Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Condi Rice, Two Gay Men, and a Bible

Tony Perkins is angry. I mean, that brother is furious.

The question is, what is he prepared to do about it?

When Condoleezza Rice swore in Dr. Mark Dybul as the Bush administration's new Global AIDS Coordinator, she allowed Dr. Dybul's significant other to hold the bible on which his hand rested. Dr. Dybul's significant other is a man. So, you see the problem.

Perkins, president of the ultra-right-wing Family Research Council, certainly sees the problem, and is determined to make sure his followers see it, too.

What follows is the text of Perkins' latest e-mail to FRC members:

In-Law or Out?

The U.S. State Department is in the business of diplomacy and avoiding faux pas, so the turns of phrase recently used by Secretary of State Condi Rice can be assumed to be intentional. Flanked by First Lady Laura Bush, Secretary Rice recently administered the oath of office for new Global AIDS Coordinator Dr. Mark S. Dybul. Dr. Dybul placed his hand on a Bible held by his homosexual partner Jason Claire.

First the State Department's Deputy Chief of Protocol, Raymond Martinez, and then Secretary Rice herself referred to Mr. Claire's mother as Dr. Dybul's "mother in law." Both Martinez and Rice referred to Dr. Dybul's "family," which, under the circumstances (Dr. Dybul's parents were also present), contained enough truth to be generically proper. A photograph of the swearing-in, on October 10, appears on the State Department's web site.

In the world of protocol, verbal miscues are anathema. The question arises, what guidelines do the State Department and White House follow? Neither federal law (the Defense of Marriage Act) nor District of Columbia law recognizes a marriage between Dr. Dybul and his partner, and "mother in law" is therefore both linguistically (and possibly legally) improper and morally provocative.

Why did Secretary Rice deploy the term in the presence of the First Lady? We've written to ask her, and we'll let you know what we hear.
Yeah, Tony. I'd love to hear what she has to say about that, too.

If she responds at all, I suspect it will be with something other than the truth, which is that from the president on down, the Bush administration really does not have a problem with gay people. They pretend to have a problem with gays so that people like you will feel enough of a kinship with them to tell your followers to vote Republican. But really, Tony, after six years of unchallenged control of this country's lawmaking apparatus, don't you think that if George W. Bush hated homosexuals as much as you do, that there would be some evidence of it?

Buy a clue, you idiot. If the last few weeks have taught us anything, it is that gay people have arrived in the conservative movement. Many of them are still hiding in their closets because they are afraid of thugs like you, but there they are.

The Bush administration is no more interested in banning same-sex marriage than they are in banning abortion.

Oh! Did I say that? Yeah, I'm afraid so. The Republican Party has no interest in banning abortion. They just want you and Mullah Dobson and Ayatollah Robertson and all your other little pals to think they do. As long as you believe their promises (and they know that you really, really want to believe them), then you will keep telling your followers to vote Republican.

You see, Tony, the Republican Party is really only interested in two things: power and money. The more power they have, the more money they are able to squeeze out of their corporate donors in exchange for legislative favors. The more legislative favors they do for corporations and lobbyists, the greater the likelihood is that they will snag $1 million+ salaries on K Street when their legislative careers are over. The symmetry is beautiful in its own way. Yin and yang.

The key to keeping the cash flowing is to keep the votes flowing. That's where you come in, Tony. You're the votes.

Bush and the Republicans know that you're a cheap date. All you need is a little "culture of life" thrown in with a little "preserve traditional marriage," and you're good to go. You pretty much know they won't respect you in the morning, but you want it as bad as they do. You like the conference calls with the White House. You like your little $150k gig at the FRC. You like being a regular guest on FOX "News." Bright lights, big city. It's a long way from Baker, Louisiana, isn't it, Tony?

Frankly, I wonder if you're really as stupid as the Bushies take you for. You have to know, as well as they do, that if the wingnut base ever really gets what it wants, the party is over. If abortion really does ever get outlawed, if the Marriage Protection Amendment ever really does pass, what on earth will the Republicans use to get the base to the polls? If those issues go away, Tony, what on earth will you use in those fundraising appeals? You're all riding the gravy train, Tony. You also know that it can never get to its last stop, because there's a big brick wall at the end of the line.

Now, I know, you really do hate homosexuals. I mean, you really hate them, and you wish they would all die of AIDS or get teleported into the heart of the sun, or something. You're a mean bastard, but that's okay because at least you're honest about it. And, of course, that's why you're feeling so hurt and confused by that picture of Dr. Rice and Dr. Dybul and Dr. Dybul's male lover. You wanted so badly to believe that Bush & Co. shared your hate that you convinced yourself that it was true.

You see, Tony, what you're feeling is not betrayal. It is disillusionment. You have been engaging in what psychologists call "projection." That picture of that never-married 50+ year-old woman and those two gay men with their hands on that bible has blown all of your illusions away. They don't believe as you believe, Tony. They are mean bastards, too, but they have different outlets for it. They hate Democrats. They couldn't care less whether their political rivals are gay or straight. All that matters to the real powerbrokers in the GOP is getting Democrats out of the way. They will suck every ounce of life out of you and your followers in the pursuit of that goal. Then, they will toss you aside like an empty crawfish shell.

So, here's the choice you have, Tony. You can keep giving Bush and the GOP what they want, or you can get your self-respect back.

All the GOP wants from you is to tell your followers to vote Republican on November 7th. They want you to do as you have always done, which is to support them, year in and year out, despite all those decades' worth of broken promises. If they win on November 7th, on November 8th, they won't want to know you. Until, that is, the next election season rolls around.

So, here's what you do, Tony. Just tell your folks to stay home. Remind them of that picture of that never-married 50+ year-old woman and those two homosexuals with their hands on that bible. Remind them that abortion is still legal, and that Bush & Co., despite six years of unchallenged control of the country's legislative process, have done absolutely nothing to change that. I mean, it only took them a couple of weeks to get rid of Habeas Corpus, which had been around for 900 years, and formed the bedrock of every legitimate judicial system on earth! They couldn't do anything about Roe v. Wade? I mean, if they really wanted to?

You and your people have been lied to enough, Tony. Don't just sit there and wallow in impotent rage. Get your self-respect back. Get your manhood back.

You know what to do, Tony. Just do it.