Filed By Sheila S. Kennedy | September 02, 2007 4:59 PM | comments
Filed in: Politics Tags: larry craig
My good friend Steve Sanders has a provocative op-ed in todays Chicago Sun-Times. Read it and weep...
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Sheila, I'm perhaps not quite as pessimistic as Steve is that the current Craig scandal and similar episodes could reverse evolving views concerning gays and lesbians as sex-drenched sickos deserving of nothing. But I agree that these events and media reaction may in the short run after each episode have the momentary effect he describes. I would doubt that the Republicans will be mounting a "controlled release" of such outings themselves over the next months approaching November 2008 in order to keep the momentum going....the downside for them still seems pretty risky as to the hypocrisy issues. Meanwhile, having just glanced up to the upper left hand corner and seeing a RealJock ad saying "Great Guys, Workouts, and More", there remains a valid debate concerning our own contributions to the image situation.
Ooops....make that "upper RIGHT" corner. No need to further reinforce anything having do to with the left here!
For once, the Repugs did the right thing for the wrong reason.
I don't expect heaven on earth anytime soon, but their power is peeling away like cheap paint on the side of a weather-beaten barn. Let others, without any rationality that I can fathom, ask, "Why are you celebrating? Another Repug will just fill his seat." Or "Someone else will just replace Ted Haggard."
No, Idaho isn't going to enter the 21st century overnight or anytime soon. But the dismissals above presume, or would have us believe, that all things are equal when they rarely are, let alone in this case.
Craig's all-important "seniority" on key Senate committees vanishes with him. The Repug who will inherit his Senate seat, fill his committee vacancies, will start out, unless they have served previously, with empty pockets in those terms. Treated so shabbily by his own party, Craig is not likely to even leave his rolodex for his successor to use; to have lost all influence with money donors even if he were willing to share them.
In Haggard's case, not only has no one with equal influence and charisma risen to replace him, but he continues to fall further into disgrace by even his own people. The huge Colorado Springs church empire he created and then was kicked out of has lost so many donors that they've had to lay off staff. Similarly, no one with the clout of the just-retired-for-health-reasons Rev. D. James Kennedy, mentor of Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Nutley, is likely to replace him. They're trying to stay in the black by more agressively marketing videos and audio tapes of his past sermons and assorted diatribes. When he dies look for him to be dipped in aspic and displayed 24-7 in a glass-enclosed coffin like Lenin or Mao.
While I never underestimate the depth and breadth of American's homophobia, I believe that more voters are turned off by hypocrisy than they are homos. His scandal and Foley's [even if in the latter case some Dems jumped on the homo = pedophile train] hurts the Repugs more than it hurts us.
Then there's the announcement by uber-powerful Repug. Sen. John Warner that he's not running for re-election, which at least means the loss of his seniority and influence, and very possibly the seat itself to a more gay-friendly Democrat.
Write this down: ANY Democrat is better than ANY Republican for ANY office because he/she, whatever his/her position on gay equality, will by nature of his/her party affiliation add to the collective power of proven Democratic supporters of gay equality. For that reason, California's Arnold must be opposed even if the day comes when he is not selectively willing to throw gays under the bus to appeal to homohaters to stay in office.
Excuse me while I finish my Republicans self-destruct happy dance.... "That's the way uh huh uh huh I like it. That's the way uh huh uh huh I like it....."
I agree with Don, that while these news stories may give gay men a greasy patina in the short-run, in the long-run all this hypocrisy has to be wearing and de-moralizing to the GOP political base. Imagine every sex scandal translating into 500,000 GOP votes that stay home next Election Day. (* gets out hanky and sadly wipes away tears *)
Now Don, about those RealJock ads: I'm even more concerned when a Scott Keller ad appears immediately above or below a "Scott-O-Rama" ad --- what unfortunate ad placement!
Can't the Google ad-server be programmed with a little common sense and decency? Am I silly to wonder if a newcomer to Bilerico might think that Scott Keller and Scott-O-Rama are somehow associated with each other? Why is a GOP member of the Indianapolis City Council showing off a headless pic of a young male torso with a six-pac? Damn! This wouldn't even fly in San Francisco or downtown Amsterdam!
I also shudder when Mr. Keller seems to be asking, "Think you know everything about women? New DVD [about] Lesbian Sex!"
Advertise on Bilerico? I'd love to! ... but I might be surprised to find out who my neighbors are!
I'm less worried about the Real Jock ads and more bothered by the John Q TV ads and the Bullz-Eye ads. I mean, if we're concerned about lustiness, at least the Real Jock boys aren't posing seductively as if they're advertising pornography. And I don't get how Real Jock ads are a worse reflection on us than those other ads are on other sites, or Maxim covers are on straight men, etc.
About how these scandals reflect on us, I'm thinking Sheila's friend has a point - this is working into the narrative that gays are powerful, sad, indecent, and deceitful men whose homosexual activities hurt the institution of the family (in this case, Craig's own family probably is wishing he wasn't cruising bathrooms). I mean, this is exactly how they think we live our lives, and we're always callin' 'em ridiculous for thinking it, like when we get offended at them for talking about "homosexual activities" and "hurting the family" and "homosexuality leads to other sexual sin". Well, here's a dude for whom all those ideas actually fit. Actually, I think I have an old Q-Bomb post on this subject....
Since the GOP has actually, IMHO, done a great job of distancing themselves from Craig by throwing him under the bus, I don't think that people are going to buy a Republican hypocrisy argument.
My comment concerning the Realjock ads was simply intended as a gentle observation that whether we like it or not, (I don't) or whether it's fair or not, (it isn't) or whether there is a double standard or not (there is), many outside our community dismiss us as being preoccupied with sex and not as day-to-day folks for whom most of us orgastic ecstacy represents a pretty small fraction of the day. (I know my anti-assimilationist brothers and sisters are going to say "so what"?)
Publications or sites associated with other communities (or none at all) that are not viewed that way need not have concern, I don't think, so it doesn't seem germane to say "but what about X's pictures or ads?".
"Sex sells", of course, and I'm sell aware of the argument long made by owners of many LGBT newspapers that they couldn't afford to publish without some of their dicier ads. And in no way do I equate the bathing suit beauties who appear on the right hand side with those. And I also appreciate the thought that we are, like everyone else, sexual beings, and that there isn't anything to be ashamed of in that.
Yet, given the realities of how we continue to be perceived, and what we are trying to achieve, the question of image isn't completely irrelevant.
Don, I am with you. It is hard to take a news publication seriously when there are pictures of half naked men on every page. Furthermore, it is just trashy.
Interestingly enough, Don, you and Mattilda are the only two contributors to have expressed, in a post or in comments, any antipathy for the Real Jock ads.
I sympathize with the temptation of easy money through such ads and care less about their reinforcing the concept of sex addiction to the rare straight visitor than to the rest of us especially those younger trying to develop their own values while trying to find their own reflections in the world. As Bilerico grows other non phallocentric ads will appear. But not just because such ads are on the site but by this one's prominent placement virtually within the site's banner it seems to say that however much the rest of the site might be about LGBTQ experiments the owners revere one foregone conclusion.
Given that Mattilda and I likely represent the outer bounderies of world-view among contributors, that may indeed say something.