Daily Archives: February 21, 2007

Tim Hardaway & Concerned Women for America

Hardaway’s comments are everywhere and everywhere discussed, so no, this isn’t really about him. Good basketball player but another bigoted idiot-athlete. Nothing new there, end of story. At least he has the excuse that he was being honest: homophobia is a disease and he’s sick.

No, this is about the Concerned Women for America, a far-right, Xtian Nationalist group with an agenda less humane that Genghiz Khan’s. According to Julian Sanchez of Notes from the Lounge, CWA is circulating a press release condemning what he said. Good, right? But dig the reason they’re condemning it:

“Hardaway’s comments are both unfortunate and inappropriate,” said Matt Barber, CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues. “They provide political fodder for those who wish to paint all opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as being rooted in ‘hate.’ [….] It’s perfectly natural for people to be repelled by disordered sexual behaviors that are both unnatural, and immoral [….] Hardaway’s comments only serve to foment misperceptions of widespread homosexual ‘victimhood’ which the homosexual lobby has craftily manufactured.”

IOW, it’s “perfectly natural” to hate somebody different but don’t say it in public because that makes it harder for other haters to get away with hating. And if you must say it in public (this goes for Isaiah Washington, too, I’m sure), use the politically correct, Xtian-fundie-approved language in which it’s the gays’ own fault that you hate them. If you don’t, you run the risk of arousing sympathy for the fact that they’re hated, thus feeding into “the gay agenda” of “victimhood” which the “homosexual lobby” has “manufactured” and “foment[ing] misperceptions” that gay people might actually be human and not deserve the hate they’ve brought on themselves.

That would be bad.

Yoicks. That’s double-helix pretzel logic. In a can. With whipped cream on top and a make-believe cherry. A version straight from your standard rapist: “It’s her fault I raped her. Her skirt was too short/blouse was too tight/she has legs/she had the gall to be female.” In Right-Wing LaLaLand, there are no victims except the ones who want to be, so of course wingnuts have to oblige them but it’s their fault. They forced the wingnuts to hate them.

This is also the argument that’s been used by oligarchs and despots from time immemorial. When the populist Gracci brothers were murdered during the Roman Empire, the Senate explained that it was their own fault for advocating land reform. When Pinochet murdered Allende, the staid NY Times editorial board allowed as how he had given the Junta no choice because he impinged on the prerogatives of the privileged class.

It’s always somebody else’s fault, and Hardaway’s sin was to forget that by admitting it was his. Shameful.

PS Am I the only one who finds it odd that the Concerned Women for America’s Cultural Policy Director is a guy? Don’t women even run their own groups over there?

(Lounge link via Jon Swift)

Guantanamo Detainees Lose Appeal

Just last week, a Reaganite judge dismissed the case for corruption against Scott Custer and Mike Battles on very dubious but Bush Administration-approved grounds. Today, the DC Court of Appeals rejected a petition by lawyers representing the Gitmo detainees to “challenge their imprisonment”, a ruling that basically gives Bush the power to continue with his de facto suspension of habeus corpus rights.

In its 2 to 1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld one of the central components of the Military Commissions Act, the law enacted last year by a then-Republican-controlled Congress that stripped Guantanamo detainees of their right to such habeas corpus petitions. Lawyers have filed the petitions on behalf of virtually all of the nearly 400 detainees still at Guantanamo, challenging President Bush’s right to hold them indefinitely without charges. Yesterday’s ruling effectively dismisses the cases.

The lawyers are going to appeal to the SCOTUS, and Dem Senators Patrick Leahy (along with Repub Arlen Specter) and Chris Dodd are already moving to overturn the suspension (Dodd introduced his bill last week), but until all that happens, the Gitmo defendants remain in a legal limbo where they have no rights of any kind except those granted by the military courts – which don’t seem inclined to grant very many.

The two appellate judges who upheld the administration’s position are – no surprise here – conservative Republicans. Another non-surprise: their lockstep parroting of Bush Administration arguments. Continue reading