Guess Who’s A Hypocrite?
Sen. Rob Portman’s sudden reversal of his long-held and vocally expressed revulsion toward everything gay—including marriage—is being hailed by some as a virtuous, generous, open-minded and courageous act. It is nothing of the sort.
Portman’s change was precipitated by the fact that his own son….that is, a real person he cares about…revealed that he was gay, requiring Portman to choose between following through, in ways that would, for the first time, have unpleasant personal consequences, on his supposedly deeply held, faith-based opposition to gay rights in America, or to abandon those core moral beliefs in the time it takes to throw out an ill-fitting pair of pants. What Portman has gone through is a classic “foxhole conversion,” in the manner of the atheist who suddenly finds God when death is near and it seems wise to hedge his bets.
There is nothing courageous or admirable about this at all. To the contrary, it proves that Portman’s earlier position condemning people like his son was based on political expediency, ignorance, recklessness, cold disregard for anyone not like him, or dishonesty, and I really don’t care which.
We have seen such conduct from the Right before, memorably in Dan Quayle’s admission that despite his absolute conviction, or so he had said, that abortion was morally wrong and ought to be illegal even in cases of rape or incest, he would, hypothetically, support his teen-aged daughter’s decision to have an abortion because he loved her. We have seen it from the Left, too, as in the situation memorably dramatized in the film “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?” Individuals who advocate political, economic, moral and policy positions that they would oppose in the jerk of a knee if they had real, personal consequences are undercover hypocrites. They have not applied the Golden Rule; how they would feel if the were in the position of those whose lives they so cavalierly would affect has never entered their consciousness. What this flip-flop tells us about Sen. Rob Portman is that nobody should respect or take notice of what he thinks or says he thinks, and that having such a man casting one of a hundred votes in the U.S. Senate means that the body is, at best, only 99% responsible, competent or trustworthy. Continue reading →