March 29, 2013

"What was worse — having to be heterosexual or being a politician?"

"One of the great moments" in Alexandra Pelosi's HBO documentary "Fall to Grace," according to Carl Swanson in New York Magazine. The documentarian daughter of Nancy Pelosi is interviewing disgraced former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey.
Pelosi tells me the lesson of the documentary is “Don’t let the worst thing you did define who you are now. Think of it as Tony Robbins for the HBO-documentary set.” I ask her if she worries that she is essentially enabling McGreevey’s need for attention, and she admits that the idea “does keep her up at nights.”
This is my second post of the day about McGreevey. The first was about a NYT article that was either atrocious or brilliant satire. I'm writing this one because I have now watched the "Fall to Grace," and I just want to say it's horrible. Pelosi didn't get much good footage, and we mostly see women in prison going through prison therapy, a topic that could be handled in many different ways by serious film documentarians but is here used to promote McGreevey, whom the women just adore, because he tells them they should not be defined by the worst things they've done.

Why is McGreevey doing therapy in women's prisons? Because he left the Catholic Church (because they won't let you feel good about being gay) and went to Episcopalian seminary (where it's apparently okay both to be gay and to have a gay sexual relationship), but the Episcopalians rejected him for the priesthood anyway. Is McGreevey angling to get back into politics? I bet he is, in which case Pelosi's puff piece is supposed to help. It shouldn't though, because it's so awful. Worst thing about it? The maudlin tinkling piano soundtrack that never shuts up.

51 comments:

Oso Negro said...

The Onion summed the whole sordid deal with the headline "Homosexual Tearfully Admits to Being Governor of New Jersey."

AJ Lynch said...

Wonder what HBO paid Pelosi to do it?

edutcher said...

There's a punchline to that question.

Wally Kalbacken said...

Did you say "women in prison" as in "Caged Lust" or "Wanton Desire Behind Bars"? Man, those were my favorite childhood books, along with "Trailer Park Tramp".

David said...

So power soaked rich girl documentarian Alexandra Pelosi is not much of a filmmaker after all?

What a surprise.

chickelit said...

Are Alexandra Pelosi and Nancy Pelosi (née D'Alesandro) related? Other wise, holy coincidence!

Just curious.

sydney said...

Her documentary about the Bush campaign wasn't very good, either.

AJ Lynch said...

Mother & Daughter CL. A good old Rent seeker family.

AJ Lynch said...

When I heard it was a women's prison,I thought McGreevey might have quietly switched teams again.

Renee said...

I feel bad for his ex wife, I understand many men who may be gay marry a woman and have kids. And may genuinely care for their wife, despite being gay. But for the spouse to learn that they were a prop in this case? Scum.

bagoh20 said...

Having to be heterosexual or being a politiican?

Gay, straight, or politician - words to describe who you choose to fuck.

YoungHegelian said...

@AJ,

When I heard it was a women's prison,I thought McGreevey might have quietly switched teams again

AJ, the man was marries to a woman for years & years. Since they had kids, we can assume it was not a completely platonic relationship.

Team-switching seems to be this guy's M.O., so maybe the "Caged Lust" scenarios aren't that far off the mark.

William said...

I saw her Travels With George. It was watchable. She allowed Bush a few good lines, but she made sure that the footage of him eating and talking with his mouth open was prominently featured. On balance a hit piece, but just enough favorable footage so that she could pretend to be lofty and impartial.....I bet if she had any footage of McGreevy talking with his mouth full (heh), it wasn't used....McGreevy is creepy, crooked, and self serving. He deserves a much worse press than he has received. Christie's girth has received far more attention than McGreevy's depradations and Corzine's missing half billion dollars.

Revenant said...

the Episcopalians rejected him for the priesthood

The shocking news here is that the Episcopal Church actually has standards.

ricpic said...

Corzine is a criminal. Nothing but. Astounding what the super well connected get away with.

MCD said...

I live in New Jersey.

I don't care about McGreevey's personal life as a "gay American," but his two former wives and their children may have a different view.

Still, I think it is a bit much for someone with his record to try to become a priest -- and to qualify for a New Jersey state pension -- and to be the subject of a hagiographic biopic.

McGreevey's people looted New Jersey. Years of gas tax monies for road repair, years of cigarette tax receipts for other projects were bonded and sold off, the money applied to single-year operating budgets. His PR-trained paramour was proposed for the state's highest security job after 9/11 -- imagine a the reaction if a straight governor tried to put his girlfriend in such a job.

There were many other abuses.

I believe in redemption, and maybe McGreevey will redeem himself. Maybe. But I have met people who have worked for many more years than he as chaplains and teachers in prisons. Any of them would make a better subject for a documentary than this clown.

edutcher said...

bagoh20 said...

Having to be heterosexual or being a politiican?

Gay, straight, or politician - words to describe who you choose to fuck.


Or who does it to you.

bagoh20 said...

What edutcher said.

That's what I tried to say, but I got so excited when I typed the word "fuck" that I fucked it up.

Lydia said...

Althouse said...
he left the Catholic Church (because they won't let you feel good about being gay)

Not exactly how the Church looks at it. Here's the Catechism of the Catholic Church on chastity and homosexuality:

2357. Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358. The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.


"They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity." I don't infer from that that one can't "feel good about being gay." Feeling bad would have to come from shaming, I would think, and the Church isn't doing that.

Renee said...

According to Episcopalian s, same sex acts are only so wrong for heterosexuals in Paul's text in the Bible.

" In a section of his New Testament letter to the Romans (1:22-27) dealing with God’s admonitions against same-sex relations, St. Paul was actually writing about heterosexuals who engage in same-sex acts and not homosexuals, said  the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal church."

http://m.cnsnews.com/news/article/first-openly-gay-episcopal-bishop-says-st-paul-was-condemning-homosexual-acts,


madAsHell said...

This is the male version of "having it all". Of course, most of us would have a string of mistresses, not boyfriends.

I think Paula Broadwell is the female version.

Bender said...

he left the Catholic Church (because they won't let you feel good about being gay)

Let's be clear about what the Church says on this Good Friday --
(1) That we should love one another. The Church has nothing but love for those who have a same-sex attraction.
(2) That we are all sinners. All of us, whatever our sexual attraction. Despite what the likes of McGreevy might think, he is not without sin simply because he now calls himself "gay."

Of course, a same-sex attraction is not in itself a sin. It is contrary to the order of the human person, male and female, but we are all disordered in one way or another.

What is the sin here is the self-indulgent crap that McGreevy and others like him not only indulge in, but exalt in, especially in calling what is wrong right and what is right wrong.

Bender said...

And, again, the Church does not not "let you feel good about 'being gay'" because "gayness" is not a state of "being." Gay is not what one is, it is what one does.

Rather, the state of being of a person with a same-sex attraction, that is to say, his or her nature, is that of a human person, male or female. So-called "gay people" are not of a different order of being or different state of being than any other human. They are simply, and only, human persons.

dreams said...

Regarding Pelosi's puff piece, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree so why would anyone expect anything but liberal bullsh*t from her.

Pat Moffitt said...

That McGreevy was gay was no surprise to most in NJ. That McGreevy would continue to lie about why he left office is also no surprise to people in NJ.

McGreevy served as governor for three years and his administration found itself embroiled in 4 separate criminal investigations.
McGreevy's biggest problem was being caught on a federal wiretap where according to investigators he used the code word Machiavelli to signal acceptance of cash for political favor.
At about the same time McGreevy’s commerce secretary resigned under suspicion of diverting state funds to his own accounts. McGreevy's political mentor Sen. Lynch was also about to be indicted on unrelated Federal charges. McGreevy also hired his lover at an exhorbitant salary to head the State’s Department of Homeland Security- a job for which he had no qualifications requiring McGreevy to lie. His lover was eventually removed from the job because his lack of citizenship and other irregularities prevented him from getting the required Federal security clearance. Did this stop Jimbo? No he simply assigned him as an aide with no specified duties. Oh, did I forget the fundraiser- call girl scandal?
It was not that McGreevy Administration was corrupt but rather he was getting caught that gave the Democratic Party pause and so the whole I’m gay and therefore I’m leaving office was created to distract the Public from the growing scandals linked to the Party. The NY-NJ Press was more than happy to oblige.

The Godfather said...

I detect a little snark in Prof. Althouse's comments about the Episcopal Church. In our church we ordain (as Deacons, Priests, and Bishops) both men and women, both gay (and lesbian) and straight. The standards for ordination are quite high, and the process for approving candidates for ordination is very thorough. We have a lot more people who seek ordination than the Church needs, so we can be selective. I know several gay Episcopal clergy (and I have met Bishop Robinson), and they are as good pastors as their straight brothers and sisters.

From what I read about the former governor, being gay is not by any means the most serious impediment to his being called to Holy Orders.

Of course, when I say we ordain gays I mean OPEN gays. It's a fair guess that every denomination has gay clergy, but in many denominations they have to be secret about it. That's unhealthy.

As for Romans 1:22-27, the interpretation ascribed by one commenter (I'm sorry I didn't take note of who it was), that it was about heterosexuals who commit homosexual acts, seems right to me. The discussion actually starts at v. 18: "For the anger of God is unveiled from heaven against all the ungodliness and injustice performed by people who use injustice to suppress the truth." By v. 23, Paul describes these people as degraded into idol worship. The "shameful" and "unnatural" acts these idolators committed were a consequence of their ungodliness.

Real American said...

like most things Pelosi, you unfortunately had to watch the film to find out what's in it.

Carl said...

...he left the Catholic Church (because they won't let you feel good about being gay)

Balls. The Catholic Church just doesn't think it feels soooooo good is sufficient justification for everything, even though that puts them seriously out of step with the rest of the 21st century, for whom sexual gratification is apparently the ne plus ultra of human attainment and fulfillment, and anything whatsoever is justifiable in its pursuit.

The Church has no problem with homosexual feelings and urges, the same way it has no problem with the heterosexual urges of priests, or the twinges of lust between a man, celibate for 20 years, married to a quadriplegic woman, and his comely next door neighbor. All are human, beloved of Christ, and to be accepted and cherished on that basis.

But the Church requires you to put the good of your soul above the cravings of your body. The man married to the quadriplegic is expected to remain celibate for the rest of his (or his wife's) life, because he puts the sacrament of marriage above the really great feeling of sliding his dick into another woman. The priest, too, is expected to simply not indulge his lustful fantasies of certain parishioners. And the gay man is, also, expected -- not to not have his impulses, or be shamed or judged for them, but simply not to act on them.

Nor is this particularly anti-gay, as low-information observers maintain. The Church feels the same way about every act of intercourse that is not open, as they say, to the gift of life. If you are not prepared to create and rear children, or if it is inappropriate, or impossible, then you are not supposed to Do It. That's why you're supposed to cross your legs instead of using a rubber.

You may not agree with the philosophy, of course. But it is not motivated by blind animus, or prejudice, and it is a hell of a lot more sophisticated and...well, elevated above the depressingly squalid cheap imitation epicureanism that passes for high morality these days.

rcommal said...

The problem I have now with McGreevey is the same exact problem I had with McGreevey then.

rcommal said...

And Bishop Robinson was, and is, disingenuous in much the same way.

rcommal said...

That is to say: In much the same way in which I have little respect for either, and both.

exiledonmainst said...

The Godfather wrote:

"We have a lot more people who seek ordination than the Church needs, so we can be selective."

It's my understanding that Episcopalian pews have been emptying at a very rapid rate over the past 40 years, so yes, I can understand the need to be selective. Otherwise you might soon reach a point where there is one Episcopal priest for every Episcopal layperson.

rcommal said...

Robinson and McGreevey demanded a mighty amount of forgiveness and understanding and by golly got a veritable outpouring of each and both, exponentially. Yet each and both of them are among the most ungenerous and pinched-in-spirit sorts. Somehow, neither their hearts or minds, much less both, are to be demanded to offer (much less have, in order to give) anything close to what they got, what they got despite their deceptions, what they got despite their selfish ambitions, what they got despite lying about and even betraying fundamental relationships that were, apparently, convenient at one time but later became both disposable and easily humiliated later. The fact that McGreevey and Robinson ultimately triumphed does not change any of that. And what I find execrable about them--believe it or not, and at this point I don't care anymore whether you do or do not--has precisely -0- to do with their sexual orientation and everything to do with with their utter, cynical betrayals of real people in their lives and their willingness to sacrifice pretty much everything and anyone to their ambition[s].

Kirk Parker said...

Godfather,

Bishop Robinson may come across well in person, but his exegesis of Paul is 100 percent nutcase.

Gotta agree with you about McGreevy and his impediments to being called, however.

rcommal said...

Please excuse my passion. I still care a lot about my cradle church, and for this reason I can still get sad and mad.

rcommal said...

He’s on what Pelosi calls, with carny wryness, “the McGreevey Redemption Tour.”

Well, yeah.

Love the carny-wryness intersection of interests, btw.

rcommal said...

“What was worse—having to be heterosexual or being a politician?”

Great moment or not, this is both a mutually self-serving and an exceedingly loaded and stupid question.

The aim was the aim, and so it goes.

whoresoftheinternet said...

lol. Now the left will push the idea that "weirdos" are people who are heterosexual.

"What? You've never had gay sex? Bigot!"

Exactly as the perverts, like Easy Annie A.'s son, want.

The reckoning is coming, though. And oh it will be sweet.

Illuninati said...

Althouse said:
"Why is McGreevey doing therapy in women's prisons? Because he left the Catholic Church (because they won't let you feel good about being gay) and went to Episcopalian seminary..."

Who says the Catholic church is not friendly to gays? For years all we have heard about is the priests and their sex scandal with young men and how the church was too tolerant of those priests.

Nomennovum said...
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Nomennovum said...
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Nomennovum said...

My truth is that I am a straight white male American. And I am cursed to live in the most debauched nation with the new tradition of abusing civil liberties of people like me, the greatest tradition of violation of straight white male civil liberties in the world, in country which now provides so little to people like me.

Danno said...

Real American said...
"like most things Pelosi, you unfortunately had to watch the film to find out what's in it."

3/29/13, 10:29 PM

Actually to be a true Pelosi, she would have to watch the film to find out what is in it!

Unknown said...

I am really curious about the Episcopalian teaching that homosexuality is only sinful when practiced by heterosexuals.

My first take is, What??? It is pretty much definitional that heterosexuals are not tempted to homosexual acts.

Is this a prohibition to heterosexuals in prison? Or is it saying that it is a sin for a heterosexual to be the victim of homosexual rape?

ALH said...

McGreevy used his sexuality to distract from his corruption. If he was having a heterosexual affair, it would have been "corrupt governor also having affair". Mostly though it was "brave homosexual governor comes out of the closet". Nice little trick. It was like having a trump card.

I long for the day when all men (and womyn) can be judged on the content of their character and not who they have sex with.

Renee said...

Bishop Robinson was/is heterosexual, he is divorced from his wife and has adult children. So how does one define gay or straight? Behavior is more objective then orientation.

lemondog said...

re: what's worse, how 'bout being the off-spring of a pol, particularly a career-pol!

The brain-damage caused by being exposed incessantly, day in and day out......oy!

CBCD said...

If McGreevey held a press conference to announce 'I am a corrupt New Jersey politician' the press would have asked 'Why are you wasting our time. Tell us something we don't know.'

ken in sc said...

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ass, nor thy neighbor’s wife’s ass.

Smilin' Jack said...

...he left the Catholic Church (because they won't let you feel good about being gay) and went to Episcopalian seminary (where it's apparently okay both to be gay and to have a gay sexual relationship)...

Really? I thought the only difference between Catholicism and Episcopalianism was that in the latter, if you're King of England it's OK to kill your wife.

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