February 07, 2008
One down; one to go...
Posted by: Kevin
Today, Mitt Romney gave up his effort to lead a soulless borg of hacks into power in Washington, and the gay community is better off for it. If nothing else, all those people that he flipped-off to launch his flop of a presidential campaign can rejoice -- he was taken down.
And he was taken down by a candidate who is seen as enemy number one by anti-gay monsters like James Dobson and Pat Buchanan. John McCain is the anti-borg; he's a man who inspires Democrats and independents because he revels in telling the psychotic wing of the Republican Party that it can eat shit. (And I think that's actually a quote...) Regardless of whether any of us should vote for him in November, it is clearly a welcome development for the GOP and for gays in general. (Log Cabin Republicans are celebrating, and with good reason. They had a score to settle with Romney, and a message to send to any GOP gay rights supporters that there will be pain if you flip-flop on our issues.)
Now, with the GOP race decided, it's time to go after the other corrosive element that is holding our community back politically. It's time to take out Hillary Clinton, and the soul-crushing hack-o-rama that she and her husband are gathering off the coast to lead back into power.
A McCain-Clinton race would be the worst of all worlds. Clinton will have to "run to the middle", and in the universe of the Clintons that means throwing gays overboard on just about everything except the most antiseptic, unnecessary fluff of rhetoric and no action. And their surrogates (e.g. the Human Rights Campaign) will microtarget the same tired Elizabeth Birchian message that if gays don't vote for Hillary, masked gunmen will essentially break into their houses the day after the election and march them off to camps. (And, as so many of us are just as dumb as any other machine demographic, it will work with a lot of gay voters.)
Hillary will drone on and on about nothing during the general election campaign, slowly beginning to resemble the sound of an adult speaking in a Peanuts animated cartoon, and leave McCain a wide berth to simply point to her and say, "I'm not that." The end. No debate, no pressure and no oxygen for gay issues.
However, an Obama-McCain race is the one that the borgs dread like a vampire dreads the sunlight. What seems clear now is that it would be a race that would smash all the usual claptrap of machine politics and test the limits of the left-right, Democrat-Republican, conservative-liberal continuum. They are honorable men with ideas, spiritual groundings and true charisma, but they are also men with flaws, weak spots and shortcomings.
I can't imagine McCain ever embracing the rhetoric of the anti-gay movement, or the cowardly cavings to groups like Focus on the Family. He has taken some brave moves, like voting against the Federal Marriage Amendment, and speaking against it on the floor. But on a wider range of legislative issues that have come up, like ENDA, he has stubbornly stood aside for a long time. Obama has been called by many, including Chris, as the best candidate on gay issues. I confess that even I am taken by his soaring speeches, and not just on gay issues but even on the war and the economy. He is like booze - tastes great, and makes me almost forget what my convictions are. Dangerous, but not necessarily in a bad way. Who knows? But no matter how taken any of us might be with Obama, let's not forget that this man is a novice. And the presidency is the most awesome office in the world, especially now. It's not just the prize on the season finale of a reality show.
So, let's table the question on the vote in November for now, and unite behind this important principle -- it's time to annihilate the machine politics that have held the gay movement back for too long. Romney has been stopped. Time to stop Hillary.
Then we can have the race we deserve as a community, and as a nation.
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