Alcee Hastings: Blind to the Ultimate Logic of His Own Policies

By: Warner Todd Huston

Alcee Hastings is a congressman from Florida. He was also once a federal judge that was impeached for corruption. It’s an indictment of America that a criminal such as he can become a prominent national politician after being convicted of crimes and thrown off the bench.

Be that as it may, for all his crimes Hastings is also a bit of a showman… as such ner-do-wells usually are. Last Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives the nation got a slice of that showmanship when Hastings took center stage to decry some “spurious” language hidden by another representative in the so-called hate crimes legislation then up for debate.

Hastings felt that the hate crimes legislation was “serious business” but the addition of some outrageous sexual practices in the bill made a mockery of it all. So, Rep. Hastings decided to read aloud some of this crazy terminology in order to show one and all how someone was “trivializing” what he considers important legislation.

The amendment made in the rules committee that came under Hastings’ disdain was meant to clear up what the hate crimes bill does not include under the rubric of “sexual orientation.” Hastings heatedly read some of these off-the-wall sexual practices, including: asphyxiphilia, apotomnophilia and autogynophilia, corophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism and toucherism. There were more, but you get the idea.

Hastings wrapped up his dramatic reading with a scolding for the unidentified amendment’s author as well as a slap on the wrist for anyone that didn’t take this hate crimes bill seriously.

“Mr. Speaker, we can’t legislate law, but we can legislate against hate.” Hastings said on the House floor. “This legislation may not rid us of the intolerance and prejudices that continue to taint our society but it will provide an added deterrent to those in who these feelings manifest themselves into acts of violence.”

But he went on to say, “…this legislation addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these philias, and fetishes, and isms that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are.”

It all sounds so nice, doesn’t it? But here is where Hastings obviously doesn’t understand the logical conclusions to his own high flung rhetoric. For if we are to include the amorphous concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in legislation, these terms must be defined. Law cannot be made on generalities, after all. Generalities breed lawsuits and conflict, not a settling of dispute.

So, when you get right down to it, the very crazy terms that Hastings so resolutely railed against will have to be included in some way — whether to be said they aren’t covered or that they are — in the legislation. If they are not, then aren’t we purposefully creating a bill that will exclude and therefore sanctify “hate” against those proclivities not named? And if we are to include “these philias, and fetishes, and isms” then aren’t we essentially legalizing mental disorders and making them untouchable and essentially unable to be treated by medicine?

The salient question here is if pedophile is next to be sanctioned as a protected sex act? Don’t we want to end “hate” against people that claim any particular self-identified “sexual orientation” or “gender identity,” Mr. Hastings? If not don’t we risk engaging in “hate” against child molesters, Mr. Hastings? After all, a logical outcome of your legislation would tend to end up there, wouldn’t it?

So are you pro-child molesting, Representative Hastings?

I yield the floor to you, sir, and await your answer.

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