Catch up with Political InQueery and Grey's Rounds contributor Everett Maroon as we talk about the Obama Administration's LGBT initiatives, how GOP candidates are beginning to frame Obama's presidency thusfar, predictions for summer politics, and yes, Weinergate (with apologies to the Watergate Hotel).
On Monday, I took a look at LGBT candidates running for office. The general frame of that article, and of most of this series of articles for Bitch has been set within the confines of the US election structure—a within-system critique, taking a discursive analysis approach to the text and narratives of these 2010 midterm elections. I have not been asking about forms of government, the viability of democracy, nor envisioning some new electorate-driven strategy for liberating the oppressed. Those conversations happen, of course, but the focus here has been narrow because I have been interested in putting pressure on the many and varied contradictions floating in the messaging in these individual campaigns and in the media coverage of them as a whole. And I do see opportunities for feminist and progressive-minded people in investigating why those contradictions are so prevalent and so unexplored. Today, I'd like to push in a different direction. What would it mean to queer the election?
Last summer, which now seems so very long ago, we looked at some people and trends in US politics and policy making who have affected our lives, some for good, but mostly not. I really enjoyed the "Where in the world is" posts in the series, even as I shuddered to write some of them. Bob Packwood's "sinewy arms" just scare me. But as we look toward this midterm election season—and perhaps with some of those personalities of yore in our collective rearview mirrors as reminders of where we should not retread—it's time to ask where the politicians of today have in mind for our future.
We've taken a look at the past these past two months. It's like looking at a star, shining brightly from some other corner of the galaxy; by the time the light reaches our eyes, a hell of a lot of time has passed. Okay, it's not like that at all. Many of these stories are more like train wrecks—ugly, despicable, and very messy, with many bodies left as aftermath. But no two moments have been the same.
I was in San Francisco last April, having dinner with an old friend
from college. His mother married, many years ago, a close business
partner of Rupert Murdoch. This had been, back in our school days, the cause of many
a sympathetic, slow shake of the head, because we liberal middle class
kids felt badly that he was only two degrees of separation from a man
we thought sucked in a big way. I asked him, not really remembering the
Murdoch connection, how his mother was doing. He smiled and said she
was fine, and then started to laugh.
"What's so funny?" I asked.
husband was over at Fox News in New York last week and oh my God those
people are so dumb. They're all running around, talking about needing
to be conservative enough for Rupert, and guess what? Rupert doesn't
care what the fuck they say on TV."
He kept laughing through the
rest of his sentence, something to the effect of Fox News is so
right-wing because they think they're supposed to be right-wing, not
because they really want to be.
There is the subject of politics and then there is entertainment. And never the twain shall meet, right? Wrong. So unbelievably wrong. In news of the "please don't record this," it leaked today that TLC—that's The Learning Channel, for those who are television newbies—is doing some crossover Kate Gosselin and Sarah Palin shows. This is not your mother's Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street mash up. This is full on, polarizing mothers run in/rendezvous in the wild frontier of Alaska.
Over the past several weeks we've taken a look back into the trusty time machine called the Internet and looked at several politicians who have run afoul of good manners, ethics, the limits of their authority, the law, and whatever else they decided to disregard. Most of them are no longer active politicians. But some folks manage to hold on to their careers (I'm looking at you, Governor Sanford) even after completely assclownish behavior. So is the blip-in-the-cosmos named John Ensign.
Sunday morning conjures up a lot of images—the thickest newspapers of the week, read over eggs and toast, the matrons of Washington, DC decked out in their church-going best, led to service by their doting grandchildren, hunkering down under the covers and trying to sleep in, knowing that tomorrow starts a whole new unwanted work week. And for the geekiest of politics hounds, it means turning on the TV to see what will spill out from any of the DC roundup shows: Meet the Press, This Week, State of the Union.
Beware the leaders of plumbers. Okay, I don't really mean that. This is why generalizing is bad, because certainly there was only one plumber who helped people break into the Democratic National Headquarters offices in the Watergate facility. And really, they were just using "plumber" as a metaphor. None of these guys knew how to fix or lay pipe.
So I'm talking about G. Gordon Liddy, the main plumber behind the Watergate break-in.
The Gate that begat all the other gates to follow, except Bill.