Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Y'all know that I typically leave politics to other bloggers. There are a few reasons for this, including that people who like to think about politics are better at writing about it. It's also my opinion that most political discourse in our country (more so than in other countries) is intellectually dishonest. That is to say that people who pretend to be considering all sides of an issue and searching for an answer are more often truly ideologues who are only interested in either swinging you around to their point of view, kissing your ass if you already agree with them, or insulting you if you don't. Because of this, most political bloggers (like talking heads in all media) are not so much discussing issues as they are shouting across a vast divide. I find this sort of discourse distasteful whether it's coming from the specious and odious right or the naive and simple-minded left. Mind you, I generally agree with the conclusions of the naive simpletons (by the way, if you're a liberal blogger, rest assured that I'm talking about someone else, not about you), I just find the arguments themselves misguided.

In the final analysis, though, I don't write about politics because when the choice is between writing about sex and anything else, anything else is kind of dull by comparison. I know some people find political intrigue and power to be infinitely more interesting than cock and ass, but, well, I just pity them. Though I suppose preferring politics is a natural choice if you're, say, Newt Gingrich or Margaret Thatcher. And if you're Bill Clinton, then I reckon you're smart enough to negotiate welfare reform while you're getting your cock sucked.

I mention all this because a few days ago, in response to a throwaway line about a poorly contextualized residence, someone left a comment, which included the following text:

I am stunned you believe only rich Republicans have the audacity to plop bad taste on our landscape. I am even more stunned that you believe the idea that rich and Republican is redundant. That is ridiculous. Just who do you think is sending all the spare change in the pockets of political simpletons to Obama, Clinton and the rest of the lunatic fringe (yes I can be hyperbolic too).

Naturally, I wanted to respond, but first I had to be able to stop giggling. Which took a while. I realize that there are plenty of Republicans who aren't rich (NASCAR fans, right?), but the idea that the rich are not disproportionately Republican is, well, laughable. (Yes, I know that there are interesting regional differences.)

No one's every going to accuse me of being a political centrist. I've been voting for over twenty years, and in all that time, the only time I ever voted for a Republican was when I was living in Boston and the Democratic candidate for State Treasurer was a crook. Voting is almost always a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils, and in the hundreds of votes I've cast, the Republican has been the lesser evil only once. (I have, however, dated Republicans. That, too, was always a mistake, and I stopped some years before I met b&c. If I were single now, I would not date a Republican, though I am, on occasion, willing to fuck one. Without lube.)

When it comes right down to it, many Democrats are naifs with their hearts in the right places. They're often lousy at fighting back, and despite the fact that most people believe what they believe, they regularly get trounced at the polls. It has taken the combination of an administration as abysmal as Bush II and a congress as craven as the Delay/Frist congress to come up with something the Democrats could defeat. But they're still the good guys. They believe that a society needs to look out for all its members and that government can be a useful tool in making sure that happens.

Republicans, by contrast, believe that they need to look out for themselves. If you ask a Republican, he'll tell you that when everyone is given the opportunity to compete without government interference, then everyone is, on average, better off. Some of them might even believe this, but, for the most part, what they really mean is that if the government doesn't take any of their money, then they're better off, and that's really what matters. Most Republicans also believe that anything they have is entirely a result of their own effort and inherent superiority. When you point out the immense advantages that most of them have enjoyed during their lives through no work of their own, they say that doesn't matter.

I don't think the left is always right. There's no real reason why one political philosophy has to be all right or all wrong. I believe there's a balance to be struck in most areas, and that people would probably reach that balance if they were allowed to have a free and open exchange of ideas. But the overwhelming evidence is that Republicans don't want to have a free and open exchange of ideas. They want to win by any means necessary, and any means necessary most often means wedge issues. For most of the past decade or so, morality has been the big wedge issue, and gay rights has been the biggest part of the wedge. In effect, the right is saying, "no matter how much our policies might hurt you and the country, you have to vote for us because the other side stands up for icky gay people." (Nowadays, it's also icky immigrants, of course, but it's always about demonizing a disadvantaged group of people.)

Which would, of course, be a much more compelling argument if it weren't for all they hypocrisy. It's almost always a bad idea to build your party on the foundation of superior sexual morals because sex is an area that is very, very hard to control, and it's a pretty safe bet that sooner or later someone in your party is going to get caught with his pants down. Or offering to pay someone else to take his own pants down. Or with actually paying someone so that one of her employees can help him relax.

(For the record, I'd give David Vitter a massage for free, and he'd be very relaxed afterwards. It'd help if I didn't know who he was, though, because sometimes there's a very fine line between deep tissue massage and fucking without lube abuse. I generally assume that the guys I massage are staunch Democrats, and, so far, no one's been stupid enough to disabuse me of that notion. Really, the naive guys with their hearts in the right place are a lot more fun on the table.)

I don't like having to point out someone's hypocrisy, and I like even less seeing people persecuted for their sexual behavior. In an ideal world, sex and politics would be completely independent. After all, no one really wants to think about Margaret Thatcher (let alone Newt Gingrich) in lingerie. But if you're going to run a campaign on your moral reputation, you're pretty much asking people to scrutinize whether that reputation is accurate and deserved.

Oh, and in response to my commenter. Republicans certainly don't have a monopoly on bad taste: they just have a near monopoly on flaunting their wealth in a tacky manner. Your basic Democrat will put pink flamingos on his lawn, and he'll do it with tongue in cheek. Your basic Republican will drive a Hummer without apparent irony.

By the way, there's no point in arguing about my basic political views with me. I was a conservative in my youth, and I've considered exhaustively the various arguments from all sides. And, like I said, I've dated Republicans, and there's no convincing me that theirs is the path of light.


I suppose I should know better, and I suppose that the results could be worse, but I followed a link from someone else's blog and took a test, and I did poorly:

Mingle2 Free Online Dating - Science Quiz

The fact that eighth grade was a long, long time ago is really of no comfort here. I do have a degree from M.I.T., and I really ought to know the difference between a meteor and a meteoroid. True, it's a degree in the humanities, but I was a biology major for a while. I take small comfort in the fact that the two questions I missed were in the earth sciences -- never my best area -- but small comfort is better than no comfort. Scientific literacy is very important to me. It makes it easier for me to point and laugh at the people who, for example, claim that global warming is either nonexistent, unavoidable, or harmless.


This weekend, b&c is headed to Cozumel to visit his cousin and, presumably, show off his Speedos (egad). With even a small amount of luck, that means that I'll have one or two interesting stories to share, so you'll be spared any further political ramblings, craigslist-related indignation, and evidence of my scientific ignorance. That's the plan, anyway. If I happen to be browsing the MC and there's a ketchup-loving conservative who's bemoaning his failure to get the number of the guy who was fucking him without lube, I might not be able to resist.

No comments: