Go read Digby‘s excellent post on how Republicans tar Democrats with the lavender brush. She’s got a great roundup of recent slurs against Obama and the Clintons (homme et femme), as well as a delightful stroll through recent American political history and the Republican penchant for roughing Democrats up by calling them fags and lezzies. (Heterosexuality: the last refuge of the scoundrel?)
Now I don’t give a fig about people’s personal lives, but isn’t it strange that the major offenders mentioned here (Ann Coulter, Maureen Dowd, and Kathleen Parker) lead–shall we say?–unconventional women’s lives, or had a less-than-ideal upbringing, whereas the major Dems they attack have very traditional families and personal lives? To wit: Neither Coulter nor Dowd have ever been married, and clearly aren’t members of the abstinence wing of the Republican party, since both are urban sophisticates who have had many affairs with prominent men. (It’s safe to say that they’ve led lives more like Carrie Bradshaw’s than Anita Bryant’s.) Coulter’s consistent physical presentation (for more than a decade) is that of Malibu Barbie ca. 1977 with her colored hair and thin, tanned arms and legs on full display. It’s a commitment to a specific aesthetic, like that of a female female impersonator. No Pat Nixonish pastel suits for her! (Maybe that’s just her style–and it certainly sets her apart from all other women and men on political chat shows, so it may be part of her effort to brand herself.) And Dowd herself has written about the difficulty of attracting age-appropriate men, when they seem to prefer younger women who are less successful and less outspoken than she is. Finally, Parker (according to her bio at Townhall.com) is very conventionally married and has a son, but says that she was raised by four stepmothers. (Nothing wrong with that–it clearly wasn’t her decision–but she sure does have a lot of opinions about Democratic families and marriages, doesn’t she?)
Now, let’s look at the Democratic politicians they’ve attacked with such patently gendered and homophobic slurs: John Edwards (total number of wives: 1, married with children for decades), Bill Clinton (1 wife, married with child for decades, zero divorces), Hillary Clinton (1 husband, married with child for decades, zero divorces), Al Gore (1 wife, married with children for decades, zero divorces), John Kerry (2 wives, 2 children, 1 divorce), and Barack Obama (1 wife, 2 children, zero divorces). I’m not suggesting that one has to come from a perfect family in order to criticize other families–rather, I’m suggesting that since there is no such thing as a perfect family or a perfect marriage, as they should know, perhaps Coulter, Dowd, and Parker should stop evaluating their political opponents’ masculinity or femininity, lay off calling other people fags and dykes, and judging their marriages and families. Just a suggestion, girls! Kthnxbye!