Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The sanctity of REPUBLICAN marriage 

From my good friend brew:

The Daily Brew
© February 24, 2004

The Sanctity of Marriage

Perhaps sensing that the Bob Jones University crowd might not be as
motivated towards electoral politics as they would like, the Bush
administration has come out of the closet supporting a Constitutional
amendment to cement the status of gay and lesbian Americans as
second-class citizens. Casting the amendment as necessary to protect
the “sanctity of marriage,” Bush has found the perfect issue to move
the debate towards more comfortable ground than the war in Iraq, the
economy, and his Vietnam era service record. But with each passing day,
the spectacle of the ongoing celebration of love and devotion by
monogamous gay couples in San Francisco is convincing more and more
heterosexual Americans that married gays pose no real threat to them,
or to the sanctity of their marriages. So, to avoid the perception that
this amendment is really a political stunt designed by Karl Rove to
mobilize Bush’s base, Bush needs to go further, get out in front of the
curve, and really push for getting the amendment passed. I have a few
suggestions for the Bush team.

First, Bush should appoint his brother Neil to act as his point man in
promoting the Constitutional amendment. On an important issue like
amending the Constitution, Bush needs someone he can trust to
coordinate the massive lobbying effort that will be required to secure
supermajorities in the House, Senate, and state legislatures. Only
someone inside the Bush family should be trusted with such an important
job. Besides, who better to promote the sanctity of marriage than a man
who admitted during his divorce trial he contracted herpes while
cheating on his wife with prostitutes in Thailand?

To stoke the base, Neil could ask Rush Limbaugh to give the issue daily
attention on his radio program. Having been married three times, Rush
has significantly more experience with the sanctity of marriage than
your average American. Rush could also compare his own marriage with
the gays lining up to get married in San Francisco. Homosexuals
obviously require years to figure out if a person is right for them, as
many of these couples have been together in monogamous relationships
for decades. In contrast, Limbaugh met his current wife on the
internet. With talent on loan from God, Limbaugh can obviously smell
out sanctity sight unseen.

For some star power with younger voters, Rush could invite Britney
Spears on the program. Unlike most of the Hollywood elite, Britney has
been outspoken in her support for the President, so the Bush
administration can trust her not to embarrass them on this important
issue. Raised in bible-belt “Bush Country”, Britney recently married her
childhood friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas. These traditional kids
practically wrote the book on the sanctity of marriage. As told by
Alexander, “It was just crazy, man…we were just looking at each other
and said, 'Let's do something wild, crazy. Let's go get married, just
for the hell of it.” Spears' high-powered visibility with younger
Americans, her outspoken support for the President, and the fact that
she managed to stay married for a stunning 55 hours before getting it
annulled, all combine to make her the perfect spokesperson for the
White House.

For the more erudite set, columnist George Will should be brought on
board. Syndicated in hundreds of newspapers across the country, Will
has spoken with enormous authority on cultural issues for decades. Like
Limbaugh, Will has first-hand experience with the “sanctity of marriage.”
While still married to another women, Will was romantically linked to
Lally Weymouth, daughter of Washington Post owner Katharine Graham.
When Will moved out on his wife and children, he found his office
furniture dumped on his front lawn with a note reading, "Take it
somewhere else, buster." It is this kind of first-hand experience with
the sanctity of marriage that allows Will to sit in judgment of others
and to convince them to amend the Constitution.

Finally, for the cable television assault, the obvious go-to-guy is
former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The leader of the Republican
revolution that captured the House of Representatives in 1994, Gingrich
has the proven political skills to move a constitutional amendment to
ratification. Already a Fox News regular, Gingrich has years of
practice in the kinds of rhetoric that is crucial to win this
battlefront in the larger cultural war. After he married his first wife
Jackie Battley to avoid service in Vietnam, Newt enlisted Jackie to write
a letter attacking his opponent for planning to leave her family in the
district: ''When elected, Newt will keep his family together,''
declared one campaign ad. Gingrich ended his 19-year marriage shortly
after his victory, visiting Jackie in the hospital where she was
recovering from surgery for uterine cancer, to discuss details of the
divorce. He then failed to pay alimony and child support for his two
daughters, causing a church to take up a collection, and then left the
congregation in response to the pastor's criticism of his divorce.
Gingrich then married Marianne Ginther. He called her ''the woman I
love'' and ''my best friend and closest adviser'' in his first speech
as House speaker, in January 1995. At the time, Newt was having an
affair with wife number three, Castilla Bisek. In his political
testament, Newt criticized sex outside of marriage, promoted
traditional family life and opined that ''any male who doesn't support
his children is a bum.'' In May 1999, eight months after she told him
she had a neurological condition that could lead to multiple sclerosis,
Gingrich called Marianne at her mother's home. After wishing the
84-year-old matriarch happy birthday, he told Marianne that he wanted a
divorce. Newt then wed Callista Bisek, the ex-congressional aide 20
years his junior, with whom he had an affair while still married to

All in all, the President has a deep bench of family members,
celebrities, and seasoned political operatives who are perfectly
positioned to take his message of sanctimony to the masses. Let us all
hope he uses them.


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