Who, Me?

Ten Antigay Hypocrites Who Won’t Take Responsibility For Their Moral Failures

336px-Dinesh_D'SouzaDinesh D’Souza, the right-wing provocateur for whom the word “loathsome” was coined, has received a five-year probation sentence for violating campaign finance law.

D’Souza, who makes a handsome living lecturing others about his version of morality, expressed “regret,” which is another way of saying he’s sorry he was caught. It’s more regret than he expressed when he outed students in the gay alliance while at Dartmouth in the 1980s, leading one to talk repeatedly about suicide.

The scheme that snared D’Souza was particularly dopey: using the names of other people to donate to a Senate candidate who was a friend of his during his formative years as a jerk at Dartmouth. Before he pled guilty, D’Souza’s defense was that he was targeted by the Obama administration, a line he’ll no doubt return to.

Like many another homophobe, D’Souza likes to complain endlessly about other people shirking their personal responsibility. And like many another homophobe, D’Souza refuses to accept any when it comes to his own life. After all, this is the man who shared a hotel room at a Christian conference with a woman 20 years younger than himself.

Morals. They’re for the little people.

D’Souza has plenty of similarly minded company. So much so, in fact, that we wonder if there’s not a connection between moralizing and personal irresponsibility. After all, what a better way to divert attention from one’s own behavior than to attack others for the same thing.

Here’s a list of eight other homophobes who are quick to blast everyone else but not so fast to own up to their own failings…

1. Rush Limbaugh

Radio’s number one blowhard, the man who blamed AIDS on “promiscuity” and argued that Matthew Shepard was not the victim of a hate crime, loves to pass judgment on everyone. Except himself, of course. In 2006, Limbaugh was arrested on drug charges for “doctor shopping” to support his addition to painkillers. Limbaugh owned up to the addiction (although in the past, he said that when it came to drug users, judges should “send them up the river”) and entered rehab. But when a caller raised his drug use during a conversation last year, Limbaugh cut him off and dismissed it as “the usual leftist, bigotry, hatred and gibberish.”  Limbaugh is a flag waving militarist. But when it came to the draft, he found a way out: Pilonidal Cyst, otherwise knows as a boil on the butt.

2. Pat Robertson

Where to begin? There’s the case of his support for Charles Taylor, the Liberian dictator who was charged with atrocities ranging from mass rape to forced amputation of civilians. (Robertson later said “I never met the man,” forgetting his lavish praise of Taylor.)  There’s the racehorse that he bought, despite being opposed to gambling. (Robertson said he “just enjoys horses running.”) And perhaps most fitting of all is the fact that his first child was conceived out of wedlock. Called on this by reporters during his 1988 presidential campaign, Robertson complained that it was “outrageous to intrude into a man’s family,” when in fact he’s built his entire career out of just that.

3. Herman Cain

One of the more laughable Republican presidential candidates from the 2012 cycle (which is saying something), Cain was accused by at least four women of sexual harassment. Cain responded with a series of conflicting messages, ultimately saying that only he could be right: “For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably thousands who will say that none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.” And thousands more who would probably disagree.

4. Newt Gingrich

Noted Catholic Newt Gingrich likes to grouse that marriage equality as “the rise of paganism,” and announced his support for the Defense of Marriage Act on national television the day of his openly lesbian half sister’s birthday. (Thanks, big bro!) Of course, Gingrich’s own marriage history includes asking wife number two to endorse an “open marriage,” so he could carry on with the woman who eventually become wife three. (For the record, he had an affair with wife two while still married to wife one.) Gingrich’s response to his serial infidelity makes totally removes him from any responsibility for his actions: “I’ve had a life which, on occasion, has had problems.” 

An appropriate response–if you were talking about a bad hair day.

5. Larry Craig

How can we ever forget Sen. Wide Stance? The then-Republican Senator from Idaho was caught cruising for sex in the men’s room of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in 2007. Craig denied playing footsie with an undercover officer, saying he just had a “wide stance when going to the bathroom.” That transparently bizarre defense made Craig a punchline of jokes for months. The cop didn’t buy it either: he busted Craig on a lewd conduct charge. Of course, Craig had a 0 rating from HRC.

6. Bob McDonnell

The former Virginia governor loved to tell us how to live our lives–or not live our lives. A staunch foe of nondiscrimination law and marriage equality, McDonnell used his college thesis to argue that straight couples should get preferential treatment over same-sex couples.

When it came to his own behavior, McDonnell was quick to point the finger at someone else: his wife. When McDonnell was indicted for inappropriately accepting gifts and loans from a donor, he blamed it all on his wife. It didn’t work. They were both convicted. Just to add to the hypocrisy: McDonnell has been living with a priest who pled guilty to having sex with another man in public.  

7. Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

O’Brien was the senior Catholic prelate in the UK and a firebreathing opponent of LGBT rights. No surprise then that O’Brien was forced to resign after four priests accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. O’Brien then went for the full weasel: “I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.” O’Brien now lives in a comfortable bungalow that the Scottish Church bought for him.

So much for penance.

8. Ralph Reed.

The one-time golden boy of the religious right, Reed was the driving force behind Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, which depended upon homophobia to whip up evangelical voters.  He then struck out on his own, in every sense of the phrase. Reed became pals with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was representing an Indian tribe (which ran a casino) trying to block the state from legalizing a lottery or video poker. Reed was happy to help Abramoff, who donated more than $1 million to Reed to lobby against the effort.

The bad news for Reed: the money came from casino profits, even though Reed was representing the Alabama Christian Coalition, which had a policy of explicitly refusing gambling money. Reed denied he knew the money was tainted, but his career was ruined. Still, he refuses to admit he did anything wrong in the matter, claiming that “I’m proud of it, and it advanced sound public policy”

9. David Vitter.

The Senator from Louisiana has been a leading figure in the Congressional fight against marriage equality, calling traditional marriage “the most important social institution in human history.” Vitter crossed the line from sanctimony to hypocrisy when it was revealed that his phone number was on a list belonging to Deborah Jones, the D.C. Madam. To this day, Vitter has refused to fess up, speaking only of an unspecified “very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible.” Of course.

And what better way to show you’re contrite than by refusing to address the issue head on so you can run for (and win) re-election as a family  values candidate?