By R.J. Beaumia
There is a trait endemic to all human beings that I call the “Pheewww!” reflex.
It’s not exactly schadenfreude, where you’re glad when misfortune befalls some hypocrite or jerk, like when Donald Trump bankrupts himself in some cowboy real estate deal or when Larry Craig gets caught trolling for police pee-pee in a public toilet.
No, the “Pheewww!” reflex is when you feel that little bit of glee and lots of relief when you look in your rearview mirror just after going through an intersection and you see that the person who was directly behind you has just had a collision with another driver. “Pheewww, that coulda been me,” you say to yourself.
But sometimes it’s you getting hit with the “heel gravel” of the lucky prick peeling out ahead of you, or you find that the good fortune you think is within your grasp turns out to be the final joke that’s played on you in a treacherous, cruel world.
I would say “Just ask Abigail Folger how it feels,” but you can’t because she’s quite dead. The heiress to the Folgers coffee fortune was a party guest at actress Sharon Tate’s home the night the Manson Family slaughtered everyone there. She was stabbed several times while in the house, but managed to escape and ran outside. Unfortunately, as she fled she was overcome by Manson acolyte Patricia Krenwinkel who proceeded to hack at her until she suffered a total of 28 wounds. As Krenwinkel stabbed the life out of Folger, the victim told her murderer, “You can stop now; I’m already dead.”
This is how I felt after the second Bush election in 2004. I hesitate to ask the question, “Can it get any worse?,” because I know it can, and I’ve known it from the start of this long national tragedy.
On the night of the 2000 election, I was on a date having Indian food with a really nice guy. For some reason the restaurant had a big-screen television, and as my date and I ate our meal we watched the progressively depressing election returns as they were tallied on TV. Needless to say, after that I never saw the guy again, and while I still love a good curry I can’t eat it without thinking of that awful night and the jug-eared fool who became our commander in chief.
I had manifold reasons for not wanting a Republican president, but I was most afraid of the specter of a Bush presidency that would bring with it the reshaping of the American judicial system wrought by extremist appointees who might replace members of an aging Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well.
As it turns out, I was spot on. If you are a working person, a person of color, or are gay or lesbian, there is very little hope of getting a fair shake in any courtroom in the United States today. Republican appointees fill the benches all the way from the circuit courts to the Justice Department.
I predict that gay men and lesbians will not see anything approaching full equality on a national level for probably two more generations because of this.
On September 11, 2001, I sobbed for two hours after I first saw the satellite feeds of New York as it burned. But the nausea I felt after those two hours wasn’t a reaction to the fear of terrorism, but from the fear of the carte blanche I knew would be given to George Bush in the aftermath of the attacks. On 9/11, George W. Bush had the luckiest day he would ever have, even more than the one where he was appointed to the presidency by the Supreme Court. Every one of life’s chronic losers and fuck-ups dreams of such a day, and Bush was actually having it.
Since then we’ve become a nation of torturers and bullies who can’t afford homes or health insurance. We’re a country whose currency seems to be headed to the same fate as that of Weimar Germany. Our telephones are tapped. We can be arrested and detained in jail without knowing why and for any length of time. Poor kids are being killed in Iraq for reasons of which they’re not quite sure, and kids who can afford not to go to Iraq can’t find it on a map. The “freedom of the marketplace” and the privatization that have given us Blackwater have also bestowed untold, wild wealth upon pharmaceutical and insurance companies through the Medicare Prescription Drug Act.
And it’s all been done in the name of Jesus.
As the B-52s asked so many years ago, “Who’s to blame when the situation degenerates; disgusting things you never anticipate?” Well, certainly the Democratic Party, whose cowardice has been duly noted by its members down here in the grassroots. Be on notice now, all you Dems, that if we ever win back our government, those of you who were GOP “collaborators” who said they did it all for “the troops” or “the children” – but who really did it to save your own asses – will pay with the forfeiture of your jobs in coming elections. For you “Vichy Democrats,” having your hair shorn, live, on the internet, isn’t out of the question.
The entity most culpable for this eight-year fiasco, though, is the Republican Party and its minions. Theirs has been a disaster so spectacular that it would have to be filmed in IMAX to capture the breadth and depth of such vertiginous stupidity. And who are the box office weasels selling tickets to the next show? Well, none other than the Log Cabin Republicans, of course!
According to a recent Washington Blade article, the Lapdoggers are all tiddly over prospects for “social liberal” GOP candidates Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. The Blade reported that Thompson said on Meet the Press that he personally opposes gay marriage and would favor passing a constitutional amendment against if it would prohibit judges from passing laws allowing marriage equality. He added, however, that if a state legislature or governor approves it, then “they should have the freedom to do what Fred Thompson thinks is a very bad idea,” the Blade said. Giuliani recently told a conservative group in a private meeting that he would also favor changing the Constitution if multiple states began granting marriage equality, the Blade reported.
Patrick Sammon, president of Log Cabin, told the Blade that he views Thompson’s stance as “the glass is half full,” that Giuliani isn’t being “very clear under what circumstances he would support an amendment,” and that “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Look Mr. Sammon, we’ve already waited, we’ve seen, and we’ve been fucked over, no thanks to the likes of you. Your pathetic soft-sell of these two smarmy creeps is redolent with the musk of desperation, and the only people who are eating up this shit are you and the rest of the tax-break hungry faggots who helped give us eight years of George Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.” Get over it motherfucker, they want your vote, not you!
There isn’t much left we can do for the United States at this point, folks. The American century – and the American dream – are over. We need to move on and try to salvage anything we can for future generations of queers, if that’s possible. Groups like the Log Cabin Republicans would put to waste even that.
Unfortunately, we’re the Abigail Folger of nations. And if you listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of millions of gay and lesbian Canadians sighing in unison, “Pheewww!”