Pay Buchanan has an interesting take on the Larry Craig affair, and raises an issue I’ve always wondered about. On the one hand, no one likes a hypocrite. On the other, who better than an addict to understand the problems of addiction and lead the charge to prevent the creation of more? Sure Larry Craig was anti-gay, but perhaps his fervor was born of honest concern, for himself as much as others:
” Is there no possibility a man can believe in traditional morality, yet find himself tempted to behavior that morally disgusts him? Is it impossible Craig is driven by impulses, the biblical ‘thorn in the flesh,’ of which Paul wrote, to behavior he almost cannot control? “
Interesting perspective, and I agree for the most part. But the problem with people like Larry Craig is that they do not present themselves as someone with vices with which they battle. They present themselves as sanctimonious saints, superior to those with the habits/lifestyles/opinions they consider sinful. Craig didn’t say “I’m gay, and I’ve been dishonest, and I apologize.” Had he, we could have run with Buchanan’s understanding. However, as long as Craig continues to demonize homosexuals, he deserves the scorn he gets, whether he is homosexual or not. For all the lip service many Christians give to loving the sinner and hating the sin, and admitting they are all sinners, too many are like anyone else: hating the sinner, and missing the beam in their own eye.
” The silence of most Democrats is understandable. If you belong to a party that declares homosexuality a moral lifestyle, that perhaps should be elevated to the level of matrimony, then what would Craig be guilty of, other than being horribly indiscreet? “
Well, you knew Buchanan couldn’t stay on the straight and narrow too long. Craig is guilty of hypocrisy, not indiscretion. The Democrats, on this issue anyway, don’t have hypocrisy to worry about. They accept the realities of homosexuals in our society. I suspect many of the Republicans, at least privately, do as well. They simply must feed at the homophobic trough to keep getting the Christian Right vote.
For a very thorough and persuasive look at that theory, read this article:
”So to keep religious conservatives happy the party has done two things. First, it has steadfastly resisted efforts to ease anti-gay discrimination in public policy, even when Republican politicians know better...
Second, to keep the talent it needs and simply to be as humane and decent as politically possible toward particular individuals, the party has come up with its own unwritten common-law code: you can be gay and work here, we don’t care, but don’t talk about it openly and don’t do anything to make it known publicly in the sense that either the media or the party’s religious base might learn of it. It's the GOP's own internal version of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
It's worth a read, and spells out what many of us have suspected and hated for a long time. The theocrats have taken over the Republican party, with their anachronistic moralizing and their imperviousness to science, or any kind of evidence, that goes against their faith, be it faith in a 6,000 year old earth, or in the ability of one nation to singlehandedly reverse thousand-year-old social trends through force and will. John Warner's retirement is symbolic of the fading of the kind of Republicans many of us grew up respecting. Who will fill the void?