October 30, 2006

Republican Sex Attacks

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 8:08 pm

I’m still resentful about the 2004 campaign’s Swiftboat Veterans attacks on John Kerry’s military service. They were built out of lies and innuendo, but managed to smear Kerry’s record as a war hero. Totally shameless.

Come to think of it, I’m still pissed about the smears attacking Gore for saying he invented the internet — all he actually said was that he was there at the beginning of the internet, and any history of the internet will tell you that Gore played a key role by authoring the legislation to fund the internet’s development. More shameless smears.

So it will come as no small surprise that I’m pretty disgusted with this campaign season. And once again, it’s the Republicans pushing the disgusting smears. Whether it’s the Harold Ford/Playboy, Rush Limbaugh vs. Michael J. Fox, Jim Webb-as-pornographer, or Arcuri/sex line charges, they all have several things in common:

  • They are pro-Republican
  • They are dishonest
  • They are about sex

(Billmon and Glenn Greenwald have more on the Republican sleaze.)

It’s ironic that the Party of Family Values™ is the party resorting to these tactics. It is eerily reminiscent of Ken Starr’s actions as the nation’s pornographer-in-chief when he published all the lurid details of Cliinton’s sex acts with Monica Lewinsky. There is this odd dynamic — conservative Republicans can talk about sexual topics they would never allow on television, all under the pretense they are unmasking someone else’s immorality, and hence unsuitability to serve in public office. For example:

The “pays for sex” ad against Kind in Wisconsin — along with a similar one aired against Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) — may be the most extreme. It says Kind spent tax dollars to study “the sex lives of Vietnamese prostitutes” and “the masturbation habits of old men” and “to pay teenage girls to watch pornographic movies with probes connected to their genitalia.” Cue the punch line: “Ron Kind pays for sex, but not for soldiers.”

All this because Kind voted against an effort to stop the NIH from funding peer-reviewed sex research.

But it’s not just that it’s about sex, although they are (even Limbaugh’s attacks against MJ Fox are indirectly related to sex by way of embyonic stem cell research.) It’s that these attacks are so clearly dishonest, whether deliberate distortions, building up issues out of irrelevancies, or outright lies. It reflects an attitude that the ends justify the means, so they can slander and libel without ever being held to account because it’s all for the cause of God. But of course God’s purposes can’t be furthered by spreading dishonest smears.

But where are the protests from conserevative Christians? Of course they are rooting for the Republicans, but even if they weren’t, they can’t be seen as being on the side of immorality, however minor, so they are happy to pile on to the slander. This is the genius of the Republican sex smears — no matter how baseless, the conservative Christians will always respond where sex is involved.

The Christian right should instead pay attention to a different piece of moral advice: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”


  1. In my large family, there are only 3 liberals; me, one of my brothers,
    and my daughter.

    My father actually believes (and declared so, aloud) that it is not only
    moral, but critical for repukes to lie, in order to win the elections.

    I find republicans immoral…almost to a man. I haven’t found one yet
    whom I would consider “a good christian.” None of them follows Jesus’
    teachings – none of them.

    Comment by catnapping — October 31, 2006 @ 10:42 am

  2. What’s wrong with a study of the sex habits of old men? I may even be willing to volunteer for that.

    Comment by Mike — October 31, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

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