I mean that!
Four hours ago I did something so reprehensible that I would have told you at almost any previous point in my life I would never do such a thing. I outed someone, maybe, sort of. After a good four hours sleep I don’t feel the least twinge of guilt but upon waking I knew I’d cast some dies that won’t easily be broken.
Before I get any further in a fancy rationalization let me say I have no way of knowing if Duluth City Councilor and DFL candidate for the 8th Congressional Seat in Minnesota is gay. I just know that every political junky I run into in Duluth seems to think he is. Apparently that’s because Jeff has not hidden this from anyone in his close personal inner circle.
So, rationalization number one. If this is true then Jeff hasn’t really been outed. I have certainly revealed a rumor that he has no doubt been hoping wouldn’t become a factor in his campaign – one he has probably been spending a couple years trying to figure out how to deal with should it emerge.
If its not true that just makes me an idiot for believing, or reporting, a rumor.
If it is true it just means I’ve hastened a process that would eventually have made headlines anyway. I’ve only accelerated the process.
Rationalization number two: I’ve always believed it better to get potentially unpleasant information out of the way as early as possible. I think that Jeff’s political future is better off letting this bit of news air sooner than later.
This is perhaps even more important for the entire Eighth District DFL. Frankly, if the rumors are true Jeff’s personal openness among friends was putting the entire machinery of the party at jeopardy. It takes a lot of effort to elect a candidate. Its not fair to ask a lot of folks to push ahead for a candidate who has kept something this significant semi cloaked. If Jeff had been utterly closeted, yes. But in this case it would be like telling someone you are partly pregnant. If you’re going to be half way out you might as well be out all the way.
Up until now I’ve only applied this let it all hang out modus operandi to my life story and my reputation. Since I’m the first person that I know of to broach the subject in a public space regarding someone else I feel that I must accept some consequences. Oh, I’ll get some serious flack. Outers always do and in my case I can’t even claim to be a “whistle-blower.” My previous interest in challenging for Congress makes this outing far too selfish an action. Therefore, I am going to suspend posting on Lincoln Democrat for the most part until November has come and gone. I won’t take off my campaign webpage. I might even file for Congress. What I will concentrate on is writing my book. This blog is too addictive and my serious writing can’t even begin to compete for my attention.
If I begin cranking out a book beyond the first few chapters I’ll be quite happy to have an online campaign to tout and advertise the book.
I have utterly purged myself of irritation at Jeff for being a standard issue, no-controversy politician. I may have just pushed him onto very thin ice. I will be fascinated to see how he deals with this. I’ve always been a fan of the old Chinese character for “crisis.” Its symbol is made up of two other characters one for “danger” and the other “opportunity.”
Jeff is a much more relevant sounding speaker than Rick Nolan. He’s a vet and had to live under “don’t ask don’t tell.” Since that godawful rule has been set aside I see no reason for an open politician to enforce it in his personal life even if he has chosen a political one.
The rural Eighth District is one of the more likely parts of the state to vote for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to hetersexual couples but I can also imagine those same voters electing, however narrowly, a good candidate for Congress who just happens to be gay. I can’t see them voting for a candidate who lurks in the shadows and by continuing to hide in the dark Jeff was doing his campaign little good. He was simply sitting on a time bomb. Now I’ve set it off for Jeff.
Good luck Jeff. If you are gay you’ve got some excellent role models out there to emulate. Maybe even my personal favorite political hero who’s name I’ve appended to the blog. I still don’t think Abe was gay but I have to admit its not a settled question.