Monday, September 13, 2004

POMO POLITICS. The Ole Perfesser lays out for his acolytes the latest conservatarian dodge on gay marriage, comprising hundreds of poorly-chosen words reducible to, "I don't really give a shit, so why should you?"

There are many thrills and chills along the way (including approving quotation of a reader who blames the failure of the gay marriage movement to -- get this -- Roe v. Wade), but the fascinatingly deformed heart of the argument is: gay marriage is the wave of the future (a "generational thing"), but the Republicans are going to run everything forever and you better be nice to them if you ever want any of these rights you've been bellyaching about, generation landslide or not:
...attacking Bush on gay marriage may solidify the Democratic base, but it probably costs swing voters, at least in the short term. Second, that sort of thing can only serve to alienate Republicans, even those who are supportive, or at least not opposed to, gay marriage. [who they? -- RE] Given that right now it seems likely that we'll see a Republican Congress, and probably a Republican White House, in the coming years, that's probably poor planning, at least if you want actual change and not just an interest-group rallying cry...

It's possible to package gay marriage as a move toward traditional values and away from 1970s style hedonism (not that there's anything wrong with that). But again, you have to make the case, not call names, if you want to win people over.
Offensive as the politics of Reynolds and his crew are, it's this postmodern approach to issues that's most disturbing. You want gay marriage? Wait for it; it'll turn up, eventually, if it was meant to be. And don't get on my case if I support its professed opponents, because that's just name-calling.

Actually post-modern is probably the wrong word for it. Reynolds' POV was popular in his neck of the woods 150 years ago, when it was applied to the manumission of slaves.

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