Monday, 28 July 2003

Hot pink leisure suits = gay bashing?

James Joyner thinks it’s mildly amusing. Brett Marston thinks it’s gay bashing. What is it? A quote from a speech by House majority leader Tom DeLay:

While everyone else got the memo that big-government, blame-America-first liberalism died with disco, the Howard Dean Democrats still want to party like it’s 1979!

Maybe we should thank the Democrats for shedding their moderate clothing to reveal their true Swinging-Seventies selves.

But frankly, America doesn’t need a president in a hot-pink leisure suit.

I’m just mystified where you get “gay bashing” from here. None of the Democratic presidential candidates are gay or even rumored to be gay. And hot pink leisure suits are probably best associated with pimps and/or lame straight guys (anyone remember the “Leisure Suit Larry” games?), not gay people. Sure disco started out as a gay phenomenon, but plenty of straight people were involved too—otherwise, you’d never have seen movies like “Saturday Night Fever” and “Stayin’ Alive.” (Whether this is a good or bad thing is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Then again, maybe my decoder for the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy’s “code words” got lost in the mail, or they cut me off for not paying my dues…

Brett clarifies:

To me it seemed like a pretty clear reference to Dean's stand on civil unions, and a few other people who heard the comments thought so as well.

I personally don’t see the reference; Howard Dean is about more than just gay civil unions, and IIRC every Democratic candidate has said he or she supports civil unions (if not gay marriage outright). Nor is gay marriage implicated in “big-government, blame-America-first liberalism,” the object of DeLay’s critique of the “Howard Dean Democrats.” So I’m still mystified.

It is also possible Brett is joking, but given the tone of his post I doubt it.

Carpetbagging temptation

Josh Chafetz of OxBlog thinks Georgy Russell is the ideal next governor of California. It doesn’t hurt that her blog is far more interesting than Howard Dean’s. And she owns my book* (by the window)!

I think I’m in love. In a platonic way, of course…

* Well, technically speaking it’s not my book, since my name’s not on the cover. But I did write some of it

Free advice for the Democrats

A few miscellaneous items:

  1. Lots of talking heads seem to be running around saying that it’s a fait accompli that the Democratic nominee in 2004 will be “pro-war.” Either the fix is in or these commentators are letting their fantasies get in the way of electoral reality, which shows that both Iowa (caucuses = activists) and New Hampshire (almost-favorite son) are in the Dean column.
  2. However, running against the war in Iraq is electoral suicide in the general election. As I already pointed out, the Democratic base (not to be confused with Democratic activists and Naderites) believes Saddam was heavily involved in terrorism against America and our allies, and every day Americans die from fedayeen tactics in the Sunni Triangle will only reinforce this impression.
  3. Contrary to the beliefs of Howard Dean, higher taxes do not stimulate the economy, excepting the housing market in suburban Virginia and Maryland. People may not have been gung ho for tax cuts, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be annoyed when you promise to raise their taxes again, especially if it’s to pay for things they already have (like health insurance).
  4. There are real issues to run on against Bush that won’t alienate the swing voters in the South that Al Gore drove off by the busload in 2000. Play up the Saudi connection. Run against the incompetence of the Justice Department and CIA (and shift the “Bush lied” meme in that direction). And keep abortion and guns out of the campaign.
  5. Corollary: continue to whine about Florida in 2000, and you will lose again. Nobody likes a sore loser. Especially when you’ve got real issues to run on, like the Terrorist Connection That Dare Not Speak Its Name.