Sunday, October 08, 2006

Favorite son

Guest post by Capt. Fogg

Today's Palm Beach Post calls former Representative Mark Foley "one of Palm Beach County's favorite sons." Normally any other homosexual community college dropout busboy and waiter with a couple of drug possession arrests wouldn't grow up to be any red-state-man’s favorite son, but we're a binary culture. You're either for or against and, either way, the blinder the faith, the more fun it is to participate in the game.

His father, "Big Ed" Foley, may have been a union leader, but when Mark decided to go into politics, he became a Republican. It was a closet, and perhaps he chose that pose for the same reasons he described himself as a "lady's man" in his high school yearbook and told people he saw his future as a married man with a family. Whether he was only confused as many young people are or whether he used the party of "traditional values," government oversight of consensual activities, and outright gay bashing as a cover, he had the support of people for whom the straw man of "the homosexual agenda" was anathema. As long as he kept stirring the cauldron of hysteria against nudism, lewd drawings of children, and internet predators, he was on the team. As long as he supported George and his plan to defraud the public out of their retirement funds, he was on the home team.

He was a Republican and the knee-jerk supporters of Republican politics supported him and brushed off his apparent sexual orientation with accusations of liberal bias. They supported him the way one might support the White Sox over the Cubs: not because any of the players are local boys, not because they occasionally came around and mowed your grass or helped the kids with the homework or invited you to their barbecues, but because you chose some metaphysical connection with them, as struggling working class people have done with the party that sits on them and excludes them and disdains their ambitions and sends their sons and daughters off to die in the desert.

I feel mostly sadness at the humiliation of this pathetic man, dragged down by his foolish passions like dignified old Immanuel Rath in Der Blaue Engel, although I do delight in the discomfiture of his party. The loss of the flimsy Halloween costume gravitas of right-wing opinion shouters, spewing non sequiturs and slanders in the vain hope that they can turn the blame on the Democrats, is as welcome as the swan song of the fat lady in some tedious opera.

I've been waiting for the fall of the right for a long time, but I cannot count them out. We can never count them out because their madness and their weakness and their cowardice and their greed will always be part of us all. We can't count them out because they still have their hands around our necks and their finger on the button. We can't count them out because, like the mildew in your shower, the algae in your pool, the Kissinger in your politics, they will always come back.

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