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.