The Speaker of the House of Representatives — third in the line of succession to the presidency and generally considered one of the most influential members of Congress — appeared on television last week to say a few words to a favored minority.
It wasn’t a racial minority or a religious minority or an ethnic minority. Instead, the minority was in fashion taste — as in “awful” and “gaudy” and “without redeeming social value.”
Speaker Pelosi made an appearance on a TV show called RuPaul’s Drag Race. Not being much of a hipster, I wasn’t familiar with the programming. However, I know who RuPaul is. He is Hollywood’s favorite drag queen, making numerous appearances on TV episodes and in movies.
In truth, there are far more convincing and beautiful drag queens out there. Mr. Paul is a caricature of a bitchy woman, which should anger any feminist worth her salt instead of celebrating him.
But Pelosi celebrated him and the other queens for their “freedom of expression.”
My honor to be here, to say to all of you how we proud we are of you. Thank you for the joy and beauty you bring to the world. Your freedom of expression of yourselves in drag is what America is all about. I say that all the time to my friends in drag.
I find drag queens ugly and repugnant, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Who am I to say if men prancing about on stage dressed like cheap whores isn’t what America is all about? This is a great country. We’ve always made room for individualists, curmudgeons, cantankerous tinkerers, devil worshippers, saints, sinners, and all manner of hedonists.
However, that doesn’t mean we have to approve of them. It doesn’t mean we have to accept them. They should be allowed their quirks, their idiosyncrasies, and their weirdness.
Pelosi wants us to accept them. She wants us to approve of their choices. She is welcome to do so. That’s what makes America great. Where I and many others might be nauseated by the choice of grown men dressing up in gaudy outfits and prancing around a stage trying to act like women, Pelosi and RuPaul are free to think otherwise.
In typical Pelosi style, the Speaker looked like she was gritting her teeth through the whole thing. It was clear she was almost (almost) as uncomfortable in the moment as Cockburn was watching the spectacle, a puzzling circumstance for someone who claims to have so many “friends in drag.”
The queens complimented Pelosi on what Entertainment Weekly called her “infamous, condescending round of applause she gave Trump at the end of his 2019 speech.” Someone name Raja said, “We throw the word masterclass around here all the time, but that sarcastic, shady clap you do was f—ing epic.” Pelosi demurred and said her natural sarcastic, shady reaction was natural and “completely unintentional.”
Eventually, Pelosi came to the whole point of this time-wasting exercise. “The single most important thing I can say is to vote,” she told the drag queens. I leave it to readers to come up with the single most important thing they can say to a man dressed in drag.
As for me, it wouldn’t be, “Go out and vote.” I might give them the name of my therapist and recommend a nice, long stay at St. Elizabeth’s.
While Pelosi was yucking it up on TV with men dressed as women, Americans nationwide have been wondering if their paychecks would cover the cost of food and housing next month given the rising rate of inflation.
Cockburn is inspired by your ability to lollygag with men in dresses while Americans struggle to afford gasoline and other basic necessities. But then again, if voting is “the most important thing” Pelosi can say, and so many of her constituents are evidently big fans of drag, maybe it was a smart campaign move for Pelosi to make an appearance on the drag show.
Coming soon to a public library near you.