It is commonly alleged that today’s Republican Party employs ruthless strategies to scare middle class voters into voting Republican, though doing so works mainly against those voters’ economic interests.
How might that allegation be tested against the manifest political strategies of the so-called National Organization for Marriage, which — despite its occasional affiliations with freak Democratic anti-gay bigots like New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz, Sr. – is a resolutely Republican organization?
Consider NOM’s abuses of the word “elite.”
Elite acquires specific meanings in context. When people speak, for example, of “an elite athlete,” the word has an almost entirely positive connotation.
NOM’s anti-gay propaganda, however, uses “elite” as a pejorative. Consider these examples:
Yesterday, when the First Circuit Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional, NOM’s Brian Brown said, ”It’s obvious that the federal courts on both coasts are intent on imposing their liberal, elitist views of marriage on the American people.”
Never mind that two of the First Circuit judges were Republican appointees. Brown’s propaganda clearly is targeted at a Bible-belt, gays-hating demographic, and encouraging that demographic to feel that something is being “imposed” on it by figures on “both coasts” with “elitist views of marriage.”
Notice that Brown makes no actual legal argument; anybody who even remotely appears to want to undo sexual orientation apartheid in marriage is smeared as “elitist.” NOM’s sheer, hateful gall in using this tactic is all the more deplorable that they are using “elite” — with implications that those so described have unmerited advantages over others — in the service of a political movement that benefits the 1% at the expense of workers, as well as of those who do not suffer marriage discrimination.
If you are not legally barred from marriage, you are hardly being imposed on by a supposed “elite” that is legally barred from marriage; you have the unmerited legal advantage over them, in fact.
Leave aside whatever you may think of the MIT-educated David Koch’s politics; clearly Koch himself does not think of the Reagan-appointed First Circuit Court Chief Judge Juan Torruella, who ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional, as an “elitist” in any pejorative sense. Brown is, I repeat, with his anti-gay propaganda targeting a demographic distinct in its fortunes from those of the Koch brothers.
Here is another example of NOM’s propagandistic abuses of the word “elite.”
Recently in the U.K., The Law Society, a group steadfastly committed to LGBT equality, canceled a planned anti-gay conference, which NOM’s Brian Brown was scheduled to attend, after learning that the organizers were gay-bashing bigots.
Brown’s press release about the cancellation is exceedingly “elite” heavy. In a foaming rage, Brown 1) calls The Law Society “an elitist organization;” 2) says that “in many ways the effort to redefine marriage represents a conflict between the elites and the people;” 3) says that ”the elites in The Law Society look down their nose at” those who oppose marriage equality; and 4) says that “The elites scoff at such things, and prefer to substitute their views for those of the vast majority of citizens.”
Brown very obviously laid it on thick with a trowel, to be sure that his target demographic of “non-elites” would have the idea that they were under a most hideous attack from the “elite” Law Society, whose crime according to Brown is that it furthers the cause of LGBT equality, at the alleged expense of “the people.” Obviously in the context of Great Britain, references to “the people” do not generally include Lady Trudeliese Poppysmith and the Right Honorable Baron of Higgensbottom.
Additional examples of NOM’s propagandizing against “elites” are easy to find, but we must not overlook that Brown’s selfsame press release pointing angry fingers at the “elitist” equality supporters in The Law Society happens to mention that NOM’s Brian Brown studied at Oxford University. For persons unaware, the University of Oxford is an elite British institution of higher learning.
NOM’s other leading anti-gay bigots also are products of “elite” schools. Maggie Gallagher earned a B.A. in Religious Studies at Yale University. NOM’s current Board Chairman John Eastman holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School (academic settings do not come any more “elite” than that of U. of Chicago) and a Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School. Earlier in his career, Eastman clerked for federal appellate court judge J. Michael Luttig and for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
You might think it would take a particular level of nerve for NOM’s Eastman, as a former Supreme Court clerk to participate in attempted smearings of federal judges on “both coasts” with “elitist” views of marriage, and you would be right, and yet, Eastman is surpassed in his Republican gay-bashing bigot’s shamelessness by NOM’s actual mastermind, its founder and “chairman emeritus” Robert George.
George earned a B.A. at Swarthmore College, a J.D. at Harvard Law School, an MTS at the Harvard Divinity School, and a D.Phil. at Oxford. He is on the faculty of Princeton University, and recently, Speaker John Boehner appointed him to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.
Clearly, George as a multi-degree-holding Princeton University professor, and United States government official, can not credibly disparage anybody else as an “elitist,” for any reason, really, but still less merely because they disagree with his gay-bashing bigotry. Just as clearly, George, who is listed on NOM’s website among its current personnel, was involved in writing and refining the notoriously anti-gay NOM pledge, signed very willingly by the likes of Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum, leaving Mitt Romney — (who once ran against Ted Kennedy by saying he would be the stronger supporter of gay rights) — no choice but to sign it in order not to be overcome by the likes of Santorum in the early and middle stages of the Republican presidential primaries.
The NOM pledge (non-bindingly) commits the signer, Romney, to appointing federal and Supreme Court judges, and attorneys general, who always will rule against same-sex marriage rights. NOM’s intent is hardly that such judges and attorneys general should not be culled from elite backgrounds. Robert George cultivates political and personal connections with the right-wing members of the Supreme Court, including Antonin Scalia, whose praise for George often is cited on George’s bio blurbs. George has introduced Scalia when Scalia has spoken at Princeton.
Ask yourself, if Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Princeton University Professor Robert George are talking to each other, are they going to say “We are not the elite. Only elitists want same-sex marriage.”? Then ask yourself when NOM will publish on its blog, “We get most of our money from a very small cadre of elite political investors.”
NOM’s despicable tactics of branding equality supporters negatively as “elitists” come right out of the Karl Rove playbook of whipping up anti-gay hatred to get bigots to vote Republican, even if doing so is against those voters’ own economic interests. Where NOM’s donor rosters have come to light, (and we have seen that NOM gets the lion’s share of its funds from a very small sampling of large donors,) it becomes clear that the meme of “only elitists support same-sex marriage, which is against God” is directed at a downscale Bible-thumping demographic, in order to get that downscale Bible-thumping demographic voting for the Republicans that NOM’s big donors want in office.
That NOM is a Republican proxy organization is further evidenced in its relentless attempts to get African-American voters to vote Republican, mainly if not only because of their opposition to same-sex marriage. There are not many means to stop an overwhelming majority of African-Americans from voting for President Obama, but NOM and its large, wealthy white Republican donors are working hard to attempt to get enough African-Americans in one or two swing states to vote for Romney, as part of a larger Republican strategy of throwing tight swing states to the Republican.
A May 31, 2012 NOM Blog post concerning attempts to repeal equality in Maryland showed only African-Americans as gay-rights opponents and contains a puke bucket full of NOM ploys for angering black anti-gay bigots over same-sex marriage being called a civil right, even though the NAACP has declared that it is one. Also on May 31, NOM Blog carried a post titled “Black Church & Civil Rights Leaders Convene Press Conference Opposing President on Gay Marriage.” The white NOM Republican leaders know that most African-Americans have not wavered in support for Obama because of same-sex marriage, but are counting on a cold-blooded, unending barrage of malevolent anti-gay propaganda directed at African-Americans throughout the election to yield fruit with some black voters, by hate-mongering them into voting for Romney. NOM’s handful of big donors are gay-bashing bigots, to be sure, but banning same-sex marriage is not their chief political objective in giving money to NOM.
There has been one instance of NOM using the word “elite” in what it thought was a non-pejorative sense. NOM’s notorious gay-bashing strategy documents — the ones that revealed evil plots to drive wedges between minorities and to fan hostilities against gay people — also called for the deployment of “non-cognitive elites” to gay bash “across national boundaries.” NOM used “non-cognitive” as a euphemism for “dingbat.” NOM’s elite leaders wanted dingbats to spread the message of anti-gay hate, to get other dingbats to vote Republican. Carrie Prejean — whom NOM dumped after discovering her porno past — was one such “non-cognitive elite” willing to gay bash across national boundaries. Do not miss reading Fred Karger’s letter, dripping like an over-ripe mango with sarcasm to Maggie Gallagher about her fallen dingbat-savior Carrie Prejean.
Here is the bottom line on this.
NOM’s leaders all have elite educational backgrounds, making it all the more repugnant that they engage in Rove-style political gay bashing. With malice aforethought, the NOM elite demonize all equality supporters as “elitists” — to downscale Bible-thumpers who do not understand how the financial-trickery-wool is getting pulled over their gay hating eyes — in order to get those downscale Bible thumping gay haters to vote for Mitt Romney, who wants to lower his own taxes while raising theirs.
New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.
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