Tuesday, July 27, 2004

One issue voters


Gay Republicans will distort issues like the above article to accuse the Democrats of taking gays for "granted." They like to refer to gay Democrats as one issue voters, claiming that we only vote democratic because the Democrats, generally, support gay rights.

However, it's really gay Republicans who tend to be one issue voters. Their issue: whether there's an "R" or a "D" after a candidate's name.

There is a historical parallel for gays supporting Democrats, even when individual candidates' records on our issues aren't perfect. In the 1930s, African-Americans en masse abandoned the party of Lincoln to support Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic New Deal. Although at the time, the Democratic party was awash with Southerners who opposed civil rights legislation, New Deal programs helped minorities--and I think they sensed that FDR's heart was in the right place, even though he was hamstrung from pushing for a 1960s style Civil Rights Act. But in 1942, he signed an executive order barring racial discrimination in defense industries.

On gay issues, Kerry's heart is in the right place, as evidenced by his opposition to DOMA in 1996. He is not supporting outright gay marriage because he knows it would doom him in the general election--but he's doing nothing to fight gay marriage either. He will appoint judges who support our issues.

No matter how the Uncle Tom LCR's try to paint it, Kerry/Edwards is clearly the superior ticket for Gay Americans.

To put it bluntly and paraphrase Harry Truman on Richard Nixon: George W. Bush is a blundering, God-damned liar. His lies have cost the lives of hundreds of our soldiers. If he had to stick to the truth, he'd have very little to stick to. If you vote for Bush, you should go to Hell.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Why Ohio is important in this election

Outsiders often think of Ohio as a conservative entity. In reality, Ohio is a swing state, which - with one exception - has swung the same way as the country in every 20th Century Presidential election. Ohio, just barely, went for Bush in 2000 – and then only after Gore’s campaign essentially gave the state to Bush by withdrawing in the weeks before the race.

Take a look at the map in the above link. There are five Ohios, not one. Northeast Ohio is mostly industrial, urban/suburban, reliably liberal and votes solidly Democratic. Northwest Ohio is Republican and mostly rural. Southwest Ohio is also conservative, but has been hurt more economically since Bush took office than the rest of the state. Appalachia swings with the general election, went strongly for Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and Bush in 2000.

That leaves Central Ohio. The Columbus area is being rocked by changing demographics, and an influx of younger, non-white people. What was once a Republican stronghold is becoming increasingly Democratic.

Here are two options: Northeast and Central Ohio have a combined population of 6 million. The other three regions add up to 5.36 million. If Democrats concentrate their funds toward "swinging" Central Ohio and Appalachia, combined with “get out the vote” activity in Northeast Ohio, they could win Ohio Big Time (as Cheney would say). Or, if they create an all out push for Northeast and Central Ohio, they can still win with an acceptable margin.

But the most important thing is for the Democratic party not to blow off the state as they did in 2000. The message is clear: lose Ohio, lose the country.

Whether Ohio goes red or blue this year will depend entirely on turnout – just like most of the country.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Letter to the PD: July 12, 2004

My Letter to the Editor was printed in this morning's Plain Dealer:

To the Editor:

I find it amusing that the Bush adminstration's talking heads are going after Senator John Edward's supposed lack of experience in foreign policy issues. Edwards has served in the Senate Intelligence Committee, and has more experience at this point, than George W. Bush did in 2000. There is certainly some experience Edwards lacks, such as stacking up a half trillion dollars in debt, misleading the American people about a phony Iraq/Al Queda connection, and leaking the name of a CIA operative.

George Bush has stated that Dick Cheney, unlike Edwards, "can be President," presumably based on his experience. But the key factor in this election will be the "experience" the American people have had with Bush/Cheney, and it hasn't been pretty.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

A Response to Larry Kramer

"It is remarkable that two of the so-called 'greatest presidents' have also allowed the greatest perpetrations and perpetuations of mass murder. Franklin D. Roosevelt was shamefully inept in dealing with 'the Jewish question,' (see my play The Normal Heart), most ironically since so many Jews were his most loyal supporters, the Jerry Zipkins of their day. No one really writes about this. Roosevelt is one of history’s great gods. Just as no one really writes about Reagan and 'the gay question.' These two major murderers so far have gotten away with helping to cause the two major holocausts of modern history. Just as Jews are asked to never forget their Holocaust, I implore all gay people never to forget our holocaust and who caused it and why."
- Larry Kramer, in a 2004 article for the Advocate.

I've heard Kramer make his charge against FDR since the 1990s, when he compared Bill Clinton's treatment of gays to FDR's treatment of the Jews: Say the right things, then stab them in the back. More recently he's "demoted" his opinion of FDR to compare it with Reagan's lack of response to the early AIDS crisis (which was criminal) - as if Kramer's opinion on American history carries any weight. Remember, Kramer is the guy who claims that nearly all the Founding Fathers were gay. He has also claimed for the past two decades to have been writing an American history book to that effect.

Kramer needs to be reminded that in 1940, when FDR was running for a 3rd term, isolationist Republicans and others like Charles Lindbergh (who was regaded as an American hero) were charging that Roosevelt was a tool of the Jewish conspiracy to take over the United States. Many claimed that Roosevelt himself was secretly Jewish - buying the Nazi propaganda that his family name was actually Rosenfeldt.

A popular slogan at the time had FDR telling Eleanor:
"You kiss the N!ggers, I'll kiss the Jews, and we'll stay in the White House as long as we choose."
FDR had an unprecedented number of Jews in his administration, and he spoke out against anti-Semitism. He also addressed the 1936 National Conference of Christian and Jews - which was unusual for a president of any party at the time.

FDR didn't dictate Immigration policy - he had to move in relation to Congress and public opinion. FDR was no more able to stop the Holocaust as any leader at the time - and there were many who knew more about what was going on in Europe who didn't lift a finger.  In fact, FDR did more than any other world leader to help the Jews of Europe, creating the War Refugee Board, which saved the lives of as many as 200,000 Jews.

Kramer fails to see the events of the time in the context of the era. Sure, FDR might have been more forceful on the "Jewish Question" - and he would have been voted out of office. Does Kramer think the people of the world (Jew and non-Jew) would have been better off with Wendell Wilkie or Tom Dewey in the White House?

As for comparing FDR's handling of any issue with Reagan's response to AIDS: Let's not forget also that under FDR, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (then called Venereal Diseases) were, for the first time in America, treated as a public health problem, not as a moral problem. Does anyone in his right mind believe that FDR would have joked about the Holocaust the way Reagan's advisors joked about AIDS?

Thursday, July 1, 2004

A mess

This country is in a hell of a mess, and it didn't start with Iraq. It started with FLORIDA.