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Shameless Republican Bigotry

October 15, 2009

Bill Clinton wouldn’t admit to inhaling pot. George W. Bush wouldn’t admit to insufflating cocaine. Barack Obama admits to both. The upside of identity politics is that it can serve as a barometer for the mores of the American public. We the people now seem to be ok with adults who admit to past drug use.

Like Barack Obama, Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the Department of Education Kevin Jennings admits to past drug use. Since his daze and confusion, Jennings has earned two Ivy League degrees and founded a prominent antibullying organization.

Unlike Barack Obama, Kevin Jennings doesn’t like girls, and that’s enough for 53 House Republicans to call for Obama to fire him. They claim that “the totality of Mr. Jennings’ career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality.”

53 Republicans want to fire a gay guy for believing that gay people shouldn’t be mistreated.

Perhaps sensing the ugliness of that argument, these esteemed members of Congress go on to repeat a debunked myth that Jennings failed to report the sexual abuse of a minor. The meme associating gays with child abuse is a hallmark of homophobia. Not only is it cruel, it’s entirely unsupported by empirical evidence.

I wish that Obama would use his position to expose this letter’s signatories as shameless bigots unfit to represent Americans in Congress, but 8 months of his presidency have disabused me of any such fantasies. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jennings soon decides to spend more time with his family.

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