The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Oh Bullshit, Gay is not “something you call yourself”

So, we have Digby approvingly quoting this:

I don’t know if Elena Kagan sleeps with women or men. I don’t know if she sleeps with anyone at all. I don’t care. What I do know is that she has never claimed to be a lesbian, that she’s never spoken out in the first-person as an advocate of gay rights and that she has never publicly discussed a romantic relationship with a woman. Gay isn’t some genetic or soulful essence; it’s a name you call yourself–and Kagan has not done that. So in my book, case closed. Elena Kagan is not gay. Is she straight? I don’t know, and again, I don’t care. Why does she have to have a sexuality at all?

No, gay is about who you have sex with.  If you have sex predominantly will adults of the same gender, you’re gay.  Unless, of course, you want to say that all those male Republicans screwing other men aren’t gay, I guess.

Now, I don’t personally care if Kagan is gay, what I care about is that she has almost no record which will indicate how she’ll vote and much of what we do know, isn’t good.

What I do care about is that Obama’s word is not “good enough” for me, nor should it be good enough for anyone, given his record on civil liberties and his constant actions against liberal interests.

If the left had any balls at all, it would attempt to sink Kagan, insisting on the left wing equivalent, ideologically, or Scalia or Roberts—someone whose legal philosophy we don’t have to guess about.  But it’s true that Kagan isn’t like Miers, because the left isn’t like the right—its leaders have no guts.

Which is to say, all hail Justice Kagan.

Aka: a pig in a poke.


Goldman Sachs made money trading every single day last quarter


Another Progressive pundit clueless on the effect of unemployment on elections


  1. Celsius 233

    Oh Bullshit, Gay is not “something you call yourself”


    Hmm, perhaps you need to tell all of my gay friends that. Apparently they are mistaken?

  2. If the left had any balls at all, it would attempt to sink Kagan, insisting on the left wing equivalent, ideologically, or Scalia or Roberts—someone whose legal philosophy we don’t have to guess about.


  3. Ian Welsh

    You are not gay BECAUSE you call yourself gay.

  4. Celsius 233

    ^ And if one IS gay and calls oneself gay; is that bullshit? This is getting a little woo woo for this straight guy with a number of gay friends. So; what’s the point? Sorry, it escapes me at the moment.

  5. anonymous

    As a gay man, I sorta hafta agree with digby, although maybe we’re not coming from the same angle. I’m tired of the insinuation that every freaking antigay rightwinger is a closet homosexual. A few are. Mostly they are just assholes. So if “gay” means owning up to your homosexuality, sure, I’ll cosign that, and that is sort of what I get from digby’s post. There are plenty of rumors and speculation that Obama is a repressed homo too (not that he acts on it, but then again, how many straight men smoke cigarettes in this day and age?). Frankly, I’m not eager to have Kagan or Obama on my “team”.

    But I”m also tired of the BS of people who “refuse to be defined by their sexuality” and call themselves bi, queer or pansexual, when they’re really just gay. Lesbians in the ’70’s and ’80’s used to carefully disassociate themselves from gay men, as well as many gay men of color, and now all the young hipsters. Basically what they mean is “I’m not straight but don’t lump me in with all those promiscuous sex obsessed men/faggotty whites/lame old queens.” To which I would say “Get over yourselves, your need to put down other homosexuals reflects your own insecurities about being gay”.

  6. anonymous

    I should clarify that I don’t believe all people who call themselves “bi” are really just gays. I’m sure bisexuals really do exist. Unfortunately the homosexuals who think they can retain some “straight cred” by calling themselves bi seem to greatly outnumber the actual bisexuals.

  7. John B.

    Ian’s point is very simple. If you sleep with the same sex, you’re gay. It doesn’t matter what you call yourself. For me it is even simpler: If you are attracted to and get “horny” for the same sex, you’re gay. It’s a feeling, you know it or you don’t.

  8. Linden

    When I was working with HIV-infected clients, I learned quickly not to assume that people who have sex with members of the same sex identify as gay.

  9. votermom

    Yeah, the issue isn’t whether Kagan is a closet lesbian — it’s whether or not she is a closet liberal, or a closet corporate crony … somehow she’s got to where she is without a paper trail. Sounds all too familiar.

  10. Tactics, tactics. If the left sinks Kagan, will the Administration, then, feel sympathetic to the left and & choose our candidate?

  11. Zach

    gay isnt some genetic or soulful essence, its a name

    Digby is just regurgitating the same pseudoliberal claptrap she and everyone else picked up in college: personal privacy (read: my need to seem Nice and Avoid Conflict) trumps public character and responsibility, a prissy name for “its none of our business whom or what personal judgements a representative public figure lies about”.

    Privacy trumps character.

    In a judge candiate for the supreme court.

    Nice to see Digby has some core principles she is comfortable clinging to.

  12. Linden

    I learned quickly in working with HIV-infected clients that just because people have sex with members of the same sex doesn’t mean they identify themselves as gay. “Gay” is different from “homosexual” — the first describes a sense of identity, the second describes conduct. I would tend to err on the side of what people want to call themselves, given that only the individual knows his or her own mind.

  13. hipparchia writes:


    There’s a nominee I could support. Not a chance of that happening, though, for the reasons you quoted.

  14. par4

    Gay or not gay is not the question. The question is what ‘Left’ is there in this country? If there is one it’s sure not represented in the government.

  15. Lori

    Gay and straight perceptions are based on who you are attracted to, not who you have sex with.

    I’ve known several women in my lifetime, married to men, who have never had sex with another woman but are quite clear that they are lesbian. Some of them are afraid of it. Some of them are just itching for the kids to grow up so that they can sow a few wild oats.

    A gay male friend of mine has been married to a woman and has had female lovers through out his entire adult life. But he has never once fallen in love with a woman and strictly identifies as gay though he says he could never object to a “nice pair of tits in his face”. In the end, he sees himself as gay because he can only fall in love with other men.

  16. The Raven: Yes, exactly. Does anyone seriously think that by sinking Kagan you’re going to get a lefter candidate? You’re going to “prove” some abstract point about negotiation capability for sure then, yup.

  17. Ian Welsh

    Can’t recall the last time you were willing to sink anything Mandos. Accept this kick, peon, or they’ll whip you, is the message you always carry from the lords and masters.

  18. What is it with your creatures pre-occupation with other people’s sex lives?

    What should we be paying attention to that we are not?

  19. Can’t recall the last time you were willing to sink anything Mandos. Accept this kick, peon, or they’ll whip you, is the message you always carry from the lords and masters.

    You can draw all the metaphors you want. Until you have a credible reason to think that they’d respond to sinking something by doing what you want, it doesn’t mean much.

    It has not shown to be the case. What has happened, instead, is that the lefter half of the US political spectrum remains still less coherent than the righter half, which is itself coming apart at the seams.

  20. DancingOpossum

    Shown not to be the case? Tell it to the wingnuts who sank Harriet Meier’s nomination because she wasn’t crazy-conservative enough. Instead we got Roberts and Alito, the two most extreme right-wing members of the Court.

    Tell it to the folks who sank Bork’s nomination, because he was a right-wing maniac — people still use the term “Borking” to describe the process. And he was replaced by a slightly less insane nominee.

    It didn’t work with Clarence Thomas, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth a shot.

    Are you seriously saying that “it’s been shown not to be the case” that pols respond to pressure? What a joke. Tell it to the NRA. Why do you think the NRA is consistently ranked as one of the most powerful lobbies in DC? Because politicians know that the NRA will act on its threats–it will urge its members to withhold money and support for candidates that don’t deliver. And yes, that includes Republicans. Whether you agree with its policies or not, its effectiveness can’t be questioned. Look at AIPAC, another group that acts on its threats and now runs our foreign policy for the benefit of another country. On the left, unions used to have a lot of clout but they sold their birthright for the mess of pottage that is Obama’s presidency.

    Yup, Mandos, your message is always the same: Don’t anger the masters by resisting their tyranny. Take their abuse, in fact beg for more, and pray that they won’t kill you if you sit quietly in a corner.

    Yeah. That’s a winning strategy.

  21. DancingOpossum


    “the lefter half of the US political spectrum remains still less coherent than the righter half, which is itself coming apart at the seams.”

    If by “the lefter half” you mean “Democrats,” yes, they are pretty incoherent. But saying the righter half is coming apart at the seams is wishful thinking. The GOP takes Congress in the midterms.

  22. anonymous

    from → Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner

    Is this classification intentional? Geithner? I clicked on the Geithner tag to get a list of postings with that classification. It was mystifying to me.

  23. DO: You’ll have to take a number on the bets about the midterms. I’m skeptical about the popular hypothesis that the Republicans will take the House in the midterms. Maybe. I’m doubting it.

    Otherwise, you haven’t responded to my critique. The Right is able to sink people like Miers because they know they’ll get something more Right. Is the Left able to sink Democratic nominees because then they’ll get something more Left?

    Of course I say the same thing for other cases because the conditions have not changed for any of them.

    There is a right way to sink candidates and politicians and political initiatives. When you can elect someone better. Can’t do that? Then there’s your problem.

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