Wednesday, August 14,
GOP FIGHTS FOR CONTROL
OF FAMILY VALUES
SAN DIEGO -- An Associated Press news release on AOL reported that
"the Republican convention took up the subject of family values
Wednesday and dropped it in a bit more than a blink ... The social
conservative themes that made headlines at the 1992 convention and
came back to dominate the platform this time were shoehorned into
a fast-paced schedule drawn all week to show the party's breadth
more than its activist base."
Baby-faced Ralph Reed of the non-profit, non-political Christian
Coalition appeared with other anti-abortion, anti-government-interference
opponents in a four-minute series of fetal position video clips.
"We're not going to take this lying down!", Reed pitched
to his frenzied fringe followpersonship. He got less time than Olympic
wrestler Matt Ghaffari, who was on stage for six. But wrestling
has always outdrawn skating in live exhibitions, and this time was
Reed's real evangelical work was done before the convention floor
was half filled on opening day, and before televisions crews had
assembled to document how the party platform became, by a series
of backstage and backwater maneuvers, "cast in stone"
as it were. The AP reports that conservatives "earlier pinned
moderates to the mat in drawing a party platform that maintains
the call for a constitutional abortion ban, urges a tough line on
immigration and declares homosexuality incompatible with military
Eight years ago, the name of former Vice President Dan Quayle was
a household word. Quayle's inane redundancies, oxymorons and stupid
blunders made him the political laughingstock of the nation. To
remind the 1996 politically-savvy how far we've come, Quayle was
practically a welcome relief to battle-hardened campaign veterans,
a return to the days when you could misspell "potatoe",
so to speak, without inciting a call for your summary execution
and for a national law defining a new category of crime.
Quayle, who pushed his "family values" phrase into politics
with a widely mocked campaign talk against illegitimacy in 1992,
said his ideas are now stock in trade for the professional carnies.
"We have nothing better to talk about these days, no cause
no more worthwhile", he told a cheering delegation of prison
guards from Duluth, "than minding other people's business.
What's good for business is everybody's business." The baton-swinging
crowd went wild and had to be subdued with fire hoses on loan from
Even while celebrating his disproportionate clout, the Christian
Coalition's high Imam, Ralph Reed, wryly observed that convention
chiefs have been scripting a somewhat watered-down version of the
real thing to the TV viewers.
"In case you haven't heard it in the last two days, the Republican
Party is a pro-life party," Reed told several thousand cheering
supporters at a halfbaked coalition rally earlier Wednesday. "That
means anybody who is against us is against life, and this is the
message we are carrying to the people."
In the expected move at power consolidation, Reed declared, "All
this Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness crap has gone too far,
and we're going to put a stop to it once and for all."
Reed explained, "If people could simply do as they pleased,
even if they never harmed anybody else, they wouldn't have to go
through us. All this that you see before you, our platform, our
campaign contributions, this wonderful assemblage of the purest
patriotism this nation has ever countenanced ... would go away.
It wouldn't be needed, and your lives, too, would become mockeries
in the vile lifestyles of the self-indulgent. This country was founded
on Christian Principles, and, god-dammit, we're going to make this
country Christian whether it likes it or not!"
In another power consolidation elsewhere in the Golden State, PG&E
spokespersons were asking Californians to cut back on electrical
consumption to prevent another repeat of the weekend power blackouts.
It promises to be a long, hot summer.
Portions of Today's News ... Tomorrow have
been intentionally fabricated, distorted, or, alternately, quoted
verbatim from commercial news sources. This material is a mixture
of satire and truth. Please verify whether you can still tell which
is which.This reality check is provided as a public service.
brought to you by Talking Crow Productions.
Copyright ©1996 by Alex Forbes