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Obama: For Gay Marriage Before He was Against It

Ace has unearthed a OUTLINES (gay Chicago monthly) candidates’ survey from 1996.  It reveals that the-then Democratic party nominee for Illinois 13th Senatorial district, Barack Obama, “Supports gay rights, same sex marriage.

Today, he opposes gay marriage and says it “should be between a man and a woman.”  While polls show more people favor gay marriage today than did a decade ago, Barack Obama, the guy who says he favors “equivalent rights” for gays, has moved in the opposite direction.

While it’s true people can change their views over the years, this is yet another piece of evidence that the Democratic presidential nominee is trying to have it both ways on gay marriage. As I observed in July:

While he says he opposes gay marriage, favoring retaining the traditional definition (seeing it as the union of one man and one woman), he has has come out against California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative which would amend the state’s constitution to define marriage as believes he should be defined.

I wonder if gay activists will call Obama on his latest flip-flop. Don’t hold your breath. During campaign season, that (D) after his name renders a candidate immune to criticism from gay political organizations.

Why It Matters to Come Out as a Gay Republican

For the past year or so, I have been pondering writing a memoir, not necessarily because my life has been particularly interesting, but because, I believe, lessons I’ve learned, largely by taking the wrong path, may well have some universal significance.

Perhaps the most significant of those lessons is to remain true to yourself, even if you risk the opprobrium of your peers.  As I’ve expressed several times on this blog (here and here for example), when I moved to LA in 1999, I decided (by and large) to hide my conservative politics, that is, to borrow an expression, I went back into the political closet.

I did so, largely because the few conservatives I knew who were familiar with the entertainment industry said it would be career suicide to identify oneself as a Republican.  I learned later it was even a challenge in some segments of the industry for Democrats to be open about their support for Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries.

In this town, one does indeed face ostracism for coming out conservative.  As I reported last month, David Zucker said Republican was the “new gay” in Hollywood.

But, just as we gay people find a community where there are others like ourselves when we come out, so too do we gay Republicans, even those of us in Hollywood find a community when we come out of our closets.

When I started coming out to my gay and industry friends in 2004, I learned that being open about my politics offered a window in the character of my friends and acquaintances.  Those who dismissed me because of my politics revealed their narrow-mindedness.  They put ideological conformity ahead of emotional compatibility and much else.

Those who might be surprised by my politics, but considered the relationship unchanged by the revelation proved themselves worthy friends.  They would not let a slight difference get in the way of their affection, admiration and even respect.


Could Proposition 8 Win?

After seeing the commercials on both sides of Proposition 8, I was certain the initiative would fail.  The “No” ad was, in my view, far superior, to the “Yes” ad.

Seeing the first polls since since the “Yes” side started running their ad, however, I realize I may have misjudged its effect.  The latest poll shows “likely California voters overall now favor passage of Proposition 8 by a five-point margin, 47 percent to 42 percent.“  And these polls tend to undercount initiative proponents.

I had long thought the California Supreme  Court decision mandating gay marriage would lead to a backlash.   People don’t like courts resolving such controversial issues.  But, I believed the advantage the initiative proponents had had was erased with the language in the voter guide.

Crude as is the “Yes” ad, it does dwells on the court decision, reminding voters that four judges overturned a popular initiative.  The ad also features “San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaiming same-sex marriage is here to stay ‘whether you like it or not.’“  Perhaps, it was that Democrat’s language which swayed voters, reinforcing the sense that citizens didn’t have a say in this matters, that judges and mayors of large cities get to decide these things.

It seems the best strategy now would be to counter that.  Opponents of 8 must make clear that this initiative gives us the citizens of California a chance to weigh in.  Instead of saying it’s about preventing the state from taking away a “right,” they must point out the very initiative gives us citizens the choice to resolve these matters.  This would undercut the proposition’s proponents’ apparently effective use of Newsom’s words.

Now, if only we could find someone to put this in a 30-second television spot.

UPDATE:  As per ILC’s request in the comments, you can watch the “No” ad, here and the “Yes” one, here.

Obama, The Constitutional Scholar?

As background for this post, here is a passage from Senator Obama’s biography on the official Obama-Biden website.

He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. Finally, his advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Many Obama supporters have, ad nauseum, labeled the Senator a “Constitutional scholar.”   Obama himself repeatedly puffs out his chest with this part of his resume.

Well, something has been bothering me about the first Obama-McCain debate.  That is Obama’s complete lack of understanding about the Consitution when it comes to the budget-making process.   Here is the transcript of the debate that I’m referring to:

But let’s go back to the original point. John, nobody is denying that $18 billion is important. And, absolutely, we need earmark reform.   And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.

But the fact is that eliminating earmarks alone is not a recipe for how we’re going to get the middle class back on track.

As Seth and Amy would say on “Weekend Update”… REALLY?   Really, Senator Obama?  You’d go line-by-line in the US budget?  How is that possible, Senator, when the President does NOT HAVE A LINE-ITEM VETO? 

Not that Republicans haven’t tried.  Reagan wanted a line-item veto.   So did Newt Gingrich’s Congress.   Bill Clinton had it, for a time.

But Obama, The Constitutional Scholar, thinks the US President HAS that power now.  I’m completely dumbfounded by Obama’s ignorance given this is supposed to be his specific area of knowledge.  It is outrageous that his understanding of the Constitution is not being explored by the media, since HE and his supporters bring it up all the time as one of his main qualifications to be President.

And it wasn’t just a slip of the tongue on debate night.  Obama has repeatedly said he would use the line-item veto.  Here, and here, and here.

“I’m not a Democrat that believes we should befriend every government program just because it’s there,” Obama said, pledging to go through the federal budget line by line as president to eliminate programs that do not work.

If he doesn’t know the facts of one of the most talked about Republican-Democrat policy disputes over the past 25 years (passage of a line-item veto), what else is he ignorant about while he campaigns to “uphold and protect” the Constitution?

I wonder… maybe Obama learned Rev. Wright’s version of the US Constitution?  You know, the one that highlights slavery, white domination, Marxism and spreading the AIDS virus from government labs.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Self-Loathing Commenters?

Well, this is puzzling.  One of our most persistent left-wing trolls, the same one who has been blaming the financial crisis on Lehman Bros, not liberal Democrats’ reluctance to regulate….. well, this person is using an IP address which is housed at a company that describes itself like this:

[COMMENTER’S COMPANY] is a privately-held business investor and idea incubator, providing an innovative approach to traditional funding sources.  Located in [CITY IN NORTHEAST], we are comprised of highly experienced professionals who thrive on hands-on involvement with each of our portfolio companies.

Pot… Kettle is calling.

(Hint:  Bad grammar, bad spelling.  Surprised he is working at a real job and isn’t in 8th grade.)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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A Boring Debate

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:00 am - October 8, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Tonight’s debate reminded me why I don’t normally watch such exchanges.  It was, well, it was boring.

Had I not been watching with a blog-reader, I might have turned it off or turned to the Internet.  I didn’t think either candidate did a very good job.

I trust those who faulted Sarah Palin for not answering questions in last week’s vice presidential debate will now fault Barack Obama for failing to respond to citizens’ queries.  McCain also failed to answer a handful (though I think Obama was the greater offender).

Obama acted for the most part like he was running against George W. Bush.  It seemed he had determined to say the “last eight years” more times than Palin had said “maverick” last week.  While he tried to sound like Ronald Reagan at times expressing confidence in the American people, he forgot that the Gipper always looked forward.  There were moments when Obama seemed wallowing in the past, as a depressed person wallows in self-pity.

McCain seemed too often to bring up criticisms of Obama when it might have served him better to outline his own policies.  (But then again, that was perhaps the only thing which added spice to this snooze-fest.) Obama also took some cheap shots at McCain.

But, the Democrat also had his moments, emulating Clinton in trying to explain how complex policy decisions impacts the economy and citizens.

The real loser in this debate was moderator Tom Brokaw.  By selecting the questions of the various participants, he made it less spontaneous, reflecting less the concerns of the average voter than the interests of the Beltway broadcaster.  He should have picked the participants at random and not been allowed to pre-screen the questions.

It may well have been Brokaw’s selection of questions which prevented this debate from being engaging.