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Hullabaloo


Saturday, February 19, 2005

 
Dr Dobson's Dark Suspicions

Before Junior ran for president he had some conversations with evangelical friend Doug Wead. He wasn't quite sure how to handle the religious right. Wead taped the conversations.

Mr. Bush, who has acknowledged a drinking problem years ago, told Mr. Wead on the tapes that he could withstand scrutiny of his past. He said it involved nothing more than "just, you know, wild behavior." He worried, though, that allegations of cocaine use would surface in the campaign, and he blamed his opponents for stirring rumors. "If nobody shows up, there's no story," he told Mr. Wead, "and if somebody shows up, it is going to be made up." But when Mr. Wead said that Mr. Bush had in the past publicly denied using cocaine, Mr. Bush replied, "I haven't denied anything."


That "if nobody shows up" line sounds like something out of the Sopranos. He later says that his whole "young and immature" thing was "his schtick." This comment makes me really believe, for the first time, that JH Hatfield was set up.

What is really revealing about these conversations is Bush's attitude toward gays and the extent to which he kissed James Dobson's ass.

In September 1998, Mr. Bush told Mr. Wead that he was getting ready for his first meeting with James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, an evangelical self-help group. Dr. Dobson, probably the most influential evangelical conservative, wanted to examine the candidate's Christian credentials.

"He said he would like to meet me, you know, he had heard some nice things, you know, well, 'I don't know if he is a true believer' kind of attitude," Mr. Bush said.

[...]

By the end of the primary, Mr. Bush alluded to Dr. Dobson's strong views on abortion again, apparently ruling out potential vice presidents including Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and Gen. Colin L. Powell, who favored abortion rights. Picking any of them could turn conservative Christians away from the ticket, Mr. Bush said.

"They are not going to like it anyway, boy," Mr. Bush said. "Dobson made it clear."

Early on, though, Mr. Bush appeared most worried that Christian conservatives would object to his determination not to criticize gay people. "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals," Mr. Bush said after meeting James Robison, a prominent evangelical minister in Texas.

But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: "Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"

Later, he read aloud an aide's report from a convention of the Christian Coalition, a conservative political group: "This crowd uses gays as the enemy. It's hard to distinguish between fear of the homosexual political agenda and fear of homosexuality, however."

"This is an issue I have been trying to downplay," Mr. Bush said. "I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays."

Told that one conservative supporter was saying Mr. Bush had pledged not to hire gay people, Mr. Bush said sharply: "No, what I said was, I wouldn't fire gays."


I don't pretend to know what animates Junior so much on the issue of gays, but something does. Clearly he's very uncomfortable with the intolerance so many in his party show on the issue. Indeed, these conversations show him to be more liberal on this issue than any other I can think of. And it's quite out of character.

But what does it matter when the asshole turned around and just ran a stealth campaign based entirely on homophobia? I doubt very seriously that he privately shared his tolerance for gays with that sadistic dog abuser James Dobson. (I would suspect that Dobson and his followers are going to be more than a bit miffed by these revelations.) In fact, Bush and his party had no problem gay baiting the entire Democratic party, particularly John Kerry, with their nasty frat boy innuendoes --- as they have for the last thirty years. It isn't, after all, just the Christian conservatives who so enjoy that towel slapping hyper-masculine swagger that Junior affects with such panache. There are plenty of good ole boys who trade in this form of macho posing as well. All this Bushian tolerance toward gays would have sorely tested that heroic manly red state image, wouldn't it?

So he did what the Bushes always do. He played dirty. Speaking of Gore, not Kerry (but it makes no difference) he said "I may have to get a little rough for a while," he told Mr. Wead, "but that is what the old man had to do with Dukakis, remember?"

This man who pretends to feel such empathy for gays is the same man who ran on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, told James Byrd's family to take a hike, signed off on 150 plus executions without looking up from his gameboy and now claims that the constitution gives him the total power to order torture and execution in the name of the War On Terror.

This goes beyond hypocrisy. It's downright pathological. The Republican coalition consists of a racists, homophobes, dupes and the rich selfish bastards who tell them whatever they want to hear in order to get elected. I hope their religion is real because if it is they are all going to spend eternity in the ninth circle of hell.



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