The Politics of Hate
. With a title like that, you just know
I'm talking about those hideous reptiles, the Republicans. Josh Marshall
brings together several elements of the Santorum flap, and reading it all gives you an excellent perspective on the whole matter.
What's most striking to me about what Santorum said is that, if we take the man at his word (hate the sin, not the sinner), it is possible to conclude that he is blissfully unware of his bigotry. It is ipossible to conclude that he isn't a bigot, however. He claims that he has no problem with homosexuals, and President Bush lamely calls him an "inclusive" man. Let's assume that he has lots and lots of gay friends, and they go out drinking every Friday and have a great time. There is no discomfort on Sen. Santorum's part, even when he goes the the men's room along with two
of his gay-buddies at the same time. Let's take to a really extreme level and say that Santorum doesn't even have a problem when his gay-buddies take him to one of their
bars. Even assuming all of this is true, which it obviously isn't, this "inclusive" man is still a bigot. Why? Because he thinks 1) states should be allowed to criminalize homosexual sex, 2) states should criminalize homosexual sex, and 3) states should enforce their criminal laws against homosexual sex. Nothing wrong with being a homosexual, as long as you never have sex. That's what passes for "inclusiveness" in the hate party.
No surprise. These are the same people who push pre-marital abstinence with one hand, push away gay-marriage with the other hand, and pretend not to notice that they've just damned gays to a life of celibacy. The fact is, these guys will ot be happy until gay sex, if not homosexuality itself, is obliterated from the face of this great nation. It ain't never gonna happen (as if this even needs to be said), and the electorate is moving fairly quickly away from this mainstream Republican position. Even my Republican friends, for instance, are pissed about Santorum's remarks (because it makes it harder to pretend to themselves that their party isn't run by vile hateful thugs, and because they are not, by and large, bigots). What this means: the Republicans are soon going to realize that they are losing this battle, but they won't be able to do anything about it. Most of them have managed, just barely, to swallow the "hate the sin, not the sinner" line, and some of them can even speak to homosexuals in public, if they try really really hard. But Rick Santorum (or people like him) will become to gay issues what Strom Thurmond was to race issues.
For a while, I hoped Santorum would be forced to take a hit from this one, like Trent Lott did a few months ago. It appears this won't be the case. To understand why not, check out this fascinating article by Eleanor Clift, called Standing By Their Man
. The article also makes one point that I must pass along. Santorum's comments were in response to a Supreme Court case called Lawrence v. Texas
. That case involves a criminal prosecution under Texas's sodomy laws, which make sodomy a crime if it's committed by same-sex partners, but not a crime if it's committed by opposite-sex partners. Santorum was talking about using the law to protect the traditional family in lots and lots of ways. He said that homosexual sodomy, adultery, polygamy, bigamy, incest, and bestiality all undermine the traditional family, and therefore a state should ban all of them and should enforce that ban. As Clift puts it, "It’s worth noting, since Santorum brought up “man on dog,” that Texas doesn’t have a law against bestiality."
If it's any consolation (and it is to me), Texas is almost certainly going to lose that case. And Scalia, Rehnquist, and Thomas are almost certainly going to vote with the bigots. I'll have that story for you when it happens.