Is a Little Homophobia OK for the Secretary of Defense?
President Obama’s nomination for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has been drawing a lot of criticism.
That’s not surprising. Democrats have a case against him because he’s a Republican, and Republicans are bound to look down on him– because Obama nominated him. But it’s the criticism of some of the Super PACs that caught my eye. The Americans for a Strong Defense claimed Hagel would make America “a weaker country.” Well, that sounds like a legitimate concern. Heck, that sounds like the opposite of what he should be doing. But the Use Your Mandate super PAC called Hagel “anti-gay,” which got me to think: aren’t all Defense Secretaries a little anti-gay?
I don’t mean straight-up gay-bashing homophobes, but they would walk out of a brunch if someone started singing show tunes. Were there ever any straight up pro-gay Defense Secretaries? And I may be in the wrong here, but I’m okay if our Defense Secretary is a little anti-gay; again, I don’t mean “bullying-persecuting-anti-gay-monster” anti-gay. But if he rolls his eyes and quickly changes the channel when an old episode of Will and Grace comes on, I can turn a blind eye. If some school board president, or governor, or presidential candidate were described as anti-gay, I’d take issue. (I probably wouldn’t do anything about it, but I’d think that person was a jerk.)
But for whatever reason, in my book, the Defense Secretary gets a pass. Perhaps this makes me a hypocrite or a jerk, but I have the sneaking suspicion that guys like Louis Arthur Johnson, Robert MacNamara and James Schlesinger would have turned down tickets to see FUN. in concert, even if the tickets were free and there was going to be a white-hot Grace Jones drag set to open the show. Does that make them un-American? Or SUPER-American?
Ed Furman is a Second City alumni and a co-founder of the Annoyance Theater. He is a playwright and co-authored the hits Co-ed Prison Slutsand Rod Blagojevich: Superstar.