Sunday, February 19, 2012

Baboo, You One Sexy Hombre!

If you tried to peddle the goings on of Arizona's elected officials as a work of fiction no one would buy it. They would say, "sorry, but that couldn't possibly happen." But happen it does, again, and again, and again.

The latest example of this is the strange tale of Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County. Babeu has been at the forefront of the "build the dang fence to protect us from the rampaging gangs of illegal immigrants that threaten our very way of life" movement that has hijacked what passes for government in the Grand Canyon State.

While doing this, and using his newly minted fame to plan a run for the U.S. Congress, Babeu has also been, allegedly, first carrying on an affair with a Mexican national, and then, also allegedly, after ending the relationship, threatening to have said Mexican national deported if he, that's right, he raised a stink.

The story, which first appeared on The New Times website, is accompanied by photos of Babeu and "Jose" in a "friendly" embrace and Babeu solo, sans shirt, "advertising", as they say.

Sheriff Babeu, naturally, denies that anyone threatened anyone with anything, while refusing to talk about his private life. This morning he revealed that he was indeed gay. Well, duh!

Now, the problem isn't that Babeu is gay. Some folks are. As far as I'm concerned, they were born that way. And they should have all the rights of any other citizen. End of story.

No, the problem is that he allegedly used his position to threaten someone. This is shaping up as a classic "he said, he said" situation. And somebody is lying. Maybe it's "Jose", maybe it's Babeu.

But even larger issues are the social and moral positions staked out by the political party Paul Babeu proudly represents.

I suppose by now we should be used to closeted gay Republicans. After all, there are so many of them. Why they choose to remain members of a party that does its best to stigmatize, ostracize and demonize them is apparently one of those unanswerable questions we sometimes encounter in life...As they say, the heart has its reasons that reason does not know. In some ways it's similar to the indisputable fact that the red states, which consistently take more from the Federal government in aid than they pay in in taxes, also consistently hate the meddling Federal government. Without which many of them would be reduced to destitution and possibly cannibalism. Cognitive dissonance I think they call it.

As you read this, somewhere deep in the bowels of Hell Ann Coulter is probably formulating an "our gays are better than their gays" justification. Who knows, maybe some people are happier being second class citizens. And the Republican Party welcomes them with open arms.

As this episode of As Arizona Turns plays itself out, no doubt very messily, the rest of us can just shrug and say, yet again, "it's the hypocrisy, stupid."

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