’Puter argues that potential Supreme Court justice and current Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s refusal to self-identify as a lesbian damages her credibility (and maybe a little less reasonably that this disqualifies her from the Court).
Confucius, your Œcumenical Volgi, tends to take a more antediluvian stance where one’s sex life is nobody’s business. This makes the Volgi more comfortable with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell than Ghetto P, for example.
The impression is widespread that Ms. Kagan prefers the company of women, but she clearly does not publicly identify herself as gay. What’s the problem? If it’s truly irrelevant—as it should be in most situations—then the question should be left there. If, as Ben Domenich wrote, it’s an “open secret” at Harvard, then why not leave it a secret, if that’s her choice?
It should be noted that there’s a chance the widespread impression is wrong, and the White House is simply telling the truth. But if it’s not, it’s still not disqualifying.
Contrary to ’Puter’s post, there seems to be no record of Ms. Kagan’s lying about her domestic arrangements or taste in bedmates—whatever they are—so she should not be disqualified. If the White House has lied, well, we’re all shocked that there’s gambling at Rick’s. The right thing for them to say would be: “Ms. Kagan’s private life is her own and irrelevant to her qualifications.” And a reasonable guess at the backstory might be:
WH: Ms. Kagan, this guy’s written an article in which he says you’re a lesbian.
EK: I don’t describe myself as a lesbian.
WH: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ELENA KAGAN NOT A LESBIAN
Why the White House would feel the need to characterize her affirmatively, if you will, as NOT GAY, could be anything from honest misinterpretation, to misguided protectiveness, to crass and cynical politics—“We can’t put a ‘Lesbian’ on the Supreme Court! We’ll lose the Independent Jebus Freak bloc which was key to our winning Ohio!” Who knows? But I’m much more inclined to rail against their apparent duplicity than Ms. Kagan’s desire for discretion around her personal life.
If some senator wants to ask her a question on say, the application of protected-class status to homosexuals or the legitimacy of hate-crime laws, as one might quiz a Catholic nominee on abortion, or a black nominee on race, that’s not out of bounds in the least, and she should answer openly and honestly. But the senator shouldn’t open the question, “As a lesbian…” nor should her answer begin with the same—even if she were “out.” So the question of her predilections in affection is not at all germane to her fitness to serve.
If that kind of “honesty” becomes demanded by the Right as it is of much of the Left, then we’ve all succumbed to identity politics, and we might as well have our government-mandated protected-class status barcoded on our wrists so we can quickly be scanned for our ethnosexual fitness.
If as ’Puter’s argument goes, she’s been riding topless with coeds atop golf carts at the Dinah Shore Open [warning: club music] for years and is now saying she’s not a lesbian, ok, that’s a question of basic honesty and probably disqualifying. Otherwise, she deserves a modicum of discretion about the intimate parts of her life.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.