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Friday, January 21, 2005



...just another attempt by the left to smear a Republican president.


How would it be a smear to say that lincoln was gay? I have no idea if he is, nor could I care less, I've found the whole business something that people focus on when cutting toenails has exhausted the level of exhilaration it's designed to attract, but I don't see the big deal about saying Lincoln was Gay, or not gay for that matter. It's not like someone was saying he was corrupt, a liar, a fraud, a murderer... It's kinda like asserting that Lincoln was Black. Would that be an 'insult'?

Josh Legere

You think the folks at The Nation would have taken some Queer Studies classes!


You know, I would defend practically anything if it were funny. But that is just a tasteless piece of crap. I cannot fathom how a serious editor of ANY publication could look at that and think it was a worthwhile contribution to the discourse.


Yesterday I saw a veteran trying to defend the honor of Lincoln at an inaugural protest, he had urine thrown on him by girls wearing dredlocks and then they stabbed him in the back.
That's what overdosing on queer studies classes will do to once pure girls.


Steve, you have all the grace of a blivet. ( /bliv'*t/ [allegedly from a World War II military term meaning "ten pounds of manure in a five-pound bag"] 1. An intractable problem.)

There is NOTHING wrong with saying Lincoln was gay, the ISSUE is the crude and puerile cartoon. Sheesh Steve, I figured that you would have at least the insight to see that.

Folks, in 1995 one of the finest MEN that I ever knew, my brother in law die of AIDS. Kyle was a Man's Man, pure man but happened to love other men. Being gay MUST be taken off of the political table and every gay person treated like any other person. This kind of carping on the left or the right must stop.



Steve, is the story and accompanying photo another myth. Why is it hard to believe that some would "go to far" in their protest? Not that they don't have the right to "protest" but, as you can see, the soldier, trained in death and destruction didn't assult anyone.

Green Dem

The funny thing is that statistically speaking the largest share of cross dressing men are actually straight. Its just that its much more acceptable to do so openly in the gay community, and straight men tend to do it in secret. You never know which of the guys at the bar or at the game may be wearing lacey underthings.


Sure, GM, I'd agree with ya, i was asking why woody would think calling lincoln a gay was a 'smear'? but the cartoon? i'm not that interested in it really, it's one of those non-issue issues that people get worked up about.
The soldier in the picture is an army recruiter, right? they were protesting army recruitment on campuses it looks to me. no spitting, no back stabbing or other mythological fantasies, just a protest against army recruitment at a community college. since so many of the dead in iraq are the type that would be at a community college, i.e. working class, it's not surprising that the issue would be one that would attract protests i'd think, agree or disagree with them.
and the recruiter looks like he's dealing with the protest well enough without crying out, "oh look at me, i'm a poor victim of these commie pacifists! and they punched me in the back...but watch on Freeper's, the wingnuts have probably already got this under "Iraq Veteran Spat on By Seattle Pacifist Freaks"...

Michael J. Totten

Steve: "just a protest against army recruitment at a community college"

No, they were driven out by a mob. That's right, a mob.

Michael J. Totten

I apologize for taking troll bait. Carry on.

too many steves

Standing up and admitting you were wrong is exceptional, in part, because it happens so infrequently. The Nation's response is quite typical: you were more wrong when you did X!


I think Abe looks kinda cute in the outfit, personally.


steve wrote: "i was asking why woody would think calling lincoln a gay was a 'smear'?"

steve, I just said it was a smear. You assumed the reason. For your information, it's clearly because they showed Lincoln wearing shoes that didn't match his accessories.


I won't explicitly defend The Nation on this, mainly because I don't have what I would consider a coherent opinion on the cartoon. But two observations, which I suppose are marginally in their defense. One is that I'm a bit surprised that they erred in an anti-PC direction, rather than maintain their generally rather stolid (boring?) demeanor. Maybe even pleasantly surprised, while acknowledging the wimpy response to criticism. Also, the area of humor is one of the hardest in which to guage what is offensive and what is a legitimate lampoon. Political cartoonists (which I assume covers any cartoonist who appears in The Nation and New Republic) are traditionally given a lot of slack, even at the risk of bad taste. Personally, I'd rather see satirists and cartoonists given a broader berth than editorialists and assume they have bad manners. Otherwise, why bother. Also, as regards this issue heating up in the realm of opinion journals (it earned a cover story at The Weakly Standard) What The Fuck ???

jim hitchcock

"One of these days, I'm going to chop you into pieces, but fust we gonna have some fun"

--- Pink Floyd, `One of These Days', revised.

John Moore (Useful Fools)

Pardon my response to troll bait. Steve, yesterday a Vietnam Veteran WAS spit on minutes before I arrived on the scene and WAS punched in the back. For you to make fun of that is as tastless as the cartoon being discussed. Steve, your constant attempt to ridicule the fact that veterans were spat upon because you read some book is just as offensive as the spitting itself (but much safer because the veteran isn't going to punch your lights out) [and to forestall some needless comments - yes, apparently there was substantial exaggeration in the number who were spit on in the Vietnam years, but then not many people were into truth in those days]

On another subject... GM, I almost agree with you.

In general, conservatives have several issues with gays: religious (for some conservatives) where most conservatives are willing to be tolerant but resent certain gay activist agendas; marriage, because the institution is important to creating the next generation (which is why we are against easy divorce - and yes, there are many hypocritical conservatives on that like Gingrich); adoption and related issues, again, for the children.

The first issue is one where gay activists have done tremendous damage with none of the respect for their opponents that they would like to be shown, and worse. It is also an area that leads some on the Christian Right to condemn gays, which is an incorrect Christian viewpoint ("were all sinners"... ), when they should be kind to them.

The second issue is a fine line, since many of us are in favor of ALMOST all the benefits of marriage for gays.

The third issue is very strong with many of us. It is not based on simple stereotyping, either, and it has to have exceptions.

None of these are fair. It is sad that many of us have these positions, because our position means that, in certain areas, gays are discomfited or harmed. But. I view it as the lesser harm or I would oppose those policies.

Adults recognize that fairness is important, but both too often not reachable and only one of many consequences to be analyzed in judging issues.

Other issues (employee benefits, etc) will be sorted out as time goes on.

The cartoon is tasteless. Duh. Political cartoonists seem to be moving the same direction as shock jocks - if it you don't deeply offend someone periodically, your career is in trouble. Some of these people are very talented (Steve Benston, Arizona Republic, grandson of the head of the Mormon Church), but very offensive. They go beyond the "shock them enough to think" line.


John - gay adoption is a fact, at least in my state, and I personally know gays who've adopted kids who have problems nobody else would want. As is gay procreation - using means freely available to heteros. Given these facts, outlawing gay marriage is anti-family and harmful to children.

A values voter.

John Moore (Useful Fools)

An unsurprising view. And in fact gay adoption needs to be available under special circumstances. Furthermore, as I said, something *close* to gay marriage needs to exist.

What gay adoption cannot provide is a natural child-rearing. There is the assumption that same sex parents are as successful as mixed sexed parents. That is a very questionable assumption. Given what has been learned recently in studies of family configurations and events on the psychological health of children, it is a dangerous assumption.

For example, children raised without their natural father are at higher risk of social and psychological pathology (and higher than normal risk of incestuous sexual abuse). Adults whose parents divorce have a significant increase in psychological harm. In other words, raising a child is a very delicate thing, with a lot of it hard wired genetically, both in parental instincts and in the development of the child. The child/parents relationship is very powerful even through adulthood.

American gays on average are more promiscuous and less likely to have the very long term relationships required to raise children. The causes of this are debatable - I don't pretend to know why (that could make informed guesses, but that's all). Likewise, American gays have a significantly higher rate of psychological pathology, with causative theories all over the map. I say American only because I don't have information for other areas.

The fact that is always raised at this point is that heterosexual marriage has many problems (substantially increased since the sexual revolution), so why should that form be given preference. The problem with this argument is that it advocates an analog of "two wrongs make a right." Heterosexual marriage needs to be improved, the goal being to dramatically reduce the divorce rate among parents. That says nothing about the correctness or not of gay marriage.

But nothing is black and white. Many homosexuals may have a heterosexual family life that then, for some reason comes, apart. Depending on the circumstances, the best thing for the child might be to go with the homosexual parent, not the heterosexual one and not adoption.

History shows that the "gay" lifestyle is a recent invention. Historical figues who are known to have had homosexual relationships typically also had simultaneous heterosexual relationships. This suggests that many gays may actually be capable of heterosexuality (but we know many who do not seem capable of it).

By the way, your argument for your gay acquaintances is also an argument against abortion.

Robert Fiore

The idea of Lincoln being gay is comical because the common stereotype view of gay men is as being feminized and lacking in gravitas, whereas our view of Lincoln is utterly masculine and having all the gravitas in the world. This is where the humor in both the Weekly Standard cover and the Nation arises, and not with any notion of demeaning gays. It's a case of cartoonists thinking like cartoonists. Personally, I found both rather funny and I find the reaction to be priggish and self-righteous. I think when Marc reflects back on this on a month or so he'll see he's gone overboard.

Robin the Hood

"Now, some folks at The Nation are ticked at Sullivan who – on several issues—has demonstrated his own flagrant prejudices."

That's for darn sure. As a gay man, I find it particularly cringe-inducing to hear one of my own kind routinely pandering to sexists (note his position on the recent Summers flap), racists (he loved "the Bell Curve" - just loved it!), latter day imperialists (are you a member of vast left-wing "fifth column" in America too?), and the kind of brutal laissez faire that has actually exacerbated anti-gay resentment against middle class gays among working class whites (the Matt Shepard murder was as much about class as sexual orientation.)

Marc Cooper

Robert.. let me be 100% clear. I lost no sleep over this cartoon. Yes, I think it was stupid but in the big scheme of things I find the matter to be quite minor. What I dont find minor is the refusal of The Nation editors to eiteh take ownership of the cartoon ( a defensible position) or acknowledge it as a mistake. The resultant waffle is but a symptom of a much much larger problem with the magazine. Perhpas those who work there feel it more than a casual reader-- but that's our predicament and our right.

"Furthermore, as I said, something *close* to gay marriage needs to exist."

Separate but equal huh? Perhaps gays need separate drinking fountains, restrooms, and lunch counters too.

"For example, children raised without their natural father are at higher risk of social and psychological pathology (and higher than normal risk of incestuous sexual abuse)."

That's funny. There are a number of credible studies suggesting that children raised by two lesbians are actually not simply as well adjusted as children raised by a heterosexual couple, but more so on a number of measures.

"In other words, raising a child is a very delicate thing, with a lot of it hard wired genetically, both in parental instincts and in the development of the child. The child/parents relationship is very powerful even through adulthood."

Nonsense. The bulk of research on the subject suggests just the opposite, that peer relationships are the most formative, and parents matter a whole lot less than most seem to believe.


"American gays on average are more promiscuous and less likely to have the very long term relationships required to raise children."

And red states, particularly in the bible belt, have the highest rates of divorce in the country. Massachusetts, the only state with gay marriage, has the lowest.

"History shows that the "gay" lifestyle is a recent invention. Historical figues who are known to have had homosexual relationships typically also had simultaneous heterosexual relationships."

In most cultures through most of history marriage was primarily a social, and not a romantic institution, although it bears mentioning here that few of the major gay figures in history were ever married to women. The Alexander the Greats are the exception, not the rule.

You're just an old fashioned bigot John, but fortunately the younger generation is far more enlightened than you are, feeling homosexuality perfectly normal, and supporting gay marriage. Lets hope your medieval attitudes die with you.


Marc, in your original posting you wrote, "Something you might expect in some fourth-rate right-wing rag."

Actually, it is also something I have come to expect from this FIRST rate left-wing rag.


Since we're all about a more expansive, inclusive comments thread, I would like to state for the record that the "anon" post above, in reply to John M., was not by me. (As if you didn't already suspect that, given the impeccable grammar, spelling and organization of ideas.)

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