Thursday, March 30, 2006

Obsession

For a party that claims to be the guardians of morality and decency, the Republicans have an odd — some might say obsessive — occupation with sex.

First there’s their war against gays and lesbians and the attempt to deny them the basic civil rights of the rest of society. They have yet to prove that gay marriage will do any damage to straight marriage. It seems to be self-destructing on its own without any help from the queer side of the aisle, and the irony of it all is that most gays who want to marry want the kind of traditional marriage with kids and dogs and station wagons that the tightie-righties claim is being destroyed by two men or two women falling in love and making a life together.

Then there was the attempt to remove Bill Clinton from office because he lied about getting serviced by an intern. Never mind the fact that while it wasn’t the most noble behavior on the part of the president, he certainly wasn’t the first president to indulge while in office or even in the Oval Office. If we had impeached every president who had extramarital affairs, we would have gotten rid of more than just Mr. Clinton; we could have gone back several generations to include Grover Cleveland, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and — believe it or not — some Republicans like Warren G. Harding and Dwight Eisenhower.

It goes beyond sex, too. For some reason the party of decency and purity has a fixation on vulgarity. Vice President Cheney will go to to his grave as the man who told a senator on the floor of the U.S. Senate to “Go fuck yourself.” Now we have an associate justice of the Supreme Court doing the same in Italian to a photographer in Boston. He said, “To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo.'” The translation is “Go fuck yourself up the ass.”

I have no problem with that kind of language. I use it myself and in public, although I’m not sure I’d say it in front of a reporter, and I also don’t use it in front of children or people who I sense might be offended by it. But I also don’t portray myself as a paragon of virtue and a blue-nosed busybody who spends every waking hour worrying that someone on cable TV might say “Fuck.”

I’m sure there’s a psychological explanation for this pre-occupation with sex. Perhaps, as B.J. Hunnicutt once noted, it’s a lack of occupation with sex. Who knows. All I can say is that if they spent as much time and energy on things that really matter instead of meddling in other people’s private sex lives and stopped worrying about what terrible language was getting on the television without the help of the Vice President and a member of the Supreme Court, they might actually accomplish something. And they wouldn’t come across as the transparent hypocrites that they do now.

(HT to AMERICAblog.)