Sexual Hypocrisy Infuriate Millions
By Jack Nichols
Larry Flynt and President Clinton come under attack from Arianna Huffington, Gary Bauer and Rep. Bill Livingston
Saturday night's MSNBC found conservative talking heads Gary Bauer and Arianna Huffington attempting to defend Republicans against a rising tide of fury in the U.S. heartland in the wake of the two anti-Clinton impeachment articles voted into place earlier in the day by a rightist, anti-gay controlled Republican Congress.
Much of the fury stemmed from the refusal of Republicans to delay impeachment proceedings until U.S. servicemen fighting in Iraq had been declared certifiably out of harm's way. Anti-gay Senate leader Trent Lott had critiqued the Iraqi bombings as merely a Clinton ploy to avoid impeachment, a critique which melted ignominiously under harsh scrutiny.
Callers in California, Massachusetts and Nebraska took Bauer and Huffington by surprise echoing vows to remember—in the Year 2000's elections—this day's revengeful Republican denials of fair play stemming from the GOP's smug refusals to consider the alternative of censure.
Lanny Davis, a Clinton friend and associate, indicated how fundamentalist religionists, unhappy with the prospect of living with an adulterer as their House Speaker, had pressured the Republican leadership to reject Livingston.
Gary Bauer, president of the anti-gay Family Research Council, and a fundamentalist himself, denied that fundamentalists had interfered with the Livingston installment. Sunday morning reports in the New York Times, however, confirmed Davis' interpretation of the fundamentalists as behind the Speaker-designate's resignation.
On Friday evening, immediately following his confessions-- those precipitated by forthcoming Flint revelations of his "occasional" extra-marital affairs—Livingston received a standing ovation from GOP stalwarts.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson replied: "Yes, but Livingston was not true to his oath on the Bible."
While right-wing commentator Bey Buchanan attempted to attribute Livingston's resignation to more noble motives, a Democratic spokesperson revealed that Larry Flint had indicated that Livingston's timid admission to an "occasional" affair constituted only the tips of the Speaker-designate's extra-marital icebergs.
Arianna Huffington denounced Livingston for resigning because of "sex". This "muddied", she admitted, the Republican's spin, namely that President's impeachment had been due, as gay Log Cabin Republican director Rich Tafel proclaimed, to a lack of honesty and not to matters regarding sexuality.
Frank Rich, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, wrote:
"The cultural fault lines of the moment are those of 30 years ago, and potentially just as explosive. The right wing rage once aimed at long-haired, draft-dodging, sexually wanton hippies (a caricature of the left even then) is now aimed at Bill Clinton, whose opportunistic, split-the-difference politics is actually closer to the old mainstream G.O.P. than to the 60's left but who nonetheless has become the right's piñata for all it hates about the Vietnam era's social and sexual revolutions."
"The Republicans have turned the U.S. Government into a Jerry Springer Show, except they're far too serious and not nearly as much fun."
Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front pioneer, Morris Kight, told GayToday:
"This House is launched on an historically tragic case of selective moralizing. By the history of this country, the appropriate response to lying about a consensual sexual affair would be censure.
"When Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Defense was indicted for perjury by an independent counsel and pardoned by George Bush, members on that side (Ed.: Republicans) applauded the action. When Speaker Gingrich was found to have been inaccurate 13 times in an official proceeding to the House Ethics Committee, he was reprimanded and simultaneously re-elected speaker with the overwhelming vote of members on that (Ed.: Republican) side. That's why we believe censure is appropriate.
"And let me agree with those who say that simply because a large number of the voters believe something, we are not obligated to vote for it. I welcome this assertion that we have an obligation not always to follow public opinion. But while we have the right not to vote for something just because there's overwhelming public support, in a democracy you have no right not to vote on it. You have a right to stand up honestly and say I disagree with censure. Members have no right to stand up behind a partisan leadership and not take a position.
"The public has a right on this overwhelmingly important issue to have the preferred option that the public supports voted on. That's the obligation of democracy. It's not that you have to support what the public wants, but that you can't hide from it in a democracy. Why will you not take a position on censure? If you have the votes to defeat it, don't use partisan pressures and threats to keep it from being voted on. Do not deny to the American public a recorded vote on their notion of what ought to be done, particularly since your own behavior in the case of Casper Weinberger, in the case of Newt Gingrich clearly makes it understandable that censure and not impeachment is relevant.
"First, impeachment will simply be very little, and then it will be an enormous amount. You cannot de facto amend the Constitution by that distortion of impeachment and then use it to drive a President out of office when you know that's an inappropriate sanction for his behavior."
"I think a Civil War—culturally and politically—has been declared on America by the Republican Party," John Paul Hudson, author of The Gay Insider, U.S.A. told GayToday "and I, for one, am ready to meet my obligations in the struggle."
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