H.L Mencken once quipped “A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office, he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.”
One might be forgiven for thinking Mencken was watching the spectacle of Chuck Hagel’s Senate nomination saga on cable news through a crystal ball when he uttered those words.
From Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) overlooking Mr. Hagel’s derisive, some might say anti-Semitic references to “The Jewish Lobby,” to Colorado’s own Mark Udall declaring that Hagel will “treat all service members equally regardless of their sexual orientation” despite Hagel’s “open and aggressive” criticism of a former U.S. ambassador’s “gayness” seems to suggest that the hypocrisy of the modern American Left knows no bounds.
Even State House Speaker Mark Ferrandino and state Senator Pat Steadman, two legislators who owe their influential positions in legislative leadership largely to their outspokenness on the issue of gay rights, were conspicuously silent when asked for their opinion on Mr. Hagel’s comments.
And what about The Left’s enablers in the mainstream media – that cadre of Colorado political reporters who spent much of last year cheerleading for same-sex unions in their newspapers, on their television programs, and on social media?
It appears the folks who were excoriating former State House Speaker Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) for his opposition to gay marriage just a few short months ago don’t have much to say on the topic of Chuck Hagel – or on whether Colorado’s two Democratic U.S. Senators should vote to approve his controversial nomination.
We wonder, would Mr. Schumer be so forgiving if one of President Bush’s appointees had complained about “The Jewish Lobby”?
Would Mr. Udall have sent out a press statement expressing confidence in a Bush cabinet pick that made anti-gay remarks, or criticized the nomination of a U.S. ambassador solely because of his sexuality?
Would the Denver Post have given Wayne Allard and Ben Nighthorse Campbell the green light to confirm a Bush appointee who held similar views on gay rights, Israel and the Iranian threat – say someone like Pat Buchanan?
And what about The Left’s key financiers — people like Tim Gill, Pat Stryker and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis? Are we to believe they would keep their mouths shut and sit on their political checkbooks in the name of “bipartisanship” if President Bush had tapped Mr. Hagel?
We think the answer is obvious.
Even so, not everyone who supports gay rights has complied with the informal Hagel gag-order that has effectively silenced media types and bit players like Ferrandino and Steadman, and prompted folks like Udall and Schumer to sing Mr. Hagel’s praises.
BJ Nikkel, a former Republican legislator and gay rights backer issued a challenge to Colorado’s two U.S. Senators in a Denver Post column last week.
“If Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are serious about equality…they will stand up to the president and vote against Hagel’s confirmation,” wrote Nikkel. “If, on the other hand, the Democrat-controlled Senate votes to confirm Hagel, it will send a very different message: Bigotry and discrimination are just fine, as long as you’re one of the president’s men.”
We look forward to seeing how Messrs. Udall and Bennet respond to that challenge when it’s time to vote – although we don’t expect much in the way of critical reporting from the mainstream media.
If Bennet and Udall do sacrifice their fidelity to equality on the altar of blind loyalty to President Obama, this much is certain – the next time Democrats try to cast Republicans as homophobic knuckle-draggers, the GOP will have a rich and damning rebuttal to cram right back in their face.