John Kerry "won" all three debates this year, according to opinion polls (I only gave him the first one myself, but hey, I'm biased), but he still managed to lose, because he made the only debate gaffe that people remembered. I'm talking, of course, of his inexplicable and unwarranted gay-baiting comment about Dick Cheney's daughter. Personally, I don't believe Kerry is anti-gay, but one of his advisors (probably the idiotic Mary Beth Cahill, to judge from her "fair game" comment) obviously thought there was a wedge that could be used here - there is just no way that Kerry and Edwards both bringing Mary Cheney up was a coincidence.
So, even giving Kerry the benefit of the doubt (I don't give Edwards the benefit of anything), there is a precedent for believing that at least a portion of the Radical Left only pays lip service to their gay-rights agenda. (By the way, this is a subject for another posting, but it is not homophobic to oppose gay marriage - I think Bush's position is exactly right on this issue: support some sort of legal arrangement but don't force Americans to change thousands of years of tradition because of Gavin Newsom and the Massachusetts Supreme Court).
The intolerance of the Radical Left comes into even sharper focus with their smear campaign against new RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman. You see, because, as Hindrocket at Power Line points out, Mehlman is 38, single, and likes to keep his personal life to himself, he must in fact be gay. This is part and parcel of the Left's parlor game of outing gay (or just rumoured to be gay) Republicans. Really, this is no different from the Democratic plantation view of black Americans. The identity politics of today's Democratic party mean that there is a "correct" viewpoint for blacks, for gays, for labor, for women - and if you don't hold that viewpoint, then you're a sellout and less than human. So I ask you - who's intolerant?
Update at 9:05 am central: Many thanks to Instapundit for linking me and welcome to any first time readers...please browse the rest of my postings if you get a chance. Happy Holidays!
Update 2 at 9:15 am central: comment on the comments - The World According to Nick has a longer post dealing with some of these issues that is worth your time. I agree with moptop's observation about Carroll O'Conner, and finally, Deoxy is exactly right - this post is not about what Republicans might or might not have done...the point is the supposedly tolerant progressives and their hatred of those with different viewpoints.
Yet another update (10:20 am central) : scarshapedstar says that oppressing gays is a cornerstone of Republican policy - sorry, that's just not the case. SOME Republicans are racist and homophobic, yes, as are some Democrats...this isn't about racism or homophobia per se, but the extension of tolerant feelings to only those who agree with you; i.e., being tolerant of people who mirror yourself - not much of a sacrifice, is it? The homophobe and racist, while wrong, are at least consistently wrong...tolerance doesn't truly exist with ideological conditions attached.
Final Update(?) (12/03 8:41 pm central): Several people who have linked to my page or left comments have made the argument that what I described was not homophobia so much as cynicism, and I'm inclined to agree after reflection. To try to rephrase my point...first of all, I'm not talking about all liberals and Democrats - I clearly said in my post "...at least a portion of the Radical Left..." (and by the way, I DO make a distinction between the Left and the Radical Left). Second, my accusation is this: certain elements of the Left, while in principle supportive of tolerance towards gays, minorities, etc., will throw those principles overboard in a heartbeat if there is an opportunity to score points against conservatives, so blind has their partisanship made them. Thanks to all those who left comments, whether you agreed with me or not.