When, twelve years ago, I moved out here to write screenplays, I hoped to used the medium of film to promote a better understanding of gay people. I believed then (as I do today) that images were very often a more powerful means of promoting understanding of our fellow human beings than arguments, no matter how carefully and how eloquently made.
Yes, great orators have been able to change minds — and even the course of a war — with a well-delivered speech, but could words alone help people overcome prejudice? Would Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the greatest orators of the last century, have been as effective, as transformative a figure, if not for the televised imagery of police brutally beating people peacefully protesting, petitioning the government for a redress of their grievances against Jim Crow? When Andrew Young, then Mayor of Atlanta, spoke to us at Williams, said that the television made the difference in winning people’s hearts and minds.
Young had worked with Dr. King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
What the then-Mayor of Atlanta said about TV and the Civil Rights Movement got me thinking of the changes that have taken place just since I moved to Los Angeles, changes in attitudes more than anything else. If there were a battle for the social acceptance of gay people, it has been won. I’m not quite sure when nor I am entirely sure how. But, if now that I have finished my graduate work and I decided again to try my luck at the entertainment industry, any efforts I would attempt to promote a better understanding of gay people would seem almost superfluous. People may still object to state recognition of same-sex marriage, but most do so not out of animosity against gay people, but because of a belief that sexual difference is a defining aspect of the institution.
Only in remote sections of America now do people suffer from acknowledging their sexuality. This is not to say that all hurdles have been overcome. Same-sex couples still do not enjoy the benefits of recognition in an overwhelming majority of states. Yet, it is far easier to come out now than it was a decade ago. (more…)
On May 17, Stacy McCain “warned that a Democrat victory” in NY-36 would “be headlined as evidence that the Paul Ryan budget plan is a political liability for Republicans.” He finds those “those prophecies fulfilled in this morning’s headlines at Memeorandum“:
Democrat Wins G.O.P. Seat;
Rebuke Seen to Medicare Plan
Six Months After Midterm Disaster,
Hopeful Signs for Democrats
Democrat Kathy Hochul Wins Upset In NY-26,
Medicare Vote Key To Victory
The problem, simply put, was that the Republican candidate Jane Corwin was unprepared for the Democrats’ demagogic attack on the Ryan budget, with the president’s party billing the plan’s cost-saving Medicare reforms as essentially ending Medicare. As John Fund put it in WSJ.com’s Political Diary (available by subscription) this morning:
Before the polls closed yesterday in the Buffalo suburbs that make up the district, Ms. Corwin allowed that she should have addressed the Medicare issue “earlier and differently.” “I have to admit that when [Ms. Hochul] started making these comments, I thought these are so outrageous that probably no one would ever believe it . . .. Apparently some people did.”
It’s may be “too late for Jane Corwin,” Tina Korbe writes, “but it’s not too late for Republicans planning to run in 2012“:
They still have time to master the Medicare message — and they’d better, if they want to win. But, more importantly, conservative candidates need to articulate the facts clearly precisely because they’re facts. Medicare can’t sustain itself much longer unless Congress takes action and, so far, the House-passed budget is the only Congressional proposal to seriously tackle entitlement reform.
Do you think the GOP will win if its strategy is to apologize for every media-manufactured “right-wing” outrage? It will not. We will win the day by using all the tools in our arsenal to fight the tyranny of these totalitarian ideologies that have been visited upon us from overseas, where those same ideologies caused only chronic human misery. We will win by using the New Media to expose the bankruptcy of their beliefs and tactics. And ultimately we’ll win, because their ideas simply don’t work. No amount of media spin can change that.
–Andrew Breitbart, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
I read yesterday that “Elizabeth Warren, President Obama’s controversial choice to head the new consumer financial regulatory agency, skipped out of a House Oversight hearing before answering questions from two members of the committee, claiming that she had reached an agreement allowing her to leave at that time.”
I had considered posting on the topic, asking if she worked for a government agency which in our republic is subject to congressional oversight. This morning, as I was reading the various right-of-center blogs found, as is often the case, that Ed Morrissey expressed the thoughts similar to my own–and better than I could:
What meeting might Warren have that would be more important than a Congressional hearing into the activities of her agency? Maybe she needed to take a call from her stockbroker.
I’m sorry Ms. Warren feels inconvenienced, but perhaps she might want to take a civics course to understand the separation of powers and checks and balances in the federal system. Congress gets to hold hearings on operations in the executive branch, and they’re not required to put a time limit on their inquiries, especially a one-hour limit that barely gets by the opening remarks in most committee hearings. If Warren doesn’t like being held accountable to the legislature and to the people, well … she’s in the right administration, apparently.
Read the whole thing.