Not the Gay Old Party

Evan Smith and Erik Tarloff

Not the Gay Old Party

Evan Smith and Erik Tarloff

Not the Gay Old Party
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Aug. 2 2000 4:57 PM

Evan Smith and Erik Tarloff

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Erik:

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Maybe Bush did indeed take the privilege of first-class treatment at a baseball game for granted. Or maybe he was bored--it was, after all, the Orioles playing.

I'm still pretty pissed off about this Jim Kolbe thing, so I want to keep it alive (I hope you'll say your few words on the subject). What it is about gays and lesbians that causes the GOP to come undone? There are obviously homosexual elected officials who are members of the party (though one wonders why, much like some wonder why Colin Powell chooses to be a Republican when his confreres seem to treat African Americans like props), and there are homosexuals throughout Republican cells of federal, state, and local government. Opposing gays in the military is one thing--to my mind it's the wrong thing, but at least you can have a reasonable intellectual debate about the pros and cons and the effect that the presence of gays and lesbians will or won't have on the armed forces. But was it wrong for Dick Cheney to have a gay spokesman at the Pentagon? Should the Arizona Republicans recruit a straight candidate to run against Kolbe? Would the dissenting Texas delegates, Einsteins and Schweitzers all, impose a sexual-orientation litmus test for membership in the party? Fortunately Bush would have no part of such a proposal, and he'll have nothing to do with such people (or shouldn't--I'd be anxious for a reporter to ask him what he thought of the disgraceful behavior by members of his own delegation. Jacob Weisberg, you out there? If you're worried that W. won't talk to you, tell 'em Bob Rubin says hello). Of course, Bush does have his own slightly squirrelly history with sexual preference. You may remember that when he finally relented and met with a group of gay Republicans in Austin during the primary season, they were handpicked supporters, not the Log Cabin folks who'd complained that he was dragging his feet on the issue. And when reporters began to question him too closely after the meeting, W. dashed out of the press conference, saying he had to crown the new Bluebonnet Queen. Presumably she wasn't one of those queens.

By the way, did you see Rudy Giuliani next to Bob Dole at the convention last night? Tee hee--one can't get it up, and one can't not get it up. (But seriously, folks ... Thanks, I'm here all month.) I'm amazed at how the mayor has completely disappeared from the radar screen these past few weeks, and a little sorry, frankly. He was in every paper, on every show, all the time when he was running against Hillary, and although I think he's a stinker--he's a liar and a hypocrite, and he's turned Times Square into a goddamned theme park--he was great fun to watch. Rick Lazio is extraordinarily boring, and at the same time so unctuous that you want to kick him. I had a bet with one of W.'s media guys that Hillary would beat Rudy, and around February I convinced myself I would lose. When Rudy dropped out, I thought: I've got it made. Lazio couldn't beat an egg. He's nobody, and he doesn't believe in anything. Is Hillary lucky or what? But the fact that the polls are still even, and that in some Lazio is a few points ahead, proves how bad a candidate Hillary ultimately is. Her negatives are so high and so set in stone that it may actually be impossible for her to defeat him--or anyone else, for that matter. She is a mystery to me--I have never, ever seen her come off as likeable in a public setting, on TV, or even in a print interview. Though I'm sure that if she were in the owner's box at Camden Yards, she'd stick it out until the seventh-inning stretch.

Best,
Evan

Evan Smith is the editor ofTexas Monthly. Erik Tarloff is the author of Face-Time (click here to buy it) and the newly published The Man Who Wrote the Book (click here to buy it).