I recently followed a memeorandum link to a piece by Michelangelo Signorile about an interview with Glenn Kessler, the author of a new book titled The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy.
The focus of the post is squarely on Rice’s sexual orientation, as if that were the most interesting and noteworthy aspect of this accomplished woman’s life. Here’s the key section:
In the book and on the show, Kessler described how Rice’s “closest male friend” is openly gay, a man by the name of Coit D. Blacker, a Stanford professor (Rice served as the provost as Stanford in the late 1990s for six years) and a Democrat who served in the Clinton administration. Blacker, whose partner is also mentioned, advised Al Gore’s campaign in 2000, while his close friend Rice served as a chief confidante for a president who has tried to make gays into second class citizens in the U.S. Constitution. But wait, it gets better.
For the record, in the book Kessler goes into the long-discussed rumors about Rice and the few times her sexual orientation has been gossiped about or discussed in the media, but he also talks about how single, older (heterosexual) women often “unfairly” have their sexual orientation questioned, and says in the book that Rice has been the target of “nasty attacks” in this regard. He mentions that she was linked to a man once — back in college. Even if Rice is heterosexual, however, it is fascinating and mind-boggling that this woman whose best male friend is an openly gay liberal and whose best female “friend” is a “liberal progressive,” would work for a president who has opposed every gay rights initiative and tried to enshrine religious hatred in the Constitution. What does it say about them as well?
Kessler, who is even-handed (and the bulk of whose book is about foreign policy, where he offers many interesting new insights, which we also discussed at length), reminded me that Rice doesn’t work on the domestic side and only works on foreign policy, so she can’t be held responsible for Bush’s positions on those issues. But to me, that’s like someone who worked for Mussolini saying, “I only helped to get the trains to run on time.”
Well, it could be that Rice is straight and the questions posed by Signorile are irrelevant to her. Or it could be that she is gay and willing to put aside her personal interests temporarily because she believes strongly enough in the Bush administration to see the job through until the end, whatever that turns out to be.
The post is muck barely worth raking, in truth. But it’s interesting in one respect because it reveals the exacting intolerance of the radical left, whether gay or straight. It’s not enough to have friends across the ideological boundary, nor is it enough even to love them like family. One has to actually be gay or pro-abortion or progressive in order to be right. It’s not sufficient to respect those positions or even to approve of them – if you’re not radical enough you’re the enemy.
As you might imagine, the post’s comments elaborate on this theme more eloquently than I can.
This is the primary problem, I think, in the political climate of the U.S. at the moment – there is virtually no room for dissent. That intolerance has infected both major political parties so thoroughly that it’s difficult to get anything but near straight party line votes in Congress.
It’s far worse on the Internet and the aforementioned post is merely a rather tame example of the ‘Net’s tawdry nature. Still, it’s hard to see the justification in attacking Condoleezza Rice for not being gay enough when she’s been an accessory to plenty of more important failures during her tenure. It’s just childish, really.