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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bush goes gay bashing and democrats are silent

It was a matter of time before Bush was going to join the discrimination crowd to make political headway. He is supporting the gay marriage amendment. And the left is reacting in its usual pooh-pooh way. I am more and more annoyed by the so-called smart progressives over at dailykos, who only can say that Bush is wasting his time. OK, perhaps they mention that there was once a law that made marriage between people of different skin colors impossible. I can be gracious and assume that they are so in favor of gay rights that they deem it unworthy to even discuss. But that kind of arrogance is dangerous.

I remain dubious about Bush's folly. He Has been cajoled into doing this by powerful allies on the conservative right. It might be me, but I suppose that Bush must have been convinced that once again, these far right wingers will go and bring out the vote for him. He didn't just panic and do this, he—or Karl Rove—calculated that this would increase their standing.

In this morning's New York Times, some right wingers suggest exactly that. Republican senator Mike DeWine is picking up the gay bashing banner and local anti-gay organizer Phil Burress says that "it's going to send him back to Washington." That kind of confidence should not be underestimated. The republicans know how to play the fear and discrimination card extremely well, and silence or mockery on the opposite site is not doing anything to stop them.

So here is my question. Where are the democrats? It might just be, let's be generous, that they believe that this issue is finally going to blow up in the republicans face. The right is not sufficiently emboldened anymore to go out in great numbers for the vote, and the rest of the country will be turned off by them. Democrats don't want to be the target in the mean time. Steve Bennen at the Washington Monthly seems to think that fundamentalist christians are indeed not sufficiently convinced that Bush is sincere. Shocker there. This is the generous view.

Wouldn't it be good though to hear a democrat or a progressive say that this is a country in which we don't discriminate. To go on the attack against Bush, now that he is vulnerable. It is not enough to say that this is mere politics. Instead of mocking him, ridiculing him, couldn't we attack him and settle for once and for all that discrimination is an unacceptable campaign strategy. Really, isn't that a value that we stand for? I am skeptical of silence when people are victimized. I don't care if that silence takes the form of mockery as the dailykos people seem to prefer. Silence is silence, and in the eyes of blatant oppression and discrimination, silence kills too.

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