Gay Patriot Header Image

The postpartisan candidate becomes a hyperpartisan president

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:00 pm - June 30, 2009.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Obama Watch

During the course of last year’s presidential campaign, I found it hard to fathom the enthusiasm Barack Obama maintained among so many of his followers over the course of the very long campaign.  Yes, I appreciated his rhetorical skill and presence.  He carried himself like a leader, someone who commands respect.  Early on, I too found him a compelling figure and plausible president.  Yet, it baffled me how a man who had previously accomplished so little survived the scrutiny of an extended campaign.

He put himself forward as some new kind of politician, able to transcend politics, yet while he had developed a few friendships with his Republiccan Senate colleagues, he hadn’t been at the forefront of any major bipartisan efforts at reform.  Just as he hadn’t challenged the Chicago political machine when involved in Illinois politics, he didn’t challenge the partisan grandstanding and opportunistic obstructionism of his party’s leadership when serving in the U.S. Senate.  He had no record of being a new kind of politician.  Despite his pretensions to the contrary, he was a go-along get-along kind of guy, never making waves, never standing out on particular issues, always blending in.

The only thing which distinguished him was his powerful presence and his ability to deliver a speech.

His record, however, didn’t match the rhetoric he used to describe himself.  It’s one reason I wrote my challenge to our critics, asking them to find examples where President George W. Bush (43) criticized Democratic legislators in the same manner Obama criticized their Republican counterparts for their votes against a legislative initiative he supported.  In the example I offered the supposedly post-partisan Democrat excoriated Republicans for voting against him on Waxman-Markey while excusing Democratic legislators who the same way as those “fear-mongering” Republicans. (more…)

Obama Supporter Reminds Us of Obama Promise of Fiscal Discipline

Back in February, I had meant to blog on Fred Tausch, a New Hampshire man who had donated substantial sums to the Obama campaign, but had launched an effort to stop that Democrat’s spendthrift “stimulus.” But,  given the haste with which Democrats moved the spending plan through Congress, I did not have time to blog on it before the legislation passed.

Well, Tausch is back in the news again and there is some speculation he may run for New Hampshire’s open Senate seat next fall.  In WSJ.com’s Political Diary (available by subscription), John Fund reports that he is staffing his S.T.E.W.A.R.D. (Stimulating The Economy Without Accumulating Record Debt) operation with veterans of Republican campaigns:

Erin Abell, STEWARD’s executive director, is a seasoned political hand who formerly worked for John McCain’s presidential campaign in the state. Two former aides of ex-Sen. John Sununu have signed aboard the Tausch efforts. Ditto a pair of veterans of last year’s Giuliani and Romney presidential campaigns.

STEWARD has been running radio and TV ads, and funding studies which “highlight the dangers of runaway federal spending.”  With Tausch moving from Obama supporter to Administration critics, we see two things, first, that Republicans can win back votes they lost in recent years by returning to the fiscal principles which once defined the party and second, that Obama did so well last fall by tapping into independent voters’ frustration with a spendthrift GOP.

As the  first point will come to the fore as the campaigns for ’09 and ’10 heat up, I wish now to focus on the second.

When we criticize the President for his liberal agenda, his supporters (when not bashing Bush) will remind us that the Democrat had won election last fall and therefore was entitled to enact his agenda.  What they don’t tell you is the number of people like Tausch who took the Democratic candidate at his word that he would bring fiscal discipline to the our nation’s capital, given the Democrat’s repeated promise of a “net spending cut.”  Tausch reminds us that many backed Obama precisely because of such promises.

That is, the Democrat won a convincing majority last fall not by focusing on the big-spending, large government agenda which has defined his first five months in office, but by appealing to voters like Fred Tausch and promising to be a responsible, a prudent steward of our nation’s finance.

Gay Activists Offer Obama “Thunderous Applause”

Reading about the President’s myriad broken promises in my post yesterday on the subject, reader Jana alerts our readers to Allahpundit’s post on the “thunderous applause” the Democrat received when he welcomed gay activists to the White House to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.  I’m sure HRC’s, the ever obsequious (when it comes to Democrats) Joe Solmonese was among those clapping the loudest.

Despite some gay left bloggers daring to criticize a Democratic President, it seems a good number of gay activists remained enamored with the incumbent, perhaps due to his left-wing credentials or that (D) after his name which, for many gay leftists, is the equivalent of a “Get out of Jail Free” card, excusing a politician of misdeeds and broken promises.

This applause shows that  all too many gay activists will give the benefit of the doubt to Democrats.  For them, left-wing ideology and partisan loyalty seem more important than integrity on gay issues and a record of achievement.  They’re partisans first.  So, bear that in mind when they criticize us of being “self-hating” for not toeing the liberal line and supporting the Democratic Party.

At least, we, consistent with the ideals of modern American conservatism, have the sense to expect little of our politicians on gay issues.  They mask their partisan fidelity in the Democrats’ supposed commitment to gay people.

The Least Popular Freshman Senator

In a Democratic state in a Democratic year where the Democratic presidential nominee vastly outspent the Republican and had a far superior grassroots campaign which benefited down-ticket Democrats across the nation, the Democratic candidate for Senate ran 12 points behind the Democratic nominee for President in Minnesota, yet thanks to a third party candidate won election to the U.S. Senate, barely outpolling the Republican who has just conceded.

Had it not been for Democratic sample ballots in the Gopher State, the party’s Senate nominee may well have won fewer than 40% of the vote.  Many likely voted for him, knowing little about it save that he was running on the same ticket as their beloved Barack Obama.  Minnesotans really don’t like the guy, but will have to suffer with him representing their state in the Senate for another five-and-one-half years.

Al Franken should be right at home in a institution presided by a gaffe-prone fomer Delaware Senator and including the likes of Barbara Boxer, Tom Harkin, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid whose political involvement seems rooted not in advancement of ideas, but in antipathy to Republicans and in earning the accolades of left-wing interest groups.

A sad day for civil discourse.  This is not the first time when mean-spirited rhetoric fueled the advancement of a Democratic politician.  The Senate will soon include a left-wing Thedore Bilbo.

UPDATEMean-Spirited Minnesotan Steals a Senate Seat.

Has Paul Krugman Unmasked the Republican-Martian Conspiracy?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:00 pm - June 29, 2009.
Filed under: Liberals,Media Bias,Post 9-11 America

Looks like he just might have.  Despite my contacts in the GOP, I have only heard rumors about this supposed conspiracy, yet no proof, not even a scrap of hard evidence.  I had thought that if this conspiracy did indeed exist, it was only among the far right extremists on our side of the aisle, the real loons, those so eager to bring down Obama that they would praise the leaders of our mortal enemies, you know I mean, the Martians who have only begun to make contact with us.

I’d heard about these GOP dead-enders, eager to help the Martians effect their planned conquest of our planet, perhaps just to bring down Obama or perhaps to protect themselves and their families when the extra-terrestials take over, assuming we could not resist their invasion.  Until today, I had thought that the talk of the conspiracy was attempts by the White House-MSM axis to smear Republicans as extremists.

But, maybe Paul Krugman knows something I don’t know.  Why else would he accuse Republican opponents of the Waxman-Markey bill of committing treason against the planet

I mean, treason against the planet does suggest helping an extra-planetary force.  And that points to the Martians.

Well, if he’s going to accuse the GOP of treason, he needs provide the evidence, of the actual conspiracy itself and of Republican contacts with Martian officials.  We can’t let him get him with this subliminal system of messaging, hinting at the extra-terrestial conspiracy just to keep it in people’s minds so that they assume that Republicans prefer to cooperate with aliens than to work with the President and his party.  Even in the darkest of times, Americans just won’t vote for a political party which allies itself with those little green men.

So, Mr. Krugman, now that we know you’re aware of the conspiracy, show us the evidence.

The Promise Breaker

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:50 pm - June 29, 2009.
Filed under: Media Bias,Obama and Gay Issues

As Jim Geraghty has pointed out on numerous occasions, all Barack Obama promises comes with expiration dates.  We in the gay community have seen how quick he is to break (though the obsequious Joe Solmonese might say “slow to fulfill”) his campaign promise to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT), the ban on gays serving openly in the military and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Now, one of his closest advisers won’t rule out a middle class tax hike.  Obama’s even willing to consider taxing employer-based health care plans, something which he excoriated his Republican opponent for supporting in last fall’s presidntial campaign and promised himself not to do (unless, of course, the person taxed earned over $250,o00 a year).

Even the New York Times notices that he has broken his promise of transparency, reneging on his pledge to post bills online for five days before signing them.  But, in typical Times fashion, the headline reads that the Democrat has only changed “the terms of a campaign pledge“.   If he were a Republican, he would have broken faith with the American people.

In order to reach out to independent voters (and even some Republicans), candidate Obama knew he had to play to the center to keep scrutiny off his past left-wing activities and rhetoric and his (very,) very liberal voting record.  Moreover, aware that voters (especially libertarian and conservative Republicans) were upset with the GOP for not holding the line on domestic spending, he sensed an opening and cast himself as a fiscal disciplinarian.  And a lot of people bought it.

Once elected, however, he faced a dilemma, keep faith with his left-wing base which (one of my past posts notwithstanding) seems to be where he finds his political heart or staying true to the promises he made in the general election.  Given the opportunity that crises afford, he thought he could get away with veering to the left on domestic issues, thinking that under cover of a perceived crisis, he could get away with it.

The mainstream media being what it is, he may well succeed.   Americans may be turning away from his big-spending initiatives, but they have not yet lost faith in Barack Obma as a leader.  But, should the economy continue to falter, people will not not only fault him for his failed economic policies, but also his betrayal of the trust he had gained in the course of the presidential campaign, during the better part of the transition and in the first few months of his Administration.

Challenge to our Critics:
Provide Examples of Bush Attacking Democrat
as Obama Attacks Republicans

Remember how presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to be a postpartisan leader transcending the partisan divisions which bedeviled Washington politics?  Well, not only has he abandoned that notion, but he’s ended up as quite the opposite, not postpartsian.

He has truly made his predecessor seem a uniter rather than the divider Obama partisans and the left made him out to be.

In a piece yesterday for Commentary‘s Contentions, Jennifer Rubin notes that the Democratic President excuses Democrats for casting the same vote which earns opprobrium for Republicans.  While the 44 Democrats who voted against Waxman-Markey (AKA Cap & Trade) did so because they were “sensitive to the immediate political climate of uncertainty around this issue,” Republican who oppose the measure were “fear-mongering” and were “16 years behind the times“.

Did Mr. Obama’s Republican predecessor ever excoriate Democrats for voting against his legislative initiatives (or otherwise opposing hispolitices)? Recall how Democrats branded Bush a divisive figure. So, here’s my challenge to the Bush critics who regularly chime in in our comments section. You, like the unhappy Barney Frank, in his recent interview with Bill O’Reilly respond to every criticism of Obama with an attack on W. So, now you have a chance to show how right you (and he) are.  Show us what a horrible, no good and very bad that Republican was.

Show us that he was so horrible, no good and very bad that he was worse than his successor. Many Democrats voted against the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (which passed the House in 2003 by a margin even closer than that of Waxman-Markey), even though it was quite similar to many initiatives proposed (and even enacted) by his predecessor Democrat Bill Clinton. California’s senior Senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein voted for this bill, yet many Democrats balked because it was Bush’s bill.

So, using your google skills, find references to Bush attacking congressional Democrats who voted against him on this bill as Obama attacked Republicans who voted against cap and trade. And if you’d like, you’re welcome to bring up other legislation of the Bush era. And recall, since I’m referencing comments that the current President made, so must you reference comments the then-President made. Comments made by elected Republican officials and conservative commentators do not count–as we’re talking about the President here, not the liberal commentariat or left-wing bloggers.

Did the Republican President describe his domestic adversaries fear-mongering?  Did he say they were sixteen years behind the times?

Is an affair adulterous if the unfaithful partner is separated?

On every first date, I try to let the conversation flow naturally so each of us can get to know the other as he is, instead of matching ourselves us to some ideal image of the perfect mate, I do try to get two things across, the first about my politics because I know that’s a deal-breaker for some gay leftists and the second about monogamy because his eagerness for an open relationship would be a deal-breaker for me.

The question always arises that, once you start dating, when does the monogamy attach?  Obviously it hasn’t yet attached to the (first) date I had this weekend where I did broach the monogamy issue (but not the political one). So, I assume it attaches when we define ourselves as boyfriends, agreeing to be faithful to one another.

Some wait until they have had a ceremony, but the point is that there is a clear, definable moment when monogamy attaches. And that leads to the question, when does it “detach.” And that’s not always so clear.  If two parties plan on divorcing, need they wait until the divorce goes through?  Or can they start seeing other people once they make their intentions clear?  And  say a married couple separates, should each partner then remain celibate?

It would seem that in some such cases, celibacy would be unwarranted. And that makes Senator Ensign’s affair a bit less problematic, but it doesn’t excuse Mark Sanford. While the South Carolina Governor has been separated from his wife for “about two weeks,” all evidence indicates the affair had begun long before that separation. Ensign, by contrast, was separated from his wife while sleeping with a campaign aide and ended the affair when he reconciled with his wife. Even so, his lady friend was married at the time, so while his marital vows may been on hiatus, hers were not. It was definitely adultery.

Despite this wrong, there is no evidence the Nevada Senator abused hs position as a public official.  Sanford, however, appears to have used state resources to fund his tryst.  So, I’m with John Podhoretz on this one, he really has “no choice but to resign.

But, this all leads me to wonder if the media would give the Nevada Republican a pass if he had had different partisan affiliation?

UPDATE:  Glenn links a great article this morning on Reason where Steve Chapman offers some thoughts on adultery which pretty much parallel my own.  He does not, however, address the separation “conundrum.”  Since Sanford was not separated at the time his affair began, he was clearly violating his marital vows.   Chapman pretty much echoes my views, holding “Sex without marriage is OK. Sex in violation of marriage is not“: (more…)

Waxman-Markey Passes:
Job-killing Legislation Crafted by Men who Never Created a Job

While my Congressman has, to his credit, never taken an earmark to benefit our district, he has also never held a job in the sector he so delights in regulating.  He doesn’t understand how money is made, innovation fostered and jobs created.   For over forty years, Henry Waxman has served in government, six years in the California Assembly in Sacramento before being elected to Congress in 1974.

Together with his Bay State colleague Ed Markey, who has spent nearly as long as his California elder in elective office (elected to the Massachusetts House just a year after graduating from law school), Waxman has crafted a bill (all in the interest of stopping “global warming”) which would regulate industries which have created the joband fostered the innovation which these two Democrats have created only in their minds and with their words.  We’re talking about Cap & Trade.

They don’t understand how regulation hampers innovation.  They don’t understand the burdens federal legislation places on those who generate the wealth which fuels our prosperity and which pays for these men’s government sinecures.  Indifferent to openness, the transparency their party’s candidate for President touted on the campaign trail,  they plop a 300-page amendment into the legislation in the wee hours of the morning, giving legislators less than a day to consider this lengthy addition before voting on it.

And they got eight Republicans to go along with this unexamined regulatory scheme when over forty (just about one for each year of Waxman’s legislative service) Democrats jumped ship.  Couldn’t they at least have said while they’re open to this legislation, they didn’t want to vote on something they hadn’t had time to read and consider and discuss with their constituents?  As Ricky Ricardo often said to Lucy,  they’ve “got some ‘splainin to do.” (more…)

George Eliot’s Additional Insight on Iran:
The “Great Satan” is Necessary to the Mullahs’ Tyranny

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:21 pm - June 27, 2009.
Filed under: Literature & Ideas,War On Terror

It is incredible how prescient this woman, who died approximately one century before Iran’s Islamic “Revolution, was.

As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashes out at President Obama for interfering in Iranian affairs, it becomes increasingly clear to all but the most narrow-minded ideologues that nothing the United States can do or say, no matter how our leaders abase themselves before the mullahs, will change their attitude towards us.  For they “need” to demonize us.  It’s not just their opium (see Baudelaire on this one), it’s the very glue which holds their regime together as Tom Gregg pointed out in a comment he posted on Commentary’s Contentions blog:

I find myself astonished that so many people seem incapable of perceiving this obvious point: As far as the Iranian Islamofascist regime is concerned, America’s only possible function is to serve as The Enemy, i.e. a focal point for the hatred and fear without which such regimes cannot sustain themselves. The ayatollahs have absolutely no interest in making making nice with America. What would be in it for them? The approval of the “world community”? They couldn’t care less about that. No, what they want and need is the Great Satan.

George Eliot had explained this very phenomenon way back in 1857, when explaining why an abusive husband would not let his wife leave him:

Her husband woul never consent to her living away from him, she was become necessary to his tyranny; he would never willingly loosen his grasp on her.

Emphasis added.

Nor will the mullahs or Ahmadinejad loosen their grasp on their hatred of the “Great Satan.”  Or the “Lesser Satan” for that matter.

Liberalism in Action:
English Town Council Forced to Show it was Sufficently Gay

One reason I belive modern American conservatism, if true to its basic tenets, is better for gay people, is that it trusts the private sector to address social concerns and social change.  It doesn’t ask that the government mandate that individuals adopt certain precepts to guide their lives or follow certain codes of conduct.  It trusts us to do that on our own and to turn to institutions of our own choosing, whether religious or secular, to help us make important personal decisions.

We don’t believe the state should place particular burdens on us, or grant us special favors.  It shouldn’t restrict our freedom nor that of those who don’t want to associate with us.  After all, if they’re free not to associate with us, that means we’re free not to associate with them.

When the state gets out of the way, private institutions can more readily adapt to meet social changes, as have the growing number of businesses which have adopted non-discrimation policies and which offer benefits to same-sex domestic partners of their employees.

Liberals, however, believe that social change comes from the state.  And while those advocating state action on our behalf may do so out of the most noble of motives, once the state starts acting on our behalf, when does it stop?  How far must the state go to reach the oft-stated goal of gay rights’ activists–the achievement of “full equality” (whatever that means).

In the United Kingdom, we see the full folly of having the state promote our interests when local activists complained that the city council in Canterbury (about which many a tale has been told) didn’t want a “want a thriving LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community in the city.“  Instead of dismissing the complaint as the efforts of local busybodies with nothing better to do than whine about little their government was doing for them, a government watchdog investigated and, lo and behold, after a two-month (two months!) investigation, found that Canterbury was sufficiently gay:

The Local Government Ombudsman – who asked for the city’s council to provide evidence of how it supported the gay community – said it was satisfied the pink pound was being catered for.

We conservatives believe it’s not the government’s business to determine such things, whether or not a locality is sufficiently gay.  Why should a town council be supporting the gay community?  Shouldn’t it then also support the Catholic community, the dissenting community, the Mormon community?  Why not the Anabaptists? (more…)

Did You Release Your Balloons?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 8:25 pm - June 26, 2009.
Filed under: Green Revolution in Iran

A rare picture of yours truly, this is compliments of a friend, who took some shots of me while I launched some balloons at my house in Denver today to show solidarity with the Iranian democrats.

balloonrelease01

While Iranian clerics advocate for the execution of peaceful protesters and US Congressmen actually suggest that those who opposed their harebrained Cap-and-Trade scheme are playing into Iran’s hands (no mention, by the way, of how Weiner & Co.’s continued denial of our own resources does exactly the same thing, but anyway…), supporters of the Green Revolution released green balloons into the skies all around the world today to show solidarity and do what our own government won’t: Stand clearly and affirmatively with the People of Iran against their oppressors.

I have so much to say about this and promise to bother you with it more soon.

Republicans Pass Cap-and-Trade Bill

Well, that’s the way the headlines should read.

Once again, free-marked hating Republicans are to blame for another Obama profligation of our tax dollars. Yes, the House of Representatives passed today the largest tax increase in American history. It comes in the form of Cap-and-Trade, a taxing scheme whereby the government will be able to extort endless amounts of dollars from companies (wonder where they’ll get those dollars?) for, well, um…doing business, all in the name of their religion so-called “global warming”.

The bill was passed without time to read it (sound familiar?) and would cost Americans several times more than it suggests (sound familiar?) and its passage was characterized as vital by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama (sound familiar?).

But as with the “stimulus” pork bill of his early presidency, we can’t lay complete blame at the feet of The One and his socialist minions in Congress. Once again, shameful Republicans made the difference in the passage of the bill.

The final vote was 218-212, with 3 not voting. The number of embarrassed embarrassing Republicans who voted aye? Eight. Had they voted no, or even sat it out, this disgusting piece of legislation would be dead right now.

As a public service, here are the names of those who should be beaten in 2010. Please, if you live in their districts, do all you can to find someone anybody to challenge them in their primaries:

Mary Bono Mack, CA-45
Michael Castle, DE-At Large
Mark Kirk, IL-10
Leonard Lance, NJ-7
Frank LoBiondo, NJ-2
John McHugh, NY-23
David Reichert, WA-8
Chris Smith, NJ-4

I encourage all who live in these districts to call their Representative and let them know that you’ll be waiting for them when they get back from DC for their Independence Day vacation.

Next this legislation moves to the Senate. And we remember how great Republicans there are at holding the line on anti-business legislation, right?

When these anti-growth, anti-business, anti-free-market policies start destroying what is left of our economy, and people start blaming Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi for driving the country into a ditch financially, let us not forget those in our own midst who literally were the difference in passing such disastrous legislation.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot), from HQ

The Integrity of Gay Left Bloggers Who Criticize Obama

In the past few weeks I have gained a lot of respect for a number of left-wing gay bloggers, many of whom I have faulted in the past.   To be sure, a number of them (notably Towleroad) have distinguished themselves in the past by reporting on the plight of our fellows suffering under repressive regimes, even Islamofascistic ones.  Lately though they, many of whom at the very outset of the 2008 campaign were cheerleaders for Barack Obama, have shown they’re not shills for a Democratic Administration, even a very liberal one, beloved by the groups with whom gay activists normally break bread.

This is not to excuse their over-the-top criticism of Republicans and conservatives (even us from time to time), but to acknowledge their integrity on gay issues.  Unlike some prominent gay activists, they put their gay advocacy ahead of their allegiance to the Democratic Party. Also unlike those lickspittle activists, many of them don’t get paid to advocate for gay causes. They do so often on their own dime — and always under their own steam.

Some of these gay bloggers have joined with conservative bloggers in condemning the atrocities of the Iranian mullahs and expressing solidarity with the people suffering under this tyranny, a regime particularly brutal to people like us. Many have been unsparing in their criticism of the incumbent Democratic President of the United States for failing to fulfill the campaign promises he made to our community.

Earlier this week, Bruce alerted me to a post on a blog which describes itself as offering “left-leaning unconventional wisdom.” To be sure, these folks never drank the Obama Kool-Aid, their website, the Widdeshins, “founded by bloggers who were orphaned by the hostile takeover of the Democratic Party in 2008 under the mantra of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ by decidedly non-liberal forces.

Upset at the President’s refusal to “use his authority to halt the discharge of gay and lesbian service members until they could legislatively repeal DADT,” blogger garychapelhill said the Democrat was telling gay to f*** off. (more…)

Wonder if Young People Are Beginning to Regret their Enthusiasm for Obama

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:25 pm - June 26, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Economy,Obamania

Approximately two-thirds of voters under 30 voted for Barack Obama in last year’s presidential contest–and it’s they who seem to be bearing the brunt of the lousy job market–which has gotten worse even after he passed his spendy “stimulus” designed, in large parat, to impove that market.  Recent college graduates just aren’t finding jobs which fit their qualifications.

The Tragedy of Michael Jackson

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:07 pm - June 26, 2009.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV,Music,Pop Culture

One day I’ll have to sort out why I always felt for Michael Jackson, but not for his contemporary (born just two weeks before him), the pop star who calls herself Madonna, whose popularity, like his, derives, in large part from her ability to put on a great show. Both have enjoyed tremendous success in their professional lives (yet her stardom doesn’t even come close to rivaling his), yet never seemed to have found happiness off stage.

A friend told me yesterday that he once heard King of Pop had say he only felt comfortable on stage. No wonder.  Groomed from his earliest childhood to be a public performer, he likely wasn’t equipped to do much else. He just didn’t know how to interact with his fellows in private.

All that said, he and he alone is responsible for the mess that his life became, just as Miss Ciccone is for hers. My sympathy for him would be more complete if he did not have any children, taking responsibility for their upbringing by bringing them into this world (or into his care, as with his youngest).

Many have called his life a tragedy.  And in some sense it was, even if we rely on the original context.  Like a Greek tragic hero, he fell from grace due in large part to a flaw in his character.  For the pop star, it was to seek his solace on stage and to ignore the imperative of making changes in his private life.  A true tragic hero must recognize his flaw, understanding how his own failure to correct it brought about his downfall.

And the recognition lay in the lyrics of one of his best songs:

I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change

But, he, alas, sought the wrong kind of change.  He worked on changing his appearance and not, to borrow the lyrics of another song, “the mess that’s inside.“  (more…)

Opening today in New York and LA:
Stoning of Soraya M, Film Detailing Women’s Plight in Iran

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:32 pm - June 26, 2009.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

As the mullahs’ attempts to suppress the popular uprising in Iran makes manifest their brutality to all, it is particularly timely that The Stoning of Soraya M opens today. This movie tells the story of an Iranian women stoned to death because her husband, who wanted out of their marriage accused her of adultery when she started cooking for the widowed husband of a friend.

The film features Oscar-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. Based on the International best-selling book by French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam, Runner up for the Audience Award at the Toronto 2008 Film Festival, it was a close second to eventual Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire. The film dramatizes he suffering endured by one Islamic woman in the name of religious custom and shows the heroism of another woman asserting her own dignity against a misogynistic system.

If you live in New York or Los Angeles, check local listings and make sure to see this film.  In telling a particulalry timely story, the film promises not only to pull your heartstrings, but also to show the real nature of the Iranian regime.

Joe Solmonese: Hypocrite of the Week

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:06 pm - June 26, 2009.
Filed under: Gay Media,Gay Politics,Hypocrite Rights Campaign

A few weeks ago, the folks at GayWired asked me to write their “Hypocrite of the Week” column every other week. Eager to find a wider audience for my words, I readily agreed. Now, either because I was looking to find the most hypocritical individual of this particular week or because this was just a good week for hypocrisy, the more I thought about this, the larger became the pool of potential hypocrites.

Governor Sanford certainly ranked high. As did a number of media figures. In the end I settled on Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), largely because, well, all my other choices seemed to be getting their due in the media. Rather than join the media bandwagon in focusing on the hypocrisy of those individuals, I figured I’d help shine the light on someone who largely escaped media scrutiny, yet whose hypocrisy largely goes unnoticed in the gay world.

For all too long, Solmonese has gotten away with putting loyalty to the Democratic Party and his left-wing allies ahead of honest advocacy for the gay community. Noting his obsession with abortion, I wondered “why the leader of gay organization would be so interested in a problem created by heterosexuals not considering the consequences of their sexual activities.

Anyway, my piece is up and I encourage you to read the whole thing.  It’s certain to excite some controversy.  As I expect this to be the first of many columns, I welcome your suggestions for future hypocrites of the week.

The Cultural Moment of Michael Jackson’s Passing

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:34 pm - June 25, 2009.
Filed under: Individuation,Movies/Film & TV,Music,Pop Culture

When Anna Nicole Smith died, a friend of mine, not himself a fan of the professional celebrity, said he burst out crying.  He “couldn’t help” feeling sad.  And so I felt earlier today, upoing learning of the passing of Michael Jackson.  I did not cry, but felt a certain unfathomable sadness.

He was, quite simply, one of the (if not the) most gifted musical peformers of our time.  He was born with a talent that individuals spend a fortune in money and countless hours of their own time to acquire, only never to distinguish themselves in any memorable manner.  This is not say that Jackson did not work hard; there is abundant that he did.

Indeed, the strenuous rehearsals for his upcoming London comeback shows may have caused the cardiac arrest which took his life.  We know from stories of his childhood that he spent so much time rehearsing, recording and performing with the Jackson 5 that he could not do what most children did, hang out with their friends and play with their toys, living in a world of their imaginations.

He didn’t have time to dream, performing as he did in a successful band and dealing with the fame brought about by its success.

That ban was successful large part due to his own talents which his father recognized early on–and pushed him to develop.  Joe Jackson dominated young Michael’s life until, in his early adulthood, he set out on his own.  In a matter of months, Michael experienced a transformation that takes years, if not decades, for most of us, from being in thrall to his parents to being in control of a vast entertainment empire.  And just as he was achieving success on his own, music videos, the perefect medium for communicating his talent to mass audiences, were coming to the fore. (more…)

Michael Jackson, dead?!?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:42 pm - June 25, 2009.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

So reports the AP:  AP Source: Michael Jackson dies in LA hospital.

UPDATE:  Freaky that he would die on the same day as Farah Fawcett, two pop culture icons who rose to national (and international prominence) in the 1970s

UP-UPDATE:  E! Online has more on the death of the King of Pop.

Jackson enjoyed a level of success that none have since equaled and few could even imagine.  Perhaps the most gifted musical performer of all time, yet happiness seemed to elude him throughout his life.  While we may have envied his success, it came at a terrible cost, a childhood without friends his own age, an adolescence entirely in the public eye and an adulthood lacking in both privacy and sustaining human companionship.