"Gaeity" is a term denoting joyful exuberance or merriment, but in the hands of today's Republican party, I would not be surprised to find it reinterpreted to a bastion of misleading and negative connotations almost as confusing as the definition and use of the word gay. The "Party of Moral clarity" has demonized the use of any word, term or action that could even hint at homosexuality in order to key into the knee-jerk prejudice of millions of "Christian" voters everywhere. (Note that I put quotes around "Christian" -- I can't duly insult those who actually practice the teachings attributed to Christ, when I'm only targeting those who simply claim to.) Whenever I hear GOP leaders or pundits screech about a "homosexual agenda" and accuse someone of being gay as though it is a crime against humanity (unlike torture, or melting the flesh off children), I wonder why nobody asks them to clarify.
(Cunningham pic source: madcowprod dot com)
Vitter pic source: wis.dm)
Perhaps it is the overall example of moral clarity and focus -- his idea of it, at least -- that Tom "The Bug Man" Delay (see also) set for his Republican brethren that first initially got them all confused with the meaning of certain terms. Who knows?
(Hat-tip The Dood Abides)
Republicans are playing the "moral values" card more and more often, desperately attempting to reinforce the misplaced meme that -- bolstered by their strong "faith" -- they are somehow not only above reproach but also in a position to be forgiven for any minor inequities while denouncing the slightest failing of others. Indeed, the capacity of the Right-Wing Noise Machine1 to gather and swarm like a colony of killer bees attempting to decimate their enemy is almost legendary. It also appears to be a defense mechanism deeply rooted in fear, self-loathing and some weird form of psychological denial and projection whereby they find the illness within themselves that they most detest and project it upon their enemies, making it -- and the enemy -- a target of vitriolic hate to be destroyed, a scapegoat2 upon which they heap all their poison and failing and then drive off a cliff in order to feel justified, cleansed and reaffirmed in their self-appointed role of society's sole benefactors.
It is all a delusion, of course.
The Republican Party of the past two decades has distinguished itself as the Party of Penultimate Corruption, working steadily toward subverting the law and preventing due process as well as oversight in their quest for dominant power. The increased spread of "conservatism" has marked the insidious growth of deceptive practices and manipulation in order to build, reinforce and spread support of their methods, and the sickness that this signifies is spread: the "group mind" that Jung once theorized becomes the "mindless mob" of Republican punditry and zealous disciples, moving en masse in knee-jerk reactionary style to the slightest twitch or tweak of the exposed, raw nerves of once stable moral fibre running the breadth the land. In short, today's Conservatives (and hence most of todays Conservative Republicans) are a disease upon the land. It may sound harsh, but even the US Government knows what ill now infests the nation: the government even produced a report3 concluding that "conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity."
As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the report's four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction. All of them "preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality".
Ouch. Even worse, the authors -- realizing the predictable swarm that their report would likely produce -- issued a disclaimer that their study
"does not mean that conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false".
Heh. Riiiiiiight... So, that would mean that the poor, mixed-up souls listed above are simply a deviation from the norm of upstanding Republican behavior, right? Er...no.
[Note: Many of the references following come from the same source.]
- Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.
- Republican Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.
- Republican Congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.
- Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.
- Republican legislator Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).
Perhaps there's a reason: could it be the help? Republicans may be unfairly disadvantaged in the realm of hypocritical sexual misconduct. It could be that they just can't find folks who actually embrace those idealized Republican Family Values they prize so much.
- Republican politician and former GOP Committeeman Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.
- Republican campaign chairman Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child and was arrested again five years later on the same charge.
- Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.
- Republican Party Chairman Donald Fleischman was charged with two counts of child enticement, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child and a single charge of exposing himself to a child.
- Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.
If they can't depend on reliable help throughout the foundation of their party, what hope have they got of preventing corruption from reaching (or leaking out of) the upper echelons of their party? Perhaps that explains their party's obsession with fundamentalism and the reason behind the GOP getting into bed with the radical right. (Oooops...was that a pun, or just the sad truth...?)
What kind of Christians are these guys? The "Party of Christian Values" is, of course, formed from the bedrock of radical fundamental Christianity. What could possibly taint such a solid, upstanding image? Well, perhaps a few bad apples that had rotted through to the core:
- Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., was found guilty of raping a 15-year old girl. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.
- Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced prison after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.
- Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. - William Shakespeare
With such upstanding examples to lead the way, no wonder these fine leaders see no reason to justify things such as denying the mandatory vaccination of young women against a sexually transmitted virus, or pushing to overturn the right for a woman to have an abortion -- particularly a young, underage woman? After all, if we would simply adhere to a successful program of teaching abstinence, wouldn't all our young men and women be safe, and therefore not need any contraceptives, abortions, sex education or fear any sort of STD? ...well...not so much. It appears that Republican hypocrisy sets a somewhat backward example for our younger generations:
Surely, these must be isolated incidents and not a sign of pervasive perversion, right? Well...again, not so much. There are some older historical references that allege that senior Republican stateman and former President George H.W. Bush's Whitehouse had some sordid affairs that ~almost~ came to light:
Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.
These, of course, are no longer shocking particularly after the Gannon affair(s?). Much to our collective shame, we also hold the unabashedly disgusting distinction that in recent years our military and defense intelligence networks have allegedly engaged in the most heinous of tortures, human rights abuse and outright crimes against nature and humanity:
Republican Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the rape of children in Iraqi prisons in order to humiliate their parents into providing information about the anti-American insurgency. See excerpt of one prisoner's report here and his full report here.
This stain upon the soul of nation emerged during the reign of "Bush the Younger" -- George W. Bush, and his cabal of criminal enablers. Could it be that our Republican friends, in their drive to be loyal to God and Country (but Party above all), have overlooked the basic "quirks" that denote such twisted deviants so clearly for the rest of us? Combined with the efforts to flush the faithful to the polls and suppress "the opposition" by hook or by crook, these well-meaning loyal party members may simply require another reminder about the type of people they are actually pushing to the forefront to represent themselves. Candidates for President and Exemplars of Model Conservative Republican Family Values John McCain:
McCain was still married and living with his wife in 1979 while, according to The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof, "aggressively courting a 25-year-old woman who was as beautiful as she was rich."
Giuliani informed his second wife, Donna Hanover, of his intention to seek a separation in a 2000 press conference.
In the acrid divorce proceedings that followed, Hanover accused Giuliani of serial adultery, alleging that Nathan was just the latest in a string of mistresses, following an affair the mayor had had with his former communications director.
And the serial hopeful, serial adulterer, serial hypocrite Newt Gingrich:
But the most notorious of them all is undoubtedly Gingrich, who ran for Congress in 1978 on the slogan, "Let Our Family Represent Your Family." (He was reportedly cheating on his first wife at the time).
That would be an example of blatant hypocrisy, which has come to symbolize the true nature of today's conservative Republicans -- and Republicans in general, for that matter. To continue from the piece,
In 1995, an alleged mistress from that period, Anne Manning, told Vanity Fair's Gail Sheehy: "We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her.'"
This, too, is an example of Republican strategizing: pre-planning an excuse, a workaround or a loophole in order to ensure a degree of plausible deniability. It's the Republican way of having to avoid the prevarications required to figure out what the definition of "is" is. A few more facts from the same paragraph:
Gingrich obtained his first divorce in 1981, after forcing his wife, who had helped put him through graduate school, to haggle over the terms while in the hospital, as she recovered from uterine cancer surgery. In 1999, he was disgraced again, having been caught in an affair with a 33-year-old congressional aide while spearheading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.
And there we have "family values" and hypocrisy4 all neatly bundled up in one disgusting package -- the same package responsible for delivering a Contract on America that resulted in setting the stage of faux credibility and morality while enabling the start of one of the most massive subversions of truth, justice and integrity ever undertaken and premeditated by any political party in American history. It is, in my estimation, one of the very keystones to the overall foundation of corruption that led to ultimately to the disgraceful sham that is now the George W. Bush and Republican Party legacy: the most inept, criminal and subversive incarnation of the United States government ever to exist, and it is spearheading America's entry into the twenty-first century. It is a major black mark in the history of our nation, and sure to taint, stain, smudge and smear the efforts of all who strive to overcome it in the next few years.
For you suffer fools gladly, seeing yourself as wise. - II Corinthians 11:19
There is no option, at this point, for any Republican follower to continue to support the words and deeds of the currently entrenched political elite: the ideology of "conservatism" has not only proven to be a dismal failure, it has also negatively impacted the nation and the world for at least the next fifty years. Only through the embrace of a progressive, forward-thinking agenda can we hope to undo the damage of the silver-tongued devils who road the coattails of propriety into power and then swiftboated sanity en masse. For any true Republican, the only way to undo the legacy of evil that has culminated in the Bush regime is to wholly reject the dangerously subversive and deluding hypocrisy of the far right, and move leftward toward a true center with progressive Democrats and the rest of America.
1. "Reich"-wing is more like it, if you ask me.
2. The link is to an earlier piece of mine on dKos called "The Pet Goat" that delves into the traditional symbolism of the scapegoat and the GOP's practice, particularly in George W. Bushworld, of always having one in order to deny accountability. The piece appeared several places, and can also be found on ePluribus Media, Booman Tribune, My Left Wing, ProgressiveHistorians, Political Cortex and Never in Our Names. An important companion piece is Juxtaposition: Edgar Lee Masters and Lessons of Life from Death on the old ePluribus Media scoop site and the short informative blurb on DailyKos called Failure, Scapegoats and the Juxtaposition of Life from Death.
3. Source: The Guardian Unlimited, Study of Bush's psyche touches a nerve, Julian Borger in Washington, 13 August 2003.
4. More on Gingrich's hypocrisy during the Clinton affair can be found here: Gingrich Had Affair During Clinton Probe, by Ben Evans, The Associated Press, 8 March 2007 via The Washington Post online.