Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Rime of the Ancient GOP

Crash! Bam! Boom! Darkness falls. Winds gust to tornadic speeds. Lightening scorches the earth. Peals of thunder roar and roar. The ground begins to quake. A massive seismic wave undoes all. Buildings crumble. Cities fall. Bridges collapse.

Armageddon? No.

Osama has been found? Definitely no.

A new “Exorcist” movie? No, not yet.

Apocalypse Now? No way.

Apocalypse Redux? No, Brando, no!

Apocalypse recycled, renewed, reused? No, no, and no!

What, then?

The GOP closet door has exploded off its hinges, faster than RuPaul snapping her fingers, saying: “Get DOWN with your bad self.” Yes, my friends, I have a huge news flash for you all, left, right and center, so brace yourselves. Hold on tight. This may be a bit much. Seat belts buckled. Crash helmets on. Get in the launch position. 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!: There are gay Republicans. OH, my GAWD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As the Foley scandal reduplicates legs quicker than a xenomorph in some strange sci-fi flick, we, the electorate of the United States have two choices: to be conscious or not to be conscious. You see, so many have the Foley scandal completely wrong, especially those who shapeshift along my side of the isle, eager to look inside the closet. But let’s review the basics, so we can get the story gay—straight, I mean

Mark Foley was a congressman from Florida, who was first elected in that tsunami wave of Republican takeover in 1994. Too bad the wave’s undertow of hypocrisy immediately pulled several of its surfers down, including their demi god himself Newt, whose had more marital and extra-marital problems than Susan Lucci’s Erica Cane of All of My Children. The larger point is: the tsunami’s aftershock remains.

Thus, back to All My GOP Gays because even back then, sources claim that everyone knew Foley was a closeted homosexual. In fact, prior to the election cycle of 2004, rumors crept out from behind the door that Foley was then considering a run for the Senate, for the seat that Martinez would take. The Florida GOP world knew that Foley’s closeted life would become an issue in such a highly publicized race. The GOP knew that they couldn’t square, or triangulate in not-such-a-pink sort of way, Foley’s life with their traditional values, especially when they were making the case against gay marriage, with every nutjob from insane-in-the-membrane Ted Nugent to Pat Robertson to Jerry Falwell. Several news organizations knew this information, too. Hence, no Senate for Foley.

What’s troubling here is that of course there are gays in the GOP. And I’m not just referring to Jeff Gannon/Guckert, the gay male escort who posed as a reporter—and I’m sure as other things as well—in the White House Press Room. Yes, believe it or not: there was a gay hooker near chimpy, not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld has duly noted. But there are gay people in the GOP—learn it, deal with it. Just check out the Log Cabin Republicans, for heaven’s sake. Just check out Andrew Sullivan, for Will & Grace’s sake. Look at Lynn Cheney, for Deferment Dick’s sake.

Let’s face it: Gay people are us. They are in our families, our communities, our churches, our temples, and our mosques. They are us; we are them. They are part of our human family, and we should recognize this fact more often. What’s disturbing is how the GOP has systematically tried to strengthen its deathstar laser beams by brutally exploiting the very members that support their party.

On September 29, 2006, Mark Foley resigned, not because he was gay; rather, because he was embroiled in several allegations of inappropriate conduct with minors. And everybody knew, from the top down, or the top/bottom, in this case. The media then went nuts.

So as the GOP door ripped off its hinges, some ugly realities come before us. Who cares about Mr. Foley’s sexuality? Research abundantly shows that there is no correlation between one’s orientation and one’s inclination to engage in lewd acts with minors. In fact, like it or not, research compellingly singles out heterosexuals with an overwhelming trend of having sexual relations with minors. We do care, though, that Foley was messing around with underage pages, which is unconscionable. What’s even more unconscionable is how the GOP, the party of values, covered all this up, leading angry, irrational dems., who are still salivating revenge for the witch hunt of Billy Clinton, along a path of distraction.

But when you really think about this: is it a cover-up, or a gussied-up story to lead us astray? In this hot political climate, the answer is obvious. We are being led away from the more imminent horrors that have “come out” in the past couple of weeks. And these horrors all eddy around two black holes on this planet: Iraq and Washington.

While many people trotted along the Foley scandal path, there are several things they missed. This week, we learn that in Iraq the civilian body count hovers around 600,000, claims The Lancet, a highly respected British journal. This week’s Newsweek, with Foley on the cover and more about Iraq and Washington on the inside ironically, reports that last month there were 2,500 deaths in Iraq alone. Last week, we, Americans, lost 13 of our soldiers, just in seven days. And the sectarian violence—get a load of this shit—has spread to the Internet; go “inside” the Newsweek closet, bypassing the cover to learn more. So while everyone drools over Foley’s e-mails and IMs, they may want to refocus their interest on how the Iraqi death squads—not terrorists—use the Internet now as a way to kill. Like the bodies falling dead aboard the ship in Coleridge’s haunting, classic “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” bodies are dropping all over Iraq, both ours and theirs. But no need to worry: the other news this week that many ignored is that the Armed Services has, get this, dumb-downed entry requirements to attract more recruits. Several veterans and my dad tell me that is NOT a good sign.

A HUGE news item that many have missed, as they helplessly pitched camp inside the Foley closet, the news that may very well cause symbolic seismic eruptions and renegade jet streams, is the release of Tempting Faith by David Kuo, former deputy director of the Bush White House Faith-Based and Community initiatives. Talk about doors flying off their hinges. This brutal exposé shows, among many things, that Bush-Rove et al merely used the religious right for their political gain, calling many of its leaders “boorish” and “nuts.” That’s a surprise!

When will we learn? In Coleridge’s poem, the mariner relates the albatross around his neck with the enormous guilt he feels for randomly shooting at it. For him, it’s a horror. In our current state of politics, our leaders don’t want to acknowledge what they have shot at it or any “shooting” that’s going on, let alone redemption by wearing anything around their necks. For us, this is our horror, except, let’s keep it in the closet.


AA said...

You forgot to mention that a Pentagon report this week claims that will have a military presence until 2010 in Iraq. Pretty amazing. Get with it!

Anonymous said...

wait, were we supposed to read the rime of the ancient mariner for class?