John McCain and his campaign are about to be getting all sorts of gay press.
Blogger Mike Rogers appeared on Michelangelo Signorile’s radio show today to reveal that Mark Buse, Senator McCain’s chief-of-staff, goes for the guys.
Why is this a big deal? Well, first and foremost, McCain’s running with ardently anti-gay Sarah Palin, a woman who scares us more than killer drag queens from outer space.
Also, there’s McCain kissing social conservative butt in exchange for electoral love.
Signorile first heard about Buse’s homosexuality from an ex-lover of the forty-four year olds, a story Signorile confirmed with a number of sources. Mike Rogers also found his own tipsters to dish the dirt.
Though Buse has never denied being gay and neither men seem interested in playing “gotcha” with the staffer, they say his history with McCain reveals the Republican presidential candidate’s own “hypocrisy.”
Today, Buse, 44, is one of the closest and most loyal men to Senator John McCain. He knows McCain’s family “intimately,” says Davis, and has spent much time with Cindy McCain. When Buse was in his early 20s, when Brian Davis met him, Buse worked as an intern for McCain, back when McCain was a House member. Twenty years later Buse has risen to the highest position in McCain’s Senate office. During those two decades he left McCain for a while to become an influential K Street lobbyist for Exxon Mobil, AT&T Wireless and other multinational corporations, emerging as someone very valuable to those companies – and to John McCain — after he returned to McCain’s Senate office.
But though some in the media have focused on Buse’s role as a lobbyist, none have looked at another increasingly relevant detail: Mark Buse’s sexual orientation. And yet, it’s a detail that reveals hypocrisy about John McCain that is as clear as that of his reputation to take on the corporate interests while he has registered lobbyists on his staff and campaign.
John McCain is opposed to every single gay rights measure of recent years –- from a hate crimes bill, to an anti-discrimination bill to an attempt to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military –- and is publicly on record supporting a ballot measure in California this November to strip gays and lesbians there of their legally-won right to marry in that state. If that isn’t enough to make it relevant to report on his 20-year-relationship with a close aide and chief of staff who is gay, the fact that Sarah Palin is now on the ticket — garnering support for McCain from previously reticent antigay leaders like James Dobson of Focus on the Family –- surely does.
Mark Buse’s sexual orientation and his relationship with McCain certainly are relevant facts in light of Palin’s positions, beliefs, past political career and silence on the issues right now. And John McCain is the person responsible for making them relevant by choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate.
McCain did make these issues more relevant by picking Palin, but he was actively courting the frothing homophobic masses long before the Governor came into the picture. We wish we could say we’re surprised or outraged by this Buse business, but most of all it just makes us sad.
Signorile does make a very valid point, however, when describing what Buse’s ex-boyfriend describes as the staffer’s disappointment in McCain’s dealings with right wing fundamentalists:
Has Mark Buse been assured by John McCain that his bowing to religious conservatives is all just politics, that he’s just stringing along the fundies, and that he wouldn’t sell him and his kind to the far right as president? If that is the case, what would the Christian right think about that now and don’t they have a right to know?
And, if true, how would Buse and certainly McCain then explain the choice of Palin, beyond admitting that it is simply a reckless gamble, since it’s quite possible she could become president and bring the ideologues into the White House? Is there some other plan for how do deal with Palin?
Whatever the Palin plan may have been, this story, if it gains traction, could complicate things for McCain, Palin and especially Buse.