Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's come to this

Conservatives, wandering aimlessly in the political desert, think they've spotted another oasis. This latest mirage goes by the name of Carrie Prejean.

During Sunday's Miss USA pageant, the reigning Miss California was asked by intellectual featherweight Perez Hilton for her opinion on gay marriage. Right-wingers now are whining that what Prejean said -- "I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman" -- cost her the crown.

Maybe so, maybe not. If cyber-twit Hilton and other judges allowed a contestant's political or religious views to affect their votes, that would be bad form (but not a tragedy). I don't much care, really, because her opinion is irrelevant and her defenders' argument is specious -- this whole made-for-TV dustup misses the point.

Take a look at how Prejean began her answer:
"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what? In my country..."
Say, what?

No, the best reason to deny her the Miss USA tiara is that she sounded like a bubble-headed beauty queen. Prejean truly may not be the quintessential dumb blonde, but when she opened her mouth, stupid came pouring out.

That doesn't matter, of course, to thirsty conservatives desperate for a cause. Like ideologues of all stripes, they'll leap to the aid of anyone who simply says the right things -- however inarticulate and vacuous they might be.

(See also Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber, Dan Quayle, et al. You can add Perez Hilton to The Bimbo Brigade, too, along with about half of the celebrities pushing this or that political agenda.)

The mindless defense of Carrie Prejean, far more than the backward opinion she expressed, demonstrates once again that ideology is the enemy of excellence.