He's Limp, He's Limp, He's Limp, He's In My Head

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 3 2010 11:01 AM

He's Limp, He's Limp, He's Limp, He's In My Head

My favorite responses to Sarah Palin calling reporters like Vanity Fair writer Michael Gross "impotent" and "limp" -- the sexual insult is less subtext then plain old text -- come from The Advocate and from GOProud's chairman Chris Barron. The Advocate, keying off the fact that Gross is gay -- which I didn't know -- accuses Palin of using "emasculating words that have long been used as euphemisms for homosexuality." Barron scoffs:

It is The Advocate , not Sarah Palin, whois guilty of "gay-baiting." I don’t think most people associate thewords "impotent," "limp," or "gutless" with being gay – I know Icertainly don’t.  If the folks at The Advocate think thesewords are euphemisms for being gay or lesbian then I think that speaksvolumes about their own internalized homophobia. 

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Let's take a step back and consider this: How often do we hear a politician make a comment that could be interpreted either as a dig at sexual prowess or at sexuality? Not often, right? But this comes 31 day after Palin analyzed the Obama response to illegal immigration as a lack of "cajones." And back in May, Palin's first reaction to Joe McGinniss renting the house next door* to her was a not-so-thinly viewed accusation that he wanted to peer in on her daughter Piper. I see a pattern here.

*McGinniss told me in May that he planned to leave after Labor Day, so I don't think he'll be there much longer.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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