Thursday, September 23, 2004

A Quick Follow Up

To the David Dreier story: both this story and yesterday's (all of them draw from the same material) have Dreier's 98/00 challenger Janice Nelson claiming the Representative's Chief of Staff Brad Smith was rarely seen publicly with Smith - like he was "an invisible presence."

I'll admit that I didn't see Dreier around the district much - except at CMC events - my world was limited to Claremont. But in DC, I saw Smith with Dreier all the time. That was 1999, and I was just an intern, but that's what I remember. He's the Chief of Staff - not exactly a backroom role.

Also - Nelson shows much class when she says her campaign "knew" the two lived together, but opted against making an issue of it.

Let's see - a Democrat making an issue of her opponent's sexuality. Her possibly gay opponent. Right. That's our party - calling out those gays where we find them. A winning strategy true to our members.

On charges of local papers trying to keep questions about Dreier's sexuality quiet . . . well, great. Maybe it was just for Republican reasons, but the effect - keeping personal information off the front page - hey, I'm all for it.

I acknowledge that if Dreier is, in fact, gay, maybe he should vote more - I dunno - in his self-interest, I guess. And like I said, check the archives, my views on gay rights are pretty straight forward.

But it still sets me a bit on edge to go happily after an elected official on the most personal of matters, wrapped in a safety blanket of "hypocrite hunting."

“The people in Dreier’s district have to ask themselves: have they been served by their newspapers?” asks a Hustler editor. Well, unless there is something questionable in Brad Smith's wages (which are always public, published yearly, and long available), perhaps the paper could've poked around - if anything alerted them to the problem. But should the hometown paper be questioning sexualities? No. Did they ask Janice Nelson what she is? Probably not. Who cares? I really don't want to know what she does behind closed doors.

Don't get me wrong - I still wouldn't vote for him. I disagree with his voting record, policies, etc. But I really don't care if he's gay. I don't care if he loves his Chief of Staff - that's a workplace hazard of Hill life.

No comments: