16 February 2013

The Culture Moved

The GOP leadership in the House has missed it, but something happened in 2012. The culture moved past homophobia.

Several things happened and more are coming. Consider that several States now permit marriage equality not because of court orders but because of legislative action or even referenda. That simply could not have happened in 2011. Consider also that President Obama's inaugural address was the first such to mention gay and lesbian citizens, let alone call for marriage equality and the end of the ugly, "Defense of Marriage Act." Here in Illinois, where we have both a rather decent "civil unions" law, and one of the country' largest Roman Catholic arch-diocese, marriage equality is working its way through the General Assembly. I think it will be law soon.

It is not merely American culture that has moved. It is Western Culture. France's Assembly National has voted for marriage equality. England's Parliament voted last week. In South America and Africa, countries are moving too.

On the other side of the growing chasm between modern civilization and the homophobes is Sullivan, Indiana and the GOP in Congress. Even there however, when "Christians" (they arguably are not) tried to come up with a "straight couples only" prom, the school board and local government ran the other way.

That the culture has moved will not stop Congressional Republicans from a vain defense of DOMA. If there is one thing the GOP is united in, it is opposition to the 21st,( or for that matter, 20th) century. This is a party that wants to repeal Social Security, Medicare, Affordable Health Care, and equality for women, while overriding Roe v. Wade, requiring the ultrasonic rape, and rolling back gender equity. They also want to repeal science with the silly lie of "creationism."

Once upon a time, when Eisenhower, Dewey, Rockefeller, and Jackson were the intellectual leaders of a Republican party, that institution was progressive, and indeed led the nation on Civil Rights while it also was a champion of small business, and firmly opposed to military industrial interchange. I was proud to be a member. Now I would never consider the idea. Having elevated Ayn Rand, an intellectual lightweight at best, to some sort of demi-divine oracle, they have left me, Christianity, and a once proud party for the tea party's slavish support of the super rich.

I find it sad that there is nowhere for moderates and progressive conservatives to go. The ultra-right wing of the GOP, has driven us away. Now the party of lunatic economic ideas, a willingness indeed desire to kill off social justice, and overt racism, the GOP is about to reap a whirlwind. More votes were cast for Democrats than Republicans in the 2012 general election. They hold the House only because the districts were gerrymandered just enough. That won't hold.

2014 will see more new Democrat governors, a shift in State assemblies, and a series of changes in swing districts. Wisconsin and Michigan have had about enough, as have several Western States. While the Democrats have some Senate seats at risk, I think they can hold on there.

As Bob Dylan had it, "The times they are a'changing"

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