“Culture” war distracts from election year war, economic issues
Is it me, or does this week seem like a political Hail Mary? The classic football pass that was never intended to be a pass is the Bush administration’s political play of the moment. Bush is the threatened quarterback holding his arm high -only the ball in hand is a distraction from the economic, budgetary and “war” mess that is the Bush end zone.
The culture war is the mostly right-wing moral dispute with the rest of America’s supposedly perverted morality. To be fair, not all of the Republicans or conservative Democrats throb to the rhythm, but in an election year, the call to take up arms and condemn the body is irresistable high moral ground. This year the stage has already been dramatically set for the political passion plays of U.S. mores. From Miss Nasty to gay marriage to plastic surgery, America’s worrisome morality is presumably in need of acute correction and the Bush administration has never been more alert to the axis of Janet Jackson.
Nasty boys don’t mean a thing
Nasty boys don’t mean a thing, but girls on the other hand, are quite dangerous. Michael Powell’s (head of the Federal Communication Commission) blustery statement of taking personal offense to the entire Super Bowl half-time show is the height of governmental hypocrisy. Let us not forget that Mr. Powell vowed never to let the FCC be a governmental “nanny.” Of course, this was before being offended by the breast downloaded ’round the world.
The resulting finger pointing from one corporation to another is also spectacularly amusing when considering media giant Viacom owns both MTV and CBS. I know many who hope that Viacom sues itself, providing months of laughter for the rest of us. Meanwhile, the FCC, bored with allowing public airwaves to be stolen, blessing breath-taking mergers, and attempting a diversion from recently gutted laws that disallowed mega-corporations from owning more than thirty-nine percent of any media market, will begin its own ‘investigation’ of the half-time show. I imagine a group of men in suits (sweating) while staring at a giant reproduction of our American sun-goddess. “Yes, it is a breast,” they conclude. I have an investigation for the FCC and Mr. Powell: Why did you trumpet the recent media acquisition laws that were opposed by the majority of , barred in the Senate, and then secretly re-negotiated behind closed doors with your well wishes? Mr. Powell, communication emperor, I am going to have you naked before the end of this election.
I do, I do, you can’t
This is going to hurt. The Republicans, “advocates” of state rights, want to federally usurp gay marriage with a constitutional amendment barring it. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, this week, affirmed their decision that nothing less than full marriage will satisfy the constitutional muster of their previous decision demanding its recognition. This should be applauded. Unfortunately, the President, in his recent State of the Union address, hinted that he would support the right-wing drive to change the Constitution of the United States of America to exclude a class of people from rights afforded to most others. Meanwhile, he is proposing that the federal government support “marriage” for the impoverished as a solution to poverty.
This is a trap of the sacred and profane. On one hand the President concedes marriage as an economic arrangement that can be negotiated between two people and the government. On the other hand, the President imagines marriage as a consecrated act that can only be negotiated with his particular version of God. Either way, the President pimps marriage for everyone except “perverts.” The President, and the religious right whose votes he desperately needs for re-election, will attempt to drive the fairly civil discourse of gay marriage to a “God hates fags” polarity. They must inflame their electoral base, and hell is unique in its ability to spew fire.
I have an agenda for you Mr. President: Instead of allowing a diversion of governmental resources to focus on one breast, why don’t you focus on the one young soldier dying every day in Iraq? Instead of sickly trying to keep friends and lovers apart by condemning gay marriage, why don’t you focus on putting families back together by bringing soldiers home?
The Immorality of Beauty
The Rove re-election campaign of the President believes that John Kerry had a little touch-up. Though he denies it, Mr. Kerry may have had Botox injections. The rumor has already circulated through every major news outlet. Karl Rove and President Bush believe that this is the secret weapon (not counting their Bin Laden ‘surprise’ in late summer) for undoing the masculinity of John Kerry. What really worries President Bush is a renewed focus on his high-class, low-gear upbringing. He needs, now more than ever, to be perceived as more than a cheerleader from Yale. He must reassure American men, despite tremendous evidence to the contrary, that he is in unequivocally in charge. This is difficult to do with his administration in tatters and everyone waiting for the blame to fall to someone other than themselves.
John Kerry is a war hero, and, by all accounts, a man who needs to work on his “warmth.” Rove-Bush will recycle the Botoxian violation of masculinity as an indication of Kerry’s and all Democrats’ weakness of moral foundation. It will become a joke, it will be spun as a glimpse into the man’s immorality. But, more than anything, it is a trap for political consciousness. Meanwhile, Bush fails to answer to the despicable lack of jobs, a potential trillion-dollar deficit, and appalling lack of health care. Mr. Bush I have a question for you: Will Botox be illegal on Mars?
This election year can be a time of debate about unfeigned issues. It can be a time to debate the real consequences of the last four years. This can only happen if the majority can evade booby-traps of right-wing inspired controversies.