June 17, 2009

During the campaign, Obama promised to "fight hard" for gay rights.

Now:
President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum on Wednesday to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, administration officials said Tuesday evening, but he will stop short of pledging full health insurance coverage....

Mr. Obama, in an Oval Office announcement, is expected to offer details about which benefits will be provided. It is the most significant statement he has made on gay issues, and it comes as he faces intense criticism from several gay rights leaders over what they suggest has been a failure to live up to campaign promises in the first months of his presidency....

... President Obama and his advisers have been reluctant to wade deeply into divisive issues like overturning a ban on openly gay military members or extending benefits to partners of government employees, fearful that such moves could overtake the administration’s broader agenda.

He has sent private assurances, several activists have said, that he intends to do more in coming years....
But let's be fair. Obama said he would "fight hard" for gay rights. What does it mean for Obama to "fight hard"? The man is famously cool. He is not belligerent. Here, perhaps, is our President, fighting hard:

208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
SteveR said...

Hasn't done too well on that "transparent" thing. Maybe he meant opaque.

traditionalguy said...

To you and me a "hard fight" includes an attitude of threats and defiance towards one's opponents. To Obama a hard fight means slipping up on one's opponent while smiling and being TOTALLY non-threatening. Then Obama suddenly attacks when the opponent has relaxed his defenses. Think Pearl Harbour. The entire base was relaxed and unguarded for the Japanese sneak attack. Sure enough it works every time. The American people are relaxed and assuming that Obama means to protect them like every other President in history has seen his job. But a sneak attack upon Americans with any private property left is underway now while we remain asleep.

Lem said...

Bush as a compassionate conservative would have sent that fly to Guantanamo.

But not Obama. Obama kills.

Roger J. said...

I think it would have been better if he took the lead in this rather than be perceived as a follower, but it looks to be a first step in integrating gays into the larger community. As always, I will be interested in hearing the reactions of our own gay community.

NightBastard said...

what's the rationale for providing more compensation for married/partnered employees vs. single ones? if what you do in your private life is your business, why do others have to pay for it?

bearbee said...

Appeasement.

Fly magnet.

Meade said...

Mission Accomplished.

garage mahal said...

Shoo gays, shoo. I mean fly.

Arturius said...

I'm not sure what he thinks he is going to lose by granting full benefits to gay couples, repealing DODT or promoting same sex marriage. The only ones who really get worked into a raging lather over the gay issue are religious fundamentalists and they’re easily marginalized. Furthermore, considering he enjoys a 60% approval rating, he'd cement his base by moving forward on these issues. I would have thought an African-American would be more sensitive to what amounts to a basic issue of civil rights.

Jason (the commenter) said...

but he will stop short of pledging full health insurance coverage

Because he thinks gay marriages aren't real I would guess. Why does Obama have to be such an ass?

Maguro said...

Not sure if Obama can offer anything of value if health insurance isn't on the table. Looking over the list of federal employee benefits, there doesn't seem to be much else there that would be of assistance to gay couples.

Maybe there's something I'm overlooking, but this looks like empty symbolism to me.

L. E. Lee said...

Remember the Clinton administration walked into a shit storm right out of the box over gays in the military. I understand right wingers frustration that President Obama is unwilling to make the same tactical mistake but is instead being prudent. I think many progressives will accept that the president is focused on the end result, bring equality to all, and will give him some latitude concerning how he gets there. The president has a lot of good will in the gay and lesbian community.

Arturius said...

Remember the Clinton administration walked into a shit storm right out of the box over gays in the military. .

Well considering that was a a year shy of two decades ago, I think attitudes have changed a tad since then. Right wing and conservative are rather pejorative terms in America, or at least that's what I keep hearing. I can't imagine coming out strong in favor of gay rights is going to hurt Obama. It's not like the GOP can trot Ensign out as a role model for traditional marriage now can they? The fact that Obama is walking on eggshells over this issue tells me a lot more about him and the Democrat party and it's pretty revealing.

Dave said...

The killing a fly video makes this worthy of the Obama is like Bush tag. Particularly the shoutout to "Gibbs."

Very "Now Watch This Shot" of Obama.

Lem said...

Mission Accomplished.

OMG - Is Obama getting advise from Althouse and Meade?

Meade is Obamas brain ;)

rhhardin said...

The trick with flies is deliberately aiming three inches above the fly.

That's where the fly will be after he senses trouble coming.

Fred4Pres said...

What benefits do spouses get other than health care? Pensions?

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

As as gay I am not at all worked up like you hear in the media that gays are pissed at the president.

Some gays can be drama queens and want everything now. Selfish gay.

None of the gays I know are worked up about any of this crap. They are more concerned about what they will be wearing in Ptown this weekend.


Candy Girl is playing in the car outside my window. Honey, Sugar, Sugar, You are My Candy Girl.

Also, Obama has to play it "cool" with the gay shit. Look what happened to Clinton with gays in the military.


I am not horny today.

Lem said...

You saw it here first!

gaywrites said...

Obama has more political capital now than Clinton did at the beginning of his presidency when he tried to deal with gays in the military. Additionally, gays in the military posed a unique challenge that caught Clinton a little off guard. He never had the support of the military for repealing a gay ban in part because the military was somewhat hostile towards him for being what many perceived as a draft dodger. Obama on the otherhand, has enough capital and support from not only Congress but from various military personnel (including some very high profile personnel) that will enable him to not only repearl DADT but to move forward on a large number of issues important to the LGBT community.

It's a little difficult to, as Rush has asked us, "stop whining, man up, and bend over and grab our ankles" when we were promised a fierce advocate. While we're all learning that tenacity is not Obama's strong suit, covering the moving expenses for gay federal families doesn't really live up to even Obama's relative ferocity.

Shanna said...

So, benefits but not health insurance? Why?

I'm totally fine with this, but I don't see the point of going in by halves.

Jason (the commenter) said...

L. E. Lee Remember the Clinton administration walked into a shit storm right out of the box over gays in the military.

Now even a majority of Conservatives believe gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military. Obama wont even do what is popular to support homosexuals.

Granting equal benefits to same-sex partners is hardly controversial, many states and corporations already do it. You just require people to be married if their states of residence allow it. Obama had a chance to take an uncontroversial step and still hesitated.

He's no fighter.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

Can I tell you I get really turned on by the Iranian protesters with their masks and head gear.

totally hot.

Reza Aslan, who is on CNN now, is hot too.

Muzzie hog is so forbidden it is hot. All the religious guilt and self loathing really turns me on. There is quite a bit of downlow shit going on and that is really hot. Nothing out and proud but rather closeted and ashamed which is really hot.

I think I just became horny.

Their eyes are so intense and dark and crazy it puts me in a tizzy.

Meade said...

rhhardin said...
"The trick with flies is deliberately aiming three inches above the fly."

The trick with manipulating people to get their votes is always misleading them three inches from the truth.

Lem said...

Promising to "fight hard" and promising specifics are two different planets politically.

Obama has that going for him on every issue.

Sofa King said...

What budget does this come out of? As far as I know, the President cannot simply create new spending items with a memorandum.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I think if I ranked my ethnic preference in hog Muzzie hog would come first.

1) Muzzie
2) Black-thugs only, preferable who have served time
3) Latino


Hog that I don't care for:

1) Asian
2) Phlip
3) Cracker
4) Sudanese
5) Malagasy Republic
6) Turks and Cacos
7) Eskimo

Joseph said...

I haven't seen the details but I'm curious to know how he does this without tripping over DOMA, unless they don't use same sex marriages as the key to access these benefits. It seems like it would be more useful to repeal the federal recognition part of DOMA before making this kind of move.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

And then if we did a subcaption of Muzzie countries here is how they would rank:

1) Morrocco
2) Iran
3) Turkey
4) Algeria
5) Saudi Arabia
6) Pakistan


I dont care for these though:

1) Indonesia
2) Iraqi
3) Afghanistan
4) Jordan
5) Egyptian
6) Somalian

That's just me though. There is certainly exception to all of these though.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

Some of the largest hogs I have had have been Egyptian.

thank you.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

The smallest hogs I have had are Colombian, not Colombia SC, but Colombia in South America. The whole Bogata gangster thing is kind of hot but their hogs have generally been just a little hood around a thimble of a hog.

L. E. Lee said...

Meade wrote
"The trick with manipulating people to get their votes is always misleading them three inches from the truth."

I guess like A. Lincoln. Right Meade?
Sometimes you have to take battles as they come but still keep your "eyes on the prize." Sometimes the war for freedom can not be won in one big rush but instead people have to be led there parcel by parcel. That is called leadership.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

If I had to rank Latino hog this would be my ranking:

1) Puerto Rico
2) Brazil
3) Argentina
4) Spain
5) Cuba
6) Colombia
7) Uruguay


Latino hog I am not crazy about:

1) Mexican
2) Chile
3) Venezuala
4) Paraguay
5) Guatemala
6) El Salvador

Again, there are exceptions to all of these.

Thank you.

MadisonMan said...

One can be a pessimist and wail that there is so far to go. One can be an optimist and declare that you have come so far already.

Baby steps.

holdfast said...

Blogger Arturius said...

"I would have thought an African-American would be more sensitive to what amounts to a basic issue of civil rights."

-And you would be wrong - they aren't.

Jason (the commenter) said...

One upside to this is that it allows me to continue calling gays who support Obama self-hating gays.

knox said...

God love him, even swatting a fly he's prissy.

downtownlad said...

Well this is pretty pathetic on Obama's part. 57% of the Fortune 500 offered domestic partner benefits in 2008, and that includes Health Care. So even with this action, the U.S. government is still below average. And considering that anyone in the military who tries to partake in these benefits - will subsequently be told that they are being fired - this is almost entirely for show.

Heck - Obama can't even get gays included in hate crimes legislation, which is supported by about 80% of Americans.

Obama last week equated gay relationships with incestuous ones. Absolutely disgusting and unforgivable. This "gesture" will not do squat in terms of alleviating the great disappointment of the gay community over Obama's reversals on his campaign promises.

Obama has shown himself to be a fierce anti-gay bigot. I guess he'll win votes from that though, since most Americans are fierce anti-gay bigots as well.

garage mahal said...

Hard not to laugh at gay Obama die hards like Avarosis and Sullivan who had a lunatic aversion to Hillary to what they might be thinking about right now on who they supported. Oops.

Richard Dolan said...

Obama has a unique way of making everything all about him. That's not a criticism so much as an observation about the power of his personality. Mesmerizing more than messianic. No other politician I can think of has ever been able to pull that off the way he does.

But there will be hell to pay when the spell wears off, as it inevitably will. The same power that now mesmerizes will have the opposite effect. At that point, he'll need solid results to sustain him. His economic policies (higher taxes, massive spending, federalized health care, bailouts-for-all, imposing eco-inefficiencies in the energy markets, etc.) are likely to generate the opposite in terms of growth and unemployment, while half-measures like this sop to the gay community will be remembered for what they are.

Jim said...

"The only ones who really get worked into a raging lather over the gay issue are religious fundamentalists and they’re easily marginalized."

That's a nicely bigoted statement, but it's absolutely not true. There's a huge reason why Obama isn't moving forward on gay marriage and other issues of import to the gay community:

African-Americans and Hispanics are overwhelming anti-gay rights.

Think about where Obama's power base in the electorate is and ask yourself if he's going to risk alienating 30% of the electorate because he's going to risk possibly making 2-4% of the population angry with him. After all, it's not like large portions of the gay population are going to wind up voting for any potential opponent of his.

So he throws a crumb here and there to the gay community: not enough to really matter, just enough to keep them from marching the picket lines. He whispers sweet nothings about what he'll eventually do for them, and they conveniently forget that every promise that Obama has ever made to anyone has come with an expiration date.

Sorry gays. You've been had, but like the brutalized wife who keeps coming back because the husband promises that he'll buy her flowers tomorrow you keep coming back for more.

downtownlad said...

Jim - Why don't you go fuck yourself.

Anti-gay bigots like yourself don't get to speak for gay people. Especially when bigots like you have no fucking clue what they're talking about.

grandrants said...

Color me unsurprised. As I wrote earlier this morning here, "That’s not just a flip-flop, that’s a two-and-a-half gainer with a half-twist in piker position, degree of difficulty, 3.0. And yet the judges still give him a 9.7."

downtownlad said...

And Hispanics are not anti-gay. I have no clue what planet you live on. You've obviously never met an Hispanic, nor met a gay person.

While they might not favor gay marriage, that has more to do with the fact that they are poor than that they are Hispanic. If you adjust for income, Hispanics are more in favor of gay rights than whites. Not surprising, since Spain has legalized gay marriage, and Spain still has a big impact on Latin America.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

For some reason I find it funny when Titus ends a post with "Thank you."

Jason (the commenter) said...

downtownlad : Jim - Why don't you go fuck yourself.

Anti-gay bigots like yourself don't get to speak for gay people. Especially when bigots like you have no fucking clue what they're talking about.

I'm gay and I pretty much agree with Jim.

holdfast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

And despite Jim's ignorant statement, this action by Obama has not appeased the gay community. Those who care about gay rights are royally pissed off.

http://www.towleroad.com/2009/06/obama-to-extend-federal-benefits-to-gay-employees.html#comments

jayne_cobb said...

Lee,

Except what you fail to realize is that Lincoln only won the Civil War because he found a general that was willing to fight in Grant. The previous ones had been either incompetent or overly cautious.

Now if your point uses the subject of slavery, it should be noted that while Lincoln opposed it he didn't view its abolition as a major goal. The emancipation proclamation was primarily a method to keep Britain from aiding the south and the 13th amendment didn't come about until they were sure the south was finished.


Now if we're going to use prominent Civil War figures to describe the current president I'd have to say that Obama is like McClellan, a great organizer who is terrified of an actual fight.

downtownlad said...

OK Jason - Why don't you find one iota of evidence that most gays are now running back into Obama's arms, because he tossed gays this bone?

Because that's what Jim stated. I've provided evidence to the contrary. Now please refute it.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

What other "benefits" can be extended if not "health benefits"? Life insurance shit? Retirement crap? Worthless 401ks?

The most tangible, useful thing would be to extend health benefits, so of course he's stopping short of offering those. And note that this is some sort of memorandum, not an executive order, so the whole thing will expire at the end of his presidency. Another FAIL from the "fierce advocate."

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I am glad someone appreciates my "thank you's".

My thank you's are an acknowledgement of how profound my postings are. The impact they have on this sight, the country and the entire world.

Gays need to keep their undies on and not get so worked up. Let go. Be at one with yourself. Take a deep breath. Relax. Say Namaste. Just be.

Thank you.

downtownlad said...

And allowing gays in the military will not alienate the gay and Hispanic community. It has support amongst both.

The same with hate crimes legislation.

The same with an employee non-discrimination act.

Those are the areas where the gay community exects Obama to act - because they are widely supported by Americans. They are even supported by conservatives.

So tell us Jason - how does Obama not moving on these areas help him in the black and Hispanic community? When blacks and Hispanics are in favor of each one.

Gays don't expect Obama to move on gay marriage. He opposed it in the campaign.

Zeb Quinn said...

I'm not sure what he thinks he is going to lose by granting full benefits to gay couples, repealing DODT or promoting same sex marriage. The only ones who really get worked into a raging lather over the gay issue are religious fundamentalists and they’re easily marginalized.

Doood. Gay marriage losses big time whenever it gets put on the ballot for the folks to vote on it. Everywhere. Even in California. That's why the proponents of it run to the courts to get it instead of to the people.

When we talk about gay rights we are talking about gay marriage. There are no others. And since Obama made it clear during the campaign that he's a one man - one woman kind of guy when it comes to marriage, I can't understand why anyone could believe Obama has somehow double-crossed them.

downtownlad said...

Well Zeb - Obama wasn't equating gay relationships with incestuous relationships during the campaign.

He is now. Very vocally.

L. E. Lee said...

Jayne wrote
"Now if we're going to use prominent Civil War figures to describe the current president I'd have to say that Obama is like McClellan, a great organizer who is terrified of an actual fight."

Sure. I guess the right is in such a tizzy because President Obama is so "terrified of an actual fight."

Jason (the commenter) said...

downtownlad : Why don't you find one iota of evidence that most gays are now running back into Obama's arms, because he tossed gays this bone?

Because that's what Jim stated. I've provided evidence to the contrary. Now please refute it.

He didn't say "now", he accurately described how most gays have been reacting up until now. As far as today's events we'll have to wait a few days to see if the gay establishment decides to become Obama apologists again.

You should be spreading Jim's statements around; he's helping the gay community. Gays obviously need a fire lit under their butts with Obama in charge. So stop venting at Jim, take your anger and go write a letter to Obama, or yell at someone with an Obama bumper sticker.

PatCA said...

The Dems use the gays on the left just like the Reps use the evangelicals on the right. They use you to get elected, then they dump you. They don't "respect you in the morning."

You need to find another strategy.

Joseph said...

African-Americans and Hispanics are overwhelming anti-gay rights.



Its funny that you begin your comment by calling someone else a bigot, but then you spout this favorite conservative talking point without any citation smearing Blacks and Latinos. Its not true and to the extent there is a difference in gay rights attitudes, its not "overwhelmingly" different among Blacks, Latinos, Asians, or Whites. But its a convenient way for conservatives to take a swipe at both gays and racial minorities at the same time.
See, e.g., 538, CL, HJBS.

The most salient demographic indicator on this issue is religion, for which you called someone a bigot for pointing out.

downtownlad said...

Here's the poll on repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell.


http://www.gallup.com/poll/120764/Conservatives-Shift-Favor-Openly-Gay-Service-Members.aspx

58% of conservative favor repeal. 58% of Republicans. And 60% of churchgoers.

But Obama has decided to flip-flop on this issue and now opposes repeal.

Very disappointing.

Jim said...

DTL -

First of all. I'm not anti-gay. I could care less what you do in your bedroom. As long as you show me and my family respect, I'll return the favor.

You may not like the political calculus that Obama engages in, but that doesn't make someone who points it out "anti-gay" or a "bigot." Obama has made fools of you, and you're angry about that. I completely understand that, but your anger is completely misplaced when you lash out at me for having the temerity to point out how wrong you were to support him and a Democratic Party which has never done much more than pay lip service to your cause.

It's this kind of reflexive striking out that alienates more people from supporting the rights you are striving for. You think that the thuggish vandalization of businesses and personal attacks following Prop 8 did gays any favors with the overall electorate? Look at the poll numbers before you answer because support for gay marriage dropped as a result. Before you start calling names, you really should look at those within your community who are doing you no favors with their behavior. And while you're at it, look in the mirror because calling people "anti-gay" or "bigots" when, in fact, they aren't is more likely to turn them against you than convince them to continue supporting you.

As far as whether or not Hispanics and African-Americans are anti-gay rights, your statement shows a great deal of ignorance. Like Pauline Kael who was sure that Nixon couldn't possibly have won because no one she knew voted for him, you are trying to expand your personal experience onto the electorate at large. Look at the poll numbers. They don't lie no matter how many personal invectives you hurl my way.

As far as whether or not the gay community is "appeased," tell me how many gay protesters have greeted Obama at his various appearances. How many protests have been organized to protest his decision to defend DOMA?

"Just enough to keep them from marching picket lines" is what I said. Face it. I was right. You were wrong. I'll accept your apology any time you're grown up enough to admit it.

bagoh20 said...

"The man is famously cool. He is not belligerent. "

And Brittany Spears is famously a musician.
-
He shows no passion or commitment, that's not "cool" - it's "cold". But all his weaknesses have been portrayed as positives generally. Can you even imagine a Republican with that trait described as "cool"? It would be "cold", "uncaring" or worse.

Contrast with Cheney who is similar in demeanor, but clearly more passionate and caring and he is called Darth Vader.

And "belligerent" is not the alternative to "cool". A leader that promisses to "wipe a nation off the the map" is belligerent.
-
I don't believe we've had belligerent president. Jackson maybe, but I would vote for him today, if he got the hair cut.

downtownlad said...

Jason - I find Jim's statements that gay people will just vote for any Democrat, no matter their view on gay rights, very insulting.

It certainly doesn't speak for me. I voted for Obama, but that was the first Democrat I ever voted for President in my entire life (I've been voting since the 1980s).

And he's just lost my vote in 2012 unless he reverses himself and delivers on the part of his gay rights platform that has majority support amongst Americans (DADT and EDNA).

L. E. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L. E. Lee said...

Jim wrote
"the Democratic Party which has never done much more than pay lip service to (the) cause."

I call bullshit on this. President Obama has done more today than Bush did in eight years.

President Obama should be pushed by those who are fighting for freedom to do more. But he is clearly qualitatively and quantitatively better than Bush and many Republicans.

BTW, I find the fake whining of many on the right concerning this quite funny.

avwh said...

"Now if we're going to use prominent Civil War figures to describe the current president I'd have to say that Obama is like McClellan, a great organizer who is terrified of an actual fight."

I'd take that one step further; McClellan was a narcissist with a huge ego (he planned to run against Lincoln and defeat him in the next POTUS election, IIRC), but would never risk his personal popularity on the battlefield; sound like anyone else we know?

Cedarford said...

NightBastard said...
what's the rationale for providing more compensation for married/partnered employees vs. single ones? if what you do in your private life is your business, why do others have to pay for it?
.


The rationale comes from the #1 imperative to societal survival. Reproduce, have kids, care for them and whichever spouse is out of the job market or in it in a limited way while caring for the next generation.
To do that, any viable modern society must make provisions to extend benefits past the worker.

Unfortunately, our present system is fairly insane in a global economy.

What truly lacks any rationale at all is putting the healthcare burden on employers instead of employees, with the gov't adjusting dependent deductions higher. (What the other advanced nations do) It cripples our ability to compete.
===================
Truth be told, benefits should be extended further to allow each worker to select a relative or close friend and provide health insurance and transfer of pension rights. (As other advanced nations do).
Meaning my wife and myself who have jobs that give healthcare benefits and carry one dependent each could be allowed to add the Aunt with MS and no healthcare coverage to one of our policies. Or my brothers wife could have added her mildly impaired brother who worked full-time, was self-reliant, but lacked healthcare coverage because of the low-skill job he did. (Past tense because he died of an infection he was scared to get treated for - he said in critical care battling blood poisoning and kidney failure - because it would have wiped out all his savings..)

===============

I think everyone should have equal opportunity. No jobs or schools awarded on identity group. And at work, a gay, a straight with no kids, someone with 2 kids or someone with 8 - should get the same compensation in wages and benefits. (then gov't can adjust based on more rational deductions for dependents - )
And health insurance should not be in pre-tax dollars for some, post-tax dollars for others trying to pay for a retarded brother's medical needs.

Obama's extension of compensation in the form of benefits to gays doing the same job as co-workers is fair, just, and makes sense. What makes no sense at all is our present system and it's out-of-control costs and inefficiencies. (Healthcare cost is up 58% in the last 10 years, American worker median wage is up 3%).

downtownlad said...

Jim - When I see an anti-gay bigot, I have no qualms pointing that out.

And you, Jim, are an anti-gay bigot.

As a result of his DOMA decision, the gay community is now actively gearing up for a march on Washington this Fall.

http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=92549

Are you going to apologize now for implying that gays are not willing to protest against the Obama administration? As always, you are full of shit.

Jim said...

To further prove just how bigoted DTL is, my wife and I both support employers being required to give employees a set dollar amount of benefits regardless of the marital status or sexuality. Any dollars not used in buying benefits would be given to the employee as a cash payment.

That way nobody is in the business of deciding who and who isn't covered - not the employer, not the government. Nobody except the person who is working to pay for those benefits which is as it should be.

Obama could easily have endorsed a similar arrangement for all federal employees and made everybody happy. It would have gotten government out of the business of sexuality all together.

But he didn't. Not one elected Democratic representative at any level of government has supported such a plan. NOT A SINGLE ONE.

He didn't for a reason. And that reason has nothing to do with some kind of secret, behind-the-scenes support for gay rights.

So tell me DTL, how is it that this "bigot" came up with a solution that gives you more rights than your precious Obama and the whole Democratic Party?
Tell me. Because I want to hear again what a bigot I am and how much Obama is fighting for your rights.

Am I a bigot, DTL? Or is Obama?

Sofa King said...

Jason - I find Jim's statements that gay people will just vote for any Democrat, no matter their view on gay rights, very insulting.

You're intentionally taking it personally so you can be offended, but he's clearly talking about aggregates here. And he's right. Every single prominent gay-rights organization has been captured by Democratic Party interests, and the results are both obvious and predictable.

bagoh20 said...

"President Obama has done more today than Bush did in eight years."

How many people has Obama freed from tyranny? Hell, he can't even articulate that such a thing is a good goal.

I do agree he has done "more" in a short time, and that has a lot of people thinking "oops, what did we do?".

downtownlad said...

I've already called Obama an anti-gay bigot last Fall Jim, so I'm not sure what your point is.

Oh - so you and your wife have Health Savings Accounts and you think you're oh so pro-gay.

Wrong!

Health Savings Accounts are very anti-gay. Straight married people (but not gay married people) can pass on their Health Savings Accounts to their spouse tax-free when they die. Not so for gay couples. Those are taxed.

So yes, you're a bigot too.

That's why Democrats oppose it. Because Health Savings Accounts are discriminatory.

Jim said...

DTL -

Where did I say anything about Health Savings Accounts? You don't get to put words in my mouth. I said "a benefits package paid for by the employer." I also specified that employees would be able to spend it on whoever they chose: straight, gay, married or single.

I swear that you aren't even reading what I wrote. You're trying to put words in my mouth, and ignore the words I'm actually saying.

I'm proposing a benefits package that wouldn't discriminate against ANYONE, and you want to arue about something else in order to avoid admitting how wrong you were.

You're worse than a fool. You're aggressively ignorant.

downtownlad said...

"Unlike married couples, domestic partners must pay federal and sometimes state taxes on health care benefits. That’s because the Internal Revenue Service counts the value of the domestic partner’s benefit as income for the employee. What’s more, pretax dollars from an employee’s flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts cannot be used to cover the domestic partner’s benefits.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that the cost for a partner benefit is $10,000 a year, and the employee is at the 40 percent marginal tax bracket. In addition to the share of premiums the employee pays, he or she would pay about $300 a month in taxes.

“That really adds to the cost of the benefit,” Ms. Hudson said. “It may be why so few couples take advantage of domestic partner benefits when they are available.”

She cited a Williams Institute study that shows unmarried partners are two to three times more likely to be uninsured than married people.

Ms. Hudson says that in rare cases, companies have been willing to increase employees’ paychecks to make up for the extra tax burden. So be sure to ask your human resources department about this."


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/09/health/09patient.html

So Jim - Are you one of those employers who increase the employees' paychecks to make up for the extra tax burden? If so, I'll admit I misjudged you.

Until then . . .

knox said...

DTL, did you even read what he wrote??

downtownlad said...

Yes I did read it Knox. Did you even read my response?

If one of Jim's employee's spouses uses that benefit for health-care, it is not taxed.

if one of Jim's employee's gay domestic partner uses that benefit for health-care, it is taxed.

downtownlad said...

And I realize that Jim thinks he's being fair because he's giving everyone the same monetary benefit.

What Jim doesn't realize is that the U.S. government and most states, will tax that benefit differently for straight married couples and gay married couples.

Of course straight people don't have to worry about this, so they pretend that this inequality doesn't exist.

But it does.

Randy said...

It appears that Obama meant what he said during the campaign. Those who chose to interpret his words as meaning something else are once again disappointed.

downtownlad said...

And I'd like to know how I can get rid of this tax inequality through a "contract". Bigots are always telling me that I can get my rights via a simple "contract".

Well - Please explain this one for me.

downtownlad said...

Randy - We're not talking about gay marriage here. Yes, we know what he said during the campaign on gay marriage and we believe him.

However, he did promise EDNA, repeal of DADT, hate crime laws, and repeal of DOMA.

downtownlad said...

OK. It's bedtime. Nighty night.

Joe said...

Way to go DTL; keep biting the hand that feeds you and then rant in the darkness when your allies finally abandon you in frustration.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

Can we get back to countries I would do and not do?

Thank you.

Jim said...

DTL -

First, you're talking about apples and oranges.

I was talking about employers (in this particular instance, the Federal government which Obama and the Democratic Congress which have full control over) provided equal benefits to everyone regardless of their marital status or sexual preferences. I pointed out a simple solution which they could have enacted any day since Obama took office which would have given gay employees benefits. And you called me a bigot for pointing out that a) they haven't done so, b) that they haven't even proposed such a thing, and c) not a single elected Democrat in the country has suggested doing so.

...but I'm the bigot...

As far as the tax code goes, I'm in favor of abolishing all corporate and income taxes all together. Corporate taxes are just a way to hide higher tax rates on individuals because they're all just ultimately paid by consumers any way in the form of higher prices.

I'm in favor of a national sales tax which is added "at the register" rather than what some Democrats are proposing in the form of a VAT which would be hidden away in the higher prices for everything. Add it at the register and make everyone know how much more they're paying because of federal taxes and you'll start to see serious demands for fiscal discipline - not the lip service so many pay to it.

And before you get started on the regressive nature of sales taxes, I also exempting essentials like food and clothing items under $100 from the national sales taxes.

That way everyone decides how much tax they're paying. If you want luxury goods, you're going to pay taxes. If you are just "getting by" and feeding and clothing your family, then you get to live essentially tax-free.

The government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers by manipulating the tax code. Get the distortions caused by the tax code out of the marketplace, and you'll see just how far and fast the economy runs - which helps every citizen of this country no matter who they are, and who they have sex with.

So I'll be waiting for your apology any time...

Arturius said...

That's a nicely bigoted statement, but it's absolutely not true. There's a huge reason why Obama isn't moving forward on gay marriage and other issues of import to the gay community:

African-Americans and Hispanics are overwhelming anti-gay rights.
.


It may be a bigoted statement but it’s also true. The only ones who are the most vocal and outspoken opponents of gay rights initiatives are the religious fundamentalists. African-Americans and Hispanics may be overwhelming anti-gay rights but I think it ranks in the bottom rungs of what really matters to them. Obama could repeal DODT and support federal legislation recognizing gay marriage and his 95% support within the African-American community may drop to perhaps 93.9% because they still see Obama as minority who represents them and their goals.

jayne_cobb said...

Lee,

The right is always going to be irked when a Democrat is president and the left is always going to be irked when a Republican is president; that's not an indication of effectiveness that's just politics.

So far Obama has reversed himself on Iraq, Pakistan, gay marriage, Guantanamo, domestic spying, DADT, and net spending cuts; all of which are controversial. Even prior to his election he had the habit of voting present and pushing through easy legislation.

The only thing he has really fought for was the stimulus and, given his party advantage and the likelihood of a straight party line vote, he barely pulled that one off. To continue my McClellan analogy this was like Antietam, he had far more numbers and knew their plan of attack but barely won.



But, to get back to your assertion that he's saving up political capital, the fact that we are discussing how he just pissed off a portion of his base so early on kind of puts the lie to your claim. In fact he just burned a good deal of political capital.

Joseph said...

Jim, Do you have any response to my earlier comment? I wish conservatives would stop slamming blacks and latinos without citation to any real evidence.

Jim said...

"It may be a bigoted statement but it’s also true."

If it's true, then how is it bigoted to say that?

It's like saying the majority of interracial crime is committed by young African-males. It's an incontrovertible fact.

Bigotry requires a prejudice which no one can claim that I have because I don't. I was raised primarily overseas as my father was serving our country. I grew up not even thinking twice about racial prejudice. It was only when I returned to this country that I found out that I was evil for being white and oppressing people and that I necessarily hated all minorities. Now I'm an anti-gay bigot for pointing out that those who claim to be pushing the hardest for gay rights are doing no such thing? Who are the real bigots here?

If your own particular belief system requires that we don't acknowledge reality because it doesn't comport with what you want to be true then you're the one with the problem - not me.

Arturius said...

While they might not favor gay marriage, that has more to do with the fact that they are poor than that they are Hispanic. .


If such a category existed, this would win the dumbest comment of the year award.

Arturius said...

"It may be a bigoted statement but it’s also true."

If it's true, then how is it bigoted to say that?


Jim, I stated that those most worked up over gay rights are religious fundamentalists. You claimed that was bigoted. It is also true.

It's like saying the majority of interracial crime is committed by young African-males. It's an incontrovertible fact.


Agreed.

Now I'm an anti-gay bigot for pointing out that those who claim to be pushing the hardest for gay rights are doing no such thing?

I'm afraid you have me confused with another commenter. I made no such statement or inference. I agree with you with regard to the sentiments of African Americans and Hispanics toward gays. I only differ in regard to the level of importance they view the subject as opposed to the religious fundamentalists.

Jim you made a comment earlier that its not like the gay community will vote for his opponent. The same can be said for the African Americans and Hispanic community should Obama support gay rights.

Jim said...

Joseph -

Sure, I'll be happy to respond.

It's not "unfairly slamming" a group to point out reality. Post-election results show that it was the overwhelming turnout of blacks and Hispanics that defeated Prop 8. When you separate the vote totals by ethnicity, the majority of whites actually voted for it. So purely on the basis of the most recent election, my statement stands as inarguably accurate.

I also don't disagree with the point you made that religion was the primary determining factor. Both the Baptist and Catholic faiths preach that homosexuality is wrong and against God's will (not that Baptists and Catholics should hate homosexuals - "love the sinner, but hate the sin"). Guess which ethnicities are primarily Baptists and Catholic? Yeah..blacks and Hispanics.

The two aren't mutually exclusive, but the specific point that I was making was regarding the calculus that Obama is using to determine which policies to support and which to seek to overturn. Obama's power base is rooted in the black and Hispanic communities: without their overwhelming support, we'd be talking about President McCain today. He's not going to risk doing anything which is going to risk that monolithis support.

Arterius says Obama is "only" risking a few percentage points drop in the black community by aggressively courting gay votes. I know it's popular mythology that Obama had some sort of huge electoral win, but if you switch the votes of only 1.6% of the population we're talking about President McCain and the junior senator from Illinois who came so close but ultimately fell short.

1.6% is a pretty slim number to hang your hopes on - especially when you're highly unlikely to benefit from the "enthusiasm" edge that Democrats benefitted from in 2008 when you run for re-election in 2012. So while Arterius dismisses that drop in the black community as if it were nothing, the reality of electoral politics is that even a couple of percentage points is the difference between winning and losing.

So if you're Axelrod, Emmanuel and Obama, you can do the math. In fact, if you're Axelrod or Emmanuel, it's pretty much your daily obsession. From a coldly calculating political point of view, the downside risk to offending blacks and Hispanics is much greater than that of offending gays.

All I did was commit the horrible crime of pointing it out.

Joe said...

Here is some polling data on proposition 8:

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#CAI01p1

Note that according to this, 70% of blacks and 63% of hispanics who voted, voted for proposition 8. (Though age is a big factor as well. Young Hispanics voted against proposition 8. And, for the record, so did the poor and wealthy.)

L. E. Lee said...

Jayne wrote
"To continue my McClellan analogy..."

You have convinced me. President Obama is like McClellan. I hope reactionary forces within the GOP get the rest of the party to realize that he can be defeated in 2012 with any candidate they put up. There really is no need this time to be politically prudent given how obviously weak Obama is. Go for the gusto! Sarah Palin would be the perfect candidate. That is who I am rooting for!

Shanna said...

Jason - I find Jim's statements that gay people will just vote for any Democrat, no matter their view on gay rights, very insulting.

DTL, I think last I heard it was something like 70-80% of gay folks vote democrat. So not as lopsided as African Americans, but still a sizeable majority vote democrat. Despite Obama’s actions, I think this is unlikely to change, but the percentages may change a bit. We’ll see.

Joseph said...

Thanks for the citations to hard evidence, Jim.

You are not pointing out reality, as you suggest. You are playing right-wing racial politics by exaggerating a slight difference among races on this issue without controlling for other relevant factors in order to... wait for it... accuse Obama of playing racial politics.

Jim said...

Arturius -

"Jim, I stated that those most worked up over gay rights are religious fundamentalists. You claimed that was bigoted. It is also true."

Re-read my posts. I did no such thing. I never even addressed your statement because I don't disagree with it.

Shanna said...

Truth be told, benefits should be extended further to allow each worker to select a relative or close friend and provide health insurance and transfer of pension rights. (As other advanced nations do).

I’ve long thought this would be a better idea. I’m single and I can’t give my benefits to anyone, but if I were married I could. I think there was a time when my brother didn’t have health insurance and it would have been fair if I had been able to add him to mine for a while. This is part of the reason I’ve always supported health benefits for same sex partners.

I think basically everyone should have the ability to add one adult to their plan, if they wish. This might actually help cover some of the countries uninsured, if it were allowed. Who knows? It’s certainly a fairer benefit. It might be a bitch to implement though.

Arturius said...

I call bullshit on this. President Obama has done more today than Bush did in eight years


If you're referring to the national debt you're absolutely right.

Arterius says Obama is "only" risking a few percentage points drop in the black community by aggressively courting gay votes. I know it's popular mythology that Obama had some sort of huge electoral win, but if you switch the votes of only 1.6% of the population we're talking about President McCain and the junior senator from Illinois who came so close but ultimately fell short.


Jim, I don't subscribe to Obama's 'huge electoral win'. My statement is that he enjoyed a 95% voter turnout within the African American community. My hypothetical 1.6% shift was within the African American vote not the population at large.

Let me just say, I don't have any skin in this game. In fact, I haven't voted since 1992 and the fact Obama has turned out to be the two faced politician he is instead of Mr. Hope and Change has only reaffirmed my decision to not waste my time that I would have otherwise spent standing in line at the polls.

Arturius said...

Arturius -

"Jim, I stated that those most worked up over gay rights are religious fundamentalists. You claimed that was bigoted. It is also true."

Re-read my posts. I did no such thing. I never even addressed your statement because I don't disagree with it.



Refer to the comment by Jim at 9:43

"The only ones who really get worked into a raging lather over the gay issue are religious fundamentalists and they’re easily marginalized."

That's a nicely bigoted statement, but it's absolutely not true.

Jim said...

"The same can be said for the African Americans and Hispanic community should Obama support gay rights."

Actually that both true and not true. The majority of Hispanic voters may be Democratic voters, but that's not monolithically true the way it is of African-Americans. Some groups, such as Cuban-Americans, are actually mostly Republicans. Hispanics of other derivations often vote as much on social issues as they do economic ones.

As far as African-Americans not voting Republican, I would agree with you as far as it goes. However, staying home and not voting can often have as much impact on election results.

As I pointed out in a previous comment, even if small percentages of either group stay home or actively switch sides, we're not talking about President Obama. As both groups are significantly more populous than the gay communities, Obama has to decide which group he has a greater need to turn out to the polls in large numbers.

Also, the gay communities tend to be very centralized in places like San Francisco, LA, Seattle and New York - reliably Blue States all of them. So if gays don't turn out or wind up voting for the other guy, it will make little difference in the overall calculus. On the other hand, blacks and Hispanics make up significant portions of the population in potential swing states like New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

Listen. I'm not saying that Obama is doing the right thing. I'm saying he's doing the politically expedient thing, and that gays are fooling themselves if they think that either Obama or Democrats generally are going to suddenly going to give more consideration to their grievances than to their own electoral math.

rhhardin said...

Obama gets the ``Seven with one stroke'' belt, from the Grimm fairy tale. The valiant tailor.

L. E. Lee said...

Arturius wrote
"I haven't voted since 1992"

Thank you Arturius. You are making the right decision and have my full support.

knox said...

You are playing right-wing racial politics

LOL. There are 2 things that will get a big reaction out of some lefties. One is to observe that they are not all as enlightened as they want to think they are. They carefully guard the position that they are exempt from charges of racism or homophobia, just because they vote democrat. It is a very comfy place to be.

The other is to point out anything that might threaten the coalition of special interests comprising the democrat vote. If you call attention to the fact that some of these groups have competing interests, you can incite real panic.

A lot of hard work and spin has gone into convincing gays they should place all the blame for Prop 8 on Mormons or others on the right. It has largely worked.

Jim said...

Arturius -

I stand corrected. I did address your statement, but my primary intent was to take issue with your assertion that fundamentalists are the only ones who get worked up about it - unless, of course, you include Catholics and Baptists as "religious fundamentalists" which they most certainly are not. It was your point about religious fundamentalists getting "worked up" that I agree with.

And it wasn't religious fundamentalists who defeated Prop 8, it was blacks and Hispanics.

Jim said...

knox -

"The other is to point out anything that might threaten the coalition of special interests comprising the democrat vote. If you call attention to the fact that some of these groups have competing interests, you can incite real panic."

Quite obviously...It reminds me of a joke that I received by email a couple of days ago from a friend:

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied,"You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct.But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."


DTL is the perfect illustration. All I did was point out that Obama and the Democratic Party don't give a rat's ass about his cause, and suddenly it was my fault...

Go figure.

Jason (the commenter) said...

L. E. Lee : I call bullshit on this. President Obama has done more today than Bush did in eight years.

I call bullshit on that. Obama does a little for us and we are supposed to be happy. People like you keep telling us to "go slow" and "be patient", but that's just the problem, you're too slow. People are suffering every day because of Obama's unwillingness to address problems he promised to fight for and it is unacceptable. Obama is the problem, and he is providing cover for every other Democrat who wants to keep us from having equal rights.

Jason said...

If you're in a same sex relationship, but you want to use an HSA plan, you can (sort of) mimic the advantages of HSAs by electing a a high deductible health plan and overfunding a permanent life insurance policy.

It's (usually) not deductible at the outset, but it grows tax free. Just name the same sex partner as the beneficiary. When the insured dies, the partner gets the entire death benefit amount, tax-free, married or not, straight or not.

Meanwhile, there are fewer restrictions on the cash value. You can access cash value for a medical emergency, tax free, like any HSA - or anything else you need it for, tax free, no 10% penalty.

And if you're really married... living as a married couple... chances are you can use the insurance anyway.

Joseph said...

And it wasn't religious fundamentalists who defeated Prop 8, it was blacks and Hispanics.

No. GOP party identification, frequent religious attendance rates and conservative ideology drove the vote for Prop 8, not race or ethnicity.

Jim said...

"...frequent religious attendance rates..."

see above re: religion of blacks and Hispanics.

The GOP and conservatives in general don't have the votes to defeat ANYTHING in California (except taxes in the Legislature which require a super-majority). Only when pieces of the Democratic coalition break off, whether it be on fiscal or social matters, does ANYTHING get passed or defeated in that state.

The subject at hand is what Obama and Democrats are willing to do today and what they're willing to do tomorrow. The primary thrust of my argument was to point out that there are certain groups generally considered to be within the Democratic coalition who are actively opposed to gay rights. You're not incorrect to point out that white social conservatives also voted against it, but they're not part of the Democratic coalition and so are ancillary to the discussion at hand.

Arturius said...

And it wasn't religious fundamentalists who defeated Prop 8, it was blacks and Hispanics.

No. GOP party identification, frequent religious attendance rates and conservative ideology drove the vote for Prop 8, not race or ethnicity.



I had no idea that the GOP and conservative ideology had such a force of impact in a liberal state that hasn't gone GOP since 1988.

L. E. Lee said...

Jarson (the commenter) wrote

"I call bullshit on that. Obama does a little for us and we are supposed to be happy. People like you keep telling us to "go slow" and "be patient", but that's just the problem, you're too slow. People are suffering every day because of Obama's unwillingness to address problems he promised to fight for and it is unacceptable. Obama is the problem, and he is providing cover for every other Democrat who wants to keep us from having equal rights."

I agree that President Obama is being too timid on this and those of us who support equal rights should push him hard. Don't accept "go slow" or "be patient". But it is still demonstrably false to say that Obama and the Dems are the same as Bush and the Republicans. Here in Wisconsin several years ago most Dems opposed the constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage while most Republicans supported it. Obviously, there is a difference. For you to argue that there is political and moral equivalency is just plain silly and completely ignores the facts.

Joseph said...

Arturius--Those are the salient characteristics of the people who voted for Prop 8 according to statistical analysis of polling data. The two most important characteristics determining the vote were party identification and ideology. Those self describing as Republicans or Conservatives, overwhelmingly supported Prop 8. The third most important characteristic determining the vote was religiosity. Those attending religious services every week, supported Prop 8 by 70% while those attending once a month opposed it by 52% and those hardly ever attending opposed it by 70%. The fourth most important characteristic determining the vote was age. All the ages groups opposed Prop 8, except for those 65+ who supported it by 67%. African Americans and Latinos supported Prop 8 by 58 and 59% respectively—not 70% plus as reported in an exit poll on November 4, 2008. Furthermore, their vote correlates more with religiosity than race.

L. E. Lee said...

Jim wrote
"The primary thrust of my argument was to point out that there are certain groups generally considered to be within the Democratic coalition who are actively opposed to gay rights."

And these people are probably going to be part of the next GOP coalition just as white southern racists fled the Democratic party to join the Republican party during the 1960s thru the 1980s.

Joseph said...

You're not incorrect to point out that white social conservatives also voted against it, but they're not part of the Democratic coalition and so are ancillary to the discussion at hand.

All Blacks and (especially) Hispanics are not part of the Democratic coalition either. Namely, the socially conservative ones are outside of the coalition. And those outside the coalition were much more likely to support Prop 8. People are more than their race or ethnicity.

And Prop 8 is not the only example of race and gay rights. In Arkansas on the same day as Prop 8, blacks supported gay rights by wider margins than whites.

Arturius said...

Arturius--Those are the salient characteristics of the people who voted for Prop 8 according to statistical analysis of polling data.


I'll just take your word for it since I have neither the time nor inclination to verify your figures.

That said, the polling data would also suggest that gay rights is not of much import to the largely liberal voter in California as the results would indicate they didn't see fit to voice their support. I mean I could easily understand gay marriage being defeated in North Carolina or Alabama but in liberal California? I'd say that has a lot more negative implications on liberals than conservatives.

Arturius said...

And Prop 8 is not the only example of race and gay rights. In Arkansas on the same day as Prop 8, blacks supported gay rights by wider margins than whites.


I don't know about you but I would not hang my hat on a difference of 4 points as evidence that blacks are more supportive of gay rights, particularly when 54% of blacks in Arkansas still voted for a ban on gay marriage. Basically you're saying that 11% of the black electorate in Arkansas is a smidgen less bigoted than whites.

Joseph said...

Arturius--The statistics are quoted from the link in my first comment.

The vote was 52-48. It was disappointing to gays and liberals to be sure, but it was hardly a crushing victory for conservatives. Majorities in support of SSM are just starting to emerge in the most liberal states, as evidenced by the recent spat of state legislatures approving it.

Jim said...

Joseph -

"..Namely, the socially conservative ones are outside of the coalition.."

That's an assertion without a basis in fact. There's a reason that Democrats go to black churches for votes: because they reliably vote for Democrats. As Bill Clinton famously did when the Lewinsky scandal broke, Democrats rely on the solid backbone of black votes to stay in office. Black preachers regularly exhort their church members to vote for the Democratic candidate.

If what you were saying was in any way true, then there wouldn't be any such thing as a monolithic Black vote for Democrats because significant numbers of them are socially conservative and fiscally liberal. So since you're fond of using statistics to prove your point, I have to point out that both reality and the statistics say you're wrong.

Joseph said...

I don't know about you but I would not hang my hat on a difference of 4 points as evidence that blacks are more supportive of gay rights

I'm not saying blacks are more supportive of gay rights. My whole point was to criticize the right-wing meme that blacks and hispanics hate gays. Its not about race. Or, to the extent it is about race, it more so about party, ideology, religiosity, age, and then race.

Joseph said...

So since you're fond of using statistics to prove your point, I have to point out that both reality and the statistics say you're wrong.

I'm not sure why I'm supposed to use statistics to debunk the things you make up but you don't have to use real evidence to back up your assertions.

Your argument on a monolithic racial electorate holds up more with blacks, who routinely vote for Democrats by over 90%. As with gays, I think this has a lot more to do with the anti-gay and anti-black positions and leaders of the GOP than with any great affection for the Democrats.

67% of Latinos voted for Obama. Who are the 33% outside the Democratic coalition? I proposed that they are the socially conservative Latinos. I'm not sure where to get statistics to back that up, but I don't think its a wild assertion. Therefore the Hispanics that are in the Democratic coalition are more supportive of gay rights than would appear if you just look at what percent of Hispanics overall voted for or against a given candidate or proposition.

Arturius said...

My whole point was to criticize the right-wing meme that blacks and hispanics hate gays.


Well linking to a study that indicates that no more than 59% of blacks supported Prop 8 is not a winning argument. So that's basically 6 out of 10 versus 7 out of 10. As we used to say in school, whoopie fuckin doo.

I don't have an ideological axe to grind in this issue. I think both the religious fundies/conservatives as well as the African American community are bigoted when it comes to gay rights. In fact, since its nothing less than a basic issue of civil rights, its even more abhorrent that more than half of African Americans oppose gay marriage.

Jim said...

"My whole point was to criticize the right-wing meme that blacks and hispanics hate gays."

That's a distortion of the "right-wing meme." A distortion which I went out of my way to point out earlier in this thread. I never said, and to my knowledge no one here has ever said, that black and Hispanics hate gays. What I did to is point out that religions to which both these ethnicities primarily belong teach that homosexuality is wrong but that you should love homosexuals as your brother. The common formulation of this is to "hate the sin, but love the sinner."

There is a huge difference between saying that the majority of a group hates gays and saying that the majority of a group objects to homosexuality on moral grounds.

It may seem a subtle difference to you, but it's an extremely important differentiation to make.

Jason (the commenter) said...

L. E. Lee : But it is still demonstrably false to say that Obama and the Dems are the same as Bush and the Republicans.

I wouldn't argue that, so maybe I'm not making myself clear. Some Republicans, like Cheney, are superior to Obama. Also, I see no reason to compare Obama to Bush, it's a ridiculously low standard.

Obama used to be for gay marriage but over time has come out of the closet in opposition to it, on religious grounds. Republicans have been moving in the opposite direction. I think we should be throwing our support behind Republicans and Democrats who support us or are becoming more open towards us and shaming Republicans and Democrats who turn their backs on us. Otherwise we will very much be the stereotype Jim mentioned.

Jim said...

"Your argument on a monolithic racial electorate holds up more with blacks, who routinely vote for Democrats by over 90%. As with gays, I think this has a lot more to do with the anti-gay and anti-black positions and leaders of the GOP than with any great affection for the Democrats."

Thank you for making my point for me. There are other reasons that blacks reliably vote Democratic that have nothing to do with whether or not they are socially conservative. The same goes for Hispanics.

You asserted that socially conservative blacks and Hispanics aren't part of the Democratic coalition, yet you admit that socially conservative blacks and Hispanics vote for Democrats for reasons outside their social conservatism.

You can't have it both ways. All you've done is make my point for me: that even socially conservative blacks and Hispanics who are anti-gay rights are part of the Democratic coalition. All you've done is implicitly add "because of their beliefs on other issues" to my statement.

Thanks for the clarification.

Zeb Quinn said...

GOP party identification, frequent religious attendance rates and conservative ideology drove the vote for Prop 8, not race or ethnicity.

Actually not. Obama carried California over McCain 7.4m votes (60.9%) to 4.6m votes (37.3%). A landslide. But at the same time these same voters were passing Prop 8 to the tune of 6.3m (52.2%) to 5.8m (47.8%).

In other words, 13.1% of Obama voters, over a million of them, voted for Prop 8. Let that ping around inside your head.

Exit polling pretty much established that what carried the day that way for Prop 8 was the extraordinary number of blacks who turned out to vote for Obama and who overwhelmingly voted for Prop 8 while they were there. Overwhelmingly as in 70% to 30%.

Joseph said...

Some Republicans, like Cheney, are superior to Obama.

No. Cheney, whatever he believes or says he believes deep down, did not take any action to support gay rights when he was in office. The fact that he now says he would support greater rights is cowardly and manipulative.

L. E. Lee said...

Jason wrote
"I think we should be throwing our support behind Republicans and Democrats who support us or are becoming more open towards us and shaming Republicans and Democrats who turn their backs on us."

I totally agree.

L. E. Lee said...

Joseph wrote
"No. Cheney, whatever he believes or says he believes deep down, did not take any action to support gay rights when he was in office. The fact that he now says he would support greater rights is cowardly and manipulative."

I totally agree.
But I do appreciate that even at this late date he got on the right side of history.

Joseph said...

Jim--I said your argument works for blacks but not for Hispanics.

Zeb--You can keep quoting misleading figures but when you control for other factors, as in the study I linked to, the racial dynamic is not as powerful as party ID, ideology, religiosity, or age.

Arturius said...

Cheney, whatever he believes or says he believes deep down, did not take any action to support gay rights when he was in office.


In other words he did what every other Vice President did while holding that office; nothing.

Shanna said...

In Arkansas on the same day as Prop 8, blacks supported gay rights by wider margins than whites.

There was more to that particular ballot initiative than gay rights-it was actually about adoption and foster care. There was a anti-gay marriage thing on the ballot years before that also passed, and that racial data might be a better direct comparison to Prop8. I don’t remember the wording off hand on the adoption/foster care amendment, but it was something about excluding unmarried people living together, which people were worried would end up excluding couples that lived together but weren’t married, some types of relatives, etc… There was more to it than the gay issue.

However, it was definitely sold on the gay part, and Arkansas always votes for anything like that crap by large margins.

Jim said...

"I said your argument works for blacks but not for Hispanics."

You're wrong. It's absolutely true unless you believe that the only Hispanics voting for Democrats are non-Catholics (or other Christian religions which share the same teachings on homosexuality).

Go back to your statistics. You can't get to the numbers of Hispanics voting for Democrats if you exclude them.

And we don't even have to restrict our discussion to blacks and Hispanics to see how flat your argument falls. Are you saying there's no such thing as a pro-life Democrat? According to your definition, those people don't belong to the Democratic coalition either. In fact, your grouping of self-identified "conservatives" in the Prop 8 election seems to assume that none of them were Democrats either.

You really need to face up to the fact there are significant numbers of anti-gay rights groups within the "big tent" of the Democratic Party and that the problem those pushing for gay rights have starts at home before you ever open the door to look at what's going on with Republicans. I'm not going to claim that the Republican party is somehow "enlightened" on the issue, but at least they're honest about where they stand rather than playing gays for suckers year after year.

Jim said...

Jason -

You're absolutely right that selectively supporting candidates of either party who support your push for gay rights would be a far more effective way to go about obtaining them. Unfortunately, as with the feminist movement, the leaders of the "gay rights movement" has less interest in actually obtaining gay rights than it does in advancing Democratic Party agenda.

A truly independent gay advocacy group could do far more for gay rights than the Democratic Party lackeys who currently claim to speak for you today do.

As you pointed out with Dick Cheney, there are definitely Republicans who would stand with you. My wife even told a gay classmate in her doctoral program that we'd be willing to march alongside him for his rights...

...but...

...you* have stop calling us bigots first.

* not you speifically since I know you haven't said this, but directed toward gays generally

L. E. Lee said...

Jim wrote
"I'm not going to claim that the Republican party is somehow "enlightened" on the issue, but at least they're honest about where they stand rather than playing gays for suckers year after year."

Look at the states that have passed laws enacting gay marriage and then look at which party is in the majority in the state legislature. Then get back to me and tell me that there is not a difference.

Jim said...

Lee -

This really isn't an argument you want to enter into:

Before a court imposed gay marriage on Massachusetts:

"So, instead of enforcing the current laws as was his sworn constitutional duty as chief executive, Romney actually subverted the law and violated his oath by forcing Justices of the Peace and other public officials to marry same sex couples or be fired even though doing so was a clear violation of current Massachusetts law. "

Hmm...could you remind me which party Romney belongs to again? Did the Massachusetts legislature take the lead? No, it was one of those evil Mormons. Bastard.

California speaks for itself. An overwhelmingly Democratic state. Now it's completely unconstitutional in the state. 'Nuff said.

Remind me again what Obama's stated position on gay marriage is?

While you're at it, could you tell me Hillary Clinton's stated position on gay marriage is?

Who were the top two leading Democratic Party candidates for the nomination were again?

Connecticut - court-imposed, not legislative. But it has a Republican governor.

DC - voted against gay marriages decided only to recognize gay marriages elsewhere. Who runs that place anyway? Is there even a Republican anywhere in the district government?

NH - would have had gay marriage after legislation passed and the governor asked for stronger protections for clergy (to prevent the entire law from being struck down as an unconstitutional infringement on the freedom of religion), and it was defeated because the bill's gay advocates decided they'd rather have a law that blatantly violated the 1st amendment and would have been struck down rather than actually, you know, have gay marriage.

NJ - civil unions only after the court ordered them to implement them. They had the option to offer gay marriage and chose not to. Which party runs New Jersey again?

How many state legislatures and governorships are controlled by Democrats again? Was that "a majority of them" that I heard you say? I'm pretty sure it was.

Forcing me to highlight just how little the Democratic Party has done versus what it could do if actually cared about gay rights didn't exactly work out the way you planned, did it?

Joseph said...

Jim--I didn't say that all Hispanic Democrats support gay rights. I said that the 67% (or so) of Hispanics that are in the Democratic coalition are more likely to support gay rights than those outside of it. The same is true of whites--those who identify as Republican are more anti-gay, those who identify as Democrats are more pro-gay rights. Therefore, just because 58% of Hispanics overall supported Prop 8, does not mean that 58% of Hispanics in the Democratic coalition are anti-gay. This should not be controversial.

And I conceded that this is less true with blacks because such a high proportion of blacks identify with one party.

Jim said...

There's a larger lesson to be learned here for groups other than gays, and DTL provided the perfect example.

Here I am arguing for gay rights, and I got called a bigot anyway.

Why should ANY Republican or conservative fight for ANY special interest group that monolithically votes for the Democratic Party when you're going to call them "racists" or "bigots" anyway.

The NAACP, La Raza, NOW and many others are no less lackeys of Democratic Party politics than GLAAD and similiar organizations are. They claim to be fighting for the rights of their particular group, but when push comes to shove they always willingly subjugate their needs to the greater needs of the Democratic Party.

Another great example: inner-city schools. Blacks overwhelmingly support vouchers to get their children out of failing public schools. The Democratic Party is beholden to the NEA, so guess which group gets screwed when school vouchers come up? Guess which party favors school vouchers? Yeah...Republicans, those racist bastards.

These are just a couple of examples where you go wrong fighting for what you want by automatically aligning with the Democratic Party.

If you want to change the Republican party platform, you have to first stop assuming that all Republicans are evil. You have to give Republicans a reason to buy into your agenda. When you slavishly give your votes to Democrats no matter what any individual Republican does or believes just sends the message that there's no good reason to support your cause.

If you want to change the world, you first have to change the way you behave. If you're not willing to do that, then you have absolutely zero right to complain when nobody else does either.

Jim said...

Joseph -

Are you missing the fact that you are talking about "Hispanic Democrats" and admitting that at least a significant portion of them are anti-gay? Ditto for blacks.

If a person is a registered Democrat and can be reliably counted upon to vote for Democrats: they are, by definition, part of the Democratic coalition.

Your denial doesn't change reality.

I really don't know how to make it easier to understand than that.

Joseph said...

Jim--

California speaks for itself. An overwhelmingly Democratic state. Now it's completely unconstitutional in the state. 'Nuff said.

The CA legislature passed it years ago but the GOP governor refused to sign it.

DC - voted against gay marriages decided only to recognize gay marriages elsewhere. Who runs that place anyway? Is there even a Republican anywhere in the district government?

They did not vote against gay marriages. They haven't voted on it at all yet. The first step was to recognize marriages elsewhere. Note, also, that the majority black city council and the black mayor unanimously supported the measure with one dissenter.

NH - would have had gay marriage after legislation passed and the governor asked for stronger protections for clergy (to prevent the entire law from being struck down as an unconstitutional infringement on the freedom of religion), and it was defeated because the bill's gay advocates decided they'd rather have a law that blatantly violated the 1st amendment and would have been struck down rather than actually, you know, have gay marriage.

I don't know where you're getting your news, but that's not reality. NH has gay marriage now. The governor vetoed the first try and then the legislature passed a revised version with the religious protection, and the governor signed it.

Forcing me to highlight just how little the Democratic Party has done versus what it could do if actually cared about gay rights didn't exactly work out the way you planned, did it?

I'm all for criticizing the Democrats on gay rights. But Republicans have done almost nothing to advance gay rights. I'd love it if the GOP would compete for the votes of gays and their friends, but they are either silent or anti-gay, and rarely, if ever, push for gay rights harder than the Democrats mediocre efforts.

Jim said...

Another note on school vouchers: one of Obama's first acts as president was to kill the school voucher program which so many blacks in DC depended on to send their children to quality schools.

Why? Because he knows blacks are going to vote for him anyway. He did the electoral math and decided that he couldn't risk losing the NEA union donations. So blacks got screwed.

There's your equal-opportunity president revealing himself to be nothing more than a partisan party hack who will screw special interest groups at the first moment its convenient to do so.

But you go on believing that he's going have some sudden epiphany and argue that he's going to fight for gay rights on principle rather than believe the reality before your very eyes.

But I guess I'm a "racist" now for pointing on how in-your-face, I-don't-give-a-crap-about-you he was to blacks...He would never do that to gay people, not in a million years...Only a "bigot" would think that.

Yeah...either that or a "realist."

Joseph said...

Are you missing the fact that you are talking about "Hispanic Democrats" and admitting that at least a significant portion of them are anti-gay? Ditto for blacks. If a person is a registered Democrat and can be reliably counted upon to vote for Democrats: they are, by definition, part of the Democratic coalition.

We are talking past each other. I genuinely don't understand what your beef is. Yes, I know that some Democrats of every race are more conservative than the party. Duh. I'm saying that the Hispanics who identify as Democrats are more liberal than Hispanics generally. Duh. And so the Democratic coalition (Hispanic or otherwise) has anti-gay voices in it. But the anti-gay voices within the coalition are not as strong as those of the whole population. Thus, Obama does not need to cater to the anti-gay sentiments of the general population or of the whole Hispanic population, but rather to the not-so-anti-gay views of those that are actually in his coalition.

BJM said...

DTL: A march on Washington and $3 will get you a cup of coffee.

Don't kid yourselves, the MSM will turn on gays in a NY minute, they have too much invested in Obama.

Turn off the gay ATM, money is the mother's milk of politics and the gay community has been a significant Dem contributor in recent election cycles.

Jim said...

"I'd love it if the GOP would compete for the votes of gays and their friends, but they are either silent or anti-gay, and rarely, if ever, push for gay rights harder than the Democrats mediocre efforts."

See my previous post on the subject. If you want Republicans to support gay rights, you have to give them a reason to do so. If I was basing my opinion on electoral math rather than principles, people like DTL are all the proof I would need to tell gays to go shove their gay rights agenda. You're not going to vote for me no matter what I do, so you can go fly a kite if you want me to stick my neck out for you.

Show me first that you're willing to go out on a limb to support Republicans who are for gay rights, then we can talk about changing the minds of Republicans as a party. It hasn't ever happened, and I'd be shocked if it ever did. GLAAD and the other groups are Democrats first, and gay rights advocates second so there's no payoff for a Republican in being an advocate for gay rights.

It's classic psychological theory. If you want someone to exhibit a given behavior, you offer them a reward each time they exhibit it. Eventually it becomes a habit, and they'll exhibit on a consistent basis. On the other hand, if you smack his nose no matter what he does, you can hardly be surprised that he isn't doing what you want him to do.

The problem with this is that it requires a change in behavior and voting habits of the gay community at large. The default position is that just screaming "bigot" at every opportunity is somehow a winning strategy.

I'm really trying to help, but at every turn I'm having to explain, re-explain, justify and re-justify plain and obvious truths because some people here are so enamoured of their party politics that they can't take a step back and realize that their entire approach to the issue is completely counter-productive. Take my advice or don't, but when things don't change the way you want them to you can't say that you weren't told.

Joseph said...

Show me first that you're willing to go out on a limb to support Republicans who are for gay rights, then we can talk about changing the minds of Republicans as a party. It hasn't ever happened, and I'd be shocked if it ever did.

The Log Cabin Republicans have existed for years for this purpose and have endorsed lots of Republicans. In 1996, they sent a check to Bob Dole and he returned the money because it was too controversial for a Republican to take money from gays.

L. E. Lee said...

Also, Maine which has a Democrat controlled state legislature and a Democratic Governor made gay marriage legal.

Also, Democrats who controlled the state legislature in California passed same sex marriage in 2005 and the Republican governor vetoed it.

scinfinity said...

Remember the Clinton administration walked into a shit storm right out of the box over gays in the military. I understand right wingers frustration that President Obama is unwilling to make the same tactical mistake but is instead being prudent. I think many progressives will accept that the president is focused on the end result, bring equality to all, and will give him some latitude concerning how he gets there. The president has a lot of good will in the gay and lesbian community.

I mean, he only has a huge majority in the Congress with his own party who claims to support this. Yeah, I can see why it'd be tough to pull it off now.

He's praying that the GOP wins Congress in 2010 to blame them for his cowardly inaction.

I mean, Clinton had 43% of the vote when he won and Obama had nearly 54% of the vote. Nearly identical situation.

No. GOP party identification, frequent religious attendance rates and conservative ideology drove the vote for Prop 8, not race or ethnicity.

Given how badly McCain did in the state, I'd love to see how a party that had a massive minority in the state could turn around and win ANOTHER race on the same ballot.

As pointed out, it does conservatives NO benefit to actually fight for gay rights when we'll be "bigots" no matter what happens. Hell, Republicans freed slaves and voted for the Civil Rights Act at a higher rate than the Democrats...yet it's the Republicans who are the "bigots".

As for Cheney...his job is not to fight with the President or to contradict the President. He openly said he supported gay marriage back in 2004 --- but he didn't make policy.

Just admit it --- there is LITERALLY nothing the Dems can do to gays and blacks that will make both groups not vote for them in comical percentages.

...which is why the Dems don't do a damned thing for any of you. They don't need to in order to keep your vote.

Vote Republicans once in a while and you might see your goals achieved. As it is, we see gays justifying massive Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic President not making any substantive moves towards addressing their issues.

Jim said...

Joseph -

"Thus, Obama does not need to cater to the anti-gay sentiments of the general population or of the whole Hispanic population, but rather to the not-so-anti-gay views of those that are actually in his coalition."

Here's the flaw in that argument: the people who are paid to poll that sentiment down to the very last decimal point are saying that you're wrong. It has been widely reported that Obama, Axelrod and Emmanuel spend a couple of hours every night going over the day's latest poll numbers.

If you believe for an instant that they thought there was greater electoral advantage in coming out forcibly for any of the things he promised the gay community before the election, you'd be a fool to bet that he wouldn't do it in a heartbeat.

For God's sake, he came out in favor of that ridiculous PAYGO bill the day after Gallup released a poll saying the public had lost confidence in his handling of the deficit.

Think about it this way. In order to win a 2nd term, he can afford to lose 2.9% of the voting public. So he doesn't have to win a single new voter. He doesn't even have to hold on to everyone who voted for him in 2008. He just has to keep as many people who already voted for him as happy as possible. We can both agree on this, right?

The vast majority of Republicans didn't vote for him. A significant portion of Independents didn't vote for him. The people who voted for him are, in the main, members of the Democratic coalition and those who were/are favorably disposed to Democratic policies. So every single argument you're trying to make about Republicans and non-aligned conservatives is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. They didn't vote for Obama the first time, and they're highly unlikely to do the next time around.

Obama is looking at those who already voted for him and trying to walk a high wire between competing interests to keep as many of them on board as possible. His actions to date prove that gays are the first ones he's decided to throw to the wolves: they only constitute 2-4% of the population in the first place, some number of them are actually conservative (Log Cabin Republicans anyone?), and a significant portion of them are non-voters. So how much risk is there to him in doing so? Practically none.

Joseph said...

Here's the flaw in that argument: the people who are paid to poll that sentiment down to the very last decimal point are saying that you're wrong.

If you know that these mystical people have evidence "down to the very last decimal point" then please give some evidence.

L. E. Lee said...
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L. E. Lee said...

The postings of Jim and others on these Althouse threads probably provides ample evidence why civil rights issues, including those for gays and lesbians, should be handled by the courts. The legislative process is inherently political. It involves compromises, half measures, incrementalism, and appeals to the majority.

While there are some good arguments for taking the legislative/electoral avenue, Jim and others provide the rational why this approach is probably also flawed.

Ralph L said...

dtl, what's your problem with incest? Bigot!

Is SSM legal, or even an issue, in Mexico or Latin America?

Jim said...

"The Log Cabin Republicans have existed for years for this purpose and have endorsed lots of Republicans."

And what portion of the gay population do the Log Cabin Republicans represent? And do you also want to share with the class what other gays call Log Cabin Republicans? Most of those words can't be repeated in polite company, can they?

When the gay community at large is busy spitting on Log Cabin Republicans, they can hardly promise to bring significant numbers of gays to the polls for a Republican candidate can they? Exactly. So just exactly how much influence do you expect them to have when the gay community at large leaves them hanging out to dry for even making an attempt?

"In 1996, they sent a check to Bob Dole and he returned the money because it was too controversial for a Republican to take money from gays."

True enough, that did happened 13 years ago. [Remind me how much Clinton was doing to advance the gay agenda at that time? DODT? That's what I thought.]

And the Log Cabin Republicans withheld their endorsement of President Bush in 2004: which is what they should do if he's not supporting their agenda. They acted on principle, so their endorsement actually means something.

Endorsement by GLAAD and the like is meaningless: everybody knows they're going to support the Democratic candidate in any race.

[I even Googled "GLAAD withholds endorsement" and all I got were search results about the Log Cabin Republicans and other entries about how it would be a mistake to withhold money from the Democratic Party to protest their lack of action on gay rights. That should speak volumes to you.]

Show me the national-level gay rights organizations that withheld their endorsement from either Hillary or Obama. You can't because there isn't one. [Please do us both the favor of not trying to pull out some local chapter of some 3rd tier organization...We're talking national level only.] Show me any national level gay rights organization that has ever made a Democratic candidate pay for not pushing their agenda. You can't because it doesn't exist.

2 years of a Democratic Congress and still no bill passed to the president requesting repeal of DOMA? Even as a symbolic gesture in the face of a veto by Bush? They haven't even been giving gays symbolic support by doing something like that.

6 months of a Democratic monopoly on power and not one bill has been proposed by one Democratic congressman to push forward the gay agenda. Remind me again how much work gay activists have done over the years to get these people into office?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...

bagoh20 said...

Stalin and Mao were once "on the right side of history".
-
Isn't that silly phrase just another way of saying: fashionable, hip, politically correct, the latest fad? It says absolutely nothing about the intrinsic validity of any position or person.
-
Unless you are a pure liberal loving change for change's sake. Then of course you have no principles at all - a value which may itself be on the right side of history.

L. E. Lee said...

Jim wrote
"If you want Republicans to support gay rights, you have to give them a reason to do so...there's no payoff for a Republican in being an advocate for gay rights."

You are right Jim. Matters of Civil Rights should not be just another political football to be kicked around. The courts are the right environment to bring about these needed changes. Thank you for helping us see this.

Cedarford said...

L. E. Lee said...
The postings of Jim and others on these Althouse threads probably provides ample evidence why civil rights issues, including those for gays and lesbians, should be handled by the courts. The legislative process is inherently political. It involves compromises, half measures, incrementalism, and appeals to the majority.


Lee - The courts only have power as long as the People continue to honor their edicts.
Courts are like High Priests telling people what to do and blocking their use of leaders, elected bodies, organizations as alternatives.
But history in replete with toppled temples, repudiation of High Priests, slaughter of high priests that buck the subjects or their leaders. And religious war.

We CANNOT afford to place realms of our power and sovereignity solely in the hands of a lawyer elite dressed up in robes - because they happened to be good fundraisers, knew people, went to the right dinner parties or right prestigious school.

On civil rights, terrorist rights, present problems..If only the Courts have power, they will lose that power as the People reassert their primacy and through them their elected official's primacy.

Joseph said...

Jim--Based on your repeated promotion of factual inaccuracies and failure to admit as much, and your unwillingness to back up anything you say with actual evidence, I have no reason to trust anything you say.

There are some obvious reasons why gay groups withheld endorsements of Bush but not Obama. Gay groups also selectively endorse among Democrats and Republicans in primaries and in general elections.

Jim said...

Lee -

"The postings of Jim and others on these Althouse threads probably provides ample evidence why civil rights issues, including those for gays and lesbians, should be handled by the courts"

And the courts aren't political? If you believe that, then perhaps you need to sit in one of Professor Althouse's classes some time.

As someone once famously said "The courts are merely politics by other means." Would Sotomayor's nomination be in the news at all if politics weren't involved in who is sitting on the bench?

Yes. It takes time to change people's minds. But as the situation in California showed: having unelected judges try to shove their opinions down the electorate's throats can have serious consequences for those who would seek to have judges impose what they cannot obtain legislatively. It's counterproductive.

Be careful what you wish for. Trying to take the easy way out rather than winning over "hearts and minds" as the saying goes is more likely to result in a stiffening of the resolve of your opponents and a result which will set your cause back rather than move it forward. Remember: it wasn't unconstitutional for gays to marry in California before the courts got involved. It is now.

L. E. Lee said...

Bagoh20 wrote

"Stalin and Mao on the right side of history".

No. Stalin and Mao where on the wrong side of history. That is where you and I differ.

Jim said...

Joseph -

The only "factual inaccuracies" that we can agree on are that your math doesn't add up. You keep trying to conflate the attitudes of Democrats with the attitudes of the general public, and I keep having to correct you.

Believe me or don't believe me, that's your call to make. But you can also believe your lying eyes or not when it comes to the actions of the Democratic Party in general and Obama specifically.

All I have done is try to explain to you that they're lying to you, and I've tried to explain why. You keep trying to quibble over a percentage here and there rather than address the greater truth that although the Democrats have it within their power to do much more for gays than they're doing: they're choosing not to do it for a reason.

You can't deny that Democrats have the power - and have had it at the state level for a number of years - to do what you want them to do. You also can't deny that they haven't. You profess to not know why. I've tried to tell you why, and all you can do is make excuses for their failure to fight for your cause.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

L. E. Lee said...

Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln were on the right side of history. As are those who support equal rights for gays and lesbians.

L. E. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L. E. Lee said...

Jim, you do not think others will see your B.S. because you don't even see it.

You excuse Republicans for not supporting equal rights for gays because there is no political award for them doing so. BUT, then you have the hubris to turn around and criticize President Obama for being politically prudent (and once again I think he is being to much so) in how he pushes this issue forward.

Do you see the inconsistencies in your argument?

Jim said...

If I'm such a liar and a bigot and so ignorant about the Machiavellian machinations of the Democratic Party, then perhaps someone can provide a satisfactory answer to this:

Nany Pelosi is Speaker of the House. She represents a gerrymandered Democratic congressional district that would sooner commit mass suicide than vote for a Republican. She's from San Francisco. A significant portion of the electorate in her district is gay. Yet she has never once even proposed anything like a "Gay Bill of Rights." There's no downside risk to her or her personal re-election chances. So why is it that she hasn't ever proposed anything even resembling that? Why hasn't any other Democratic congressman from any other safely Democratic district proposed such a thing?

Even if we leave aside Obama, there's absolutely no reason that the Democratic Party has been silent on the issue.

Could it be that the leadership of the Democratic Party is against such a thing? Could it be that they take the votes from the gay community for granted? Could it be that they perceive so little downside risk to patting the gay community on the head and telling them to go out and play while the grown-ups talk?

Ralph L said...

The courts are the right environment to bring about these needed changes.

Because it's worked so well for abortion.
OK, so we still argue about it, but 30 million dead babies can't be wrong.

Jim said...

"BUT, then you have the hubris to turn around and criticize President Obama for being politically prudent (and once again I think he is being to much so) in how he pushes this issue forward."

Actually they are part and parcel of the same thing and not inconsistent at all if you're at all following along.

If I'm a Republican and I know I can't win your votes, then I have no incentive to push your agenda. If I'm a Democrat and I know you're going to vote for me no matter what I do, then I also have no incentive to push your agenda.

So the gay community has set itself up in a situation where absolutely nobody has an incentive to push their agenda. And once again, you're trying to go after the messenger (me) for pointing it out.

Maybe if you directed your most pointed questions towards those you worked to get elected and are now showing you the backside of your hand instead of me you'd get better results.

knox said...

My whole point was to criticize the right-wing meme that blacks and hispanics hate gays.

Inconvenient facts become right-wing memes!

Bravo. Here's how it's done.

knox said...

Never mind that no one here said blacks and hispanics hate gays. But that doesn't matter, we're not dealing with reality any more.

Joseph said...

Jim--your descriptions of marriage in DC and NH were all demonstrably factually inaccurate, although not lacking in seething sarcasm.

L. E. Lee said...

Jim,
I don't think I have called you a "liar and a bigot." I do think you are a little thick.

You are wrong to say "the Democratic Party has been silent on the issue."

As has already been demonstrated above there has been many victories in this battle because of progressive leadership in many areas of the country. (Yes, most of them are Democratic.)

Being prudent and strategic is not the same as doing nothing.

Maybe the Dems have decided that the best way to help win equal rights for gays and lesbians is to embrace federalism and not work exclusively from the top down? In making that strategic call does that mean the Dem leadership is unprincipled? Or is it a wise and prudent decision that might get us more quickly to a better place in this county?

L. E. Lee said...

(BTW, I realize that one of the problems with this discussion is that the concept of "prudent" has become an archaic word within the conservative movement. So, when President Obama acts prudently it is either vexing for these conservatives or viewed as politically unfair and hence something worth whining about.)

Jim said...

"Maybe the Dems have decided that the best way to help win equal rights for gays and lesbians is to embrace federalism and not work exclusively from the top down? "

Then explain to me why every Blue state in the Union doesn't already have gay rights laws on its books. What possible argument can you possibly put forth that explains why states with Democratic legislatures and Democratic governors don't already have gay marriage and the range of other rights that you're looking for.

Yes, you can cite a couple of examples and I haven't disputed them. But you're talking about isolated instances not any sort of broad-based support - even at the state level - for gay rights.

According to your logic, Democrats would have already passed those laws. Ask yourself why they haven't.

Both you and Joseph are trying to justify the unjustifiable by trying to nitpick my arguments. Fine. Nitpick away, and we can go at this day and night. But ultimately nothing either of you are saying can sufficiently explain away Democratic inaction on gay rights. You're like the family of an alcoholic who wants to justify why Mom's fallen off the wagon yet again. There's no end to the excuses and absolutely zero recognition that your blind fealty to the Democratic Party hasn't gotten you the results they promised you even when they have it within their power to give it.

Obama is being prudent by not giving you your rights? He has a majority in both houses of Congress. He's got 3 1/2 years left in his term. He's got no excuse to not do what he promised you other than that he simply doesn't want to do it. If they can mark up an $800 billion bill with 8,500 earmarks, get it through both houses and signed by the President in a week; you think it would terribly complicated to get a bill that need run no more than a couple of pages through in the five months since then? Are you seriously buying into that? We've been having an intelligent back and forth here, so I know you're not stupid.

But Obama tells you he's being "prudent" and you're falling all over yourself to make excuses for him? I give you the unvarnished plan and honest truth about how he and the Democratic Party operate and suddenly I'm the bad guy here. I wasn't the one you worked to get elected. I wasn't the one you donated your money to. It's not MY broken promises we're talking about. But Obama gets a pass for blatantly lying to you and you feel the need to nitpick apart my every sentence? Yeah...that makes a lot of sense.

Just look at how you're acting and the ludicrous excuses you're being asked to swallow and ask yourself if you really feel that the Democratic Party and Obama are "working hard" for you like he promised and why they might think that they don't have to worry that you might jump ship on them. They've strung you along this far and you're still passionately defended their inaction, what reason have you given to believe you're not willing to be strung along indefinitely?

I get that you might view the Republicans as an unacceptable alternative. I'm not asking you to go out and vote for one. All I'm saying is that there's a reason you're not getting what you were promised and here it is. You may not like the answer because I have no doubt that it doesn't feel at all good to hear it: I'd be pissed as hell if I were in your shoes.

The Five Stages of Grief start with "Denial." I understand that, but you'd be best served by moving beyond that phase into the other 4 as quickly as possible.

Jim said...

I would also like to point out that the whole reason that New York state legislature is in such a mess is because 2 Democrats bolted their party over a gay marriage bill even being brought to the floor.

The Senate Majority Leader made a behind-closed-doors promised not to even bring it up during this sesson, and broke it.

Forget about the rest of the mess and think about the implications of that for a moment: Democrats were perfectly willing to throw gays under the bus the second they had gotten the gay community to turn out the vote and go to the ballot box for them.

Is this what you call the Democratic Party "working hard" for gay rights? Again, the evidence is right in front of your face. Choose to see it or not.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I am a gay and I think some blacks and hispanics hate gays but not because of their color because of that religion thing.

Many gays are not all that in love with blacks either. My friends, who are all white gays don't hang with any black gays. Except me, I love them for sex.

L. E. Lee said...

Wow, Jim, thank you for your concern. I am sure it is very sincere.

"Then explain to me why every Blue state in the Union doesn't already have gay rights laws on its books. What possible argument can you possibly put forth that explains why states with Democratic legislatures and Democratic governors don't already have gay marriage and the range of other rights that you're looking for."

Jim, those states that are more Democrat and socially liberal have passed same sex marriage laws. Those states that are less liberal even though they might have a Democrat majority are behind the curve.

I agree with you, we need more states that are more socially liberal!

PatCA said...

I would agree, Jayne, and add that today's copperhead press serves the Democrats' agenda once again, to the nation's and the world's detriment.

L. E. Lee said...

It appears that Jim and I came to agreement. It is too bad more states can not be like Vermont and Maine.

Who says that posters only talk past each other on Althouse and can never come to agreement!

Arturius said...

The postings of Jim and others on these Althouse threads probably provides ample evidence why civil rights issues, including those for gays and lesbians, should be handled by the courts. The legislative process is inherently political. It involves compromises, half measures, incrementalism, and appeals to the majority.


Why not throw out the whole republican system of government altogether while you're at it? I'm sorry if the democratic system of a representative republic isn't working out for you. I'm sure there are some countries that rule by some form of executive fiat but I'd rather not see that here thank you. While I'm a proponent for gay rights you'll please forgive me if I'd rather not throw out the baby with the bathwater and subrogate the legislative process to a few 'learned minds' on the bench. You win some you lose some and frankly, throwing a hissy fit and demanding the judicial branch decide issues that don't fit your particular social brand of justice is rather immature.

L. E. Lee said...

Arturius,

Don't be thick.

I was obviously pulling the legs of those who are all in a tizzy because there is ACTUAL POLITICS taking place in the political/legislative arena! "HOW CAN IT BE! HOW CAN IT BE!"

For the record, I think the political process is serving the fight for civil rights for gays and lesbians relatively well and as young and more enlightened voters become the majority this issue will be decided in favor of freedom. That is the history of the United States after all.

Zeb Quinn said...

Zeb--You can keep quoting misleading figures but when you control for other factors, as in the study I linked to, the racial dynamic is not as powerful as party ID, ideology, religiosity, or age.

Au contraire. It is YOU who are taking the rather straightforward facts and slicing, dicing, and then contorting them to avoid the obvious. The fact is the religious right doesn't control this issue. Prop 8 would've never passed but for support from Obama voters. Period. End of story.

L. E. Lee said...

Zeb,
Don't be dumb ass. If all of McCain's voters ballots were not counted it would have failed overwhelmingly. If all of Obama voters ballots had not been counted it would have passed overwhelmingly. In reality all of the votes were counted and it narrowly passed.

Jim said...

How timely...

So, to all of those who claimed I had no idea what I was talking when I said that Obama was throwing gays only enough crumbs to keep them off the picket lines, I'll be accepting your apologies any time you're ready to offer them.

Maybe the next time someone tries to cut through the morass of lies you've been told about how the Democratic party is going to "fight hard" for you, you won't decide that he's a bigot before checking your own facts first.

Jim said...

More on the story here.

"Fighting hard"...yeah...that's the ticket...

Jim said...

"This is simply more evidence that the White House never had a plan to act on our civil rights, to act on the president's promises (none of which have been fulfilled, or even addressed). They're simply winging it with our rights."

- John Aravosis

L. E. Lee said...

Like I wrote before, I agree with Jim that President Obama has not been progressive enough and should do a hell of a lot more. Even though he did more today than what Bush did during his entire eight years in office, political pressure should be applied and President Obama should do more to advance the cause of freedom. Jim and I agree on that. Thank you Jim in being my brother in arms fighting for social progressive change!

Joseph said...

I think Obama's an enormous disappointment. I mainly supported him in the primary because his foreign policy was smart and strategic and highly critical of Iraq whereas Clinton voted for the Iraq War mess and never recanted. Then he went and made her Secretary of State. Ugh. My secondary concern was with overdue gay rights issues like DADT, ENDA, DOMA and he seems pathetically disinterested.

I challenged Jim not because I think Obama is doing all he can or should be doing for gays but because of Jim's counterproductive racemongering on gay rights and then for the stuff he made up about legislative developments in DC and NH.

Jason said...

Bush did more for gay rights by kicking the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan than gays could ever imagine Obama could do in their wildest dreams.

scinfinity said...

You excuse Republicans for not supporting equal rights for gays because there is no political award for them doing so. BUT, then you have the hubris to turn around and criticize President Obama for being politically prudent (and once again I think he is being to much so) in how he pushes this issue forward.

More accurately, he doesn't criticize Republicans for not doing something they never said they would do while criticizing Democrats for routinely and consistently NOT doing what they specifically said they WOULD do.

It's like how the Left loves latching on to Christian conservatives who commit infidelity. Exact same thing.

I mainly supported him in the primary because his foreign policy was smart and strategic and highly critical of Iraq whereas Clinton voted for the Iraq War mess and never recanted.

He then endorsed basically every single measure Bush passed.

So, are you now arguing that Bush's policies went from evil to "smart and strategic"? Yay!

I challenged Jim not because I think Obama is doing all he can or should be doing for gays but because of Jim's counterproductive racemongering on gay rights and then for the stuff he made up about legislative developments in DC and NH.

65% of blacks oppose gay marriage in the most recent poll I could find (5/08). If you wish to pretend that blacks are pro-gay marriage, you are woefully mistaken.

And they are a markedly more important voice for the Dems. The Dems just need the gay groups for money. Blacks provide more votes and that is all they care about.

As long as you make your vote a guarantee for one party, you've lost all importance in the political struggle.

You won't see anything done until the Republicans gain the Congress. Then Obama will blame them.

Jim said...

"Thank you Jim in being my brother in arms fighting for social progressive change!"

I think you'll find that a great many conservatives/Republicans support gay rights and that there's a lot more common ground between us - at least on that particular issue - than we're given credit for.

For example, I know tons of conservatives/Republicans who support civil unions and the concepts of tax fairness, non-discrimination, etc. Their issue is with the word "marriage" only. So you're talking about 95% agreement with everything you're looking for right across the political aisle if the gay community can give up the automatic presumption that an (R) behind your name makes you a bigot and at least take the time to find out if someone is actually a potential ally in "the cause." (But if someone actually is a bigot, I have no problem with anyone calling them out. Just a little due diligence first.)

P.S. I enjoyed the rational and reasonable back and forth with both you and Joseph (and other contributers). It was a welcome change from being invited to "suck your cock" when we disagreed as some others here are known to do.

bagoh20 said...

L.E. Lee wrote,

"No. Stalin and Mao where on the wrong side of history. That is where you and I differ."

No, that's where we agree. It seems history never quite makes up it mind on these things. Therefore, I don't care which side it's on.

Jeremy said...

There's nothing like listening to a pack of wingnuts whining about Obama not standing up for gays.

Like most here are supportive of gay rights.

Bullshit and you know it.

Jeremy said...

Jim - "I think you'll find that a great many conservatives/Republicans support gay rights and that there's a lot more common ground between us - at least on that particular issue - than we're given credit for."

You're full of shit.

When was the last time you saw a Republican introduce or support gay rights?

Jeremy said...

Jason said..."Bush did more for gay rights by kicking the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan than gays could ever imagine Obama could do in their wildest dreams."

The Taliban is out of Afghanistan?

Gays are enjoying a free and open society in Afghanistan??

You people get dumber by the day...and that takes some doing.

Jeremy said...

So we're to believe JIM...the ultimate right wing nutcase...is really pro-gay rights?

Bullshit.

Jim said...

Speaking of Mr. Suck-My-Cock, he appears right on cue.

Just goes to show how little you know on yet another subject, eh Jeremy?

Jeremy said...

Jim is a homophobic prick.

And he knows it, too.

Jeremy said...

Jim loves to pontificate about things of which he little.

He's a homophobe.

Jim said...

"When was the last time you saw a Republican introduce or support gay rights?"

Dick Cheney...just this month...

Now eat your cookie and shut your piehole...

Jim said...

Jeremy -

You're late to the party. You missed out on the opportunity to disrupt a completely civil discussion. It's over, and your pathetic attempts to issue insults which clearly have no relation to reality only once again reveal you for the small-minded narcissist you are.

You're not going to bait me into some petty back and forth as you clearly have no interest in contributing substantially to the subject.

I enjoyed a great discussion with people who were capable of disagreement without exhibiting any of your penis fantasies intruding on them.

Try again tomorrow and maybe you'll be able to make an unwelcome intrusion on a different subject before the discussion is over.

Hope you're enjoying your cookie. Tell your mom we all say hi.

Jeremy said...

Jim - "First of all. I'm not anti-gay. I could care less what you do in your bedroom. As long as you show me and my family respect, I'll return the favor."

What the fuck is that supposed to mean??

"I could care less"..."as long as you show me and my family respect"??

When have gays ever NOT shown YOU such respect?

You have evidence of gays trying to suppress your rights? Gays not respecting your family?

In what way, shape or form?

Provide evidence of such.

You're an ignorant homophobe...and everybody here knows it.

Jeremy said...

Jim said..."Jeremy -
You're late to the party."

I'm not late to your "party," asshole.

You think you're making people believe you're something you're not, but we all know what you are.

Give it up, nobody's buying it.

Homophobe.

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