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Romney Rising
April 12th, 2011

Hey–Mitt Romney is gonna run for president! Who knew? I never thought the American public would be able to haul this great servant back to stand for office again.

No matter what happens in 2012, the best part of the campaign is going to be watching the Romney hard-cases from 2008 try to wiggle out of having to go the barricades for him again. Especially if Rick Santorum gets into the race.

But the second best part of the campaign will be items like this one:

“Trump jumped from 10 percent in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last month, with Romney dropping from 18 percent to 11 percent.”

The poll’s real significance is in that last bit. I don’t know what’s scarier for Mitt — the idea that his support is so soft that it’ll melt from two weeks of the guy from “The Apprentice” talking about Obama’s birth certificate, or the possibility that his decline isn’t Trump-related at all and is apt to persist even when Donaldmania cools. CNN’s pollster notes that Romney’s support actually drops without Trump in the race, which points directly at the second theory, but I dunno. They are an awful lot alike in some ways



More on Romney and the Globe
March 9th, 2005

Kathleen Parker notes the Globe‘s ongoing crusade against Mitt Romney in he Manchester Union Leader:

Actually, it’s worse than that. For his support of the traditional, two-parent, heterosexual family, Romney has been accused of being like President George W. Bush. Now them’s fightin’ words, for sure. In a damning editorial, the Boston Globe criticized Romney for taking “a page from President Bush’s illogic by insisting that every child ‘has a right to a mother and a father,’ implying that two women or two men could not possibly do the job.”

Actually, Romney’s statement implies nothing of the sort. Two men and two women can raise children, just as one woman or one man can raise children. But neither case provides an ideal environment, which is Romney’s point as well as the opinion of a majority of Americans.


Romney Notes
March 8th, 2005

Dean Barnett had a fantastic piece yesterday on the Boston Globe‘s Mormon baiting/moral preening. Don’t miss it.

Also on the Romney beat, Brian McGrory has a good column today on whether or not Romney will seek reelection in 2006. His piece is marred only by this nonsense: “[Romney’s advisers] also point out that Howard Dean nearly won the Democratic nomination as a former governor and that Jimmy Carter, not to mention Ronald Reagan, captured the White House while campaigning as former, rather than current governors.”

Howard Dean nearly won the Democratic nomination last year? Yes, Dean was the absolute front-runner until Democrats started voting. Then he was revealed as the distant third/close fourth choice even among Democratic voters. Please, let’s not get caught up in Dean-mania, again.


Romney and the Globe
March 3rd, 2005

Soxblog has a hard-to-believe post on the Boston Globe‘s latest attack on Mitt Romney.

Evidently, the Globe is now deploring Mormon-baiting and claiming they did none of it in Romney’s 1994 Senate big. Soxblog proves otherwise.


The Ten Stages of Trump Excuse-ism
July 29th, 2016

If Trump loses in November–which isn’t a sure thing, of course–I think it’s pretty clear that we’ll see the following responses, in the following order, from his supporters:

(1) He didn’t lose.

(2) If he lost–and I’m not saying he did–then it was the fault of those cuck-traitor conservatives who aren’t real conservatives.

(3) He lost. It’s the Republican party’s fault. They didn’t do what they should have to support him because they’re a bunch of idiot losers. And now America is screwed.

(4) We always knew he would lose. And it’s a good thing because his candidacy destroyed a useless, feckless GOP. The political system is toast and deserves to get burned to the ground so we can start over.

(5) He meant to lose. He’s a businessman, not a politician, and he didn’t really want to be president anyway. His brand is worth a thousand times more now than it was in 2015. To him, this whole thing was just another amazing business deal.

(6) You think he “lost”? It’s the day after Hillary Clinton’s big “victory” and instead everyone is talking about Trump. He’s a genius.

(7) Trump knows that we’re guaranteed to have another recession and a major terrorist attack during the next four years. Hillary and Dems own that now so when he runs again in 2020, he’s going to take CA, NY, and NJ in a total realigning election. They’re playing checkers; Trump is playing 15-dimensional chess.

(8) Winning the White House was never the point. The point was taking over the Republican party. Trump owns the GOP now and all the people saying the party needs to go back to the Jeb Bush days need to gtfo. Trump is the Republican party from here on out.

(9) MAGA, bitches.

(10) If you think about it, Trump basically won.


Trump in the General Election
March 15th, 2016

Of all the arguments against Donald Trump, the one I find least valuable is “he’ll get pasted by Hillary Clinton in November.” A couple of thoughts:

*Certainly Trump performs worse than the other three Republicans against Clinton in prospective polling.

*But I would still rate his chances of victory reasonably as reasonably high. Say, 2-in-5. Why? Because Clinton is a terrible candidate–this cannot be overstated. Because Trump would be waging asymmetric war against her. Because everybody’s turnout models would be scrambled beyond recognition. Because he would make the race wildly unpredictable. Probably he loses 40 states. But maybe he wins 40 states. We can make educated guesses, but no one really knows. If he’s the nominee, it means we’re living in a new world.

*Truth is, I’d be much more sublime about the prospect of Trump winning the nomination if I had a high degree of confidence that he could be beaten in the fall. The correct argument against Trump isn’t that “he’ll lose in November.” It’s that he is not fit to president; full stop. If you’re anti-Trump now, then you should be anti-Trump even in a world where he leads Clinton by +10.

*The alt-view of this, however, is that the CW is correct and that Clinton really will crush Trump. As I said, I have no real confidence in her as a candidate. But in a general election, it’s not just the candidate and her machine may be more formidable. For a road-test on what the campaign could look like, here’s an ad about all the ugly things Trump has said about women. It doesn’t strike me as terribly effective. But then, I’m not the target demo.

As a very smart friend pointed out:

The Clinton campaign just needs to deter women from voting for Trump. They can vote for Hillary, or for the independent conservative candidate, or they can just stay home. It’s going to be the millstone they hang around Trump’s neck, like they did to Romney with some of his own tone-deaf comments.

By the end, Trump will be bleeding out of his nose, bleeding out of his whatever.


The Worm Turns on Trump
February 19th, 2016

After spending months being anti-anti-Trump–or more accurately, anti-anti-Trumpism–I’ve finally come around this week. And oddly enough, it was because of Trump’s debate performance on Saturday when he insisted that George W. Bush lied America into the Iraq war. What’s odd about this, of course, is that I’ve always been pretty anti-Bush and skeptical (at best) of Iraq. So my rooting interest on this isn’t in defending the Bush administration, which I regard as a large-scale failure.

It also isn’t that I’ve suddenly realized Trump is a stubby-fingered vulgarian–that’s been clear since the start, too.

What got me was the way Trump’s supporters went into full-scale denial and rally-round-the-Trump over this insane charge. If Trumpism causes people to turn into zombie idiots, then nuts to that.

Back during the NFL players strike, Steve Czaban had a great riff about what it was like signing up to the defend the players union. It’s like joining a motorcycle gang, he said. You might just be joining because you like the jackets or because you enjoy riding your Harley with like-minded enthusiasts on Saturdays. And both of those aspects are part of the gang. But you’re also signing up with a bunch of criminals.

And it strikes me that it turns out that it’s basically the same with Trumpism. You might come for the border security and anti-PC sentiments and America-firstism. But that also means joining arms with know-nothings like Scott Brown and Sara Palin, who willingly subsume their own critical faculties for the sake of being on Team Donald.

That’s exactly what’s happened with Trump’s “Bush lied” line:

(1) Success in the 2016 Republican party no longer requires candidates to support the Iraq war, specifically, or the Bush 43 Freedom Agenda generally, as a price of entry. There is plenty of room for candidates who think that the Iraq war was a mistake. Or a poor judgment call. Or even a fifty-fifty proposition that ended badly.

(Conversely, there’s also plenty of room for candidates who defend the Iraq war and argue that, for all his faults, Bush had the situation basically under control by 2008-and that it was President Obama who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.)

But what you can’t do is take the, Code Pink, Michael Moore, maximalist position that President Bush knowingly “lied” to the world in order to foment the war.

(2) Why not? Well, for one thing, the charge is incorrect.

(3) For another, it suggests you’re unhinged. Look: As far as national security goes, it would actually be comforting to think that Bush “lied” America into war. It would suggest that we have a massively competent intelligence agency capable of conducting an enormous operation, in broad daylight, with total and impermeable compartmentalization and secrecy. It would mean that our CIA was run by a bunch of hyper-competent Jason Bourne clones.

As it is, the truth is much more worrisome: That we had two massive intelligence failures-the 9/11 attacks and Iraq WMDs-within a year of one another. And this was either or the result of a not-Jason-Bourne levels of competence, or the practical limits of what intelligence can know. Neither of those options is especially comforting in contemplating our future.

So people who buy into “Bush lied” aren’t even worst-case-scenario pessimists. They’re partisan zealots and conspiracy-theorist cranks.

(4) Now, every political movement has partisan zealots and conspiracy-theorist cranks. And sometimes a politician has to pander to them. But on Saturday, Trump was pandering to the guys on the other side. In the Republican primaries there are no votes-not even Rand Paul votes-to be had from Trump’s position. (And don’t try selling me the Limbaugh, reverse “Operation Chaos” line. Even he doesn’t actually believe that.)

(5) If this was an isolated incident, maybe Trump could move past it. But the problem is that “Bush lied” fits with a pattern: Support of Planned Parenthood;eager acceptance of Obergefell;a “great relationship” with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.Now he’s being applauded by Code Pink?

At some point voters are going to start to wonder whether Trump is really a Reaganite late-convert bent on bringing populist nationalism to a corrupt Republican establishment-or just Alan Grayson with more money and a hard-line immigration fetish.

(6) Taking the “Bush lied” position puts Trump’s surrogates and talk-radio supporters in a tight spot. Are they supposed to defend him? Agree with him? Plead the Fifth? That’s what Scott Brown tried to do over the weekend. I very much doubt he’ll be volunteering to go on TV and face questions about this in order to support Trump at any point in the future.

How about Sarah Palin? Does she believe that George W. Bush knowingly lied to America? I wonder if she’ll be eager to answer this question publicly.

The people on talk radio who’ve been playing footsy with Trump don’t have the luxury of keeping quiet. They’re going to have to figure out how to square this circle pretty quickly. (Which is what Limbaugh was trying to sell with his ridiculous theory.)

(7) But those are the people already on the hook for supporting Trump. How about all of the prospective Trump endorsers? Allahpundit argued last week that Chris Christie’s smartest play would be to come out for Trump, be an effective surrogate, and then hope for the AG slot.

That’s probably impossible now. Christie can’t sign up with a “Bush lied” guy. And anyone who currently holds elective office and has to face voters again would be crazy to hop on the Trump train now. It’s just too big a risk. Why put your career on the line?

(8) Some version of this probably holds for prospective Trump voters. It’s possible that people who are already supporting Trump will find some way to rationalize/accept/downplay his statements. (I’m skeptical of that myself; I actually think he’s likely to start bleeding support.) Even if they stand fast, this makes it much harder for Trump to consolidate other candidate’s supporters as the race goes on. With negatives already at 1-to-1, he just lowered his ceiling.

Anyway, that was the first movement of my face-turn. Here’s part two, on the corruptions of Trumpism. And here’s me calling for the power-bomb.


The Snows of New Hampshire
February 5th, 2016

I’ve been in New Hampshire since Monday and it was fantastically warm–last night I was walking around in shorts and a t-shirt after going for a run. This morning, a blizzard rolled through starting around 7:30 and has dumped between six and eight inches of snow (so far). Weird.

Anyway, I’ve been doing the campaign thing and have written up some observations on Clinton, Trump, and Rubio. (I saw Kasich this morning and will have something on him in a couple hours.) The short version is: (1) Clinton isn’t the candidate she was in 2008; she’s gotten much worse. (2) Trump kind of looks like he’s mailing it in. (3) Rubio is the best political talent I’ve seen in 20 years of journalism. The only person close is the Bill Clinton of 1992.

Over on the Twitters, people seem upset by this observation and their response seems to be: “RINO! He’ll do amnesty!” Well, maybe? I don’t know. I’m not making any value judgments about what kind of president he would be, or how conservative he is in his heart of hearts or, or wether he’d go full-amnesty on January 21. I’m not a mind-reader or a cheerleader. My brief when I do these things is to try to be a reasonably careful and informed observer. And it looks to me like Rubio is a once-in-a-generation political talent who is likely to be the nominee and, if he is the nominee, is likely to beat Hillary Clinton by 5 points, at a minimum.

The trick is, that in order for him to do that, he has to put away Bush, Christie, and Kasich in NH. If he finishes above them on Tuesday, his odds of being the nominee go up even more. At that point, I’d probably put him at even-money in a three-way race with Trump and Cruz. As always, I’m not telling you that this is what I want or what I hope for or what I think is best for America. It’s just how it looks to me from being up close on this stuff.

My big bias is the general belief that candidate quality matters. (See my Romney 2012 belly-aching.) Not always and not everywhere. Events matter, macro-conditions matter, organization matters, etc. But I do believe that at the presidential level, a candidate with a significant VORP (either plus or minus) can be decisive.

So take that for what you will.



A Trump Theory
September 14th, 2015

Yet more from Galley Friend X:

I increasingly think the Trump phenomenon is best explained by Tom Wolfe’s book A Man in Full. There are obvious similarities between Trump and Croker: both real estate developers, both on the wrong side of lenders, both arrogant, both adopt a trade-in policy for wives. It’s about an insecure narcissist’s relationship with masculinity, which is basically Trump.

And that shows why he does what he does vis-a-vis his opponents–and why it works. He’s a real man and they’re sissies and he lets them know it.

“Carson? Guys like me hire doctors–and good ones. Fiorina? I hire Stanford poindexters to run my companies. But she did a bad job. To be honest I would have fired her if she did that bad a job in one of my companies. Romney? I take his money; guys like Romney don’t build anything, they just shuffle paper. Fuck them. Jeb? He has built nothing with his inheritance. He married a Mexican and went into politics because he knew from the start he wouldn’t cut it in the real world. I bet he’ll become a college professor after this. Walker? He shops at Kohl’s! I golf with Kohlses. Cruz? He could argue my bankruptcy case–on appeal; nerds like him are not very good before juries. They’re not. Kasich? I’ll give him a no-show job between his government gigs. It’ll get me some permits in Ohio. Assuming I want to build anything in Ohio, which I don’t. Christie? Fat; should run for President of Krispy Kreme. Jindal? Nerd. Probably didn’t even get into med-school. Graham? Please. Santorum? What’s he trying to prove with all those kids? He lost to a dead guy. Perry? Idiot; “uhhh … umm … uhhh.” Rand? Probably a shitty doctor and can’t afford a decent haircut.”

The only “non-loser” in the field seems to be Rubio. He’s a professional politician (not a professional in politics) which means he wins to eat. He also married a Dolphin’s cheerleader back when he was still poor. That has to steam the Donald.


The Vindication of Rick Santorum (cont.)–Updated
January 21st, 2015

Remember that interview with the guy who loves horses? (Not in the Ann Romney way.)

Let’s add this interview, with an 18-year-old girl who’s “dating” her dad. No, really.

Sorry–did I say “dating”? I meant “engaged to”:

How many people know about it?
Everyone on my mom’s side of the family sees us as father and daughter. Those who know that he’s my dad, and that we are engaged, include my father’s parents (they can see we are happy together and they can’t wait for us to have babies — they treat us just like any other couple), the woman we live with, and my best friend.

You’re engaged?
I’m planning on a full-on wedding but it won’t be legally registered. And personally, I don’t believe you need a piece of paper to prove that you want to be with the person you love. When you get married, you are signing part of yourself over to somebody. We’ll tell everybody that we got our marriage license, but they don’t have to see it. One of our friends will act as the celebrant.

But don’t worry–changing one foundational part of the culture couldn’t possibly alter others.

Update: You must–must!–read this extra-special, bonus incest confession. Courtesy of Galley Friend A.K.

Be sure to read all the way to the end. Don’t bail on it early. I promise.



Thoughts on “The Interview”
December 19th, 2014

As usual, I’m of two minds about Sony pulling The Interview following the not-terribly-credible threat of violence against theaters should they choose to show the film.

On the one hand, the problems of having a terrorist’s veto are obvious. How un-credible does a threat have to be in order to cause a studio to pull a film?

Try unclouding the issue here by considering what would happen if a real-deal terrorist group decided to file a threat over a non-grievance-related movie. For instance, if ISIS said they would blow up a theater that shows The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, what would happen? On the one hand, ISIS is much more serious than the Guardians of Peace. On the other hand, why would they care about The Hobbit? I don’t know what the answer is–I don’t know how that would play. But I think that before you can come up with a real position on The Interview, you need to answer the ISIS/Hobbit scenario, first, because it clarifies the question.

As for the issue of precedent-setting, I’m not overly concerned. Hollywood will re-discover its courageous commitment to free speech and artistic integrity the next time they have a movie which insults, degrades, and offends Christians. Can’t stop the signal. Besides, the West hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory on these questions over the last couple of decades, from The Satanic Verses to the Danish Muhammad cartoons to the Red Dawn remake that changed the Chinese villains to North Korean villains so as not to offend China.

Grievance calculus is terribly complex.

I’m being flip here, but the truth is that I’m very, very sympathetic to Sony and the theater owners and if I were in their position, I would have done something very similar. Because this threat–however un-credible it is–points to an existential vulnerability of modern film-making.

From the moment of the Aurora shooting on the opening weekend of The Dark Knight Rises, people have been trying to figure out how much the attack hurt the movie’s gross. No one knows for sure, but the answer seems to be “more than nothing.”

So if you were an executive at AMC, looking down the barrel of the Christmas weekend–one of the biggest weekends of the year for moviegoing–you understood that even a threat of violence had the potential to really hurt attendance–not among people skipping The Interview (which looked like a bomb anyway) but adults and families staying away from The Hobbit and Into the Woods, etc.

But the risk to theater operators is actually much greater than just this one weekend. In the extremely unlikely event that there was a pre-meditated terrorist attack on a movie theater, it could destroy the industry. After 9/11, people flew because they had to. The alternatives to flying aren’t really comparable in terms of time and money.

People don’t need to see movies in theaters. Everyone has a 55″ flat-screen TV at home with blu-ray and streaming. (Not really “everyone,” but you get the point.) Movies come to home distribution just a few months after their theatrical runs and it’s actually cheaper to buy the blu-ray than it is to buy two tickets to the theater. A terrorist attack carries with it the potential to permanently alter Americans’ movie-going habits. Hollywood would have to be crazy to risk that.

In one of the stories about The Interview a security consultant was quoted noting that while America has done a good job “hardening” big sporting events and airports, lots of targets–like shopping malls and movie theaters–remain soft, and are in need of hardening.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect that people would not tolerate the “hardening” of the multiplex. They’d just stay away from it.

Which points to the real problem: You cannot “harden” the whole of American life. That’s a logistical impossibility in a country this size. What you could do, in theory, is harden the American people. But I’m doubtful about that, too. This isn’t a judgment; just an observation.

As a wise man once said, “Peace has cost you your strength; victory has defeated you.”

End Notes: 

(1) I’m not convinced that it really is the North Koreans behind the Sony hack. I’m more-than-halfway persuaded that this is a disgruntled employee and hactivist group effort which has nothing to do with the Norks.

(2) Mitt Romney–Mitt Romney!–had the nearly perfect answer: Immediately stream The Interview, for free, and make a point about giving the finger to whoever is behind the threat. I’d go one step further and say that streaming should also be hosted off of, just to make sure people get the point about where the government is on the issue, too.

Mitt 2016: Third time’s the charm!


About Rick Santorum
November 24th, 2014

Update: My mistake–this piece is from New York Magazine, not the NYT Magazine. I must have had blinders on. Post edited below.

Remember when Rick Santorum was the Worst Person in the World because he made the argument that the right to privacy created by Griswold opened up a Pandora’s box from which all sorts of things would eventually emerge–and that while we’re talking about homosexuality today, eventually we’ll be talking about “man-on-dog”?

That was back in 2003. And obviously Santorum was a kook and a bigot because it took forever for us to have other stuff start popping up–like eleven whole years!–and when it did it wasn’t “man-on-dog.” Because that’s just crazy talk.

It’s man-on-horse.

From New York Magazine–and just for clarity’s sake, let me emphasize–New York Magazine–“What it’s like to date a horse”:

. . . later I’d go to pre-internet online dial-up forums and that’s where I came across bestiality porn. And I didn’t realize it was abnormal at that time, but the comments attached to those pictures were all going on about how disgusting it was. I was 13. So that would be when I was first aware that I was different. I grew up in the city, so I didn’t have much access. I always was on the lookout for horses when I was traveling. I saw farms that I’d have loved to go explore, but they were never near my home. Sometimes I wonder if I just lacked the courage.

Did you date at all?
I did ask a girl to the prom. Now that I look back, I feel so sorry for her. We sat at the table and didn’t dance. I don’t even think we hugged. As much as I later experimented with people, I was always sure I wanted horses. It was never a case of “I’m just giving this a try to see if I would prefer humans.”

When was your first kiss?
My first kiss was from a man named Mark. He was aware of my sexual preference and interested himself in dogs after a fashion. That was about two months after I lost my virginity, so I was about 22. In all honesty, I’ve never liked kissing men; rough beards do not turn me on.

So you had your first kiss after you lost your virginity? Did you lose your virginity to a horse or a human?
A horse.

There must have been a lot of buildup.
Yes, the pressure builds and builds and builds. And losing your virginity is important to becoming a “real” zoophile because you’re joining a very select group of people, and if you haven’t actually “done it,” people wonder if that’s your real sexuality. So there’s some hazing that goes on. I’d wanted to have the sexual experience as well as the street credit among my peers — the zoophiles I’d met online — because they were my closest friends, really.

How did you find a sex partner?
One of my friends had access to a nice female pony, and he let me have sex with her. She was a Shetland-cross, and she had dorsal stripes — the black line across the spine — and that’s something that’s turned me on ever since.

What’s that, you say? You want more? Why of course. But back to New York:

What was it like?
My friend was there at the time, and he was holding her head. He didn’t have to do that — it’s not like we were doing things that she wasn’t enjoying — but he was there to protect me. He had his back to me, and he was holding the lead rope to make sure that she was okay and also to prove that I’d actually done it. The sexual experience itself was incredible. To this day it was the best sex I’ve ever had. But in some ways I regret that first time.

Because I didn’t get to know her first, and I’ve since come to understand that enthusiastic participation makes the experience better. So I kind of wish it had been different. I think a lot of people build up that first experience and whether they are straight or a zoophile.

So, how do you have sex with a mare? Do you always develop an intimate relationship with her first? Is there foreplay?
I’ll tell you about the first time I had sex with my current mare friend. It’s sort of a comedy of errors. So I’d had her for about a year. I had her in the barn. I’d given her food. I’d brushed her, cleaned her under her tail, and cleaned her face. I’d scooped snot out of her nose — we know each other very intimately. We were in a barn with all the lights out and a nice warm heater; it was lovely. So, she was settling in for the night, and I went to the stall and I just sat in the corner. I let her come to me, and that’s one of the things I am very adamant about: I never use a halter or any kind of restraint.

So, she chooses to come with me, and I leave her food and she puts her head on my chest and we snuggle and I whisper sweet nothings in her ear and rub her cheeks — what she likes. By this stage, she knows I’ll rub her thighs. She really loves the area between the back of her legs touched. So, she turned around and she actually backed into me while I’m sitting down. I slip my hands up a little further up and play with her genitals.

Let’s keep going. It’s worth the payoff. I promise:

I take it you disagree with the idea that it’s abusive to have sex with animals?
Each time I have a conversation about this I see other people’s darkness projected onto what I do. Yes, anyone could tie up a horse to make sure it couldn’t hurt you and then do whatever they want to it. And, of course, that does happen. But I’ve met maybe 150 to 200 zoophiles, and I’ve never seen that. There are some people whom I would never want to associate with because they are not good people, but there are bad people in life in general.

Sex with animals is just so poorly studied. We are a varied community: city folk, country folk. The popular image of that person on the farm who goes and abuses animals because there’s no other outlet, that’s not the case. That’s just not always what happens.

So far, so good. Except that the zoophile in question then commits a little bit of a thought crime by insisting that sexual preferences aren’t hard-wired, but are changeable:

You associated the trauma of your first love dying with your homosexual experience?
It was raw trauma. When I heard the news I was in upstate New York with some friends. I remember everyone was trying to console me, and I left the house and went out to the pasture and just screamed. I was bawling. He didn’t know he was infected. We didn’t know until after he died. But yes, that was definitely traumatic. He was the first person I ever loved. That’s how I know sexuality can change, because mine changed. My gender preference changed.

Before we go on, let’s pause and go to the New York Times on January 9, 2012. Here’s Andrew Rosenthal:

At a forum for college students in Concord on Monday, a student asked Mr. Santorum why he opposed same-sex marriage rights. Mr. Santorum replied testily, “So anyone can marry anyone else.” Yes, that’s exactly the point.

Mr. Santorum should have stopped there, but he did not. “So anyone can marry several people?” he said, adding later, “Well, what about three men? If reason says that if you think it’s OK for two, then you have to differentiate with me as to why it’s not OK for three.”

Is there anyone on the national stage talking about legalizing polygamy? That wasn’t a reality-based comment so much as a not-so-subtle dig at Mitt Romney. He’s a Mormon. Many wives. “Big Love.” Get it?

Again, Mr. Santorum could have stopped. But, no. “I believe we are made the way God made man and woman, and man and woman come together to have a union to produce children, which keeps civilization going, and provide the best environment for children to be raised.”

He added: “I think that is something society should value and should give privileged status over a group of people who want to have a relationship together.”

At least he didn’t compare same-sex partnerships to “man on child” and “man on dog” sex, as he did back in 2003.

Get it? So Santorum is just crazy to have posited that we might be headed to not just bestiality, but polygamy, too. Okay, back to New York:

Are you monogamous with mares?

Yes, currently. I have two mares, and one is my mare friend and the other one is just a mare. I’ve never done anything sexual with her.

Does your mare friend have a name?
I usually call her Sexy Knickers, but her name is Ms. C.

How long have you been together?
Five years. I picked her up for $100 because she was going on a meat truck. She’s an Arabian. I’ve never had a relationship with a horse that was as in-depth as the one I have with her. I much enjoy her company; it’s really not just about sex. That’s something that a lot of people don’t understand.

Do you see her as a partner in human terms? Or is the human model the wrong way to think about it?
That’s sort of how I see it, but I guess it’s silly to project human-relationship standards onto an animal. You see, I’ve been married to a human woman for 19 years. So I would say I’m in a polygamous relationship, or at least an open relationship.

And finally, we get to the cherry on top–the call to be out-and-proud:

Do you wish you could be out and proud?
Absolutely. I’ve always been a very political person, and one of the reasons I started seeing a therapist is because I found that lately I’m having trouble with what people say about zoophiles. The same arguments over and over again, and nobody can support me because they get labeled. It’s been very hard dealing with those emotions and the heaviness of what it would be like to get caught and what’s being said and done to zoophiles, and the fact is, rather than actually engage with us, people would prefer to ignore us.

What have I done? I am a normal, average, hardworking guy. I pay my taxes, I make fairly good money, I have a nice house. I have dogs, I have ferrets, I have cats, a couple of rats, chickens in my backyard I’ve saved from places where they were just going to get killed. What have I done that’s so wrong? What is so wrong about physical contact between my penis and a mare’s genitals? And it does bring a weight. The experience of being a zoo adolescent was extremely lonely. I had no one to turn to, nobody to ask questions, and even if I had trusted someone I feel now like I would have gotten bad, heteronormative advice. It was a silent day-to-day struggle.

The only thing worse than heteronormative advice is white heteronormative advice. But take courage, my friend. Your day will come. Even sooner than Rick Santorum thought.