Kevin Drum has an interesting post today about conservatives and their fixations on sex and communism. He argues that these are the bedrock concerns of the conservative movement, and I find it hard to disagree. I've certainly always noted that for the conservatives, anti-communism trumps everything. You can set up all manner of Deep Throat/James Bond money-and-gunrunning schemes and then lie to Congress about them, as Ollie North did, but if you can make the case that you did it to fight communism, well, it's all good. And I've certainly noticed a resurgence of the word "pinko" in some of the coarser conservative commentary out there, which strikes me as weird.
I even noticed that, to conservatives, anti-communism even appeared to trump "family values" during the Elian Gonzales affair a few years back. The party that once celebrated Dan Quayle's famous defense of fatherhood was not prepared to honor the fatherhood rights of a communist. I suppose the real test would be to have sex and communism come into conflict. During the impeachment of President Clinton, I once joked to a friend that if Clinton really wanted to defuse the situation, he should try to mount a defense that his actions with Monica Lewinsky were somehow part of an anti-communism scheme. "Yes, I lied under oath...but the judge was a Communist!!!"
Maybe Communism is still a major threat, but to me it just seems like...oh I don't know, like maintaining vigilance against witches or zombies. For me, communism pretty much fizzled out as something to be taken seriously when an episode of Seinfeld had Elaine dating a Communist, and Kramer getting fired from his job as a department store Santa because he was spreading communist propaganda to the children who came to sit on his lap.
"He can do whatever he wants, Jerry. He controls the means of production!"
(Oh, and by using a wide-angle lens, Kevin has managed to make his cat indistinguishable from a ferret. Weird....)