Knock this off

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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99 Responses

  1. mark boggs says:

    He may have been trying to sting Mr. Bachmann with the kind of accusation that would really bother him: that he’s gay. But it does seem to be quite a bit of cutting off his nose to spite his face. He may have gotten under Bachmann’s skin with the accusation, but he loses the big battle by stigmatizing the very thing he wants to mainstream.Report

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    The Daily Show does this kind of thing too, both with Bachmann and with one of the dirtbags who claimed to have had an affair with Nikki Haley. As you say, it’s unseemly.Report

  3. Burt Likko says:

    More’s the pity, from what I have read, Mr. Bachmann’s techniques are needfully subject to legitimate attack. I know of two varieties of “reparative therapy” aimed at homosexuality: there’s “pray the gay away,” which is about as effective as praying away cancer or coronary conditions; and there’s aversion therapy, which is to administer a disincentive, often in the form of physical pain, for responding to homosexual stimuli.

    All of which is premised on the now-rejected idea that homosexuality is somehow wrong, deviant, or unhealthy.

    It’s foolish for Savage to give up the moral high ground when fighting such an indefensible opponent.Report

  4. Rufus F. says:

    If I have relationships with women until I turn 40 and then decide I really want to be with a man, well, I was gay all along and not ready to admit it before. If I have relationships with men until I turn 40 and then decide I want to be with a woman, I’ve probably been brainwashed. If I decide I’m bisexual… well, nobody’s really bisexual! So, yeah, I’ve known plenty of narrow minded monosexuals in my life- a few of them were even straight!Report

  5. Rufus F. says:

    The truth is it’s fun to watch other people be humiliated in public. It makes us feel less stupid about our own lives. Right now, we’re stuck in a spiral with public figures being humiliated. Because chances are within a month or so some public official will be caught touching a stranger’s willy. Probably we should be decent and look away. But, if he’s a republican or conservative of some stripe, we won’t because hey that makes him a hypocrite and so it’s our business (similarly, if the First Lady says that it’s a good idea to eat healthy and then sneaks a Bic Mac, it’s really important for assessing her character), so we’ll smear the queer (for progressive causes, of course). If the public official is a liberal or democrat, we’ll have to shame him because, hey, that’s what the Democrats do to us (politics aint soft) and besides he’s using his public office to commit vice, so of course it’s our business (wasn’t it something that mendacious with The Weiner?). After a while, this sort of fun does wear on one’s soul. In the short term, it’s loads of fun though.Report

  6. Art Deco says:

    1. Dan Savage is loutish.

    2. People trafficking in today’s psychotherapy are dismissive of psychotherapy as practiced a generation ago.

    3. Psychotherapeutic programs are a function of the moral and ethical systems of the practitioners.

    None of this is exactly novel.Report

    • Jon Rowe in reply to Art Deco says:

      I have to agree with points 2 and 3. I think psychiatrists, if you know where to look, have uncovered some profound insights about human nature. But as a whole, they seem to have poisoned their own wells by pusing their normative worldviews under the rubric of scientific “disorder.” Most of what I find profound about psychiatry are, as I see it, discoveries of philosophy, especially Eastern and Stoic philosophies. For instance, psychiatrists properly understand that meditation is a just a good thing for “disorders.”Report

  7. RTod says:

    I mostly agree. And yet…

    It seems to me, that sensational gawking aside if one rises to some level of power by (to some degree) attacking the low morals of a set of people (adulters, for example, or gays) and then are discovered to be a practitioner of those activites… Is that really just liking to see famous people suffer?

    It does seem to me that if you are really ok with a segment of your neighbors, but are willing to publicly vilify them for your own gain hazing a light shone (shined?) on this is a good thing.Report

    • BSK in reply to RTod says:


      I don’t think there is an issue with identifying hypocrisy (such as a closeted gay man being virulently homophobic). But if your method of doing so is to engage in just the type of homophobia and stereotyping you are accusing the other person of engaging in, you’ve sacrificed whatever moral high ground you might have had.

      Look, I couldn’t give a shit what Bachman’s sexual orientation. I gave up long ago on attempting to guess who’s gay based on speech patterns and other stereotypes. I’m content to let those who are comfortable outing themselves to me do so and otherwise leave well enough alone. More importantly, stereotyping in such a way is stupid. His stance on homosexuality is problematic whether he is straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual… whatever. Deal with the issue. Slinging mud leaves all of us dirty.Report

      • RTod in reply to BSK says:

        Oops. I fished up where I replied. I was replying to Rufus’s comment earlier, the one about how perhaps we would be better off ignoring when a family values pol got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It was not about the Savage article or Bachman. (Though I can see how the comments placement would lead you to think so.)Report

  8. Jason Kuznicki says:

    Since no one else is taking the bait, let me offer a limited defense of Dan Savage.

    First, he’s not mocking openly gay people who are lispy, swishy, and effeminate. Dan Savage is totally cool with people like that. He’s mocking someone whom he perceives as a closet case and who happens to be doing a whole lot to marginalize and stigmatize openly gay people (lispy or otherwise). That’s a big difference.

    Second, mocking Marcus Bachmann isn’t remotely like bullying an elementary or high school kid. Bachmann is a grown adult. He’s also popular, powerful, and extraordinarily well-connected — starting with being married to a U.S. Representative.

    To say the least, the guy has resources an elementary school kid can’t even imagine. It’s not like the school system or his parents force him to put up with that mean old Dan Savage every single day for years on end, with no relief in sight. If he doesn’t like what Dan Savage says, he’s free not to download the podcast. Cry me a freakin’ river.

    And the way our government is run these days, I’d be somewhat surprised if the FBI weren’t watching Dan Savage’s every move right this moment. Sure, I don’t care for the way Savage is conducting himself here — there are better approaches, at least to my taste — but why anyone thought to parallel the two cases is just beyond me.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      Would it be better if Bachmann was more of a Rock Hudsony gay guy who was doing this?Report

    • Savage is throwing mud and seeing if some of it sticks. It is a cynical exercise.

      Dr. Bachmann has been married for 33 years and has five children. He is not the most plausible candidate for the ranks of the homosexual population. It is not at all credible that he manifests unadulterated homosexuality, which Savage has been known to contend is the only kind that exists. In any case, a man nearing sixty is likely to have made his arrangements with his world, whatever occult problems he may have.Report

      • Jon Rowe in reply to Art Deco says:

        “In any case, a man nearing sixty is likely to have made his arrangements with his world, whatever occult problems he may have.”

        Yeah this is interesting. I think it may be possible for a chiefly homosexually oriented man to flourish in a heterosexual relationship by extending his energies to the nuturing of his children. BTW, there are some interesting anecdotes of homosexually oriented men who PRACTICE their homosexuality while being married heterosexually and siring children with their wives and being otherwise good fathers. Basically these are gay men who marry their BFF and have children with them. I assume this also fits in your “mak[ing] arrangements with his world….”

        I just hope, for his sake, Mr. Bachmann isn’t caught in a public restroom. There is certainly a better way than that for his kind.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Jon Rowe says:

          I think it may be possible

          I think it may be possible that my house will be leveled by an F-4 tornado. The property-casualty underwriters employed by my insurance company are not too concerned, however.Report

          • Jon Rowe in reply to Art Deco says:

            So you don’t think Mr. Bachman is flourishing, I guess?Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Jon Rowe says:

              I have no reason to believe he is in any distress, or that his practice is.

              You make it your business to posit that his internal emotional configuration is quite peculiar, rather at a variance with what one would assume just playing the averages. So does Savage, though I imagine his motivations for doing so are malicious, an assumption I would not make in your case.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      Effeminate (as in, not stereotypically masculine) and gay are two different things. Lots of the kids who get bullied are the former rather than the latter. Bachmann may be the former too: who cares? In either case, stigmatizing him for it is ugly.Report

  9. stillwater says:

    Is this post an argument over tactics? An accusation of hypocrisy on Savage’s part? An effort to end the attacks and let the healing begin?

    Look, in the post you criticized Savage for feeding the conservative sense of victimhood. But all you’re doing in this post is defending conservative’s sense of victimhood.Report

  10. Artor says:

    I agree in principle. Gay-bashing the gay-bashers is just more gay-bashing. While it’s possible Doc Bach might be closeted gay, there’s no proof yet, so all is speculation, and unfounded speculation hurts your argument. I was underwhelmed to see Jeanne Garafolio (sp?) tossing off a gay diagnosis, and I’m disappointed to see Dan Savage doing the same, of all people.
    Doc Bach and his hellspawn wife are both worthy of metric shit-tons of criticism, over many valid issues. But until his Haggard or Craig maneuver becomes public knowledge, it’s best to keep the speculative gay-bashing in the closet, so to speak.Report

  11. Plinko says:

    I agree more with Jason here than anyone.
    The fact is if Dan Savage is going to make the transition into highly-visible political activist he will need to learn that these things will likely end up being counter-productive to his causes or else accept that he’ll have limited ability to enact the change he wants in the world.
    That said, I remember when the standard salutation for each letter to Savage Love was ‘Hey Faggot’. I think he’s made a lot of concession to political correctness over his natural instincts already just to be where he is today.
    Is this any worse than ‘Santorum’?Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Plinko says:

      The whole “Santorum” business was the kind of thing that a twelve-year-old would think was absolutely hilarious and the best burn ever.Report

  12. stillwater says:

    Dan Savage’s response to the criticism over his Bachmann comments:

    When we point out that this same Marcus Bachmann acts like a huge homo—like a messy, married, dishonest, closeted version Cam—we’re hoisting that pansy on his own hateful petard.

    Marcus Bachmann is attacking us and we’re claiming him. We’re embracing him, we’re saying that we recognize ourselves in him, and that turns the stigma Marcus Bachmann promotes back on Marcus Bachmann.

    Dude’s clever.Report

  13. BlaiseP says:

    Where is the moral high ground in this argument? Let’s put ourselves in Dan Savage’s shoes for a moment. Here’s a guy who makes his living uttering opinions about people’s sexuality. Is he saying these things because he believes them, or because he’s a syndicated columnist with an audience to maintain, people who’ve grown fond of his feral outrage?

    Get real, people. He says these thing because he’s gettin’ paid. He could phone this stuff in by now. He’s reduced it all to so many acronyms and memes, DTMFA, GGG, Diamondbacking, those of us who’ve read him over the years know them all. It’s like that old joke about the new fish in prison. The lights go out, someone in the darkness hollers “24”. A few laughs, someone else shouts out “15”. The place goes up in laughter. So the new fish asks his cell mate what’s going on. “Oh”, says the lifer, “we’ve all been in here so long, we’ve got all the jokes numbered.” So the new fish calls out, somewhat tremulously, “16”. Nobody laughs. A voice in the dark calls out “Some people just can’t tell a joke.”

    What’s the nice thing to say about Curing Gays? That study after study points to homosexuality as an intrinsic and not a learned predisposition? That Mr. Bachmann is making a living by cruelly extending the possibility to parents that their beloved child might enter the fold of heterosexuality and a conventional marriage and grandchildren, and for a hefty fee?

    And what of the child? Isn’t adolescence awkward enough without telling a child he or she is a deviant? I can’t imagine it’s easy being a gay adolescent: while all the other boys are obsessing about girls, making stupid jokes about fags, there’s the gay kid, isolated inside his own welter of emotions. It might be easier these days but I can’t imagine it’s ever easy. It wasn’t for me as a heterosexual. I’d return to the age of 30 in a heartbeat, but not for love or money would I return to the age of 13.

    How should we put this politely, in a Seemly Fashion. It seems to me Savage has not gone far enough. What shall we make of the kids sent to Mr. Bachmann’s little gulag, the ones who aren’t Cured of their Gayness? This man is destroying children’s lives, breaking their spirits. If it is not entirely Seemly to call Mr. Bachmann a self-hating gay, he is in the industry of creating self-hating gays.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

      If gay-baiting is bad, then it’s still bad when gay people do it.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Let’s suppose Mr. Bachmann was selling a cure for autism. Still with me on calling him a quack?Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

          Whether or not Bachmann’s a quack is not relevant to this discussion.

          Let’s flip your analogy around and ask whether it would be all right to suggest that Bachmann needed the autism cure for himself because he’s a retard?Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to DensityDuck says:

            Well, I’ve put forward the assertion wherein Savage hasn’t gone far enough. Mr. Bachmann has an effeminate manner, hardly a crime. Very likely he is a gay, but it’s hardly an insult to call him such, not anymore. In that respect, Savage is just being a silly man, undercutting his own argument.

            But you don’t get off so easy, reversing the board without making a move. I repeat myself in asking if Bachmann is a quack, and it would be much appreciated if you’d answer the question. If Mr. Bachmann’s clinic is receiving government funds,to wit, Medicare funds, to reverse homosexuality, isn’t that a problem? Now if he was promoting a cure for autism, for which no drug or therapeutic treatment has yet been clinically proven to work, we’d arrest his sorry ass for practicing medicine without a license and probably prosecute him for a number of other crimes.

            It is all very silly, Tom. Mr. Bachmann is a quack. He’s a harmful quack, doing great harm, saying he can cure homosexuality through whatever Clockwork Orange-ish therapy he’s got up there. If he were a licensed therapist, he ought to be disbarred, but he’s not, so we can’t. I say take his Medicare funding away, right away. Now that’s what Savage should be saying.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP says:

              He would be receiving Medicare re-imbursements only for patients who were elderly or adjudicated as disabled (and for whom, one might suspect, an overactive libido is not a problem to which they would assign priority).Report

            • Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP says:

              Very likely he is a gay

              You got two pair, not a full house. Don’t overplay it.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Art Deco says:

                Poor Deco. Who the fish are you to tell anyone about overplaying their hand? Two will get you five “Dr.” Bachmann’s so far back in the closet he’s hiding in the shoe boxes.Report

            • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

              “I repeat myself in asking if Bachmann is a quack…”

              Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Depends on the dog, I suppose. The original answer is the character for the Void, which sounds like a dog bark, WU, there being no character for ARF.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

                See, coming back at that one just makes you look like a dope. I don’t know whether this is a failed try at Too Hip For You, or whether you honestly didn’t understand the reference (until you looked it up on Wikipedia just now), but neither way makes you look good.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Duck, Bachmann is a quack. You know he’s a quack. You just won’t say it. C’mon. I was through being hip before you were out of diapers, and I do not give a fish what you think about my dopishness. You need to go give old Deco a cuddle of commiseration, coz he’s equally out of sorts and won’t admit the obvious. People who have a problem with homosexuality these days are insecure in their own sexuality. Now there’s a fact you might want to fit into that cheap briefcase of yours. Hip. Eet eez to larf. Gwan and siddown before you embarrass yourself any more.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Now you’re just embarrassing yourself.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Oh hush. I do not feel embarrassed in the slightest. Trying some dime store koan on me, as if you had the slightest inclination to answer honestly.

                Now here is a koan you should know, of the two monks and the princess. A princess was stranded on one side of a stream. Two monks come along, one lifts her in his arms and carries her across the stream. She thanks him and the monks go on their way.

                The monk who had not carried the princess seethed and grimaced. Some miles down the road he burst out, yelling at the other monk “Why did you touch that woman? Don’t you know we monks are not to engage in such contacts?”

                The other monk replied quietly: “I put the girl down on this side of the river bank. When will you let go of her?”

                I think Dr. Bachmann is a quack. He’s got some issues in his worldview about gays which seem a bit prejudicial, as if gay people were mentally ill. Now Lord knows gay people can be mentally ill, and a great way to start down the road to insanity and misery is to be told the largest issue in your life, your sexuality, can be Fixed so you can be Like God Intended.

                I am beyond embarrassment. Don’t you dream of schoolmarming me, Duck. Yappy dogs shall get what they deserve, a great big dog to chase them into the next zip code, and I am just the dog to do it.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Of you and me, which of us is continuing to ask a question not related to the OP as though the mere asking were some kind of masterful burn?Report

    • Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP says:

      That study after study points to homosexuality as an intrinsic and not a learned predisposition?

      Study after study does not show that.

      What shall we make of the kids sent to Mr. Bachmann’s little gulag, the ones who aren’t Cured of their Gayness? This man is destroying children’s lives, breaking their spirits. If it is not entirely Seemly to call Mr. Bachmann a self-hating gay, he is in the industry of creating self-hating gays.

      Most of us come to a certain point in our lives and have a critical distance from what we’ve done with ourselves, assessing what we can handle and accomplish and what we cannot (within the limits of the efforts that we are willing to exert). Your abiding and persistent problems might have to do with sex, or work habits, or food, or your temper, or the creature. Those are your problems. For some reason, a great many people fancy that a critical distance from one’s sexual perversions is nefarious. That is too bad, but it is not the only way in which this age is stupid.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Art Deco says:

        Most of us come to a certain point where Flame Bait is used as a relish for cold dinners, rhetorical giardiniera, sotto aceite.Report

      • Just a small question, AD:

        Suppose one is gay, but perceives no abiding or persistent problems with sex whatsoever. Let’s say one is quite happy, with a settled home, good friends, a loving partner, etc. Said person can look at his life with a reasonable degree of critical self-awareness, and find no problem with sex worth correcting.

        Who has the authority to pronounce his homosexuality a perversion? You? The ancients?Report

        • BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders says:

          The God of Hell Fire. That’s who. Where’s Arthur Brown when he’s needed?Report

        • Who has the authority to affirm it as something worthwhile?

          I do not see the question of ‘who has the authority’ as any more vexed in the matter of human sexuality than it is in any other realm of human behavior in which a question of norms resides.

          I think the point of your example is that their is no such thing as sexual perversion – i.e. that evaluation of sexual expression is a function of subjective consumer tastes. I think you may wish to get off that box car before it goes over the cliff. (But maybe you do not….).

          As regards the fellow in your example, sexual expression does not function toward its ultimate end, which is the building of family life. It is a recreational activity only, and a rather unhygienic one. That may not bother the man in question. However, his lack of bother does not alter that reality.Report

          • North in reply to Art Deco says:

            Well when you get down to it sex, be it homo or hetero, in any form is mightily unhygienic.
            If there is a God he or she must have cracked up merrily when he/she came up with the idea of wedging the procreative functions of his/her creations in between the metaphorical sewers.

            Out of curiosity Art, do you have any relatives, friends or acquaintances who are gay themselves that you know of?Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

              It’s far more benign that using the same narrow passageway for both air and food. I expect Russell has had some experience needing to fix the problems that causes.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to Art Deco says:

            “I think the point of your example is that their is no such thing as sexual perversion…”

            Well…no, I don’t. I think there’s such a thing as sexual activity with unwilling partners, or sexual activity with partners who lack the capacity to make reasoned judgements. But “perversion” is so much in the eye of the beholder as to be a meaningless description.

            People thought (and, in some places, still think) that heterosexual oral sex is a disgusting perversion. People think that sex toys represent a disgusting perversion. People think that eating dog meat represents a disgusting perversion. People think that associating with workers whose job involves human waste is a disgusting perversion. People think that farting in public is a disgusting perversion.Report

          • Who has the authority to affirm it as something worthwhile?

            What a remarkably silly question. I do, of course. It is patently worthwhile to me. You have no basis to say otherwise, beyond your own prideful conceptions of what other people should be doing with their lives.

            As regards the fellow in your example, sexual expression does not function toward its ultimate end, which is the building of family life. It is a recreational activity only, and a rather unhygienic one. That may not bother the man in question. However, his lack of bother does not alter that reality.

            Again with your amazing ability to know what is right for someone other than yourself. (Your somewhat squeamish qualm with its “unhygienic” nature is very droll, as though heterosexual sex is so very tidy.) Who are you to question the value of the family life of anyone else, or how it was built? Apparently you’re only response to the question about a contented gay man with a happy family is that he cannot, by your definition, be any such thing.

            How very proud of yourself you seem. Used to be people considered that sinful.Report

            • BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders says:

              Well, y’know, that Jesus guy, the scribes and pharisees called him a Friend of Sinners back in his own day.Report

            • I do, of course. It is patently worthwhile to me.
              Again with your amazing ability to know what is right for someone other than yourself.

              Me not the issue. Neither are you.

              We actually have a body of law in this country, as does any complex society. It is commonly regulatory and prescriptive. We might hope it is just. There is also a body of moral and ethical thought (theological and philosophical) which may guide us in the ordering of our own lives and in the common life. I am not an adept of this sort of thing myself. There is a good deal I take on authority, just not on the authority of the surrounding kultursmog. You have to make moral and ethical decisions in your life, even if your thinking is unsophisticated (though not so unsophisticated as to say ‘whatever floats your boat’). If that be ‘silly’, so be it.Report

        • Nothing nefarious on Dr. Marcus Bachmann’s operation yet. The NYT, for those interested in getting to the bottom of things:

          The group [Truth Wins Out] also sent its communications director, John Becker, who is gay, to Bachmann & Associates to pose as a patient seeking to become heterosexual. He recorded his conversations with a therapist on two hidden cameras and an audio device.

          The group shared its recordings with The Times and other news organizations; they depict Timothy Wiertzema, a licensed marriage and family therapist, as willing to work with Mr. Becker but not aggressively pressing him to change his sexuality.

          Their conversations touched on faith and God; Mr. Becker volunteered that he was raised Roman Catholic. Asked about the possibility of “getting rid of it completely,” Mr. Wiertzema replied that some people had, but that for others homosexuality simply “becomes manageable.”

          Wayne Besen, the founder of Truth Wins Out, said, “What we found was reasonably professional with a skewed point of view toward homosexuality being a negative and no offering of hope that it is something positive.”

          So Truth Wins Out attempts a Breitbart/O’Keefe-type sting [and I have no problem with any such stings], and comes up with nothing except a difference of opinion. Page A13:

          • BlaiseP in reply to tom van dyke says:

            You’re going to need a bigger backhoe than that, Tom. Dr. Bachmann and his crew of merry Fag Fixers just might want to take that particular cure off the menu board, at least until the campaign’s over.Report

  14. Alanmt says:

    Seems some people here aren’t defending Mr. Bachmann per se so much as their own paradigms.

    The interesting thing I have observed is this: aside from debates as to whether it is an effective political tactic or not, most gay and bi guys, regardless of their range on any masculinity to effeminacy scale, are not offended by this takedown method of the bad self-called doctor. They are offended by Bachmann. They are extra offended by the fact that he seems to be what he despises, and see no problem with noting that.Report

  15. David Cheatham says:

    I have to agree. It’s one thing to point out rank hypocrisy by pointing out if someone who opposes homosexuals is homosexual himself. If Marcus Bachmann is actually homosexual (Which, let us recall, is defined as ‘being attracted to men’, not ‘speaking with a lisp’.), fine, point that out.

    It’s even reasonable to point out that people who make fun of ‘unmanly’ men are, themselves, not very ‘manly’. Did Marcus Bachmann ever do that? Not that I am aware of, but perhaps. (Rush Limbaugh, OTOH, has, which is why it’s fair to attack him on the ground he isn’t that ‘manly’ looking himself.)

    And it’s fine for gay men to mock themselves and the stereotypes used against them. It’s even reasonable to speculate in a non-hateful manner about who is secretly part of their ‘group’, and they can get away with saying things straight people wouldn’t. If they want to run various people through their ‘gaydar’ _jokingly_, whatever.

    But this is not really any of that.

    This is using stereotypes to attack someone as gay, in _exactly_ the manner that not only is harmful to actual gay people, but is pretty damn harmful to straight people who don’t entirely conform to gender roles. (And, while we’re at it, pretty hateful to transgender people also.)

    Unless Marcus Bachmann has stated speaking effeminately is a bad thing (Which is _not_ the same thing as being gay, I have to point out from some absurd reason, although Dan Savage should know that.), he should not be attacked for that. And unless Marcus Bachmann has stated it’s a sign of being gay, he shouldn’t be called gay because he does that. Those would be _valid_ ways of pointing out hypocrisy, if he had done those things, then people could point to his voice. Has he? Not that I’ve heard of.

    As he hasn’t that I’m aware of, this is just…Dan Savage, of all people, gay-bashing. (And it’s the _imaginary_ gay bashing of non-gay people that Dan Savage has repeatedly mentioned as an issue, where victims have to then prove they aren’t gay.)Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to David Cheatham says:

      Nonsense. Dan Savage isn’t gay bashing. He’s hypocrite bashing. And he’s hypocrite bashing even if Marcus Bachmann is as straight as they get.

      Why? Because Marcus Bachmann is (a) at least a bit effeminate and (b) is engaging in highly dubious therapy practices at best.

      (A) is relevant because even completely straight but still effeminate boys and men have it really rough from the anti-gay faction in our society. I don’t know how Marcus escaped, but one common method is to demonize openly gay men. Which clearly he’s doing. Fair game, I’d say.

      (B) is relevant because quacks deserve ridicule.

      Is Marcus Bachmann a hypocrite? Yes, even if he’s straight. Even if.Report

  16. Stillwater says:

    This is using stereotypes to attack someone as gay

    Why the presupposition that this is an attack? Isn’t the reflexive inclination to think labeling people as gay constitutes an attack simply an example of homophobic gender bias? Savage said, straight up, that he’s inviting Marcus into the gay club. Seems like an act of kindness.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Stillwater says:

      You’re gay.

      No, I’m not.

      Yes, you are.

      No, really not. I’m attracted to women. I’ve been married to one for 30-odd years, we’ve had five children together, and we’re very happy.

      No, you’re gay. I’ve heard you speak, and I can tell.

      Look, really, I’m not gay. Please stop this.

      Why are you being so defensive when all I’m trying to do is welcome you?Report

  17. homer says:

    To put things bluntly, no straight man is obsessed with homosexuality. Marcus Bachmann and his wife are obsessed with the subject. I ask you straight guys, how much time do you sit around thinking about the gays? My straight male friends, when asked this question, always respond, “We are too busy thinking about women.”

    I’m a gay man and have been out of the closet since 1985. I have watched as many videos of Marcus Bachmann as I can find. He is a closeted homosexual. Hey, I’m an expect on the subject!

    I find it amusing that so many straight people think that he absolutely, positively straight because A). he is married and B). he says so. Do we need to run down the long list of conservative men who denounced those horrid homosexuals before they were caught. Let’s see…George Rekers…Ted Haggard…Jim Kolbe…Ted Craig…Ken Mehlman… Mark Foley… Bob Allen… Glen Murphy Jr… etc.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to homer says:

      Recalling as daily life, popular culture, and mass entertainment prior to 1982 or thereabouts and comparing it to the kultursmog of today, the best one can do is be amused when someone with a poor memory or with no memories accuses critics of homosexuality with being ‘obsessed’ with the subject. Really, there once was a time when it just was not much of a topic of conversation. The antagonists of the gay lobby were not those who insisted on making it so obtrusive.

      That aside…

      Perhaps 3% of the adult population is given to homosexuality to a greater or lesser degree and the share inclined to seek reparative therapy is smaller still. If you examine his site, you will see that Dr. Bachmann runs a broad-spectrum psychotherapeutic practice which has two clinics and a salaried workforce of twenty-four therapists and counselors. You are positing that he employs all that manpower to serve a slim demographic segment, and in small town Minnesota no less. Not too swift.Report

  18. Vertov says:

    I love this blog, and consider it a beacon of reason in an internet sea of hot-air rhetoric.


    Dr. Bachmann can’t make his ugly theories about gay people, have a prominent social conservative and gay-basher as a wife, talk in a prominent lisp, and not expect a word of public mockery. He practically invites the charge of being a self-loathing gay man.

    As for the charge that this will only invigorate conservatives against the dread “liberal elite,” well, how should one react? We can be outraged all we want against the Bachmanns, but I think ridicule – effective, dead-on, accurate ridicule – often works far better then the usual “gosh, that’s not polite” response that thoughtful types think will work.

    Ridicule isn’t always the only weapon, or the best weapon (ex: see how much of Sadly, No! you can take after awhile), but in this case we have a target that perpetuates nasty psychological theories AND is a comfortable, prominent citizen who seems obsessed over masculinity.

    If he can’t take what he dishes out, that’s his problem.


    P.S. – the ridicule is especially strong coming from the slightly effeminate (my opinion!), openly-gay Savage. I admit that the same attack, coming from, say, some crude straight comedian, wouldn’t have the same charge.Report

  19. Sunday's Child says:

    Seemly? Bachmann et ux (whichever that may be) spread hatefulness and teach GLBT youth to loathe themselves, and you complain this is unseemly??? I submit, Dr. Saunders, that your priorities are vastly skewed. Do you think Marcus Bachmann is in serious danger of suicide? His ‘clientele’ surely are! Have you investigated ‘Dr.’ Bachmann’s credentials? Would you put your child into his hands? Seemly be damned, sir! Michele Bachmann is a serious threat to this country. She is an enormously disturbed woman who believes that were the US to sever ties with Israel, it would bring the curse of god down upon this country. She belonged to a church which preaches the bishop of Rome is the anti-christ, until that seat got too hot for her. On top of that, as a conservative evangelical woman, she is duty bound to obey her husband. I am not trying to evoke the sort of bigotry that existed towards Roman catholics pre-JFK. She believes that her immortal soul depends on this type of obedience. I do not want this woman any closer to launch codes than she already is.

    Unseemly…. good godReport