Swarm of foul black-hearted reptiles slithering across our county to steal the souls of OC Latinos and seduce them into a perverse lifestyle of hatred and intolerance. Oct 2-4.

Recognize that ad, the famous “Gathering Storm” ad from a couple years ago – famous both for being so filled with bad acting and for fitting so many utter lies and exaggerations into one short minute?  That ad came to us courtesy of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage.  The group’s name is of course Orwellian, as the entire purpose of the group is to prevent our gay brothers and sisters from enjoying marriage equality.  Or in the homophobes’ incomprehensible parlance, “protecting marriage.”

These folks, who seem to consider themselves backed up by religion – their major funding in fact comes from the Mormon Church, Evangelical Christians, and the Catholic extremists Opus Dei – always come down to the somewhat mystical argument that allowing gays marriage equality somehow “hurts traditional marriage.”  On top of that they are the most aggressive, as in the ad above, at propagating the most absurd urban legends about the “gay agenda.”

Naturally they were at the forefront of passing Proposition 8 two years ago, which they considered a great victory;  and correspondingly it was a staggering defeat for them when it was declared unconstitutional a few months ago.  Since then they’ve been trying to whip up fervor to impeach the very reasonable conservative Judge Vaughn Walker for his audacity in applying equal civil rights to gays.

Well the big news from a couple of days ago is:  NOM is joining up with the “Vota tus Valores” tour through California, hooking up with it as it trundles across Orange County this weekend.  And what, you ask, is “Vota Tus Valores?”  It is none other than GOP Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina‘s Latino outreach program.  Translating “Vote Your Values,” it attempts to convince Hispanic citizens that Carly’s “values” are closer to theirs than those of the Democratic Party they traditionally choose.

Qué  trifecta, ¿no?  Gay-marriage bashing, Carly Fiorina, and Latino-pandering. (I use the overused term “pandering” in its sense of “appealing to a group’s basest instincts.”)

Four thoughts occur to us:

1)  This shows how extreme Carly Fiorina really is on social issues, in case anyone was wondering.  While she hasn’t to my knowledge given a reason to oppose marriage equality, and certainly had to deal with gays in a civilized manner in her corporate career, she’s obviously quite comfortable making common cause with religious extremists to whip up her right wing base.

2)  How could the SB1070-backing Fiorina expect to appeal to any intelligent Hispanics with a corny bus picture like the one above, after her utterly hardline responses to La Opinion’s Gabriel Lerner on immigration in last Wednesday’s debate?  She absolutely refused to consider any reform beyond closing the border.  The fairly conservative Sr. Lerner kept repeating, “But say, sometime in the future, the border is secure, would you consider…”  and she just kept snapping back, “It’s not, Gabriel, it’s not.”  She was adamant not to be put in a position to even contemplate easing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.

We know two things:  We know the border is more secure under Obama than it’s been in decades, and we know it will never be 100% secure, so a Senator Carly will never have to consider any kind of meaningful reform.  Does she think that’s what Latino families like the one on the side of her bus want to hear?  Or does she just assume THEY don’t listen to debates, even one on La Opinion?  Or that they’ll be so jazzed by gay-bashing that they’ll forget everything else they care about?

3)  Don’t you think the assumption that Latinos are more homophobic than the rest of us – and that that could be the ticket for getting them to switch parties – is a little racist?  Certainly an offensive stereotype at least?  Maybe I just think so because I think homophobia is bad.  Certainly blacks and Latinos voted in slightly greater numbers for Prop 8 than whites did.  But I also think that’s a losing bet for the GOP to make, as younger folks of all races are more tolerant than their stick-up-the-butt elders.

But Carly and her Vota/NOM gang go farther than that:  They’re betting that Latinos’ revulsion toward gays is SO strong that it can override both the usual bread-and-butter justice issues that tie them to the Dems, and Carly’s stubborn intransigence toward Immigration Reform.  Really?  Latinos could overlook all of that just because they hate gays so much?  Now THAT is an offensive assumption!

4)  Finally, is the Republican Party about absolutely nothing but divisiveness – whites against Latinos, Latinos against gays, everyone against Muslims?  I know.  Rhetorical question.

What about the title of my post?  I know the usual suspects will say I’m being as “intolerant,” “bigoted,” and “hateful” as these people are, and even some of my allies will agree.  We’ve been over this.  Tolerance for intolerance is not called for. The very LEAST we can do to fight off REAL injustice is use the strongest of language and metaphors.   And yes, this gang DOES deserve to be called “A swarm of black-hearted reptiles slithering across our county,” etc.

NOM / Vota Tus Valores’ 3 Orange County events

(chronologically, and in descending order of importance)

1. Saturday (tomorrow) 2:30 in Dana Point

This is at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.  First of all, Dana Point WTF?  Lovely place but let them have that one.  What Latinos do they hope to convert there?  We can’t be everywhere.  (Although I understand there WILL be some activists following them to every stop, so if you’re in the neighborhood and feel like dropping by you won’t be alone.)

2. later Saturday afternoon (4:30) at the Huntington Beach Pier

I’m helping put together a welcoming committee for them there, we’ll be gathering at 4 to set up before them.  No I’m not worried about them reading this, they are on a very tightly scheduled bus tour.  I could use as much company as possible;  bring your anti-Prop 8 signs, your pro-marriage-equality signs, and also any anti-Carly signs.  I’m making two big signs in Spanish, “Nuestros Valores No Incluyen Odio!” and “Carly No Es Su Amiga!” I’ll pass those signs on to my Santa Ana friends for the next event.

On Sunday, they will enjoy a “Day of Rest.”

Oh, how sweet.  A Day of Rest from hate.  Will they still be gritting their teeth, clenching their fists, and muttering under their breath?

3.  Monday, 10am to 1pm, 4th and Spurgeon in SanTana!

Santa Ana should be their Waterloo.  I sure hope Art and Sean can be there if their work permits – or at least help me get lots of troops out.  I’d particularly like to see Councilmembers Tinajero, Benavides and Martinez there, fighting the notion that Latinos are or should be homophobic, and that that can be used to turn them Republican.

I was pleased to see David Benavides at the celebration on the day Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional.  He was the only Santa Ana Councilmember there.  If he shows on Monday, however, he’ll probably be on the opposite side of Lupe Moreno and Rosie Avila, all-purpose haters who are occasionally his allies on other things.  How will that play out?  We’ll see…

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About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.