Thursday, September 6, 2007

Father Brownback and the GOP Debate

I tapped in late to the GOP debate last night, but the high point for me was the young NH woman who, when asked whether gay marriage should be banned, said, “Absolutely not. We’re the ‘Live free or die’ state. You should be free to marry the person you love.”

How’s that not conservative?

How’s that not “fambly values”?

Sorry, every time I hear “family values,” I seem to hear a parrot squawking. “Fambly values, awwwwwwwwwwwwwk, fambly values!” Call it a personal defect on my part.

It was amusing to hear Father Brownback’s take on that. He mumbled something about studies that show a high heterosexual divorce rate in nations that permit gay marriage, and said he’s agin it.

What he’s saying is, there’s a causal connection. Gays have to stay in unwedded bliss in order for heterosexual marriages to make it.

Well, if nobody else will say it, I will. THAT’S DROOLING STOOPID.

Of course nobody called him on it. Nobody said, “How does that work, Father Brownback? Is it like budgeting for the rise in Medicare premiums by counting the number of puppies born in Baltimore? ”

On to Iraq. Of all the candidates, Ron Paul made most sense to me. Get out now. But as I listened to the rest insist that we have to stay for honor’s sake, it was like I had fallen into this giant patriarchal looney tube.

Evidently, honor to a Republican guy doesn’t involve any requirement to make sense. It means you have to fight until there’s nobody left standing, even if it’s not clear why you’re there or what you can hope to accomplish.

I have a different definition of honor. It has to do with:

Ensuring that our fighting troops are appropriately equipped and placed into conflicts they can win;

Ensuring that our contractors deliver Quality product, on time, the first time, at a fair price;

Ensuring that our people are accountable to the Constitution and to prevailing military conventions, and not to some private mercenary corporate interest instead;

Ensuring that we don’t launch wars of aggression on the basis of lies, and that we don’t not perpetuate manufactured wars by making things up.

Honor is about integrity. Moreover, it isn’t possible to be an honorable person in a social situation – by which I mean a situation involving, like, two countries -- when your context is exclusively self-referential. (AKA, the Bubble.) It seems obvious to me, anyhow, that when we’re interacting with others, our honor has something to do with how we interact with them.

It’s a little late to be thinking of honor in Iraq. Now that we’re there, we have an obligation to help them rebuild, not help them resolve their centuries-old religious dispute. The best way to help them rebuild will be to get some honor into our corrupt and thieving construction/consulting projects over there.

Giuliani on family values was hilarious. He insisted that any “issues” in his private life do not affect his public performance and aren’t our bizness anyhow. I got the impression that this is true only among Republicans. It doesn’t hold for Republicans and Democrats.

I must say, I did respect McCain’s response about torture. That’s the one thing he has going for him. Otherwise, he’s a loose canon.