Is hiring a gay spokesman “not conservative“? I don’t know. Some self appointed spokesmen for conservatism seem to think that it isn’t. And some of them are screaming loudly that Romney should be made to atone.

So what is “conservative”?

As a libertarian, am I supposed to care? Should I be battling to be able to use a label on myself if that label means refusing to hire gays? I don’t think so.

Is there such a thing as a gay conservative? Not according to some, who see it as an oxymoron. To them conservatism is defined as a believing in what they call Biblical truths. Anything that deviates is less than conservatism. I don’t know whether “conservative” has become a religious term, but if it has, then the debate is shifting.

Or is the determination of whether one is on the right or the left now determined by sexuality? I know I’ve asked repeatedly, but seriously how did sex become a left versus right thing?

I think genitally driven politics is a very bad idea. Not only is it illogical, but the primary beneficiary is the left. I’ve called it “bad political math” — because all the Democrats have to do is nothing, and occasionally admit they’re human if they get caught having sex:

…sex — whether practiced by Republicans or Democrats — is absolutely guaranteed to occur. While the vast majority of people agree that adultery is wrong, politicizing it by saying that the Republicans are really really against adultery (more against adultery than anyone else) distorts all reality.

If the Republicans are more against adultery than everyone else, it does more than merely set them up for a fall. By putting them on a high horse, it makes ordinary people want them to fall. For some reason, the Republicans do not understand the basic, anti-elitist, populist mindset at work here. It’s why people sympathized with Bill Clinton. Not because they really sympathized with or “approved” of what he did. Few thought what he did was OK (despite the charges many moral conservatives made at the time). What they objected to was the scolding, and it is important to understand that not liking scolding does not equate with approval of the conduct in question.

Clinton, it should be remembered, won elections and survived impeachment despite repeated sex scandals. More remarkably, the conservative reaction to his sex life caused many people to disregard his perjury, which is a serious crime. Moral scolds need to remember that the voting booth is a very private place where people can do what they want.

I may be wrong, but I think this means that Romney may have played his cards well in hiring a gay spokesman. The attacks from the anti-gay right may very well help him with ordinary voters, while infuriating both the “sexual left” and the “anti-sexual right” who are bound and determined to link politics to penises.

I only wish the process wasn’t so tedious.

UPDATE: What I said earlier — “Clinton, it should be remembered, won reelection despite a sex scandal” — seemed misleading, as his most notable scandal — the Monica Lewinsky affair — broke during his second term, so I reworded it. Other affairs, however, were so well known that they can honestly be said to have characterized — and even eclipsed — his career.

Looking back, I think that Bill Clinton did a great deal (whether intentionally or not) to politicize and polarize sex along right/left lines.

Nothing rational about it.