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Aug 12, 2004 10:44 pm

An American Corollary to Godwin's Law ...

If your memory reaches back to usenet, you'll recall Godwin's Law, that the longer a thread grows the more likely it is to heat up and, as it flames, the odds of someone getting compared to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis approach one. Godwin's Law held that, when that happened, the argument was over and the one making the comparison had lost.

If we hadn't already known it, we've recently found the American corollary to Godwin's Law in rhetoric on the American Right. Perhaps they learned it from the Left, but it's interesting that the thread doesn't grow long before the slavemaster is invoked these days. Alan Keyes's attack on Oback Barama's position on abortion is the most public instance of it. On the net, Clayton Cramer defends his anti-gay rhetoric by invoking the slavemasters' sinister influence."... whatever the libertarian theory is in favor of treating homosexuals like everyone else," says Cramer,

the enormous threat to civil liberties that they insist on imposing on the rest of the society makes them dangerous. They are like slaveowners in antebellum America: few in number, but rich, arrogant, and powerful, because of their internal political cohesion. Their sexual behavior (at least if they can stay away from children) isn't the biggest hazard; it is the corruption of the political process that they cause in their effort to suppress dissenting opinions, through anti-discrimination laws, through their attempts at shutting people up.
Query: Does Governor James McGreevy's resignation tend to confirm or refute Cramer's charge? Or is it beside the point? A tip of the hat to CrescatSententia. Update: As one might expect, Clayton is grooving on the McGreevy story, but there's something voyeuristic about all this.
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More Comments:

Tim Lambert - 8/13/2004

If your memory reaches back to Usenet you might recall Clayton since he made it into the net.legends faq:

Clayton E. Cramer (Homosexual men often have that many in a week):
Contrib. post:
Clayton seems to have made it his personal crusade to move into
relatively sane groups and turn them into stinking hells of political
flame by starting an anti-homosexual flame war.
Try ca.politics, ba.politics or *.politics.* groups. A sample:
#Newsgroups: ba.politics,ca.politics
#From: (Clayton Cramer)
#Subject: Re: Which comes first?
#Distribution: ba
#George Lambert <> wrote:
#> (Clayton Cramer) writes:
###Because "monogamy" for many gay men means they come home to the
###same guy after a long night of anonymous sex at the bars. I have
###a few postings from soc.motss that refer to being married, yet
###then talk about disappointing sexual experiences out at the bars.
##Just like heaps of straight men and women, Clayton. Wanna take on the
##straight crowd now?
#As usual, you are wrong. The average lifetime number of sexual
#partners for Americans is around seven. Homosexual men often have
#that many in a week.

Robert KC Johnson - 8/12/2004

I think McGreevy did an excellent job as governor under very trying circumstances.

That said, I'm not sure how significant the gay angle is in this story. Heterosexual affairs finished the careers of two governors in the last two years--Paul Patton (KY) and Bob Wise (WV). In Patton's case, it appears he helped his lover obtain state contracts (she ran a nursing home) and then retaliated against her after they broke up; in Wise's case, the matter did not involve his public duties, but nonetheless he chose not to run for reelection.

As the Craker post (rather vilely) points out, there are hints (and these allegations aren't new) that McGreevy's case is closer to Patton's than Wise's, in that he used his authority to help his lover. If so, he had little choice but to resign.

Jonathan Dresner - 8/12/2004

I can't even figure out where to start on Cramer. There are so many levels of homophobia and hysteria there, in that little passage.....

McGreevy's resignation confirms my belief that personal life is intruding way too much into political life, but homosexuality in this case is a problem not because of homosexuals but because of societal attitudes towards them.

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