WILL "SECRETLY GAY" BECOME THE NEW "SECRETLY KENYAN"?
I'm sure you know this already:
President Obama declared for the first time on Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, putting the moral power of his presidency behind a social issue that continues to divide the country.
"At a certain point," Mr. Obama said in an interview in the Cabinet Room at the White House with ABC's Robin Roberts, "I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."
It's great news -- and I wonder if it's going to send right-wingers even further around the bend than most people anticipate.
Remember the recent Vanity Fair article about Barack Obama's college girlfriends? If you go to news stories about that article and burrow into the comment threads, you'll see that a significant percentage of the wingnut reaction was (I'm paraphrasing) "Oh, give me a break -- everyone knows that Obama's real 'girlfriend' was Larry Sinclair." Sinclair, for those of you who don't follow the knuckledragging right, is a guy who claims to have had gay sex and done drugs with Obama. Google around and you'll find that much of the far right absolutely believes that Obama is secretly gay. As Arthur Goldwag wrote last fall at the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog:
It's true that the rumors about Obama's homosexuality have set off barely a whisper in the legitimate news media. But in the anti-Obama blogosphere, the murmurs have become a veritable drumbeat... When the White House issued a statement about longtime aide Reggie Love's resignation on November 10, one far-right blog heralded the "historic and unprecedented press release -- where a male President of the United States has announced his breakup with a male staffer and longtime lover."
...Larry Sinclair wrote a book called Barack Obama and Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies, and Murder? in which he claims to have done cocaine with Obama on two occasions in 1999 and performed oral sex on him. He also accuses Obama of conspiring with his former minister, Jeremiah Wright, to murder several gay members of the Trinity United Church of Christ....
The conspiratorially inclined blogger Wayne Madsen released a special report in May 2010 that was picked up by the tabloid The Globe. It tied a host of scurrilous stories into a grand gay conspiracy that not only recapitulated Sinclair’s outrageous accusations but tied Rahm Emanuel (like Obama, Madsen claimed, a lifetime member of a gay Chicago bathhouse), disgraced ex-governor Rod Blagojevich, the imprisoned real estate developer Tony Rezko, and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald into the story as well. Madsen goes on to claim that Obama's male paramours have included not just Reggie Love but former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick....
Why am I bringing all this loony gutter stuff up? Why should sane people care? Well, a person who probably should care is Mitt Romney. I think he should be worried that, one day between now and November, at one of his campaign rallies, some crazy local Republican official who's been tasked with introducing him, or some jackleg preacher who's endorsing him, or some rabidaudience member, is going to start going on and on about "that perverted homosexual in the White House." I think Obama interview today makes that infinitely more likely.
I don't even know if the Obama people are aware that the president's change of heart on gay marriage might bring this kind of craziness to the surface. In any case, I think it could only help him in November.
UPDATE: As I was saying...