By DOUG IBENDAHL • June 5, 2010
Unlike Mark Kirk, gay activist and blogger Mike Rogers has never been caught lying. Rogers is of course the person who outed Mark Kirk from the closet this week, a few days after Kirk voted against the repeal of Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell (DADT). That was basically the first significant vote Kirk had ever cast against the gay agenda during 10 years in Congress.
We don’t have to endorse Mr. Rogers’ personal lifestyle or even his political methods to have respect for his honesty and consistency. Rogers is very open about the fact that he loathes hypocrisy. When he sees a gay politician voting against the political interest of fellow gays, he outs them, on the basis that such politicians are dishonest hypocrites.
This all raises an obvious question – how often are the votes of closeted politicians influenced by this Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads? Why for example did Mark Kirk have such a consistent record of supporting the pro-gay agenda right up until the recent vote on DADT? Can it all just be explained by saying he’s a liberal Republican? Or has Kirk cast certain votes in the past because he’s always feared the kind of public outing he finally got this week? We’ll probably never know for certain. And that’s the problem when you’ve got a public official who has a big secret to hide – be it being gay or some other secret – especially when it’s not such a big secret to everyone. An elected official makes our public policy and so when you’ve got one who is compromised, that has to be a major concern for everyone.
This is the “blackmail” issue – although “blackmail” probably isn’t the best word in this case. Blackmail is a crime and Mike Rogers is clearly committing no crime.
Rogers is instead a guy who takes accountability very seriously and he’s willing to play hardball. Conservatives in Illinois who mostly muddle around losing ground and getting nothing done could learn a lesson or two from Rogers.
I’m sure Rogers would say that Kirk simply should have been open and honest from the very beginning of his political career. I would agree with that. An honest politician wouldn’t have to live in fear of a public outing, and constituents would have some confidence that votes weren’t being cast for purely selfish reasons.
As it stands now, the fact that Kirk wasn’t honest – on several fronts including of course his military record – poses a serious threat to Republican chances across the board in Illinois. Republicans should be outraged at Kirk.
The so-called mainstream media has for the most part been resistant to covering this outing story thus far, although it has certainly been all over the blogosphere. I’ve heard some of the journalists on their high horses voicing their supposed concerns. But what it really comes down to is it’s become politically incorrect to bring up the gay issue under any circumstances. Sure, it’s perfectly fine for big media companies like the Chicago Tribune to even rush to court to creep into the personal married life of a straight man like Jack Ryan – but gay is not only okay, it’s sacrosanct.
The media outlets ignoring this story are wrong. I would put the credibility and track record of Rogers up against that of anyone in the Illinois news media. Don’t forget, this is the same guy who was right about Larry Craig, Mark Foley and a number of other previously closeted politicians. To my knowledge, no one has ever been able to discredit his research or writing.
Here is a video of Mike Rogers as a guest on The View last year. Watch it and tell me this guy isn’t a serious professional and a very credible source on this issue.
Mark Kirk caught a big break during the Primary when it was Andy Martin who pushed these allegations. Well, Mike Rogers is not Andy Martin. Martin had other things in his past that made it simple for Kirk to make Martin the focus, instead of his claims. That’s not the case here with Rogers.
I’ve never met Mike Rogers or talked with him. But I’ve followed his writing enough to know this is not some reckless bomb-thrower. Clearly he is very careful and he takes due diligence very seriously.
Here is what one of Rogers’ fellow gay bloggers/activists says about him. Now granted this person has to be at least a little biased, because he acknowledges that Rogers is a friend. Still, from what I’ve observed by following Rogers’ work for a couple of years, this description sounds about right.
From the blog DownWithTyranny:
Mike Rogers is a friend of mine, and I will tell you he is a million times more cautious than I am about outing hypocritical Republican homosexuals who do harm to the gay community. Oh, we see eye-to-eye on doing it; he just demands a lot more proof than I do. We’ve both looked at the evidence that points conclusively to gay escapades by vicious homophobes like Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Trent Franks (R-AZ), for example. I routinely refer to them as closet cases. Mike never does. I warned people about Mark Foley’s shenanigans for two solid years before Mike had enough evidence to satisfy the media and his own high standards for outing. Mike knew flabbergasting details about Larry Craig’s grubby, closeted world long before he finally fingered him. He only does it on open-and-shut cases.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.