"They've seen me make decisions, they've seen me under trying times, they've seen me weep, they've seen me laugh, they've seen me hug."
--George W. Bush, interview in USA Today
They've seen me hug.
We just saw what happened when John Kerry dared to utter the word "sensitive." Can you imagine how many days of derision Kerry would suffer from the Big Tough Men of the GOP if he'd said something like this?
"It's OK if you're a Republican" -- yeah, I know. There's no point in even complaining about it, really -- that's the nature of our politics, and it's been that way for a generation.
It's just like high school -- engage in certain activities and you're a fag. The Republicans are the football team; the Democrats are the drama club. (Never mind that the last three U.S. senators who served after losing limbs to war-related injuries were all Democrats.) And, just as in high school, the people who decide who's a fag get to do faggy things with impunity -- at my high school we had mandatory assemblies every year to cheer on the football team, and the highlight was team members dressed in drag. (I saw those guys hug, too. I also saw them slap one another on the ass. They never saw me do anything like that, though -- I wouldn't, because I didn't want them to call me a fag.)
American politics is high school. We just have to deal with that. But isn't a shame that we can't do better?