I Only Sleep With Cosmotarians

Somebody probably ought to write a dissertation about the complexities of this “I Only Sleep With Democrats” business. Maybe we should dismiss this stuff as silly fun for idiot kids. But it's more fun to take this stuff way too seriously. Therefore, allow me to observe that this is offensive on too many levels to count. But also profoundly revealing about the fundamentally debased nature of partisan political commitment!
“Blue Balled,” the TruthThroughAction.org video below, simultaneously reduces politics to fashion and elevates fashion to morality. To fail be a Democrat is depicted as something like an embarrassing fashion faux pas so egregious that it deserves a response of moralized disgust. To back the wrong political coalition is to become an untouchable, worthy of contempt. And to extend love, to extend pleasure, to those on the wrong team is beyond the pale.
But, amazingly, “Blue Balled” conceives this as too little to really succeed in enforcing standards of acceptable political identity. TruthThroughAction is not content to communicate merely that Republicans are a disgusting caste apart, but suggests that men with the right politics deserve to be sexually rewarded, or should at least be encouraged to believe that, not only will they escape painful shunning for registering Republican (or Green or Liberartian), but that the chances are good that they will be sexually rewarded for registering, voting, being Democrat. Implicit in this message is that the bodies of faithful Democratic women are tools for securing the success of Democratic politicians and their clients. For what is the sexual life of a young woman if not a means to the greater glory of the Service Employees International Union? What is casual fornication if not a Duty to the Party.
Of course the sexual psychology of all this fails. First, cheap talk. Second, there is more than a whiff of pathetic desperation in “Blue Balled” to brand sensitive intellectual artsy guys as the guys you really ought to want to screw. But the best sex is dirty, dirty transgressive sex. All this lame agitprop could just as easily redound to the benefit of the Young Republican with the popped collar who promises to give appalled Obama girls “the surge.” And an “I Only Sleep With Democrats” shirt on a guy might turn out to be a great way to pick up Republican lasses. Oh, the paradox that is the sexual mind! 
Politics is not about policy, indeed.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center