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Against the Overheated Rhetoric of Prop 8 Opponents

On Sunday, I had scribbled a note to myself that I should blog about my “emotional” vote on Prop 8, largely because I don’t think some of our gay left readers understand why I wavered.

I considered leaving Prop 8 blank in part because I didn’t want to deliver a victory to those angry activists (yes, they were angry even before the vote) who regularly decried the proponents of the proposition as haters or otherwise mean-spirited.  Few took the time to understand that legitimate objections to same-sex marriage that some social conservatives have.

In the end, it was emotion which caused me to vote against Prop 8, the warm feelings I held for a lesbian couple who had recently gotten married here in the Golden State.  In the way those two ladies related to each other, they showed that they understood the meaning of marriage.

Earlier today, a reader e-mailed me Debra Saunders’s column where she expresses an ambivalence on Prop 8 similar to my own as well as my outrage at the narrow-minded mean-spirited gay marriage advocates who so readily demonize their adversaries.

Unlike me, however, she abstained on 8:

I was so conflicted, I punted. I did not vote either way. I’m not proud of my nonvote, but as I watch the fallout from Proposition 8′s 52 percent victory, I’ve seen things that are forcing me out of my closet.

Like me, she’s bothered by the rhetoric of some of those advocates:

There has been too little recognition of the fact that marriage has been limited to unions between members of the opposite sex since about as long as there have been laws.

Activists would argue that Prop. 8 “took away” their rights — as if the five months between the George decision and Prop. 8′s passage outweigh thousands of years of human history. . . .

. . .in California, domestic partnerships provided all the benefits that came with same-sex marriage a la Ron George — except the name “marriage.” . . . .  In other words, when activists complain that Proposition 8 “took away” their rights, the only right changed was the ability to call themselves married under state law. The other benefits stand.

So, let’s have a civil discussion of gay marriage and be honest about the meaning of Proposition 8.  It all boils down to having the state calling same-sex unions marriage.

Gay marriage advocates need do a better job of making clear what that word matters so much.

Use the Conservative Model in Gay Marriage Debate

In the comments section to my first post from the “Equality Summit,” another participant chimed in, offering thoughts which help define the difference between the left and right in American today.

Addressing my observation about the absence of Republicans at the event, Stephen R. Stapleton wrote:

I don’t think we plan much outreach to conservatives. They aren’t very receptive to the outreach and I think those resources will return more if used to focus more moderate voters. I think resources put into reaching out to the religious and minority communities would return considerably more.

Note, his bias against conservatives, assuming we won’t be receptive to outreach. Has he even tried? He was not even aware of Republicans Against 8, saying, “I don’t think there was any Republican leadership active in the fight on Prop 8.”

Most (but, alas, not all) conservatives are a limited government lot. If gay activists could tweak their message, framing this as an issue of freedom rather than dwelling on equality, they would certainly get more conservatives on board. They would sway still others by doing as Catherine Thienmann did in pointing out that advocates of gay marriage understand and upload the obligations of the institution, including monogamy.

In short, they needed present unifying message based on ideas, the political idea here being freedom, the social, responsibility.

Too many on the left, however, would rather appeal to interest groups, as if the gay movement were part of some vast coalition of the oppressed. Minority groups thus become their allies, while conservatives their adversaries.

Since Ronald Reagan, however, the conservative movement has been one of ideas, crafting an inclusive, unifying message. (Republicans fail, when they lose sight of that message and resort to pandering as they did in 1992 and 2006.) By contrast, the modern left is a collection of interest groups, with the Democratic Party (as an example) pandering to each and every minority.

To reach to conservatives, gay marriage advocates need not pander, but instead make a strong case for gay marriage, making clear that state recognition of same-sex unions will not prevent private institutions for setting their own standards while defending the values undergirding this ancient institution.

The idea is not to pander, but to advocate. To promote an idea, in this case, the benefits of extending the privileges of marriage to same-sex couples.

Had conservatives been included in this weekend’s conclave, participants might better understand this strategy.

Obama Disarms America, Exits War on Terror

How depressing.  From Kim Preistap at Wizbang.com:

I guess we can take War on Terror off of the Wizbang category list as Barack Obama has determined that we should no longer aggressively pursue our enemies and has put an end to the War on Terror with his executive orders. He insists of course that counter terrorism efforts will continue, but they sound purely defensive.  It sounds like he will respond after we are attacked instead of aggressively preventing an attack.  I may be misinterpreting that, but when he halts all efforts to find the terrorists who who are plotting against us before they attack, I’m not sure what else you’d call it.

Kim is referring to this Washington Post article from last Friday.

President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects. With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the “war on terror,” as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the U.S. government in battling its enemies will not be limitless.

Key components of the secret structure developed under Bush are being swept away: The military’s Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility, where the rights of habeas corpus and due process had been denied detainees, will close, and the CIA is now prohibited from maintaining its own overseas prisons. And in a broad swipe at the Bush administration’s lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after Sept. 11, 2001.

I never thought I’d think this, but perhaps the two friends I lost in the terror attacks of 9/11 have, in fact, died in vain.

That said, if the USA is attacked now – the fault clearly will lie in the lap of President Obama who has moved us back to the Clinton Era of Denial and political correctness in the face of a declared war on the US by the jihadists.

Say what you want, at least President Bush kept our nation safe.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from Dan): Remember in the first debate when John McCain proposed to “spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs” in order to compensate for the then-massive outlays for the bailout?

Obama countered that the “problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.” Isn’t that what he’s doing now, using a hatchet instead of a scalpel?

Joy Behar Says Obama Too Perfect for Mockery**

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:18 am - January 27, 2009.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obamania

Welcome Instapundit Readers!!  Please note that I have tweaked this post slightly now that I have found the transcript online.

No wonder President Obama doesn’t want Republicans listening to Rush Limbaugh.  That conservative radio talk show host represents one of the few outspoken talking heads in the media who has not yet fallen under the president’s spell.

On Sunday night, while doing my cardio, I caught what appeared to be rebroadcast of an episode of Larry King Live.  King asked The View‘s Joy Behar why comedians didn’t make fun of the new president found it “hard for the comics to have fun with.”  The comedienne replied that this prez was just too perfect.*

Can you imagine how the media would react if a conservative had chastised a comedian for making fun of former President George W. Bush because he was “too perfect” “kind of really perfect”?  A few google searches yielded no mainstream criticism of Miss Behar’s panegyric to the president (not even on the right–maybe that’s because no one else was watching?)  [UPDATE:  Since this piece got picked up on Instapundit, conservatives have begun chiming in.]

It is truly frightening that a comedian in a free society would think her president’s too perfect for mockery perfection made him difficult to make fun of.

One of the great things about our democracy is that we can mock our leaders.  Ms. Behar and her ilk seemed to delight in such mockery up until the current president’s inauguration.  Now, she finds the incumbent too perfect.

What does it say about someone who finds a politician too perfect for mockery?

And what does it say about her insight into politics if she offer this as the reason for the dearth of late-night jokes about the president?  So enamored is Behar with the president, that she is blind to the googly-eyed adulation her media peers feel for the president.

* (more…)

KEEP HATE ALIVE….

….vote Democratic!

An inspired observation by one of our witty readers in one of Dan’s posts a couple of days ago.   And, I thought, worthy of a post itself!

Brilliant!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)