Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Come check us Friday night in Oakland talking hip-hop and electoral politics and partying with KRS-One and Jahi and The Life. It's a benefit for On-Up Initiatives and the arrival of the Bay Area Local Organizing Committee of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention. The latter is an effort I'm really involved in and you'll be hearing more from me on it as we get closer to the Convention in mid-June.

It's been one of those weeks. Preparing to get back what will hopefully be the final draft of my book, I've been crazily tying up loose ends from last year, and for later this year. So I haven't had time to really parse the two huge events of the week: Haiti (I found this blog) and gay marriage. Thankfully, Oliver did a great job of parsing the latter. To which I'll add a little:

Gays are apparently the hip-hoppers of 2004. The same way that Bush I and Clinton used Souljah and Ice T to get over in 1992, Bush II will be using gays all year. I think the constitutional amendment thing is a ruse. It needs 2/3rds in both the House and the Senate to pass, but I can't imagine them rounding the votes up in the House.

There will be moderate exurban Republicans and liberal urban Democrats who will vote against the amendment on principle. Then there are strict constitutionists, the kind of conservatives that pushed Clarence Thomas as an anti-activist candidate to the Supreme Court. These are legal beagles who hold an awful lot of power with the process and who will use their obsession with rules to block movement of the amendment within the House. There are just no Lyndon Johnsons to do the arm-twisting on this.

Neither I suspect is there enough will or urgency to push the amendment. The thing that leftist Dems have complained about for years--that party politics is about serving the center and stroking the margins--will come back to haunt the far right, at their weakest since Gingrich's fall. The party heads will be happy with the bully pulpit and grandstanding the issue offers, and not overly concerned with the mechanics of passage.

All of this is not to say that the issue will be extraordinarily divisive, and will likely ramify in very bad long-term ways. Expect the culture wars around sex to come next. It's a good year for Sex And The City to say goodbye. Next year (whether Bush won or not) it might have been facing the wrath of the cultural right, all revved up and with nowhere to go.

Polarization doesn't begin to describe it, yall.

posted by Zentronix @ 8:40 PM   0 comments links to this post


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