This is necessarily a reprise of a column I wrote here a little less than a year ago, asking, with similar basis (that is, knowing nothing), "Is Sonia Sotomayor Gay?"
I asked that question then in an effort to make fun of the question.
But my subtlety, playfulness, and, if I do say so, impishness, went over or under just about everybody's head. The issues that I was trying to make fun of became the issues with which I was beaten senseless: a) Who's business is it if she is? b) How could I ask this question without any evidence or knowledge? c) Didn't I understand how I was poisoning the debate? d) What was I, a reactionary slob of an unreconstructed man? e) And didn't I know I was playing into the hands of the right, if I wasn't myself a right-winger?
It could, I suppose, be my fault that my mildly sardonic question has now graduated to a mainstream political accusation and, from the other side, operatic offense. Early last week, a blogger at the Atlantic took note of a whisper campaign about solicitor general and potential Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's sexual orientation. Then a blogger at CBSNews.com, one with an ostensible right-wing view, wrote a post assuming that Kagan was, in fact, gay and her prospective nomination part of the gay-liberal agenda (although he subsequently seemed to apologize for assuming this, or for assuming that everyone else knew what he knew). Then the White House, strangely, denied the accusation, which means all evidence about the poor woman's sexual comings and goings suddenly becomes fair game.
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