Monday, November 15, 2010


I wish I could get excited about this:

GOP is urged to avoid social issues

In a letter to be released Monday, the group GOProud and leaders from groups like the Tea Party Patriots and the New American Patriots, will urge Republicans in the House and Senate to keep their focus on shrinking the government....

The letter's signatories range from GOProud's co-founder and Chairman Christopher Barron -- a member of a group encouraging Dick Cheney to run for president -- to Tea Party leaders with no particular interest in the gay rights movement....

The Republicans are doing a brilliant job of managing the optics -- this letter is being floated while Senate Republicans talk about banning earmarks, and the Beltway conventional wisdom is going to be that there's a simple binary choice for Republicans and they've chosen dollars-and-cents issues (taxes, spending, earmarks) over the demonization of others.

... Um, except that, simultaneously, here are the front pages of the Drudge Report and Fox Nation as I type this:

Republicans may abandon the old culture war issues, or may just set them aside temporarily (I wouldn't count on even the latter). But if they do this, it's because they've merely switched to a new set of demonizable "others."

"Mohammed" is a more politically useful demon than gay people. And the creepy, sexist demonization of Janet Napolitano -- Drudge's obsession with Napolitano, whom he always calls "Big Sis," now borders on monomania -- is nothing more than a rechanneling of the kind of sexual revulsion that's traditionally directed at gay people (with Napolitano standing in as a stereotyped short-haired misusing power, with all that implies).

Now, I don't fly all that much, and I know that the negative reaction to recent security changes is crossing political lines. But the right-wing media is making hay of this -- and turning it into a culture-war skirmish by proxy.


(Oh, and as someone who lived through the 1960s, I can assure you that nuns were regarded in those days as fully capable of terrorist acts.)

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