Virginia Congressman Ed Schrock (R), enjoy your early retirement!


I just gotta wonder about guys like Schrock who are so politically active against the very thing they are.

But as far as his House seat goes, good riddance.

The Dems have a pretty good candidate for the seat, now that it’s an open seat.

Now watch this drive…

I’m finishing up Blinded By The Right, a book by David Brock, who’s gay and a former attack journalist for the right; he has some fascinating insights into the behind-the-scenes goings-on in Washington and some interesting thoughts on why exactly he was so active against what he was.

Just curious: when is it a joyful thing to out someone, and when is it a shameful thing? I’m looking for some guidelines, here.

When they are a total fucking hypocrite.

Kinda ironic, no?

Ironic how? If he’s gay he’s shooting himself in the foot helping his cause. Maybe stupid instead of hypocritical, whatever.

Normally I do think outing someone is a wrongful thing. On the other hand, a politician has to know that this sort of thing is going to get out there sooner or later. Therefore introducing any sort of discussion on gay issues is just begging for trouble.

If Schrock had never uttered a policy position touching on gay issues then his sexuality would be (should be, God knows) out of the area for debate. But taking a position places that in the field of debate.

Mostly, as I said in the first paragraph, he’s just stupid. How could he not expect this to come out? HOW?

So which is it in that case? Joyful or or shameful? Your post certainly didn’t help clear that up.

It’s NEVER a joyful thing to ‘out’ someone, IMHO.

But (to expand on World Eater’s reply) if a public figure rants and raves against the evils of X, it’s always been fair game to point out that he’s guilty of/a practitioner of/etc. X himself. I can’t see a reason to carve out an exception for homosexual conduct.

OTOH, I find it repugnant to ‘out’ public figures about perfectly legal personal conduct that repels some people for one reason or another, unless they have chosen to turn similar personal conduct into a public moral crusade.

And publicly ‘outing’ private individuals minding their own business about such conduct is simply beyond the pale.

Totally agreed.

I’d say both.

OK. Thanks for the reply. I also have to agree completely with RTFirefly here:

Here in the Netherlands we had Pim Fortuyn, who was out, and almost flamboyantly gay. However, his homosexuality was never really an issue. His populist, right-wing politics were an issue though.

And as long as we’re wishing I’d like a pony.

The simple fact is that as long as the American public views sexual orientation as a ‘hot button’ issue it’s going to have the ability to drive a wedge between politics and policy. I don’t have to like it (and I don’t) but there it is.

But here, gayness and right wing politics don’t mix well.


When the person is a Member of Congress, it is neither a joyful thing nor a shameful thing. It is, in this case, simply a matter of comparing the legislator’s record in the Congress with his own personal behavior and informing his voters that he fails to practice what he preaches. In this case, the area of hypocrisy happens to be that of same-sex relations, but it could just as easily be something else.

If, for example, a politican with a record of voting for tort reform in the area of medical malpractice then turned around and sued an obstetrician for $20 million, this would be newsworthy. The politician would be “outed” for hypocrisy. Or, if a politician spent much time and energy on banning handguns, but was found to carry a handgun, that too would be worthy of notice.

These things all have something in common—the actual behavior of the congresscritter is legal, and all of these things are essentially private matters. But politicians are, or at least should be, held up to scrutiny to determine whether their own actions reflect the positions that they espouse in the legislature. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for come congruence between what they say and what they do.

As a general principle, i agree with Jonathan Chance’s position.

The sad thing is that Schrock’s retirement seems to be sparked more by a concern about being thought gay than a concern about being thought a hypocrite. It will be a good day in politics when the latter is considered more of a liability than the former.

Of course, it’s always possible that the allegations themselves are untrue, but if that were the case i think he might reasonably have stayed and fought them off. All the news articles i’ve read on the topic suggest strong support from Republican politicians both in Virginia and in Washington, although it’s possible that these are empty platitudes of the sort usually given when someone has already decided to go. And not all of his Republican allies were so generous:

The Moonie paper reported the story without, of course, actually mentioning the substance of the allegations that led to the retirement. Although they did give a hint:

Indeed! :slight_smile:

Or an activist, such as that darling of the loonie left, Rosie O’Donnell. It’s all about practicing what you preach. If you don’t, then you’re fair game.

I know it feeds some deep inner satisfaction for you to use the term “loonie left” wherever possible, but i was actually trying to make a point that transcended particular political positions and looked at the issue of credibility among our elected officials. That’s why i chose examples that reflected what might commonly be considered a conservative position (tort reform) and a liberal position (gun control).

Also, while i agree that hypocrisy should be exposed whenever it rears its head among people who choose to be public figures, i also think that there is a crucial difference involved when talking about politicians. Not only do these pepople put themselves in the public eye, but they do so while being supported by tax money and while legislating on our behalf. The consequences of hypocrisy are (and should be) rather different for them than for blowhard celebrities of whatever political stripe.

Ironically pointed out by that puppet of the ridiculous right, Weird Dave. :wink: