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Gay Leaders Need Resign in Wake of Prop 8’s Passage

Given how often I have criticized the leadership of the various gay groups, perhaps I am not the one to write this post, but it needs be said.  And I’m not the only one saying it.  Others who do not share my conservative politics also agree that a number of heads of these organizations need step down in the wake of the victory this week of Proposition 8.

At absolute minimum, Geoff Kors needs step down as executive director of Equality California and Evan Wolfson from the same position at Freedom to Marry.

Wolfson need step down because he has long been the architect the “litigation-based mindset that,” Jonathan Rauch believes, “has become counterproductive.”  It has led to a backlash at the ballot box with citizens in thirty states voting to codify the traditional definition of marriage.

Kors need resign because of his role in the “No on 8” campaign.   This was disastrous campaign with strange slogans, first “Equality for All,” later “Unfair and Wrong.”  The latter worked wonders with socially tolerant people skeptical of gay marriage, those individuals who see gender as a defining aspect of this ancient institution.

To tell them they’re wrong to have concerns about changing its definition shows an amazing amount of disrespect for their views.  After all, the “No” forces are the ones pushing social change.  They, like Dr. King, need to learn to appeal to the best in us.  Those who spearheaded the opposition to Prop 8 certainly didn’t do that.  They spent more time demonizing the opposition than defending gay marriage.

Not just that, Kors was AWOL for part of the campaign.  According to Michael Petrelis, he went AWOL in late July, taking a trip to Spain rather than remaining in California to focus on defeating the ballot initiative.  You’d think someone concerned about a campaign would delay his vacation until after the election.

Despite the success of ballot initiatives to enshrine a definition of marriage into state constitutions and legal codes that prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage, gay leaders never take responsibility for their defeats.  They always blame someone else.  As Patrick Range McDonald, less critical of the leadership of gay organizations than I, opines:

The gay rights movement needs to take a serious look at itself. Gay activists, who I mostly admire, can’t keep blaming evangelical Christians for every loss. It’s like the Boston Red Sox blaming the New York Yankees for being too good all of those years and not doing anything about it. Someone in the front office needs to get fired, the line up needs to be shuffled, new players need to be brought in, and we need to start winning a few championships.

That pretty much sums it up.

Juvenile Conservatives

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:41 pm - November 6, 2008.
Filed under: Ex-Conservatives

Someone invited me to a Facebook Group, “Impeach Barack Obama.”

Oh, grow up.  We conservatives cannot prosper by copying the antics of the loony left these past eight years.

Presidential Debates, Charisma and Mistrust of Washington

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:04 pm - November 6, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,American History

As the debates approached during the campaign just ended, I, the eternal optimist, had a thought which I tried to bury because it meant that what has just come to pass would come to pass, that Barack Obama would win.

And the thought was this:  in every presidential election where there have been debates, the more charismatic candidate won the election.  Just look at the roster, winner in bold.

  • 1960:  John F. Kennedy v. Richard Nixon
  • 1976:   Jimmy Carter v. Gerald R. Ford
  • 1980:  Jimmy Carter* v. Ronald Reagan
  • 1984:  Walter Mondale v. Ronald Reagan
  • 1988:  Michael Dukakis v. George H.W. Bush
  • 1992:  Bill Clinton v. George H.W. Bush
  • 1996:  Bill Clinton v. Bob Dole
  • 2000:  Al Gore v. George W. Bush
  • 2004:  John Kerry v. George W. Bush
  • 2008:  Barack Obama v. John McCain

Not just that.  In every presidential election since 1976, save for 1988, the candidate perceived as more anti-Washington won as well.


*If you ever watch video from the 1976 campaign and compare that to imagery from the 1980 campaign, it’s striking how less dynamic Jimmy Carter had become once elected.

Scary Thought of the Day: Biden Just a Heartbeat Away

If the MSM had paid Joe Biden half the attention they paid Sarah Palin during the campaign, there’s no doubt people would be wondering if the soon-to-be-former longtime Delaware Senator were a drag on his party’s ticket.  Remember the stories before the mortgage meltdown that he was going to find an excuse to step down from the Democratic ticket on October 5 to make way for Hillary Clinton?

Joe Biden makes more gaffes the average week than Sarah Palin made in the entire campaign.  Take out just Palin’s interview with Katie Couric, and you could say that Biden made more gaffes per speech than the Alaska Governor made in the entire campaign.  And he had thirty-six years of “experience.”

Now, with McCain campaign aides trashing their soon-to-be former boss’s choice of running mate, Michael Ledeen observes:

The worst of it is that very little attention is devoted to the actual VP-elect, Joe Biden of Delaware, a man with no executive experience, who invents ‘facts’ many times a day, who is the walking definition of narcissist, and who will, for the next four years, be a heartbeat away from the presidency

And that is more frightening to me than the prospect of Sarah Palin in a similar situation.

The Sore Losers of “No on 8”

Even though Proposition 8 passed, it did so with a margin considerably smaller than a similar ballot initiative in 2000.  Importantly, voters under 30 overwhelmingly rejected the initiative.

Had the state Supreme Court not mandated gay marriage back in May, we would see this as a sign of progress.  Indeed, many do.  But, alas, all too many opponents of the initiative, proponents of gay marriage, are behaving like children who just had a toy taken from them while they were playing with it (a toy, one cold argue to make the metaphor work, that they had not yet paid for).

Last night, protestors rallied in West Hollywood and San Francisco.  Perhaps were I not drained from my election coverage and saddened by my party’s loss, I might have headed to the former rally to observe.  I understand why people are upset.

But, I blame the court even more than the people who voted “Yes” on 8.  The justices gave false hope to gay marriage advocates.  They overturned a popular initiative, fully aware that the state constitution allows initiatives which could have overturned their decision.

And now, as if to further social divisions on this controversial subject, gay marriage advocates “filed a challenge to Proposition 8,” yesterday, “telling the State Supreme Court that the state’s ‘initiative procedure cannot be used to undermine the constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone.‘”

I shake my head is disbelief.  A court decision caused a popular backlash.  And now they want to go back to the courts.

As I intend to address in subsequent post, despite a number of electoral advantages, including the ballot language and the citizens’ default reaction to ballot initiative (voting “No” when we’re certain), the “No” campaign committed some serious blunders.

We need address those blunders and put new leadership in place in the California gay advocacy groups as well in national gay marriage organizations to develop a new strategy.  It doesn’t help us to go through the courts.  More than anything right now, we need leaders who can better appeal to wary straight people, especially socially moderate citizens who respect, but are not beholden to, certain social conservative ideas about marriage and gender difference.

UPDATE:  As I was finishing this, a reader alerted me to Jonathan Rauch’s excellent post on the Independent Gay Forum where he offers similar thoughts:

Rethink, first, the wisdom of mindlessly pushing lawsuits through the courts without adequately preparing the public. The result is gay marriage in two states—one of which, Connecticut, would soon have had it anyway—at the cost of a backlash which has made the climb much steeper in dozens of other states, and which, in some states, has banned even civil unions. The California debacle is particularly stinging. We already had civil unions there, and we were only one Democratic governor away from seeing those converted legislatively, hence less controversially, to marriages. First rule of politics: if you’re winning anyway, don’t kick it away.

Rethink, second, the strategy of telling the public that we’re entitled to marriage by right and that anyone who disagrees is a discriminator or, by implication, a bigot.

It’s that last point which caused me to waver on voting “No.” As with anything by Jonathan Rauch, read the whole thing.

To Rebuild, GOP needs Strong Message and Effective Messenger, Like Brock in ’77, Barbour in ’93

Jenifer Rubin (AKA the Jewish Athena) has a great short post calling Obama’s victory “impressive” but not a landslide.  While she contends “It is no consolation to Republicans who lost to say it could have been worse. But it really could have:”

This suggests that if the Republicans manage to get their act together, by recruiting better candidates and coming up with a competitive and distinctive message, they can get back in the game. That’s what Republicans did between 1976 and 1980 and between 1964 and 1968. And in each of those cases they were even further in the hole than they are now.

She’s right.  We need to better articulate our message.  And we need effective messengers.

While Republicans did win the White House after those two four-year cycles, they didn’t between 1992 and 1996, but still the party did manage to rebuilt in that period. Our success was thwarted because of our lackluster presidential nominee in 1996 and the then-Democratic incumbent co-opting our issue.

Great leadership at the RNC helped us get back on message from 1976 to 1980 as it did from 1992 to 1994. After losing his bid for reelection to the Senate from Tennessee in ’76, Bill Brock took the helm of the RNC. Sixteen years later, Haley Barbour (now Governor of Mississippi) did the same thing.

Under Brock’s leadership, we went from 38 seats in the Senate in 1977 to 53 in 1981. The GOP picked up 12 seats alone in 1980.  Under Barbour, we won both Houses of Congress in 1994 and even expanded our Senate majority (by two seats) in 1996 despite Clinton’s reelection.

Right now, we need to find someone like Brock or Barbour to help rebuild the GOP, someone able to get our message out  today’s media. How about Fred Thompson? Maybe Newt Gingrich?

Did Democrats Campaign on their Leftist Agenda?

Last night, I had a thought which I hope I’ll time to look into in the next few days.

We keep reading about many far-left items on the agenda of congressional Democrats, a $300 billion dollar stimulus package, card-check legislation for union organization, regulation of free speech through restoration of the so-called “Fairnes Doctrine.”  And on and on.

And I wondered which of the Democrats elected on Tuesday campaigned on these issues.  Unlike Republican candidates for the House in 1994, Democrats this year did not unite behind a particular reform platform.

Please let me know if you have evidence that they did.  Or want to list other items on the Democrats agenda that they may not (or may) have campaigned on.

Biggest Unspoken Loser on Tuesday?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:10 am - November 6, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Hillary Clinton.

In a landslide.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)