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The Civil Rights’ Paradigm Doesn’t Work for Gay America

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:34 pm - August 27, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

Yesterday, I was engaging in an e-mail exchange with a reader that seems to juxtapose nicely with two recent posts.

We were discussing how so many people determine that for every social problem (as well as to meet the challenges of social change) there must be a government solution.  He offered (and I quote with his permission),

Well the problem/mentality looks back to the civil rights movement, where government was really the motor that made things happen.  The idea is to take that model and use it for women, the disabled, gays, etc.  Our challenge is to say why that’s invalid.

Exactly.  In the civil rights era, we needed government intervention because government created the problem (at the outset of the Jim Crow era in the 1890s) by creating (at the state level) and countenancing (at the federal level) laws which defined color as a class and sanctioned discriminatory treatment against blacks while mandating private discrimination.

Over the past quarter-century or so, as people like us have become more open about our sexuality, we’ve seen the private sector react swiftly to accommodate this change (something that Jim Crow laws prevented private organizations from doing in the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction).  There were no laws requiring that private institutions treat people differently because of their sexual orientation.

At the same time, gay activists (and their allies in politics) have been pushing for legislation which will treat us as a protected class in state and federal law.  It’s as if that supposed lack of civil rights about which John Aravosis is so concerned is really an absence of state-sanctioned group “rights”.  That needed bureaucratic validation that Alex Knepper so deliciously mocks.

More on this anon.

GDP revised downward

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - August 27, 2010.
Filed under: Economy

Normally, “when an economy emerges from a recession,” Jim Geraghty reminds us, “it takes off, making up for lost time. For example, the growth rate exceeded 7 percent for five consecutive quarters in the early 1980s.”  Well, we learn that at least according to the AP, ““The economy barely has a pulse“:

The Commerce Department on Friday will revise its estimate for economic growth in the April-to-June period and Wall Street economists forecast it will be cut almost in half, to a 1.4 percent annual rate from 2.4 percent.

(H/t Mark Hemingway @ The Washington Examiner.)

UPDATE:  By contrast, Germany’s economy is “sizzling.

The Gay Party Dogma: that cosmic decree mandating that our coming out involve a monumental, revolutionary identity shiftt

Over at the Daily Caller, noting how some gay left bloggers have been savaging Ken Mehlman since he came out, Alex Knepper writes:

The explicit message is basically that Mehlman, upon a singular urge for male flesh, is supposed to discard his feelings about every non-gay issue in the political arena and march into battle hoisting the rainbow flag.

It may come as a shock to the maladjusted children who enjoy throwing temper tantrums in front of the White House, but the experience of homosexuality is not monolithic, nor is there any cosmic decree mandating that it be a monumental, revolutionary identity shift. Mehlman, whose sexuality is probably far more ambiguous than his caterwauling critics can relate to, is one of millions of gay men whose values and life experience simply do not align with Gay Party dogma.

This young man doesn’t mince his words!  Love his line about the supposed cosmic degree mandating that our coming out involve a monumental, revolutionary identity shift.  It does seem that way for some people.  (Do need to address this issue in more detail and in greater depth.)

It seems he and I are on the same page about some of the rhetoric in the gay marriage debate when he asks, “Am I supposed to feel like less of a human being until some bureaucrat validates my existence? Is this the message I’m supposed to internalize?” Indeed.

Read the whole thing.

(H/t:  Reader Hyperion AKA  Jeremayakovka)

But, I thought the Election of Obama Made Everything Better . . .

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:12 am - August 27, 2010.
Filed under: Katrina Disaster,Obama Hopenchange

. . .  correcting all errors made by the (evil and) incompetent George W. Bush (and his bungling team).

Nagin and Brown Agree: US Not Prepared for Another Katrina

On the shifting center of conservative gravity

Over at Powerline, my friend John Hinderaker takes the New York Times to task for assuming that if Ken Mehlman had come out in 2004, it would have been a headache for the GOP as opposed to the mostly blasé response it’s been getting today:

That is, I think, untrue. We didn’t care about Mehlman’s personal life then, and we don’t care now. I believe our attitude is characteristic of the vast majority of conservatives. We wish Mehlman well. But whether Ken Mehlman is or is not gay has no bearing on the public policy question of whether gay marriage is a good idea or a bad idea.

He’s right.  It’s been my experience, as a gay conservative blogger, that most conservatives could care less about my sexuality.  But, Times reporter Kate Zernike is right about one thing:

The muted reaction reflects not only changing values in the country generally, but also, more notably, among many Republicans and conservatives.

The center of gravity of the conservative movement in this election season is with fiscal conservatives. The Tea Party is infusing the Republican Party with new energy, and Tea Party leaders and supporters say they do not want to talk about social issues: even if they do not personally support same-sex marriage or abortion, they think the Republican Party spent too much time talking about them and not enough time trying to rein in spending.

Ms. Zernike may not be entirely up-to-speed about the conservative movement.  Fiscal issues were always important to movement conservatives.  Th is is not something new.  If you don’t believe me, then just take a listen to this 1964 speech.  But, she’s right in that the Obama Democrats big-spending initiatives which led to the rise of the Tea Party movement put those for whom fiscal issue are paramount back in the drivers’ seat.

During the Bush era, we were relegated to a side car.  We found it hard to gain traction when the then-Republican president was not himself a fiscal conservative, but was taking heat from the left on any number of issues, particularly the War on Terror.  We devoted our energies to defending him, believing that winning that war was paramount to our national security (another defining issue for movement conservatives).

So, Mr. Zernike is right, the center of gravity has shifted on the right, but back to where it has long been, but this is more a return, a restoration even, to the bedrock principles of American conservatism than anything else.

In Mehlman Matter, Gay Left Blogger Prefers Principle to Revenge

Twice in blogging about Ken Mehlman’s coming out, I wrote that there would be some “decent gay lefties” who would not go for this good man’s jugular, treating him instead him with decency and “dignity despite disagreeing . . .  on matters political.

Due to my busy schedule these past few days, I haven’t been able to check the blogs as much as I would like so am grateful for readers like Eva Young of Lloydletta’s Nooz who alerted me to one leftie who has been relatively kind to Mehlman.  To be sure, John Aravosis, while refraining from attacking Mehlman personally (as have some of his left-of-center blogging colleagues), does spew a good deal of vitriol against the GOP (and engage in a bit of overheated rhetoric), he welcomes Mehlman’s coming out, saying he’s “more interested in equality than revenge.

Now, you all know I have trouble with that term; I’m concerned more with preserving the blessings of liberty and, as many libertarian and conservative philosophers and pundits, recognize the tension between that American ideal and the notion of equality.

That said, John sees Mehlman as a potential ally in pursuing his goals and challenges his critics, “If someone can explain to me how it advances our civil rights to spurn Mehlamn’s offer of help, I’m all ears.”

I simply want my civil rights more than I want revenge. It’s the way good politics works, I think – and it’s the way politics used to work in this country – putting the potential to move forward today ahead of your legitimate anger about yesterday.

Now, I may quibble with John about our supposed lack of civil rights.  But, he is willing to put his principles over personality.  And in my book, that should count for something. (more…)