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Campaign on 8 Doesn’t Address Merits of Gay Marriage

[Please note that I tweaked this post a bit since first publishing it.]

One of my great disappointments in the campaign on California’s Proposition 8* ( has been the absence of serious discussion on the merits of gay marriage.  The closest we came was the first ad against the initiative and one line in the the third.  Basically we’ve just seen each side focusing on winning the battle rather than engaging the electorate.

Given that it should be the very purpose of a campaign to focus on victory at the ballot box, these strategies make sense.  A conversation which advanced the argument for gay marriage may well have backfired politically.

Noting the absence of gay couples in the ads against Prop 8, Jonathan Rauch wrote today in the LA Times, “Whatever the tactical considerations, the absence of gay couples and gay marriages from California’s gay-marriage debate makes for an oddly hollow discussion.”  He’s right.

Let us hope that should Prop 8 fail–and even if it succeeds–we can have that conversation.  Unfortunately, those in a position to lead that discussion have little understanding of the real meaning of marriage.  They seem to feel that all opponents of gay marriage merely hate gay people.  They refuse address the point Rick Warren made in endorsing the initiative, “For 5,000 years, every culture and every religion – not just Christianity – has defined marriage as a contract between men and women.”

Yet, most leading advocates of gay marriage (save Jonathan Rauch and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA)) don’t even want to engage social conservative defenders of this ancient institution, as if they’re oblivious to the instiution’s merits, aware only of marriage as another “right” to which we somehow deserve equal access.

It seems that the leaders of the movement for gay marriage including Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry (with whom I’ve corresponded) base their understanding of the institution not on studies of its long history, but on reading Hallmark cards and quoting the Loving decision.

Maybe I’m wrong and we don’t need a serious conversation on gay marriage.  Maybe our society will just come to accept an expanded definition of this ancient institution.

But, it would be nice if we could do as GLMA did in its recent report and highlight the benefits of the institution.  To do that, just like them, we’d do well to cite social conservative defenses of traditional marriage.  If we believe gay marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage, then a defense of traditional marriage would apply to our unions as well.

Alas that the current debate has not allowed us to consider the merits of marriage.

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*Which would amend the state’s constitution to include the traditional definition of marriage, thus nullifying the state Supreme Court decision mandating gay marriage.

Rather than cover Obama, MSM cover for him

Given the unprecedented sums of cash the Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has raised, one would expect that campaign finance to be a hot topic for the news media.  But, as former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, now president of the New School. observes this is the “big unreported story” of the current election cycle:

There’s a liberal bias. There’s a preference for Obama and it’s getting underreported as a result. . . .  . If this thing was running the other way, if Obama was taking the public money and McCain had opted out and raised $150 million in September, do you think The New York Times would have an editorial against it?

Even as “the Obama campaign refuses to make public its list of contributors” and evidence emerges that campaign operatives “disabled the security settings on vendor identity to expedite online donations, gifts that then speed through to fund election activities that would be flagged as illegal under normal FEC reporting standards,” the MSM show little interest in the story. You think the media would rush to cover a story that where a presidential campaign appears to be in violation of election law.

But, as Kerrey noted, they prefer Obama so choose not to get to the bottom of stories which could hurt the Democrat.

Nor do they seem too interested in stories about Obama’s radical associations.  And not just Bill Ayers.  You’d think that when a newspaper gets information about a presidential candidate’s ties to terrorists, they’d rush to report it.  Not so if that candidate is Barack Obama.

The LA Times has video that Democrat attending an event where speakers attacked Israel and he himself toasted Toasting a former PLO operative, Rashid Kalidi, but refuses to release the video.  Not only would the video shed more light on Obama’s radical associations, it would also call his candor into question.  The Illinois Senator played down his association with Khalidi.  You know, just another guy in the neighborhood, with whom he happened to dine regularly.

Somehow this isn’t news, but it is news that Sarah Palin’s husband had a DUI twenty-two years ago.  Imagine if she toasted a man who advocated bombing abortion clinics.

Amazing that the Times would withhold this video.  Michelle speculates that “the reporter [in possession of the video] doesn’t want to open himself up to the Joe the Plumber treatment.”

Just another sign that the MSM would rather cover for Obama than cover him.

UPDATE:  Looks like the Washington Post is at least taking note of this story, but they take the campaign’s word that new safeguards are in place, without addressing the disabling of the AVS system.

UP-UPDATE:  Credit where it’s due.  The LA Times did cover the dinner where Obama made his remarks.

My nutshell position on Sarah Palin

As I tend to write essayistic posts, sometimes readers miss the main point.  It seems the nature of this medium does not readily lend itself to thoughtful discourse.  Some people will see one thing I say and want to comment immediately.  They’ll address that one thing, but ignore the broader point.

So, here’s a shorter post reiterating two of my main points on Sarah Palin.

Palin as Reaganesque.  She has some of the Gipper’s qualities, but has not yet developed them to the extent he had when, in 1968, he launched his first bid for the White House.  I believe that (as I expressed in these posts) if she applies herself, she has it within her to become his equivalent as a leader.  She’s just not there yet.

Palin and the supposedly well-informed.  Too many who fault her as inexperienced have little or no knowledge of her record.  I’m stunned at her critics indifference to that record. One reader who slammed me for my support of the Alaska Governor included this in her e-mail, “I could care less about her governorship.”

It’s one thing to oppose her because of her stands on various issues.  It’s quite another to be unaware of those stands and her record.

No, I don’t think Sarah Palin is perfect.  Yes, I do have some concerns about her support for certain issues.  I do wish she had another term under her belt.  But, on the whole I think she’s a competent woman, equally (if not more) qualified to lead as either man on the opposing ticket.

UPDATE:  An intellectual of sorts like Roger Simon, I pretty much agree with his take on the Alaska Governor:

As for Palin, there must be something wrong with me. I’m supposed to be an intellectual of sorts. I have written a number of books (okay, mostly mysteries), I have two Ivy Leagues degrees and I’ve even been known to go to the opera once in a while (though not Wagner), but of all four candidates I find Palin, the supposed yahoo, the most appealing. When the media attacks her, I only like her better. Maybe it’s because I have no idea how to kill a moose but I suspect know more than Joe Biden about just about anything. (For example, I know FDR was not president when the market crashed in ’29.)

Biden Gets the Palin Treatment,
Obama Campaign Throws Tantrum

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:25 am - October 26, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Media Bias

Finally, a reporter, Barbara West of Orlando’s ABC affiliate, WFTV, asks Joe Biden tough questions.

Instead of responding with the grace Sarah Palin showed to Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric when they posed much tougher ones, he got testy, even misrepresenting his running mate’s statements as he has, in the past, misrepresented Obama’s stands.

Quoting Karl Marx’s line, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs,” West asked how Senator Obama is “not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around,” Biden thinks she’s joking, then says, “He is not spreading the wealth around.”

Um, Joe, that’s what he said.  Or, as Gibson might put it “exact words.”

So much did Biden dislike the kind of questions his rival for the vice presidency so regularly gets “the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate’s wife:”

“This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election,” wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

(Via Glenn who has more.)  Wow, do you think the MSM will make much of this childish behavior?  Do you think more papers will report how Biden’s been avoiding crowd questions?

The Delaware Democrat was so taken aback by West’s line of inquiry that he snapped, “I don’t know who’s writing your questions.” Guess he’s come to expect softball questions from the news media, assuming only Republican partisans would try to make him sweat. Allahpundit thinks West decided to “shoot for viral video immortality by making him squirm.”

Even when Sarah Palin failed to answer Katie Couric’s questions, she didn’t become as testy as Biden. Nor did she claim he never said what everyone knows he said.

I highly doubt the MSM will make as much of this as they have of Palin’s poor performance on CBS. Remember, a Biden gaffe goes down the memory hole whereas a Palin media blunder comes to define her. It doesn’t seem to matter that Palin has come across much better in interviews since the Couric exchange.

Biden’s had decades of practice before the national media and still makes bizarre and inaccurate statements. He gets a free pass.  If the media treated Palin as they do him, she’d be fêted as Alaska’s gift to this nation.

UPDATE:  Michelle Malkin calls West “completely professional and gracious,” but reminds us that “Anything less than total sycophancy from the Obamedia is considered ‘combative.'”   You see, Adrianne Marsh, Florida spokeswoman for Obama’s campaign said West was “both combative and woefully uninformed about simple facts.” WOW!  Since when it is combative to ask tough questions?

Wonder what Marsh feels about Katie Couric and Charles Gibson.

UP-UPDATE: John Hinderaker calls its a “new experience” for Biden to be

asked tough questions by a news reporter. This interview with a local TV station is fun to watch, because it makes you realize how rare it is for a Democrat to face hostile questions from the press. Really, it’s almost unheard of, and you can see Biden’s outrage at the idea that a television reporter is willing to challenge Democrat orthodoxy.

New York Times “Poaches” Gay Mailing Lists

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:01 am - October 26, 2008.
Filed under: Advocate Watch,Gay America,Media Bias

Here’s something to chew on.

I try to use a different spelling of my name when I subscribe to certain periodicals so as to better determine who sells my name to what.  Well, while I sometimes forget which name I used where, I do know the abbreviation I used on my soon-to-lapse Advocate subscription.

That very abbreviation appears on fund-raising solicitations I have received from pro-abortion groups as well as Democratic candidates.  Yep, Ms. Hillary solicited me sometime in the past year.

Today, that abbreviation appeared on an invitation to subscribe to the New York Times.  Not sure what to make of this, but thought to put it out there to see if y’all had any thoughts.

Guess they think there’a market for their increasingly biased product in gay circles.