Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is

December 13th, 2009

 

Many a conservative politician

Who is against gay rights.

When called anti-gay

His support for AIDS research cites.

 

To them, it’s just an easy sop

(The money’s ours, not his).

But what I’d really like

Is if they put their mouths where their money is.

 

OK, I’m trying a new format here. Instead of having a short prose introduction followed by my poem, I’m trying the reverse. Let me know if you like it.

One of the Bush Administration’s actual accomplishments was its international AIDS program. The policy impact of Republican ideology notwithstanding, the program made a major contribution to world AIDS awareness and treatment. Indeed, though it was initially established as an “emergency response” program, Obama has moved to make it permanent (and obtain support from other countries to keep it going). The program was indeed a major step forward, which the Bush Administration should receive credit for.

That said, from one way of looking at things, funding for international and domestic AIDS programs has often been resorted to as the easy way out by Republicans and conservative Democrats. Many (most) of these folks vote against gay rights issues like marriage equality or gays in the military and then attempt to make up for it (or at least appear to) by voting in favor of funding for AIDS research and/or treatment. For example, as described in AIDS Funding Bill Sails Through the House (NYTimes.com 10/21/09), only nine House Republicans voted against the measure: that’s far fewer House Republicans than oppose other gay rights issues, no conservative House Dems, no Senate Republicans, and no conservative Senate Dems (the same measure was passed by the Senate by unanimous consent). It’s kind of like Stephen Colbert’s black friend: they’re saying “see, I’m not anti-gay, I voted in favor of AIDS research.” The AIDS research funding also has the advantage of seemingly supporting the conservative Christian “hate the sin, love the sinner” justification for their anti-gay rights positions.

In the final analysis, it all comes down to politics. Republicans and Conservadems know that their conservative constituents are more likely to forgive a vote for more AIDS research money (especially since AIDS isn’t just a gay thing — there are straight AIDS patients too). It’s taxpayer money, not theirs, so they’re more than happy to spend it in order to even marginally burnish their re-election prospects (ironic, given that these same folks are the ones that most insistently rail against Government spending). Their approach reverses the traditional maxim: They’re willing to put their (well, our) money on the line (by funding AIDS research), but not their mouths (by speaking out in favor of gay civil rights, and voting accordingly).

Of course, I’m not suggesting turning down the money (it’s needed). But what I’d really like to see is for these Republican and Conservadem politicians to, for once, put their mouths where their money is.

Comment below to let me know what you think about this viewpoint and my new format. Also, read my earlier piece on whether AIDS is punishment from God, in which I touch on some of these same issues (in verse, of course), and my numerous other gay rights posts.

***

Here’s a video clip about Stephen Colbert’s (erstwhile) black friend, thus proving that he’s not racist (just like anti-gay rights politicians prove they’re not anti-gay by voting for AIDS funding). He’s got a gay friend too.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Search for New Black Friend
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating
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Posted in Bush Administration, Freedoms, Religion, Republicans | 2 Comments »

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Comments

2 Responses to “Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is”

  1. Chris Says:

    I think this makes a very good point. They act as if AIDS is a “gay” issue, instead of the pandemic that affects 30 million people around the world. AIDS funding is NOT any support for gay rights, it’s only support for a medical cause. AIDS may disproportionately affect more gays in America, but world-wide, it’s mostly straight people who are getting it…they are most the population after all. We shouldn’t let these snakes get away with they’re opposition to our rights based on the fact that they have some sense of decency to help stricken people.

  2. Newsericks » Blog Archive » The Fabulous Baker Boy Says:

    […] But for kids like Joey and all his black friends, […]

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