Friday, January 23, 2004

Quote of the Day

"Whatever else this president is, he is no believer in individuals' running their own lives without government regulation, control or aid. If you're a fiscal conservative or a social liberal, this was a speech that succeeded in making you take a second look at the Democrats. I sure am."

- conservative author Andrew Sullivan, on the State of the Union address.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Iowa Caucus Wrap-up

John Kerry won the Iowa caucus last night. Although I’ve been officially supporting Howard Dean, I found myself more relieved at Kerry’s victory.

Earlier in the season, it was my initial instinct to support Kerry. Having lived in Massachusetts for nine years, I was already familiar with his record. I was persuaded by a friend of Mark’s to support Dean, based on the populist/grass-roots nature of his campaign. But during the week leading up to the primary, I began to feel that Dean—admirable as his stances are and motivated as his supporters are—is not electable on the national stage. Meanwhile, there was a compelling interview with Kerry on This Week with George Stephanopolous, which confirmed to me that my initial instinct was correct.

True, Kerry voted to authorize the war in Iraq, which I’ve had very mixed feelings about. But, frankly, I have to ask what difference that would make now. We’re there. And if this were 1968, I would still favor Bobby Kennedy even though he was an early proponent of the Vietnam War. Dean, if he were elected, wouldn’t be able to jump in a time machine and undo all that has gone on in Iraq. And Kerry, I feel, would be more able to build a coalition and come up with an exit strategy than either Dean or Bush—so, I’m seriously considering switching my support to Kerry.

It goes without saying that Kerry is just as strong on gay issues as Dean.

As for the other candidates:

Edwards has managed to score a come from behind surge to get 2nd place in Iowa. Yet he still rubs me the wrong way. He strikes me as a weaker version of Clinton, and not the kind of man to take an unpopular stand if needed—a poll driven politician. On a more personal note, I am sick of Southerners in the White House. The last Northern President we’ve had is Ford, the last true Northeasterner—JFK. (Yes, Bush Sr. was originally from the Northeast, but his more recent residency and political stances marked him as a true Texan. And I know Reagan was born in Illinois, but he was a Californian through & through.)

Kucinich is my congressman and he’s doing an excellent job there—that’s where I want him to stay. I do NOT want him as my President.

Sharpton is playing the same role Jesse Jackson played in 1988, keeping the other candidates on their toes from the left.

Clark is basically a Republican, and his record in Kosovo will leave him open to criticism in the campaign.

Lieberman is so conservative on social issues, if he were nominated, I would probably decline to vote in the Presidential race and hope for a strong anti-Republican backlash in 2008.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

What would TR think of our times?

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American people." - Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Write your Reps!

HR 272, Ohio's Defense of Marriage Act, is coming up for a vote in the State Senate Wednesday.

This is a letter I dashed off to my state Senator:

Dear Senator Brady,

I am writing to urge you to OPPOSE HR 272, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

The purpose of our great Republic, and of the states, is to extend Liberty wherever possible, not restrict it unnecessarily. HR 272 not only runs counter to that, it is counter to the trend in our country toward recognizing same-sex relationships.

Businesses throughout our country—from smaller companies like Ben & Jerry’s to the Big Three automakers—are recognizing same-sex relationships. States and municipalities, such as Vermont and Cleveland Heights, are creating domestic partner registries. Several European countries have also recognized same-sex relationships. Despite this, there is no evidence that any of these steps have “threatened” traditional marriage. HR 272 does nothing to defend marriage.

HR 272’s passage will mean a regress in civil rights, which is almost unprecedented in our history. Rather than being at the forefront of the American struggle for equal justice for all, Ohio will be seen as backwards. Our state does not need to become the next Alabama.

The effect of HR 272’s passage on Ohio’s image and its already faltering economy could be devastating. If members of the gay community, such as ourselves, perceive Ohio as an unfriendly place to live, gays and their supporters will be encouraged to vote with our pocketbooks by avoiding the purchase of items from Ohio’s retailers. Prospective residents from out of state may decide to remain out of Ohio, and existing Ohio residents may choose to live elsewhere. It is certain that Ohio’s gay community will also register their outrage at the ballot box—regardless of party affiliation.

It is in the best interests of all Ohio’s citizens, gay and straight, that HR 272 be defeated.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Not So Boldly Going Where We've Gone Before...

Lost of controversy regarding President Bush's space plans. Here are my thoughts:

Space exploration is worth the cost, just as it was worth the cost for Columbus to journey to the New World. But Bush's proposal, which will end American participation in the International Space Station, and end maintenance of the Hubble Telescope, is reactive, unimaginative, and driven by election year pandering.