condi’s housemate

September 14th, 2007 | Oddments

Mike Signorile, Mr. Outing, discusses some interesting details of the new book about Condoleezza Rice. Apparently she owns a home with another woman, a “liberal progressive” filmmaker who used to work with Bill Moyers. Stranger things have happened, I guess. Let’s hope they’re really lovers. That would surely put the kibosh on Rice 2008.

55 Responses to “condi’s housemate”

  1. shadocat says:

    Wow–I’ve heard the rumors about Condi and figured they were probably true; but I wonder—even if she’s “just friends” with all these gay people, forget about why she’s pals with THEM—why are they friends with HER?

  2. pd says:

    I listened to part of that program and the question of why these people would even want to hang around with her did come up. They did not have an answer.

  3. ArgentLA says:

    Lotta opportunistic and/or self-loathing queerfolk out there, I guess.

  4. Aunt Soozie says:

    My sis is visiting from Dallas and just showed me an ad from their local gay paper for the Kinsey Sicks and the show they’ll be performing in TX…Condileesapalooza (sp).

    …Condi owning a home with a woman…I had no idea.
    Those Log Cabin guys must be adding lots of names to their membership lists.

  5. Robin B says:

    From what I hear, when she was Provost at Stanford (and systematically prevented many liberals and progressives from getting tenure), it was an open secret that she was partnered with a woman. When I heard that, I felt my last little bit of cultural feminism die. It was excruciating. The last little bit of me that really believed that if women ran the planet, there would be no war… or at least no war as we know it now. The loss of the last scrap of that belief (which I was somehow able to maintain through the Thatcher years–I have no idea how) was physically painful.

    Have any of you heard Phranc’s song, “Condoleeza”? It’s a great song that, for me, captures some of that pain.

  6. pceans 111 says:

    I have heard rumors, I think about her Standford years again, that a transexual professor came to her just pre-op and said “I’m doing this, and I need to know what the response of the adminstration is going to be,” and Rice answered that she would expect everyone in the university community to treat the person with respect and come to her (Rice) if there were any problems. It’s been so long since I was told this that I don’t even recall whether the prof. was FtM or MtF… I’ve been using this incident to allow myself a sliver of respect for her.

    I dunno, I’m not sure my cultural fenimism is worked hardest by people who run off power-hungry in spite of repressed-group-membership: it’s more difficult for me to grok all the women who keep electing and supporting evil men.

  7. Feminista says:

    Self-loathing,indeed,especially since she came from a humble background. She does have a cousin,Connie Rice,who’s a progresive involved in anti-poverty work in LA.

    I wonder what Alice Walker has to say about such selling-out.

  8. Thanks for the link to the Afterellen.com article about the Boondocks Condoleezza strip, Shadocat! I remember when that came out, and sort of short circuiting from all my mixed feelings about it.

    In an interesting coincidence, I just spent the last hour watching Condi’s girlfriend’s buddy Bill Moyers’ TV show. This week’s Journal is his take on the 9/11 Report. It was a masterpiece of boiling down a vast amount of complex data into a coherent but not simplistic narrative. And it highlights Condoleezza’s stunning testimony about the August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing.
    condi

    (Sydney’s not excited about an imminent terrorist attack, she’s excited about an imminent delivery from Crockery Shed)

  9. Maggie Jochild says:

    Alison, I just watched the same Moyers’ show — although I missed the very beginning because I was sucked into “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” (confession time). What a great piece of television — the Moyers’ thing, I mean.

    Also coincidentally, the date of the Presidential Daily Bulletin that warned of the upcoming attack (August 6th) is also the anniversary of our bombing Hiroshima in 1945.

    For me, the news about Condi confirms that for her, like Mary Cheney and many others, class terror trumps queer identity, race or gender consciousness.

  10. shadocat says:

    Yep, the “Boondocks” strip was one of the first things that came to my mind when I read your post, and I too, remember having all sorts of mixed feelings about it (and I LOVE “Boondocks”!) When you talk to friends about Condi and her service to the nation, folks out there in cyberspace, how often does the phrase, “drank the Kool-Aid” come up?

  11. Josiah says:

    I hadn’t heard these rumors before, but it does put a new (to me) spin on Steve Earle’s hilarious song “Condi, Condi”. If you’re not familiar with it, you can listen to it at Rhapsody here, or if you don’t want to agree to Rhapsody’s DRM, you can read the lyrics here. The song contains the line “Oh, Condoleeza won’t you come out tonight”. Looks like Steve Earle knew something…

  12. Simone says:

    Dammit. I had a completely unsullied adoration for McGruder. (sigh) Seems like every day I have to grow up about somebody.

    It’s comforting to know that the rumors have a viable foundation, and are not just about her being a very visible, high-ranking woman with a serious and intelligent demeanor. Not that I don’t hate her, ’cause I do. But I like how shamelessly serious and uncute she is.

  13. birka says:

    Considering the interesting news I read here just now I wonder if it wasn`t even more likely that all the higher ranking politcians are just dummies for a huge network that has certain goals and doesn`t stop persuing them whatever it takes. Not that I think Rice would be a nicer woman if she only was able to say what she really thinks…

  14. bronislava says:

    interesting. this reminds me of an article i read recently over here in australia – the article itself was really lame and poorly researched (and i don’t think its available online, sorry) but the point was to ask why there are “so many” closeted gay men high up in the corporate world (the author somehow managed to justify overlooking women in her analysis).

    some of them went to extreme lengths to create the illusion they had a wife. generally they seemed to rely on the notion that they could separate private from public as the reason why they did nothing to support other queers.

    anyway, i guess i mention that because it relates to the “how can someone be so two-faced” question! (or maybe i should put that more nicely, something about not waking up to the reality of what causes oppression etc)

  15. Mabel says:

    Well she certainly sets my gaydar off every time I see her. I think it’s daft to think that just because she is a neo-con that she is actually straight. The rules these people espouse are for other people, not for themselves. I can very much understand how she, as part of a powerful ruling class, can reconcile her closet homosexuality with her fundamental beliefs about how society should operate.

  16. Silvio Soprani says:

    I have heard many brilliant songs from Steve Earle (one of my favorite songwriters) where he takes on the persona of a prison inmate, a bootlegger’s son turned weed smuggler, a witness at an execution, a red-neck cut-up, and many others, but I have to say (and I hate crawling out of my usual lurk-location to be the first one to say it) that his “Condi Condi” song gave me the creeps. If he was just some songwriter writing about any woman, I would say what a load of sexist, macho, horseshit. In fact, if was some stalker standing at my front door saying “come on, you cute little thing, everyone else says you’re a cold bitch, but I think you are HOT,” I would call the police (or the dykesquad…whichever could get the job done quickest.)

    Just because his target is a public figure of power who deserves to be exposed as a hypocrite does not dignify the manner of his attack.

    Now does anybody remember Tom Paxton’s skewering of General Custer? (“Give somebody a medal/ give somebody a 3-day pass/ tell ’em bout the light at the end of the tunnel/and tell ’em to hold their sass/…and pass me my looking glass.”)

    Now there’s a righteous send-up of a power-mongering ass that does the job without committing any additional crimes.

  17. Silvio Soprani says:

    p.s. but having said all that, thanks Josiah, for showing us how to listen to 25 free tunes on Rhapsody; cool!

    and Shado, in regard to “drink the Kool-aid,” is that a reference to LSD, or to Jim Jones? Please explain, if you don’t mind–it sounds interesting and there is so much I don’t know.

  18. Josiah says:

    Hmm… I can see your point, Silvio, but I always thought of “Condi, Condi” as being in the tradition of Monty Python’s “Henry Kissinger“, which describes that Secretary of State as having “nicer legs than Hitler, and bigger tits than Cher”.

  19. shadocat says:

    Silvio–It has it’s beginnings in Jum Jones…originally people used it to refer to someone who had been brainwashed; but lately I’m hearing it used to describe someone who is just following the directions of whoever is in power—someone who has no strong beliefs, principles, or ideals of their own.

  20. DeLandDeLakes says:

    Y’know, this makes her all the more disgusting to me, not less. What kind of a “friend” plays an instrumental part in an administration dedicated to shitting all over the rights of your best pals?
    Although picturing Condi as a joint-credit account lesbo with buns of steel is certainly a mind-blowing venture.

  21. Kat says:

    Mabel-
    I think you hit it right on the head: “The rules these people espouse are for other people, not for themselves.”

    It seems like that attitude is cropping up all over the place lately….

  22. Kat says:

    hm…perhaps the most troubling phrase on the “condipresident” web site that Alison linked for us is this:
    “Condi has all the qualities attributed to Rudy: she is popular”

    popular????
    I don’t think I’ve ever even met a republican who can stand to listen to a more than a few seconds of her without shuddering…

  23. Suz says:

    Silvio– Actually, Steve Earle WAS a prison inmate. He did time for heroin possession in the mid-90s.

  24. Deborah says:

    Re: pceans 111’s comments:
    The MTF Stanford professor who transitioned on the job is Joan Roughgarden, a biology professor and author of Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People.
    http://www.powells.com/biblio/71-9780520246799-0

    Joan Roughgarden has spoken (and written, I think?) about Rice’s very compassionate and professional respons to her transition. I believe that the initial reponse was, “John [Roughgarden’s male name], I think you will make a lovely woman.”

    This is the ONLY DECENT THING I have ever heard about Rice. And while I am glad that Rice has a shred of decency, it hardly mitigates the massive loss of life that rests on her head, along with her buddies Dick and George. If she is a dyke (I can’t weigh in on that) it is just another reminder that identity politics only take us so far. In other words, not very far at all.
    Nuff said.

  25. shadocat says:

    good lord–I meant to type JIM JONES (I may have an aversion to typing that first name—it was also my ex/late husband’s!)

  26. Maggie Jochild says:

    You’re right about the origin of the “Kool-Aid drinking” phrase, Shado. And it’s very apt. Members of the Peoples Temple who were parents were instructed to give the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid to their children first before drinking their own cup. And they complied.

    Still, every time I see the term, I remember what it was like in San Fran when news of the mass suicide came out, especially in the black community. Jim Jones’ cult was one that had actually brought black and white people together, helping folks who were completely ignored by the larger culture, instead of using racism to further extremist agendas. The grief was palpable on the streets that November.

  27. DeLandDeLakes says:

    I just returned from a sidewalk sale on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, and I picked up a copy of the very first DTWOF trade paperback from the bargain table. 🙂 While I was checking out, the gal at the register said she wished she had noticed it, because she would have snapped it up first!

  28. Maggie Jochild says:

    Just read Digby’s column about Condi maybe being a lesbian and highly recommend it — especially because she brings up how Bush and his crew smeared Ann Richards by innuendo for being Lesbian and gay friendly (her daughter is a Lesbian, Ann was not) — http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/issues-by-digby-i-could-not-care-less.html

  29. Olivier says:

    Speaking of Ann Richards (and in the best tradition of blog hijacking; I hope AB will forgive me) I never understood how Bush, a non-entity at the time if I am not mistaken, managed to unseat such a formidable and popular politician as Ms Richards (at least that is the image I have of her). Does anyone care to enlighten me?

  30. Maggie Jochild says:

    A few answers, Olivier:

    (1) They lied. About everything.
    (2) Alberto Gonzales covered up Bush’s illegalities in the past.
    (3) Rove got Bush the Hispanic vote.
    (4) Redistricting worked its magic. A lot of the counties that carried Bush then and in later Presidential elections were gerrymandered to concentrate the white new-to-Texas vote, people fleeing California and the Rust Belt in order to pursue “middle class” lifestyles and “family values”, especially around D-FW and Houston.
    (5) But mostly — money. Money and lying.

  31. Silvio Soprani says:

    Maggie,

    While reading Digby’s very interesting column, when I got to the line about why a supposedly gay person (Condi) would be the best friend and confidant of someone who would take away all the rights of gay people, I had a weird, if highly absurd, thought: perhaps it is BUSH who is gay, and he finds comfort in having a strong lesbian pal.

  32. Silvio Soprani says:

    Josiah,
    After listening to HENRY KISSINGER, I can see how you place CONDI, CONDI in the same tradition. (the Odes to ex-Secretaries of State genre.)

    Somehow the gender difference makes the associations for me different, however. While ideally a non-sexist listener would remove gender from the equation, in reality, I could not.
    Perhaps it is related to the way that a man dressed as a woman is perceived as funny; a woman “dressed as a man” just looks like a person in pants. So it is harder to be funny when the object is a woman; the person trying to be funny just seems rude or mean or at worst, misogynist.

    I am still very pleased about how you can listen to 25 songs for free on Rhapsody. I just can’t stay incensed about Condi in the face of free music.

  33. Anonny Mouse says:

    Someone like Condoleeza Rice might have the best of chance of becoming the first GLBT president. Republicans would vote for her because, well, I get the feeling they’ll pretty much vote for ANYBODY at this point, and she’d probably get the votes of a few Democrats just for being an African-American lesbian. Not that that all by itself should be the only reason to vote for someone, I’m just saying…

  34. Maggie Jochild says:

    Silvio, you know, that dog might hunt. Ever since the whole Jeff Gannon episode — the gay male hooker who was allowed unprecedented, late-night secret access to the White House under the guise of being a journalist — I’ve wondered who he was really visiting. Once the story broke, the visitor log books were purged (can’t remember if it was Rove or Cheney who did that deed) and Gannon was silenced. I mostly suspected Turdblossom himself of being Gannon’s client, but more than once it crossed my mind — what if it was Chimpy himself? Seems like these days there are more closeted gay men in the Republican Party than out leather queens on Polk Street.

    I’m afraid to use italics here any more, by the way.

  35. Deena in OR says:

    Alison!

    (off topic)

    Thank you…it’s perfect! And for the bonus items…that was really sweet. Now I have to find the right frame…

  36. Tabby says:

    Rice

    and

    Bean

    You just couldn’t make this up!!

  37. April says:

    “For me, the news about Condi confirms that for her, like Mary Cheney and many others, class terror trumps queer identity, race or gender consciousness.”

    Thankyou yes, Maggie.

    My cultural feminism hangs by a thread. But if it is proven that a *lesbian* woman of colour could sell out the world, I’m returning the toaster oven.

  38. Mira says:

    Completely OT, and I’m late posting this (don’t use the computer on yontiff & Shabbat) but I want to wish all Shanah Tova (happy new year) – Rosh Hashanah was Thurs & Fri, & the days of awe continue through Yom Kippur next Sat. I know none of you outside this blog (I don’t even know you on the blog since I never post, but I do read!) but I think you’re smart, caring, thoughtful people, and I wish you all well.

  39. Aunt Soozie says:

    thanks Mira,
    L’Shanah Tovah to you too!

  40. Silvio Soprani says:

    Maggie,

    What exacttly did you mean (in the earlier statement April quotes) by “class terror”? did you mean that Condi is terrified of losing the privilege she has gained by being identified with an oppressed class? (race, gender, preference, etc)

  41. Olivier says:

    Silvio, I’m pretty sure Maggie means that Condi and her like are waging terror on the strata under them, i.e., that she meant “class terror” as in “class war”.

    And thanks for answers to my question, Maggie. If I may belabor the topic, what were Ann Richard’s weaknesses and why was she unable to mount a successful counter-offensive?

  42. Olivier says:

    for the answers, I meant.

  43. Dr. Empirical says:

    Oliver, It was the same reason Democrats are unable to mount a successful counter-offensive to pretty much everything the Republicans have done for the past 10 years:

    1)They’re paralyzed by shock and horror at the vile extremes to which Republicans will go to secure power.

    2) They’re too burdened by simple human decency to respond in kind.

  44. shadocat says:

    Condi and her “housemate” put me in mind with another power couple who were supposedly only “bff”–J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson. Here’s a somewhat weird, but telling link about their relationship (it’s an oldie, but a goodie):

    http://archive.salon.com/health/sex/urge/world/2000/01/05/hoover/

    I also had a chance to see the Bill Moyer’s program this morning. Talk about riveting! With all those warnings, gee, it’s almost as if someone out there in Washington wanted the events of 9/11 to happen—hmmm…

  45. Maggie Jochild says:

    Olivier, that’s an interesting take on my phrase, but not at all what I meant. I assume that every class in our society operates under terror of being swept away. Fear of being deprived of the means to continue existing is what keeps most oppressions in place, and at its base, that’s classism. Economic threat (sometimes coupled with the threat of violence) is the glue that holds together oppression.

    For purposes of clarity, let me state my terms: When talking of American classes, I divide us into poor/raised poor, working class, middle class, and owning class. About 80% of people who are working class in America (especially in the South) believe they are middle class; hence, why politicians appeal to “middle class” values, etc. Our actual middle class is very small. The poor category is large and growing.

    Owning class refers to not just folks who “own the means of production” but who have inherited meaningful economic advantage in various forms. Forbes (I think) did a study several years ago where they asked the top 500 wealthiest people how they came their money, and almost 90% had been given the key advantages (education, influence, family business opportunities, etc.) that made them rich. Nobody’s earning their own wealth in this country, except for the tiny percentage of entertainment industry individuals (including sports figures) who are held up as examples to keep the rest of us from realizing how stuck we are.

    Overwhelmingly, people with serious economic privilege frequent ONLY environments where they mingle with others like them, a bubble world. Children raised owning class have pounded into them the message that the rest of the world hates them and would like to see them taken down (which is mostly true). They are expected to do something meaningful without being given the tools for community connection or leadership. They live in mortal fear of being “found out” and cast aside as adults. They’re extraordinarily poor leaders as a result. We can all see how well this system is working out.

    Although — I insist on pointing out — some owning class individuals are raised with a connection to community or acquire it as adults and use their entitlement altruistically. We have at least one such woman reading this list. Honesty about wealth and embracing community values tends to get rich folks ridiculed and ostracized by everybody. They’re not trusted as much as the upper classes who lie about their economic advantages and circumstances.

    Poor and raised poor also grow up with the message we are an expendable class. We, too, feel a profound disconnect with the rest of the culture, and live a masquerade.

    Working class people understand their survival is linked to community, and maintain community identity ahead of individual success. Middle class folks are the biggest believers in the myth of class mobility, especially the value of education.

    But most of us, of course, are the products of mixed class backgrounds; cover-ups and denial abound.

    Mary Cheney was raised in a cocoon of wealth she’s never left. Condi was not raised in it, but her parents did hammer relentlessly on her to rise up the class ladder. She “switched classes” without undoing or, likely, even recognizing the conditioning that creates class. A hundred years ago, Americans believed that class was a biologically measurable and inherited identity, like people still believe about race and gender. This essentialism remains in our confusion about the value and mechanism of “class mobility.”

    So, Condi’s acquired identity of wealth has bought her entrance to a world where they talk about us as “the other” who despise them. On the day that Katrina destroyed New Orleans, the blackest city in America, Condi went shopping for obscenely expensive Italian shoes in New York. I suspect that was not an accident; the means of maintaining dissonance (and holding fear at bay) are few and predictable.

    And, yes, Doctor E, you’re right that Ann Richards’ campaign would never have done the dirty tricks that Rove dreamed up. But — it can’t be stressed enough — they also did not begin to have the kind of money and economic influence W. was given by his Daddy’s friends. The difference is exponential.

    The Bushes are extreme Northeastern owning class establishment. W. went to public school in Texas for part of seventh grade; otherwise, he was educated at expensive private schools, mostly in New England. His innate curiosity was crushed early. He was clearly never given an outlet for excellence or proving his value outside rigid owning class routines of playing around and abusing substances. He returned to Texas because he felt less like a failure here — the Texas owning class based on oil money is another example of how people can become rich without working for it, and they’re all equally uncomfortable with reality.

    When it was decided by W.’s Daddy’s friends that he could get elected Governor, maybe (if they hid enough of his past), the coffers were bottomless. And I don’t mean just campaign money, but also the means of buying illegalities.

  46. Silvio Soprani says:

    Maggie,

    I just came back here and re-read your breakdown of the classes. It reminded me of how rarely we hear rich people admit in public that they are rich.

    But I am remembering Bill Clinton’s keynote speech at the 2004 democratic convention. He was talking about tax cuts for the rich and he kept pointing out that he was one of those rich people being given obscenely large tax cuts.
    I think he is one of the few people who admits he is rich without any guilt because he is trying to “use his entitlement altruistically” as you put it.

  47. April says:

    yes funny how everyone wants to call themselves middle class, that’s empirically true

  48. Duncan says:

    Dr. Empirical claims that the Democrats “are too burdened by simple human decency to respond in kind.” Well, we know THAT one isn’t true; the Democrats have at least as much blood on their hands to make any such pretense (though I know, that doesn’t stop them from pretending anyway). And Democrats do hurl vitriol, but it’s usually at the Left. It’s an interesting question why they are able to exercise such restraint when it comes to the Right; it certainly isn’t because of human decency.

    As for that first suggestion you made, “They’re paralyzed by shock and horror at the vile extremes to which Republicans will go to secure power.” Well, look at Bill Clinton, who basically adopted Ronald Reagan’s policies in order to secure power.

    About Condi and class, I’ve been looking for an excellent article I saw on Counterpunch.org some time ago, which did a nice job of excavating where she comes from. Money isn’t everything in matters of class, folks. There’s also education and other forms of status, and Rice’s family had that sort of thing. Such people have to lift their skirts out of the mud to show their superiority, because snootiness and disdain are all the cultural capital they have. (Rice now has a lot more than that, of course, but it’s being in the “talented tenth” that shapes her sense of self.) Two reading recommendations: Cathy Cohen’s “The Boundaries of Blackness”, which details the African-American community’s response to AIDS — the “talented tenth” were horrifying in their hatred of low-class Negroes, and basically wanted them to die of the disease. It’s a chillling read. And the other … dang, I forgot. It’ll come to me.

  49. April says:

    Duncan,
    “Such people have to lift their skirts out of the mud to show their superiority, because snootiness and disdain are all the cultural capital they have.”

    If only I could block that out. It makes me want to weep and chuck things every day.

    Here in Australia we have Noel Pearson, an Aboriginal bureaucrat (I’m sorry, *activist*) who just happens to agree with our glorious leader (whom you may have heard of) on every subject, even when it means harm and degradation for our people. Right wingers just fawn on him as he misrepresents Indigenous viewpoints and aspirations to the mainstream.

    He is also one of the voices behind “reforming” welfare, which just happens to hinge on kicking people off their land and assimilating them. All the while he sits pretty up in Cape York on his family’s mining money and none of it touches him. He has education and a *capitalist* handout, not a socialist one, so he feels better than every other Aborigine.

  50. Dr. Empirical says:

    Duncan,

    Clinton ” basically adopted Ronald Reagan’s policies in order to secure power.”

    Bush lied his way into a war that has slaughtered over a million people.

    Yeah, that’s the same.

  51. Josiah says:

    If people are interested in continuing the discussion of class and classism, Maggie has reposted her thoughts from above at Maoist Orange Cake; both long and short comments are welcome there, from new and familiar voices.

  52. Duncan says:

    I finally found the article from Counterpunch about Rice, by civil rights attorney J. L. Chestnut Jr.:

    http://counterpunch.org/chestnut11192005.html

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “Ms. Rice’s father, a prominent pastor in Birmingham, looked down on [Fred] Shuttlesworth and his small working class congregation, and publicly called them ‘uneducated, misguided Negroes.’ But, in 2005, a life-size statute of Shuttlesworth stands majestically for all the ages in front of the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum. Rev. Rice’s monument is his daughter’s high position in a Republican administration that has 2% support in black America. That is poetic justice personified.

    “On the flight from Washington, Ms. Rice told Mr. Robinson, ‘I’ve always said about Birmingham that because race was everything, race was nothing.’ So, 40 years after her
    father denounced us, Ms. Rice reduces segregation, the movement, all the deaths and sacrifices to one word, ‘nothing.'”

  53. April says:

    chilling.

  54. Rachel says:

    I thought it was surreal when I noticed that Terry Castle’s anthology ‘The Literature of Lesbianism’ includes Condoleezza Rice in the acknowledgements – supposedly for academic support for research at Stanford. But maybe there was more to it…