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Friday, September 23, 2011

GOP Crowd Boos Gay Soldier

Andrew Sullivan:
The Christianists were once in the Democratic party, engaged in an endless and bitter but integrating coalition with economic liberals and secular progressives. And this helped soften the hard edges, even when they were dictating policy. Today, the GOP is controlled entirely by the religious right, and its manner of thinking has altered to a purely religious one. Policies dependent on circumstances are now doctrines (no tax hikes ever) unable to be altered. Foreign policy is dictated by Christianist dogma (on, for example, Israel) rather than prudential advancement of national interests. As the society has moved on, the GOP has become more noticeable for its white-knuckled resistance to all such change.

Today's GOP, for example, favors repeal of the repeal of DADT, a constitutional amendment to ban all relationship rights for gay couples, criminalization of all abortion including cases of rape and incest, the undermining of evolution in education, disbelief in climate change, support for torture, cheers for the death penalty, and a global Judeo-Christian war against Islam. Yes, reality in a changing, more individualized world, is stacked against them. But that doesn't mean reactionaryism doesn't have traction. Closing the EPA is a radical stance, compared with, say, Nixon's environmental policies. Calling the very term gay the "work of Satan," as Bachmann has, is not the spirit of Reagan in the Briggs Initiative. Embracing torture 20 years after Reagan signed the UN Convention against it is another grim development. The expulsion of all pro-choice Republicans from the party is another. Yes, Dick Cheney has a gay daughter. Like Mead, I thought that would make a difference. But the GOP subsequently stripped his daughter of any rights (even private contracts) in her relationship in Virginia, launched successful efforts in a majority of states to ban recognition of gay relationships in state constitutions - and the Bush administration backed the Federal Marriage Amendment. . . .

Compare the GOP with the Tories they once shadowed. The Tories were prepared to raise some taxes to cut the debt. They have pioneered and embraced conservative environmentalism. They are backing full marriage equality for gays. They leave abortion and the death penalty to the individual consciences of legislators, without taking a party position. But they are also emphatically in favor of private enterprise, and a prudent foreign policy - and are cutting spending in ways that the GOP has only ever aired theoretically. This is what conservatism used to be. And like Mead, I am old enough to remember it.
And in another post, Sullivan says:
I have not faced the consequences of war up-close and have nothing but awe for those who have. But my own, much more cloistered experience as a war supporter is similar. I will never think of America the same way after the Bush-Cheney administration. They ripped the scales off my eyes; they proved that America isn't, in the end, different; that its core moral principles, such as the prohibition of torture, are nostrums to be tossed aside at the whim of a few very scared and incompetent men; that the rule of law ends when it comes to presidential power, when he can simply order dipshit lawyers to say black is white; when no regret is ever truly expressed about the tens of thousands of Iraqis who died under US occupation; when the architects of these strategic and moral disasters are given legal immunity and peddle books on talkshows defending and bragging of their own awful legacy.

It has sickened me - the lack of morality, the lack of accountability, the constant recourse to mass amnesia. And in a man like Perry, you see all the characteristics of this belligerent, diplomatically autistic, aggressively stupid, and fundamentalist psyche. The dragon we thought we had slain is stalking the land again.
And after thinking over the booing of this gay soldier, Sullivan gets angry:
But somehow the fact that these indignities were heaped on a man risking his life to serve this country, a man ballsy enough to make that video, a man in the uniform of the United States . . . well, it tells me a couple of things. It tells me that these Republicans don't actually deep down care for the troops, if that means gay troops. Their constant posturing military patriotism has its limits.

The shocking silence on the stage - the fact that no one challenged this outrage - also tells me that this kind of slur is not regarded as a big deal. When it came to it, even Santorum couldn't sanction firing all those servicemembers who are now proudly out. But that's because he was forced to focus not on his own Thomist abstractions, but on an actual person. Throughout Republican debates, gays are discussed as if we are never in the audience, never actually part of the society, never fully part of families, never worthy of even a scintilla of respect. When you boo a servicemember solely because he's gay, you are saying he is beneath contempt, that nothing he does or has done can counterweigh the vileness of his sexual orientation.

And then I think of all those gay servicemembers who have died for this country, or been wounded in battle, or been on tours year after year . . . and the fury builds.

What I say:
  Your Head Trucker would like to see this country move further towards a social democracy, but he has some conservative tendencies too. I distrust all "isms," political or religious, because in the long run, they all tend towards a doctrinaire stance that blinds people to simple truths. And the truth is that life is infinitely variable, and that general rules do not suit particular cases, as the old maxim has it. Nor does any one individual, or party, or religion, have a monopoly on truth. Your Head Trucker believes in good manners, personal responsibility, beautiful traditions, and human kindness - and for a better elaboration, I refer you this passage by the late novelist and scholar E. M. Forster from Two Cheers for Democracy - it's cool, he's family.

It is perhaps possible that if I were one of Her Britannic Majesty's subjects, I might on some occasion or other vote for a Tory candidate, though I think it more likely I would tend towards the other parties over there. And perhaps on some remote occasion I might even be persuaded to vote for a Conservative candidate in Canada, though the present Prime Minister, Harper, has the nauseating smell of Bush all over him. I would much rather have voted for the late Jack Layton, for sure.

But hear me - no gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender American can possibly vote for the Republican Party in this country, not unless they are contemptible ass-kissers, or just too stupid for words. A Jew voting for Hitler is no outlandish comparison.


Ruffy said...

Santorum = satan!!! UGH, I can't stand that man!!!

Davis said...

They're a sick political party - not the party of Lincoln anymore.

DeepBlue said...

I am curious to see what the repeal of DADT will bring in the future debates. I keep getting this feeling that, in the end, it is all going to be good! The ride might get a little rough, there will be "blood" (metaphorically speaking), but in the end it-is-go-ing-to-be-good.

As long as those who strongly believe in equity keep their head high and don't resort to shit throwing at the GOP and the conservatives and always maintain a high level of dignity and decency, there's a chance they might have the best out of the situation.

When a wild beast realizes that he is about to be trapped and killed, he gives everything he's got to save his life, he becomes the most vicious and violent he's ever been.

Remember how the conservatives treated the African-American during their fight for equity in the 50's and 60's. The awful things that were written about them in some major newspapers and on some televison networks in those particular states where discrimmination and segregation were the strongest.

Yet, the African-American finally won their war. They have much more power today. Yes, there is still much road to cover... but you know all what I'm trying to say here.

I see the GOP and conservatives in a desperate attempt to turn the clock back. But they can't. That's why they are sreaming so loud. They might win a few battles (GOD! they might even win the next elections...), but in the end, and I mean in at least 10 years from now...

We must keep our mind on the main gold: EQUITY. For everybody. We should not allowed the irrational and irresponsible actions of the GOP get to us. Expose them, yes. But we should not give into anger or rage. That's what they want! Cause an angry man is a weak man and can be easily put down!

And I say "we" even though I'm not one of yours! LOL! I agree with all you said, Russ, about the -ism and about beautiful traditions.

FDeF said...

Not only Santorum, but those who cheered him on ...Can we have these people declared legally insane and have them committed? Better, lobotomized so they will no longer be a danger to themselves or others.

Russ Manley said...

Oh but there are so many of them, Frank. Nearabouts 25 million right here in Texas alone . . . .

"Sir" said...

So sex and sexuality are the same. How ignorant are these people?

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