August 22, 2013

Bill de Blasio — with the help of Maureen Dowd and her untrustworthy tape recorder — hands Christine Quinn the gay card and she plays it...

... for all it's worth:
“I have a family. In my apartment, my wife and I, we’re a family,” she said, her voice cracking slightly. “Our 10 nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews, we’re a family. My father and I, Kim’s dad. we’re a family. When I took care of my mother when she was dying, that’s a family. Kim and I lost our mothers. People make personal decision, for medical reasons, all kinds of reasons, that go into why people do and don’t have children. And no one should comment about that and make it a political issue.”
Here's the background, in case you haven't been keeping up. Quinn and de Blasio are running for Mayor of NYC. Quinn is a childless lesbian. De Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, said something to Maureen Dowd that Dowd transcribed as a statement that Quinn is "not the kind of person I feel I can go up to and talk to about issues like taking care of children at a young age and paid sick leave."

Quinn jumped on that, de Blasio said his wife was misquoted, and Dowd's column was corrected, and the NYT revealed McCray's full quote, which came in response to Dowd's question why Quinn "was not rallying women." McCray said:
"Well, I’m a woman, and she’s not speaking to the issues that I care about, and I think a lot of women feel the same way. I don’t see her speaking to the concerns of women who have to take care of children at a young age or send them to school and after school, paid sick days, issues in the workplace — she’s not speaking to any of those issues. What can I say? And she’s not accessible, she’s not the kind of person that I feel that I can go up and talk to and have a conversation with about those things, and I suspect that other women feel the same thing that I’m feeling."
So McCray's point was that Quinn isn't speaking the right way, not that her being lesbian makes her not the kind of person who can relate to women with children. Maybe McCray was cleverly creating an occasion for people to think that, but she didn't say it.

And now, wait. I'm just now seeing Dowd's next paragraph, and it shatters the mental image I'd had of McCray:
Last spring, McCray did an interview with Essence magazine about her feelings about being a black lesbian who fell in love with a white heterosexual, back in 1991, when she worked for the New York Commission on Human Rights and wore African clothing and a nose ring and he was an aide to then-Mayor David Dinkins. With her husband, she was also interviewed by the press in December and was asked if she was no longer a lesbian, and she answered ambiguously: “I am married. I have two children. Sexuality is a fluid thing, and it’s personal. I don’t even understand the question, quite frankly.”
Whoa! Why isn't this the part of Dowd's column that's getting more attention?

Dowd goes on to talk about how Quinn has been "unable to get traction, even with women, despite talking more freely about the historical nature of her bid to become the first woman and lesbian to be mayor." Good. People shouldn't vote just to rack up another first.

NYC had a gay mayor in Ed Koch — right? He won in 1977, when his sexuality was known well enough that there were posters reading "Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo." He said in a 1989 interview: "I happen to believe that there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. It's whatever God made you. It happens that I'm a heterosexual."

So it's great if people find Quinn boring despite her firstiness. Dowd — either craftily or bumbling — found a way to make her interesting, and Quinn is displaying some political skill, exploiting what is exploitable.


Matthew Sablan said...

Any lesser reporter bungling a quote as badly as Dowd allegedly did would be fired. But, at least we know that when Preibus was misquoted as calling Romney racist, that wasn't just an example of bias against Republicans.

Modern journalists just can't be bothered to check their quotes.

surfed said...

Sexuality...always interesting.

Shouting Thomas said...

Quinn seems to me to be a shape shifter, that is, she's constantly reshaping her public ID to benefit more from belonging to every conceivable victim class.

So much for the idiot PC convention that sexual orientation is innate, and that people don't intentionally distort and pervert their sexuality for public adulation and political and economic gain. Claiming to be homo is the ultimate PR move for gain and has been for most of my life, despite Althouse's claims that gays operate at a disadvantage.

Gays are the favored pets in every environment that you can name that Althouse has experienced in her lifetime.

Just about everything that can be said publicly about homosexuality, at this time, is a lie. Including, just about everything Althouse has to say. Everybody is using homosexuality as a propaganda wedge, including Althouse. Homosexuality is such a powerful tool for propaganda that it is the only subject that Althouse will use for deliberate deception and propaganda. That's because her real campaign is for preferential treatment for gays. Why? Who knows?

jimbino said...

Childless is a term once used for those who couldn't have children. Nowadays, we find that anyone can have children, so the proper term is "childfree" to indicate those who don't want the annoyance.

Lyssa said...

Oh, God, with the "speaking to women's issues" thing. This women's issues are not "gimmee, gimmee, gimmee."

CatherineM said...

I think this is twice this week she played "the gay card." I am so sick of identity politics.

In every ad, DiBlasio parades his son who happens to have a big afro. What does that have to do with anything? I don't care about that stuff! What does that have to do with running the city? Why don't you tell people about the great you did while working for mayor Dinkins? Zero!

Tell me your plans to run the city, keep the lights on, the streets safe and the garbage picked up. Not your ideas on sexuality and race.

Toby said...

We've got lesbian mayor here in Houston. It wasn't an issue in the campaign - either pro or con - and it's irrelevant to the day-to-day politicking that takes place in a city with more than 2 million people. I guess we're just more cosmopolitan than those prudes in New York.

Ann Althouse said...

I lived in NYC in the 1970s, and in fact, Koch was my congressman. He was famous for standing at the top of the stairs of the subway so he could shake everyone's hand. There's Ed Koch again. He's always there. We were like: Do I have to shake his hand again? Doesn't he have some work to do?

We thought he was funny, doing that all the time.

Anyway, I lived in NYC from 1973 to 1984, and -- if my memory is right -- people routinely assumed he was gay.

DrMaturin said...

Every single candidate for Mayor of New York this year is a vacuous non-entity. The real issue should be why are there no excellent people running for Mayor. Not this nonsense.

John Borell said...

At this point, I need a score card to keep track of the players and their sexual orientations.

Oh, wait, no I don't, because I could no care less about the sexual orientation of any of them.

NYC is heading down the rabbit hole.

Inga said...

Perhaps McCray, who is now not into her own lesbian lifestyle and has embraced marriage to a heterosexual male and has children, is trying to make Quinn into someone who couldn't possibly embrace family and children because, you know... She's gay. McCray forgets that she herself, a former gay woman, is now embracing family life. Does McCray really think that only when you're married to a heterosexual and have biological children that is a possibility? She, McCray was trying to marginalize Quinn, but I think it may have backfired on her. This was not an innocent statement about Quinn's remoteness to family values and interests.

sonicfrog said...

Why is New York politics so.... Weird????

Matthew Sablan said...

"Does McCray really think that only when you're married to a heterosexual and have biological children that is a possibility?"

-- It's roughly the same logic the left uses against the right routinely and why some feminists go so far as to say men should have no say on abortion laws.

But, no. That's not what McCray thinks at all; the full quote explains that (it is a policy difference combined with the feeling that Quinn is not easy to get in touch with.)

Dowd misquoted/misrepresented the speaker.

traditionalguy said...

Modern Family is a great show. But the gay people that I meet are not happy and carefree all of the time. It is a hard way of life.

Maybe the job of being Mayor of NYC needs a person that can handle a hard way of life.

Carol said...

Sexuality is a fluid thing,

well she's right. People used to go back and forth all the time, esp gay at college to straight after, without feeling they were supposed to make some kind of political commitment over it.

Good on her.

rcocean said...

"Why is New York politics so.... Weird????"

How you seen the voters?

William said...

Whatever Koch's true sexual identity, he was discreet about it. I thank him for that. So far as sex goes, that should be a politician's first priority: be discreet......It seems to me that among the NYC mayoral field too much is known about the candidates' sexual preferences and too little about their past accomplishments. That said, I think we'd all be interested to know Bill Thompson's position on cunnilingus. I think we can safely say that DeBlasio, Quinn, and Weiner are in favor of carpet munching but that the other candidates have been circumspect on this important, social issue. It does seem that those most opposed to stop and frisk have been most supportive of carpet munching. The irony.

mikeski said...

Sexuality is a fluid thing

It is if you're doing it right.


Robert Cook said...

I've lived in NYC since 1981, and yes, New Yorkers always assumed Koch was gay...but he never confirmed it and neither has there ever been any other confirmation that I'm aware of.

ken in sc said...

Hey william,you have not been paying attention. The carpet has been removed, there is not even a throw rug.

El Pollo Raylan said...

...but he never confirmed it and neither has there ever been any other confirmation that I'm aware of.

Perhaps LGBT'ers should invent a "confimation" ceremony complete with anointing, laying on of hands, and prayers.