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Had Obama moved forward on same-sex civil unions when his party had majorities in both houses of Congress, he might not be facing outcry over his gay marriage stand today

Yesterday, when I announced my determination to slow down the pace of blogging this week, I had intended to post only a handful of pieces on gay issues, first to indication my opposition to North Carolina’s Amendment One, then to offer a followup on the Grenell Matter, noting how that latter showed not the anti-gay animus that some Democratic partisans and gay activists were determined to find in the GOP, but the party’s own awkwardness on gay issues (for more on that, just read the passage I quoted in this post from the Huffington Post‘s Jon Ward).

Where the presumptive Republican nominee has handled social conservative concerns about a gay staffer in a most awkward manner, his Democratic counterpart has shown incredible “cowardice,” as one blogger put it, in handling the issue of gay marriage.  Bruce blogged that Obama “stepped in it.”  Others have been even less forgiving.

The real problem is that Obama didn’t try to find some sort of compromise in the first two years of his term when he had overwhelming Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.  Had he had some significant political savvy, he might, for example, have sat down with gay leaders and pointed to the passage of Prop 8 in California, saying that it wouldn’t be prudent to push forward on gay marriage per se, but would instead focus on civil unions (touting such legislation as the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (H.R. 2517), a bill in the 111th Congress “which would grant domestic partners access to federal employee health care benefits“); he would have been wise to ask these leaders to identify key Republicans (e.g. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in the House and Susan Collins in the Senate) who would be willing to help spearhead such efforts.

The Democrat would then be able to point to efforts (likely successful) he had made to advance the cause of same-sex couples.  There might not be a public outcry over gay marriage had he had accomplished something in terms of federal recognition of same-sex civil unions, even if just for government employees. (more…)

Looks like I picked the wrong week for slow blogging

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:35 pm - May 8, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay Marriage,Gay Politics,Obama and Gay Issues

Looks like I picked the wrong week for slow blogging:

UPDATE/EXPLANATION: As per the second post linked above, I had intended to blog at a slower pace this week than usual, but when I caught Jennifer Rubin’s post, I began to realize that the administration’s stance on gay marriage would come to dominate this week’s news cycle — much as the Grenell matter had dominated last week’s.

Indeed, this morning on Facebook, no fewer than five people had linked posts on the administration’s “cowardice“, as one conservative blogger put it, in the gay marriage debate — not to mention the posts I would chance upon the various conservative blogs I tend to scan every day.

As other blogs address this topic, it seems a gay conservative website should be on top of the issue.

Obama Continues To Step In It Over Gay Marriage

Oh dear.  When incompetence rears its ugly head in one area…. it generally is a cancer that spreads to the rest.  So lies the Obama Campaign mired in what seems to be an endless wave of incompetence lately.  And now this….

President Barack Obama was scheduled, albeit briefly, to visit North Carolina on Election Day to make an speech in Asheville about the economy.

The White House sent the notice Wednesday last week but reversed course about five hours later, saying the trip wasn’t taking place, according to a North Carolina congressional office notified about the trip. The false alarm isn’t unprecedented — but the fact the White House even considered visiting the state on primary election day is interesting.

A controversial vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions is on today’s ballot. Obama issued a statement against the amendment earlier this year — but polls show it is likely to win by a solid margin.

The White House did not respond to questions about the scheduling snafu. The alert about the Obama visit came Wednesday last week and was changed by the end of the day. The White House’s official week-ahead schedule released at the end of last week put the president in New York today, not Asheville.

Given the gay marriage conversation that consumed the White House on Monday, a visit to North Carolina on the day of a gay marriage vote would only increase the questions about where the president stands on the issue — questions Gov. Bev Perdue took the brunt of earlier today on an appearance on MSNBC.

Weird this is.  After all, if the Obama Regime TRULY believed that North Carolina was in play… I would think he would be in my neighboring state every chance he gets.

I’m afraid that Obama/Biden are going to find out that having it both ways on the gay marriage issue may cost them the election in November.  Think 2004 in reverse.  I will explain my theory later if no one gets it.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The conservative case against North Carolina’s Amendment One

At least since Edmund Burke, whom many consider the forerunner of modern conservatism, conservatives believes we must consider the circumstances of any given situation before developing a law, should the circumstances require one, to remedy it.  Burkean conservatives avoid one-size=fits=all solutions and recognize that some laws should change as times change, while others stay the same.  Some strictures remain as valid today as they were in the ancient world, others outdated, belonging quite literally to another era.

“Circumstances,” Burke wrote, “give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect.”

A conservative doesn’t change for change’s sake, but he doesn’t impede a change when circumstances require one.  North Carolina’s Amendment One which is today before the voters of the Tarheel State would prevent the state’s General Assembly, its elected legislature, from crafting laws to reflect the changing circumstances of gays and lesbians in that state.

Its defeat would not lead directly to state recognition of same-sex marriage in North Carolina nor even to state recognition of same-sex civil unions, but merely leave both options — and others as well — open to future legislatures.  And bear in mind that every member of those legislatures will be subject to popular election.  All a vote against Amendment One does is keep the issue of same-sex unions open to the elected representatives of North Carolina’s citizens.  Its defeat will not require churches to perform gay weddings.

I urge North Carolina conservatives to hold true to long-standing conservative principles and to vote today against Amendment One.

Two cultural phenomena intersecting

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 am - May 8, 2012.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV,Mythology and the real world

Just returned from seeing the Hunger Games.  I had thought that if I saw a late show on Monday night, I’d miss the crowds, but even though I got to the theater 10 minutes before the show was scheduled to start, only walked in the actual auditorium as the previews were starting.  There were lines at the Grove.  On a Monday night.  After 10 PM.

I had assumed most of the people in line were there to see the Avengers.  When I asked those in front of me — and around me, their responses confirmed my hypothesis.  The Avengers already has the record for best opening weekend.  It will soon join Hunger Games in the Top 100 all-time Box Office, adjusted for inflation — a real cultural milestone.

Movies that resonate as these do saw something condition about our times — or the human condition.

I had not heard of the Hunger Games books until the movie was released.  A classmate of mine from graduate school, a fellow student of mythology, encouraged me not just to watch the movie, but also read the books.  I determined to do just that — before seeing the films.  It seems Suzanne Collins, the author, had been a big fan — or at least been fascinated by the phenomenon — of the TV series Survivor — and had had enough exposure to Greek myth to have more than a passing familiarity of the story of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur as well as that of hat of Iphigenia (sacrificed so her father could get favorable winds in order to sail to Troy to wreak vengeance on that city).

And there was even a Minotaur — several of them — in this movie.

At a later date, I hope to write further about this myth, but will note that some scholars (including yours truly) see the stories of Theseus and Iphegenia as cultural markers (not to mention the Binding of Isaac), signifying that they no longer sacrificed humans.  And archeological, anecdotal and mythological evidence indicates that human sacrifice was prevalent in many cultures.

Time after time since he took office, Obama has failed to show the fortitude to stand up to hateful and over-the-line rhetoric

Once again, to borrow an expression, Democrats are asking a Republican to differentiate himself from something he didn’t say:

President Obama’s campaign is looking to seize on a pair of controversial comments by supporters at Mitt Romney’s town-hall meeting in Cleveland Monday, calling on the presumptive Republican nominee to “stand up to the extreme voices in his party.”

“Today we saw Mitt Romney’s version of leadership: standing by silently as his chief surrogate attacked the President’s family at the event and another supporter alleged that the President should be tried for treason,” said Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith in a statement. “Time after time in this campaign, Mitt Romney has had the opportunity to show that he has the fortitude to stand up to hateful and over-the-line rhetoric and time after time, he has failed to do so. If this is the ‘leadership’ he has shown on the campaign trail, what can the American people expect of him as commander-in-chief?”

(Via Washington Examiner.) You see, Romney had ignored a supporter’s aside saying that she believed Obama “should be tried for treason” when she asked the candidate about “about the separation of power in the United States’.”

Well, let’s hold President Obama to the Lis Smith standard.  The Democrat invited Dan Savage to the White House for a “Pride Reception.” A number of White House officials have cut videos on behalf of Mr. Savage’s It Gets Better Project.  Several administration departments and programs have backed the project.  And while the project certainly has a noble goal, its creator is anything but a noble individual, regularly making hateful comments about conservatives and Christians.  He even tried to infect campaign workers for one Republican candidate with the flu.

Now, to be sure, the White House can back a project without supporting every word its creator said, but given the Obama spokesperson’s comments, shouldn’t we then expect Mr. Obama to stand up to the hateful rhetoric and mean-spirited actions of the creator of a project it has backed?  I mean, they’re holding Mitt Romney responsible for not faulting a woman who just asked a question for her aside.  And Mr. Savage’s comments are more than asides.

Time after time since he took office, Barack Obama has had the opportunity to show that he has the fortitude to stand up to hateful and over-the-line rhetoric and time after time, he has failed to do so. If this is the ‘leadership’ he has shown in his first term, what can the American people expect of him in his second?

RELATED: ROMNEY ATTACKED FOR NOT RESPONDING TO THROWAWAY COMMENT ACCUSING OBAMA OF TREASON: (more…)

AOL headline: fierce partisan Howard Dean is just “Former Gov”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 am - May 8, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias

Finding bias in AOL headlines is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Take a gander at this screenshot of their home page Sunday night at 8:21 PST:

And who might that former governor be? None other than Howard Dean, also a former Democratic presidential candidate and former chair of the Democratic National Committee.

AOL dresses up a fierce partisan in the most banal terms as if he is just your average run-of-the-mill former governor, rather than someone with a long record of harsh attacks on Republicans, accusing them of “bashing” any number of groups, including women.

The headline may be accurate; Dean is indeed a former governor.  But identifying him as such is most misleading.  Not all former governors say they “hate Republicans and everything they stand for.

Maybe the editors at AOL find Mr. Dean to be just a mainstream former governor.