Why Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation is irrelevant

I know that much is being said amongst both Progressives and Conservatives about Kagan’s possible lesbianism.  Progressives are mad at her for being in the closet; Conservatives are worried about her orientation affecting her rulings as a Supreme Court judge.  Both are completely wrong.

Regarding the Progressive’s disdain for Kagan’s decision to keep her private life private, I say get out of people’s bedrooms.  This is Kagan’s private life we’re talking about.  She gets to decide how she wants to handle it.  It’s not for political activists to decide what is best for her, her family, and her significant others and friends.

As for Conservatives, even if Kagan is lesbian, it’s irrelevant.  What matters is her unabashed Progressivism.  That will control her thinking on whatever issue comes before her, whether it’s corporate taxes, the death penalty, abortion or gay marriage.  Her decisions will be completely consistent with any other Progressive’s, regardless of hetero- or homosexuality.  Her bedroom behavior is no one’s business because her political decisions are affected by her political orientation, not her sexual orientation.

You and I may have cause to decry the fact that gays and lesbians, as part of identity politics, gravitate almost unthinkingly to Progressive positions, but that’s not the issue with Kagan.  That is, we’re not arguing whether her sexuality decided her politics.  The fact is that she is now, for whatever reason, a Progressive, and it’s her politics, not her sex life, that should be under scrutiny.

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  • http://www.endtimestavern.com verogolfer

    How true. Well put.

  • jj

    I’m sorry, I absolutely cannot resist saying to Progressives that if that’s a closet, the doors must be made of glass!  Are you guys kidding?  Take a look, for God’s sweet sake!
    Okay, okay, okay – sorry!  Sophomoric humor out of the way, and on to a point of somewhat more substance.  Sexual orientation is pretty basic, and tends to inform a fair piece of one’s behavior.  (Freud, and after him Skinner, and after them both Scire, would [and did] say: “nothing is irrelevant.”)  Her sexuality is most certainly not irrelevant if it informs her unabashed Progressivism.
    Stipulated:   her bedroom behavior is no one’s business.  However: you make a pretty firm assertion that her political orientation is what informs her political decisions.  Even as I agree with you that a liberal is a liberal is a liberal is a liberal, I wonder how you can know that, and wonder further how you know what informs her political orientation.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm


    I didn’t explain myself well.  Let me try again, although I may fail just as badly this time around.

    I think Kagan is liberal because of growing up in a middle class, probably reform or non-religious Jewish background, in the East Coast establishment, and having attended and worked in radically liberal educational institutions.  That she might be lesbian is merely icing on this liberal cake.  She would have had exactly the same political views whether or not she was lesbian.

    What I have a problem with is essentially non-political people who come to terms with being gay or lesbian, and who then get sucked into an identity politics milieu that inevitably makes them hew left on everything.  I can see why they’d support gay marriage, because it affects them directly, but why are gays on the front line for Palestinians, when the latter want nothing more than to torture gays to death?  And why are they resolutely pro-abortion, when what really should inform their decision is how they feel about the sanctity of human life?  And why are they opposed to national security initiatives that keep them safe from the same people who routinely hang them high in Iran?

    These identity politic gays are not thinking about the actual issues of politics.  They’re simply saying “If I’m gay, than I must be a Progressive,” even though the two have nothing to do with each other.  It’s an analytical non sequitur.

    The fact is, though, since I grew up in SF and saw myriad people emerge from the closet, all of them embraced, without much thought, a Leftist political identity as matching attire for their gay/lesbian orientation.

    As people like the Gay Patriot and Cynthia Yockey amply demonstrate, though, being gay doesn’t mean you have to be pro-abortion, pro-Palestinian, pro-Big Government, anti-energy security, and anti-national security.  Being gay can just mean that you prefer same sex partners.

    But whatever initially drove Kagan’s political orientation (her upbringing or her bed-mates) is irrelevant.  She is a Progressive.  That’s the sole issue on the Senate table.

  • suek

    Check this out, if you haven’t seen it already: