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Rauch & Blankenhorn’s “New” Thinking on Gay Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:19 pm - February 27, 2009.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

Those who follow the serious debate on gay marriage know that Jonathan Rauch and David Blankenhorn have become the two most responsible voices on their respective sides of the issue.  Last week, these two adversaries teamed up to offer A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage in the New York Times.  And for once, the Old Gray Lady serves the role she would like to serve, as a source of intelligent discussion on controversial subjects.

While Rauch and Blankenhorn disagree “on the merits of gay marriage,” they do “agree on two facts:”

First, most gay and lesbian Americans feel they need and deserve the perquisites and protections that accompany legal marriage. Second, many Americans of faith and many religious organizations have strong objections to same-sex unions. Neither of those realities is likely to change any time soon

They recognize the “parade of horribles” about which proponents of Proposition 8 warned us in their successful campaign last fall to enshrine the traditional definition of marriage in the California constitution. Both men want to ensure that religious organizations are not required to recognize unions at odds with their doctrines.

Thus they favor federal recognition of same-sex civil unions with “with robust religious-conscience exceptions:”

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Obama Team Gets One Right: Pulls out of Durban II

Just two days ago, I blogged how the Obama Administration, in striving to “fit in” to the planning sesssion for the United Nations Durban II conference on racism, preferred “being liked” to standing up against the conference’s labeling Israel as the primary source of racism in the world.

Well, there’s some good news today.  The Administration has reversed course and is pulling out of the conference:

White House aides told Jewish leaders on a conference call today that the United States will boycott the United Nations’ World Conference on Racism over hostility to Israel in draft documents prepared for the April conference.

The aides, including an advisor to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Jennifer Simon, and longtime Obama advisor Samantha Power, said the administration will not participate in further negotiations on the current text or participate in a conference based on the text, sources on the call said.

(Emphasis added. Via The Weekly Standard.)  Kudos to the Administration for acknolwedging the hostility to Israel expressed in these documents as the reason for their withdrawal.

Ed Morrissey believes Stephen Harper stands to benefit the most; the Canadian Prime Minister “took a lot of heat” for refusing to participate at the outset.  He knew that it would be a repeat of the Israel-bashing which defined the initial conference eight years ago:

The conference reprises the 2001 conference in Durban, South Africa that devolved into an anti-Jewish free-for-all. Canada and Israel have opted not to attend the conference, and some U.S. Jewish groups had been pressing the United States to do the same.

Preparations for a draft document so far have seen Iran leading a coterie of nations blocking inclusion of anything that might guarantee Jewish protections — including mention of the Holocaust — while inserting draconian language guarding Islam against “insult.”

I’m delighted to see the United States joining Canada and Israel in boycotting a conference where a rogue nation like Iran would have so much influence.  It’s nice to be able to praise the president and his team on a job well done.

More from Freedom Rally on Santa Monica Pier

I would have posted more pictures from the “Tea Party” on Santa Monica Pier right after the event, but was not getting good reception from my wireless card at the Cafe where I went after the rally with some great people I met there.

I had a great time; everyone was friendly. We were all impressed with the crowd, maybe as many as 200, given the short notice and the fact that in far-flung LA it was at one of the fringes of the metropolis. And it was a work day for most.

Oh, and to our constant critics, I regularly identified myself as a blogger at GayPatriot and, guess what, no one had a problem with my sexuality. In fact, one of the organizers said if he had known I was there, he would have invited me to speak.

The crowd as as ethnically diverse as the region and its politics ran the gamut from socially liberal Republican fiscal hawks to social conservatives to disciples of renegade Republicant Ron Paul. There were some cute guys as well as attractive women as some of the pictures below show:

This one I chose just for one of our most devoted readers, known to those who peruse the comments section as ILoveCapitalism.

I think some of our readers would say, “Yes,” to this guy:

And one for the ladies:

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On government & social problems

One of the reasons Michael Barone has long been one of my favorite columnists is his long study of American history and deep understanding of our political and social traditions.  In his blog post, Obama’s Threat to Charities and Universities: His Budget and Taxes, he quotes Tocqueville to show how far back goes the American tradition of voluntarism.

Barone fears that by reducing the value of the charitable deduction, Obama’s budget threatens volunary associations:

This is an attempt to channel money away from voluntary associations and direct it to the state. Some of that money, in turn, would be directed to public employee unions, and much if not most of that would be directed to the Democratic Party. It would be interesting to know what White House counselor and former President of Harvard University Lawrence Summers thinks of this.

It seems the president wants to centralize power in Washington and siphon some of the fruits of that control to various interest groups which support the Democratic Party. This is part and parcel of the liberal (in the current understanding of the term) vision of government as the solution to all too many of our problems.

That vision, however, is at odds with the American tradition. As Barone so wisely note, “One of the strengths of American society is that we do not rely solely on the government to address social problems.

If it’s by Barone, it goes without saying: read the whole thing.

LA Tea Party for Freedom

I’m now at a Santa Monica café with some of the cool people I met at the LA Tea Party for Freedom on Santa Monica Pier. We’re commenting on how friendly everyone. There was almost no name-calling and vitriolic attacks.  [GP comment:  Why would there be, no liberals were there. Too easy.]

I took a lot of pictures and here are some of the best. More to come.  And here are some more.

These colonial ladies are holding my sign:

UPDATE from Bruce (GayPatriot): Sen. Tom Coburn wrote on Twitter today, “new debt proposed by Administration’s budget is larger than the total amount of debt accumulated by the government from 1789 to today.”  Unfathomable, yet true.

GAYPATRIOT EXCLUSIVE:
Log Cabin Insider Discloses Shocking Details
of Gay GOP’s Tim Gill Connection

***GAYPATRIOT EXCLUSIVE***

In the wake of the Washington Blade story yesterday suggesting strong ties between Log Cabin Republicans and left-wing liberal activist Tim Gill, I was contacted by a long-time Log Cabin insider.  He is aware of my long-time hunt to connect the money trail between Gill & the “gay Republican” organization. 

This individual has been a source for many of my Log Cabin-related postings since 2004 and continues to have unprecedented access to the affairs, both past and present, of the national gay Republican organization.  I shall refer to my source as “Lance”, in order to protect his identity.

Lance confirmed the Log Cabin financial dependency on Tim Gill raised in the Washington Blade story.  He personally witnessed money being exchanged between Log Cabin’s National Office and Tim Gill’s political organization in Colorado:

I can tell you that [in early 2004],  I personally saw transfers and checks for $350,000 from Gill Action to LCR.  

Lance also confirms suspicions that I have made repeatedly here at GP.org, that the anti-Bush TV ads in 2004 run by Log Cabin were significantly financed by Tim Gill’s money.

Some was sent in and went directly out to the TV stations the other money went to pay the bills and staff. 

(Yeah, I feel like saying “I told you so”… but I won’t.)  Sometimes you do live long enough to see yourself vindicated!

Lance also raises questions about the past financial dealings at Log Cabin in 2004-05:

Bill Davenport [another donor] was in for about another $100k (now he won’t give anything) but other monies were sent to a “new” account opened in Virginia — there was at least one of those.  Craig Engle, the counsel for Log Cabin at the time, was determined to hide the flow and never knew I had been aware [of the other account]. 

I am sure well over HALF the LCR budget came from Gill that year (2004) and the next.  Including many, many more funds that went to Liberty Education Forum [a Log Cabin affiliated group]. 

The troubles at Log Cabin have only just begun, according to Lance.  And they involve former LCR President Patrick Guerriero’s expenses, which I questioned last year:

The melt down over the board is another hurricane brewing.  Someone, not sure who, finally looked at the Patrick Guerriero expense logs and it is a real goat f**k.  Including billing Log Cabin for a trip to Iowa that he (PG) submitted identical billing to the school that invited him to speak!

WHEW.  I appreciate Lance’s candor and courage.  Shouldn’t someone — besides those trying to cover each other’s asses on the Log Cabin board – investigate these allegations since LCR is a membership-driven organization.

Oh, did I mention that Log Cabin Republicans and the Gill Action Fund are both 501(c)(4), non-profit, tax-exempt organizations under the IRS code?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Media Silent when Democratic Philanthropist Funds Republican Group’s ads targeting Republican candidates

Imagine that a small newspaper uncovered this scoop: a rich conservative philanthropist, say Richard Mellon Scaife, directly and through his Foundation, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Democratic group to run ads targeting leading Democratic politicians.  Reporters from all the leading dailies, the three major networks as well as CNN, MSNBC and even FoxNews would be beating down the paper’s doors, trying to get access to their sources.

The story would lead their web-pages and dominate evening newscasts.

Scaife has already taken enough grief just for funding major conservative think tanks and periodicals, but here he’d have been caught playing the kind of dirty tricks that helped Richard Nixon earn the enmity of the news media.

So, what did my google news search yield when I typed in the name of a liberal philanthropist, Tim Gill and Log Cabin, an ostensibly Republican organization, to which said philanthropist had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars, in large part, to run ads targeting leading Republicans?

I got two hits–and only one to an article referencing the matter–and here’s all it said, “TIm Gill rules the world, and, apparently, the Log Cabin Republicans.“  To be sure, Politico’s blogger Ben Smith also picked up the story, but rather than highlight that Democrat’s dirty tricks suggested the philanthropist’s largesse was a sign the GOP was unwelcoming to gays.

Bobby Jindal v. Barack Obama:
Real Accomplishments or a Polished Performance

Like Bruce, I did not see Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s response to the president’s address to Congress on Tuesday night, so won’t comment on it, save to note that the reviews I have read have been mostly bad.  What amuses me in reading some of those reviews is how many have branded him a failure merely because he did not come across well.  As if poor presentation for one speech scuttles any chance he had of success on the national stage.

As if that matters more than his very real accomplishments.  But, the again, critics of conservatives will use anything to fault an up-and-coming Republican leader.  As Mary Katharine Ham put it, “Liberals who thought Sarah Palin’s brilliant RNC speech performance meant absolutely nothing are sure that Jindal’s off night means everything.

To such liberals, it seems, a polished performance (save those by charismatic women) matters more than accomplishment, more than substance.  Look how quickly they flocked to Barack Obama when all the man had done was show that he could wow audiences with his formidable presence and elevating oratory.  (If Palin’s RNC speech mean nothing, how come Obama’s DNC speech four years previously meant everything?)

At this point in his career, Governor Jindal has accomplished far more that had then-Senator Obama when he made his debut on the national stage.  So, now we know that for Obama fans, presence is all, substance doesn’t matter.

And they accuse us of being shallow.

UPDATE: In a similar vein, Jim Treacher tried to watch Jindal’s speech “but it was too awkward. He seems to be the inverse of Obama, in that he’s much better at speaking extemporaneously than reading from a teleprompter. Which seems like a good thing, to me anyway.