The War on Sex

From the Baltimore Sun: "In this field office in Washington, 32 prosecutors, investigators and a handful of FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO's long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains. "

What the hell? Why is an administration that's slashing equipment and benefits for active-duty soldiers in Iraq spending millions to bust the likes of Jenna Jameson and Rocco Siffredi?

Because John Ashcroft is on a crusade, that's why. To him, the most serious threat to American safety is not terrorist attacks on the U.S. No, it's porn-terrorist Tag Eriksson shooting his wad! Ashcroft doesn't drink, smoke, swear, or dance--or masturbate, presumably. But he's eager to two-step all over our constitutional rights in his holy war against sex. And he has the president's blessing, since this will bolster Bush's reputation with his Christian-right base. Ashcroft's minion, Drew Oosterbaan, warns, "Nothing is off the table as far as content.... Results are what we want."

This is chilling--and amazingly shortsighted. Think about it: Even if Ashcroft and his flying monkeys succeed in shutting down, say, half of all American porn producers, there will still be plenty of porn out there. Maybe you'd have 25 new porn video releases each month instead of 50. Half a million porn websites instead of a million. How, exactly, is that going to make this country a different, better place? Is Ashcroft planning on censoring every bit of homegrown porn and then putting an enormous plastic dome over the entire country to "protect" us from imported smutty pictures?

Even if you hate porn and think it's harmful, this crackdown will not change anything about America's consumption of porn. Prohibition didn't work last time, and it's not going to work now. It's just flushing tax dollars down the toilet in the name of a federally-mandated morality.

I've heard it said that "puritanism is the haunting fear that somewhere, someone is having fun." Ashcroft is a puritan by anyone's standard, and he's George Bush's fair-haired boy. Do I really have to tell you what to do in November?

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