As noted back here, Lindsey Graham is about acting on principles, while Jim DeMint is about posturing on them. And now, he’s posturing on loose women. Personally, I’d rather see the loose women posturing, but we don’t always get what we want. This has The Slatest positively chortling upon reading the Spartanburg paper:
It’s almost enough to make you hope for an Alvin Greene upset: The Spartanberg Herald-Journalreports that Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, recently reaffirmed his belief that certain categories of people aren’t fit for the nation’s classrooms, including gays, lesbians, and unmarried women who are living in sin. DeMint was speaking at the “Greater Freedom Rally” at First Baptist North Spartanburg when he made the remarks, which rehashed comments he first made in 2004. TheHerald-Journal characterized his statement thusly: “DeMint said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom, and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend—she shouldn’t be in the classroom.” No word on what areas of public life men who sleep with their girlfriends should be barred from. Steve Benen is a little troubledby the fact that DeMint “is not just some random right-wing voice —he’s a prominent U.S. senator, a kingmaker in GOP primaries.” Josh Dorner points out that “two political action committees controlled by DeMint—MINT PAC and the Senate Conservatives Fund—are spending millions of dollars to elect GOP candidates from coast-to-coast.” Benen thinks this would be a fine time to find out how “the Junior DeMints” feel about gays and loose women. “It’d be interesting to know if they’d be willing to put some distance between themselves and their far-right hero,” he says. “Of course, there’s always the possibility that these folks agree with DeMint, and with a month to go before the election, that’d be good to know, too.”
Now, let me say I take a back seat to no one in longing for traditional values. I think I would have been at home in the Victorian era, I really do. As long as I was in the social class that had indoor plumbing. And I believe firmly that the best environment for kids is a stable, loving home headed by a mother and a father, married to each other. That’s a value worth standing up for, and it is NOT outlandish or comical for anyone to wish that the role models influencing our children also model that value.
But this is NOT the Victorian era. And DeMint’s chances of imposing Victorian values upon society are slim. He is also speaking of things that should be (if one has a conservative view of the purview of the federal government) outside his scope of legitimate action. And what this illustrates to me is his penchant for striking a pose in favor of a value, with neither any hope or realistic prospects of advancing the cause. Rather, he uses the value to draw a line between himself and his detractors, not in the hope of getting anything done, but in order to gain electoral advantage.
And this is problematic.