This news item caught my attention:
Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Committee on Rules announced he will not run for reelection February 29, 2012.
Dreier was redistricted out of his seat, and he had no stomach for running where he wasn't an incumbent. But here's the interesting part. Pay close attention:
Dreier was first elected to Congress in 1980. Now in his 16th term, he was considered a top choice in 2005 to take the Majority Leader position, which was instead given to Roy Blunt reportedly because of Dreier’s more moderate views. Dreier has been chairman of the House Rules Committee — which regulates House floor proceedings, debates and votes — since 1999.
“Moderate” my ass. Dreier had one of the most conservative voting records in Congress at the time, and still rates as a very conservative congresscritter. No, Dreier was bounced because too many of his fellow Republicans thought he was gay, just because he was a bachelor who lived with his Chief of Staff, Brad Smith, widely believed (and reported by various publications) to be his live-in lover.
In the spring and summer of 2004, two elected officials were accused of having same-sex lovers on the public payroll.
One of them, Jim McGreevey, was the center of a GOP/Media shitstorm that kept his face on the evening TV news — the national evening TV news, mind you — nearly every day, and in the most unfavorable way, for months on end, even after he’d announced that he wasn’t running for another term as governor of New Jersey. He loses everything: His job, his career, his wife, his family, the works. His life’s in ruins at the end of it all.
The other, David Dreier, got comparatively bupkis in terms in ill effects; only a few gay publications, blogs, and alternative weeklies bothered to mention the accusations, and they never made the evening TV news once, much less for months on end. In fact, the only real harm to come to Dreier manifested a year later, when the extremely conservative Dreier was denied the chance to succeed his friend Tom DeLay as House Majority Leader because of his alleged “moderate” tendencies. (Openly gay congressman Barney Frank quipped that in this case, the House Republicans meant “Yes, in the sense that I [Frank] marched in the moderate pride parade last summer and went to a moderate bar.”)
Don’t be surprised if this blog is the only place you see this news today.