By Sean Kosofsky
Like sands through the hourglass, every political season brings new slurs against progressives. My recent favorite is ÒNancy Pelosi Liberal.Ó What is fascinating about this Republican rip is that it gets dangerously close to calling someone a queer-lover, with the people who use it safely claiming itÕs only a run-of-the-mill qualifier.
Nancy Pelosi, of course, is the newly ordained Speaker of the House — making her the first woman to hold the position. She is a wealthy vineyard owner who represents the City of San FranciscoÉ and she looks fabulous. Her climb to power has dramatically increased the influence of liberal, pro-gay women on Capitol Hill. This threatens the right-wing, boys club that has guarded the GOPÕs grip on power since 1995.
But if John Kerry, the elitist New England peace-nik flip-flopper (read: indecisive sissy) didnÕt scare you, the Bill Frist Fringe Lunatics and the Tom DeLay Defrauders hoped that Pelosi would. The Òleft coastÓ was supposed to distract God-fearing Texas gun-owners and Mississippi Bible thumpers from the failing war in Iraq. Who cares if Arnold Schwarzenegger Ass-Grabbers are also from California? We all know the real threat to AmericaÕs families is not Dennis Hastert Sex-Offenders, but latte-sipping, art film-consuming, sushi-eating sodomites from the Castro who now have the leader of Congress doing their bidding.
I havenÕt seen a political back-flip like that since the Catholic Church tried its shell game of coddling sex-offenders, then launched another witch-hunt against gays. Ta-dah! Thank God it didnÕt work. Most Americans are tired of the gay-baiting. Folks may not want us to marry yet, but they certainly care less about that than they do about national security, health care and a better economy.
The campaign waged against Nancy Pelosi is just a warm-up for the character assassination planned for Hillary Clinton. The minute the Junior Senator from New York announces that she is running for President (and she will announce soon) the sexist and homophobic tirade against her will be unleashed. They will call her a power-hungry, ball-busting, man-hating, lesbian bitch who should know her place. There will be new names for the gay friendly woman from the East Coast.
Gay leaders from New York have already boycotted fundraising for Clinton unless she comes out for marriage equality. The John McCain Middle of the Roaders and the Mitt Romney Right-Wingers will have a field day with that. If Barack Obama enters the fray there will be a wave of racist remarks and back-room ribbing. I can see the political cartoon now: Obama will be drawn as a grinning young ethnic pool-boy, wearing nothing but a Speedo, as Hillary Clinton lounges poolside in a two piece bathing suit holding her hand up to her ear like a fake phone, saying ÒHere, BarackÉ Call me.Ó
What an interesting predicament for Democrats. Conservatives can always get away with racist and sexist political posturing, but Democrats — at least in national elections — just donÕt do it. It is the same reason pundits have always remarked that if we had a black or female president, they would likely emerge from Republican ranks.
Which brings me to those Condoleeza Rice Syria Snubbers. Republican operatives have allegedly been pressuring her for months to throw her beret into the ring. Condi will be hailed for her education, unlike Hillary, who will be derided for her elitist schooling. Condi will be applauded for her loyalty to the party, and Hillary shamed for her loyalty to her husband. Condi will be held up as an example of what minorities and women can achieve, and Hillary, who has always supported Affirmative Action, will be chided for supporting reverse discrimination against wholesome college-bound girls from Iowa.
As the political fray heats up — we have at least five presidential contenders already — I will wait with baited breath to see what kind of torment liberal candidates will endure. But for now, I am enjoying being a Nancy boy; especially if that means being an outsider who overcomes gender stereotypes to achieve incredible things and fight for those who are powerless. Go Nancy. Go San Francisco. Go Team.