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Crybaby Barney Frank Plays the Gay Card

Let’s see Barney Frank refuses to take any responsibility for the mortgage mess.  He accuses Republicans of racism when they fault government programs for causing the crisis.

Now, he’s getting all bent out of shape because John McCain, on the campaign trail, is making an issue of the Massachusetts Democrat’s proposals to raise taxes, increase domestic spending and gut the defense budget.  Ol’ Barney says it’s because he’s gay, calling McCain’s attack on his actual statements, “an appeal to prejudice.”

Sorry, Barney it’s not because you’re gay, it’s because you’re a liberal who’s been clearer than any of your colleagues on what would happen should the Democrats win the White House and increase their congressional majorities next week.

I thought that Barney was really smart. Yet, he doesn’t seem to understand where Republicans have been coming from since his first election to Congress in 1980.  All he can do is accuse us of the most nefarious of motives.  Doesn’t sound like a very smart man to me, sounds like a very narrow and intolerant one.

As Allahpundit puts it, Barney “never met a bad-faith accusation he didn’t like.

Grow up, Barney, quit your belly-aching, admit your mistakes, resign from the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee and become a role model of responsiblity for gay people.  Because right now you’re an embarrassment to all of us.

Lukewarm Opposition to Proposition 8

In a comment to my post on the absence of a serious debate on marriage in the campaign against Proposition 8, a reader asked, “to hear your reasons why you support same sex marriage or don’t, and your reasons why you support Prop. 8 or don’t.

While I have some concerns with the campaign against the initiative and have some sympathy for the arguments of some of its proponents, I plan on voting “No” on 8 next Tuesday.

I want to see the state Supreme Court decision mandating gay marriage overturned. At the same time, I don’t want the traditional definition of marriage enshrined in the state Constitution. But, the only way to overturn that decision is to amend the constitution.  We can’t achieve one without the other.

Hence, my lukewarm opposition.  The constitution will remain free of the offending clause.  A bad decision will stand.

Simply put, I don’t believe it’s the province of the judiciary to decide the qualifications for marriage in a particular state.  That responsibility belongs to the legislature and, here, in the Golden State given our liberal initiative policies, to the people.

In 2000, the people voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman (Proposition 22).  Fewer than five years later, the California legislature voted to recognize gay marriage.  Instead of defying the people they served, our legislators should have referred the matter back to them, asking citizens to repeal 22.

Had the citizens done so, then the legislature could have taken up the issue.

In some ways, I see Proposition 8 as our chance to weigh in on 22.   I vote “No” on 8, as I would have voted “Yes” to repeal 22.

So, if we do defeat 8, then the people will indeed have voted for gay marriage.  It would not have just been the court mandating social change.


Obama the Opportunist

Since the Logo Candidates’ Forum last August, when I first watched Barack Obama for an extended period of time in this campaign, I was impressed by his presence, but concerned by the vagueness of his responses.  He preferred platitudes to substantive replies.

As the campaign kicked into gear in the following months, I kind of warmed to the Illinois Senator.  He seemed an uplifting contrast to the more wonkish Hillary Clinton.  His victory speech in Iowa was inspiring.  At the time, I believed he was truly committed to bipartisan reform, that he had the capacity to bring people together. He seemed a principled leader.

But, when he emerged as the Democratic frontrunner after his victory in the Wisconsin primary, his appeal began to fade.  He continued to avoid substantive issues and became testy when pressed with tough questions about his relationship to Tony Rezko.

And then came Reverend Wright.  His initial speech impressed many on the left, but concerned me.  He didn’t address a fundamental question:  how come this man who claimed to be a uniter never up to his own spiritual adviser’s hateful rhetoric?

He claimed he could “no more disown” that bigotted man than he could disown the black community.  Six weeks later, he did just that.

A new Obama emerged, the opportunist.

This would not be the last time he flip-flopped for political advantage.  As soon as he secured enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination, he pivoted so much on policy that columnist Gerard Baker opined “the only change coming from the Illinois senator has been in what he seems to stand for.”


Gay Marriage as a Conservative Institution

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:51 pm - October 29, 2008.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Gay Marriage

Because my post on Yishai Kabaker’s “Nutshell” Case for Gay Marriage attracted such a spirited debate, I asked him if I could post the entire essay he had submitted to the Stanford Review as that conservative paper had to cut it to meet their guidelines.

With his permission, in the interest of furthering the kind of discussion of gay marriagemissing from the debate on California’s Proposition 8, I am posting his untruncated piece below:

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the gay marriage debate is the deaf shouting past both sides without realizing the common goals they share. Tensions have been ratcheted up as gay rights groups and family values groups compete to out fund one another before the November election and the referendum on gay marriage. The proposed Constitutional amendment (Proposition 8 ) seeks to reinforce marriage as an institution between a man and a woman thereby reversing a May decision by the California Supreme Court that extended marriage to gay couples.

As a gay conservative I find myself caught between the two camps. I am strongly in favor of gay marriage yet I understand the concern of conservatives at the perceived attack on marriage.

The gay rights movement was born in the late 60’s early 70’s as a segment of the greater Civil Rights Movement. The early gay movement forged a unique culture emblemized by gay pride parades, drag queens, and the Sexual Revolution. Since the mainstream institutions were vehemently opposed to homosexuality, gays and lesbians felt little desire to conform or emulate those institutions. As mainstream society grew more tolerant of homosexuals, it diminished the need for the extreme in-your-face advocates. While major issues of homophobia and hatred still face the community mainstream American society is moving in the general direction of greater acceptance of homosexuality.


2008 Presidential Campaign pulls attention from Incompetent 110th Congress

In 1948, President Harry S Truman reversed his political fortunes and avoided what then-seemed a long certain defeat by running not just against his Republican opponent, Tom Dewey, but also against the first Republican Congress elected since the New Deal.

Tagging the 80th Congress a “do-nothing” legislature (as he did throughout the campaign), Truman told voters in Charleston, West Virginia on October 1 of that year:

The Republicans would like you to forget these fundamental differences between the two parties. But during the past 2 years we have been given a sharp warning that these differences still exist, and these differences are wide and deep.

. . . .

I know, of course, that there are many fine people throughout the United States, who from habit or choice are members of the Republican Party. To them I say that the national leadership of their party has failed them miserably.

With the current Democratic Congress’s approval as historic lows (making George W. Bush seem downright popular by comparison), it would seem John McCain would do well to run a similar campaign against the do-nothing 110th as a reminder of a stark difference between the parties.

It seems the only thing the Democratic Congress has been able to do has to be to increase federal spending at levels even greater than those of the preceding spendthrift Republican Congresses. Having scored his congressional colleagues in the past for spending money “like a drunken sailor,” John McCain should have found a profligate Democratic Congress a natural target.

But, maybe, the presidential election has prevented the incompetence of this Congress from exciting as much interest as it should. No sooner did Democrats take over in 2007 than the 2008 race for the White House began. And that seems to have turned media attention away from the Capitol and to the hustings.

The unending presidential campaign may well have prevented a campaign against Congress from really resonating.

John McCain’s “Avuncular” Chemistry With Sarah Palin

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:32 am - October 29, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Sarah Palin

I have to say I’m saddened and kind of surprised to read about the sniping at Sarah Palin within the McCain campaign.  Whichever aides are badmouthing their boss’s running mate are betraying him as much as they’re betraying her.  He picked her.  He stands by her.

It’s clear he really likes her, respects her, is energized by her.  When I see John McCain together with Sarah Palin, I’m reminded of how I feel when I’m around one of my older nieces, those smart girls whose age and intelligence allows you to communicate about more than dolls and stuffed animals and whose bright future you can visualize.

Of course Sarah Palin has at least three decades on my eldest niece, including sixteen years of public service.  But, you can see the same dynamic between him and her as you would see observing a proud uncle grooming his precocious niece to help run the family business.  Not only does the elder man see his relative’s potential, but he has great affection for her as well.  She’s more than just an up-and-coming co-worker.

Having learned of her record in Alaska where she, according to Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics, “won election to the governorship as a maverick reformer at arm’s length from her party,”* John McCain surely saw a younger version of himself, trying to do the right thing, even if it meant defying party leadership.

There’s a real chemistry between John McCain and Sarah Palin.  Media stories of the sniping within campaign cannot obscure what we observe when we watch them together on TV.  Or when we see them in person.

And isn’t that as much of a story as gossip about a campaign’s internecine squabbles?


*Emphasis added

UPDATE:  How’s this for serendipity:  one of my nieces is dressing up as Sarah Palin for Hallowe’en.  That’s sure to scare some angry Democrats.

A Civil Discussion of the Presidential Election

Just returning from a dinner with college alumni entertainment group and had a political discussion like those I enjoyed as an undergraduate.  Each person had the chance to articulate his point of view.  We listened and responded to opposing perspectives.

As the only Republican there, the only one defending Sarah Palin — and John McCain, well, I loved it.  There are times when it can be fun to the odd man out, provided your interlocutors respect whatever it is that sets you apart from them.  I experienced that tonight.  It reminded me why I so love my alma mater where my favorite Political Science professor was a Marxist who taught the best course I’ve ever taken (and not just at Williams), Conservative Political Thought.

I was delighted to learn that an alumnae while not a fan of Sarah Palin was impressed with the Alaska Governor, aware of her accomplishments, only disagreeing with her on the issues and believing her not yet ready for national office.  Others, surprised at my enthusiasm for my party’s vice presidential nominee, did listen when I listed her accomplishments, of which most were not familiar.

We all expressed ourselves honestly without rancor or ad hominem attacks.  We ended the evening, aware of our political differences, but not holding them against one another.  Our country would be a better place if  all political exchanges could be so civil.