A reader writes:
One important actor you forgot to mention in your remarks: Elena Kagan. If there are elements of her private life that are unknown, after years in the public eye, it seems to me that she has chosen to keep them private. And if that is the case, I don't think it's fair to accuse the White House of cowardice. Perhaps you think Kagan herself is a coward. If so, you should come out and say that. But I don't see how it can be argued that it is the administration's duty to out her.
Did you really miss the very forceful push-back by the Obama administration on this? They have, indeed, told us definitively that she is not. Maybe you don't believe them. Maybe she is and they really are lying. And they shouldn't have called it a "charge." But don't lie about what they've said.
The White House, in beating back the CBS blogger report, said she is not gay. Both Kagan and the White House presumably understand the consequences of getting caught in a lie on this question, and they also would understand how easy it would be to uncover that lie if indeed her supposed lesbian relationship were such an open secret around Cambridge. If she's gay, it would matter a great deal (and the Victory Fund would be shouting it from the rooftops in celebration of an historic appointment).
But she says she isn't, the White House says she isn't, nobody with any proof to the contrary has come forward to contradict her, and so absent any compelling reason not to, I'm willing to let her own telling of her life story suffice.
I realize that there will be those who chase after this question, largely from the right or the infotainment 24-hour channels. But let them be the ones intruding, not you.
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