Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cartoon Cartoon

The Daily Star ran this interesting cartoon, reprinted from the Rome (GA) News-Tribune on the Op-Ed page this morning.

The message appears to be that Democrats are insisting on spending precious government resources wiretapping gays to purge DC of the Lavender Menace, while Republicans, weary but resolute, insist on maintaining their razor-sharp focus on the terrorists. The donkey, who's probably ditching work if he has a job at all, wears typical liberal protest attire, a t-shirt with a slogan, and holds a giant sign with another slogan. The elephant, in contrast, is in office attire, his loosened tie, five-o-clock shadow, and cup of coffee signifying yet another late night spent at the office in pursuit of the terrorists (hopefully this elephant is among the one percent of FBI agents who have the ability--maybe--to order a cup of coffee in Arabic).

Oh, and the elephant makes a funny. A ribald funny that manages simultaneously to reference both blowjobs and the heterosexual male fear of Teh Gay coming on to him. How clever!

This is fascinating stuff coming from the party that focused obsessively on a consensual blowjob between two adults not that long ago, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, spending over a year and millions of dollars to prove that Bill Clinton is a Very Bad Man. A blowjob that was inappropriate, immoral, and ill-advised, to be sure, but one that was not illegal, a blowjob that was used to indict not just a president but his entire party. Now we have a Republican embroiled in a much more disturbing scandal, one involving predation on underage pages, and the rest of the Republicans and their media mouthpieces--when they're not scrambling to make excuses for the guy--are falling over themselves to tut-tut that the Democrats are making this an issue right before midterms, insisting that it's really not that big a deal, that if it's a big deal at all, it's because it distracts from the party message of all terror, all the time.

Meanwhile, the implication that the Democrats are blaming the page scandal on "the gays" and demanding special surveillance (special rights, anyone? okay, how about special blame, then?) is bullshit. It goes beyond that, actually; it's intellectually lazy and intentionally dishonest bullshit. The Democrats are not demanding that anyone "wiretap the gays." In fact, the Dems have specifically not engaged in the sort of gay scapegoating and demonizing that the right wing apologists delved into within 24 hours of the scandal breaking. The sole demand is that the House Republican leadership own their responsibility for covering up Foley's actions for the past six years, during which time they consistently chose political expediency over the well-being of the teenage kids entrusted to their care in the page program.

But that wouldn't have been nearly so amusing a cartoon.

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