Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why they want Craig to disappear. Now!

Several Republican Senators and Representatives, along with a unified chorus of right-wing media mouthpieces and the homophobic "religious" organizations metastasizing through the body politic, are screaming for Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) to resign his Senate seat immediately. Read this if you don't know the story.

At first blush, you might think that the GOP is aghast at the thought of a Senator convicted of a crime sullying the spotless reputation of the Senate, and that the others calling for his head are doing so because they truly hate gays and don't believe God intended for abominations like Craig to exist, much less hold a position of high office in a Christian nation. But things are rarely as they seem, and you would be wrong.

All these fine folks are concerned not with his homosexuality or his guilty plea, but something far different, and far more self-serving.

They simply will not tolerate anyone whose actions expose their fraud, putting their vote-getting and money-making operations at risk, and they are in full damage control mode. Can't have cracks in the foundation lest the house fall down.

To give you an idea of the amount of money generated by religious groups that spew inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric, read this article by Jon Ponder at Pensito Review, here.

To put the GOP's position in perspective, consider that these religious groups turn out in huge numbers to vote for the party that espouses their version of "family values". It is even fair to say that Bush would not be President if not for the "hate" vote turning out in Ohio in 2004 because there was an "anti-gay" amendment on the Ohio ballot. Without their votes, all of the voter fraud and suppression perpetrated by the Republicans would not have been enough to keep the state from going to John Kerry.

So, the Republicans and the organized homophobes are acting solely out of pragmatic self-interest to prove their "righteousness" to the believers and keep them in line. But wait! There's more!

If Craig doesn't resign, the Republicans will almost certainly lose his Senate seat, beacause even the "idahomophobes"will be pissed off enough to vote for a Democrat if they have to stare at Craig for another year. If he does resign, the Idaho Governor can appoint a Republican to replace him, giving the GOP a better chance of retaining the seat.

Democratic Representative Barney Frank, an openly gay man from Massachusetts, is calling for Craig to finish his term. Frank is a nice guy, and may be showing solidarity with Craig, but he
more likely wants him to stick around as a kind of "necrotizing microbe" eating away the right-wing base. Smart cookie.

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