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What Does GetEqual Have Against Freedom?

Whether it’s public universities who wish to discriminate against Christian student groups requiring that their officers adhere to their faith’s moral code or activists who, in the name of equality, want to prevent a private organization from boycotting a private enterprise, some social liberals turn their noses at the notion of social conservatives expressing their beliefs — or acting on them.

There is much more to the latest story than what I considered in my previous post, significantly that, yet again, we see a private enterprise (AKA, a business) leading the way in social change where governments lag.  Our system of free enterprise (under attack though it may be) allowed Home Depot — and other corporations — to enact its progressive (in the true, not politicized, sense of the word) policy on domestic partnerships.

For now, I’ll highlight this mentality of the left, this aversion to freedom.  Rather that criticize what they find distasteful, they want to challenge it in court — or otherwise suppress it.

It is a troubling mentality and merits further scrutiny.

RELATED:  ”ANDREW KLAVAN: From Book Publishers to the Media: The Left’s Crusade to End Debate.

Susan R. Bolton Hands GOP A(nother) Campaign Issue

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:06 pm - July 28, 2010.
Filed under: Illegal Immigration,Legal Issues

While at the gym earlier today doing cardio, I watched to see the various CNN anchors and reporter jubilant that Clinton appointee Judge Susan R. Bolton striking down the most “controversial” provisions in Arizona’s immigration law.

Given that poll after poll after poll has shown that a sizable majority of Americans support this law, this can only strengthen the hand of Republicans going into the fall elections, particularly given the Democratic Administration’s grandstanding opposition and successful suit.

Here, you have two issues, immigration and judicial overreach redounding to Republicans’ benefit.

Left-Wing Group to Sue Right-Wing Group’s Doomed Enterprise

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:02 pm - July 28, 2010.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay PC Silliness

On Monday, Pam Spaulding linked something on her Facebook page which has stayed in my mind, largely because it shows the divide between the busybody left and the busybody right on gay issues — and makes it easier for me to show just exactly what freedom means.

Here’s the story:

Get Equal Now has sent the American Family Association a cease and desist letter after the anti-gay, right-wing organization called for a boycott of Home Depot.

Last week, AFA called for a boycott of the home improvement retailer because it sponsored several gay Pride events this year and offers domestic partner benefits to its employees.

So, here we have a private enterprise, Home Depot, making private business decisions, decisions which, to me at least, seem sound.  Now, the American Family Association (AFA) happens not to like those decisions, so they’re launching a boycott — which is their prerogative in a free society.  Personally, I don’t see how granting domestic partner benefits can diminish the quality of home improvement goods or services.  And isn’t that the reason most people go to Home Depot?

Given the success of AFA’s past boycotts, I wouldn’t worry too much about their current move.  I mean, you know, now that Disney has long since stopped offering domestic partner benefits to its employees.  Oh, wait a minute, that’s right, Disney never caved.

And now we’ve got a left-wing organization trying to prevent a right-wing one from exercising its freedom to protest a private enterprise which has adopted a policy that it just doesn’t like.  Why can’t they just leave well enough alone?  (I might say the same thing to the AFA.)

Given the AFA’s track record, this boycott’s going to fail.  So, I urge Get Equal Now to take Napoleon’s words to heart, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Victims of our own imagination?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:36 pm - July 28, 2010.
Filed under: Identity Politics,Individuation,Random Thoughts

Have you ever met someone at a social event or in the course of your professional endeavors, started chatting with that individual, gotten to like (or dislike) him (or her) before learning his name and then upon learning his full name, saying, “Oh, so, you’re so and so!”  You’d heard all about him from someone else.  But, the impression you get on meeting him is the exact opposite of the image you had created of him.

This thought comes to mind (and not for the first time) for a variety of reasons, first, speculating about meeting one of our critics at a non-political event where we talk movies or history or whatever before finding out that we sit on opposite side of the political fence and second, thinking that there must be a movie which addresses this topic.

As I thought about this, I realized, the idea is much bigger than just a question of how we often create images of other people in our minds (based upon what others have said about them — or our own impressions of people in a group to which they belong — or who hold the creed they do).  And then, there are the times, when, we fret over what we wear or what we say, fearing we offended somebody in some way.  It’s not that we offended them, it’s that we fear we offended them.

(Or that if we do this or that thing, you know, like jumping in the pool less than an hour after eating, it will cause this or that adverse result.)

It’s all inside our heads.

There is more to this notion than this and I may to build upon it in a future post, but want to keep this one brief to get you thinking.  Sometimes we do become victims of our imagination, seeing things as far different (and perhaps far worse) than things actually are entirely because of how we imagine them to be.

My Apology to Shirley Sherrod — Withdrawn

Last week, I jumped the gun (as did many others) in taking what was a complex story and boiling it down to an video clip without its proper context.  I apologized to my readers and to Shirley Sherrod.

I hereby withdraw the apology to Mrs. Sherrod. 

As I noted at the time, this was a very complex story and I had a pretty good hunch that Mrs. Sherrod was not the angel she appeared to be.  I am correct.  She is a picture perfect product of the liberal policies that make African-Americans dependent on the Federal Government and foster a victimization mentality.  Mrs. Sherrod claimed she learned something when she helped that white farmer, but what she learned may be worse than the presumed racism from the clip of her at the NAACP meeting in March.

I mean – get a load of this.  This is the conclusion Sherrod makes against Andrew Breitbart:

SHIRLEY SHERROD, FMR. GEORGIA DIRECTOR, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, USDA: I don’t think he’s [Andrew Breitbart] interested in seeing anyone get past it, because I think he’d like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery. That’s where I think he’d like to see all black people end up again. And that’s why –

ANDERSON COOPER: You think he’s a racist?

SHERROD: — I think he’s so vicious. Yes, I do. And I think that’s why he’s so vicious against a black president.

Are you f–ing kidding me??????  So Shirley is in the camp of — “If You Criticize Obama, You are a Racist”.  Give me a bloody break.

Oh but there’s much more.  Salon’s uber-progressive Editor in Chief calls Shirley’s husband, Charles, a “civil rights hero”.  Um, really?

Charles Sherrod: “We must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections.” (January 2010)

The Sherrod’s are full-blown race-baiting liberals.  Dan Riehl has done all of the research, so you don’t have to.  But here’s the money quote:

Mark Knoller mentioned a potential wrongful termination lawsuit [from Shirley Sherrod] in passing. And now the media and the administration seem intent on making her [Sherrod] disappear. One theory on that I’ve heard is, they don’t want people asking questions about her lawsuit. What I’m wondering is, maybe they don’t want people asking questions about Obama.

He worshiped with Jeremiah Wright for years. He potentially appointed a racist black liberationist Marxist to the USDA. Just how many of them does he have around him, as he sits in the WH waging war on capitalism? And, finally, what might all those college documents of his they won’t let us see tell us about him … especially given this? 

Ultimately, given all this now beginning to come out as a result of Andrew Breitbart’s original work makes him a hero in my book. These are the tough questions the press doesn’t even want to ask. It brings to the front important issues on race and racism, black, or otherwise, the press and the WH don’t wish to confront. But that’s what’s suppose to happen in a genuinely free, open and democratic society.

As things stand, an extremely controversial woman is sitting there with a free ticket for a promotion at the USDA from an incompetent in the WH who created this mess by appointing her, then firing her too quickly for some reason. This isn’t Breitbart’s mess. This is now Obama’s mess to clean up, or justify, as far as I’m concerned. Heckuva job, Barry. Heckuva job. At least we’re starting to get used to it. I believe the word is: incompetent.

Obama really does seem to have some of the strangest friends, just like Joan Walsh, of Sherrod’s white media conspiracy against blacks. Who’d a thunk it?

So I’m through with this story.  The edited video was unfortunate, but the true racist stripes of the NAACP, the Sherrods, and the Obama Administration have certainly come out over a week’s time.  So bravo, Mr. Breitbart.  You hit the target.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Star power* can’t make a movie hold up forever

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - July 27, 2010.
Filed under: Divas,Movies/Film & TV,Random Thoughts

On Friday, as is my wont, when on my routine Target run, I browsed through the cheap DVDs and tossed a number in my cart, including, for five bucks, My Best Friend’s Wedding, a movie I so much enjoyed in its initial release that I had bought the VHS.  Indeed, the flick remained one of the handful of videos in my collection that I had not yet replaced with DVDs.

But, like two of those I recently replaced, this flick just didn’t hold up well for a repeat (or re-re-repeat) viewing.  I mean, I still found the premise clever, a nice twist on the romantic comedy formula.  It was well-written, well-directed and well shot. Julia Roberts was at her best (to me, it seems she either hits the target dead-center bullseye or misses completely; this was a bullseye).  The other actors were fine.  There were some very funny scenes.  Director P.J. Hogan cleverly integrated popular songs into the story.

Or maybe it was just my mood last night.  After an emotionally challenging weekend and a day full of errands and household chores, I thought a light romantic comedy would be just the ticket to relax.  I started losing interest about halfway through the movie–but this flick that usually holds my attention.

Now, compared to those other two movies I recently upgraded to DVD (from VHS) in my collection, this one actually had a story.  The other two movies featured that captivating screen presence and eternal beauty, Audrey Hepburn, one of the few women who could get away wearing some of the bizarre fashions of the 1950s and 1960s and look fabulous, you know, especially that hat with an appendage like an insect’s antenna she wears in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

That was one of the two movies that just didn’t hold up. Roman Holiday was the other.  I think I so loved those flicks when first I saw them because of the novelty of seeing the young Hepburn light up a screen.  I was just becoming a film buff when I first discovered each flick.  I was focused on how that Belgian-born beauty lit up the screen that I didn’t need a story.  (Virginia Postrel might attribute this to Hepburn’s deep glamour.) (more…)

Journolist E-mails: Confirming Conservative Suspicions
of Left-Wing Prejudices Against the Right

As I have been pondering a post on the Journolist e-mails, via Hugh Hewitt, I came across a piece which Glenn Reynolds also linked.  Therein, Michael C. Moynihan looks at the various media scandals of the previous week and observes:

First, there was the Journolist leaks, in which members of a listserv inhabited by liberal journalists and academics expressed their desire to see Rush Limbaugh die of a heart attack; to toss their enemies through plate glass windows; to call random conservatives racists; and to rid the country of those “fucking NASCAR retards.” In other words, a confirmation of preexisting conservative stereotypes about members of the liberal intelligentsia. But was the group of 400 writers—the Learned Elders of the Left—attempting to coordinate news coverage?

Former JournoList members scoff at charges of collusion, that they were members of an all-powerful clique recalibrating White House policy, burying coverage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and plotting to force Fox News off the air—all from a Google Group. Critics counter that, whether opinion journalists or straight news reporters, the group was attempting to “organize a media narrative,” to use Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan’s phrase.

The whole tedious debate misses one interesting point. While commenters have noted blogger Spencer Ackerman’s sleazy suggestion that liberals start labeling random Republicans “racist”—pick a conservative, like “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists”—few noticed the obsession with accusing opponents not of being misguided or wrong, but motivated by racial animus and Nazi-like hatreds.

Emphasis added.  Read the whole thing.  Note once again how even the supposedly very smart liberal intelligentsia assume the worst about their ideological adversaries.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Somewhat Successful Consideration of the Meaning of Marriage

I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage (which I first reference in a post that occasioned much controversy).

I don’t know if I’ll offer it a full-blown review, but will admit to have pretty much liked the book though, to be sure, she often balanced out her often enlightening anecdotes and observations with an infuriating condescension toward social conservatives, indeed, pretty much anyone of a faith not of the New Age.  And she just couldn’t hide her political or social prejudices — prejudices which contributed little if anything to her overall narrative, disjointed as it often was.

That said, in her brief consideration of gay marriage (pp.  71-76), she offers a better defense of the expanded definition of the institution than do most gay activists (but a defense which corresponds with the lives of many gay couples).

While she herself is not wise, she offers nuggets of wisdom throughout the book.  I say she is not wise because she spends the whole book fighting against her own prejudices, without really confronting them on an intellectual level (at least at times, she does seem to acknowledge them).  She can’t really stand outside herself or her own experiences — though, to be sure, at times she does try.  And sometimes her anecdotes work beautifully, other times they fall flat.

In one, however, she even echoes (perhaps unconsciously) the oldest story about matrimony, The Odyssey:  ”This,” she writes on page 239, “is intimacy  the trading of stories in the dark.”  When the long-suffering Odysseus was finally united with his beloved wife Penelope who had remained faithful as she waited a full twenty years for her betrothed’s return, his patroness Athene delayed the dawn so that the married couple might both share their stories and, um, well, share the pleasures of, um, well, love-making.

Her anecdotes nonetheless become both the greatest strength of the book and its greatest weakness.  She is at her best (both stylistically and narratively), engaging and sometimes informative, when she tells her own stories.  But, while the book purports to offer a “historical study” of the institution, she offers only a cursory treatment of the topic, never footnoting her sources and breezily summarizing the two (or was it three or four?) books she read on the institution.  She doesn’t seem to have consulted anything that defends the social conservative understanding of the institution. (more…)

Harry the Hypocrite

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - July 26, 2010.
Filed under: 111th Congress,Liberal Hypocrisy

Ol’ Harry is at it again, decrying as Senate Majority Leader tools he utilized — with great effect — as Minority Leader.  According to John Fund in today’s Political Diary (available by subscription):

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid once loved the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster, employing it frequently during the Bush years to stop conservative judicial appointments. Now he says the rule has become the Senate’s equivalent of the spitball, which eventually was banned by baseball because pitchers abused it.

“We’re looking at ways to change what has been an abuse,” he told Netroots Nation, a gathering of 2,000 left-wing bloggers and Internet activists in Las Vegas this past weekend. The Senate Majority Leader said he had “no plans yet” on how to proceed but indicated that Senate Rules Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer of New York has some ideas and action could come soon.

Tell you what, Harry, we’ll take seriously your moves on filibuster reform just as soon as you confirm every filibustered Bush judicial nominee who could have won a majority vote in previous Congresses to the federal bench.

Until you make that happen, your move is nothing more than political posturing to placate the far left.

Meanwhile, join me in donating to the woman angling to replace the outgoing majority leader.

Reagan Leads The Way… Again

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:31 pm - July 26, 2010.
Filed under: Great Americans,Great Men,Leadership,Ronald Reagan

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 24, 2010) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) transits the Pacific Ocean with ships assigned to Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 combined task force as part of a photo exercise north of Hawaii. RIMPAC, the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise is a biennial event which allows participating nations to work together to build trust and enhance partnerships needed to improve maritime security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord/Released)

Awesome photo!  I wonder if the USS Obama will be an oil skimming boat?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Ooops! MSNBC’s Matthews Calls The President… “O’Carter”

Here’s your guffaw moment of the day…. (via RealClearPolitics)

“Will the Democrats running for the House re-election, they’re all running for re-election under the Constitution and the Senate candidates, will they run away from President O’Carter? I mean, will they run away.”

I apologize, but I cannot find a way to embed the video.  It is worth watching for the full laugh.

UPDATE:  There’s even a T-Shirt!  (h/t – Instapundit)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The change Obama has been offering is not the change Americans have been hoping for

Way back in 2008, as the Dark Age in America was nearing its end, a certain Democrat from a place called with the mantra of Hope had also (unwittingly perhaps?) stumbled on the one word that struck a chord with many, if not most, Americans:  ”Change.”

Americans wanted change.  They saw an inept federal government unable to with an Administration with, to paraphrase conservative publication, a competence problem. Its representatives had troubles defending itself, with the then-president himself only occasionally able to articulate its goals in terms that resonated with the American people.  They, in turn, saw budget deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars with successive Congresses (of both political parties) unwilling to hold the line on federal spending.

And this Democrat picked up on the (then-apparently) free-spending ways of Washington Republicans (forgetting of course that it was his party, indeed a congressional majority of which he was part that increased the deficits which started declining in the middle of the dread W years).  In the campaign, the Democrat sensing that the change America wanted wasn’t the change he has pushing throughout his academic and political career, inveighed that we’d been “living beyond our means” and promised a “net spending cut”.  In his pre-election infomercial, he promised to “pay for his new spending plans with even bigger spending cuts.

Once n that agent of change became president, he did indeed change the way things were being done.  He accelerated the increases in federal spending (that had ticked up in the Bush Administration) and expanded the size and scope of the federal government.  At the same time, polls began showing (increasingly so as his days in office lengthened) that the popular mood more closely resembled the rhetoric of fiscal restraint he offered in the campaign than the legislative initiatives he championed once in office. (more…)

Those Who View All Through Prism of Race

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:37 pm - July 26, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Racism (Real, Reverse or Faux)

Over the weekend, John Hawkins of Right Wing News posted an interesting observation on race on Facebook:

Irony: People who view everything through a prism of race are perpetually accusing people who don’t of being racist.

Is Andrew Sullivan Too Crazy For Even
The Vast Left Wing ‘JournoList’ Gang?

There are now 107 confirmed names from the allegedly defunct “JournoList”.   And while the whole thing stinks to high heaven (news story manipulation by this gang), I can’t say I’m all that surprised about the names popping up.

But I do have to say I’m quite surprised that one Andrew Sullivan hasn’t surfaced.  He’d be the first one I’d expect to have been invited begged to have been put on the JournoList. After all, his Atlantic & TNR buddies Ambinder, Yglesias, Cohn, & Chiat are there.  And Sullivan is a “name”.  I would have thought he’d be one of the first we’d hear about — no offense to Dave Weigel.

Is it possible that the liberal media, academic & Obama cabal considered Sullivan too wacky for even them?  This Daily Dish posting on July 20 suggests Sullivan was in fact left out of the gang.

*snicker*

Or since the JournoList is mostly white straight guys — perhaps they are just racist and homophobic?

Video courtesy of HillBuzz.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Bush & Obama’s Approval Ratings Set to Converge?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:01 pm - July 23, 2010.
Filed under: National Politics

The latest RealClearPolitics average has President Obama’s approval dropping to 46.4.  (Gallup has the Democrat at 46.)  Julie Mason reports that “Former President George W. Bush has a 45 percent favorability rating . . .  10 percentage points higher than last year.”  (Latter via Instapundit.)

Looks like it’s becoming less and less of a good idea for the Democrats to run against W.

UPDATE:  At their respective ratings current rate of change, come November, W will be more well-regarded than his successor.

Another Reason Carly Fiorina is better for gay Californians:
(with an illustration of how conservative ideas benefit gay people)

Yesterday, GOProud, along among gay organizations reported how Wednesday night, Barbara Boxer voted against a measure which would have helped gay people across the country:

United States Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) voted against an amendment offered by U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) that would have permanently repealed the discriminatory death tax.  The death tax, a morally reprehensible form of double taxation, impacts gay couples and gay small business owners particularly hard because of the lack of a marital exemption for same-sex partners.  In response, Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud, the only national organization representing gay conservatives and their allies, issued the following statement:

“Last night should put gay and lesbian voters in California on notice to just how little Senator Boxer actually cares about removing the inequalities our relationships face under federal law.  . . .

“Because of the lack of a marital exemption for gay and lesbian couples, the death tax discriminates against same-sex couples and often forces grieving spouses to sell their home or small business to pay the confiscatory tax.

Guess raising taxes is more important to the big-spending 28-year Washington veteran than repealing a law which hurts gay people.  If this tax were repealed, an individual could pass his property onto his partner (or anyone he chose) without the government taking a cut at his death (truly the most unkindest cut of all).

Fortunately, we here in the Golden State have a choice.  Carly Fiorina supports repeal of the tax — and not just because it benefits gay people because it benefits all people, gay people, farmers and small business owners in particular.  This is just one example of how a conservative policies helps people like us.  Indeed, any law which expands our freedom and limits the reach of government benefits gay people (indeed benefits anyone save government bureaucrats).

Unfortunately, gay organizations can’t see outside the box of identity politics.  They think that we need more government and don’t bother considering that reducing the reach of the federal government provides greater opportunities for us to define our relationships on our own terms.

No wonder gay organizations haven’t joined Senator DeMint in supporting repeal of this tax.  Just because a bill doesn’t single out gay people for benefits (or protection) doesn’t meean it can’t benefit us.  If HRC and NGLTF were truly concerned about the welfare of gay people, they would make alliance with conservative groups and push for repeal of this law and join Goproud in castigating Mrs. Boxer and her big-government kind for opposing its repeal.

From the Journolist Files: Jeffrey Toobin’s Left-wing Me-tooism

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:36 pm - July 22, 2010.
Filed under: Arrogance of the Liberal Elites

Whenever I work out at the gym while CNN blares on one of the television monitors, I wince whenever I see Jeffrey Toobin offering his supposedly expert opinions.  It is like watching a teacher’s pet (think Tracy Flick) brown nosing his instructor.  You want to throw spitballs at the screen.

Toobin masquerades as this nonpartisan purveyor of commentary, yet regularly mouthes the conventional liberal wisdom of the media elite.  He often appears next to Donna Brazile whose presence, by contrast, I enjoy — despite our partisan differences.  Perhaps it’s that chyron identifying her as a “Democratic strategist”.  Unlike Toobin, she does not pretend to be nonpartisan.  You know you’re getting the viewpoint of a supporter of the Democratic Party.

We may not agree with her perspective, but at least we appreciate her integrity.

I have called Toobin, “obsequious legal court jester to the media elite” the pundit is ever eager to entertain the elites in exchange for finding welcome in their confabs.  And find welcome he did, being one of the members of the Journolist where, his pretensions notwithstanding, he likely never departed from the accepted opinions of his fellows on the list.  (At present, we have no evidence of such departure.)

In the latest from the Journolist Archives, we have him questioning the mental health of one of the most respected commentators on the right, “As a side note, does anyone know what prompted Michael Barone to go insane?”  Wonder if he would have faulted this sage pundit if another left-winger had not first brought up the author of the Almanac of American Politics, a resource valued by politicians and pundits on both sides of the political divide.

Perhaps, in the interest of fairness, CNN should add a chyron whenever Toobin appears, “Eager to be loved by left-wing pundits.”

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Tom the Redhunter offers:

It’s always instructive to mirror-image everything, and you can bet the howls would be loud and long if writers for National Review or The Weekly Standard were caught at this sort of thing.

Indeed.

How Much More Government Spending Do Democrats Need*?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:18 pm - July 22, 2010.
Filed under: Blame Republicans first,Economy

Vice President Biden’s claims notwithstanding, the Democrats got what they wanted with the “stimulus” plan.  And they have managed to pass other big ticket items on their wish list, including credit card, banking and healthcare reform.  Yet, the Administration’s defenders who comment to our blog complain that Republican obstructionism is to blame for Obama’s failure to advance the public good:

I think any characterization of Republicans as obstructionists more interested in furthering their political chances at the expense of the public good is a correct one.

He was defending the Democrat’s dishonest attack on congressional Republicans for refusing to vote for an extension in unemployment benefits without making cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

So, let me ask this reader (or any Administration defender) to explain just how much federal spending we need in order to get the economy moving again?  And how can you blame Republicans for working at the expense of the public good when in the past 18 months, the Democrats have gotten most of the items on their wish list through Congress.

Back in 1981-82, Ronald Reagan did not succeed in enacting a many items on his agenda and yet he didn’t lash out at Democrats.  Is our reader saying that if the GOP prevents the Democrats from getting 100% of their agenda through Congress, then they are to blame for any problems which ensue?

* (more…)

On portraying gay couples in mainstream movies

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:47 pm - July 22, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America,Movies/Film & TV,Romance

I have a confession to make.  Last Wednesday, July 14, five months to the day after Valentine’s Day, I ordered the recent release titled (and set on) that day honoring romantic relationships.  I have always like Garry Marshall‘s movies.  And this is his latest.  To top it off, I had just learned that this particular flick featured the fetching Bradley Cooper as a gay character.

Well, on the whole, the movie didn’t disappoint. Despite some treacly exchanges and some groan-inducing dialogue, it was perfectly entertaining (if not entirely believable  – most of the men behaved as women want men to behave).  At moments, it was surprisingly sweet.

What struck me most of all was how it fumbled the gay relationship.  Neither the screenwriter nor Marshall spent much time developing the relationship between Cooper’s Holden and Eric Dane‘s Sean Jackson.  In fact, when the finally get together, they don’t even kiss.  Not even on the cheek.  It seems, at times, that their story was pasted onto the film in order to appeal to gay audiences.  Or just to make it so au courant.

Instead of an actual relationship, we see the very public spectacle of Jackson, a professional football player scheduling a press conference to announce his sexuality.  It’s all about this public relations gesture.  Indeed, his PR agent plays a prominent role in the film.

Contrast this to the truly heartfelt treatment of a gay couple in the 1994 British film Four Weddings and a Funeral.  I don’t recall the word, “gay,” being used even once to describe the relationship between Simon Callow‘s Gareth and John Hannah‘s Matthew.  Instead, we see the two men interact and see particularly the grief of Matthew when he learns of Gareth’s death — and at the latter’s funeral. (more…)

Succeeding in Passing Liberal Legislation, Obama Fails to Address Real Concerns of Americans

While some left-of-center pundit have deemed President Obama’s record “historic” given the legislative initiatives he has passed, Noemie Emery reminds us that legislative success does not necessarily mean social and economic progress.

Not just that, the problem, she writes, “is that his successes were things few people wanted to happen:”

He is failing because he has been succeeding; at passing measures that voters don’t want.

Obama has built up his line of “successes” by picking out issues not high on the public’s agenda, and handling them in a manner that most of the people dislike. After the crash of 2008, voters were eager for economic expansion, while Obama reverted to his pre-crash agenda, on the grounds that the crisis was too good to waste.

He passed a $787 stimulus package, when the public was distraught over deficit spending. He wasted a year over health care, for which no one had clamored, producing a 2,000-plus-page enigma that had to be passed by bribes, threats, and buy-offs, which no one had read.

Before the bill passed, voters in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts slapped Democrats hard in the off-year elections in an effort to stop it. Since the bill passed, it has grown still more unpopular, and unpleasant surprises appear every day. (more…)