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Posted by gustav at 06:01PM, Friday, December 01st, 2000

Ideological Differences

From the series "The Hypocrisy of Contemporary Republicanism in America"

I was watching TV today (C-SPAN or MSNBC or CNN or something -- does it
really matter? They're all the same), and G.W.Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer
came on to denounce the rising opposition to Attorney General nominee Ashcroft.
The gist of his arguments was that those opposing Ashcroft's nomination
were nothing more than a partisan group of special interests bent on
divisiveness, who had nothing more than some "ideological" differences with

I found this a little surprising. First, that "ideological" differences
are suddenly some insignificant piddling irritant in the way of political
progress in this country, rather than the very basis of our constitution.
And second, that alienating broad swathes of non-straight-white-male
citizens is something beneath consideration when it comes to appointing
one of the highest officials in the notably corrupt and broken justice
system of the United States.

One of the most notable of Ashcroft's actions in regards to civil rights
is his opposition in the Senate to Luxembourg Ambassador Jim Hormel's
nomination by President Clinton solely on the basis of Hormel's
sexuality. Ashcroft was one of only two senators right-wing enough to
take this stand against Hormel. How comfortable can gays and lesbians feel
living in a country whose Attorney General has said that a gay man,
regardless of his record, can't be a fair representative of US interests
abroad? Apparently, a racist misogynist rich white man can, for some reason.

Organizations opposing Ashcroft's nomination include the Human Rights
Campaign, the National Organization for Women, the NAACP, Planned
Parenthood, Sierra Club, and Handgun Control, according to
It's galling that the Bush administration, after its supposed support
for coalition-building, dares to dismiss all these groups as
"liberal special interest groups" with a "history of character
assasination against good people based solely on ideological beliefs."
Bush spokespeople say this about a broad group of advocacy organizations,
while doing exactly the thing they deride by making that very statement.
It would be a stunning example of Washington hypocrisy, if one didn't
believe Bush were honestly a coalition-building Washington outsider.
But then, honesty is, shockingly, the quality of being honest, and based
on his campaign promises so far, Bush isn't doing well on that count.

By attempting to appoint someone with this viewpoint, Bush is demonstrating
the hollowness of his promise to "be a uniter, not a divider." Division only
counts, as far as he's concerned, when it affects straight white men. That's
a scary scary thing if you're not a rich white straight man.
We're in for a hypocritical and fascist four years.

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