Bite Me, “Moral Values” Politicians
I think sex in public restrooms is a bad idea. It’s also illegal.
I think prostitution is a bad idea. It’s also illegal.
That there’s symmetry. Easy to see, isn’t it? Evidently not for the conservative “moral values” movement of the Republican party. While men’s bathroom cruiser Senator Larry Craig can’t resign fast enough for them, prostitute-hiring Louisiana David Vitter was encouraged NOT to resign, evidently to rounds of rousing applause from the Republican party faithful.
Greenwald is so spot on in his assessment that it’s hard to pick a section to highlight. Here’s one:
Whatever else one wants to say about the “family values” wing of the right-wing movement, the absolute last thing that it is is a principled, apolitical movement. And — as the starkly different treatment for Craig and Vitter conclusively demonstrates — these vaunted “moral principles,” for which we are all supposed to show such profound respect, are invoked only when there is no political cost to invoking them, and worse, typically only when there is political benefit in doing so.
Social conservative Ross Douthat, in a Bloggingheads TV session from yesterday, explained this important (though almost always overlooked) dynamic perfectly in the context of discussing Larry Craig:
“The reason that gay rights became a political issue in a way that various other frankly more important issues having to do with marriage and family life did not — particularly issues about divorce and heterosexual divorce rates and single parenthood — is that, clearly, it is easier to demonize gay people. And it is much more of an electoral winner.
Obviously, I think the broader conservative concern about family values in American life is correct. I think the way it has manifested itself in our political life is that nobody wants to be the guy out there telling people — hey, you know, your heterosexual marriage or your out-of-wedlock children are the problem. It’s much easier to say — here is this particular manifestation that you can easily set aside and say I’m not gay.”
It is this same self-interested, cost-free moralism that explains how it could be that, with the exception of Mitt Romney, all of the leading presidential candidates in the Party of Traditional Marriage have personal lives that reflect everything except for those values, with all their wrecked marriages and multiple wives and long adulterous records and various “step-children” and the like. And even more revealingly, the leading lights of the Traditional Values movement — from Rush Limbaugh to Newt Gingrich to Bill O’Reilly — have some of the most morally depraved lives of any public figures, making most Hollywood celebrities seem chaste by comparison.
Can somone please explain how anyone with a brain or a conscious identifies with these bozos? I am so tired of that hypocritical brood of vipers telling me what’s right and wrong. They should, however, feel free to bite me.