Conservatives Fear Gay “Amerophobe” Supreme Court Takeover, Elena Kagan

SUPREME COURT:
Christianity Today has a nice run-down of their present bigotries towards potential replacements for Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court. Firstly, it clarifies Focus on the Family’s previously ambiguous stance on homosexuals on the supreme court to affirm that yes indeed, any gay judge would be a big problem because of “moral rectitude” and you know, “bias.” Their “bias” towards um, equality.

Furthermore, the American Family Association has feelings about Muslims. But oh no! They’re not xenophobic:

“Is this xenophobia? Nope, just common sense and a love of the United States and its exceptionalism. In fact, what we must protect ourselves from are Amerophobes, those who hate us because of who we are and what we believe,” [Bryan] Fischer [director of issue analysis for government and public policy at the American Family Association] wrote. “It’s time for a wake-up call.”

Firstly, Amerophobe? Thank you American Family Association for introducing Amerophobe to our vocabulary! What a wonderful word! Conservatives are also “zeroing in” on potential nominee Elena Kagan’s e-mail in which she stated, “I abhor the military’s discriminatory recruitment policy.”

Newser’s Michael Wolff writes:

To say the obvious about Elena Kagan: It’s the hair…. Among professional right-wingers, with their own gay mafia, there is a kind of breathlessness and, even, obvious titillation, about the subject…. Lesbianism seems, to them, not just an ultimate misogynistic target, but the zenith of the left wing. Your can’t get more left than a lesbian (even though the left seems down on Kagan because she’s too moderate).

So clearly no one else in the blogosphere is done talking about Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation, so I guess we’re not either! After all, as lesbian radical feminists, we’re practically obligated.

Some are speculating that rather than engage in an out-and-out lesbian witch hunt, Kagan’s critics will focus on her legacy at Harvard, where she opposed the presence of military recruiters on campus because of the inherent injustice of DADT. Basically, in 2003 Harvard and other schools didn’t want to allow military recruiters on campus because DADT is a discriminatory policy, but (ironically?) the Supreme Court at the time ruled that the schools didn’t have a choice in the matter. Kagan was one of those who strongly disagreed with the SCOTUS’s opinion. “For someone who has been so guarded on so many issues, she used strikingly extreme rhetoric. ‘Moral injustice of the first order’ would seem fit for something like the Holocaust,” said Ed Whelan, president of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center. “This is one issue that provides some jurisprudential clues as to how much her reading of the law will be biased by her policy views. If she is the nominee, that is an angle that I would press.”

Linda Hirshman at the Daily Beast talks about what it means when we talk about whether a Supreme Court nominee is a lesbian, and why it might be a good thing if someone were. Regardless of how (or if) Elana Kagan actually identifies, the way this public conversation plays out tells us a lot about our political and social climate. “But the fact that lesbian is still considered a fighting word in the context of a Supreme Court nomination in 2010 is a sign of how far we’ve come. Recently, some gays and lesbians reared up and started demanding full equality, by bringing a traditional civil rights action in federal court to strike down California’s anti-gay marriage law, as unconstitutional. As gays and lesbians organize to demand their rights as American citizens, they have the honor of being treated like people who are actually a threat.”

Other people suggest that maybe Kagan’s sexual orientation is, um, not an issue we should be spending our time worrying about. “Why was Kagan’s sexuality blogging fodder to begin with? While he may have done it with the best of ironic intentions, Ambinder described her as “a woman who has short hair, favors pant suits, hasn’t married, and doesn’t seem to be in a relationship.” Wow. Anita Dunn, who is working with the White House on the vacancy, says this is about “applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers.” We have to agree. Name a 49-year-old women with three kids and a hope in hell of making it to the court… Kagan was one of 40 law professors who signed onto a court brief in the [military recruitment] case… Eight other universities filed briefs along with 56 Columbia University law professors and 44 Yale law professors. Are they all of them now disqualified from court service as well? All good questions!

Finally, at the Huffington Post, in Elena Kagan and the West-Wingification of the Left, John Odum weighs in on Kagan’s apparent alligeance to “The Bush/Cheney terrorism template,” which he argues reflects a “West-Wingifcation” of the government:

Martin Sheen’s President Bartlet was both praised (and vilified) as the American left’s fantasy President during the long darkness of the George W. Bush years…

So — defining a liberal in the West Wing context is fairly simple: you are anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, pro-choice, and vaguely environmentally conscious.

But when it comes to economics, budgetary policy, labor, war policy, presidential power — and pretty much everything else — the hard-right party-line is dandy for a West Wing Democrat.

Hmm. But was West Wing inherently so, or did it temporarily turn along with many liberal Americans found themselves turning in the directly post-9/11 landscape?

DADT:
Speaking of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Autumn Sandeen, one of the phenomenal writers at Pam’s House Blend, has graciously shared with us her experience with DADT in her 20+ years of military service. Read it here at HRC’s Military Issues: Personal Stories, and while you’re at it, check out her video! (@pamshouseblend)


Find more videos like this on DOD FED GLOBE

MASSACHUSETTS:
The Republican party has chosen kind of a confusing candidate for the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Charles Baker is pro-gay marriage and pro-choice; his runningmate, Richard Tisei, is openly gay. But he opposes a transgender anti-discrimination bill, even though his runningmate supports it – he even calls it “the bathroom bill,” which is language used by strongly anti-gay politicians, and language which his runningmate has opposed in the past. As a sidenote, Massachusett’s current governer is a Democrat with a gay daughter. (@towleroad)

9 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE WHO LOVE THE PHONE DO NOT LOVE THE GOVERNMENT
BTW, most Americans don’t trust the government. THE SAMPLE SIZE IS 2,500 PEOPLE CALLED ON THEIR LAND-LINE AND CELL PHONES! So that’d be people with the time & impetus to answer anonymous phone calls and answer questions for 20 minutes. UM, seriously now? Hello, also, this poll is driving me nuts because people are interpreting it as a referendum on Obama specifically. Listen, I don’t trust our government right now either, but that’s related to the hypocrisy of Republicans in the senate right now, not Obama. (@ap)

HUCKABEE:
You may have heard that Mike Huckabee insultingly and bafflingly said that gays shouldn’t be allowed to adopt because we’re not responsible pet owners or something – “”Children are not puppies… This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?” In response to his statement, Steve McDonagh and partner Dan Smith, owners of the Hearty Boys catering company and the Hearty Boys restaurant, 3819 N. Broadway, have invited him to dinner. The letter they sent him said, in part, “”Sir, your comments likening my parenting my son to adopting a pet are beyond hurtful and dangerous,” writes McDonagh. “My love, passion and commitment to Nate is not one iota different than what you have for John Mark, David and Sarah. Our son is loved and cared for just as much. He feels just as loved and cared for. He is a happy, well adjusted little guy whom I fiercely love… I will open my home to you and pray that we might help you better understand the damage you could inflict.” Huckabee has not replied. (@chicagopride)

LEGAL RIGHTS:
In a heartbreaking case that highlights the importance of Obama’s recent ruling regarding medical and visitation rights, two elderly gay men, Clay and Harold Greene,were forcibly separated when Harold had to be hospitalized for his frail condition and Clay wasn’t recognized as anything but a “roommate.” The article points out that Sonoma County is typically very gay-friendly, and this sad story demonstrates that this kind of discrimination can happen to anyone, anywhere – and also how particularly vulnerable the elderly members of the GLBT commmunity often are. (@care2)

FEDERAL AID:
It appears that a “virulently anti-gay” organization, the Iowa Family Policy Center, has somehow received over $3 million in federal money over the last 5 years, apparently awarded in increments from a variety of government programs and funds like the Administration for Children and Families’ Compassion Capital Fund and “Healthy Marriage Program. (@joemygod)

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1095 articles for us.

33 Comments

  1. “A love of the United States and its exceptionalism.”
    Someone said that? It’s real? No trace of sarcasm? A joke? A parody? Really? Really?

    And than there’s the rest of the statement…
    This level of arrogance, on behalf of yourself, your religion, your country, or your culture, makes me physically ill.

    Respect, people. Respect. It makes everything easier.
    Sorry. Ranting.

    • Ooh, is Keira Knightley the new default avatar? Because if so , color me pleased. I like looking at her face a lot more than Miley Cyrus’. Although I appreciate that she was at Dinah Shore 😉
      *interrupting serious conversation*

    • Sigh, yea, that’s real and sadly fairly standard. Even if not voiced, part of being US-American for many people is a sense of American Exceptionalism. I mean, it’s not uncommon to flip on the news and hear a politician or some rep of some civil society segment talk about the US being the “greatest nation on Earth” or Americans as “the greatest” or “most innovative” people or winning some other kind of superlative. I kind of like blatant mentions of exceptionalism because it might cause some more reasonable people to think about what they’re saying before the next time they feel drawn to such superlatives (or to spot them when used and recognize them at face value).

      This isn’t a high school yearbook. If it were, the world would have to vote. If it did, we’d probably not be “greatest” but something more like “most likely to die of obesity-related disorders” (which at a national level could very well be true, given over-consumption patterns and the myriad ties they have to China gaining a surer footing on the world stage) or perhaps “biggest douche,” sadly.

      But, Amerophobe. Shit. That’s depressing. Please make it not catch on.

      • I remember the first time George W. was in the presidential election (I think I was 8) and I asked my dad why the whole world wasn’t allowed to vote. No matter how many controversial superlatives one might feel should be excluded from its description, it is still the most powerful country in the world, and its actions affect us all (not that I still think we should be given the power to vote, but you know…).

        Being powerful doesn’t make you right, healthy or an ideal we should all strive towards. Diversity works as a control device, giving us something to compare against, providing objectivity when we’re locked into a social mentality that leaves no room to take a step back. Arrogance works as a shield and diversity is once again only a source of animosity and conflict.

        • Right on, and that is precisely why there is so much anti-European rhetoric in the US now. Health care really brought out a lot of exceptionalism because, well, the US was/is a huge effing exception when it comes to industrialized countries & health care coverage. Sadly, people defended the shitty system that left many uninsured by noting the fact that we’re not filthy socialists like the Canadians, Germans, Japanese, Brits and so forth… Unbelievable how many times I heard that Europe is a land of dangerous ideas – I gues like all the ones in the US Constitution.

      • This is why I think every American should live overseas if they have the opportunity. Despite the many similarities between the two countries, living in Australia has really changed my outlook on American culture.

        My boss used to be married to an American of the douchebag Republican sort (she now has no idea what she ever saw in him), and apparently he was always talking about how America was SO much better and everything in Australia was shit… even though here he could go to the doctor’s for free and not have to wait a million years like he had to at the VA. After they split he moved back, and now he’s all “YEAH IT’S DEFINITELY BETTER HERE!” even though he can’t afford medical care. o_O Boggles my mind.

  2. re: Bryan Fischer: if “what we believe” is that our “exceptionalism” makes us superior to literally everyone else in the entire world, then i think i kind of hate us too? like, that’s actually a pretty rational standpoint?

  3. I’m set to move to Mass in t-minus 9 months. Excited. Northampton, anyone?

    I love Huckabee’s argument that gay’s may not be able to figure out how to raise children. How about the lady that GAVE BACK the child she adopted by putting the 7 year old on a plane back to Russia ALONE? She seems to have some trouble herself. Or that wonderful straight woman who cut up all the kids she was allowed to adopt, and hung on to their body parts in the freezer. What the fuck does he think we do that’s so bad that straights haven’t already done?

    Bigotry just makes us so blind.

  4. remember that time when Allison Janney was on our TVs, brightening our homes, being a badass on the West Wing every week? Now it’s all Ameriphobes and kids not being like pets. *sigh*

  5. Ameriphobes? Wait, so the name of a phobia is just the word plus “phobia” now? Does that mean that people can now be heightaphobes and spidephobes now? Does that make those mentioned above lesbiphobes?

  6. Not another Jew, not even a GAY Jew, on the US Supreme Court.

    There are already 3 Jews – Ginsburg, Beyer and Sotomayor.

    There only 5 million Jews out of 310 million Americans.

    Jews are less than 2% of Americans – why should they make up 33% of the Court and then Knobchoker would make Jewish representation of 45% on the US Supreme Court.

    That is OVER-REPRESENTATION.

    How about a Hispanic male?

    How about a African-American woman?

    How about a Chinese or some other Asian?

    How about a Buddhist or Muslim or Protestant?

    The Jews are stealing from America – Goldman Sachs is a perfect example.

    Diversity on the US Supreme Court, please!

  7. Ugh, the Clay and Harold Greene thing made me tear up. Elderly people should be exempt from all badness. I mean yeah, in a perfect world, everyone should be exempt from all badness but that’s obvs not a possibility right now. For now, instead, can’t we just make a start here?

    The elderly have already been through years and years of the world’s crap, I think it should be left to the rest of us to continue to fight it out. They’ve already done their highly commendable share of the struggling we do with the world every day, just let them be.

    (I do get that this kinda sounds like some form of ageism, I just get wildly incensed by people being mean to the elderly and had to share me feelings)

  8. did you hear about the case that the supreme court is hearing right now?
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126115003
    it’s basically about the rights of a conservative religious group at a public university having a right to discriminate in who can be a part of their group. (specifically they don’t want gay people or people who promote sex before marriage)
    nina totenberg was reading off some of the transcript from today… and it blew my mind. i found myself thinking, how on earth is this being heard in the highest court in the US? how is this up for discussion??

    and then i thought, i wonder what the peeps at autostraddle are saying about this.

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