Sunday, May 15, 2005

Frank Rich is my hero

At the risk of Ronette in AZ saying that "there's nothing new" on my blog, I am going to put a link here to Americablog's review of Frank Rich's column in the New York Times. (There is also a link to the Time's Rich column there.) Mr. Rich describes how the bullshit in Washington over the filibuster is eerily reminiscent of the movie "Advise and Consent" just being re-released on DVD, as well as the emergence of closeted gay people who are mounting (you'll forgive the expression) anti-gay attacks. An interesting quote from the column is below. The link to the Americablog distillation is here, and to the Times column is here. If you don't have time to read the whole column (which I wish you would and pass around) please read the distillation.

That message remains on target now. But in the years since, even as it has ceased to be a crime or necessarily a political career-breaker to be gay, unprincipled gay-baiting has mushroomed into a full-fledged political movement. It's a virulent animosity toward gay people that really unites the leaders of the anti-"activist" judiciary crusade, not any intellectually coherent legal theory (they're for judicial activism when it might benefit them in Florida). Their campaign menaces the country on a grander scale than Drury and Preminger ever could have imagined: it uses gay people as cannon fodder on the way to its greater goal of taking down a branch of government that is crucial to the constitutional checks and balances that "Advise and Consent" so powerfully extols.

Today's judge-bashing firebrands often say that it isn't homosexuality per se that riles them, only the potential legalization of same-sex marriage by the courts. That's a sham. These people have been attacking gay people since well before Massachusetts judges took up the issue of marriage, Vermont legalized civil unions or Gavin Newsom was in grade school. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, characterizes the religious right's anti-gay campaign as a 30-year war, dating back to the late 1970's, when the Miss America runner-up Anita Bryant championed the overturning of an anti-discrimination law protecting gay men and lesbians in Dade County, Fla., and the Rev. Jerry Falwell's newly formed Moral Majority issued a "Declaration of War" against homosexuality. A quarter-century later these views remained so unreconstructed that Mr. Falwell and the Rev. Pat Robertson would go so far as to pin the 9/11 attacks in part on gay men and lesbians - a charge they later withdrew but that Mr. Robertson repositioned just two weeks ago. In response to a question from George Stephanopoulos, he said he now believes that activist judges are a more serious threat than Al Qaeda.

Thanks Mr. Rich and to you too Allen Drury and Otto Preminger.