their politic to a voting block and then staking political ownership of it is pure hypocrisy. Threatening to do so unless the subject toes the political line is blackmail.

    End of story. Grow up. It’s about ruining people’s lives, not about feeling good about your politics.

    Comment by Just Passing Through (cb6c8d) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:45 am

  42. You set up this straw man argument, pretending that this is Rogers’ point of view:

    Which means you’re hiding it, which means you’re being dishonest, which means you’re a hypocrite.

    That’s not what Rogers, or anyone like him, is saying. It’s not the hiding that makes Craig a hypocrite.

    I’ts the full-frontal legislative attack on homosexuality while himself engaging in illegal homosexual activity that makes him a hypocrite.

    A politician could be gay and in the closet forever, and Rogers would do nothing about it — as Rogers himself says — until the day that politician started voting anti-gay. If a politician were a secret rum runner while voting for Prohibition, wouldn’t that be relevant to his public life? Wouldn’t that be information voters are entitled to have?

    Someone else said in the comments that Craig should have the right to keep his private life private.

    1. Since when is a public washroom “private”?

    2. He’s a public figure who has chosen to use his “private” life as part of his electoral campaigns. That “private” life—traditional family man, anti-gay, etc.—presented to the voters was a fraud. He campaigned on a lie.

    He put his private life into play the day he trotted out all that phony “pro-family” tripe. He continues to put it into play by cowering behind his betrayed wife at the press conference—just like that other “pro-family” liar, Senator Vitter (R-LA), and, as of this week, behind his children.

    Who’s the greater contortionist, the elderly Republican trying to have sex in the 12″ gap between a bathroom floor and a bathroom partition… or all the Republican apologists trying to defend him for doing so?

    Comment by Ankhorite (c80a11) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:52 am

  43. Thug Extortionist Gets Glowing WaPo Puffpiece…

    The Washington Post’s Arts and Living section today features a shamefully glowing portrait of two-bit thug and extortionist Mike Rogers. The fact a major newspaper would devote space to a vicious smear merchant speaks volumes about their own politica….

    Trackback by JammieWearingFool (59ce3a) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:57 am

  44. Leave it to the WASHINGTON COMPOST to not print a opus cartoon that would iffend mislims but gush prases for a crinimals its as bad as that uduits NORMAN MAILER and the holywood idiots wanting to save cop killer ABDUL JIMAL instead jimal should have one way meeting with OLD SPARKY and mr mailer can take ahike and so can the WASHINGTON COMPOST

    Comment by krazy kagu (aef0eb) — 9/4/2007 @ 10:57 am

  45. If I cheat on my taxes, but I support tax increases, do I get a pass from the Economic Policy Institute?

    I sure hope so.

    If I loot the treasury of the public education system, but I support increased education spending, do I get a pass from the American Federation of Teachers?

    I sure hope so.

    If I lie to my bar review board, but I promise to appoint the members to positions of great stature, do I get a pass from the bar association?

    I sure hope so.

    As you can see, in the world of elections that operate on the principles of the ethics of Mike Rogers, it is very easy to get out of jam.

    Comment by Gabriel Sutherland (90b3a1) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:03 am

  46. Ankhorite,

    So it’s OK to out him unless he complies with what you tell him to do?

    I presume the Left simply self-anointed itself the arbiter of what policies must match to what lifestyles? Yes, I thought so.

    [Bonus: reply to the principle at stake here, w/out restatinging that Craig is a hypocrite, thereby reinfocring him as the standard by which you measure your own ethics; interesting.]

    Comment by ras (adf382) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:05 am

  47. I use the Alcee Hastings standard. If you run as a crook, and you win as a crook, you’re still a crook, just an elected crook.

    Vitter may run as an adulterer. If he wins as an adulterer then so be it. The people decided.

    I might give Mike Rogers’ a little more credence if he were to reframe his position like this.

    “Senator X ran as a heterosexual family man, married with two kids…Senator X is not a heterosexual. He misled the voters of State Y. He needs to run for office as the person he actually is, not the person he pretends to be.”

    Comment by Gabriel Sutherland (90b3a1) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:07 am

  48. Ankhorite,

    More BS. Advocating the public policies supported by your constituents as distinct from personal life style or beliefs is being neither dishonest nor a hypocrite. It’s discharging the demands the electorate places on the office you were elected to and more importantly is consistent with the oath you take as an office holder.

    It is no more dishonest or hypocritical than an elected official supporting speeding laws who drives with a heavy foot.

    Roger’s problem is that he sees someone’s public stance on gay issues as definitive of his personal beliefs. Roger is not threatening to out senators who speed for hypocrisy. Nor is he threatening to blackmail them unless they take a hard line in support of speeding laws.

    This is about Roger’s politics and not about hypocrisy.

    Comment by Just Passing Through (cb6c8d) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:12 am

  49. Um, do Rogers and his defenders protest those heterosexual senators who support Rogers’ agenda?

    No they don’t; their position is therefore not about hypocrisy, it’s about blackmail, regardless of what one thinks of Larry Craig.

    Comment by ras (adf382) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:21 am

  50. it’s not blackmail or extortion, since rogers is not demanding payment. rogers is proposing to air someone else’s dirty laundry. these acts do not constitute blackmail or extortion, not even close.

    Comment by english teacher (b84357) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:31 am

  51. english teacher, if you are trying to fit into the statutory definition of the crimes of blackmail or extortion, even then you are not correct.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:37 am

  52. english teacher,

    Rogers is indeed demanding payment, in this case in the form of services, same as if a boss demanded sexual favors from an employee.

    Comment by ras (adf382) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:38 am

  53. Patterico,

    It’s great to see you back and writing posts like this. I agree with you, and I’d like to add one off-the-wall thought:

    Initially I saw this more as a political issue than a gay issue because Rogers and others like him will do whatever they can to hurt their political opponents. Still, his venom for conservatives like Foley and Craig seems limitless and his willingness to destroy them and their families is cruel, beyond what you would expect from a partisan witch-hunt.

    This over-the-top aspect puzzled me until I concluded that, to Rogers and his supporters, this isn’t about outing gays or exposing hypocrites. It’s about political orientation proving you are the right kind of gay. I think Rogers decided that it is so inconsistent to be both gay and a committed conservative that such people must be sexual deviants … and thus fair game. Indeed, Rogers and his supporters may have even convinced themselves it is a public service to expose them.

    Nevertheless, reasons and motivations don’t matter much in today’s politics and, as Dafydd says, public persons can’t have secrets anymore. Maybe the world has come full circle and now everyone lives in a small town again where there are no secrets. In the long run, that may not be such a bad thing.

    Comment by DRJ (bfe07e) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:42 am

  54. retire05: i find it amusing that you have made a statement whose goal seems to be to convince the listener that gay people are just like everyone else, without knowing that the person you were making the statement to was, in fact gay. :) I may be overreacting to what I perceived as a condescending tone in your post.

    As for Rogers: where have I said anything that would make you think I approve of him? I’ve said (#29) that I think outing someone against their will is unconscionable and abusive; I would have thought that would be sufficient. I don’t like the man; he abuses people, and his doing so is contemptible.

    I note that you’ve still not answered my question. :)

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:01 pm

  55. DRJ:

    You hit the nail on the head. Its a shame that our system tolerates the kind of “politics” these appartcheks play. I wonder how people would react if conservatives starting outing closet gays who are leftists. The morality of these people is plain to see.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:05 pm

  56. “it’s not blackmail or extortion, since rogers is not demanding payment. rogers is proposing to air someone else’s dirty laundry. these acts do not constitute blackmail or extortion, not even close.”

    It’s probably a good thing you’re an English teacher instead of a law prof.

    Comment by Lord Nazh© (899dce) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:09 pm

  57. Which is worse, someone who smears political opponents with the truth?

    Or someone who smears political opponents with lies?

    Turns out John McCain didn’t have an illegitimate interracial daughter…who knew?

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:15 pm

  58. [...] Patterico mixes exactly the right amount of outrage with unmitigated contempt: [...]

    Pingback by Right Wing Nut House » DEFINITION OF POND SCUM (22ef8f) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:18 pm

  59. Obviously Rogers is a sludge-dwelling parasite of the worst kind. And it is extortion no matter how you toss it. But every politician has got to stop believing what they are hiding will not be found out – it doesn’t matter what it is, it doesn’t matter if its unethical for anyone to blab about it or out them or whatever – because,

    a) the cold reality that is the marriage between media and politics is that everything will eventually be found out….and made very, very public. No. Holds. Barred.

    b) not everyone is playing with a sense of morals or ethics or integrity – most aren’t and therefore like Rogers, easily justify their despicable behavior.

    No one should even step a toe into the political arena without planning on every little corner of their life being exposed – the good and the bad. If they are hiding potentially damaging secrets – even if it is their personal, private business it will be shouted from the rooftops – it is naive and absurd to think that low-life thugs like Rogers aren’t on the prowl determined to make that secret anything but.

    It doesn’t excuse the behavior, it doesn’t make it less reprehensible but what it does is make any politician fully aware of how the game is played. They should count on it happening. To not is pure foolishness.

    Comment by Dana (b4a26c) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:19 pm

  60. The thing is, anyone who is closetted cannot be trusted in a position of of power. Rogers is a thug for the gay/left agenda – the things that he wants are relatively harmless compared to what other potential blackmailers might want. Using gays as agents was an old specialty of the KGB – these poor guys would do anything to keep their secret. I consider myself a pretty staunch conservative but would happily vote for an openly gay candidate who believed in low taxes and winning the war, and didn’t make being gay the lodestone of his politics.

    Comment by holdfast (42bed3) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:21 pm

  61. To answer your question, aphrael. If a elected official finds he can no longer represent the views of his constituants, he/she has no other option than to resign. They are elected to represent, not subject the voter to their personal opinions.
    Clear enough?

    Now, let me make on other thing clear. I have a gay son, who is just like everyone else save one small facet of his life. I am sick to death of the “they are soooooo different” crap. Not all gays march lockstep with the “movement” group. Not all gays think there should be legalized same sex marriage. Not all atheists are Democrats. Not all Christians are Republicans.
    This bull of putting people in neat little categories because of a segment of their lives is wrong. And an even bigger pile is demanding that if you are a certain segment of the population (gay, black, Hispanic, white, southern) you must be a clone of everyone else you share commonality with. That, my dear friend, is what Rogers is demanding. If you are like him, you must think like him. I call that totalitarianism.
    I object to people like Mike Rogers because of the damage he does to people like my son. Rogers is of the opinion that he has the right to paint all gays with a broad brush and he doesn’t. If all gays were like Rogers, there would be no Log Cabin Republicans. The political views and opinions of gay Americans are as diverse and varied as the general population.

    My son is accepted by my hard core conservative friends just as easily as he is by my yellow-dog friends. Why? Because he doesn’t make his personal life an issue, and neither do they. That is the mark of true acceptance. My son is respected for his character, not his private life.
    Rogers cannot hold that same claim.

    Comment by retire05 (e18723) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:22 pm

  62. Alphie…the smear here is that Craig is a hypocrite because he is a “gay” Republican….but he says he is not gay. Is he a liar? Or, is Rogers the liar? Thank you for contradicting your own point again. Rogers is smearing someone with “facts” he cannot prove….

    Now, just so you know….Craig plead guilty to a crime, and should resign….

    Comment by reff (bff229) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:23 pm

  63. OK – we need some tunes here today, so, thank you Don Henley

    I make my living off the evening news
    Just give me something-something I can use
    People love it when you lose,
    They love dirty laundry

    Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
    I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
    Come and whisper in my ear
    Give us dirty laundry

    Kick em when they’re up
    Kick em when they’re down
    Kick em when they’re up
    Kick em when they’re down
    Kick em when they’re up
    Kick em when they’re down
    Kick em when they’re up
    Kick em all around

    We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
    Comes on at five
    She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam
    In her eye
    Its interesting when people die-
    Give us dirty laundry

    Can we film the operation?
    Is the head dead yet?
    You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
    Running bet
    Get the widow on the set!
    We need dirty laundry

    You don’t really need to find out what’s going on
    You don’t really want to know just how far its gone
    Just leave well enough alone
    Eat your dirty laundry

    Kick em when they’re up
    Kick em when they’re down
    Kick em when they’re up
    Kick em when they’re down

    Kick em when they’re up
    Kick em when they’re down
    Kick em when they’re stiff
    Kick em all around

    Dirty little secrets
    Dirty little lies
    We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
    We love to cut you down to size
    We love dirty laundry

    We can do the innuendo
    We can dance and sing
    When its said and done we haven’t told you a thing
    We all know that crap is king
    Give us dirty laundry!

    Comment by Horatio (f61519) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:24 pm

  64. Retired….I disagree completely…..there are items that a person believes because of their principles that they may have run on, or not, and voters voted for them, or didn’t, based upon those principles, among other reasons. The person should not go against their principles, no matter what the voters think, as long as that politician made those princples known at election time. For example, a Republican who is pro-choice should not vote pro-life just because that is a Republican issue, because that is not what voters voted for. If the majority of voters in the district voted for that politician, then they agreed with his principles, and are stuck with them. If they didn’t, they would have made other choices.

    Comment by reff (bff229) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:26 pm

  65. If a elected official finds he can no longer represent the views of his constituants, he/she has no other option than to resign.

    That’s fair as far as it goes, but I would go further. While I think he has other options (I think it’s perfectly fine to say, look, this wasn’t an issue when I ran for election, so you had no way of knowing how I would react, and I think you guys are wrong, and here are my reasons, and if you don’t like it, toss me out in the next election), I think failing to resign, or to publically challenge the issue, would be dishonorable; and I think it would be perfectly reasonable for angered consituents to vote him out for behaving in a dishonorable fashion even if his votes aligned with their policy preferences.

    I am sick to death of the “they are soooooo different” crap.

    Thank you. :) I was mostly amused, above, because you were unknowingly preaching to the choir.

    not everyone is playing with a sense of morals or ethics or integrity – most aren’t and therefore like Rogers, easily justify their despicable behavior.

    Dana, this is a good point, and my rejoinder is this: how can those of us who disagree on policy matters but desire politicians who play with a sense of morals and integrity encourage that behavior, without sacrificing our policy preferences on that altar?

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:32 pm

  66. “it’s not blackmail or extortion, since rogers is not demanding payment. rogers is proposing to air someone else’s dirty laundry. these acts do not constitute blackmail or extortion, not even close.”

    How about…

    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 19 > § 372

    § 372. Conspiracy to impede or injure officer

    If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.

    Comment by Taltos (c99804) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:39 pm

  67. As is your practice, you take a clear truth — Thou shalt not be a hypocrite. — and with painful microsurgery and spin, you attempt to justify the unjustifiable. Larry Craig’s sin isn’t his homosexual acting out. It is his hypocrisy.

    Comment by nosh (56a0a8) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:40 pm

  68. Rogers is smearing someone with “facts” he cannot prove…

    Pretty much like all other bottom-feeders fouling the media today.

    Any cable news regular knows celebrity culture drives programming and ratings. Rogers owns a niche subdivision. I contend he’s making a buck more than making a point. The mugshot is the currency of choice in Hollywood these days, so let’s not get fussy about where gossipers locate paydirt.

    Get Mike Rogers and Rita Cosby in the same room and roll tape.

    Comment by steve (3fa0d1) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:40 pm

  69. “And so, Rogers’s message to politicians is simple and straightforward: if he doesn’t like the way you vote, he will expose embarrassing information about you. If you toe the line, however, he will protect you.

    That is the classic position of the extortionist.”

    How absurd.
    This is the classic position of a blogger.

    There are dozens, if not hundreds, of bloggers, “journalists”, and other assorted types of political advocates who would joyfully reveal any and all embarrasing personal information about someone on the other side of the political spectrum.

    Were they to come across such information about one of their heros however, they would suddenly embrace the notion of hewing to high-falutin’ standards, and would look with disdain upon anyone else who published such things.

    We see this every day in blogworld. This politics of personal destruction is extremely common – especially on the right. As is its mirror-image, the pretentious, self-righteous disdain for attack dogs going after your own people.

    Who do you think you are trying to kid?

    Comment by JoeCitizen (d2928e) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:52 pm

  70. Evidently, Joe, you are doing a good job of kidding yourself. The “tu quoque” argument isn’t responsive.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:56 pm

  71. How about from this very site then, Robin?

    “Sorry, but we DO have a legitimate right to know about the sex lives of our public officials”

    http://tinyurl.com/yshg79

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 9/4/2007 @ 12:57 pm

  72. Where is the hypocrisy indeed! If Craig had voted against married men tapping their foot in a bathroom then perhaps he would have a case of hypocrisy.

    As it is Rogers only has his outrage and self hatred and that is what makes him dangerous.

    He is pure evil in the same vein as those who believe all blacks should look, act, vote, believe, speak, and etc. the same. All Koreans, Mexicans, gays, New Yorkers, Americans – as a matter of fact, there should be no differing of opinion – if it differs from his own, that is.

    He is in essence the worst form of bigot and with his new found power he will cut a swath through the gay and straight community that would make Sherman envious!
    DKK

    Comment by LifeTrek (201637) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:01 pm

  73. Do you trolls want to read the post before commenting? The point was not the “outing”, the point was “if you vote for DOMA I’m going to out you”. It’s the extortion, stupid.

    Comment by nk (a6ecc6) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:02 pm

  74. Alphie, you still need to work on your skills at distinguishing holdings, I see.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:05 pm

  75. “Dana, this is a good point, and my rejoinder is this: how can those of us who disagree on policy matters but desire politicians who play with a sense of morals and integrity encourage that behavior, without sacrificing our policy preferences on that altar?”

    The thing is, Rogers isn’t an elected official – so why have an expectation of integrity or ethic? Really. Why? If he were an elected official and this sleazy he could be voted out of office, or censured, or some other legal course of action could be taken. But he is just a citizen with no scruples and a big mouth. That is very legal in this country.

    People like him just feed off the misery of others so they don’t feel so badly about themselves. I don’t buy for one minute that his thuggery has anything to do with a noble intent, or exposing hypocrisy. Bah. That would be far above him. He’s a loser and wants to make others pay for it and will sink to any level to accomplish that.

    Comment by Dana (b4a26c) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:05 pm

  76. AF @ 22,

    Lawrence vs. Texas
    And you’ve never heard of Sodomy laws?

    Well, yes. I’m also remembering them struck down/repealed pretty much everywhere. And Lawrence vs. Texas is yet another example of a sodomy law being overturned.

    I asked what proposals are out there from the religious right to intrude into the bedroom. A longstanding law is not a proposal, especially when it’s been overturned. But what I really want to know is what makes you think that law was put on the books by the religious right?

    Comment by Pablo (99243e) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:06 pm

  77. Haha,

    Who are the hypocrites here?

    “Vote for the wingnut agenda or we’ll out you!” is implied, is it not?

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:08 pm

  78. You know Patterico, maybe it was a mistake to start Rogers’s quote below on the sixth line of the post:

    “I write about closeted people whose records are anti-gay,” he says. “If you’re a closeted Democrat or Republican and you don’t bash gays or vote against gay rights to gain political points, I won’t out you.”

    It seems some people don’t have the attention span to read that far. (To be fair, I could name one or two Cook County judges like that.)

    Comment by nk (a6ecc6) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:08 pm

  79. Alphie, implied where and by who? Your incoherence continues I see.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:17 pm

  80. Alphie’s incoherence is legend. But then again he’s outted himself here.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:47 pm

  81. Extortion, plain and simple….

    That’s what Mike Rogers engages in by outing gay members of Congress.

    The Washington Post publishes a fluff-piece on Rogers, portraying the extortionist as some sort of hero. Of course, the vast majority of the members of Congress that Rogers – a g…

    Trackback by The Oxford Medievalist (064219) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:48 pm

  82. “Vote for the wingnut agenda or we’ll out you!” is implied, is it not?

    Care to back that up, Staunch Brayer? Or are you out on that lonely countryside hill braying at the moon again?

    Comment by Paul (09c70a) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:48 pm

  83. Did Bill Clinton really kill Vince Foster, Paul?

    Or run drugs out of a rural airfield, for that matter?

    And where are Saddam’s WMD?

    The idea that someone who lies about a political opponent is more “moral” than this character is laughable…

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 9/4/2007 @ 1:53 pm

  84. More incoherence.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:04 pm

  85. Did Bill Clinton really kill Vince Foster, Paul?

    Or run drugs out of a rural airfield, for that matter?

    And where are Saddam’s WMD?

    And where was the extortion in any of those half-truth examples, Staunch Brayer?

    Comment by Paul (09c70a) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:04 pm

  86. Do you trolls want to read the post before commenting? The point was not the “outing”, the point was “if you vote for DOMA I’m going to out you”. It’s the extortion, stupid.

    Whether they read it or not, the response will be the same. There is no defense for Rogers. He indicts himself by his own words. Without any supportable argument to counter the rational response to Rogers, you get the usual reaction of baseless assertions in place of reasonable discourse and logical fallacies in place of a logical analysis.

    Has to be that way it seems. The puzzle is not seeing the usual reaction. The puzzle is that the usual reaction is supposed to impress.

    Comment by Just Passing Through (cb6c8d) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:07 pm

  87. Another way to get around arguing an indefensible position is to hijack the conversation. Which is now in process.

    Comment by Just Passing Through (cb6c8d) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:12 pm

  88. Yeah, I read the post and the usual “moral” gymnastics that followed it, JPT.

    There a still a few folks who defend the swiftboaters, are ther not?

    Why, cuz they lied about a librul, of course.

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:21 pm

  89. So, alphie is all good with extortion, provided a Leftist does it to a Conservative.

    Comment by JD (0b8ce0) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:26 pm

  90. After watching America become a country that celebrates ignorance over the past 6 years, JD, I consider what Rogers does almost a public service.

    Does anyone really doubt that any American politician who speaks out against the goals of, say, the N.R.A. or the pepetual war crowd wouldn’t be subjected to millions of dollars worth of political smear ads?

    The threat by these groups is made openly, why isn’t that extortion, too?

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:33 pm

  91. “Do you trolls want to read the post before commenting?”

    Yes, I read it.

    “The point was not the “outing”, the point was “if you vote for DOMA I’m going to out you”.”

    I know. Thats why I spoke explicitly about people (seemingly everyone in blogland) who selectivly denounces people – any juicy tidbit about a political opponent, whereas a robust defense for an ally.

    “It’s the extortion, stupid.”

    You seem to miss the point, stupid. The point is that whether you call it extortion or not, Roger’s behavior is EXACTLY the same as hundreds of other people. Somehow I suspect you might be doing the same, were you to come across some tidbit about a political opponent. But not an ally.

    How many times have we seen this now? Especially with regard to this administration. Especially in cases where honorable, principled conservatives, lauded by the right, come to the conclusion that this administration has really gone off the rails, and they jump ship. The rhetorical weight of the right-wing blog and media presence comes down on them like a ton of bricks – with character assasination a prime weapon.

    The message thereby goes out to everyone else.
    Is this not extortion too, under your expansive definition?

    Comment by JoeCitizen (d2928e) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:36 pm

  92. JoeCitizen,

    So because “hundreds of people” exhibit the same behavior it’s okay?

    Comment by kimsch (a05a17) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:51 pm

  93. That’s a rather ludicrous argument JoeCitizen. If people condemn the administration for its actions, that is political process. It is simply not equivalent to threatening that embarrassing private facts will be made public to punish someone for ideological differences.

    That you attempt to link the two is rather weird. Other than justifying extortion in your mind, I can only speculate.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:55 pm

  94. JoeCitizen,

    The bloggers you refer to – whoever they are, since you don’t specify but attack a stereotype instead – don’t promise to keep the info secret in return for favors. They make the info public, anyway.

    And that’s not extortion; don’t be such a goose, eh?

    Comment by ras (adf382) — 9/4/2007 @ 2:55 pm

  95. Rogers found a gimmick to separate him from other bloggers trading in smears and gossip while manifesting political pretensions. A fresh way to take aim at people for the way they vote. He’s not breaking any blogger code I know.

    Comment by steve (3fa0d1) — 9/4/2007 @ 3:02 pm

  96. Oh yes alphie, Diane Feinstein has paided dearly over the years…

    Comment by Techie (c003f1) — 9/4/2007 @ 3:02 pm

  97. Um, that’d be “paid” for the non-typing impaired.

    Comment by Techie (c003f1) — 9/4/2007 @ 3:05 pm

  98. A Blackmailer Gets Profiled in the Washington Post…

    Wow – looks like Mike “the Gay Avenger” Rogers has hit the big time with a profile in the Washington Post. Those of us who have followed politics know all about this toad. Rogers gleefully acknowledged back in October 2006 his role in outing Rep. Mar…

    Trackback by Chickenhawk Express (59ce3a) — 9/4/2007 @ 3:06 pm

  99. “It’s about political orientation proving you are the right kind of gay. I think Rogers decided that it is so inconsistent to be both gay and a committed conservative that such people must be sexual deviants”

    DRJ;

    I disagree. It’s about the ‘denialism’ which is presented by those infected as, ‘trust me, not your lying eyes’.

    The metaphoric ‘scales’ are an impediment to clear vision and thinking and anathema to the role of ‘trusted public servant’. Yes, there may be a darker overlay to Roger’s persona, but his anger at the rank temerity of those who continue to devalue and disrespect the public, in general, does not extinguish his veracity.

    Comment by Semanticleo (4741c2) — 9/4/2007 @ 3:07 pm

  100. Aphrael:

    If being out will get you fired from your job, then it’s time to get a better job.

    That’s great advice for the people with skills in industries where people generally don’t care.

    It’s not helpful for those with no skills, or with skills in industries where tolerance of homosexuality does not exist.

    It would be much easier to act on this advice if it weren’t legal for an employer to fire you simply because he doesn’t like the fact that you are gay, or if there were a social code which restrained him from doing so. In some parts of the country, there is no such legal or social restriction.

    People have been told for years to develop job skills usable in today’s (not last century’s) market; if they choose not to listen, then as Larry Niven says, “not responsible for advice not taken.”

    And if one is gay and lives in a gay-unfriendly location… then move; the United States does not require an internal passport or permission to relocate. There are plenty of areas of the country where nobody cares if you’re gay, and even a few here and there where it’s actually an advantage.

    You, yourself agree that my general point is good advice; I say it’s simply reality… and it’s always good advice to take “reality” into one’s calculations.

    America allows its citizens a level of freedom extraordinary in this world; but it’s up to the individual to use that freedom wisely.

    Dafydd

    Comment by Dafydd ab Hugh (445647) — 9/4/2007 @ 3:22 pm

  101. All this talk of “representatives voting the will of the voters, not their personal interests” is a lot of hot air. When a politician is running for office, we the voters have a plethora of information at our disposal, including: Positions taken during debates and speeches, statements on the issues posted on his/her website or blog, political philosophies put forth in voter info booklets (sent out before the election), and — most importantly — voting records from any previous public service; all of this info is available . . . whether we choose to take the time to study it is a different matter.

    We tend to vote for those politicians whose “personal interests” are most like our own. When you discover that a politician you voted for legislates in a manner not consistent with their stated beliefs, you are being confronted with INSINCERITY; and, within our Federal Republic form of government, you can then exercise your right to “throw the bum out” and never vote for that person again; the conclusion being that this politician said what you wanted to hear in order to get elected and then, once in office, proceeded to follow a personal agenda — an agenda that they knew might’ve lost them the election if they’d been honest about it during the campaign. . . . Bottom line: They’re going to vote according to their “personal interests”; while they will listen to their constituents (more or less, depending on the individual) we don’t have a system where we vote on each individual bill, and the representative is bound to vote the same way . . . they vote according to what they think is best for all of us — that’s the idea anyway.

    Welcome to the world of politics. Do you think this type of behavior is “new” or “recent”? No; it’s as old as the history of demographic studies. True, in this media age the habit of playing to the base during the primary, followed by moving toward the center for the general, is more visible — not to mention more pronounced, due to the increased polarization of the parties — but the practice itself has been in place as long as political parties have existed.

    When you discover that a politician you voted for behaves (whether in public or in private) in a manner that is apparently at odds with his public stance on the matters he legislates . . . then you are looking at a HYPOCRITE. Now, does it matter if this person is a hypocrite, as long as he/she keeps on voting the way you want? If there’s a possibility that, once “outed”, the hypocrite will admit their true nature and start voting differently . . . isn’t resignation the best option? It’s one thing for your colleagues to know the real you by way of your voting record; if you’re INSINCERE they all know it, and can deal with you based on the record of your real stance on the issues. [There's also the possibility that you're a tool of lobbyists, but that's an issue for a separate discussion.] When you’re a HYPOCRITE, in a sense this is the exact opposite of insincerity, because now your colleagues don’t know where you really stand; they know how you vote, but can they count on future votes to go as expected?

    And that, I think, is what’s at the bottom of this “extortionist” b.s. Our elected officials are PUBLIC SERVANTS. When new information about a public servant is revealed — regardless of whether it comes from a mainstream media outlet or a partisan blogger with an agenda — our responsibility as voters is to examine the new info, decide if it means anything, and react accordingly. In the case of Larry Craig, his colleagues said “Our voters don’t think it’s enough that you vote the way we want, you need to live it too”.

    Is it the threat of Mike Rogers “outing” hypocrites that’s the problem here, or is it the equally(?) hypocritical attitude of people who want the largest number of representatives voting “their way” in Congress, and are willing to play Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in order to get the legislation they want passed?

    Comment by Independent Conservative (7a251a) — 9/4/2007 @ 4:04 pm

  102. When an elected official has a secret that involves illegal, immoral, unethical or embarrassing conduct, it’s easier to pressure the official into acting contrary to his beliefs or to his constituents’ interests. And it might not be entirely clear that the official is acting in a inconsistent manner, e.g., if the official can provide a plausible alternate reason for his actions.

    Extortion, bribery, or their milder equivalents are insidious primarily because it’s hard to know the truth when it’s covered in layers of lies and half-truths.

    It would be nice to catch every instance where elected officials succumb to pressure in making decisions but it’s not going to happen. It helps to also elect the cleanest, most transparent politicians possible, and that’s part of why I wanted Mark Foley and Larry Craig to resign.

    Comment by DRJ (bfe07e) — 9/4/2007 @ 4:20 pm

  103. DRJ,

    The military knows this. Stationed in Germany at the time the Berlin Wall fell down, we were drilled in what “Boris” would do, that “Boris” was watching and “Boris” was listening.

    Anyone with a secret is vulnerable to blackmail and extortion. And not just secrets, money troubles are another vulnerability.

    Comment by kimsch (a05a17) — 9/4/2007 @ 4:40 pm

  104. Well if one looks at the British traitors, McLean,Burgess, and Alphie, its clear that queers (they all were) are security risks in various ways. Even if they aren’t traitors their position makes them open to blackmail as we have seen. Queers love to out other queers who won’t tow their agenda.

    They bring new meaning to depraved.

    Fortunately a political party that dpends on such as these is doomed. A political philosophy omitting the concepts of honesty, duty, integrity, and honor that defines the dhimmierats of today is exemplified by the actions of Morlocks such as Rogers.

    Ergo we are subjected to the endless screeds of the Left’s intellectuals like Alphie who piously inform us that since WMD weren’d found that they never exisrted. Have to hand it to wonder boy and his sources (which are at odds with the worlds intelligence agencies) so are we to believe since Hitler was never found he never died?

    Got to hand it to these trolls. They so intelligent.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/4/2007 @ 5:24 pm

  105. I wonder if Larry Craig read this post (except the last paragraph)? He’s reconsidering his resignation.

    Comment by DRJ (bfe07e) — 9/4/2007 @ 6:10 pm

  106. yes drj, i just finished reading that article on yahoo, and i’m elated. i wanted to beat the anonymous tipster to roll call upside the head for his poor timing. you have a bomb like that, you drop it two weeks before the election, not 14 months before the election to give the idaho republicans over a year to put a new train on the tracks. now he’s gonna fight for his seat, hooray, this will be incredibly sordid, divisive and damaging to the republican party. i would have raised money to achieve this result, and now i’m getting it for free.

    Comment by assistant devil's advocate (2cdcca) — 9/4/2007 @ 9:34 pm

  107. ADA:
    Actally I would consider it illumative of the tactics of the DNC. Mr. Rogers appeared on Hannity and Colmbes and appeared to be a neat combination of Bob Schrum and Helen Thomas, an aging queer who was completely twisted and rage filled. The perfect cats pawn for the DNC.

    But then I guess you approve of such tactics, though I would think most Americans are sick of the dhimmiecrats who push the homosexual agenda while outing homosexuals who don’t tow the queer agenda. What a winning tactic, sure to win the hearts and minds of thinking Americans everywhere.

    I guess this is why the dhimmierats have such a low approval rating, the lowest in history. And such approval ratings always result in a massive defeat in the next election. Its really going to be hard for all those new class of 2006 dhimmierats who were recruited and campaigned as conservatives to explain all the new taxes, spending, and big government programs, like spending 400,000 for every person in New Orleans.

    Well lets celebrate the dhimmierats and the chocolate city of New Orleans!

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/4/2007 @ 11:03 pm

  108. JoeCitizen,

    How many times have we seen this now? Especially with regard to this administration. Especially in cases where honorable, principled conservatives, lauded by the right, come to the conclusion that this administration has really gone off the rails, and they jump ship. The rhetorical weight of the right-wing blog and media presence comes down on them like a ton of bricks – with character assasination a prime weapon.

    Lindsay Graham would be interested to hear that as would Jeff Sessions. And frankly, I’d like to see this character assassination you speak of.

    Comment by Pablo (99243e) — 9/5/2007 @ 5:07 am

  109. To me, this is fairly simply. What Rogers does is wrong, regardless of party. What is most telling is that were there a Republican going around “outing” people, the Left would be all atwitter at the homophobia of the Republicans, and the outing would be conclusive proof. When their own does it for merely straying from the orthodoxy, that somebody would argue this is acceptable behavior tells you as much about that person as it does about Rogers.

    Comment by JD (0b8ce0) — 9/5/2007 @ 5:38 am

  110. from Schmitz Blitz:
    schmitzblitz.worpress.com

    I am somewhat conflicted about the tactics of Rogers. The process of accepting and disclosing one’s gayness is very stressful and scary–you have to worry about rejection from the people you care about the most, and begin to deal with the changes that come with being identified as a gay American. When someone else outs you, you loose control over this very difficult process, and it adds to the emotional turmoil.

    What’s more, Rogers’ tactics create a new sort of McCarthyism targeting gays. It makes me somewhat uncomfortable to see again this kind of a witch hunt going on within the walls of our government.

    Those concerns noted, I ultimately support the outing of anti-gay politicians. These politicians take their own shame and self-hatred over being gay out on open gays who just want to live their lives with dignity (as opposed to finding sexual fulfillment through secret trysts in public restrooms and parks). To me, using your democratically elected office as a closet is an abuse of power, and we need people like Rogers to expose that.

    Comment by Elizabeth Schmitz (924cd6) — 9/5/2007 @ 8:06 am

  111. Those concerns noted, I ultimately support the outing of anti-gay politicians.

    Can we assume that by “anti-gay” you mean “anti-special rights for gays?”

    If not, what do you mean by that term?

    Comment by Pablo (99243e) — 9/5/2007 @ 8:26 am

  112. I’ll rephrase what I said earlier. Worms like Rogers are not primarily interested in gay rights. They are Democratic operatives whose purpose is to say that the Republican Party is just as “gay” as the Democrats and they don’t mind painting any gay Republican as a disgusting, degenerate pervert regardless of how that reflects on gay people generally.

    Comment by nk (a6ecc6) — 9/5/2007 @ 8:40 am

  113. [...] discusses the WaPo piece and explains that Rogers is an extortionist. “I write about closeted people whose records are anti-gay,” [Rogers] says. “If you’re a [...]

    Pingback by Mike Rogers, Bigot « Gabriel Malor (e19371) — 9/5/2007 @ 9:23 am

  114. Can we assume that by “anti-gay” you mean “anti-special rights for gays?

    Unlikely; “special rights for gays” is the way conservatives frame the issues. People who support laws banning discrimination against gays, for example, would never describe them that way; we’d describe them as ensuring that gay people have the same rights other people do — to not be arbitrarily fired or denied housing because of their sexuality.

    (Note: I’m *not* trying to get into a debate about whether such laws constitute special rights; that would, I think, be unproductive, as nobody’s mind on the issue would change. What i’m trying to do is to point out that your question assumes that the person you are talking to would frame the issue the way you do, which is an unfair assumption.)

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/5/2007 @ 9:50 am

  115. its clear that queers (they all were) are security risks in various ways.

    I think it’s unfair to generalize to all gay people from the actions of some gay people; I might as well argue that, because Hanson was a Catholic, all Catholics are a security risk.

    There is *definitely* a point that closeted gays are per se a security risk because they’re blackmailable; but that doesn’t extend to people who are openly gay. We’re a hard bunch to blackmail: there’s something about having struggled to accept, and become open about, sexuality that makes it seem pointless to conceal other things.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/5/2007 @ 9:53 am

  116. Aphrael:

    What amazing mental gymnastics you’ve had to perform. So if gays aren’t asking for special rights why would you object to someone marrying his pet sheep, or a father marrying his daughter, or a man having sex with a 5 year old boy. Its all the same isn’t it? Why shouldn’t they enjoy the same rights as gays?

    Openly gay people aren’t a security risk? Yeah that’s the same as saying openly heterosexual people aren’t a security risk. Obviously you have no idea what constitutes a security risk. The worst security risks have been gays, not only becauyse of disclosure but because they reject society’s norms and therefor are ready to embrace standards which society finds abhorent, like treason. Tell it to Burgess and McClean.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/5/2007 @ 9:59 am

  117. So if gays aren’t asking for special rights why would you object to someone marrying his pet sheep, or a father marrying his daughter, or a man having sex with a 5 year old boy

    With the possible exception of a father marrying his adult daughter, none of the examples you cite involve consenting adults. You can’t demonstrate that the pet sheep consents, and a five-year old is presumed incapable of consenting.

    How are those comparable?

    Openly gay people aren’t a security risk? Yeah that’s the same as saying openly heterosexual people aren’t a security risk.

    Please re-read what I said. I’m not saying that openly gay people are per se not a security risk; i’m saying that openly gay people are not per se a security risk. Those are *very* different claims.

    Can an openly gay person be a security risk? Yes. Is an openly gay person automatically a security risk in the same way that a closeted gay person is? No.

    because they reject society’s norms and therefor are ready to embrace standards which society finds abhorent, like treason

    That’s a bit like saying that, because someone rejects society’s norms by driving faster than the flow of traffic on the highway, he is ready to embrace treason.

    On the one hand, you have a point: someone who has demonstrated a willingness to disagree with social norms in area [x] can be presumed to have a higher likelihood of disagreeing with social norms in area [y]. That’s fine. But how high is that likelihood? And can the presumption be rebutted by a demonstration that the person agrees with the social norm?

    Are you really meaning to claim that, because I have sex with other men, I am therefore ready to embrace treason? It seems to me that in order to make that conclusion you must make a gigantic leap across an enormous chasm: even if you can establish that acting on my sexual preferences indicates that i’m willing to consider “social norms” on an adhoc basis rather than blindly accepting the entire practice, you also need to establish some reason for believing that I would reject *this specific social norm*. Unless you’re going to go so far as to say that the risk is too high, and that any person who rejects any social norm is liable to be a traitor; but I think the number of people you’ll find who reject zero social norms is going to be sufficiently low as to make that proposition untenable.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/5/2007 @ 10:15 am

  118. Aphrael:

    You have demonstrated your4 intolerence to new ideas and concepts. But such reactionary thinking is to be expercted from the closed minded and bigoted who refuse sheep lovers their human rights. As for five year olds being incapable of consent how do you prove that and why is it tyat the ACLU defends NAMBLA in its qwests for five year olds.

    Sorry openly gays are just as great a security risk because trolling for sex partners at any given opportunity makes one a security risk and the greater the number of partners the lower the self control. It doesn’t take enyone to realize anyone incapable of controlling his lusts be he homosexualor heterosexual is a risk. Thats why drinkers, gamblers, people with financial problems and open gays are prime targets for recruitment and why Philby and crew were able to recruit so many “closet gays” because also they hid their habbits from the public they were known to their associates.

    It will be interesting to see how many agents the KGB has in the US once Putin finally gives way to a true democracy. You might want to read the Venona tapes which also reveal the extent of poenetration and the number of coops who were “compromised.”

    History demonstrates queers are open to blackmail and as deviants its amazing how many have committed treason. As the Craig episode demonstrates even gays have no hesitation in outing their fellow gays if it is to their advantage.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/5/2007 @ 12:10 pm

  119. Thomas:

    You have demonstrated your4 intolerence to new ideas and concepts

    I’m not quite sure how to respond to that; I don’t believe I have. Can you show me what I have said that demonstrates me to be intolerant and not open to new ideas?

    As for five year olds being incapable of consent how do you prove that and why is it tyat the ACLU defends NAMBLA in its qwests for five year olds.

    I can’t prove it; I, like the legal system, presume it. I don’t have a degree in child psychology; I trust what the child psychologists tell me, and I use the impression I derive from interacting with children I know: a five-year old is *not* capable of informed consent for almost anything.

    I don’t speak for the ACLU and so shall not respond to questions about why they choose to do anything.

    Sorry openly gays are just as great a security risk because trolling for sex partners at any given opportunity makes one a security risk and the greater the number of partners the lower the self control

    So there’s no such thing as an openly gay person who is monogamous? Can you lay out all of the assumptions you are making here?

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 9/5/2007 @ 12:41 pm

  120. I wouldn’t presume the blogger would only blackmail on one issue, he wasn’t just a gay activist but a gay liberal activist whose agenda might include friendly tort laws and open borders & a Socialist government. In fact Mr Craig’s immigration voting record somewhat puzzled me, sure Idaho has some agricultural demands but most are automated harvesting, potatoes aren’t dug by hand anymore, his immigration was more social than economy dependent, a huge chunk of Idahoe residents have to be LA escapees absolutely against illegal immigration.

    I wonder what other politicians he has “the goods” on and how he’s influenced their vote, I think an investigation is in order, I’d like to see his email, fax & phone records and see if he has any connections to other party members.

    Comment by Smitty (0c5714) — 9/5/2007 @ 1:27 pm

  121. Is what he is doing against the law?

    Comment by davod (5bdbd3) — 9/5/2007 @ 1:44 pm

  122. A politician supports repeal of the Civil Rights Laws insofar as they protect Jews from being fired on account of their religion. (Just for the moment, let’s forget about implications, if any, of Constitutional protections on religion.) He’s against allowing rabbis to solemnize marriages. He wants Kosher slaughter to be prohibited. And he really, really wants to get rid of the laws that protect Jews who won’t work on Saturdays. You know, getting rid of all the special rights Jews enjoy. (Let’s also ignore the small numbers of Seventh Day Adventists.)

    I’d be pretty interested to find out that this politician was a secret Jew. Whether he’s currying favor with anti-Semitic bigots or whether he’s hoping to make himself forget Judaism and to adhere more tightly to the relationship with Jesus he’s trying, or pretending, to establish—that doesn’t matter as much as knowing that there’s something, well, queer in his actions. (Don’t waste time saying he’s just reflecting the will of his constituents. Our system doesn’t work that way, unless you want to insist on Iraq Withdrawal yesterday.) Mike Rogers is not, I suspect, a nice person. But he’s taken on a nasty job that sombody has to do.

    Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus (ab5f5a) — 9/5/2007 @ 2:19 pm

  123. Aphrael:

    What do you mean you haven’t displayed bigorty by denying rights to others you claim for yourself. Intolerance must not be tolerated. As for what you have said, I assume you haven’t got dementia so you can justify denying rights to others whom values you do not share.

    You mean the same legal system that upheld the fact that blacks had no rights in the US at one time or that currently found a right to abortion because of a right to privacy that no one seems to locate in the Constitution? Presume away, thats another way of saying you can’t prove it but are willing to descriminate against others.

    Pray tell us when informed decision making starts. Based on our judiciary system I’d say sometime after their deaths. But let us not quibble I’m sure there are openly gay people who don’t engage in sex or are loyal to one partner. But then again I believe in unicorns, moderate Islam, and the lack of divorce among gays who have married.

    I’m just interested in knowing why you’ddeny the rights that you claim for yourself and other dwellers in the public restroom scene. Isn’t this just the usual homosexual flim flam?

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/5/2007 @ 5:00 pm

  124. By the way I am still waiting to hear your response to why open homosexuals are not security risks? Its amazing the number of them that have been caught in honey traps.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/5/2007 @ 5:01 pm

  125. Thomas Jackson: please show me where I have denied rights to others that I have claimed for myself?

    But let us not quibble I’m sure there are openly gay people who don’t engage in sex or are loyal to one partner. But then again I believe in unicorns, moderate Islam, and the lack of divorce among gays who have married.

    Since i’m an openly gay person who has been loyal to one partner for six years, I claim an existence proof: there is at least one.

    I’m just interested in knowing why you’ddeny the rights that you claim for yourself and other dwellers in the public restroom scene.

    Which right, specifically, am I claiming for myself that I am denying others? The right I believe myself to be claiming is the right to engage in sexual acts, in the privacy of my own home, with any adult human who consents to it. Am I denying that to other people? Where?

    By the way I am still waiting to hear your response to why open homosexuals are not security risks?

    There’s no reason to assume that someone who is openly homosexual will betray his employer, the state, or anyone else. There may be circumstances surrounding individuals which provide reason to believe that that individual is a risk; but they should be treated as individuals. Isn’t individual suspicion and the lack of a presumption of guilt based upon group identity a fundamental precept of liberty?

    Comment by aphrael (db0b5a) — 9/5/2007 @ 10:08 pm

  126. Let’s see you didn’t say gays should have the rights to marry?

    You didn’t say that an adult shouldn’t have sx with a five year old or a sheep? The nerve.

    Ah yes, you have been with the same partner for six years. Congratulations I have shoes that are older than that. A firend of mine has been engaged for longer than that. As you say you make one, so I guess you’re unique. Again I am impressed. Six years. As you have all ready shown you place artificial restrictions to justify your position demonstrating your bigotry. Who defines adult, you? Yuk, yuk.

    Oh course not that’s why homosexuals are considered a security risk the world round. For no reason. Perhaps you can cite evidence of your position. I do love homos, they demand special rights which they deny others. Do as I say, not as I do.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/6/2007 @ 7:42 am

  127. How quaint to describe any one who speaks truth to power as a thug.
    A great man once said, “One hates in others what they most despise in themselves.”
    So you thing you’re a thug–you would know.

    Comment by fobo (e9db21) — 9/6/2007 @ 3:40 pm

  128. fobo, extortionists don’t “speak truth to power”. He’s a thug. And since I don’t extort others, I can’t despise it in myself. Stupid argument.

    Comment by Robin Roberts (6c18fd) — 9/6/2007 @ 3:42 pm

  129. A great man once said, “One hates in others what they most despise in themselves.”

    Who was that ‘great man’ fobo?

    I’d love to hear his opinion on the Democratic Underground. Or HuffPo.

    Comment by Paul (5efd01) — 9/6/2007 @ 3:52 pm

  130. Fobo,

    I think the great man you refer to is Hermann Hesse, although your quote has been slightly modified:

    “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”

    Hesse was known for books that focused on a quest-for-enlightenment and was popular in the ’60s and ’70s with counterculture types and psychologists.

    Comment by DRJ (2afbca) — 9/6/2007 @ 4:09 pm

  131. Fobo:

    Blackmailers aren’t generally thought of speaking truth to power where I come from. They are slugs and creatures that scurry away when the lights are turned on.

    Rogers is worse than that.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson (bf83e0) — 9/6/2007 @ 5:42 pm

  132. According to my research, there is more than circumstantial evidence that the “outting” project of Michael Rogers is nothing more than a resurgence of the old Snow White program of Scientology that sought to control government through knowing about the secrets people were ashamed of.

    More research is needed, but be sure it will get out.

    Comment by Jeff Barea (296843) — 8/20/2008 @ 9:07 pm

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