Special Open Thread Thursday
It was at this time last week that the last bell finally rang on the 2006 election, delivering the House, the Senate, and the majority of state governships into the hands of the Democrats. The map is blue again. And so is the sky. My face is sore from smiling and my feets are aching from all this happy dancing.
And playing a possibly vital, perhaps pivotal role in this triumph was not a politician. Not a party strategist. It was a private citizen. It was a gay man. A man who although he was risking his personal livelihood, risking his arrest, and surely risking his physical safety, he came forward and did the right thing at the right time.
That man is Mike Jones.
Regardless of your personal opinions regarding Jones' chosen field of work, you cannot ignore his unprecedented accomplishment of almost completely upending the Republican Party's last minute campaign to divert the nation's attention from the true issue of the election: the Iraq war.
Talking Heads: "The terrorists have just blah blah....gay marriage referendum blah blah....stem cell legislation blah blah...millions of illegal immigrants blah blah. Um, wait a minute. We have a breaking bulletin: Pastor Ted Haggard! Head of evangelical movement! Homosexual! Prostitution! Crystal meth! Close to the President! More! More! More! More!"
Repeat on every channel.
Headlines on every paper.
For five days.
The five days BEFORE the election.
All the billionaire George Soroses in the world could not have more effectively eclipsed the Republicans' usual last minute diversionary tactics. It was pure delicious serendipity. It was kismet. And most of all, it was KARMA, baby.
We'll never know the exact impact that Mike Jones' revelations had on the national election. He came forward specifically because Ted Haggard was hypocritically supporting Colorado's anti-gay referendum. That referendum passed, anyway. And Jones probably didn't fathom that his story would balloon into a national media orgy and image nightmare for the RNC and President Bush. Jones could not have predicted that his little sex & drugs scandal might have spun unknowable numbers of wavering digusted red staters over to blue country.
But it happened. Just barely enough to win by a tiny margin. But it was enough.
[EDIT: Even Karl Rove agrees that Mike Jones had a hand in the Republicans' undoing, telling Time Magazine, "The profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I'd expected. Abramoff, lobbying, Foley and Haggard added to the general distaste that people have for all things Washington, and it just reached critical mass." (via - Columbia Journalism Review. Emphasis mine.) ]
I've been in contact with Mike over the last week. He tells me that the major gay rights organizations have extended nothing but ten-foot poles. He is unemployed and I imagine that for at least the short future, he is unemployable. He is facing the potential of huge legal bills. He has received death threats from Haggard's followers and other peace-loving Christians.
Gentle readers, you and I owe Mike Jones a debt of gratitude. It's a different country than it was seven days ago, and even if you think that Mike Jones had only the tiniest part in effecting that change, we OWE him. Remember those last two Senate seats were decided by just a few thousand votes each.
So please, show your thanks.
Go to PayPal's Send Money screen and throw some love to our unlikely hero, using his email account: "firstname.lastname@example.org" If you ran into Mike Jones in a bar, wouldn't you insist on buying his drinks? There's thousands and thousands of you out there in JMG-land, and I'm willing to bet that you too have sore faces from smiling and aching feet from all that happy dancing. Show some appreciation to the man who might have helped put that smile on your face and the blue back on that map.
If you don't have a PayPal account, they are free and take less than 1 minute to set up. You can send cash directly to Mike from your ATM or credit cards. Send him the $10 you would have spent buying him drinks, if you ran into him in a bar. Send him the $20 you would have spent buying his dinner in a restaurant. Send him $50, $100, maybe more, if you think that maybe, just maybe, Mike Jones had a hand in changing the political landscape of our nation, and possibly, just possibly, a war.
And even if you don't buy any of the above, if you don't think what Jones did had ANY effect on the election, you should thank him. Thank him just for the sheer entertainment of the last week. Thank him for exposing the ugly hypocrisy of the evangelical movement. That alone, is worth a ten-spot. At least.
Bonus: As reward for helping Mike Jones, here's a special new vocal recording of that instant classic, Supertelevangelistic Sex-and-Drugs Psychosis, lyrics by M. Spaff Sumision, vocals by Robert Lund. Download that to your iPod and throw some bucks to Mike Jones while you laugh.
SPECIAL NOTE: I don't think I've ever asked this before, but I humbly encourage my fellow bloggers to tell their own readers about the Mike Jones PayPal Fund. It's not often that we get an unlikely hero like Mike Jones, especially one that really could use our help. Send me the URL of your mention and I'll link back to you here.
UPDATE: 43 Bloggers joining in so far:
Gumbo Pie, Manhattan Offender, OutZone TV, Becoming A New Yorker, Let Me Get This Straight, Ethical Slut, Where I'm Going, Bent Blog, Pam's House Blend, Gay Men Rule, Living In The Bonus Round, One Good Move, MediaMutt, Boysbriefs, Angst In Middle Age, TGI Paul, Dan Savage, Alexander Chee, Proceed At Your Own Risk , Towleroad, Evil Ganome, Calling Shenanigans. Habitat 67, The South Beach Bum, Someone In A Tree, Queerty, Mark Kane, This Space For Rent, Valley Of The Vapors, Moncrief Speaks, Mistress Matisse, Big Ass Belle. 3 Dollar Billy, Scott_Evill, Boy Culture.
Two NSFW Bloggers joining in so far: Roids And Rants, Naked Workshops.
UPDATE II: DailyKos is on this, via one of their Diarists. If any of you folks are registered DailyKos commenters, the linked post needs a certain number of "recommendations" from registered commenters in order for it to be moved onto the DailyKos homepage, which would be MAJOR.
Labels: Open Thread Thursday