The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, February 21, 2005  

More On Midge Decter

Reader L.H. writes to The Rittenhouse Review after this site shared with readers the timeless classic piece of pseudo-intellectual absurdity, “The Boys on the Beach,” penned by Midge Decter (D) and published in the September 1980 issue of Commentary, a magazine then conveniently -- for her sake -- edited by “Miss Decter”’s second husband, Norman Podhoretz. L.H. writes:

I’m reading it, but it isn’t exactly what I expected. There are just so many layers of crap she heaps upon “homosexuals” that I can’t take more than a few pages at at time.

It’s like I can see the outline she started with, and I can see where she’s headed with it, but I can’t believe she would actually put it out there in such a manner.

Highbrow bigotry, layer upon layer, nice and ugly. It just hurts to read it. And Decter’s final paragraph -- pure hatred!

What a bitch!

But that’s just my take.

Miss Decter’s final paragraph, for the uninitiated, and to which L.H. refers, reads, in its entirety:

One thing is certain. To become homosexual is a weighty act. Taking oneself out of the tides of ordinary mortal existence is not something one does from any longing to think oneself ordinary (but only following a different “lifestyle”). Gay Lib has been an effort to set the weight of that act at naught, to define homosexuality as nothing more than a casual option among options. In accepting the movement’s terms, heterosexuals have only raised to a nearly intolerable height the costs of the homosexual’s flight from normality. Faced with the accelerating round of drugs, S-M, and suicide, can either the movement or its heterosexual sympathizers imagine that they have done anyone a kindness?

Listen, L.H., join the club. And just imagine: Neither Mrs. Midge Rosenthal Decter Podhoretz, nor the little magazine that saw fit to publish her ignorant rant, has deviated one whit from the stance laid out in “The Boys on the Beach” nearly 25 years ago.

Take another flight of imagination, if you will: Mrs. Midge Rosenthal Decter Podhoretz is a woman who has, since this screed was published, been treated with kid gloves by Republicans of the most extreme sort; is a crank who has been appointed to various governmental advisory committees (as a self-described dishonest “Democrat”!) for which her qualifications were scant, if any; is a wealthy woman who with no thought or conscience whatsoever collected remunerations therefor from the U.S. Treasury (i.e., your wallets); and is an out-of-control ideologue who had the gall to write, and have published, a love letter to no lesser a light than Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Such are the times in which we live. Times that, you, L.H., and many others, no doubt already have noticed I will be tracking under the heading, “File Under . . . Asylum, Lunatics in Control of.”

It is not happenstance that Elliott Abrams, a subject of the latest installment of the “File Under” series, is, or was, the son-in-law of Mrs. Midge Rosenthal Decter Podhoretz: Elliott Abrams, the divorcé of her daughter, Rachel Decter, yet another contributor to Commentary.

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