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January 28th, 2009

The Party Of Culture War

Sullivan notices the obvious…

The Budget And Sex

Just a glimpse into the far-right psyche. The two biggest ticket items that have leaped into public consciousness discrediting parts of the stimulus package have been family planning and STD prevention. Both have been blaring Drudge headlines. Now, this is technical stuff and I don’t doubt that there’s merit to the case against portraying these as in some way necessary counter-cyclical emergency funding.

But why is it the GOP is so easily galvanized by sexual panic? Weird, if you ask me. This is the budget we’re talking about here. Even there, they reach, like the exhausted tacticians they are, for the culture war. And it isn’t reaching back.

The republicans became the party of culture war when they gave the nomination to Nixon.  This is what people continue not to get about them…even now, amidst the horrific train wreckage of the "free market economy" republican domination of the federal government was supposed to usher in.  Oh…they betrayed their principles, did you say?  No.  Absolutely no.  They did nothing of the kind.  All that small government free market stuff was just the window dressing, over a core that was entirely, completely, absolutely about culture war.  When they finally got the power they craved, they set to work implementing their vision.  Yes, it is an unmitigated disaster.  But you have to understand that it was always going to be that. 

They didn’t care about the economy…they cared about elbowing science out of the classroom and out of government in favor of their nutty religion in which Jesus says to hate the stranger, obey the authorities, and that the rich will inherent the earth.  They didn’t care about the deficit…they cared about keeping women, people of color and homosexuals in their place.  They didn’t care about national security…they cared about rolling back decades of constitutional law that said all Americans were entitled to equal justice, equal rights, to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.  They didn’t care about fighting terrorism…they cared about fighting the 60s all over again, and winning this time.

In Goldwater they had their last honest small government candidate.  Nixon gave them culture war, which they embraced with gusto.  Why?  The darkies weren’t drinking from the fountain marked ‘coloreds’ anymore.  The kids weren’t passively going off to die in a war nobody understood, and what was worse, they weren’t cutting their hair.  And more horrifying then all of that, the women were going off the Miltown pill and going on the birth control one instead and asserting their sexual equality.  Suddenly you couldn’t make jokes about women drivers anymore.  And then the faggots started marching. 

Something had to be done.  Nixon was the one.  That he turned out to be a crook, should have been a warning.  But the first thing you have to understand about culture warriors, is they have no inner sense of morality, of right and wrong.  That is why they fight tooth and nail to keep their world from changing around them.  They have no brakes, so they need fences and guardrails.  That, and the privilege that comes with being on top of the cultural ladder, even if you’re at the bottom of the economic one.  White.  Male.  Protestant.  Heterosexual.  You got it made pal…drink up.  In a world where people are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin, or the shape of their own genitals or that of their lovers’, then what becomes of the privileged? 

The joke after the last Republican convention was that you didn’t see any black or brown faces in the crowd until it was all over, and the cleaning crews came out.  So what about all that Big Tent talk?  What about all that reaching out to minorities and stuff?  For real?  Why…the same Goddamned thing that happened to all that small government stuff.  It wasn’t important.  It wasn’t what the party is about.  The party is about the culture war.  Of course the first thing they had fits about in the stimulus plan was the family planning items.  Do you still think, after the last eight years of it, that they even saw the rest of it?   I sure hope you don’t think that since Bush went down in flames they went down with him.  They sure didn’t go down with Nixon.

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