Rather than call the assertion that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is a lesbian a “false charge,” implying being gay is somehow a negative, the White House could’ve taken a much more nuanced, and equally effective approach.
“They could simply have said that Kagan has never publicly discussed the details of her private life either way, which would have been enough to establish that the CBS story overreached,” says Julian Sanchez, a Cato Institute fellow. “By going further and asserting that Kagan is straight—though in the absence of a verbatim quote, it’s possible that a spox really just flubbed an attempt to deny the ‘openly’ part—they’ve made it actually newsworthy if the claim turns out to be false. Moreover, as many have noted, responding as though being called a lesbian constitutes a ‘charge’ is a stupid goof in 2010.”
Instead, the White House has claimed, by default, Kagan is openly straight. She is not. Nor is she, apparently, openly gay.