(Reflections on the great Republican abyss that dare not speak its name….)

I guess I’m feeling a little like a flak for the Republican Party. I don’t particularly enjoy that feeling. I don’t like being a flak for anybody. Yes, we’re in a war that’s important.Terribly important. And, yes, I think John Kerry is a straw man who should not lead us in such a situation. But there’s nothing that makes me more angry than masked or unmasked homophobia. It’s deeply reactionary and immoral.

So said Roger L. Simon, who’s officially blogging the convention.
God, I admire Roger as never before. That’s real integrity. (And pretty much how I would feel had I been put in Roger’s position.)
As Glenn Reynolds has made abundantly clear many times, this issue simply will not go away.
Parenthetically, I am writing this while listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Saw some smug faces in the crowd, with forced half-smiles, applauding less than enthusiastically, and whole sections not applauding. Arnold just put in a good word for the unfairly demonized Nixon, too, and that took courage. A great speech delivered before a crowd containing more than a few too many clueless ingrates. (Well, they’re only the ostensible audience; the real audience is at home watching.)
What I want to know is why the Republican Party has to be held hostage not so much to people who are against same sex marriage, but to people who truly believe that homosexuals are the greatest threat to Western Civilization. That a man should be judged not by the content of his character, but by where he puts his penis.
There are two utterly incompatible views towards homosexuality in the Republican Party; tolerance versus intolerance. Those who are tolerant of homosexuals, when they must face their intolerant counterparts, find themselves in a position analogous to old fashioned liberals who feel intimidated by far left Marxists.
It is because of moral authority — real or perceived. It is thought by ideologues that the stauncher one’s position on a given thing, the “purer” one is. Thus, Marxists are the purest of the left, and moral conservatives are the purest of the right. (At least, so they think.) Being a moral conservative lends itself, almost by definition, to moral authority.
I saw people praying instead of applauding while Arnold spoke. Praying! Now, I have nothing against praying, and I defend passionately their right to pray. But isn’t there an appropriate time and place for it? No; for those who imagine that their precious intolerance is threatened, they must pray constantly. Such people think mere tolerance for homosexuals equals “persecution.” (Of their intolerance!)
I am so damned disgusted right now that even Arnold’s speech, great though it was, did little to cheer me that things will ever change.
Fanaticism does not change.
Maybe I’ll feel better in the morning.
UPDATE: Interestingly, Roger L. Simon noticed similar anti-Arnold behavior last night by a leading moral conservative:

He had a scowl on his face. As we know, Schwarzenegger does not represent Buchanan’s Republican Party. Nothing seems to make Pat happy these days. As Arnold began to lead the chant of “four more years,” Buchanan spun on his heels as if repelled and stalked off, heading for the nearest microphone.

I’m the last person to try to stifle dissent, but isn’t four more years supposed to be their goal? If they can’t unite on that, then no tent is big enough….