WH flips out after righty blogger claims Court candidate is openly gay

posted at 3:15 pm on April 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

I dig this story, not only because it’s a dopey unforced error by Team Barry but because it makes me think the identity politics clusterfark at the confirmation hearing will be simply magnifique. The blogger in question is Ben Domenech, who wrote a rundown of The One’s various SCOTUS candidates and listed the alleged fact that Elena Kagan is openly gay as a plus insofar as it would please the lefty base. Minor problem: Kagan’s not openly gay. Cue the White House’s outrageously outrageous outrage:

Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer, wrote that President Obama would “please” much of his base by picking the “first openly gay justice.” An administration official, who asked not to be identified discussing personal matters, said Kagan is not a lesbian…

The network deleted the posting Thursday night after Domenech said he was merely repeating a rumor. The flare-up underscores how quickly the battle over a Supreme Court nominee — or even a potential nominee — can turn searingly personal. Most major news organizations have policies against “outing” gays or reporting on the sex lives of public officials unless they are related to their public duties.

A White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said he complained to CBS because the column “made false charges.” Domenech later added an update to the post: “I have to correct my text here to say that Kagan is apparently still closeted — odd, because her female partner is rather well known in Harvard circles.”

Domenech replied at HuffPo (emphases in original):

I erroneously believed that Ms. Kagan was openly gay not because of, as Stein describes it, a “whisper campaign” on the part of conservatives, but because it had been mentioned casually on multiple occasions by friends and colleagues — including students at Harvard, Hill staffers, and in the sphere of legal academia — who know Kagan personally. And as the reaction from Julian Sanchez and Matt Yglesias shows, I was not alone in that apparently inaccurate belief.

Look, it’s 2010 — no one should care if a nominee to any position is gay. The fact that conservative Senators John Cornyn and Jeff Sessions have recently expressed openness to confirming an openly gay nominee to the Court is a good thing. Senators should look at things that actually matter — evaluating a nominee’s decisions, approach to the law, their judgment and ability — to see whether there are actually good and relevant reasons to oppose the nomination. That’s all…

As I told Howard Kurtz, and I say again here, I offer my sincere apologies to Ms. Kagan if she is offended at all by my repetition of a Harvard rumor in a speculative blog post. It still seems odd to me that the White House would single out this statement for attack, adamantly slamming closed a door that nobody was trying to open, as opposed to issuing a mild correction. As Yglesias notes, “I’d like to think we’re past the point where saying someone’s a lesbian counts as a dastardly ‘accusation,’” and it certainly was not intended as such.

New York magazine calls it a “tactical error” by The One and argues that the “is she or isn’t she?” storyline will be a factor no matter what, so they might as well get used to it. What’s fascinating about all this is that neither side seems quite sure whether “the gay issue” will be a net plus or net minus for them if they pursue it. Domenech’s right that a gay justice would please much of the lefty base — but, as Moe Lane reminds us, not all. Given the November cyclone that’s on the horizon, the last thing Obama wants to do is give some Dems an extra reason to stay home. On the other hand, Domenech’s also right that Cornyn and Sessions have sounded open to the idea of a gay justice, which puts them in line with most Americans: According to a CBS poll taken last month, 55 percent say they’d be okay with it. The problem for the GOP, of course, is that they risk their own turnout issues with social cons if they refuse to make an issue of it at all. What I suspect they’ll do is compromise: They’ll agree with the Dems to answer the “is she or isn’t she?” question by saying it’s no one’s business, but they’ll attack indirectly by quizzing her on blocking military recruiters from Harvard Law School over “don’t ask, don’t tell.” My hunch is that they’d rather not touch this at all, especially since culture-war stuff is less of a priority among the tea-party-flavored GOP than it used to be, but with Tony Perkins already playing hardball on donations to the RNC, they really have no choice.


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That’s a man, Baby! /Austin Powers

So, if she isn’t ‘openly Gay’ is she closeted Gay? That is what I want to know.

PakviRoti on April 17, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Can the person interpret the Constitution and determine if a law is or is not constitutional? That is all that should matter.

On the other hand, Bork has not yet been properly avenged.

john1schn on April 17, 2010 at 5:37 PM

He’ll pick someone very radical, to please his radical base. The right will reject; this will please radical base even more.

After the 1-2 radical picks, he’ll pick Hillary, whom he wanted in the first place, so as to not deal with the Clintons in 2012.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2010 at 5:38 PM

This is hilarious. The Affirmation Action Administration tries to check off another quota spot with a lesbian Supreme Court nominee and gets pissed that someone noticed that she’s a lesbian. Well, Gibbsy, she has a wife…wtf did you think that was all about?

And all of the gay/les libwits feigning OUTRAGE that someone would say she’s gay…while winking to their gay friends about their stealth? Heh. Joke’s on them.

Jaibones on April 17, 2010 at 5:43 PM

According to a CBS poll taken last month, 55 percent say they’d be okay with it.

Only 55 per cent? In 2010? That’s embarrassing.

YYZ on April 17, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Most major news organizations have policies against “outing” gays or reporting on the sex lives of public officials unless they are conservatives.

I can think of at least a couple high-profile conservative(or at least Republican) politicians who are widely considered on the Interweb to be gay, but haven’t been outed by the mainstream media.

Remember, the mainstream media is socially to the left, and outing people is a big no-no.

YYZ on April 17, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Outlander, the reason for the “speculation” is it’s not.
SarahW on April 17, 2010 at 5:25 PM

But unfortunately, social conservatives are losing the culture war on homosexuality and sexual deviancy. So, I’m not sure that being a lesbian will be grounds to deny confirmation. More practically put: is the RINO squad in the Senate really going to filibuster her confirmation because she’s a lesbian? No freaking way.

Outlander on April 17, 2010 at 5:56 PM

This whole story smells a little fishy to me.

TXUS on April 17, 2010 at 6:09 PM

OK, this is hilarious. Who cares if she is or isn’t?

Apparently only the enlightened One’s administration. That’s all.
Too funny.

ORconservative on April 17, 2010 at 6:15 PM

<blockquoteThis whole story smells a little fishy to me.

TXUS on April 17, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Nicely done!

PakviRoti on April 17, 2010 at 6:15 PM

After the 1-2 radical picks, he’ll pick Hillary, whom he wanted in the first place, so as to not deal with the Clintons in 2012.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2010

Hillary destroyed her own chances when she locked her lips onto Obama’s zipper by accepting SOS. She can’t oppose him in 2012 without looking like a turncoat which, to the Democrats, is usually a feature, not a bug. But not in this case with the presidency as the prize. I still think the jug-eared whiff of flatulence was brilliant in his evil plot to neutralize the Clintons forever. This is why I don’t think the boy-king will even consider Hillary for SCOTUS. He doesn’t need to.

SKYFOX on April 17, 2010 at 6:20 PM

The WH must not want her – what a perfect way to destroy her nomination.

rock the casbah on April 17, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Outta be a perfect position for Eric Massa

roflmao

donabernathy on April 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM

She’s in the closet? I don’t think so. I remember an article a few yrs? back with her and her partner or gf was discussed. I think she lives openly. In any event, I’m guessing most ppl are like me and assumed she was out.

di butler on April 17, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Is it true that lesbians popourri is an open can of tuna fish?

Sonosam on April 17, 2010 at 6:42 PM

donabernathy on April 17, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Vile and crass.

massrighty on April 17, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Yep, not many but Obowma would care if she was openly gay (unless she let that affect her judgement, as in wise Latina…). He wants to make another historic pick. Everything this clown does has to be historic or unprecedented.

Sadly, a lot of folks like historic picks. Maybe some day we’ll get to chosing people based on their merits, but I guess there is still history to be made – so the country has to suffer a while longer.

reaganaut on April 17, 2010 at 6:48 PM

According to a homosexual website, “Queerty”:

…As we understand it, Kagan is out, but has not commented on her sexuality for reporters. But most notable about Kagan is not her sexuality, but her status: While all the Supreme Court’s sitting justices have been judges, Kagan has never held a bench seat…

http://www.queerty.com/will-obama-pick-u-s-solicitor-general-elena-kagan-for-the-supreme-court-20100405/

sinsing on April 17, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Well, if the nomination is politically toxic at all to Dems, why would she even be chosen? Better to pass on her, especially given the current political climate, no?

BKeyser on April 17, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Most major news organizations have policies against “outing” Democrat gays or reporting on the sex lives of public officials unless they are related to their public duties. Republicans.

FIFY

angryed on April 17, 2010 at 7:15 PM

BTW…this is kinda funny and shows you what happens when you leave advertizing in the hands of keyword engines….the banner ads for this story I am seeing are for visitgaypalmsprings.com

angryed on April 17, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Only 55 per cent? In 2010? That’s embarrassing.

YYZ on April 17, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Pray tell, what does the date have to do with anything?

OldEnglish on April 17, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Ben Domenech is still around even after this debacle?

Wow, how quickly people forget.

AprilOrit on April 17, 2010 at 7:34 PM

I don,t care if she is gay ,bi,straight or none of the above.Does she believe the constitution means what is says and it not a living breathing document.Does she believe she would be on the court to interrupted the law not to make law.Does she believe if the constitution does not give the fed gov.the power to do something they can,t do it.Does she believe that all powers not given to the fed gov.in the constitution are reserved for the states as long as the states do not violate the constitution.If she believes all of this then i could give a damn who she romantically involved with.

thmcbb on April 17, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Let the first Senator who has no sin cast the first stone. There are no perfect SCOTUS candidates and, gay or not, this attribute is no greater deal than anything else. However, if there is any inclination that this woman simply can’t get over the fact that she is a)gay and b) a woman, and c) happens to be a SCOTUS justice, then that is cause for concern. Justices ought to be able to look past themselves. cf. Maxine Waters grilling Clarence Thomas recently over affirmative action policies. He wasn’t amused, nor interested in her BS.

ted c on April 17, 2010 at 8:05 PM

i just had a comment go off the rim there. dunno why, maybe it sucked, but it was on the straight up.

ted c on April 17, 2010 at 8:12 PM

It’s the Constitution, stupid. Don’t care who you light on or who lights you up when the lights are off. Sadly, no one Obama appoints will share the first belief.

So, take a walk on the wild side, honey.

TXUS on April 17, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Where there’s smoke, there’s mirrors.

spmat on April 17, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Vile and crass.

massrighty on April 17, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Because being a lesbian is somehow moral.

spmat on April 17, 2010 at 9:32 PM

The only thing I’m certain of is that whoever the jug-eared fart stain nominates will not regard the Constitution as a revered founding document worthy of protection. To him/her it will be the basis of whatever origami animal they wish to make of it.

SKYFOX on April 17, 2010 at 9:32 PM

can’t get over the fact that she is a)gay and b) a woman, and c) happens to be a SCOTUS justice, then that is cause for concern.

ted c on April 17, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Used to be, this was stated in the form: she is a SCOTUS justice and happens to be a) gay and b) a woman.

Now it’s more important that you’re gay and a woman. Ok. Good to know where our sensibilities are supposed to lie. I’ll be sure to vote as a heterosexual and a male.

spmat on April 17, 2010 at 9:39 PM

The only thing I’m certain of is that whoever the jug-eared fart stain nominates will not regard the Constitution as a revered founding document worthy of protection. To him/her it will be the basis of whatever origami animal they wish to make of it.SKYFOX on April 17, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Stealthy.

The Race Card on April 17, 2010 at 10:06 PM

IMHO: Seems to me that a nominee who exhibits cluelessness about something as well-documented and obvious as sex could not be relied upon to understand the Constitution. This should be an automatic disqualification.

If that costs me “politically correct” points, so be it!!!

landlines on April 17, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Oh, for God’s sake.
Nothing I hate more than a Republican acting like a common dimmy. Domenech (who?) is obviously clueless in his political as well as personal skills. Little wonder he’s unable to make a name for himself the “right” way.

n0doz on April 17, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Seems the Pinnochio administration is awefully defensive here.

I don’t particularly care if Pinnochio is gay or bi-sexual, or if he wants to appoint a fellow gay or bi-sexual to SCOTUS I’m more concerned with his constant lying and just plain makin stuff up!

dhunter on April 17, 2010 at 10:59 PM

I admit to being concerned about a gay judge. If only because my experience has been that gays are extremely clannish, and do not hesitate to use their authority and positions to look out for each other. At times in ways I felt were not really appropriate- and this includes some judges. Worse, many gay people seem to feel that the gay person in authority has an obligation to back up his gay brothers.

Now I’m not too upset about people helping their own, but gays have an intensity that disturbs me. Especially when combined with their… well bluntly, vengeful attitude towards Christians.

You don’t think there is some concern about a judge declaring the tax free nature of certain denominations invalid because they take the conservative position on an issue like gay marriage? (I point out that this would allow the government the ability to punish denominations whose creeds are out of favor with the party in power, and would be the deathblow to religious liberty). The gay community regularly calls for such actions. Can I be sure that a gay judge won’t be sympathetic to such demands?

Now does that mean a gay person can’t be a good and honest Supreme Court judge, just that it’s a warning sign to me that a we need to scrutinize a person very harshly and make sure they are connected with the radicals.

Sackett on April 17, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Uggggh, here we go. There are tiers of crazy Democrat activists, and the very top of the morally bankrupt chain is the gay activist. Those people make your average feminist look like a proper school girl. Those people make black panthers look like pussy cats. These are the kind of people that will sue the Catholic Church on a whim because they don’t cater to homosexuals. They’re the kind of people that go after eHarmony instead of finding somewhere else to date.

I imagine Elena Kagan is one of those people. People who will find any pretext to force anyone else to cater to their needs or face personal, financial, and, if they could get away with it, physical ruin. God help us if this warped mind gets nominated and approved. No mind is more warped than that of the gay activist.

BKennedy on April 18, 2010 at 12:02 AM

I was hoping for someone who was openly Christian.

Okay, I’d even settle for a closet Christian. We’re a little light on the Protestant side of the house when it comes to the SCOTUS.

Mojave Mark on April 18, 2010 at 12:13 AM

Can we infer from this that the WH considers it an insult to call someone gay if they aren’t? In other words, is there something wrong with being gay, or being perceived to be gay? I only see the latter as a problem in personal relationships, not professional ones.

Once again we have proof that the left has at least as many, if not more, bigots than the right does. And at least our bigots reside mainly on the fringe. The left is steeped in their own hypocrisy.

NoLeftTurn on April 18, 2010 at 12:17 AM

Lourdes on April 17, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Dude, isn’t it possible she’s in the closet — if she is is in the closet — for personal reasons? Maybe she’s got an 85-year-old mother or something who is still alive and would rather not be told her daughter is a lesbian.

There are lots of reasons gay people don’t discuss their sexual orientation. Most of them are not “hiding” it for subversive reasons. Aren’t we always saying on Hot Air that we don’t want our side to engage in identity politics? Making an issue of her sexual preference does just that. The only relevant question here is whether she is a strict constructionist with respect to the Constitution. She’s probably not, but that has nothing to do with who she’s sleeping with. The sheer number of gay commenters we have here at Hot Air is enough evidence that gays are just as likely to be originalists as they are not to be. There’s hardly a causal relationship between the two.

NoLeftTurn on April 18, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Stealthy.

The Race Card on April 17, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Who let the trolls out?

platypus on April 18, 2010 at 1:34 AM

Why is it so many allegedly straight men feel that Lesbians exist only to fulfill their mistaken fantasy of 2 women and him in bed for sex? Never fails to amuse me.

Kagan: could care less what she is, but more what she believes as a jurist. Based on the fact she’s on Obowma’s list…she’s just to the left of Ruth Buzzy Ginsberg. Not a good thing for me. Tie up her nomination and make sure it never comes to a vote.

Tie the nominations up until we have control of the Senate again. I don’t care how long THAT takes.

JP1986UM on April 18, 2010 at 3:33 AM

Seeing more ‘women on women’. Not surprised to hear it at all. Just go to the mall. You can get a good slice of society right there.

johnnyU on April 18, 2010 at 6:55 AM

You pretty much have the ‘woman the wage earner’ and the stay at home wife for her. Same as its always been but now it just has no men involved.

johnnyU on April 18, 2010 at 6:57 AM

Bill Maher would be the candidate befitting this administration.

Cybergeezer on April 18, 2010 at 10:24 AM

According to a CBS poll taken last month, 55 percent say they’d be okay with it.

Pfffft. It’s a CBS poll. In realistic terms that would be closer to 20%

Guardian on April 18, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Hmmmmmm, Let’s see now. The One is opposed to gay marriage, becomes angry when SCOTUS candidate is reported gay.
Could the One be (gasp)….a HOMOPHOBE????

Herb on April 18, 2010 at 11:01 AM

The Obama administration comes off as being homophobic in their response.

I personally don’t care what one’s sexual desires are like as long as they aren’t illegal.

But the response from Obama’s team is very strange.

ButterflyDragon on April 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM

“so as to not deal with the Clintons in 2012”.
Schadenfreude on April 17, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Come 2012 the Clintons are going to be the least of his problems.

DSchoen on April 18, 2010 at 4:56 PM

The left is steeped in their own hypocrisy.
NoLeftTurn on April 18, 2010 at 12:17 AM

Obama righted this ship and set it’s coarse, he really shouldn’t expect fair weather ahead.

DSchoen on April 18, 2010 at 5:00 PM

1 Is the Whitehouse afraid of truth being made public?
2 Is the whitehouse getting a dose of false reports like they heaped on Gov Palin?
3 Is the white house transparent?
Mullets and flannel shirts give a little contrast to the elitist styles.

seven on April 18, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Hmmmmmm, Let’s see now. The One is opposed to gay marriage, becomes angry when SCOTUS candidate is reported gay.
Could the One be (gasp)….a HOMOPHOBE????

Herb on April 18, 2010 at 11:01 AM

NOT IF HE HAS ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT!

BobAnthony on April 19, 2010 at 8:43 AM

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