And they’re coming around the turn in the 2020 Asshole of the Year Derby! Senator Hirono is making her move! Here she comes out of the pack! It’s going to be a photo finish!
At Tuesday’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) asked Barrett if she would roll back protections for LGBT citizens. Barrett responded that she “never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.” Hawaii’s Senator Mazie Hirono then accused Barrett of using “outdated and offensive” terminology. (Later, so did Senator Cory Booker, who said Barrett was implying by the term that being gay was a choice and not an immutable characteristic.)
“Sexual preference … is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice,” the Democratic scold intoned. “It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity. If it is your view that sexual orientation is merely a preference, as you noted, then the LGTBQ should be rightly concerned whether you would uphold their constitutional right to marry.”
Barrett was forced into apologizing, insisting that this was not her intention. I say “forced,” because when you are in a confirmation hearing and the vote is going to be a squeaker, you can’t say, as she justifiably could have, “Really Senator? You’re dictating politically correct words and language now? It was quite clear what I meant, and that kind of phrase policing is a cheap shot. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
It was also stupid on Hirono’s part, but then, this was Mazie Hirono. It was stupid because she should have known that thousands of inquiring minds would immediately hit the web to find out just how hypocritical this particular “gotcha!” was.
Sure enough, In a May roundtable discussion Joe Biden promised to “rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class, but this time bring everybody along regardless of color, sexual preference, their backgrounds.” The late Justice Ginsburg, whom Hirono called “our champion” during remarks the day before, said during an interview in 2017, “Our society has come to respect people, whatever their sexual preference.” Clearly, this suggested that she would oppose the marriage rights of…oh. Right. Senator. Richard Blumenthal (D.- Conn.) and Senator Dick Durbin (D.- Ill.), both current members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also have used have used “sexual preference.”
This was a contrived “gotcha!” at best. I prefer “sexual orientation,” but I have also used “sexual preference” in a broader sense, which legitimately describes preferences regarding sexual practices. I also have friends who describe themselves as bi-sexual, and some will say they “prefer” one gender over another for rolls in the hay, or that they prefer rolls in the hay to standing in the shower, or being dangled by cables.
Ann Althouse was in fine pedant form, writing,
“I don’t think it’s true that we choose our preferences. It might suggest that who we love — and who we feel sexually attracted to — is lightweight, more like which flavor ice cream we like better than another. Yes, you prefer to have sex with a blonde, but if you can’t have the blonde, the brunette will do just as well. Why not get bent out of shape about “sexual orientation” then? Orientation suggests pointing east or west on a landscape. All you have to do is turn around and you’ll have a different orientation. And why the focus on immutability anyway? I think even if sexual attraction is a matter of choice, your choice is worth of respect. Choices are important and a good foundation for rights in a free society. Think of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom to have political opinions and to speak about them. These things matter in part because they can change and you do have a choice. Indeed, the right to have an abortion is referred to as the right to choose.”
All true, and way too much thought and erudition to be wasted on a dumb and desperate comment by a deeply nasty and stupid woman. The Senator’s low blow does demonstrate just how desperate and principl-free Democrats have become, and the level of combat they now prefer. Using choice-of- word “gotchas” to substitute for a substantive argument is gutter-level discourse on blogs, never mind Senate confirmation hearings.
But wait! There’s more!
Miriam-Webster, the dictionary people, just provided one more example of just how biased and unscrupulous supposedly objective arbiters are in the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck. The online definition of sexual preference was changed from the top version to the bottom version after Hirono’s objection!
This is the kind of coordinated thought- and word- control those who vote blue in the upcoming election will be endorsing.