Goode ol’ Virge

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The Danville paper has an editorial today reviewing the circumstances surrounding Rep. Virgil Goode’s being listed in the credits at the end of Eden’s Curve, a gay coming-of-age film being described in some quarters as gay porn. It’s not entirely clear what the point of the editorial is; you can try to figure it out for yourself. But leaving that aside, it seems probable that Goode, whom the paper describes as “one of the least gay-friendly members of Congress,” is nowhere near as gay unfriendly as he holds himself out to be. As the Mark Foley affair made clear, there is no shortage of conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill who happily play the gay card on the stump even as they employ gay staffers and extend to their “lifestyle” the respect that it deserves. This has its antecedents in the readiness of some old time Southern politicians to play the race card for all it was worth but always with a wink and a nod to their black constituents–and, in some cases, family members. Remember Strom Thurmond? La Rochefoucauld famously called hypocrisy the tribute vice pays to virtue, but in these cases, it’s more like the tribute virtue pays, in places like Virginia’s fifth congressional district, to vice.