are hispanics really the new gays

In case you didn’t see Frank Rich’s column yesterday on Hispanics being the new gays, here’s a clip:

He never promised them the Rose Garden. But that’s where America’s self-appointed defenders of family values had expected President Bush to take his latest stand against same-sex marriage last week. In the end, without explanation, the event was shunted off to a nondescript auditorium in the Executive Office Building, where the president spoke for a scant 10 minutes at the non-prime-time hour of 1:45 p.m. The subtext was clear: he was embarrassed to be there, a constitutional amendment “protecting” marriage was a loser, and he feared being branded a bigot. “As this debate goes forward, every American deserves to be treated with tolerance and respect and dignity,” Mr. Bush said.

That debate died on the floor of the Senate less than 48 hours later, when the amendment went down to an even worse defeat than expected. Washington instantly codified the moral: a desperate president at rock bottom in the polls went through the motions of a cynical and transparent charade to rally his base in an election year. Nothing was gained — even the president of the Family Policy Network branded Mr. Bush’s pandering a ruse — and no harm was done.

Except to gay people. That’s why the president went out of his way to talk about “tolerance” at this rally, bizarrely held on the widely marked 25th anniversary of the first mention of an AIDS diagnosis in a federal report. Mr. Bush knew very well that his participation in this tired political stunt, while certain to have no effect on the Constitution, could harm innocent Americans.

When young people hear repeatedly that gay couples aspiring to marital commitment are “undermining the moral fabric of the country, that stuff doesn’t wash off,” says Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Most concretely, the Washington ruckus trickles down into sweeping assaults on gay partners’ employee benefits and parental rights at the state level, as exemplified by a broadly worded referendum on the Virginia ballot this fall outlawing any kind of civil union. Had Mr. Bush really believed that his words had no consequences, he would have spoken in broad daylight at the White House and without any defensive touchy-feely bromides about “tolerance.”

Mr. Bush prides himself on being tolerant — and has hundreds of photos of himself posing with black schoolkids to prove it. But his latest marriage maneuver is yet another example of how his presidency has been an enabler of bigots, and not just those of the “pro-family” breed.

The stars are in alignment for a new national orgy of rancor because Americans are angry. The government has failed to alleviate gas prices, the economic anxieties of globalization or turmoil in Iraq. Two-thirds of Americans believe their country is on the wrong track. The historical response to that plight is a witch hunt for scapegoats on whom we can project our rage and impotence. Gay people, though traditionally handy for that role, aren’t the surefire scapegoats they once were; support for a constitutional marriage amendment, ABC News found, fell to 42 percent just before the Senate vote. Hence the rise of a juicier target: Hispanics. They are the new gays, the foremost political pi

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  1. chris
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    If this is the case, and am sure they will find a more suitable and far less represeented immigrant group, he is shooting himself in his only POC (people of color, though some hispanics would beg to differ) voter base.

    Does he think that the Hispanics will assume he means some other Spanish population and not them? Will it be like that “smack a gopher” arcade game where the gophers are the different nationalities that comprise the Hispanic community? Let’s take a vote and see which group/nationality will be attacked first. My bet is that it will be those commie Venezuelans.

    Either that or Frank Rich is just plain wrong in this assumption. Although, tht visit to the Mexican border in Arizona was just plain damn weird.

  2. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    If Hispanics are the new gays, what does that make the gays?

    I’d like to suggest that they’re the new soccer moms, but I’m willing to consider other alternatives.

  3. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    And soccer moms are the new heroin addicts.

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