Weeping for Mc­Greevey

Kevin Jennings, the “founder and Executive Director [What a happy coincidence! -ed.] of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, an organization working to make schools safe for lesbian, gay, bi­sexual and transgender youth,” makes a rather startling claim:

As I watched New Jersey Gov. Jim Mc­Greevey’s resignation speech, I felt sick. I nearly had to turn away from the agony and pain that radiated from his face, all caused, I thought, by his deci­sion to live a lie in order to attain political power. And I had a startling realization: but for one decision, I might have been Jim Mc­Greevey.

Like Jim, I grew up in a working class family in the Seventies. I too was a political junkie, the kind of kid who thought watch­ing conventions on TV was fun. When asked in first grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said “President.†I believed the promise of America, where any little boy could grow up to be President.

Any little boy who is not gay, that is.

What absolute nonsense. McGreevey’s crime is not that he is homosexual or even that he is a lying bastard who ruined the lives of his family in order to gratify his sexual desires and advance his political career. Rather, his offense was criminal abuse of his office to appoint his illicit lover, a non-citizen not even remotely qualified for the job, to a high government post. As director of homeland security, no less. So, unless Jennings, too, is a criminal who buys off his lovers at the expense of the safety of the citizens of an entire state, their stories are remarkably dissimilar.

It is, quite possibly, true that a practicing homosexual would have trouble getting elected to a state governorship. But that would be true of an avowed atheist, someone who proclaimed his belief in UFOs, or a short man with bad teeth and a funny voice. So what? The nature of democracy is that the people get to pick people to represent them and often choose those that reflect their own values and attitudes.

FILED UNDER: Democracy, Political Theory, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Why is this affair being used as an opportunity for homosexuals to beat up on allegedly homophobic America? McGreevey is:

    • a gay
    • an adulterer
    • a politician
    • a criminal
    • a cad
    • a Democrat

    The order of priority is left to the interested student.

  2. Brian J. says:

    Last time I checked my scorecard, being homosexual was not a conscious choice, but all of this fellow’s malfeasance stems from his conscious choices.

    He’d be pilloried if he were Catholic/Protestant, he’d be pilloried if he were Black/American Indian, so let him be pilloried if he were gay.

    That’s progress.