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Michael Barone Calls GayPatriot “Terrific Blog”

Wish I had more time to blog at this confab (Santa Barbara Retreat of David Horowitz Freedom Center), but we don’t have wireless in the meeting room.

After the first session this morning, I introduced himself to Michael Barone whose column I have enjoyed for about as long as I’ve been following politics.  I keep a copy of his Almanac of American Politics by my desk.  When I mentioned the blog, without prompting he identified me as GayPatriotWest (my blog moniker is not on my badge), then said, that we had a “terrific blog.”  Given my respect for this guy, as you can imagine, I’m bouncing off the walls.

He called “interesting” my idea that the presidential candidate of party out of power polls far better than the candidate of the incumbent party in power for eight years.  It seemed like he was going to look into it.

Flattering when perhaps the leading student of election polls and returns thinks you’ve offered an interesting analysis on politics.

I’d always been impressed with Barone because of the encyclopedic knowledge he has about elections and returns in various jurisdictions and his thoughtful analysis of politics. In person, he is even more interesting with a terrific sense of humor whose remarks kept us laughing while he offered his take on the election.

I will try to offer a few more details from the conference at a later date, should I get a moment, but have promised Tammy to join her for a cocktail later this afternoon, provided she doesn’t have to return to LA for her radio show.

Committed to Freedom at a Conservative Confab

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:44 am - May 31, 2008.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Freedom

Tonight I both gain a deeper appreciation of Stephen Green and a better understanding of why I feel more comfortable at conservative confabs than gay ones.

I’m in Santa Barbara now, semi-drunk blogging, actually the buzz is wearing off from the two delicious dirty martinis (the beverage which honors Goddess Athena) I had before dinner at the annual retreat of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

It is the very name of David’s center (which I emphasized for the benefit of some of our critics) which explains why I am comfortable here. Conservatives today, at least the serious ones, those committed to a tradition begun in Philadelphia more than two hundred and thirty-two years ago, continuing through the founding of the GOP in the 1850s, the election of the first Republican president in 1860, the intellectual fervent engendered (in large part) by Bill Buckley in the 1950s, spearheaded by Barry Goldwater the following decade, championed by Ronald Reagan in his speeches and political campaigns of the 60s, 70s and 80s, (culminating with his electoral success in the three presidential elections of that last decade) see freedom as the defining idea of our movement.

We seek to preserve freedom at home and defend it abroad.

While conservatives promote freedom, the gay groups, even the ostensible Republican one, have become obsessed with equality, with the largest among them adopting the equal sign as its logo.

Perhaps, I should talk with the organizers of this event about supporting a gay group committed to advancing freedom, understanding that the greatest enemies of gay people are not social conservatives in the West who may question (what they call) our lifestyle and oppose legislation benefiting us, but Islamic theocrats who execute gay people in jurisdictions where they predominate and seek to destroy the nations with political systems which allow us to live freely.

And for those who think all conservatives are narrow-minded anti-gay troglodytes, well, you should know that when I have identified myself to my fellow participants, I have named this blog (which gives them a good idea of my sexuality) and they have treated me better than the average denizen of West Hollywood upon learning I am a Republican who voted for George W. Bush in 2004. Heck, they even have a lesbian moderating the first panel tomorrow morning. And I’m not the only one psyched to see Tammy tomorrow. A number of people here have expressed admiration for that gun-toting talk show hostess.


McClellan: Showing Symptoms of Huffingtonitis?

An individual afflicted with Huffingtonitis (named for one if the syndrome’s most prominent victims) “defines his political views and makes public statements in order to win social approval and/or acceptance.”

By his own admission, an outsider in the Bush White House and pretty much shunned by conservatives since he left (due, in large part, to his dismal performance as Press Secretary), Scott McClellan must certainly be seeking a place to belong. Now that he has been warmly embraced by Keith Olbermann, the angry left’s most prominent representative in cable TV, expect him to tilt even farther to the left so as to better fit in — and convince his new-found friends and admirers that he really is one of them.

It doesn’t matter to them that, if what he now professes to be true defines him as a coward and conscious collaborator with the “Bush regime,” what’s important it that he now toes the party line.  That way he can better find acceptance.

Basking in the adulation of Olbermann and his ilk, McClellan now knows what he needs do to find welcome in that crowd. Arianna, David Brock and Andrew Sullivan, you’ve got company!

Gay Marriage by Executive Fiat in Empire State?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:27 pm - May 30, 2008.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Legal Issues

Given my opposition to courts mandating gay marriage (as recently happened in my adopted home state), it would seem I would oppose the imposing this alteration of the institution by executive fiat, something which seems to have taken place in the Empire State. New York Governor David Paterson recently signed a directive making the Empire State “the only state that did not itself allow gay marriage but fully recognized same-sex unions entered into elsewhere.

Opponents of gay marriage have faulted the Governor for unilaterally enacting gay marriage, with Bill Duncan of the Marriage Law Foundation, calling the move “outrageous:”

The legislature has had the opportunity to act and has not; the state’s highest court rejected any claim that the state constitution requires it and now the governor has made an end run around these decisions by broadcasting that New York couples can go to California and get married, then return home and have those marriages recognized.

While the Governor’s action does appear to be an end-run around his state Court of Appeals (its highest court) 2006 decision refusal to mandate gay marriage in the Empire State, the New York Governor is on firmer legal ground than the California Supreme Court.

As Dale Carpenter points out:

The executive memo [providing the legal rationale for the decision] implements on a state-wide basis the legal principles in longstanding state law about recognizing foreign marriages and in reported judicial decisions on this very matter. In theory, the state’s high court could hold that same-sex marriages are repugnant to public policy in the state, and thus refuse recognition to such marriages from out of state. But that would be a very unusual decision. As in other states, the presumption in New York is to recognize marriages validly performed out of state even if not otherwise recognized in the state itself. Gay marriages should be no exception since New York is one of five states that does not have a statute or constitutional amendment banning recognition of such marriages.

(H/t;  Instapundit.)  I added emphasis to the last sentence because the failure of the Empire State to enact such a statute or amendment distinguishes this case.

In the wake of the Hawaii Supreme Court 1993 ruling opening the door to state recognition of same-sex unions (overturned by a 1998 popular initiative), most states enacted laws stipulating that their jurisdictions did not have to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state. Indeed in 1996, Congress passed and President Clinton signed “the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which upholds states’ rights to ban same-sex marriages and to refuse to recognize such marriages performed elsewhere.

Legislators and lawyers believed that in the absence of such legislation, states would have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Neither New York’s legislature nor its citizens succeeded in enacting such statutes.

In the absence of a statute, it seems then that as a matter of law, the Empire State must recognize same-sex marriages as it would recognize any marriage peformed in a “foreign” jurisdiction (in accordance with its laws even if dubiously mandated).

The Governor appears to be right on this one.

Obama Hit By More Friendly Fire

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 2:22 pm - May 30, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Elections,2008 Presidential Politics

“I have the highest respect and regard for Sen. McCain, he and I have actually gone to Iraq and Afghanistan together,” [Hillary Clinton] said. “And I honor his service to our country and his patriotism.” (Wall Street Journal)

Ouch. This has got to be the easiest election ever for the Republican “Department of Opposition Research”. Hillary Clinton has provided the GOP with hours of material for campaign commercials in the fall. It would be deliciously ironic if the mouth of Obama’s own Democrat opponent costs him the election! I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but GO HILLARY GO!!!

h/t – Hot Air

— John (Average Gay Joe)

In Memoriam Harvey Korman

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:56 am - May 30, 2008.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

One of the truly great comedians of the 1960s and 70s has left us. Harvey Korman, longtime regular on The Carol Burnett Show, died yesterday at UCLA Medical Center, as a result of complications related to the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was 81.

Not only did Korman delight with his portrayal of zany and somewhat neurotic characters on Burnett’s TV show, but he entertained in movies as well, particularly in Mel BrooksBlazing Saddles, High Anxiety and History of the World: Part I.

In Saddles, he played political operator Hedley Lamarr, often mistaken for the Hollywood star with a similar name. Some believe his finest work was in High Anxiety where he played the submissive lover to Cloris Leachman‘s dominant Nurse Diesel.

And who could forget his drag portrayal of an alien Julia Child in The Star Wars Holiday Special? In that groan-fest, he played, as on the Burnett show, a variety of characters and put his all into each one of them, even if the show’s writers hadn’t put much thought into the story.

Korman won four Emmy Awards for his performances on Burnett’s show as well as one Golden Globe.

He will be missed, but he leaves behind a legacy of laughter, having contributed to one of the most successful TV variety shows and to some of the funniest movies of the 1970s and early 1980s. Really quite an achievement.

For our darker hours, we can always turn to DVDs featuring his performances to lighten the mood.

UPDATE: For a taste of Harvey Korman’s talent, check out the Dentist Sketch (Via Peter Robinson @ the Corner). Jonah Goldberg links a YouTube selection of his work.

Is Conservatism in Decline or are Americans just Unhappy with a President Perceived to be Conservative?

One of the greatest things about attending the University of Vriginia School of Law was the school’s collegial atmosphere where conservative students regularly interacted with our liberal peers, often engaging in thoughtful discussion of political and legal issues in a most civil atmosphere.

A law student during the 1992 election, I had some great conversations with my (Bill) Clinton-supporting peers, many of whom pointed out that with their man’s election, the Reagan era was over and conservatism was in decline. I thought of those conversations earlier today, I read National Review editor Ramesh Ponnuru’s Time column, “In Carter’s Shadow” where he wrote, “conservatism is fading now as liberalism was fading in the ’70s.”

But, is it fading, I wonder, or does it merely appear to be fading as my classmates contended in 1992 due to a president named Bush who while a conservative in name, governed as a moderate? Would conservatism have been perceived to be in disarray if both Presidents Bush had been more principled conservatives?

That is, would conservative still be perceived as fading if the unpopular incumbent president were not perceived to be a conservative?

From the 1930s until 1968, liberalism was in the ascent and the federal government grew ever larger, expanding its scope and increasing its role in American society. But, even with conservatism in the ascent (at least) since 1980, we have not achieved the successes liberals achieved in the half-century prior to our rise.

In those five decades, the Democrats (often with Republican help) erected a great variety of social programs which, even in the period of conservative ascent, Republicans failed to dismantle even though there was strong public support for smaller government.

So, I wonder do the American people still favor smaller government, consistent with conservative principles, or are they now comfortable with the status quo? Or do they favor even more state control of society? Or are they just unhappy with the current Administration?

Obama, Iraq & Reality

When discussing the war in Iraq, Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, never ceases to remind us that he had opposed the initial decision to liberate that nation. He seems to be appealing to that supermajority of Americans who now oppose the war.

Just yesterday Obama spokesman Bill Burton used the occasion of the release of Scott McClellan’s book to point out that his candidate had “challenged the president’s rationale for the war from the start.”

But, as Ralph Peters reminds us, “our next president will take office in 2009. It’s today’s reality that matters.” (Via Instapundit.)

But, instead of addressing that reality, the Illinois Senator dwells the past as if it’s enough to remind people he has always been opposed to the war. Should he win election to the White House, he’ll be in charge of managing its consequences in 2009, not in preventing its occurrence in 2003.

To understand what those consequences might be, it would be helpful for Senator Obama to familiarize himself with the facts on the ground today. No wonder the GOP has been counting the days since the likely Democratic nominee has been to Iraq.

The Democratic nominee criticizes the Administration’s policy there as if the situation on the ground has not changed since the surge began. As if the war remains unwinnable, violence is on the increase and political progress is stalled in Iraq. But, there have been improvements too numerous to count largely due to the adoption of tactics similar to those which Obama’s presumptive Republican rival this fall, John McCain, had long proposed as an antidote to a failed policy he had often criticized and repeatedly sought to correct.

No wonder McCain contends Obama is driven by ideology not facts on the ground. His Democratic rival has been offering the same policy toward Iraq as he has been pushing since before the surge began.

Shouldn’t we want as a president someone who considers the circumstances of a situation before rushing to judgment? Wouldn’t that be the reality-based approach?

Given the success of the surge, the coming defeat of Al Qaeda, the decline in violence, the effectuation of legislative reform, shouldn’t we be asking what would happen if we were to withdraw as quickly as Senator Obama proposes. Ralph Peters observes that, “not one ‘mainstream media’ journalist has pressed the leading advocates of unconditional surrender to describe in detail what might happen after we ‘bring the troops home now.’

Maybe the media’s failure to ask has prevented the likely Democratic nominee from addressing that all-important question.

On Keeping One’s Cool

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:00 pm - May 29, 2008.
Filed under: LA Stories,Random Thoughts

Having a short fuse, I need to remind myself to keep things in perspective when something goes awry. Yesterday, when rushing to pick up my car, I got frustrated in traffic and feared I’d be late for the McCain press availability.

But, when I returned my rental car, the people at Enterprise were efficient and polite as were the guys at the VW dealership. On my way to Beverly Hills, I encountered remarkably little traffic (and this on busy streets!) for rush hour. While i didn’t get to the event as early as I should have, I did arrive on time and didn’t miss a minute of McCain’s remarks.

Today, after running an errand, I wanted to grab a sandwich at Subway before returning. As I turned onto a side street where I normally find parking, I saw a spot on the opposite side of the street, but a woman in a luxury car came barreling down the street, delaying my U-turn, later stopping right in front of the sought-after spot, preventing me from taking it.

I was frustrated at the obstacles caused by this one driver. (At the time, I used language that as Rex Harrison might say, “would make a sailor blush.”) But, as I was waiting for her to move her car, I caught sight of a sign indicating that parking on that street was restricted to permit holders at all times, not merely in the evenings as I had thought. Had it not been for her blocking me, I might have missed the sign and gotten a ticket.

After seeing the sign, I headed back to Santa Monica Boulevard and found a spot which had not been available just moments before. This woman whom I had first thought was preventing me from finding a parking spot caused a delay which allowed me to find a spot that in her absence would not have been available.

I thought I’d share these stories with you, particularly those who, like me, have a short fuse as a reminder to keep our cool. Things do work out. And seems that working out is facilitated by people who, in the moment, seem to be blocking our paths.

Left’s New Hero: Coward & Conscious Collaborator

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:36 pm - May 29, 2008.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Liberals,Media Bias,Post 9-11 America

One sign someone has become a hero to the angry left when he appears on the MSNBC show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Tonight, former White House Press Secretary will be the guest of the former sportscaster.

Scott McClellan is the new hero of the angry left. Not for saying anything bold, original, wise or wonderful, but quite the contrary for repeating what they “know” to be true that our current president is a horrible, no good, very bad man.

The left has now anointed a man who, if he is currently speaking honestly, defines himself (as I noted previously) as both a coward and conscious collaborator.

We know he’s a coward because his co-workers have pointed out that when in the White house, he never spoke up to question what he now contends was propaganda and deceit. Earlier today on MSNBC, calling McClellan the ultimate “company man,” former White House Assistant Press Secretary Reed Dickens recalled that his one-time colleague never once spoke up during heated policy exchanges where Administration staff offered multiple points of view, including critiques of the president’s policies. Dickens isn’t the only one saying as much.

If he McClellan really believes what he is now saying, we know he’s a conscious collaborator because for three years, he continued to push that supposed “deceit” and “propaganda.” A decent man wouldn’t have served as the chief spokesman for, what he believed to be, a dishonest team. He would have resigned and immediately come forward with his claims, not waiting two years after he left the White House to say something he had never previously even hinted at.

He didn’t even resign, admitting in the book that “he was pushed to leave earlier than he had planned.” Pushed to leave? Earlier than he had planned? You mean he had wanted to stay on and continue to promote the deceitful propaganda of this out-of-touch Administration?

What kind of person wants to stay on and serve someone he believes is lying and deceiving the American people about matters so consequential?

I guess that kind of someone is the type of individual Keith Olbermann likes to have on his show.

UPDATE: Trent Duffy, former White House deputy press secretary, reports that as late as December 2005, McClellan said he loved his job and intended to stay on:

His line on NBC about being “disillusioned” 10 months before his departure is pure fabrication and a direct contrast to what he told me repeatedly and directly in a series of personal discussions we had on this exact subject. I know because I asked him directly what his plans were in December 2005 and he told me in his office that he loved the job. He was overjoyed and proud to serve President Bush and had no plans on leaving.

UP-UPDATE: In a similar vein, Victor Davis Hanson calls McClellan either a “dead soul [or] a simple huckster.”

For John McCain, Eight Questions Are Not Enough

In a post yesterday, I noted that I covered John McCain’s “Press Availability” for Pajamas Media. They just posted my report. Let me whet your appetite with the opening paragraphs:

One thing which distinguishes John McCain from his presidential predecessor as well as this year’s likely Democratic nominee is how frequently he makes himself available to the media, old as well as new. Just two weeks ago, he held a conference call with bloggers, including several representing left-of-center websites.

Yesterday, while in Los Angeles, his campaign also reached out to bloggers, inviting a number — including yours truly — to attend a “press availability” in Beverly Hills. Along with the local media there, we felt a bit out of place, given the camaraderie of the press corps which travels with the campaign. But the candidate treated us no differently.

Indeed, the Arizona senator seemed to relish the exchange. At one point when a staffer said they had time for just one more question, he overruled her, saying he’d take a few more. He responded quickly and deftly to all but one question, only occasionally failing to provide a direct answer. He stammered a bit when replying to a question about cluster bombs, stating that he hadn’t looked into the issue, but his decision on whether or not to ban them would “depend on the circumstances.”

Click here to read the rest and to understand why I titled the post as I did.

McClellan: Selling Out to Sell his Book (& secure his fame)

Scott McClellan, perhaps the least distinguished of White House press secretaries in recent years, has now found himself the center of a media firestorm. It’s not unusual in this media culture for such mediocrities to gain such attention Usually when they do, they have something the media wants to sell or promote.

In most cases, their fame doesn’t last very long. I doubt that he has the staying power of a Paris Hilton or Madonna. Some people do find Hilton attractive while the latter has a passable singing voice and a talent for understanding the music industry and pop culture. McClellan, well, um, what qualities did he have? Um, Um. . . . .

Wait a second, how did he ever get this job in the first place?

Whatever the case, he has shown himself to be a person of incredibly low class, one who would sit silently by while supporting an Administration (which he now claims was) pushing propaganda and deception or as one who would sell out the man who gave him the job which put him in a position to achieve such prominence.

Last night on FoxNews’ Special Report with Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer said as much (pretty much nailing it in my view):

Frances Townsend, who was the president’s terrorism advisor in the White House, said earlier today that there were lots of meetings in the White House among the advisors with lots of give and take and questioning, and pushing back, and that in these meetings Scott McClellan said nothing.

You also heard others have said — Ari Fleischer, who was his predecessor, and who was close to him, said that Scott McClellan never shared any of these misgivings in public or in private.

So you’ve got to ask yourself what kind of man collaborates on what he now says was deceptive propaganda to drag America into what he now calls an unnecessary war, and does it without ever privately or publicly saying anything, and without doing the obvious, which is to resign.

And the answer is one of two things — either he is the most dishonorable man in Washington, staying in a position and collaborating in what are essentially high crimes that he now asserts, or this is a guy, a young man, who sort of left under a cloud, who had one of the most undistinguished careers as a Press Secretary ever, who was legendary for his incoherence, and who doesn’t have a lot of big future on the side, is going to cash in on the one chance — the book — by telling stuff like the scurrilous stuff he has in the book about overhearing the president talking about alleged cocaine use in a telephone discussion.

That kind of stuff, I think, is — he knew that that would sell, and that’s why he did it.

Let me repeat, what kind of man collaborates in what he now claims is deceptive propaganda?

But, I don’t think at the time McClellan thought he was pushing propaganda. I don’t think he thought very much about what he was doing. He just did it. After he left the White House, he had a choice to spend the rest of his life in honorable oblivion or to spin his story to fit the narrative the media wanted and so become an instant celebrity. For fifteen minutes at least.

We’ve seen this all before. Four centuries ago, Christopher Marlowe wrote a pretty good play on a similar topic. As did Goethe just over two hundred years later.

WaPo On Obama:
The Emporer Has No Clothes

The Washington Post comes pretty close today to figuring it out. With Senator Obama… there is no “there” there.

On Policy, Obama Breaks Little New Ground – Washington Post (subscription required)

When Obama changed his mind and decided to run for president after only two years in the Senate, however, he effectively dismissed the importance of policy proposals, declaring in one speech in early 2007, “We’ve had plenty of plans, Democrats,” and in another: “Every four years, somebody trots out a white paper, they post it on the Web.” He cast his “new kind of politics” in terms of his ability to transcend divisions and his unique biography and offered few differences on issues from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the other Democratic presidential candidates.

Obama has not emphasized any signature domestic issue, or signaled that he would take his party in a specific direction on policy, as Bill Clinton did with his “New Democrat” proposals in 1992 that emphasized welfare reform or as George W. Bush did with his “compassionate conservatism” in 2000, when he called on Republicans to focus more on issues such as education.

Heather Higginbottom, who runs Obama’s policy office at the campaign’s Chicago headquarters, cited education as one area in which Obama offers ideas that are not traditionally Democratic, arguing that the problem is not all about schools or funding, but about parents who let their children watch too much television.

In part, Obama’s approach reflects the broad consensus that has developed during the Democratic primaries.  Unlike Republicans — many of whom disagree with McCain on issues such as global warming and immigration — Democratic presidential candidates, the party’s leaders in Congress and Democratic voters largely agree on an agenda.

It is an agenda hatched in 1972 by George McGovern and reborn on Dec 11, 2000.  Of course Obama is hiding behind “Change and Hope, Hope and Change.”   There is nothing to him but hot air and empty rhetoric.   His failure and disinterest to visit Iraq since 2006, or Afghanistan at all, proves he is not interested in facts, but simply another typical pandering politician of the first liberal order.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

On John McCain & Indiana Jones

I just returned from Senator John McCain’s press availability at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. It was first such event I have attended. I found the whole process as fascinating as the content of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s remarks.

Having had to rush across town (as I needed to pick up my car from the dealership–perhaps more on that anon), I had to wait outside to gain admission. I did arrive well before the “availability” was set to begin, but not well enough before. Those familiar with such events said you typically need to arrive an hour in advance.

A few of us “latecomers” remained outside as they needed to bring in a bomb-sniffing dog to check our equipment for explosives residue or some such. As one person put it, “We’re waiting for the dog,” which seems to be the title of some bad essay or mediocre movie.

Once inside, it seemed we local press were outsiders while the traveling press corps had developed a certain camaraderie as well as a sharp tone when questioning the Republican candidate, as if that were part of their job description.  As I’ll be covering this for Pajamas, I’ll save my reporting on what the Senator said for that post.

As I left, I passed a familiar-looking man in the hallway near the parking garage. When he ended his cell phone conversation, I introduced myself as a blogger to Senator Lindsay Graham. I wondered if I could ask him a question. Of course, it’s easier to think of a question when you’re sitting at home than when you’ve been running around all day.

Recalling that he had spent the holiday weekend at McCain’s ranch in Arizona, I asked him about that. They had a good time, the South Carolina Senator responded.  They watched the new Indiana Jones movie which he enjoyed because, as he put, “I like it when the old guy wins.”

Obama: Iran’s Dictator or US CentCom General?

As John McCain said yesterday, “Why is it that Senator Obama wants to sit down with the President of Iran, but hasn’t yet sat down with General Petraeus — the leader of our troops in Iraq?”

Good question. Let’s help encourage Senator Obama and have him visit our troops in Iraq (and Afghanistan) as well as meet with General Petraeus. Surely Obama wants to have all of the facts, since he regularly suggests President Bush only heard what he wanted to hear.

Here’s some encouragement, Barry…

(I’m not sure the counter is working here…. so I refer you to the top of the right sidebar!)

What IS Obama afraid of?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

GayPatriot’s America Podcast TONIGHT

Since there doesn’t seem to be anything on the Boob Tube (oh, can I say that anymore?) tonight, I suggest you pop on over to our little podcast show tonight.

UPDATED: Listen to GayPatriot’s America right here, right now!



SUBSCRIBE TO GayPatriot’s America on iTunes.

We will be talking about a new documentary focusing on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the US government. The film is called Ask Not“.

ASK NOT is a rare and compelling exploration of the effects of the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The film exposes the tangled political battles that led to the discriminatory law and examines the societal shifts that have occurred since its passage in 1993. Current and veteran gay soldiers reveal how “don’t ask, don’t tell” affects them during their tours of duty, as they struggle to maintain a double life, uncertain of whom they can trust. The film also explores how gay veterans and youth organizers are turning to forms of personal activism to overturn the policy. From a national speaking tour of conservative universities to protests at military recruitment offices, these public events question how the U.S. military can claim to represent democracy and freedom while denying one segment of the population the right to serve.

Our guests tonight include the Director/Producer of the film, Johnny Symons; Al Steinman – Rear Admiral (Retired), USPHS/USCG; and Jarrod Chlapowski & Alexander Nicholson – Deputy Director and Executive Director of Servicemembers United.

Please join in the discussion tonight at GayPatriot’s America!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from John, Average Gay Joe): It was truly a pleasure and an honor to speak with all of these gentlemen last night. I just wanted to share some links to websites that were referred to and others that you can visit for more information.

First of all, 3 of our guests have their own blogs which are interesting to read. For anyone currently serving in the military, thinking of joining or if you just want more information about efforts to repeal the DADT policy, you can contact them through these sites :

  • Admiral’s Call (Al Steinman)
  • Showers & Foxholes (Alex Nicholson)
  • Ground Coffee (Jarrod Chlapowski)
  • Secondly, in addition to Servicemembers United, other fine organizations working to have the ban repealed include the following:

  • American Veterans for Equal Rights
  • Integrity In Service
  • Michael D. Palm Center
  • Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
  • Thirdly, the predecessor group to Servicemembers United spoken about on the podcast, The Call to Duty Tour, has some excellent video and audio I highly recommend to learn more that can be found here. Although these folks were not on last night, if you are interested in listening to a podcast by a gay soldier and his straight buddies who are all currently serving, I highly recommend the DADT Podcast. It’s very entertaining!

    Finally, for those interested in giving support to our soldiers overseas, as one listener asked about, please check out some of the fine organizations listed below. Give generously as their service and sacrifices for the country are certainly worth it:

  • America Supports You
  • Any Soldier
  • Armed Forces Children’s Education Fund
  • Armed Forces Relief Trust
  • eCarePackage
  • Fisher House
  • Help For Heroes (UK)
  • Operation Gratitude
  • Semper Fi Fund
  • USO
  • McCain’s Class in Television Appearances

    Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:42 pm - May 28, 2008.
    Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Movies/Film & TV

    For someone who lives in Los Angeles, I spend remarkably little time watching television. My own TV serves primarily as a screening device for the DVD movies and documentaries I own and rent.

    It seems the only other times I watch TV are when I am working out at my gym and when I’m puttering around the apartment, beginning the day, doing laundry and preparing meals. So, I do miss a lot of pop culture. I had never watched American Idol for more than I few seconds until a friend (and fan of the show) had come over for dinner and insisted we watch. I found it preferable to wash the dishes.

    Well, perhaps, if I watched more TV, I might have more quickly gained a more favorable impression of my party’s presumptive presidential nominee. On Sunday, while preparing dinner, I caught a bit of John McCain’s interview with Sean Hannity and was impressed with how he fielded questions about his sons, proud of their military service, but unwilling to boast about them. He believed family matters were private.

    Last night, I caught a bit of Ellen’s interview with the Arizona Senator. Once again, I came away impressed.

    He was graceful, if a bit awkward at times, in handling the conversation on gay marriage.  While making clear his support of the traditional definition of marriage, he wished the talk show host and her intended “every happiness” in her coming nuptials.

    The common thread of these two interviews was that John McCain did not seek to politicize the personal. While he has pursued a career is politics, he recognizes that all is not political.

    John McCain has shown tremendous class, humility and humor in his various TV appearances, at least those I’ve seen. And I’m wondering if he may end up playing better in that medium than does his more apparently telegenic Democratic rival.

    Obama may have a more electrifying presence, but McCain has a more solid one, both self-deprecating and confident. And watching the two together over time may increase his standing with the American public at the expense of his opponent.

    Or, maybe I’m basing too much on having seen only a limited number of his television appearances.

    On “Homophobia” Accusation & the Gay Marriage Debate

    Last March, I pointed out why I don’t use the word, “homophobia,” a term which many gay people and even those in the media use to describe anti-gay attitudes:

    Simply put, I don’t like the word. I understand that it means an aversion to homosexuality and gay people, but as a lover of words, I also know that it is derived from Greek words meaning same (”homo”) and phobia (”fear”) so it really means fear of sameness whereas I believe that most people described as “homophobic” are really afraid — or incapable — of understanding, appreciating and/or accepting difference.

    Reading Mark Steyn’s America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It , I learned that he also has difficulty with the word:

    “Homophobia” was always absurd: people who are antipathetic to gays are not afraid of them in any real sense. The invention of a phony-baloney “phobia” was a way of casting opposition to the gay political agenda as a kind of mental illness: don’t worry, you’re not really against same-sex marriage; with a bit of treatment and some medication, you’ll soon be feeling okay.

    While I do believe there are people who harbor a fear of gay people, I think Steyn is onto something. I’ve been amazed to discover the number of people who cast those who favor the traditional definition of marriage as “homophobic” or “anti-gay.”

    It seems that all too many use the term “homophobia” to dismiss the opponents of same-sex marriage. If they were serious about gay marriage, instead of bandying about this term, they would make an effort to understand their adversaries’ arguments and then take the time to rebut them.

    Questions for Scott McClellan

    If former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan were over 70, we might consider him for the Jimmy. With the upcoming release of his book, it seems he has learned something that he never seemed to master while in the White House, how to garner favorable press attention. It’s simple really. All you need do is attack George W. Bush, his team and his supporters.

    In this book, McClellan apparently emerges for a stance during his White House tenure which Bill Kristol defined as a “defensive crouch” to go on offense against his former Administration colleagues.

    With this offense, I have some questions for McClellan:

    According to Mike Allen, you fault the president for his “failure to be open and forthright on Iraq.” I agree he should have been more forthcoming on Iraq. But, Scott, you were press secretary, did you press the president to do so? Wasn’t that your job?

    Then, you go on to call the war a “serious strategic blunder,” contending it “was not necessary.” When did you come to that conclusion? If you came to that conclusion while working at the White House, why didn’t you resign? Or at least share these doubts with the president and your colleagues?

    You fault the Administration for its “excessive embrace of the permanent campaign approach to governance,” yet claim that you were “outside” the walls the president’s team “built against the media,” indciating you were not part of any White House inner circle. Wouldn’t an Administration engaged in a permanent campaign want to keep the press secretary in the loop so as to better get its message out?

    I’m eager to hear your answers to these questions and wonder why you have so completely embraced the rhetoric of the president’s “liberal critics.” Are you looking for the MSM to provide you your next job?

    I mean, now that you have offered red meat for the Bush-hating crowd, I’m guessing this book will put the kibosh on the rumors about you circulating on left-wing web-sites.

    What Is Obama Afraid Of?

    In a very savvy move the other day, John McCain “sharply criticized Democratic rival Barack Obama for not having been to Iraq since 2006, and said they should visit the war zone together”. In his support for the war effort McCain has been remarkably stalwart as Obama has been in seeking defeat at all costs. When it comes to the war against Islamofascists, Obama’s ‘plan’ appears to be nothing more than retreat and appeasement – neither of which he has been very good at disguising in rhetoric for “change” and “hope”.

    “Look at what happened in the last two years since Senator Obama visited and declared the war lost,” the GOP nominee-in-waiting told The Associated Press in an interview, noting that the Illinois senator’s last trip to Iraq came before the military buildup that is credited with curbing violence.

    “He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time,” the Arizona senator added. “If there was any other issue before the American people, and you hadn’t had anything to do with it in a couple of years, I think the American people would judge that very harshly.” (Yahoo! News)

    As per their usual strategy of spin and ignore, the Obama campaign released this response to McCain’s proposal through its spokesman Bill Burton:

    John McCain’s proposal is nothing more than a political stunt, and we don’t need any more ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners or walks through Baghdad markets to know that Iraq’s leaders have not made the political progress that was the stated purpose of the surge. The American people don’t want any more false promises of progress, they deserve a real debate about a war that has overstretched our military, and cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars without making us safer. (TPM)

    What is Obama afraid of? Even if the idea of travelling to Iraq with McCain is a political impossibility, surely someone who is putting themselves forward as the next Commander-in-Chief can see the wisdom of getting an accurate picture of the facts on the ground as they exist now? After all, a lot has happened since early 2006 and unless Obama wants his position to be dismissed by the voters as the naive empty rhetoric it truly is, he should at least do like Eisenhower did and go to Korea Iraq.

    C’mon Barry, what are you afraid of?

    — John (Average Gay Joe)