Monday, August 27, 2012

Republicans are coming for your porn

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM

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Showing once again that it values nothing so much as getting government out of your life — except for the gay-marriage thing, and drug-war thing, and prostitution thing, and abortion thing — the Republican Party's leadership has updated the language in its platform regarding the illegal exhibition of naked peoples, and some folks just couldn't be more excited.

“Distribution of obscene or hardcore pornography on the Internet is a violation of current federal law,” says Patrick Trueman, president of Morality In Media, in a statement. "We are most grateful to Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who led the effort to get the tough new language into the platform. Without enforcement of federal obscenity laws, pornographers have had a green light to target our children and families."

The new language replaces previous platform wording, which only opposed child pornography. It will now read, "Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced." Trueman noted that current federal obscenity laws not only prohibit distribution of hardcore pornography on the Internet but also on hotel/motel TV, on cable/satellite TV, and in retail shops.

Beyond the fact that I'm sure most people appreciate Trueman and Co. looking out for the sanctity of their genitals — check out this particular stat: "Girls consuming pornography are several times more likely to engage in group sex than those who do not" — it's a funny move for a couple reasons.

• First, because a March piece in the Atlantic looked at the backlash against Rick Santorum and his bizarro statement that "America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography," and concluded that it could only hurt the Republicans to make it a bigger issue (which the party did, against the writer's prediction).

The Pennsylvania senator's position hasn't changed much over the years. But the United States has. We've seen an unprecedented normalization of pornography, thanks largely to changes in technology. The explosion of pornographic material also has coincided with falling crime, including rape, so it is increasingly difficult to persuade any empirically-minded person that one drives the other. And even people who find the ubiquity of pornography demeaning or harmful generally accept that a society cannot be free, hooked up to the Internet, and stop pornography. There are, finally, more voters than ever who would rebel if anyone made the attempt. That's why I predict that the language in the next GOP platform won't go beyond child pornography. And if it does, it'll turn out to be the last gasp of an anti-porn movement that cannot win.

• Second, because Republicans effing love strip clubs, reports the New York Times, and just happen to be holding their convention in the unofficial strip-club capital of America.

Angelina Spencer, the executive director of the Association of Club Executives, which serves as a trade association for strip clubs, said an informal survey of convention business in New York and Denver had determined that Republicans dropped more money at clubs, by far.

“Hands down, it was Republicans,” she said. “The average was $150 for Republicans and $50 for Democrats.”

Coupled with the party's geriatric approach to women's rights — along with pretty much every other issue under the sun — and the whole right might as well be screaming, "Four more years! Four more years!"

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