Andrew Sullivan has been making some good points lately about the hypocrisy among many important Republicans. Something about the Mark Foley scandal–especially the homophobic nature of the response my many conservative Christian groups–has been bringing to light (or out of the closet, so to speak) the fact many Republican politicians and political advisers who are pro-gay in private life have not only used the anti-gay paranoia of the Religious Right for political advantage, but been open (in private) about their contempt for evangelicals.
In a recent post, Sullivan quotes this exchange between Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson:
Tucker Carlson was brutally honest on the Chris Matthews’ Show about the dysfunction and hypocrisy at the core of the current GOP:
CARLSON: It goes deeper than that though. The deep truth is that the elites in the Republican Party have pure contempt for the evangelicals who put their party in power. Everybody in …
MATTHEWS: How do you know that? How do you know that?
CARLSON: Because I know them. Because I grew up with them. Because I live with them. they live on my street. Because I live in Washington, and I know that everybody in our world has contempt for the evangelicals. And the evangelicals know that, and they’re beginning to learn that their own leaders sort of look askance at them and don’t share their values.
MATTHEWS: So this gay marriage issue and other issues related to the gay lifestyle are simply tools to get elected?
CARLSON: That’s exactly right. It’s pandering to the base in the most cynical way, and the base is beginning to figure it out.
There are many gay men and lesbians working in all aspects of the Republican party, and evidently some of the most publicly anti-gay Republicans have warm and supportive relations with their LGBT staffers, colleagues, and, in some cases, children. Sullivan also posted this amazing interview of Bill Bennett, who wrote books on morals while gambling aways millions of dollars, on the subject of gay marriage. Most telling to me was Bennett’s response to Stewart’s comment that even the arch-conservative Dick Cheny is in favor of same-sex marriage. “That’s because of his experience with his daughter,” Bennett replied.
Exactly. People who know LGBT people aren’t afraid of them. It’s the stereotypes, used intensify fears and “energize the base” of evangelicals, that the Religious Right is concerned about, not the reality.
Jon Stewart is the most brilliant political commentator of out time. His humor is the velvet glove covering his razor-sharp intellect.