let’s end this

The money boys must be gleeful tonight. Lots for the rubes to pay attention to, including Richard Lugar’s loss in Indiana and the likely win of a big anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment in North Carolina.

This is red meat for journos, politicians and true believers, which is good for the money boys, who would like to keep the culture war humming along. Anyone who’s ever watched a magician do a card trick knows this one: it’s misdirection –  we’re all hot and bothered at the prospect of gay people getting, errr, hot and bothered while sharing the same last name, grocery bills, nice suburban ranch, as our money and future is made to disappear. An old trick but a reliable one.

And the thing about the people who run the scam is, they’re not afraid to skin one of their own, especially if he is old and maybe can’t keep up with the pack so well. From a distance, that’s the only explanation for Lugar. Hell, he was one of the evil conservatives in the Senate, back in the day. Now he’s 80, a little soft by modern Republican standards, and, well, they eat their own. Sorry, Dick, it’s nothing personal – we just have to keep the blood pumping for the base, even if it’s your blood.

So here’s a thought. Maybe Rick Perry was right. Maybe we should consider succession – as in them from us. Maybe it’s time to let the south, part of the midwest go its own way. I don’t suppose I can object to a constitutional amendment banning all domestic unions except marriage between a man  and a woman. I just don’t want it as part of my country. And they don’t want me, or the rest of my liberal/centrist/reality-based friends and neighbors on either end of the country, either. So let’s do what couples who have warred for too long do; let’s sort the bills, the assets and get about the painful business of calling it quits.

Talking like this, even as a thought experiment, hurts like hell. It’s been a fine country for a long time, and I want to believe a big part of that’s been the strength we get from people with very different views being able to build something out of the push and pull of their ideas. But maybe we’re past that now, or never were there in the first place. Maybe it’s always been about power only. Richard Mourdock, the guy who beat Lugar, says it’s time for confrontation. I suspect he’s right.

(Aside: Does anybody else think ‘Mourdock’ sounds like an evil character from Harry Potter?)

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