Thursday, March 08, 2007

gay Republicans and victimization

In one of the weirder subplots of this year's CPAC conference, we have the story of Matt Sanchez, Marine reservist, "professional victim" as Atrios calls him, and... former gay porn star. The last bit, as you can guess, was not information he volunteered, but rather was discovered by the blogs after he accepted his professional victim award at CPAC and shook hands with a woman who, that same night, called John Edwards a "faggot" and implied that such a term should not be barred from civil discourse.

So here he is on Salon, decrying his treatment by the blogs. According to his account, he wrote an article at Columbia University, where he's currently a student, pointing out the anti-military bias of the students. As one would expect, FOX News discovered him and put him on Hannity and Colmes and Bill O'Reilly so he could tell all the red-blooded conservatives about the Godless commies at American universities. He even got to write a column in that paragon of unbiased journalism, the New York Post!

Eventually, he got invited to CPAC's annual meeting to accept an "academic freedom" award (which is really more of a "spread the word about Godless commies in academia" award) and get a big "Attaboy!" from one of the most famous bigots in modern politics, and as the furor over her remarks reached its pinnacle, he got targetted as well. That's when his adult film past was discovered and used to further denigrate him and he started getting all kinds of hate mail over it (so he claims, yet, as is typical of these allegations, he doesn't actually produce any).

Okay, as you can tell, I'm not super-sympathetic to this guy. He says he got hate mail, and if he did, there I can sympathize. People can be pretty ugly and really sanctimonious at times, and admittedly, there were some pretty nasty things said to him in the "letters" section of this article.

Here's my problem, though. First of all, the guy says he was "outed" on the little one sentence synopsis. Maybe that was the editors addition, maybe it was his, I dunno, but his suggestions of victimization by his past being exposed makes the same implication. This is not being "outed." People who are in the closet don't sell videos of themselves performing the very acts they are hiding. You can't make money off of being gay and then turn around and cry foul when people bring that fact up in response to your attacks. Aside from the fact that Sanchez is trying to draw people's pity and outrage for a moral crime that was not committed, this kind of slippery use of the term "outing" minimizes the pain and alienation that can accompany real, honest to God outing of people who really did hide their orientations.

Second, Sanchez is obtuse, willfully or otherwise, to the actual reasons for his ridicule. Matt Sanchez is lambasted by the left for the same reasons that Mary Cheney is: they're the Uncle Toms of their demographic. They support a movement that hates "their kind," wants their second-class citizenship enshrined in the Constitution, and is gleeful at the thought of their impending damnation in eternal Hellfire, and in return they are given money and fame to skew the arguments and distort the issues that would free their fellow gays to join the rest of the country in full, equal citizenship. Granted, this guy wasn't originally banking on his homosexuality for his victimization screeds (though he is now), but his self-applied identity as a victim of liberal anti-militarism was intended to support conservative talking points that all liberals "hate the troops" and "want the terrorists to win," thereby hamstringing liberal efforts to establish equality for GLBTers. It's all of a piece. And if he wasn't pushing those ideas himself, he was allowing and even encouraging Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and others to do so.

Mr. Sanchez writes:
"I am embarrassed to admit that was I worried that my fellow conservatives would distance themselves from me when the news about my film career broke. The opposite has happened. I've been asked to give my point of view, invited to speak at various functions, and invited back on television. My peers on the right have gone out of their way to give me a vote of confidence and avoid a rush to judgment."

Umm, duh! Because you support so many conservative arguments:
1. gays are debauched
2. liberals are hypocrites
3. liberals don't really support gays or Hispanics
4. liberals hate the military
5. the GOP is the "real" party of equality
and, of course, our brand new Ann Coulter approved talking point:
6. "faggot" isn't really about homophobia because, look, gays love people who say it!

The "professional victim" thing is also a tactic deplored on its own merits. In every group there are a couple of wackos; this is true of liberals as well as conservatives. When conservatives, however, push themselves into a large group of liberals and then cry about how a couple of students, or protesters, or anonymous blog commenters hurt their feelgoods, it reeks of hypocrisy because the wackos and name-callers on the conservative side get columns in the nation's marquee newspapers, an entire news channel and multiple think-tanks of their own, and prominent patronage posts in the federal government. And, of course, they write New York Times bestsellers.

This is all, of course, beside the rather obvious point that his "victimhood" relies on a number of false arguments, like how people who supposedly dislike wire-tapping were willing to dig into Sanchez's "private life"-- ya know, his super-secret private in-the-closet career in adult film-- and how this is about diversity "unless you don't agree with them." No, Matt, it's about selling out fellow GLBTers by supporting those who wish to oppress them (and you).

So forgive me if I don't cry you a river when a handful of powerless liberals write mean things about you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

well written. I'm linking this article to my site because it cuts through the smokescreen to reveal why conservative gays like Sanchez are hypocrites.

btw isn't he now going to be kicked out of the military?

Ted Remington said...

I think you hit the nail on the head with both the victimization angle as well as the ignorance (willful or sincere) Sanchez demonstrates about the reasons for the criticism coming his way. I came to a similar conclusion myself:
(http://rhetoricgarage.blogspot.com/2007/03/porn-free-rhetorical-role-of-matt.html)

Keep up the good work!

El Ranchero said...

My guess is that he could be kicked out under Don't Ask Don't Tell, but I would be surprised if there wasn't political pressure on his superiors to keep him in (if they care enough to bother with a non-deployed reservist, anyway-- not a knock on non-deployed reservists, just a note that the military has its hands full with the war right now).

It's kind of a catch-22, though, because I'm against DADT and therefore against Mr. Sanchez getting the boot (plus, so far as we know, there's no legitimate reason to kick him out), but it's also not fair for him to be able to stay while so many other GLBT's had to go. Once that happens, DADT becomes, in a way, less about being gay and more about being liberal. And that's a dangerous path to embark on.

Barmecide said...

I like how he says that if he were a left wing gay porn star, he would be asked to be Obama's running mate. Even as a rhetorical exaggeration, this is clearly a profound demonstration of polictal savvy.

he's not much of a writer, either.