I have voted for Republicans before. I may very well do so again, assuming they nominate a sober candidate like McCain or Giuliani in 2008. Not bloody likely, since neither seems to hate gay people. And rest assured, you’re not going to get very far in today’s GOP if you don’t follow the homophobic party line. There’s no longer room for debate — the fundamentalists have overtaken mainstream Republicans and now constitute the heart, soul and genitalia of the GOP. Which is regrettable, since the alternative is not much better (socially liberal, yes, but Democrats are feckless on most issues of consequence. Besides, I can’t belong to any party that claims the soulless Clintons as standardbearers).
But don’t blame me — this registered Independent will be voting Libertarian.
(Here’s some of the latest GOP gay baiting, first from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a frequent Bush adviser:)
(H)as the social agenda of the GOP been stalled by homosexual members and or staffers? When we look over events of this Congress, we have to wonder. This was the first House to pass a pro-homosexual hate crimes bill. The marriage protection amendment was considered very late in the term with no progress toward passage. Despite overwhelming popular approval, the party seldom campaigns as the defender of marriage. The GOP will have to decide whether it wants to be the party that defends the traditional moral and family values that our nation was built upon and directed by for two centuries. Put another way, does the party want to represent values voters or Mark Foley and friends?
Mark Foley and friends being code for "dirty fags."
Next, conservative media critic Cliff Kincaid checks in –
"House leaders permitted homosexuals to infiltrate and manipulate the party apparatus while they publicly postured as friends of family values and traditional marriage. The facade is now in ruins."
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson sums up the GOP’s dilemma well:
So for a party that crusades against gay marriage and welcomes voters that consider homosexuality a sin or a disease, headlines about a gay Republican congressman lusting after underage male congressional pages are a problem. …
The culture war is supposed to be about morality, but really it’s a crusade to compel Americans to follow certain norms of private behavior that some social and religious conservatives believe are mandated by sociology, nature or God. Republican officeholders have paid lip service to this crusade, all the while knowing that the human family is diverse and fallible. They know that the gravest threat to marriage is the heterosexual divorce rate. They know that Republicans drink, swear, carouse and have affairs, just like Democrats. They know that homosexuals aren’t devils.
Most Americans know all of this, too, by the way. Main Street hasn’t been Hicksville for a long time.
But Republicans positioned themselves as our national Church Lady and were rewarded with the support of the staunchest religious conservatives, who now feel betrayed. Faced with the spreading Foley scandal, the party has a choice.
The party can look America in the face and say, "Folks, we’re all just human, and while we should strive to adhere to the highest moral standards, this whole idea of writing a specific, narrow, fundamentalist Christian view of morality into law is really not a good idea. Even those of us who thought that way when we came to Washington realize we were wrong. Condemning others just because they are different doesn’t make us stronger or better, it makes us weaker and poorer. As Barry Goldwater would have said, live and let live."
Or the party can purge its gay staffers, maybe symbolically burn a few at the stake, and continue to pretend that you can legislate what is permitted to reside in American hearts and minds. Unfortunately, that’s where it looks like we’re headed.