Saturday, November 29, 2003

Sucker Punch

The best way for the Democrats to win the White House in 2004 is to let the Religious Reich take over the agenda and revive the culture war that doomed the first President Bush in 1992. The best spokesperson for that is the guy who started the last one: Pat Buchanan. And here he is in full cry on the Op-Ed page of the Miami Herald:

…President Bush should make the preservation of marriage the social issue of 2004. Every candidate should be forced to declare himself for or against the idea that marriage is restricted to men and women.

Gay activists will denounce this as the politics of divisiveness and hate. But America has begun to catch on to the tactic of smearing as bigots anyone who resists this new social revolution. The nation has begun to see through the strategy of imposing that revolution not through the democratic process but the dictatorial process of getting collaborator-judges to issue court degrees.

[edit]

In a half century, we have watched judges and justices strike down laws against pornography, denying communities the power to prevent the pollution of cultures. We have seen the killing of unborn children declared a constitutional right. We have seen children bused across cities to meet some jurist’s idea of a proper racial balance.

Judges have ordered students not to say a prayer at graduation. They have told teachers what they may and may not teach. They have declared homosexual sodomy a constitutional right.

Time to go to the root of America’s social crisis: the power usurped by judges and imposed against the will of the people and their chosen representatives. Legislatures and executives should begin recapturing their lost powers, or we should find new legislators and executives to restore constitutional balance. Let the counterrevolution begin where that first revolution began, with a new Boston Tea Party.

Go, Pat, Go! And pay absolutely no attention to the wussies who are so worried about offending people; this is America’s soul we’re fighting for! So when Joan Vennochi warns against starting another culture war, just ignore her:

To Republicans, a war over gay marriage rights foisted upon the nation by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court may sound like a welcome and winnable distraction.

[edit]

In 1992, the GOP’s right wing took over the convention in Houston to declare a mean and supposedly holy war against Americans whose beliefs are different from its own. In a speech to delegates, Buchanan stated it plainly: ”There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself.” Buchanan’s theme was reinforced by other conservative political and religious leaders who scared the country on prime-time TV.

That November Bill Clinton won the White House. Bush’s defeat was due partly to his failure to address the nation’s stagnant economy. But the ousting of an incumbent was also the country’s reaction to the ugly, narrow intolerance displayed in Houston, not by Bush but by others in his party.

Why would George W. Bush want that same shrill, divisive discourse to permeate his campaign for reelection? He was elected as a compassionate conservative. His vice president, Dick Cheney, has an openly gay daughter who brings her partner to White House dinners. Today the country is even more tolerant toward gays than it was a decade ago, and the tolerance is more outspokenly bipartisan. That political reality of growing tolerance toward gays and lesbians can be seen in Bush’s initial response to the Massachusetts court ruling. He did not specifically endorse a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

[edit]

Is it better for Bush if the election turns on the sanctity of traditional marriage or the long-range merits of ”Iraqification?” Republicans should be careful what they wish for.

I’m reminded of the admonition I heard when Pat Buchanan ran for president in 2000; “Don’t be too hard on him. After all, he did lose a relative in the Holocaust: his uncle fell out of a guard tower at Auschwitz.”