Alex Blaze

Two Long Islands, Mirah, and two panders later....

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 21, 2007 11:58 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Argentina, identity, mirah, Mitt Romney, pandering, rudy giuliani

Oh I haven't posted much today. I finished work at about 10 PM tonight, and I sat down and caught up for the past hour. I'm feeling all dramatic because I'm listening to the awesome queer music of Mirah. I'm about as close as I know of to a Queer Nationalist - I love queer music, queer art, queer theater, queer theory, and queer literature (well, not all queer literature, I could have done without a lot of those short stories that start with two men chatting in a hottub on Fire Island). For some reason I get the feeling as I write this that someone will interpret this to mean that I hate heterosexuals - I don't, some of my best friends are straight - but, I'll be honest, in the times of my life that I've been separated from all contact with other queer people for an extended period of time, I've hurt. I need those times when I can open up a little more, talk about love and sex without beating around the bush or feeling that I in any way represent The Gays, and flame out a little bit without fearing being written off.

Because my identity and self-worth, just like everyone else's, are constructed through rhetoric, through interactions with others, conversation, touch, and love, I need my people, all LGBT people, around me sometimes to help me feel whole. And grounded. That's why I probably never could be a politician - the pandering would just get to me, having to deny my own feelings and thoughts and opinions in order to appease some people that I have never met, will never meet, and never care to meet. Take this item, for instance. Rudy Giuliani on Gen. Pace's comments (h/t to a commentor on TAPPED, yes, I'm so hard-core into blogging that I read comments on The American Prospect's blog):

On the Republican side, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani issued a statement signaling support for the current policy [DADT] but remaining silent on Pace's "immoral" comment.

Rudy G. lived with two gay men when he was going through a divorce. He marched in Pride parades. He obviously doesn't not think that gays are immoral and doesn't think that we're unfit to serve. We all know what this is - a pander. And because of it, he's turning his back on two of his friends, a whole class of people he seemed to like, and the 65,000 gay and lesbian troops currently serving our country.

Now check out this funnier item (h/t to fellow and very awesome Latino blogger, Kos). Mitt Romney was speaking to a group of Cubans in Miami, pandering to people he couldn't give a rat's ass about. More from the Boston Herald:

At another point in the speech to the Miami-Dade Republican Party, Romney bungled the names of prominent Cuban GOP politicians, referring to Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio as "Mario."

Romney also garnered criticism for his hard-line stance on immigration and ending the talk with the phrase "Libertad, Libertad, Libertad," a revolutionary saying made famous in the gangster movie "Scarface," which many Cubans feel plays on cultural stereotypes.

But it was the former Bay State governor's use of an infamous Fidel Castro line that sparked the most controversy.

"Hugo Chavez has tried to steal an inspiring phrase - Patria o muerte, venceremos," Romney said. "It does not belong to him. It belongs to a free Cuba."

But scholars and prominent Cubans contend the saying has always been a Communist rallying cry and that it represents the very essence of Fidel Castro's oppressive regime.

"It means communism. It means Fidel Castro," said Florida state Rep. Rene Garcia, a Republican who was at the March 9 speech. "It's a Communist catch phrase."

All I can say is that the only "Libertad, libertad, libertad" that I know is from the Argentine national anthem - but that's referring to liberation of that country from Spain, and I can't think of anything remotely that big happening in the US right now.

bheraldmitt.jpgBut, yes, he went up to a group of Cuban refugees and talked up Castro, the man who's the very reason that they're here. Now, there's nothing wrong with trying to get Cuban votes, but Romney obviously didn't know the first thing about Cuban-Americans and the person who wrote his speech for him didn't do enough research to catch that foul-up.

I do know that both of these people - Rudy G. and Romney - are real people. They care about some people, and they don't care about others. But apparently being a politician means pandering - and there's nothing fun about that. I can't help but wonder what this does to them as people. Considering that I have jumped back into the closet on certain occasions when being out just wasn't practical, I know what lying feels like for the liar....

I mean, couldn't Rudy have just come out and said that he supports gays in the military? It'd be dangerous, I know, but change begins with danger. Couldn't Romney just have addressed the Cuban-Americans as people and not tried to pretend that he knew more about their history than he actually did? He would have saved himself a lot of trouble, especially since a lot of conservatives already see him as a phony.

I guess my point is that I don't want to be governed by someone who can't be true to him or herself because that's just not psychologically healthy. And having had a president for six years who's not grounded in community and who doesn't portray a clear sense of identity, I really can't go for four more.

But I can go for another Long Island.

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