Thursday, May 05, 2005

Wild, Wild West 

Update: I actually scooped Eschaton, who's just posted on the story below. But, according to Big Brass Blog, West has responded to the articles thusly: child molesting, no; gay sex with 18 year-olds, okay, yeah.
Normally, I wouldn't consider the subject matter of these articles to be fair game. Prominent male politician meets 18 year-old boys online, meets them in real life for sex. And, in fact, a reading of the online transcript provided in the articles is pretty innocuous. No deception or lies on the part of the older man and, in fact, he keeps his identity a secret until just before the point he's supposed to meet with one of the boys -- who was actually a former Customs agent turned spy for the newspaper.

Now, that said, I wouldn't consider the subject matter of these articles to be fair game, normally. It's the rest of what the paper reveals about Jim West, mayor of Spokane, that should absolutely make this activity an issue.

You see, Jim West, far from being an openly gay activist politician, is deeply closeted, very conservative and has acted at every opportunity to block any advances in gay rights, AIDS education or teen sexual education.

Secretly a homosexual, in public West is another "H" word. Hypocrite.
West and 14 other Republicans reacted strongly to Gov. Booth Gardner’s Christmas Eve 1985 executive order banning discrimination in state hiring based on sexual orientation.

Their 1986 bill, which failed, would have barred gay men and lesbians from working in schools, day-care centers and some state agencies. It called for screening prospective employees for sexual orientation and firing employees whose homosexuality became known...

In 1986, West voted to bar the state from distributing pamphlets telling people how to protect themselves from AIDS during sex. He said such instruction “is something people go buy at dirty bookstores.”...

During a 1990 hearing on AIDS education, West proposed that teen sex be criminalized.

The bill, written by the abstinence group Teen Aid, would have made sexual contact – not just sexual intercourse – a misdemeanor for unmarried teenagers 18 or younger. It defined sexual contact as “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person.”...

As a Senate leader, West consistently opposed efforts to expand civil rights protections for gays in jobs and housing.
It's a typical, and sad case, really -- the extremely closeted, self-loathing man who starts to explore his urges late, but simultaneously goes out of his way to persecute people who are openly gay; I think, partly, to distract suspicion from himself, but also to punish that aspect of himself that he hates. And a 53 year-old picking up an 18 year-old online and having sex with them, gay or straight, has got a very high ick factor.

Or maybe West is secretly crying out to be punished for his behavior. A revealing incident reported in the article:
In 1995, when allegations of sexual harassment involving Democratic Gov. Mike Lowry and a female aide were published in an independent counsel’s report, West called on the House to launch impeachment proceedings against Lowry.

“The governor should not be held to any lower standard than anyone else in our society. Governors cannot and should not flout the law,” West said. He was dressed down by his own caucus for making the proposal without consulting other Republican leaders.
Et tu, Brute?

Then, there's this dead-giveaway:
In a wide-ranging interview Wednesday night, West acknowledged he’d recently begun to seek out young men on the Internet and said he couldn’t explain why. “I don’t want to go into the whole issue, but I wouldn’t characterize me as ‘gay,’.” West said.
Hm. Which part of "fifty-three year old man having sex with eighteen year old boys" isn't characterizable as gay?

Oh yeah, right. It ain't gay if you don't kiss him. Or something like that.

As for West -- it's time to either get out of your closet or out of other people's sex lives. You can't have it both ways, dearie. And sooner or later, you're going to be yanked out of the closet kicking and screaming; sooner, now that the Spokesman Review is snooping under your petticoats.

I have two words for Jim West. James McGreevey. If you can't remember who he was, look him up.

And having read the linked article, it looks like consentual sex is going to be the least of his worries. I think the pedophelia will nail his coffin shut much quicker...

And aside from that aspect of it, damn do I hate hypocrites...
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