July 19, 2003
Pete Stark—gay basher?

The Boston Globe reports that Pete Stark, the left-wing loony from California, acted with his customary thoughtful, reasonable courtesy:

A transcript of the committee meeting quoted Stark as belittling Thomas's intellect. Although the transcript does not show it, McInnis interjected, ''Shut up.'' The transcript then shows Stark saying: ''You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me. I dare you, you little fruitcake.''

Stark said in an interview later that he regretted calling McInnis a ''fruitcake.'' But he also said the transcript missed his telling Thomas, ''You're behaving like a fascist.''

Wow. How much do you want to bet that there will be no blowback on the issue? And somehow, I think if it was a Republican who referred to a Democrat as a "fruitcake", there would be accusations of homophobia flying as if there were no tomorrow. Since Stark is a leftist, however, there will be no negative consequences. It's ironic that one of the representatives of the San Francisco bay area would be the one to use a smear like "fruitcake" against his enemies. (Stark's district runs from Oakland to Fremont, on the east side of San Francisco Bay.)

Stark is a known loose cannon; he equated the war against Iraq with terrorism in this San Francisco Chronicle article in March. Another stupid statement, after he cast his vote against the resolution for support of the president and troops, was ..."it's not right to praise a drunk for driving home without an accident..." (He still has the gall to have a red/white/blue "Support the Troops" ribbon on his House website.) George Will noted in an October 2002 column:

During the House debate on authorizing the use of force against Iraq, Rep. Pete Stark, a paleo-liberal from Northern California, cried, "Rich kids will not pay; their daddies will get them deferments." He meant draft deferments. It is almost unkind to awaken Stark from his dogmatic slumbers to notify him that there has not been a draft since 1973. And the Beatles have broken up.

Even better yet, Dave Mecklenberg rips Stark a new one in this piece at the (sadly) extinct Sabertooth Journal. He responds to this statement in a Stark op-ed in the San Jose Mercury-News:

Let us not forget that our president -- our commander in chief -- has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. He admits that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height of that conflict in 1968 he didn't notice "any heavy stuff going on.''

Stark needs to be taken to task for his history of intemperate remarks. This is part of the reciprocity that I've been talking about for the last few days, and it's become clear yet again that the left won't police their own.

posted on July 19, 2003 03:08 PM


I noticed that too -- and I am glad to see someone blogged about it. Too often the charge of "hypocrisy" is labeled at conservatives, yet when something like this happens, the silence is deafening.

Your blog is excellent, and I'll keep returning. Thanks.

posted by Eric Scheie on July 19, 2003 05:12 PM

And so Thomas Sowell's assessment of the Left's mindset receives yet another confirmation. When you're convinced that you're morally superior to your adversary, you can justify doing anything at all to him, including things you would regard as terminal outrages if done to you.

The world isn't running seriously short of any physical resource, but it's near to exhausted of humility.

posted by Francis W. Porretto on July 19, 2003 05:54 PM

Actually, anti-gay comments by Republican congressmen and senators are so common as to not be newsworthy. They are reported all the time in the gay press... I have read of countless anti-gay slurs made by Tom Delay, Dick Armey, Bob Dornan... heck practically ALL Republican congressmen! Yet only once have I seen such a slur reported by the mainstream press.

posted by Dave on July 24, 2003 01:32 PM

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