Tuesday, May 30, 2006
by Wayne Besen
The Bush administration is out of gas and nobody can afford it, so the President is priming the pump with the same anti-gay fuel that always runs the GOP's engine: Same-sex marriage. But will the parlor trick work again for an administration clunking by on fumes?
According to the conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard, Bush will hold a press conference in the Rose Garden on June 5 to reaffirm his support for a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting gay people from marrying. The following day, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Amendment.
Of course, this was as predictable as a hot June day in DC. When Karl Rove was put in charge of the GOP's sagging political fortunes in an Election year, you just knew the gay bashing was around the corner. If it were not for guillotining gays, Rove would likely be running school board races in Amarillo or Lubbock.
Rove is often called a political genius, but I have to disagree. True brilliance requires offering people hope for a better tomorrow. In 1992, Bill Clinton stirred the better angels of the nation and people were excited about the future. In the early 80's, Ronald Reagan's political guru, Michael Deaver, displayed the same luminosity. Although Reagan did pander to the Moral Majority, his appeal was primarily built on his sunny optimism.
Bush, under the spell of Rove, has constructed his entire legacy on smearing the opposition and creating a climate of fear among voters. Who can forget when the Bush campaign slimed John McCain in South Carolina in 2000 with underhanded phone calls demeaning the war hero and his family?
And, of course, John Kerry, another decorated Vietnam veteran, was swift boated by Rove's sleaze machine. But always, Rove saves his biggest spit-balls for gay people. Teaming up with conservative organizations in 2004, Rove helped orchestrate eleven referendums on Constitutional marriage amendments. Many were in key presidential battleground states, in an effort to boost conservative turnout.
Smart, for sure, but certainly not brilliant or wise, for it has always been easier to scare than to care. Rendering people blind is simpler than providing a positive vision. To me, Rove is a cheater - the Barry Bonds of politics. Homophobia and hysteria are the steroids and he injects the poison into the body politic at every opportunity.
Like steroids, however, the long term affects of such toxic politics inevitably damage the user. The vice of divisiveness cost America the sympathy of the world after 9-11 and the support of it in our post 9-11 military adventures. Still, Bush is flexing like the muscleman he once was, while he has revealed himself as the biggest 90-pound weakling ever to sit in the Oval Office.
The President's anti-gay Rose Garden press conference is nothing short of a thorny embarrassment. Bush persists on further debasing his legacy by continuing to pander to a base that is largely responsible for him hovering near oblivion.The right wing is equally deluded if they believe that their close ties to Bush are beneficial.
While the rest of American families are suffocating under exorbitant gas prices, the only thing that fuels the right's passion is bashing gay families. While a majority may not be for allowing gay people to marry, they also know that this issue is not a priority.And, if anything, the Bush Administration -- and by extension the right wing -- is being punished in polls for having its priorities backwards.
When Osama was terrorizing, Bush's priority was Saddam. When New Orleans was sinking, Bush was disengaged. With healthcare exploding, the President was preoccupied with dismantling Social Security.
"Instead of addressing the real challenges facing American families, the President will further divide this country and put the far-right extremist's interests ahead of the American people's well-being," Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said this week.
In six years, Rove has not changed the game plan and Bush is still stumbling through the motions. Gay bashing has been the one play that has consistently saved Team GOP. But as the clock is ticking and Rove desperately throws one last political Hail Mary in the flowery field, one has to wonder if the bloom has finally come off the rose.
I could not agree more with your commentary. We need to become cohesive as a community (GLBT) and VOICE OUT LOUD our concerns and rights. Never has a civil right been a popular vote in our government. Thank Goodness! Otherwise women would still be second class people, there would be no interacial marriage,,,,the list goes on!
We need to come out as a society, as a people, as a tribe...and demand to be heard and afforded Equality.
The bushites are sad. I am sad that there is still a fight that needs fighting. Social injustice cannot be tolerated.
posted by Bruce, at
posted by Bruce, at