Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Our Lavender President?

For those who are consumed by the CBS Memogate controversy, here's another case of questionable documents being used to smear a Republican wartime president. In this instance, it's a new book that asserts that Abraham Lincoln was gay.

Like the memos that "revealed" George Bush pulled strings to get out of the Texas ANG, this "new" information is highly questionable. It eluded generations of historians until now and is being pushed, as were the CBS memos, by a group of people who are, ahem, rather biased in their views on homosexuality.

Leading the charge of the Lavender Brigade is our old friend, Andrew Sulllivan, who airily dismisses any naysayers as homophobes. "The data it collects are arresting to anyone not deeply resistant to the idea of Lincoln's primarily homosexual orientation," he smugly asserts, failing to recognize the irony. From what I've read, the overwhelming majority of historians would say that it's the gay lobby who are seeing buggery where none exists.

The most credible of these historians is the book's former co-author, Philip Nobile. Nobile refused to participate in the research and publishing of the book because the late author, C. A. Tripp, refused to even consider any evidence that Lincoln wasn't gay. He has an excellent rebuttal in the Weekly Standard. In it we find that not only the author and publisher of the book ignored ample historical evidence of Lincoln's heterosexuality, they actually plagarized Nobile's work in the first chapter.

And Sullivan's rebuttal? He resorts to name-calling. I haven't read his New Republic article -- largely because I don't want to register -- but others have, and are disappointed by his attitudes. Instapundit expresses his apathy, a view likely shared by a majority of Americans, but Sullivan can even find fault with that, openly despairing that his pro-gay allies are failing to jump on the Pride Day Revisionist Bandwagon.

Which reveals the real purpose of this book. In his Weekly Standard article, Nobile reveals a conversation he had last October with noted gay activist Larry Kramer. Kramer allegedly said to him that gays "need(ed) a role model". In other words, the Gay Lobby is desperately trying to make Lincoln gay in order to make homosexuality appear more normal and thus discredit his political heirs in the Republican Party today.

As a gun owner, I've seen this before. Just a few years ago, historian Michael Bellesiles came out with a "thoroughly researched" book that "conclusively demonstrated" the jaw-dropping thesis that guns were not very common in America before the Nefarious NRA came along. Of course, eventually the house of cards came tumbling down, thanks to the work of bloggers like Clayton Cramer and many others. But even today, there are still those in the Gun Control lobby who fervently believe that Bellesiles' work is legitimate.

When you really want to believe something, no amount of facts will dissuade you. The Gay Lobby has unshakeable faith in Tripp's book. Eventually it will be proved wrong, but that still won't make any difference. According to them, Lincoln was gay, and they hope if they say it often enough people will begin to believe it.


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