Sunday, December 02, 2007

Elaboration on a comment...

I was over at "Election Central" this morning pre-coffee time and wrote

I guess I see this in a different light. The apparent contradiction between Larry C's lifestyle, voting record and party affiliation seems merely to be a surface phenomenon. In truth, the modern republican party gains its strength from men like Craig and others who have something to hide and the party has capitalized on these "dirty" secrets to make arm twisting a much more efficient mechanism. If a party thrives more on internal authority than coalition building, then that party can take advantage of secrets, lies and dirty laundry to ensure that business gets done. Starting with the president himself and going down, the power can be AND IS exerted through the skeletons in the closet. That is not to say that there is some central file cabinet with all the dirt (though, hey, that would be interesting!); rather, diffuse knowledge and constant surveillance of everyone by each other leads to internal social promotion the discipline of the republican village. Promote larry craig, he'll do what we say because...

Of course, there are plenty of people who get off from the very repression we see in the external tropes of republican behavior and those people are naturally attracted to an authoritarian party that makes their secrets all the more titillating. There are also plenty of men who will say they are not gay but who are quite happy with occasional man-on-man action. The latter are quite simply hypocrites. But let's not confuse hypocrisy and what has become a structural device for control, punishment and promotion within the "party of values."

I would add that the evidence for this is what I would call correlative but compelling: how do you explain the significant numbers of Larry Craigs or just gays in the party that hates gays? How do you explain the attraction of Bill O'Reilly's and Scooter Libby (both of whom having written quite explicit and sexually disturbing passages in their novels)*? How do you explain the fascination with authority? How do you explain the multiple porn stars who have met the president?

There is a connection, I think, between this behavior and the workings of the party and how power gets distributed. Ah, authority, uniforms, fascism! I think they think it's cute--really cute!


*I can't seem to find Bill's book. My loofah filter must be blocking it.