December 10, 2007

Did Rudy Giuliani just out himself to Tim Russert?

Via Andrew Sullivan, the clip of 9iul1an1 on MTP yesterday:

Now, everyone seems to be focusing on 9iul1an1's nervous, giggling meltdown and his inability to parry Russert's flaccid thrusts. And that's all to the good.

But I want to focus on something strange.

At the 3:45 mark, Russert starts in on a recitation of Huckabee's anti-Teh Gay bona fides, and tries to box 9iul1an1 into alienating Teh Base by defending his Sodomitic Heritage as a Rootless Cosmopolitan.

9iul1an1 responds by being fair to the Huckster and refusing to take the bait. He then makes an odd parsing of Catholic dogma regarding ass-fucking and segues clumsily into the "hate the sin, not the sinner" shibboleth -- and he does specifically invoke "sin": "It's the acts -- it's the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the orientation that they have."

Then, as Russert tries to move on, 9iul1an1 can't leave well enough alone, and cuts Russert off: "Which includes me, by the way."

To be sure, he then stammers, continues, and tries to contextualize his odd (and oddly insistent -- Russert clearly didn't get what he was aiming for, and was trying to move on) segue: "Unfortunately, I've had my own sins that I've had to confess and deal with and try to overcome. And so, I'm very very empathatic with people. We're all imperfect human beings, struggling to try to be better."

9iul1an1 trying to "do" humility is itself a transparent charade (and also, in this context, a weird decision itself, as he's clearly trying to squeeze in between the aw-Hucks man-o'-Gawditude and the clumsy-Mitted deployment of vague theologisms). Perhaps his handlers were insistent in the Green Room that 9iul1an1 had to thread the needle this way.

But the manner of 9iul1an1's compulsion to cut Russert off, and to go for the confessional gesture immediately after condemning ass-fucking as a sin, strikes me as a Freudian "tell."

What's more, any Fundie watching that exchange would (even if he knew about 9iul1an1's serial adultery) take it the same way (without the Freud, of course). Here's the sequence: 9iul1an1 deploys the "hate the sin, not the sinner" trope; then he specifically condemns ass-fucking (and its constellation of perversions) as a sin; then, when Father Confessor Tim is clearly done with him and implicitly granting absolution, 9iul1an1 insists that he himself is of that same category of sinner.

This sequence is identical to the prominent Protestant pervert's public confession -- Haggard, Foley, et al. Any religious cultural literate watching 9iul1an1 there will know that he's not confessing to adultery -- he's confessing to sodomy.

Now, that sodomy doesn't necessarily have to be same-gender. But, since 9iul1an1 is being so insistent about it, shouldn't he be asked?

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