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A Strategy to Defeat CA Initiative* on Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:00 pm - May 19, 2008.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage

For the past few weeks, I have been letting my e-mail accumulate, saving most of the bulk mailings that cluttered my box as they might have some blog-worthy tid-bit. As I read through them this afternoon, I kept coming across stuff from various gay sources about the likely fall ballot proposition to amend our state’s constitution to define marriage as it has long been defined (as the union of one man and one woman) as well as releases on the California Supreme Court’s decision redefining that institution to include same-sex unions.

Before that decision, I thought the initiative had a 50-50 chance of passing. With the decision, I think the odds have increased for those who favor amending the constitution. And if the gay groups who sent out those e-mails have anything to do with the “No” campaign, the odds with increase even further.

Take a gander at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s (NGLTF) April 24 press release. It calls the petition drive a “mean-spirited attack.” If they think it’s mean-spirited, they have little understanding of their opposition on this issue. Yeah, there are some mean-spirited voices in the anti-gay marriage crowd, notably Randy Thomasson of VoteYesMarriage.com, but his group failed to gather enough signatures for a proposal which would have overturned the state’s domestic partnership program as well as limited marriage to different-sex couples.

Advocates of gay marriage must not forget that while the state may recognize gay marriage during the course of the campaign, they’re the ones pushing to change the way American jurisdictions, indeed world political institutions, have defined marriage for as long as they have recognized the institution. As I wrote before, the burden is on those proposing the change.

They need to recognize that most Californians who oppose gay marriage don’t do so out of bigotry or hatred but because they see insitution as the union of two individuals of different genders. Those who organize the campaign to defeat this proposition won’t get much mileage if they campaign against social conservatives. That may win them accolades in San Francisco, West Hollywood, San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood and on university campuses, but it won’t win them votes in cities like Fresno and Bakersfield and the suburbs of Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.

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Is Kate Winslet the next Meryl Streep?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:15 pm - May 19, 2008.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

Last night, I picked up a movie that I had received several weeks ago in the mail from Netflix, but always hesitated to watch because I had heard it was downbeat. Yet, after watching the first 45 minutes or so of Little Children, I was so engaged that I wished the evening were longer so I could have watched the rest. But, wanting a full night’s sleep, regrettably I had to save the balance of the flick for tonight.

What blew me away in the first third of the movie was the quality of the script and the acting. Once again, Kate Winslet doesn’t fail to impress; she even makes the most of poorly written roles as she did in The Holiday (and to some extent Titanic).

I had been aware of her before Titanic introduced her to the broader public, having been impressed by her performance in Sense and Sensibility which won her her first Oscar nomination. Given how convincing she is in a variety of different roles, I wondered if she was on her way to be the next Meryl Streep, a versatile actress who will never be typecast because no matter in what role she is cast, she never plays to type.  She becomes the character.

And with just a twitch of the nose or a slight lift of one eyebrow, she can let us know what her character is feeling. She never seems to struggle to portray complex or conflicting emotions.

I have no idea how Little Children will turn on, whether I will continue to enjoy the remainder of the film as much as I enjoyed its first few minutes, but it’s a pretty safe bet thatn I’ll remain impressed by Kate’s performance, just as I always am with her acting elder.

What Kentucky Results Could tell us about Fall Campaign

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:20 pm - May 19, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

As I’ve been reviewing the polls for the Bluegrass State’s Democratic primary tomorrow, it’s struck me not only that Hillary has maintained a constant, comfortable lead over her party’s likely nominee, but also that she seems to run about 5-10 points behind her numbers in pre-primary Mountain State surveys.

Nearly all those surveys underestimated her final 41-point victory. Do the Kentucky polls herald a similar blowout? And if so, what does that mean?

Based on the polls and the demographics of the state, I’m going to predict that Hillary will win with a margin slightly smaller than the polls indicate about 58-42. I base that on Hillary getting 67% of the white vote and Obama getting 90% of the black vote, which represents a greater portion of the Democratic electorate in Kentucky than West Virginia.

I also predict Obama will do better among late-deciders than he has in recent contests. Should I be wrong about this and Hillary again get the lion’s share of voters deciding in the last 72 hours before the primary, I think Democrats would be wise to give the former First Lady a second look.

It would show as Victor David Hanson observed, commenting on her recent margins in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, “the momentum is still with her, despite a lack of cash and coverage.”

If Obama continues to do poorly among late-deciders, it would show he can’t break through to “swing Democrats,” those unable to make up their minds in a presidential contest which has consumed our national media for nearly a year now. With more organization, more campaign ads, the media blessing, a growing number of endorsements from party leaders (many of whom are asking his rival to withdraw from the race), he should have no trouble convincing the undecided party faithful to rally to his cause.

With these headwinds, if he can’t get his party’s own rank and file to vote for him in the interest of Democratic unity, he’s going to have an even tougher time convincing swing voters, no matter his financial edge, media support and the favorable (to his party) political currents of this year, to back him in the fall.