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01/16/2013

Maggie is so tired—SO TIRED!—of 'the enemy' being so uncivil to her

by Jeremy Hooper

In the first passage, Maggie Gallagher talks about civility, as if she is an innocent who has done nothing to foster the intense reaction that she seems used to receiving. But then in the very next section—the very next breath, really—she refers to her fight as being against "the enemy." It's kind of definitive, actually.

Snips comes from Salvo, a Christian magazine; Maggie is the subject and Marcia Segelstein (formerly of the American Family Association) is the interviewer:

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[FULL INTERVIEW]

I waver between thinking that (a) Maggie is really too ensconced in her own conservative circles to see the situation clearly and (b) that she is just trying desperately to flip the script of this national debate because she knows that the roles, as they are most typically cast, paint her in an unfortunate light. However, I have no internal debate regarding her assessment of this debate and its fundamental brokenness.

I am someone who doesn't give a flying flapjack about why Maggie has done what she has done. Hate? Bigotry? Political access? Wanted a hobby and all of the other options seemed too mundane? I've never really cared. I have years of writing that bear this out. I've done a few thought exercises on the subject, but at the end of the day, what I care about is Maggie's record. Her rhetoric. Her policy pushes. Her political connections. Her organizational legacy with NOM and elsewhere. She earned her record, regardless of what led her to the fight.

I do believe that Maggie sees hers as a fight against an "enemy." I do not see it that way. I see this fight, as it were, as a conversation between factual fairness and biased misinformation. Just as with Maggie, I don't spend a ton of time assessing the differentiated motivations that have led folks to embrace (or allow themselves to be duped by) what I see as discrimination. Maggie's choice to use the phrase "the enemy" tells me that she does, in fact, have a generalized view of what has led outspoken activists like me to my fight—and it tells me that her view essentially casts me out of the realm of "good" (or heroism, at the very least). If this is how she feels—and all I know to do is to take her at her own word—then perhaps the NOM co-founded needs to stop projecting so much. Maggie would seem to be the one making charges about her political opponents. Pretty serious ones, too.

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