Get All Worked Up about the G.O.P.


I had a revelation last month, during a conversation with my brother-in-law Charlie.

I’ve mentioned Charlie before: he’s a bona-fide Holy Terror, one of Chosen Few bound and determined to stamp out fun of any kind, shape, or form, who says that we’d be a whole lot better off if we leave poor President Bush alone to work his own special magic and fix things right according to God’s Plan.

Anyway, Charlie and I were in a local watering hole, hoisting a few. I was having a couple of beers. Charlie, true to his “alcohol is Satan’s K-Y Jelly” nature, was nursing a glass of Dr. Pepper. Straight up.

Actually, Charlie was drowning his sorrows about the sorry state of the union. I, true to my own nasty, vindictive nature, was rubbing his nose in it. In a nice way, of course.

“How about that Senator Larry Craig,” I said. “What a big mess that is.”

“Why can’t you libs let that go,” Charlie snarled.

“Let what go,” I answered. “The fact that a sitting member of Congress managed to hide a criminal conviction for two months? The fact that one of the most anti-gay homophobes in the Senate was busted for trying to solicit gay sex in a Minneapolis airport restroom? The fact that he’s trying to set aside that conviction because he didn’t know what he was doing and that he’s not really gay?”

“Senator Craig is innocent until proven guilty!”

“Nobody has to prove him guilty. He admitted he was guilty. That’s what ‘pleading guilty’ means.”

“To disorderly conduct! Not for soliciting gay sex.”

“Right. Senator Craig accidentally nudged an undercover cop in the exact way gay men supposedly solicit public sex and the undercover cop completely misconstrued his poor on-the-toilet posture. No gay sex involved. Next, you’ll be telling me Lindsay Lohan successfully made it through rehab.”

Charlie’s three Dr. Peppers were starting to go to his head. He became aggressive. “You liberals are such hypocrites! You keep blathering all the time about ‘gay rights, gay rights!’ ‘There’s nothing wrong with gay sex,’ you say. Now you’re trying to crucify Senator Craig for the exact sort of depravity you say is okay!”

“I thought you said Senator Craig wasn’t trying to solicit gay sex.”

“Whatever! You know what I mean!”

I said, “Calm down, Charlie. The big deal isn’t that Larry Craig is or isn’t gay. It’s that the reason Larry Craig the gay man”

“ALLEGEDLY gay man”

“Right, Charlie. It’s that Larry Craig the allegedly gay man felt compelled to secretly hustle a blowjob in a men’s room stall because Larry Craig the Senator and his fellow hard-right-wing homophobic conservatives have done everything they can to ostracize homosexuals so they have to sneak around in airport bathrooms for a little intimacy.”

“Homosexuality is depraved!”

“So said the Senator from Idaho. The soon-to-be former Senator, that is.”

“Good riddance. We don’t need perverts like that in the Republican Party.”

“I thought you were defending him a minute ago, Charlie.”

Charlie grumbled. “I wasn’t defending him. I’m just tired of hearing you talk about him.”

“Okay. Let’s change the subject.” I sighed. “So, Charlie. Larry Craig is resigning. How come he’s being chased out of the Senate, but Senator Bill Vitter still has a job?”


“The Republican senator from Louisiana whose name turned up in the ‘little black book’ of the D.C. Madam. He hasn’t been hounded out of office for soliciting a house of prostitution. Why is that?”

“I…I…I don’t know!” Charlie desperately shook his empty Dr. Pepper glass in the air, trying to attract a waitress’s attention. “Vitter didn’t commit a crime,” he said after thinking a moment.

“Soliciting a prostitute is a crime, Charlie.”

“Vitter never pleaded guilty to a crime. There’s a difference.”

“But he’s still engaging in immoral behavior. It’s sex with someone who’s not your wife. Whether it’s with another man or another woman, it’s still immoral, isn’t it? It’s adultery.”

“Well, you libs know all about adultery,” said Charlie with a sneer. “Your man Clinton did it big-time.”

“You got me there, Charlie. Clinton did commit adultery. Jesus had some harsh things to say about that.”

“Amen, brother.”

“Jesus said it’s adultery if a married man even looks at another woman.”

“Amen, amen! Praise Jesus,” said Charlie.

“Jesus also said if a man gets a divorce and remarries, or if he even marries a divorced woman, he’s committing adultery, too.”

“He did?”

“Yup,” I said. “In the Sermon on the Mount. Gospel of Matthew. It puts your Presidential candidates in a spot, doesn’t it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Rudy Giuliani’s been married three times. So has John McCain. Both men started seeing their new wives while they were still married to their old wives. That’s adultery, isn’t it?”


“I know Newt Gingrich isn’t running yet, but he’s making noises and he’s on his third marriage, too. He even admitted to having an affair while he was impeaching Clinton.”

“We weren’t talking about Clinton or Gingrich or Giuliani. We were talking about Larry Craig,” said Charlie. “It’s just worse with another man. Homosexual sex is just evil.”

I asked, “Why is the Republican Party so obsessed with gays? I was watching one of those Presidential debates and your party’s candidates were acting like homosexuality is worse than terrorism, global warming, and the foreclosure crisis combined.”

“It is. You just watch. The country’ll wise up and we’ll get somebody like Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney or Giuliani or even Newt Gingrich into office, and they’ll put things right again.”

“I never understood the appeal of Fred Thompson. The guy’s an actor, for crying out loud. The only distinguishing thing he ever did in the Senate was to be undistinguished.”

“But, see, he looks like a President. He acts like a President. He’s a good-looking guy. You’ve gotta admit that he’s handsome. So are Gingrich and Romney.”

“Charlie, it sounds like you have a man-crush.”

“A what?”

“A man-crush. One of those obsessions that men have with the good looks of other men.”

“It sounds gay to me. I don’t have a man-crush.”

I said, “It’s not necessarily gay, Charlie. It just means…” a light-bulb went off in my head. “Oh, My, God! I just figured it out!”

“Figured what out?” Charlie looked like he needed another Dr. Pepper.

“I know what the big deal is about Larry Craig!”

“What big deal? I thought we were changing the subject!”

“Charlie, Senator Larry Craig is the living embodiment of the modern Republican Party!”

“What do you mean?”

“The Republican Party is one big collective homosexual, just like Larry Craig.”


“But it’s not just any homosexual, either. The Republican Party is one big, flaming, in-the-closet, self-loathing, living-in-denial, homophobic queer. In public, they bash gays every chance they get, but secretly, they lust after Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney in public men’s rooms.”

“I’m not listening to you,” said Charlie, covering his ears. “La-la-la-la-la! I’m not listening to you!”

“No, Charlie. It all makes sense. The irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton. Secretly approving of Vice-President Cheney’s lesbian daughter having a baby.”

“Shut up, J.T.!”

“I saw a picture of Romney the other day, and I swear the guy was wearing a pink tie. What straight man wears a pink tie, Charlie?”

“Shut up!”

“You know, Charlie, there are all those photos of Giuliani in drag, floating all over the internet. I’d always wondered why the Republicans were treating it as no big deal. Now, I know.”


“And all this time, I’d thought ‘G.O.P. stood for ‘GRAND Old Party”


J.T. Benjamin
October 2007

“All Worked Up” © 2007 J.T. Benjamin. All rights reserved.

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