The venerable NY Times columnist Frank Rich is infinitely more talented and prominent than this writer. But this week we have very much in common. On October 12th I wrote a piece titled "FoleyGate Will Result in Greater Acceptance, Tolerance and Less Vitriol Against Gays By Republicans." Rich's op-ed Sunday Times is titled "The Gay Old Party Comes Out."
Earlier this past week I wrote: "Aside from perhaps being the proverbial House of Cards that brings down the GOP power chokehold, the Mark Foley scandal is a watershed moment in terms of how the Republican Party deals with homosexuality going forward....The importance of FoleyGate is that it shines a spotlight on the simple reality that the party with the loudest anti-gay voices is also the party that's filled with gays on every level, from staff member to Congressman to, as rumored, chairman of the party itself...The Foley scandal has proven to America that gay life is just as much a part of Republican life as it is in liberal circles. The only difference is that among conservatives it's more closeted and repressed... The true long-term significance of FoleyGate is that it proves to Mr. and Mrs. Joe America that the elephant is just as gay as his donkey colleague... As a result, I suspect the Republicans' push towards outlawing same-sex marriage and limiting other civil rights for gays will be muted at best and maybe even non-existent...The gay skeleton has been let out of the GOP closet. And he's not going back in."
Rich's piece Sunday included the following: "If anything good has come out of the Foley scandal, it is surely this: The revelation that the political party fond of demonizing homosexuals each election year is as well-stocked with trusted and accomplished gay leaders as virtually every other power center in America...Yet it is the same party's Congressional leadership that in 2006 did almost nothing about government spending, Iraq, immigration or ethics reform, but did drop everything to focus on a doomed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage...We must hope as well that this crisis will lead to a repudiation of the ritual targeting of gay people for sport at the top levels of the Republican leadership in and out of the White House."
I have a tremendous amount of respect and reverence for Frank Rich and consider him one of America's most prolific political writers. Which is why it's an honor to be on the same page (pun intended) with him on this issue. And while we're on fantasies? Perhaps Rich is an Ostroy Report reader who was inspired on October 12? I guess we'll never really know...