It’s an entertaining day when Salon brings up the homophobic past of Obama campaign manager Jim Messina:
In their quest to promote themselves as political tough guys, did Senator Max Baucus and President Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina just admit to both crafting one of the most homophobic ads in American history and possibly committing a crime? That’s the big question after new revelations buried in this week’s fluffy Businessweek profile of Messina.
I’d like to note for the record that when I read said puff piece last night my reaction was “Wow. I COMPLETELY FORGOT that Obama campaign manager Jim Messina hates gay people.” – so this is not actually an over-reaction, given that Salon and I usually barely agree that we live in the same universe. But, hey, watch the ad for yourself: it’s from Baucus’s 2002 campaign, and it’s pretty blatant.
…and keep in mind that it was being condemned as homophobic by most of the gay-rights movement for most of a decade. But not anymore! In fact, Buzzfeed notes that Human Rights Campaign head Jay Solmonese has already circled the wagons around Messina. Which is pretty funny, given that Messina started off his career by more or less breaking Solmonese – and, by extension, the HRC – to the administration’s will. Which is probably why they got Solmonese to give Messina absolution, come to think of it.
Anyway, Salon’s point was not so much that Baucus and Messina gay-baited and got away with it – it’s that they did so in a deniable enough fashion to allow gay activists to kind of… not really see it. Officially. On the record. But apparently now the statute of limitations has run out on that particular thoughtcrime, so now they’re going to boast about it. After all, what can gay people do about the fact that Obama’s campaign manager will cheerfully use homophobia to win elections?