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On Equal Rights & “Equality”
One Means Eliminating Bad Laws, the other Enacts New Ones

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:18 pm - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: American History,Freedom

In the third quarter of the Eighteenth Century, one of the issues which pushed the once loyal British subject Benjamin Franklin to the forefront of the revolutionary movement was his opposition to policies which prevented the “Proprietors,” large landowners, from paying taxes. He and the Founders fought against such privileges, against a Parliament continually encroaching on the rights of the then-Englishman living in the American colonies.  There were in many cases, particularly in “Proprietary” colonies like Pennsylvania, two sets of laws, one which applied to an aristocratic class, the other which applied to everyone else.

Their notion of equal rights meant elimination of laws which privileged certain classes.  Similarly, the Civil Rights movement began, in large measure, to repeal laws which discriminated against a certain class of people.  In short, their notion of equal rights was eliminating laws which privileged or discriminated.

Today, however, when gay leaders talk about “equality,” they seek not just to eliminate bad laws (like Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell), but also to enact well-meaning legislation (like ENDA and Hate Crimes).

And this is why I remain uncomfortable with the notion of “equality” as put forward by the left-leaning gay groups.  It seeks the expansion of government to pursue a desired outcome.  Under an “equal rights” regime, government gets out of the way, no longer privileging or punishing certain classes.   The equality regime, however, involves government in determining how individuals govern their private lives–and that of the institutions in which they participate and otherwise support of patronize.

Divisive President Calls for Unity

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:48 pm - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Obama Watch

There he goes again.  Once again, Barack Obama is telling us all about is great vision of uniting the nation:

President Barack Obama says he has not succeeded in bringing the country together, acknowledging an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago.

“That’s what’s been lost this year … that whole sense of changing how Washington works,” Obama said in an interview with People magazine.

The president said his second-year agenda will be refocused on uniting the country around common values, “whether we’re Democrats or Republicans.”

(H/t Gateway Pundit.)  At atmosphere of divisiveness, Mr. President?  Wonder how that happened.  Do you think attacking Republicans, repeatedly criticizing your predecessor and whining about the problems you inherited (even after spending two years working so you could face those problems head-on) might have something to do with it?

I’ll believe you’re interested in uniting the nation when you stop attacking Republicans and insist that your fellow partisans follow suit.  For, while you’re telling us you intend to unite the country, your campaign apparatus ensconced in the DNC is sending out an e-mail calling a Republican candidate for federal office, “extreme.”  Great way to unite the nation, that.

Meanwhile, one of your closest allies in the Senate is usually sexual slurs to badmouth that good man.  I trust that in the spirit of unity, you’ll tell Chuck Schumer to clean up his potty mouth.

And it also might help unite the nation if you, understanding the popular mood, asked Congress to stop consideration of the health care overhaul which remains highly unpopular.  So, you’ll have to pardon me, Mr. President, if I don’t take you at your word on national unity.  Your actions this past year contradict your words this past week.  But, then, we can all change.

So, if you change your actions, I’ll change my attitude.  Fair?

Scott Brown Replaced Hyperpartisan HRC Leader in MA Senate

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:30 pm - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Gay America,Gay Politics

In doing some research on the background of Massachusetts Republican Senate nominee Scott Brown, I uncovered an interesting factoid.  That good man was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate in a special election to replace Cheryl Jacques who had resigned her seat to take up the presidency of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

That partisan woman wouldn’t last a year, stepping down in November shortly after the project which defined her tenure at that left-wing organization failed.  Under her leadership, HRC sunk untold sums into stickers and signs with the slogan, “George W. Bush, you’re fired!”

Well, just as her erstwhile constituents didn’t pay much heed to Jacuqes in March of 2004, preferring Brown to her aide, Angus McQuilken, neither did American voters pay heed to her attempt to unseat W. Let’s hope Brown shows a similar resilience next week.

Please find below the text of my post, “Cheryl Jacques, You’re Fired” from November 2004. It disappeared when someone hijacked our original site on blogspot. (more…)

Not all (currently) “blue” states out of reach for GOP

In the cliff-hanger election of 1976, three states with large suburban populations, now considered reliably Democratic, went Republican even as a Democrat won the White House.  Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey wouldn’t find themselves in the Democratic column until 1992 where they have remained ever since.  Indeed, two of those three states (Illinois and New Jersey) went Republican in all six presidential elections from 1968-1988.  Hubert Humphrey won the Nutmeg State in 1968.

As the image took hold of social conservative domination of the GOP and as Bill Clinton reassured voters of his centrist bona fides, those once Republican states become as Democratic ones in large part due to swings among suburban voters (more concerned with fiscal than social issues).  But, now with Obama’s big-government agenda revealed, voters in Northeastern suburbs are returning to the Republican fold.  Two counties in the New York City metropolitan area which, respectively, delivered 63% and 54% of their vote to Obama in 2008, elected Republican executives last fall (the irony being that the Democrat incumbent ran better in the county, Nassau, where his party had the smaller margin in ’08).

Should this shift hold and be repeated in the Chicago suburbs, Illinois, a state which only elected Republican governor from 1976 to 2002, could move from reliably Democrat to marginally Republican, with Connecticut and New Jersey becoming potential future bellwethers.  Since we’re on the topic of Governors, it’s been nearly a quarter-century since the Nutmeg State elected a Democrat Governor.  By contrast, the Garden State, while having elected three Democrats Governor in that time period, didn’t reelect a single one.  Both Democrats who ran for a second term lost whereas both Republicans who ran for reelection won.  Not since 1977 has a Jersey Democrat renewed his four-year lease on Drumthwacket. (more…)

The Bush Era: A Golden One for Gay Americans

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:18 pm - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

As I’ve been preparing for my presentation tonight to LA’s Westside Republicans, I’ve been reviewing statistics on corporate policies toward gay employees and have been impressed to discover how quickly these private enterprises have responded to the increasing acceptance of homosexuality in American society.  And the pace at which they offered benefits to same-sex domestic partners of employees did not slacken during the supposed dark days of the George W. Bush Era.

Indeed, the bellyaching of the gay left notwithstanding, the Bush Era was a Golden one for Gay Americans, thanks in large part to the greatness of the federal structure our framers designed–and to the freedom inherent in the American “experiment.”   It has become increasingly easy to live openly as a gay person in the United States.  Private organizations–and even some government ones–have made greater efforts to accommodate gay employees.

In 2000, only 255 corporations in the Fortune 500 had adopted non-discrimination policies including sexual orientation.  When Bush left office, that number was up to 472.  Last February, just a few weeks after that much anticipated (in gay political circles) departure, HRC (yes, that HRC) reported that its  ”2007-2008 [State of the Workplace] report revealed rapid expansion of protections for LGBT workers in the private sector over the past decade.”  A decade in which Republicans dominated Congress and where for eight years George W. Bush had been in the White House.

In 2000, only 102 Fortune 500 companies offered benefits to same-sex partners of their employees  In 2008, 286 did. Two years previously, before Democrats had recaptured Congress, Amy Joyce reported in the Washington Post that the “number of Fortune 500 companies that include domestic partner benefits has more than doubled since 2000.”  More than doubled under W’s watch?  Interesting.  Very interesting. (more…)

Style v Substance: Difference Between Obamania & Tea Parties

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:42 pm - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: Obamania,Tea Party

In many ways, the Tea Party movement was for 2009 was the Obama campaign was for 2008, the defining political movement of the year, the primary difference being that the former was built around an idea (or set of ideas) and the latter around a man (and his contrast with another).  In a must-read essay at the Washington Examiner, Obama’s rapturous style versus tea party substance, Michael Barone sums up the difference:

But when you look back over the surges of enthusiasm in the politics of the last two years, you see something like this: The Obama enthusiasts who dominated so much of the 2008 campaign cycle were motivated by style. The tea party protesters who dominated so much of 2009 were motivated by substance.

Remember those rapturous crowds that swooned at Barack Obama’s rhetoric. “We are the change we are seeking,” he proclaimed. “We will be able to look back and tell our children,” that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

A lot of style there, but not very much substance. . . . .

In contrast, the tea party protesters, many of them as fractious and loudmouthed as David Brooks thinks, are interested in substantive political issues. They decry the dangers of expanding the national debt, increasing government spending, and putting government in command of the health care sector.

Read the whole thing.

On That Post-Movie Glow

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:35 pm - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

Responding to a man who felt depressed after seeing Avatar because this world did not match the beauty of the imaginary world of James Cameron‘s creation, Ann Althouse muses that when she was “was younger  . . . [,]  movies had a very strong effect on me, but it wasn’t that it turned the world disappointingly gray“:

When I walked out into the light after a great movie, my experience was that things seemed sharpened, intensified, and refreshed. The real world felt newly real. It was more in color — the opposite of depression.

Yea, that describes it.  Reminds me of how I felt when, as a young’un, I first saw Star Wars and its sequels.  And I’ve still felt that, on occasion, as an adult, when I’ve seen a really good movie.  Such flicks kind of inspire me in a way, to be a better person and to work harder toward my aspirations.

Haiti Earthquake: How to Help

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:23 pm - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: Worthy Causes

In the wake of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti, the poorest nation in our hemisphere, I encourage you to support efforts which provide relief to the victims of this disaster.

Michelle links a variety of ways to help:

State Department resources and charities.

Relief efforts list via The Anchoress.

Fund-raising efforts via Chuck Simmins.

In past crises, I’ve supported Jewish World Service, so will make my contribution via their Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. I encourage y’all to support at least one relief organization. Any contribution, no matter how small, helps at a time like this.

TONIGHT, Weds 01/13 Dan to Address Westside (LA) Republicans

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:01 am - January 13, 2010.
Filed under: LA Stories

If you’re in Los Angeles next week, please stop by Jerry’s Deli, 10925 Weyburn Avenue in Westwood tonight Wednesday, January 13 at 7 PM for the monthly meeting of the Westside Republicans.  They’ve asked me to talk about blogging and to explain why Republican ideas are better for gay people.

If you’d like to eat, please arrive at 6:30 to order your supper.  Hope to see you there.

NB:  Bumped and revised.

UPDATE:  This comment from HRC will help inform my presentation:  “The 2007-2008 report revealed rapid expansion of protections for LGBT workers in the private sector over the past decade.”  As will this line from a 2006 Washington Post article:  “The number of Fortune 500 companies that include domestic partner benefits has more than doubled since 2000.