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Conservative policies good for all Americans, including gays

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:50 pm - February 9, 2012.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,GOProud

In talking to pjmedia, GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia focused on the group’s efforts to communicate “why conservative principles are good for different constituencies.”  Nice to see this movie away from the identity politics practiced by other gay groups.  The issue is not legislation specifying sexual orientation, but adopting policies which don’t single out any group.

“The issue,” Jimmy said “is why do gay people let the left determine what’s important to gay people?”   Indeed.  “What we talk about every single day is conservative policies that are good for everybody are good for gay Americans, too.”

Do gay small businessmen who bemoan the red tape they faces in opening up a new shop — or expanding their current enterprise — realize that the party who benefits from the donations they make to HRC has, to a large extent, placed those burdens on job creators?   These entrepreneurs would benefit from Republican policies reducing regulation.  The less government intrusion there is, the greater freedom we have to express ourselves.

Yeah, the president provides lip service to regulatory reform, but his record — and that of his fellow partisans — stands in stark contrast to that rhetoric.  Obama may say the right things on gay issues, but his policies hurt gay businessmen and women — as they hurt entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.

So, kudos to Jimmy and Chris Barron for taking up the benefits of conservative policies.  Perhaps, at some later date, when they raise more money, they could commission a study to show how federal, state and local mandates impact specific gay entrepreneurs.  And maybe then those folks would realize that although they attend the various HRC functions to network within the community, their participation in such events provides support to policies which increase the cost of doing business.

Mitt Must Pitch Bold Reform Plan to Win Conservatives to his Cause

If Mitt Romney can succeed in energizing conservatives behind his candidacy, he could conceivably lock up the nomination by Super Tuesday and put himself in a strong position to defeat Barack Obama come November.

That, however, is a big “if.”

Since Santorum’s sweep on Tuesday, a number of conservative commentators and bloggers have come to a consensus about Mitt; he needs to provide red meat for the conservative multitude.  Some say he needs to adopt bolder proposals, others that he needs to retool his message. Basically, he would serve himself well to learn from Jon Huntsman.  That former Utah governor (who, in dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination, endorsed Romney) put forward a bold economic plan, filled with conservative reforms.  But, he didn’t make that plan the focus of his campaign.

Romney needs thus to adopt a bold plan — and make the plan part of his pitch —  as John Podhoretz puts it, to be fervent not about his business experience, but about conservative ideas, to woo and win the conservative base by articulating their concerns.  These voters want to “hear that their cause is just, their battles are noble, their leaders are tribunes and that righteousness as they see it will prevail.” Via Powerline.

James Pethokoukis offeres some tips on the bold plan Romney could articulate, stressing entitlement reform and specifying the federal programs he would cut. Most importantly, he need put forward atax reform plan worthy of the name“: (more…)

When it comes to the business of governing, Obama is absent

The president, as I noted last month in my brief review of his State of the Union address, indicated that he was “prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid”. Only problem was that he failed to put forward any of his own.

At another point in the speech, he praised innovation and indicated a willingness to reduce regulation.  Only problem was that he asked others to do the work for him:

After all, innovation is what America has always been about. Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let’s pass an agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. Both parties agree on these ideas. So put them in a bill, and get it on my desk this year.

You’d think the White House Office of Legislative Affairs might have the capacity to put the president’s ideas into a bill and find an ally in Congress willing to introduce it.

Over at RedState, Soren Dayton yesterday caught another example of the White House punting on legislative action, “Jake Tapper asked Jay Carney about this. Should Senate pass a budget? Does the President have an opinion on this? Turns out that the answer is no”:

TAPPER: The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president’s going to introduce one. The Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth. But the White House has no opinion about whether –

CARNEY: I have no opinion — the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.

With this response, Dayton observes,

not only is the Senate failing the American people, but President Obama is helping the Senate in dodging this responsibility. The fact is that he has no opinion on running the country like an adult. He has “no opinion” about giving business certainty.

Read the whole thing.

No, you don’t need a state sanction to get married

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:24 am - February 9, 2012.
Filed under: Gay Marriage

Long before civil governments granted marriage licenses, men and women had been getting married for generations.  Most had their unions sanctified in a church or other religious institution.

Yet, too many advocates of gay marriage whine that, until the state acts, they can’t married.  Hogwash.  No, most states still won’t recognize their unions as marriages, but, long before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court mandated in 2003 that the Bay State recognize same-sex marriages, gay men were living together with their partners — and lesbians with theirs, with many calling their unions marriages and their spouses, husbands and wives respectively.

As I was working on my post on the Washington State legislature’s vote to recognize such unions, I  caught this comment by openly gay Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen who backed the legislation:

“I would like for our four children to grow up understanding that their daddy and their poppa have made that kind of a lifelong commitment to each other,” he said. “Marriage is the word that we use in our society to convey that idea.”

You mean, his children wouldn’t recognize that commitment if the state didn’t recognize their union as marriage?  (He’s not the first to make this kind of claim.)  Theirs must be a pretty weak relationship if they need state sanction to show their commitment.

Now, there are many strong arguments to be made for state recognition of same-sex marriage.  Saying that without it the state’s sanction you couldn’t convey your commitment is not one of them.  And yet, that is part of the Ninth Circuit’s argument in overturning Prop 8.

It is important that we distinguish between state recognition of marriage and the institution itself.  And yes, state recognition confers many benefits.

Even without that recognition, gay people remain free to marry.  And state authorities won’t arrest them for doing so.  Or demand that they move to another state.  They just won’t accord them the benefits they offer to different-sex couples who elect marriage.

Washington State recognizes same-sex marriages the right way

Yesterday, the Washington State House passed a bill to recognize same-sex marriages, following the action last week of the state Senate.  Governor Christine Gregoire “is expected to sign the measure into law next week.

This is exactly how states should go about recognizing same-sex relationships, with elected legislators deciding the matter.

HuffPo to fault Obama campaign for Super PAC coordination?

Do wonder if the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein is going to get upset about the Obama campaign’s decision to enlist Superpacs in its reelection efforts.  After all, the call is coming from the campaign itself.

Tuesday night, after Rick Santorum swept the beauty contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, he caught “Foster Freiss, the main financial backer” of the Senator’s super PAC standing behind him “as he gave his victory speech“:

(Screen capture with arrow from Huffington Post.) And Mr. Stein warned of the “dangers of the new campaign system”:

The campaign and the super PAC cannot legally coordinate. And it stands to reason that, legally speaking, having Friess next to Santorum on stage doesn’t violate that rule. The former senator from Pennsylvania, after all, wasn’t talking to Friess directly, nor was Santorum speaking explicitly about campaign strategy.

But the proximity of the donor to the candidate on Tuesday night is a wonderful illustration of the dangers of the new campaign finance system: Where big checks don’t just get you a seat at the table, they get you a spot on the stage.

Well, it looks like Mr. Obama’s campaign is coordinating with a Democratic super PAC:

Aides said the president had signed off on a plan to dispatch cabinet officials, senior advisers at the White House and top campaign staff members to deliver speeches on behalf of Mr. Obama at fund-raising events for Priorities USA Action, the leading Democratic “super PAC,” whose fund-raising has been dwarfed by Republican groups. (more…)

AFA Boycott of J.C. Penney likely to fail

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:18 am - February 9, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom

Once again, the American Family Association (AFA) has announced a boycott.  And once again, my liberal Facebook friends are up in arms.

Relax, guys (and gals), this is likely to be just as effective as their boycott of Disney.  The company didn’t back down and continued to offer benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of its employees.  Now, a group called “One Million Moms,” a division of AFA is asking “JCPenney to replace Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson immediately and remain neutral in the culture war.

You see that retailer has taken on the buoyant talk show hostess as its spokesman.  And Ms. DeGeneres is um, a well, you see, she’s, uh, um, a lesbian.

Look, if they don’t like that the department store has a lesbian as a spokesman, well, then, they don’t have to shop there.  It’s their choice.

And despite the protests, Penney’s has retained Ellen as its spokesman.  Kudos.

Bill O’Reilly has an interesting take on this (especially at 3:43):

(more…)