GOP Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) recently became the first Republican Senator to come out in support for gay marriage following his son's coming out as gay. When asked by Politico whether he had changed his mind on gay marriage, Senator Chambliss (R-Ga.) said, "I'm not gay. So I'm not going to marry one."
I think there's a possibility that Senator Chambliss' Freudian slip of answering the wrong question may hint that he is heading for a Larry Craig moment. Maybe he's anxious about his name, Saxby, which sounds more like a name for a saxophonist in drag than a Republican Senator from Georgia.
It's good to know how Chambliss thinks, though. For example, he is ardently pro-life. I suspect if asked if he's changed his mind on abortion, he'd answer along the lines of, "I am not a woman. So I'm not going to get pregnant." Obviously there's no need for abortion, then!
Still, some of Senator Chambliss' positions just don't make any sense at all now. For example, he voted for the Veterans Jobs Bill, but he received a medical and student deferment from Vietnam. In 2002, he ran attack ads showing his opponent, Democrat Max Cleland as weak on national security. Cleland lost three limbs.
Perhaps it would go something like, "I am not a veteran. But I support them anyway." No, that sounds too reasonable. "I am not a veteran. But they're real American's." At least he didn't include a rider excluding gay veterans from the bill.
Portman's reversal, rather than opening up the GOP to young voters, has brought a host of criticism to the party, because it exposed opposition to equal rights for what it is: a selfish, bigoted position that indicates lack of empathy, not strong moral values.
Chambliss' non-sequitur has made this even more clear.
Our elected officials commonly offer platitudes along the lines of "I govern for everyone, not just the people who voted for me," but Chambliss seems to govern by an even more exclusionary standard: for people like him.
I would love to hear someone ask Chambliss whether he would change his mind if his son told him he is gay. A follow-up about whether he takes into account the feelings of parents with gay children would be interesting, too.