Why Do GOP Closet Cases Suck?

News & Politics
This post, written by Howie Klein, originally appeared on Down With Tyranny!

You may have noticed that there haven't been any moderate Republicans dragged kicking and screaming out of the closet lately and that all the Republican closet queens who have been outed are far right extremists. Everyone has a clear homophobic, bigoted voting record. Not one was sympathetic or even politically empathetic towards other gay people. Today's Seattle Times looks into what makes these men tick. The topic is a hot one in Washington because of the statewide, and even national, lurid headlines involving a local right-wing representative, Richard Curtis (R), a cross-dresser who reneged on a deal to pay a male prostitute $1,000 for unprotected anal sex.

Curtis was high on drugs all night, having sex with multiple partners in a sleazy porno establishment, and then capping it off with a liaison in his hotel with young Cody Castagna. He didn't have the full thousand to pay Castagna and was too out of it from all the drugs he had consumed to go to an ATM so he gave him a few hundred and said he could hold his wallet as collateral 'til the following day. Then, still too doped up to understand the consequences of his actions, he called a GOP political crony involved with law enforcement and told him he didn't want to press charges but wanted him to get the wallet back without involving the Spokane cops. The GOP crony wasn't on drugs and within hours Curtis' life was forever changed. The Times wants to understand how this could happen, how could politicians take such risks?

When Larry Craig (R) was arrested in a public toilet in Minneapolis-- and then pled guilty-- for soliciting sex from another male he was painfully aware he was under investigation for... having sex with a male in a public toilet in Washington's Union Station. Did he think that changing his hunting ground from railroad station restrooms to airport restrooms he was being cautious?

When Republican Congressman Mark Foley's life came tumbling down around his ears last year, he had led a half in/half out of the closet existence that was fraught with more and more risk every year as he felt surer and surer of his ability to transcend social (and right wing) mores. He was often seen being escorted around South Florida and DC in the company of handsome young men. He had been warned several times to stop paying so much attention to the underage male congressional pages. And then, drunk, he was caught trying to break into their dorm after midnight. But nothing happened. The risky behavior apparently had no risk. He was protected by other powerful closeted Republicans (Speaker Denny Hastert) and by powermad GOP leaders who didn't care if he raped a page a day as long as they could keep the seat red. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), John Shimkus (R-IL) and John Boehner (R-OH) were the culprits in that category.

Other Republicans are flirting with the same kinds of risks, especially David Dreier (CA), Patrick McHenry (NC) and Lindsey Graham (SC). "Why would any politician take such risks?" ask the Times
For the answer to that, start with the notion that people who go into politics are more likely than others to be risk-takers, say experts in the field. To a large extent, they're people who are comfortable inviting scrutiny because that's what politicians do to get elected.

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