when a politician speaks
the possible political undoing of a snert-weasel™*
by robert a. melos
Dear Sanctimonious Prig. No, that’s no good. How about, Dear Pompous, Arrogant, Self-righteous Ass? Nope, this won’t do either. How does one start off a letter to a senator with whom one has opposing views? You see I’m not very good at the whole letter-writing-to-get-my-viewpoint-across thing. I’m much better at the name-calling-to-make-myself-feel-better thing.
If you don’t know to what I’m referring, you’re obviously not gay and on any e-mail list with homosexual leanings because if you were you’d have received umpteen (no that’s not a sexual term) e-mails detailing an associated press taped interview with Sen. Rick Santorum R-PA (that’s republican from Pennsylvania, not real Prince Albert). It seems Sen. Santorum made some rather unkind, one might even say ignorant, remarks about homosexuality.
It should be noted, Sen. Santorum is a conservative republican. Is there any other kind? I suppose so, but they are the closeted republicans. You know, the ones who pretend to be all liberal and caring when it comes to the environment or Iraqi peoples, but really all they care about is how well they’re doing in the stock market.
Anyway, Sen. Santorum is the out and proud (no, not like myself or RuPaul is out and proud) conservative kind of republican. This means, the very self-righteous senator flaunts his conservatism like J-Lo flaunts the rocks that she’s got.
Initially right-wing conservatives were up in arms, claiming the dear senator’s comments were being taken out of context, which no doubt caused the flurry of e-mails containing the full detailed interview. After all, it isn’t fair to allow the public to judge someone based on out of context comments being bandied about by everyone with an interest in persecuting him. Such unscrupulous action would be like chasing down every inflammatory assumption about a politician in an attempt to get them removed from office, and no one wants to be thought of in that ill-light again. Do they?
Upon reading the full disclosure interview, and deleting the three or four hundred similar e-mails and handful of comments from disgruntled homosexuals, and the dozen or so spam ads to enlarge my penis, I could now honestly offer and informed opinion on the entire brouhaha. The man is an ineffectual ass.
The interview started out being about his views toward liberalism. He’s opposed to it. Big surprise there, huh? His comments at this point were directed toward the fact he feels liberalism is destroying the economy and thus destroying the family. He talked of lowering taxes because lower taxes are good for the family. And as the general public knows, if it’s good for the family, then it’s obviously good for America.
Where he began to veer off track was when he allowed his greed and hunger for control of others to peer through his guise as anything more than a self-serving politician. When asked how conservatism would give more financial power to the family, he replied, “The argument is, yes, we need to help other people. But one of the things we tried to do with welfare, and we're trying to do with other programs is, we're setting levels of expectation and responsibility, which the left never wanted to do. They don't want to judge. They say, oh, you can't judge people. They should be able to do what they want to do. Well, not if you're taking my money and giving it to them. But it's this whole idea of moral equivalency. My feeling is, well, if it's my money, I have a right to judge.“
If the good senator is so inclined to sit in judgment of others, he should not be surprised when others sit in judgment of him. However, it isn’t the fact he veered off course at this point which bothers me, it’s the fact he comes across as the lord of the manor peering down his nose at the servants who are most obviously not of his class or caliber. These are supposed to be the words of a man of the people, after all. Aren’t all politicians men of the people? Except, of course, female politicians who are women of the people.
The senator went on to say, “And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. You're going to get a lot of things that you're sending signals that as long as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do.
And that leads to a culture that is not one that is nurturing and necessarily healthy. I would make the argument in areas where you have that as an accepted lifestyle, don't be surprised that you get more of it.”
I found this comment amusing mostly because at least once a week I am receiving via snail-mail information from my doctor’s office, from my bank, from my creditors, all detailing my rights to privacy, and this man uses the term “right to privacy” as if it were the most vulgar phrase in any known language. The fact he associates the right to privacy as being something that leads to deviancy makes me wonder about him and his own private life, but I’m not casting stones because this isn’t even the crux of the controversy.
The real controversy came about because of his statements on homosexuality. He was asked, if you’ll pardon the expression, straight out, “Should we outlaw homosexuality?” Now while this might be considered by some to be gay-baiting the schmuck, I mean senator, into making anti-homosexual remarks, he didn’t have to rise to the bait like a starved brook trout spotting the first worm on a hook on the opening day of fishing season. However, he did open his big mouth and the AP reporter landed him like the stupid Bass he is.
“I have no problem with homosexuality,” he said. Phew. For a second there, based on the brouhaha of the past couple of days, I thought he hated us. Well, now I feel better. Hey senator! Come on over and hang in the hot tub with the boys and I, won’t ya?
He went on to say, “I have a problem with homosexual acts.”
Don’t worry senator, the boys and I will show you how to do them correctly. We’ll have you mastering, pardon the pun, the art of homosexuality in no time flat. Obviously I jest, for the pompous little snert-weasel™* added he would have problems with “what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual.”
My, my, my, what does go on in your wildest dreams senator? I’d love to peek inside that small mind, prying it open at its tightly closed hinges, some night when you are in the throes of a deeply private dream while in the arms of Morpheus.
The self-righteous judge of all that is morally correct went on to say, “I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who's homosexual. If that's their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations.” Again, I breathed the sigh of relief my forbearers breathed when they were told the white man had nothing against the red man. I took comfort in the knowledge he bore me no malice, much like when my more recent ancestors were told the Nazi Party harbored no animosity against the Jew.
It was then I cringed as I read his next statement. “The question is, do you act upon those orientations? So it's not the person, it's the person's actions. And you have to separate the person from their actions.”
This is a crock! I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but frankly the idea of compartmentalizing a person from their actions annoys me because this makes it sound as if the person acting on an urge, a desire, an impulse, isn’t responsible for their actions. I sure as hell hope I know what I’m doing when I hop in the sack with the stud or two of my choosing. I, and 99.99% of the homosexual community (yes, I’m now speaking for the entirety of the homosexual community here, and most of them would back me up, pardon the pun, if they were here) know what we are doing when we engage in homosexual activities. I feel sorry for any homosexual who doesn’t know what they are doing, and would be willing to give lessons if he’s cute.
I won’t even go into the fact this servant of the people is suggesting it’s all right to be homosexual as long as you don’t act on your natural desires, because there’s only so much room in cyber-space to debate the ignorance of his statement, and that isn’t the purpose of this column. Instead I’ll go into why this has suddenly become the issue it has, which will lead you to why I feel compelled to address the ignorance of this man who is elected to serve ALL the people.
The reason this all hit the fan when it did is because the Supreme Court is currently hearing a case revolving around the right to privacy in your own home and homosexuality. Santorum introduced the Supreme Court case into the interview by stating, “We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family.”
While his statement isn’t all that clear, it is being quoted directly from the e-mail quoting the AP source, so knowing e-mails are never misleading and the AP is the next most accurate source of news reporting to CNN, it is safe to conclude the senator feels sodomy undermines the basic tenets of our society and family. Now bear in mind politicians always wave their concern for family like a rainbow flag at a pride parade. Well, you get the picture.
Where Santorum got into trouble is his statement that “if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.”
Personally I’d rather be having consensual sex in my home, or anyone else’s home for that matter, than non-consensual sex. As for bigamy and polygamy, and even adultery, I currently do not have a right to any of these unless I move to Vermont. And then my rights would be limited to those associated with a civil union, and not to the full scope of rights associated with marriage on a national basis. Thus, I can’t be a bigamist or a polygamist, or an adulterer unless I can legally be married in the first place.
I’m still more interested in the dark places in the senator’s mind. What interesting thoughts he must have, what urges he must fight, to preserve the sanctity of his marriage and family? Oh, to read his mind like the cheap and tawdry dime store paperback it came across as in this interview.
While everyone is up in arms over these statements, my personal favorite is, “Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.”
Man on dog, senator? Oh please let me delve into your mind? Please? Please? Sorry, I digress. It seems everyone has overlooked the dictatorial urges and desires this political, possibly future presidential wannabe, is suppressing when he said, “The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.”
However, when asked if he were to be elected President, (may the powers that be forbid), would he eliminate the right to privacy, he responded in a most traditional political fashion of dancing a sidestep, and leading the people on as best he could in saying, “I've been very clear about that. The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don't agree with that. So I would make the argument that with President, or Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New York doesn't want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in.”
This concluded the good senator’s interview, and incensed me. First it filled me with pity for his wife, who must be living a passionless life, or at least one with limited passions. Then it filled me with anger and rage, and finally disgust. I disagreed with most every word I read, and found myself agreeing with those people who are now clamoring for his resignation or censure, but then upon reading his final remarks I saw in his words a man terrified of change.
While I pity the man it doesn’t change the fact his words, spoken from his position of power, given him by the people of the state of Pennsylvania, are those of an ineffectual politico who sees the winds of change and fears them. Even more, he fears being forced to accept that which goes against his personal morality. He is a man in conflict, in a time when accepting what was once unacceptable is inevitable. He huffed, and he puffed, and spoke his mind, and created a stir. He got noticed.
For his sake I hope his PR people can bail him out because as it stands he’s dug himself so far into a hole of ignorance and arrogance, and possible self-loathing if only he would sit down and let me really explore his mind with probing questions about his darkest fantasies and most depraved desires, that his political appeal is all but buried.
Should he resign, or be censured? Yes.
Why? Because right now the US is involved in a war to liberate people who live under oppression, and he is quite willing to support freeing one countries people from oppression while encouraging the oppression of segment of society in his own country. If America is to have any world respect again, and not just become the muscle the rest of the world looks to when a despot gets out of control, we have to lead the way by example. And the only way to lead by example is to show all encompassing acceptance and tolerance of all segments of our own society first, before we go telling the rest of the world what to do.
If he has any future political ambition Santorum has got to go with the flow of change, and cease being the arrogant and ineffectual ass he came across as in the AP interview. Over all, it won’t matter, because this controversy will be yesterday’s news by the time you’ve finished reading this, and if it were possible you’d now wrap your monitor around a smoked herring or two.
*Snert-weasel is a word coined by Jack Bradley. I take no credit for the humor of this word, but love using it. No royalties are paid to Mr. Bradley, but for the acknowledgement of its creation and creator. Hail Jack.
Portions of this column were quoted from the piecing together of several e-mails containing what is alleged to be the complete transcripts of the Rick Santorum AP interview.
Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.
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