Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Andrew Sullivan on Watching Larry Craig

I read Sullivan pretty regularly. There are times where he and I certainly part company, but, at our core, we are in the same boat, as essentially libertarian conservatives who found our party co-opted by racists, sexists, and christian extremist whack jobs.

This one, though, is a thoughtful, and humanely generous account of the emotions raised by issues like this.

Like when he says:
And he constructed an identity in opposition to this "lifestyle" early, out of pain and defensiveness and terrible fear. He is now wedded to this life he created - more than to his wife


or this:
If you want an argument for why the cause for gay visibility, dignity and equality is necessary and indeed noble, just watch that interview again.


or especially this:
Craig was seeking in that toilet stall a connection, a shard of intimacy, that the world would not give him, or that he could not give himself. No one should have to live without that intimacy and dignity - no one. Living a life like that - a deeply lonely, compromised, painful interior existence - is a very sophisticated form of hell. No human can keep it up for ever. No human should have to keep it up for ever.

He is a hypocrite; and he made his choices. I am not going to dispute that. His voting record helped sustain the misery for others that he lived with himself. He is for ever responsible for that.

But he is also a victim. And to see such a victim's pain exposed brutally in a public restroom pains me. He needs help. So do millions of others.


Bravo Mr. Sullivan.

3B's

6 Comments:

Blogger Sherry said...

a truthful, compassionate and empathetic piece.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living a life like that - a deeply lonely, compromised, painful interior existence - is a very sophisticated form of hell.

It sure is! While ethnic minorities live out one form of torture (the unavoidable one since speech accent & skin color can't usually be easily hidden), closeted people live another one.

I often recommend Advise & Consent, by Allen Drury, for more of an insight. It doesn't really go into the matter in any kind of depth, but the closet is central to that story. It's not by any means a perfect novel, but it's still interesting, decently engaging, and easy to read.

- oddjob

1:05 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

add my voice to the recommendations of allen drury. he wrote novels that are damned near essential if you want to understand the time and place of american politics in the fifties and sixties.

also good by him is come ninevah, come tyre

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you want to understand the time and place of american politics in the fifties and sixties.

And if you want to understand the Larry Craigs of the world you pretty much have to start there.

- oddjob

6:20 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

pretty much i'd say.

7:36 PM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

Excellent. Thanks for the pointer (linkee no workee)

11:03 AM  

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