Watching Republicans must be what it feels like when the first stages of insanity start to set in. You realize you’re still in the same world, your feet are on the ground, yet things don’t make sense like they used to. Other Americans see the same things which astound you, yet they’re not only comfortable with it, they’ll actively defend it. It’s like the cartoons when someone gets hit on the head with a hammer and those annoying, noisy birds circle your head, with visible trails and stars in between, while your eyes roll around in their sockets.
Here we are again. Larry Craig, another homophobic, anti-gay rights Republican Senator caught in the act of soliciting gay sex. This time it’s the men’s room in an airport, more importantly it’s somewhere far away from his wife and children and supposedly, the eyes of the world. The details of Craig’s arrest have been made public, including his calculated lies during questioning.
Not only did Craig ignore his true sexuality throughout his entire life, but he drove hard and fast in the complete opposite direction, marrying a woman, fathering children, and then slipping into American government where he could legislate, self-loathingly, against the very Americans who were born just as he was, but were much braver in most cases than he could ever imagine of being.
Craig resigned from the Senate on Saturday, September 2. This, after an impassioned initial speech in which he sternly proclaimed that he wasn’t gay and he’d never been gay. Then I remembered the impassioned speeches of all the other conservatives who’d come before him, vehemently conveying innocence, only to admit later to just about everything. Everything that is, except the gay thing. One thing Craig and all his other conservative clones know is that a wife and children, especially one that’s been committed to for a good period of time, is the ticket off the gay subway. Even being single isn’t enough to get off the train on this one. You need to have a devoted family at your side when you lie to everyone. Sure, they may all believe inside that you absolutely would have had sex with that cop, but loving and living with another man is the ultimate sin. Sucking a few along the way, as long as your wife puts meatloaf on the table, is no big deal. On Tuesday, September 5, 2007, Craig’s children assured everyone that they believed their father, and that he was simply a “victim” of circumstances. These children have never seen the real Larry Craig, but they remain devoted, at least in the press, to the façade.
For conservatives, two people of the same sex falling in love and building a life together is the line they can’t cross. Even with children added in, they find ways to demonize it. But Craig, who everyone knows would have squealed like a pig, is safe in his civil rights as long as he steps back into the sanitized world, where conservatives all know the truth, but hide it behind a handshake and a smile.
Craig, of course, follows a long list of conservative, family focused Republicans and religious icons who’ve been caught in homosexual acts or situations. Just before this, and still going on, is Bill Allen, who offered a man $20 in the bathroom at a rest stop in Florida. The money wasn’t so that Allen could be the recipient of oral sex, which is the common transaction, but so that Allen could perform oral sex on the stranger. Allen later came up with the ingenious explanation that since there were so many black men around which he felt threatened by, blowing the black man in the bathroom made perfect sense from a safety standpoint. The crazy and prejudiced idea that a white person should automatically feel threatened around a group of black men is only topped by the idea that being seen in an act of gay sex in public would provide safety because the man he was blowing was black as well. The whole explanation is so wacky that Allen may actually be crafting an insane plea/book deal behind our backs. Allen is, by the way, a man who wrote letters and did everything he could to condemn and urge the prosecution and impeachment of Bill Clinton, shouting about immorality and standards. He also, like Craig, legislated against gay Americans while in office.
Jeff Gannon was the former military man who also had a gay pornographic website. Gannon achieved unusually unrestricted access to GW Bush and the White House press room until it all came out. Ted Haggard, one of the most powerful evangelical leaders in America, had frequent access and influence with GW, at least when he wasn’t doing crystal meth and having sex with a male escort. Ted, who initially denied everything and then slowly admitted the truth, was miraculously “cured” in 3 weeks by some act of God and was ready to get back to condemning gay people. Mark Foley, someone actually identified as gay, used some of his time in government to attract and make suggestions at teen aged male pages.
Recently the mayor of Ft Lauderdale, Jim Naugle, started a campaign to combat the gay sex he said was taking over park public bathrooms, until the police issued a statement saying there was no problem and that only 2 arrests were made in the last 2 ½ years. Naugle also opposed gay books in the public library and said many gays “aren’t gay, they’re unhappy”.
David Vitter is a Republican from Louisiana who was revealed recently as a client of the DC Madam. Vitter has vehemently opposed same sex marriage and compared it to natural disasters, also stating that he opposed same sex marriage so strongly because “I don’t feel there’s any issue more important than this one”. Vitter, married with children and stuck on family values as the others are, has refused to step down from his government seat as well as refusing to say much on the issue at all.
The list goes on and on…and it’s not all Republicans, although they definitely are in the lead as well as the most restrictive toward gay rights. On Tuesday, September 4th, James McGreevy, the former Governor of New Jersey who came out as gay and left his stage set of a wife and family, issued a letter sympathizing with Craig’s dilemma, noting his past experiences with sex and public restrooms. While the Democrats are certainly the lesser of two evils, there’s only one Democratic candidate vocally supporting equality for same sex marriage, and that’s Dennis Kucinich, who I doubt has a chance in hell of winning. And if we’re constantly being asked by the media if Obama is “black enough”, as insane as that is, just how far do we, as gay Americans, have to go?
In respect to the Craig outing, I watched on television as conservatives minimized it, instead using the air time to once more drag Bill Clinton through the mud, regardless of whether the incidents have anything in common. I shook my head as they said that Craig didn’t actually have sex with the male officer, so where’s the crime? This is the frightening revelation of how minds work in the Republican party. They’ll work to acquit one of their own for being gay, while openly condemning and legislating against those who have integrity and are honest with themselves and those around them. This should make any true American who happens to vote Republican turn in their GOP card and openly chastise the conservative party. Unfortunately, integrity and honesty are not important facets of this group of Americans.
How long will it be before Americans stand up and call Republicans on their hypocrisy and lack of morality and intelligence? I don’t know which is worse, the staunch tow-the-line Republicans who’ve supported GW and his cronies through 2 elections, or the pathetic Americans who abandoned more liberal thinking and chose to join the party of hate and inequality simply because they thought GW could keep them safe. Americans are to blame for all this, not politicians. The politicians are simplistic and ego-maniacal infants who will take all they can for as long as they can. But American citizens hold the real power. But the majority of them seem more interested in living in fantasy.
To this day I have confrontational debates with conservatives who are in full support of GW and his unbelievable ineptitude. I don’t know what would have to happen at this point to make these spineless Americans admit it was time for change. Facts don’t matter, truth doesn’t matter and long term consequences don’t matter. There are no more arguments to hurl at them because they have chosen to remove themselves from the world of reason, logic and truth. They look at the dreamland of a democratic and secure Iraq like they do the concept of this country, which they against liberals on a daily basis. Forget that the America they’re aggressively working to preserve never existed in the first place. This country has a long list of mistakes and human rights violations. To use the image of a pure America, where all the things we were told in school, like equality and freedom, actually existed, against the very citizens who are championing those very ideas, is truly traitorous.
Any American today who believes gay people aren’t entitled to equal rights, or that heterosexuals need more time to come to terms with this issue, should not only hang their heads in shame, but be chastised as they leave their homes in the morning. When did it become acceptable in America to deny equal rights to other Americans based on majority opinion, or the mythology of religion? In fact, America has perpetrated this evil and heinous behavior many times before. Slavery, suffrage, and torture, just to name a few. LGBT Americans seem to be the group at the end of the line, American citizens victimized by the propaganda of lies and hatred, who seemingly can’t find any way to victory, even with science, truth, evidence and the constitution on their side.