I understand that people make mistakes - I do all the time. My personal philosophy is honesty is always the best policy, and if you're upfront people tend to be more forgiving and understanding. One of my biggest pet peeves in the world is hypocrisy - and when your hypocrisy harms others, that's even worse.
Many Republicans have opposed granting federal rights to GBLT couples. A marriage is defined as between a man and woman, they say. (And of course some Democrats believe this too, but to a lesser extent.)
Whether you agree with this or not is not the problem (for the purposes of this post) - the problem comes when you aren't following through on your beliefs, following through on your statements, acting logically based on these beliefs, and then condemning others.
An article posted today on Reuters makes this point perfectly. It begins:
With a tearful admission and groveling apologies, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday became the latest member of a fast-growing club of U.S. politicians - the penitent sexual wanderers.As I said, we all make mistakes, and I'm not going to live in a glass house and throw stones. But I take issue when they (a) are documented hypocrites, and (b) still continue to persecute those who want to live honestly. The reason I mentioned Republicans above is not to pick on the party as a whole, but because they are known as "family first" and against GBLT marriage/partner rights. And it seems as if the loudest people in the fight are the ones that fall the hardest. Case in point, recent Republican scandals, according to the Reuters article:
(a) Louisiana Sen. David Vitter is considered a strong candidate for re-election next year despite admitting he had been a customer of a Washington D.C. prostitution ring.
(b) Nevada Senator John Ensign is hoping for political survival after confessing he had an affair with a campaign aide who was married to one of his top legislative advisers
(c) Congressman Mark Foley resigned in 2006 after he was revealed to have sent sexually explicit messages to congressional pages.
(d) Former Idaho Senator Larry Craig finished his term but did not run for re-election after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct. He was arrested in a Minneapolis airport men's room by an undercover officer who said he was soliciting sex (and he's denied vehemently that he's gay every since).
Not just Republicans, of course - former N.J. Governor James McGreevey announced he was gay - but he had fought for gay rights and resigned when the scandal broke. And former N.Y. governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after the prostitution ring scandal - but he had tried to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, and he resigned after the scandal broke.
Now, Gov. Sanford hasn't resigned at this point. But when news broke about the Clinton/Lewinski affair, Sanford publicly said, "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign). I come from the business side. If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone." So...does that only apply to others, and not you, Sanford?
"When we do these kinds of things like what happened with Ensign and now with Sanford it hurts our credibility as a party of good governing and of values," said Ron Kaufman, a Republican lobbyist who is close to Mr. Romney, in this NY Times article.
Right. Especially when you say that marriage is defined between a man and a woman, and gays shouldn't be allowed to have marriage/partner rights, but then you violate the sanctity of marriage by cheating and/or being gay yourself. Why should heterosexuals be allowed to screw up marriage, but gays don't even get the chance to be married at all? Heteros are harming the institution of marriage - but that's ok because it's a man and a woman?
A nice summary quote ended the NY Times article: "I think there is somewhat of an identity crisis in the Republican Party," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an evangelical group in Washington. "Are they going to be a party that attracts values voters, and are they going to be the party that lives by those values?"
Exactly. And this goes for anyone, any party, any time.