Thursday, September 29, 2005
Dreier and McGreevey: A Comparison
Steve Clemons (via Atrios) brings up the fact that, for Republican politicians at least, today's media looks the other way when it comes to closeted pols, even when it's obvious that the person's being a closet case impacted his career in a negative way, as has happened with David Dreier's being denied sole ownership of the House Majority Leader spot. But of course, the GOP/Media Axis is not afraid to use the "G" word when discussing Democratic politicians. Let's play compare and contrast: In 2004, NJ Governor Jim McGreevey was revealed to have a boyfriend on the payroll. He resigned after a nationwide media orgy/firestorm directed against him. In 2004, Congressman David Dreier was revealed to have a boyfriend on the payroll. The national media looks the other way, and Dreier keeps his Congressional seat. However, he is denied further advancement when Roy Blunt conducts a successful whispering campaign against him (rumor is that Blunt was telling his House colleagues that their constituents, whom they'd just riled up to vote for a passel of anti-gay legislation, wouldn't tolerate even a closeted gay man as House Majority Leader). The difference? McGreevey had a "D" after his name, whereas Dreier has an "R" after his.
It's a great exploration of attitudes about closeted politicians.
Unfortunately, I think it oversimplifies the equation. McGreevey's lover wasn't just given a job, he was given a job he was unqualified for. Also, since it involved Homeland Security, it was a job that could have potentially endangered the citizens of New Jersey.
I have yet to hear that Dreier's (alleged :-) partner, who is his chief of staff, is unqualified. He is highly paid, which has been noted, but seems to be actualy doing the job not just pretending to show up.
It's sad that McGreevey made stupid mistakes. It's frustrating the that the GOP will protect Dreier as long as he doesn't come out in public - and the fear of an involuntary outing probably led them to step back from promoting him. And it's infuriating that Dreier will sell out the GLBT community in order to "play with the big boys." Does he really think they won't turn on him in the end if things get too rough?
-2pt5cats from dKos.
We haven't heard that Dreier's alleged squeeze was incompetent. We also have no reason to believe he was competent. People who engage in favoritism usually aren't competent. The partner wasn't on the front lines, but as a congressional staffer had perhaps more power than Golan Cipel.
There also remains some question, at least in my mind, about the relationship between McGreevey and Cipel and about Cipel's qualifications. Cipel claimed sexual harassment, unnamed McGreevey aides said he was McGreevey's partner, the odor of blackmail hung over it all.
If you have more recent information, please post it.
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