Sunday, October 8, 2006

How to Shoot a Pink Elephant

Mark Leibovich, in today’s New York Times, tells us the Gay Republicans are having a rough time of it. Well boo freakin’ hoo, do you see a tear in this eye?

Party of Lincoln, my ass. How long has it been since Republican meant anything but getting out your rifle and shooting at the little critters in the road, those who couldn’t live by don’t-ask-don’t-tell included.

Leibovich’s piece has that line in it which hits me like an electric wire to the nether parts: “(Some) equated homosexuality with pedophilia, a link that has long outraged gay men and lesbians,” he writes. Long outraged us? Long outraged us? Are you on drugs? Slander is not something one should compare to a fashion with a time duration. But that's another story.

According to Leibovich, Gay Republicans are on the run, thanks to the bad judgment of one of “their own,” Mark Foley, whose attraction for the newly muscled caused him to commit political suicide.

Anybody who knows the actual figures knows this claim of a direct connection between homosexuality and child abuse is the “blood-drinker” lie of the age. Look it up. The figures are plain. Child abusers have a psychological disorder independent of their sexual orientation, to use that silly expression for lack of a better one.

We’re in a day and age when the big Goebbels lie is all the rage. Bush can tell us Iraq had weapons yadayada, the war is going swimmingly, and Rumsfeld, like Brownie, has done a helluva job. The Fox Network can put a picture of Mark Foley on the screen identified as “D-FL” in a program taped two hours before showing, not fix the error and never apologize for the mistake (Hey, Mac. I’ve got a great idea about how to pick up a few Republican votes from some of our dumber viewers.) And the religious machine is cranked up and running the lie that to be homosexual is to be sexually interested in children. Pick a source; they’re too many to cite, but just so you don’t think I’m making it up, try Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council. “The real concern about Foley's sexual predatory behavior toward an underage congressional page (turns out he was first thought to be 16, which is legal age, but now apparently he was 18, but that, too, is another story) is "the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse."

Politics being the art of the possible, I understand compromise. Republicans who believe in small government (by which they mean small controls over robber barons and a giant military), like Israel, which thought it had to sell arms to the South African apartheid government to survive, have to do lots of things just to hold on to power, and nobody should expect it to be pretty.

But how low do you have to go? Foley had pictures around the house of himself with women. Is that political survival? You bet. Brian Bennett worked for Robert Dornan, one of the more conspicuously homophobic congressmen. One can only wonder what cognitive dissonance he must have experienced hearing Dornan routinely refer to gays as “sodomites” during the twelve years he worked for him, not just as “consultant” as some would have it, but as chief of staff.

Then there’s gay Kirk Fordham, who worked for Senator Mel Martinez (also a Republican from Florida) before working for Foley. I suppose in the land of Jeb Bush if you want access to power there’s little question how much crap you have to swallow, but Mel Martinez went after his political enemies for trying to include gays as victims of hate crimes.

Then there’s Rick Santorum, the nastiest homophobe of the lot. Dead set against gay rights. One of the strongest advocates for an amendment to prohibit gay marriage, an amendment which he referred to as the “ultimate homeland security.” And Santorum’s references to gays often imply a connection with bestiality and incest, as Leibovich points out. And who’s he got working for him? Robert Traynham, a gay man who thinks of Santorum as “a man of principle.” Probably he is. Just don’t let it matter that one of them is your destruction, fellah.

Back in the days when Republicans of honor and decency... Lowell Weickert comes to mind. So does Alan Simpson. John Danforth. Hell, there used to be gobs of them... it made some sense to be in the Republican Party even if much of it was against you, if you really believed in what it stood for.

Not any more. Not since the big lie has become the modus operandi of the boys on top. Now it’s “the base” which is coming for your souls, you poor pink Elephants, you Velvet Mafia enablers of this unspeakable mess we’re in. The Dobsons and the Falwells and the Robertsons – and the Santorums – they’re comin’ to git ya with the same broad brush with which we blame Arabs for the work of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the perpetrators of 9/11. You’re a fag and you like little boys. Out. Out. Get out of God’s own party, out of God’s own Homeland.

What am I supposed to say? Stay in? Continue to work in this wagon with one wheel already off and two coming loose? Work for this party which rescinded Clinton’s executive order allowing you to get a security clearance? Stay in the closet? Keep your date-a-model subscription current?

How about this instead. How about you come clean about being gay. Show a little personal integrity and stop working for those who would plough you into the ground to lower the tax burden on the top 1%. Find another group of folk to call your own – people who won’t take your way of loving and make it into something dirty, won’t call you names and make you out to be a molester of children despite all the evidence that you are not.

If you can’t work for the Democratic Party, at least don’t work against its never-ending struggle for civil rights and equality. At least stop working so hard for the party of liars your party has become.

Some day go back if you must when you will not be ashamed to be a Republican. May you and the rest of us all live long enough to see the day.

October 8, 2006

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