Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Republican Attempt to Claim the Mantle of Security Only Reflects Their Own Insecurity

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin has said a few words about Dick Cheney that are long overdue:

It just outrages me that someone who got five deferments during Vietnam and said he had 'other priorities' at that time would say that.

When I hear [attacks on John Kerry] coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil. He'll be tough, but he'll be tough with someone else's kid's blood.

Also, as has been pointed out by observers, Dick Cheney's seemingly out-there attacks on John Kerry's well-thought statement that we need to conduct a "more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history," may be a deliberate strategy to convey "gay-bashing code" and, I might add women-bashing code. Perhaps the Bush cadre took a cue from Arnold Schwarzenegger's "girlie men" comment when they were strategizing on how to attack Senator Kerry.

Comments like this, in my opinion, point to a man fundamentally insecure with his masculinity trying to appeal to other men of a similar condition. Here is an interesting article that examines the new Republican attack strategy of the 2004 trend. As the article puts it,

One of the most troubling political tactics of late is coming from the right end of the spectrum. Apparently taking their cues from the schoolyard, some Republicans' latest motto seems to be: When you're feeling inadequate, call someone else a sissy.

Of course, attacks like reveal much more about the attacker than the person who is being attacked.
The article continues,

As Matt Drudge (widely rumored to be gay himself, but a confirmed Republican) so charmingly observed on his Web site, "The Drudge Report," after the Democratic presidential nominee chose his running mate, "John Kerry and John Edwards can't keep their hands off each other!" Accompanied by photos of the two senators speaking with their heads close together, or clasping each other's hands, or walking with their arms interlaced, we suppose this is meant to point to something unnatural, something sinister, something ... well, almost homosexual about the relationship these two men have! The subtext is so clear it is practically audible: Men, especially politicians, expressing affection for each other in public? What is this country coming to?

2004 is already turning into a monumental year for gay rights issues, and the Republicans are certainly aware of this. They apparently feel they must capitalize on the progress that has been made with regards to gay marriage--though precarious progress at this point, among other things, to evoke divisive anti-gay and anti-woman themes. Once again, this strategy is fundamentally a sign of incredible insecurity on their part.


anti said...

I enjoyed this post. It really does take the piss that Dick would have the balls (pun intended) to say the things he says.
Not only that, he used, nearto, the very terminology that he chastises Kerry for using...see www.dailyhowler.com for further details.
I am not affiliated to that site, not spamming or anything.

Elaine said...

Hey Anti. Thanks for your post! The Daily Howlers is a great site, incidentally.

Chris said...

The "sensitive"point is sensitive because the extremist culture that has declared the West its enemies takes advantage of any signs of weakness. Multiculturalism says we need to understand other cultures as well as our own. I'd say the Bushies understand this a bit better. What does one do when you want to compromise and talk about it but the other side doesn't and sees your very desire to "talk about it" as a sign of weakness to which they can take advantage??? As GOPer and as a student writing a thesis in part on the spectrum of homosociality, I think this criticism of the "sensitive" issue goes a bit far.