Two statements this morning by Republican Presidential candidates demonstrate how far right the radicals have moved the GOP since 1992:
GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Sunday he won't run from his statement 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated.
Huckabee acknowledged the prevailing scientific view then, and since, that the virus that causes AIDS is not spread through casual contact, but said that was not certain...
"I still believe this today," he said in a broadcast interview, that "we were acting more out of political correctness" in responding to the AIDS crisis. "I don't run from it, I don't recant it," he said of his position in 1992. Yet he said he would state his view differently in retrospect.
Huckabee, as a Senate candidate that year, told The Associated Press that "we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague" if the federal government was going to deal with the spread of the disease effectively...
[T]he former Arkansas governor denied those words were a call to quarantine the AIDS population, although he did not explain how else isolation would be achieved...
Huckabee stated his 1992 positions in an AP questionnaire in which he also called homosexuality "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle."
Is this an example of what Huckabee means by "politically correct?"
In the context of an election year, I ask you--here, in this great hall, or listening in the quiet of your home--to recognize that the AIDS virus is not a political creature. It does not care whether you are Democrat or Republican. It does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old...
We may take refuge in our stereotypes, but we cannot hide there long. Because HIV asks only one thing of those it attacks: Are you human? And this is the right question: Are you human? Because people with HIV have not entered some alien state of being. They are human. They have not earned cruelty and they do not deserve meanness. They don't benefit from being isolated or treated as outcasts. Each of them is exactly what God made: a person. Not evil, deserving of our judgment; not victims, longing for our pity. People. Ready for support and worthy of compassion.
As some of you may remember, that wasn’t something said at a Democratic convention. The speaker was Mary Fisher, the daughter of a prominent Republican donor who had contracted HIV from her ex-husband, and she was speaking to the GOP convention in Houston. Earlier that year, Fisher had contributed to the GOP platform:
We are committed to ensure that our Nation's response to AIDS is shaped by compassion, not fear or ignorance, and will oppose, as a matter of decency and honor, any discrimination against Americans who are its victims.
Mike Huckabee’s ignorance was inexcusable in 1992, when he was out of step with his party’s national platform. In the 15 years since, we’ve learned much about AIDS, and the stigmas and ignorance about HIV and AIDS, while still there, have somewhat faded, especially as a matter of public health and public policy. But Mike Huckabee’s ignorance is just as stunning. Note that he refused to acknowledge that he was wrong in 1992. He simply says that today he would state his view differently.
Mike Huckabee is one of the leading candidates to be rewarded by Republican voters with their nomination to be the next President of the United States.
Due to his Sex on the City scandal, America’s Playa, Rudy Giuliani, is probably done. But he knows that with the radically rightwing GOP, his only chance is to mollify the Republican base. He’s been doing that all along on issues that appeal to the GOP’s authoritarianism. He’s been speaking in code on abortion rights, by saying the would appoint justices like Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito. And this morning, he essentially said "F*** you" to gays and lesbians and to anyone who rejects the incursion of religious intolerance in to politics:
Giuliani, who appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," said he did not believe homosexuality was aberrant. What is sinful are "the acts, not the orientation."
That position is essentially the position of the Roman Catholic Church and possibly other religious institutions. It’s not sinful for a man to be sexually attracted to other men, according to this view, it’s only sinful if a man acts on that sexual attraction. This from a guy who when he was kicked out of the house after cheating on his wife shacked up with a gay couple, and who for all his faults, was generally—as you would expect from any mayor of NYC—tolerant of gays and lesbians. But knowing that his only chance to get the nomination is to expand his appeal beyond authoritarianism to social intolerance, he adopted the religious language of sin to condemn gays and lesbians.
I won’t condemn Giuliani’s action with the language of sin. I’ll use the language of commerce: on issues of social tolerance, Rudy Giuliani is a whore.