Alert the Weather Girls: It’s Raining MoronsBy John Calendo / Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
A storm is, indeed, gathering.
This is the opening line of a spooky and deeply mendacious ad from NOM, the so-called National Organization for (actually against) Marriage.
(You can, if you must, see this infuriating ad here. But wait, we have some spoofs of the ad coming after the jump. No need to get your blood up yet.)
Beneath dark, brooding clouds, their faces eerily lit by sudden flashes of lightning, actors fret over the coming gay-marriage legalizations, which threaten their very existence. You see everyone is about to call them bigots, which, of course, they are.
And that would be “just hurtful,” to use the words of Maggie Gallagher, founder of the hastily concocted NOM and the right’s longtime cheerleader and self-described “marriage expert,” a political and transparently theocratic front-woman for that very special brand of Republican wedge-issue: fag-baiting.
Maggie, unfortunately, has never been a graduate of the Blonde Babe School of Republican Spokesmodeling. A somewhat morose, dog-faced woman with a clearly disturbing case of morbid obesity, (sad picture at right), Ms. Gallagher — excuse us, that should be MRS. Gallagher, her stock in trade, after all — is sometimes heckled at speaking engagements by cruel protesters who moo at her.
Very hurtful, indeed.
But then Maggie is an old hand at fear mongering. She has logged many a tedious hour on TV as that rare talking head who can promulgate Republican homophobia without a trace of hesitancy, or as so often happens with pious right-wing Congressmen, that telltale eye-flutter of embarrassment, the sweaty air of self-aware absurdity.
No, Maggie spews abject nonsense with an earnest little catch in her voice, as if she means well and is doing this, really, only to protect the moms and the dads. And the children. Always the siren call of THE CHILDREN, who must be spared, at all costs, from the shame of human sexuality.
Still with so many hours bloviating on TV, you might think Maggie would have gotten with the diet and the blush by now. Even Elsie the Cow tried her best to smile laughingly from the Borden milk carton, if only to hide the tears of so many wasted years chewing her cud.
Then again, Maggie Gallagher does so love to cast herself as the bovine victim — no matter that only a few short years ago she was exposed as a fraud in the pay of the Bush administration. Playing the victim is a favorite right-wing tactic. Psychiatrists call it projection, tarring your opponents with your own bigoted motives.
And so in the NOM ad, it is the troubled actors, deftly chosen to represent racial diversity, including those portraying immigrants with heavy accents — not the usual love children of the far right — who find their way of life under attack. It is they, who would legislate homophobia, who are the victims here, and gay people, who merely want the full and equal civil rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution — gay people who are the ones with the militant agenda!
And so the clouds rumble with Jehovian displeasure, finding a visual for the Fall of the Western World imagery usually invoked when anti-gay rhetoric rears its thorny head on the Senate Floor.
In the wake of the public’s growing acceptance of gay marriage as well as the public relations nightmare that passing California’s anti-gay Prop 8 turned out to be, $1.5 million will be spent to run the NOM ad in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, states very close to legalizing marriage equality. The ad will even continue to run in Iowa, scene of the anti-gay marriage movement’s most stunning defeat.
And though the ad is getting a great deal of free cable exposure, it’s not the sort of exposure any organization would welcome. The ad’s fake testimonials and misrepresentation of facts are being repeatedly debunked around the dial. You want storm clouds? Check out the hurricane of derision this contrived little ad has kicked up on YouTube. Some of our favorite spoofs follow:
And finally, something different, smart and serious. Not a reaction to the ad, but to NOM itself. Watch a talk show host rip the NOM spokesman a new one in his relentless rebuttal of the entire anti-gay movement.
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