The Tempest Online™

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“The Masochism Tango”

Posted by Daniel on October 20, 2006

(Or, the Gay Conservative Dances not to the Death, but to the Derision of the Republicans)

//” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The midterm elections are less than 20 days from now. I’ve been counting down with a sign in my work cubicle since the day after the 2004 elections, prompting many in my office to believe I was counting down to some kind of early retirement (I wish). And of late, I have been taking a tour of the gay conservative blog world. This is partly the fault of my daily perusal of

Best Gay Blogs, which exposes me to the wide world of gaydom, from gay poets and writers to gym rats and club boys to gay parents and activists. It is also partly due to the Halloween season which is always a good time for expanding ones boundaries, so to speak. There’s mischief and magic in the air, let’s see what’s hiding behind the next corner. And our conservative brothers and sisters have plenty to show and tell. And like anything, some of it’s scary, some of it’s funny, here and there they make sense, but overall, I’m left with the impression of someone doing the Masochism Tango.

The majority of the time a gay person aligns themselves with the Republican party (who at least to some degree still considers itself conservative) especially now that the engine that runs it is the Evangelical Christian Right, the result can be compared with “The Masochism Tango”. It’s a deliciously clever piece from “An Evening (Wasted) with Tom Lehrer”: that I became acquainted with roughly 20 years ago (yes, there’s a story there…wink).

/I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear.
You can raise welts
Like nobody else,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango. /

/Let our love be a flame, not an ember,
Say it’s me that you want to dismember.
Blacken my eye,
Set fire to my tie,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango. /

/At your command
Before you here I stand,
My heart is in my hand…
It’s here that I must be. /

/My heart entreats,
Just hear those savage beats,
And go put on your cleats
And come and trample me. /

/Your heart is hard as stone or mahogany,
That’s why I’m in such exquisite agony.
My soul is on fire,
It’s aflame with desire,
Which is why I perspire when we tango. /

/You caught my nose
In your left castanet, love,
I can feel the pain yet, love,
Ev’ry time I hear drums. /

/And I envy the rose
That you held in your teeth, love,
With the thorns underneath, love,
Sticking into your gums. /

/Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches.
The last time I needed twenty stitches
To sew up the gash
That you made with your lash,
As we danced to the Masochism Tango. /

/Bash in my brain,
And make me scream with pain,
Then kick me once again,
And say we’ll never part. /

/I know too well
I’m underneath your spell,
So, darling, if you smell
Something burning, it’s my heart… [hiccup]
‘Scuse me! /

/Take your cigarette from its holder,
And burn your initials in my shoulder.
Fracture my spine,
And swear that you’re mine,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango. /

The point has been made on certain gay conservative sites that liberals hold themselves up as the intellectual betters of their conservative counterparts. Do I think liberals are smarter than conservatives? Yes, I do. Because there are different kinds of “smart”. Conservatives will indignantly whip out their SAT scores for a brain cell to brain cell comparison, but that’s not what I take issue with. I take issue with the intelligence that equates with survival instinct, with operating in your best interest: the basic innate realization of what motivates people to believe the way they do.

Is it impossible to be a gay conservative? Of course not. In the truest sense, conservatism, while not exactly championing the gay rights movement, would appear to at least not get in its way: smaller government with less interference from that government. Fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense, and balanced budgets are conservative points that gay and straight alike could point out as desirable.

The unfortunate reality is that true conservatism has taken a back seat on the Republican stage. Front and center is the NeoCon agenda, with generous helpings of Evangelical Fire and Brimstone.

Witness what Keith Olbermann reported on “Countdown” on Tuesday, October 17, 2006:

Keith: “Subsequent events seem to bare out the assessment that (David) Kuo‘s revelations (in “Tempting Faith”) are part of a growing schism between the GOP and its Evangelical so-called “base.” This time it‘s the Christian right itself pointing out what it believes are unacceptable words and behavior on the part of the administration.

The controversy? Last week ambassador Mike Dybul was sworn as the new global AIDS czar. Conservative Evangelicals problem with him? He is gay. His partner attended the ceremony, referred to as family, and his mother as Dybul‘s mother-in-law by both the State department deputy chief of protocol and the secretary, herself.”

(CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE): I‘m pleased to do that in the presence of Mark‘s parents Claire and Richard, his partner, Jason, and his mother-in-law Marilyn. You have wonderful family to support you, Mark.Keith: “And here comes the storm from the Family Research Council: “…the deferential treatment that was given not only to him, but his partner and his partner‘s family by the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, is very distressing.”

Southern Baptist Convention Vice President Wiley Drake:“I…believe most Baptists would be like me; they would be appalled at what Condoleezza Rice has done, and in general what the Republican Party is doing with things like Log Cabin Republicans and other sodomites…”

This is who gay conservatives are with on the dance floor. A Republican Party that is led by George W Bush, whose tactic to “help” in the midterm elections is to blame the past administration, paint anyone who disagrees with him as aiding the terrorist cause, do whatever it takes to keep the public living in fear, and stoke up the Evangelical Right. All in a hang-on-by-the-nails effort to retain control of the Congress.

Do the Republicans themselves hate gays and lesbians? I truly doubt it, there are way too many working for them, related to them, and way too many Gay Republican elected officials themselves. And Condi Rice, any perpetual rumors about her own orientation aside, obviously had no qualms about standing in front of a group of people and being supportive of a gay couple.

Several of the gay conservative sites point to Democratic failures on the GLBT front. A favorite to throw around is Clinton’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell policy”, and I completely agree, it was a bitter disappointment. John Kerry, in the 2004 campaign, would not go beyond civil unions, which I equate with a separate straight and gay water fountain system. Somewhat disappointing as well. The Democrats have a long way to go as far as our community is concerned.

But even though I don’t believe the Republican Party themselves hate gays, you can look to Dubya himself for the bottom line. His attempts at pushing through a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, futile as they might be, is more than a disappointment. It’s an appalling revelation that in the end, he courts those who believe the “sodomites” are substandard humans. The Evangelical Right will give up anything (see the Constitution and most recently, Habeus Corpus), so the Theocracy can be achieved, and the heinous GLBTers can be purged from the land.

The biggest irony of all: those evangelicals who’s vote is so coveted by the GOP, if David Kuo is to be believed, are thought of as laughable and ridiculous. Behind their backs, their viewed as children who can be assured Santa is coming and the tooth fairy will reward them. Yet their rhetoric and hate speech about the gay community is pandered to by our very President.

This is who the gay conservative tangos with, sharing the floor with Santorum and Coulter, Dobson and Malkin, Falwell, Hannity, and Limbaugh. It makes me sad, because even though we are so much more than our sexual preference, those in power see that preference first and foremost. My conservative gay brothers and sisters: they may find you amusing, even pretend to listen and give you a place in their “big tent”. But out there on the dance floor, your a “less than”. A gamma in their alpha world. And they’d have no objection to stomping right on your toe.


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