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U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) (C) departs a meeting with fellow members of the
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, whose political concerns trumped compassion and respect for his gay son.
As we saw earlier, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has decided to stop being a dick, because his son is gay.
"I'm announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples' opportunity to marry," Portman told CNN.

It has to do with another revelation, one deeply personal. His 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.

"I've come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I've had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay," said Portman.

Of course, this has been the whole rationale of the gay rights movement's effort to talk LGBT people into come out—the more people know a non-straight friend or family member, the harder it is for them to discriminate.

So yay for Portman's conversion, except he's known for two years. So why did it take him so long to come around? Because he was a front-runner for the GOP vice presidential nomination and couldn't actually endanger that with a premature conversion. So he went along with his party's gay bashing until it was no longer politically damaging to do so. Asshole.

But still, he's undoubtedly a better person now than he was pre-conversion. Like Sen. Mark Kirk, who decided that perhaps Medicaid wasn't such a bad thing after he suffered a debilitating stroke and enjoyed great rehab services from his sweet, sweet government-provided health care.

So that's the ultimate difference between Democrats and Republicans—they are assholes until they are personally affected by one of their asshole policies. Democrats employ this thing called "empathy" instead. We don't have to be gay to value equality, or brown to fight against racism, or a woman to fight for women's issues, or poor to fight for the underclass.

But speaking of the poor, they'll unfortunately always be on the outs with Republicans. Because while Republicans may end up with gay family members or friends, or while they or someone they love could suffer catastrophic illness, none of them will suddenly pop out a poor son. And as for poor people around them, those are called "the help."

Originally posted to kos on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 07:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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