Friday, August 13, 2004

Convention recap
Did the governor tip his hand?

McGreevey at the Stonewall Democrats luncheon

At the time, it struck your blogstress as the tiniest bit odd, New Jersey Governor James McGreevey being the only "straight" speaker among a good half-dozen on the menu at the luncheon sponsored by the Stonewall Democrats in Boston on the last day of the Democratic National Convention. (Remarks transcribed below this post.) However, your cyberscribe's home state being among the latest to pass domestic partnership legislation, and the queer community being so legendarily moneyed and fabulous, she saw the thing as generic opportunism from a well-known opportunist, overlooking what she now sees as either a slip or a wink to the assembled crowd from the chief executive of the Garden State.

"My friends, we are engaged in a great debate within our nation," said the governor. "What we are looking for is workplace protection, equal rights and equal opportunities."

Of which "we" did the governor speak, one might ask. The royal "we"? The editorial "we"? The one-nation-indivisible "we", or the just-among-us (wink-wink) "we" in the room?

Okay, so maybe we're reading a bit too much into this. Or maybe not.

A well-laid plan?

Given his stunning debutante turn yesterday afternoon, however, it does seem that McGreevey was positioning himself to take his place in our legendarily moneyed and fabulous community. (Your blogstress, alas, has achieved only the latter of those two laudable attributes.) Although your Webwench was authentically moved by the governor's confession yesterday--especially his utterance of the glorious sentence, "I am a gay American"--its execution bears the mark of something rather calculated. McGreevey's actions were obviously forced by some unexpected (at least by him) events--a sexual harassment law suit filed against the governor by a male former aide, and revelations to come about a boyfriend that may prove to be something of an international incident. But leave it to McGreevey to find real opportunity in self-created crisis. Now, there's a real American!

Who's shoving it now?

While Teresa got herself in trouble with an acolyte of Richard Mellon Scaife for declaring the actions of an opponent to be un-American, McGreevey, speaking of gay issues, wound up his remarks before the Stonewall crowd with the same epithet.

"As much, God willing, as we have done," McGreevey asserted, "we have so much more to do to [rally] America and bring America to the side of decency in repudiating this administration, whose position on these issues is simply a matter of hate, and among the most un-American positions ever taken by any federal administration."

For your viewing pleasure...

...your blogstress forwent a planned evening of musical debauchery to transcribe (an act of tedium if there ever was one) the governor's remarks from the Stonewall gathering. (See below.) It was a most generous sacrifice on her part, seeing as no one born outside the state could have possibly made sense of those remarks, and even she had difficulty deciphering her native accent rendered through a charmingly low-end, shabby chic tape machine, not to mention the danger of tripping over all those dropped consonants littered around her dainty feet. (State secret: the reason Jersey folk talk so loud is that they think it will make them understood.) It all made her grateful for the elocution lessons she received via the high-quality recordings of one Francis Albert Sinatra, who really knew how to turn the dialect of his Hudson County homeland into a language for the masses.

The reader will no doubt take pleasure in learning that Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, who hosted the Stonewall event, was born in the Great State of New Jersey, which certainly explains a lot of things.

*See Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial page editor Colin McNickle's name-dropping, self-laudatory memo for his heroism in standing firm in the face of mean rich lady. If you've come in late, you'll find it under Romenesko's miscellany, posted 8/12/2004 3:57:47 PM, under the title: "Trib-Review staffer McNickle's note to colleagues".

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