And I’m pleased that President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton have agreed to lead a major fundraising effort for relief: the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. On behalf of the American people, I want to thank both of you for returning to service and leading this urgent mission.
This is a model that works. After the terrible tsunami in Asia, President Bush turned to President Clinton and the first President Bush to lead a similar fund. That effort raised substantial resources for the victims of that disaster — money that helped save lives, deliver aid, and rebuild communities. And that’s exactly what the people of Haiti desperately need right now. . . .
Interesting the conservative nature of this liberal president’s policy: basing it on a model that works. And the president is thinking long term as well:
But what these gentlemen are going to be able to do is when the news media starts seeing its attention drift to other things but there’s still enormous needs on the ground, these two gentlemen of extraordinary stature I think are going to be able to help ensure that these efforts are sustained.
By enlisting both men, one a Democrat, the other a Republican in relief efforts, President Obama is showing that Americans stand united in helping the victims of this earthquake. Please join them in giving what you can to help a people in dire circumstances as a result of a disaster beyond their control. In this post, I offered a list of some groups which are providing relief.
In observing the silence (with a few notable exceptions) of gay organizations and activists about the noble example set by Dick Cheney from the moment his daughter Mary came out to him, through his tenure as Vice President and continuing to this very day, we learned about the true nature of those activists. They were less interested in changing attitudes toward gay people than promoting an image of an intolerant right-wing.
Any group (or individual) which regularly addressed gay issues and which was truly concerned about the treatment of gay people in American society would commend the conservative Vice President for the example he set, accepting his daughter as she is, welcoming her same-sex partner into their family, including her in public events as he would include his straight daughter’s husband.
To be sure, much (but not all) of the intolerance and hatred of gay people in America occurs on the right, but, as any gay individual involved in the conservative movement over the past twenty years has observed, there is an increasing openness to people like us. First, we were just tolerated as long as we kept our private lives to ourselves, now we’re often welcomed, even when we represent a gay auxiliary or blog.
The CPAC contretemps over the inclusion of GOProud represents, in many ways, a major milestone in the history of the gay right, indeed is illustrative of the state of mainstream conservatives today. A conservative organization seeks to include both social conservatives and gay conservatives. The extreme social conservatives raise a ruckus. And the conservative organization which won’t yield to their request to exclude the gay group.
If their goal were the general welfare of gay people in American today, gay groups would be singing hosannas, praising CPAC for it actions and commending GOProud for participating as a gay organization in a conservative confab. (more…)
Our intrepid reporter from behind enemy lines offers the latest anecdote from the Bay State:
Recorded, of course. The voice is a guy, unidentified — NOT Martha herself. And I’m sorry to sound biased here, but my first impression was that he sounded, well… gay. It was quite a change from Mr. Manly World Series Pitcher Himself, Curt Schilling’s who called on Brown’s behalf exactly an hour before.
His first point was not about what good Martha would do, but a direct attack on Scott Brown. “He’d revive the failed policies of the Bush/Cheney administration which lost three million jobs”, the guy says. (I’m thinking: is he *smoking crack*? Does he even have his *calendar* right? Who’s he trying to kid? After the past year, in which many times as many jobs were lost under an all-Dem set-up, they’re still fixated monomaniacally on Bush – and *Cheney* fergoodnessakes?)
There was a lot of “blah, blah, blah” in the middle. The guy sounded like he was whining. It was *ALL* attack, until the very end, when he said Martha wouldn’t raise taxes in the U.S. Senate. I nearly burst out laughing. Clearly, with the Cheney reference, they are just playing to the fact that he polls poorly (never mind the fact that he’s a private citizen now). I suspect they are simply trying to solidify the die-hard part of their base. This kind of call would NOT have won any independents who have had their eyes and ears open the past year. She’s playing defense… couldn’t even be bothered to record the call herself or get a celebrity to do it. Very telling…
I do need to work on confronting my friend’s prejudices. Maybe I should start leaving voicemail messages, reminding him (in my deep voice) that I’m gay. And that soft-spoken fella who left a message for Martha was most likely, straight.
Now that my friend acknowledged his bias, we have work to do.
Over a Big Hollywood, they have a birthday thread for the Republican most beloved by gay men, Ethel Merman. She would have been 102 today.
And it all began 97 years ago at the Astoria Republican Club where this diva with iron lungs, who never had a Broadway flop, sang for the first time in public. (Seems there’s a lot of iron in our right-wing divas!)
And it seems the Democrats are having trouble grasping what is happening in their backyard. Must be par for the course in this postpartisan era. As Peggy wrote yesterday:
The people are here, and he is there. The popularity of his health-care plan is very low, at 35% support. Someone on television the other day noted it is as low as George Bush’s popularity ratings in 2008.
Yet—and this is the key part—the president does not seem to see or hear. He does not respond. He is not supple, able to hear reservations and see opposition and change tack. He has a grim determination to bull this thing through. He negotiates each day with Congress, not with the people. But the people hate Congress! Has he not noticed?
And Mrs. Coakley? Has she not noticed that the people in Massachusetts revere their Red Sox, finding Fenway Park at almost sacred place? And that Curt Schilling once pitched for the team, helping them win, in 2004, their first World Series in nearly a century? He’d help them repeat the feat in 2007 when he became “only the second pitcher over the age of 40 to start and win a World Series game“.
Must have been too cold that day for the then-Attorney General of Massachusetts to attend the game. She must have missed the standing ovation Fenway Park fans gave their beloved pitcher.
Perhaps the reason I welcomed Barack Obama’s surge in the Democratic primaries now nearly two years ago was that I first experienced the then-Chicago politicians as an image on TV screen without sound. As the 2008 campaign got underway, nearly all the TV coverage I saw was when I was doing cardio at the gym. He looked good, relaxed and in control.
If image matters in political campaigns, then Scott Brown has a long career ahead of him. Last night, while at the gym, I watched coverage of the two “political celebrity” visits to the Bay State. Former President Bill Clinton on behalf of Democrat Martha Coakley. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on behalf of Scott Brown.
The brief clip I saw of the Democrat’s appearance showed a formal Clinton praising Coakley in a nondescript (hotel?) ballroom. The candidate herself looked stiff and formal, proud to be honored by the society blowhard at her cotillion, prim, proper and perhaps too poised. By contrast, we saw the New York City Mayor outdoors on the streets of Boston’s North End, joining the energetic candidate moving about the crowd and shaking hands. It was like comparing the society column to the sports page (only this sports page was like that in the Daily Prophet, the characters in the photographs moved).