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The Game

One of my favorite movies from David Fincher, but that’s not what I’m writing about. I’ve been stewing on something for a week now, and I’ve finally processed all of the layers of bitchy that the issue has evoked in me so I’m ready to write about it. Last week Ken Mehlman, the gay former chairman of the RNC, apologized for his part in advancing the (then) particularly vitriolic attack on gays in America. Here’s what he said,

As I’ve been involved in the fight for marriage equality, one of the things I’ve learned is how many people were harmed by the campaigns in which I was involved. I apologize to them and tell them I am sorry. While there have been recent victories, this could still be a long struggle in which there will be setbacks, and I’ll do my part to be helpful.

To which I immediately said, “Fuck you, asshole. It’s too late”. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my loathing for Ken Mehlman and his apology are much more nuanced than a simple “fuck you” can convey. His apology actually pisses me off in eighteen different ways. Let me just illustrate a few.

Let’s begin with the fact that I believe his apology is fundamentally rooted in his desire to live a happy life as an openly gay man. It’s hard to do that when you’re reviled by the gay community. If you want to be more open minded than I by giving him the benefit on that one, go ahead. My other reasons are far more damning.

The next thing that makes me want to rip his miserable fucking head off, is his anemic ability to empathize with people unless he finally experiences the cause of their pain firsthand. Better late than never, I guess but this makes me want to do a number of things to him.

I want to send him to Baghdad to chat with a few hundred thousand Iraqi families so that he can empathize with them by fully appreciating how badly we decimated their country. I want him to experience the tears of a person who lost their entire family for no goddamned good reason.

Then I want him to spend a couple of years at Walter Reed talking to horribly injured soldiers returning from the wars that his party started for no fucking good reason. I’m hoping that will impart some empathy for them in him. He’ll also have to visit with families of dead soldiers, in an effort to eventually garner some empathy for the state of their lives for the past ten years.

After that, I want him to stay with our returning soldiers until they’re able to find a job in this shitty economy that his president created. I want him to go with them when they apply for food stamps, unemployment insurance, medicaid, and whatever else they need to apply for in order to survive. Maybe then, he will develop some empathy for people that have to swallow their pride resorting to turning to the government for help. This will be awesome, since it’s a twofer. He might develop some empathy for the soldiers we throw away after we’re done with them, and for hard working Americans that have been reduced to depending on government help. Maybe he, unlike his fellow republican brethren, will finally understand that they’re not lazy parasites.

If Ken Mehlman is the type of person that needs to see suffering firsthand in order to feel anything for the sufferers, then I hope that my plan for him will eventually turn him into a decent human being.

The next thing that  really pissed me off about his apology is that I realized that for him, politics is just a game to be won. A game in which actual people don’t suffer consequences as a result of what their government is doing to them. It seriously takes a special kind of asshole to live life in this way. Let me clarify what I mean when I say special. I mean special, in relative proportion to most humans on this planet. I don’t believe that most of us are special in this way. I don’t mean special in relative proportion to politicians. Because among politicians, viewing politics this way is probably pretty normal. My theory is that a good portion of the special assholes among us are drawn to politics like moths to a flame. It takes a special kind of psychopathy to shut the victims of one’s actions out of one’s mind. Ken Mehlman is definitely that kind of special psychopath.

That brings me to my hopes and dreams for Ken Mehlman. I hope that Ken Mehlman dies alone in a cold, sterile hospital room knowing that his partner is a few hundred feet away from him, but can’t be with him to hold his hand in his final moments because his partner isn’t considered a family member. Yes, I want Ken Mehlman to experience what so many gay people have had to experience, as a result of Ken Mehlman’s victory in the game. I want Ken Mehlman to die childless because he couldn’t adopt any kids. And I want him to anguish over his loneliness in his final moments of life in that hospital room. I want Ken Mehlman to soak up as much empathy as humanly possible.

Let me add that I’m not gay. I’m just not special in that way that Ken Mehlman is. I have the capacity for empathy toward groups to which I don’t belong. I think I despise Ken more than anything, for evoking so much hate for him from me. It is not in my nature to despise people in the way that I despise Ken Mehlman. But every once in a while, someone is so completely loathsome, that I just want them to get what they deserve from the universe.

We are ultimately going to win the game that Ken Mehlman played. It makes me sick to my stomach to know that he’s going to benefit from our victory. Die alone, Ken. It’s the least you can do to even the score.


A Source Of Pride

It’s gay pride month and as I get ready to attend the festivities in New York, it occurs to me that it’s time for me to give the LGBT community some long overdue props.

They are the single strongest arm of the progressive movement by far. This is a group that knows how to “get her done” while the rest of the progressive movement flails around, split into three factions; those that are trying to figure out how to get shit done, those who sit around expecting that someone else will get it done, and those that perpetually make excuses for why Obama can’t get it done.

Marriage equality is not a national conversation that we were having ten years ago. In the grand scheme of civil rights fights, this one is a fetus and yet we already have marriage equality in six states. The LGBT community deserves all f the credit in the world for obtaining the civil rights due them in record time.

How did they do it? By being relentless! I remember having a conversation with a gay friend of mine last year right after this happened:

This was right after Obama finally came out in support of repealing DATD, and things were looking good in terms of its repeal. I took the position that the LGBT community needed to just calm the fuck down because Obama was obviously moving in the right direction on this issue. My friend vehemently disagreed with me, arguing that pressure needs to be applied until we have full equality across the whole country. He couldn’t have been more right, and I’m happy to offer him a mea culpa for having been so fucking wrong in my assessment of the situation.

In relentlessly pressing forward with an agenda of not compromising on anything less than full equality, the LGBT community is getting shit done in a way that few groups without Goldman Sachs money have. They protest and heckle the president at every turn. They organize boycotts against corporations and advertisers that show even the slightest hint of supporting an anti-equality agenda. They are very well organized, making sure that they leverage their strength in numbers, despite the fact that only roughly 10% of the population is gay.

In short, they ROCK!

The rest of the progressive population has much to learn from the LGBT community. When are we going to start taking notes? They have written the playbook for us. We just need to read it.

So tomorrow, I march with my gay friends who I couldn’t possibly be more proud of. BRAVO!


Republicans Won BIG, Didn’t They?

The Massachusetts decision that a federal gay marriage ban is unconstitutional yesterday is a HUGE victory for republicans, right?

I’m positive that what we’ll be hearing from the right wing will be, “YAY! A victory for state’s rights!” Won’t we?

This wasn’t a gay rights decision. It’s was state’s rights decision that happens to benefits gays that want rights (the NERVE!). Sorry gays, but this isn’t as much about you as you might think.

The suit, filed by MA Attorney General Martha Coakley (no, I’m still not done being pissed at her for losing an unlose-able election to a freakin nude model), asserts that DOMA (defense of marriage act) is unconstitutional because it infringes on the right of states to define marriage the way they choose to define it. The state argued that DOMA denied benefits like Medicaid or spousal social security benefits and therefore, forces the state to discriminate against its citizens. The judge agreed, thereby giving reinforcing gay rights states rights.

I have to give Martha Coakley credit (but not forgiveness for past sins) for filing a brilliantly crafted, bulletproof law suit. The judge was absolutely correct in it’s ruling; the federal government doesn’t have the power to subvert civil rights. That falls under the states’ purview (but not for long)!

There will most definitely be an appeal, which should be nothing but fun to watch. Opponents of this decision must take either an anti-state’s rights stance, or an anti-civil liberties stance.

Let’s be honest here, opposition to this ruling can only come from the right. So they’re going to have to decide between being intellectually dishonest, and repudiating the states rights mantra that they’ve been preaching since the beginning of time, or finally lifting the veil on their anti-gay beliefs.

The right wing argument against a the federal government granting same sex marriage has been that it would infringe on states rights. That argument won’t work here since the state has decided. They can’t hide behind the religious argument because they would be advocating for church to have power over the almighty state. Advocating for (essentially) a theology will forever cement republicans as a party that’s simply too batshit crazy for the majority of Americans to actually vote for.

To summarize; republicans are fucked.

Without the state’s rights facade to hide behind, republicans will be forced to advocate for suppressing civil rights for some Americans that they just don’t like. They’re finally going to be forced to be honest about where they’re coming from.

You see, when you’re intellectually dishonest, your wrongness eventually boxes you into revealing who you truly are. Republicans are going to have to (at last) reveal themselves thanks to this decision.

I’m looking forward to finally having an honest national debate about civil rights. I’m looking forward to it because America is so far, batting a thousand in terms of granting civil rights to suppressed minorities. It may take longer than some of us would like, but we eventually get there.

But the first step is to have an honest debate. Thanks to Judge Joseph Tauro, we’re finally going to have it.

Or, republicans are going to support this decision and rejoice in the triumph of states rights over the evil federal government. (sorry, I can’t help but get smarmy, sarcastic sometimes.


Who’s Afraid Of Virginia?

Happy Confederate History Month, everyone!

Poor Virginians. Just 13 weeks into the term of their new governor, Bob McDonnell, Virginia has become the laughing stock of the country. I just want to let everyone know that it wasn’t their fault.

First, a little background. Mr. McDonnell was sworn in as the governor of Virginia on January 16th of this year. During his very short tenure as governor, he has reversed (by executive order) non-discrimination protections for gay state workers that were put in place by former governor Tim Kaine. The next item on his agenda was to proclaim that April would be “Confederate History Month” in Virginia. You can read the proclamation here. Did you happen to notice anything missing from his “celebration” of the confederacy? Whoopsie, he forgot all about that whole slavery misunderstanding. He finally apologized for his little memory lapse yesterday.

So far, Bob McDonnell’s thirteen week tenure as governor can best be summed up as an increase of discrimination and celebration of bigotry. Such a proud moment for Virginia!

As I said earlier, this situation isn’t the fault of Virginians. They didn’t vote for this. Bob McDonnell ran as a moderate whose primary focus for Virginia would be job creation. Here’s a Time Magazine article on McDonnell’s campaign from last November. Here’s another one from The Washington Post. He didn’t run as a far right winger whose focus was going to be to stir up hate and bigotry, which tells me that he knows that he couldn’t get elected to the position of dog catcher if he ran under his real agenda. He pulled a complete bait and switch on Virginians because he knew that they wouldn’t have him if they knew who he really was. In my opinion, he’s shown nothing but contempt for Virginians by playing them for fools.

If you really believe that what you’re doing is good for the people in your state, you would run on that platform. Lying about who and what you are says two things to me;

1) You don’t believe your own bullshit on any sort of intellectual level.

2) You know that you can’t get elected by the people because your views are not widely shared.

In short, Bob McDonnell is a viscerally hate fueled coward. You’re a coward, Bob McDonnell because you were too chicken shit to show the voters who you are so that they could make an informed decision about whether or not to vote for you. And your hatred is so viscerally entrenched in who you are, that it’s completely suppressed any rational thought that you may ever have.

I say that because Bob McDonnell gave the rebuttal to President Obama’s state of the union earlier this year, which is a very clear sign that he and republican leaders had national aspirations. Those aspirations have evaporated in the twelve weeks since he made that rebuttal. There’s NO WAY to get elected to national office on an anti-gay, pro-confederacy record. Buh bye, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Any rational person regardless of ideology can tell you that you can’t win a national election with a record like the one Bob McDonnell is creating. His hate for blacks and gays has blinded him so completely that what was a bright political future a few weeks ago, is now a distant memory.

Bob McDonnell fucked himself and he fucked Virginia.

But don’t go hating Virginians for this. They didn’t know although admittedly, he had a pretty questionable background going into the election. Unfortunately, his opponent was a terrible campaigner and the Obama administration were too cowardly to support him. Thanks for that, Rahm I really appreciate it!