Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama's Verbal Gymnastics

I had not intended to post about this, but SueJ at Nailing Jello to the Wall got me thinking about the upcoming election and the current status of marriage equality in the United States.

Her post, Barack Obama: Sometimes he makes me feel all lightheaded. But not in a good way. is really excellent! Obama has promised he will be a "different" kind of leader -- but will he?

I think I should have the legal right to marry my future ex-wife? Heck, when former Representative -- now presidential candidate -- Bob Barr debated the Defense of Marriage Act with Elizabeth Birch (director of the Human Rights Campaign at the time), Birch asked Barr: "Are you defending your first, second or third marriage?"

Sen. Obama has somehow managed to fall into the trap that marriage equality should be a states rights issue. My question, which I left as a comment on SueJ's blog, is: "I wonder if Obama would have supported Emancipation, plantation by plantation?"



Mary Ellen said...


I read your comment on Sue J's blog and it was excellent.

Barack has been doing a lot of tap dancing around this issue, and is clearly doing all he can to make people hear what they want to hear. His relationship with the Evangelical crowd keeps him from supporting the gay community. However, he knows that if he wants to hang on to the youth vote, he needs to sound as if he's supporting them. The only thing he's succeeded in doing is showing everyone that the only thing he cares about is votes and in the end, he will do what he wants to do once elected. He's just another George Bush.

Did you hear the comment he made to Ed Rendel about the fund raiser? I guess there was supposed to be a fund raiser in PA and Rendel tried to get him to change the date because it was to be held on a weekend that Rendel said was a "vacation week", Rendel said many would not be able to come. Obama told him that they didn't need to be there...just their checks. That says it all, IMO. Needless to say, Rendel was NOT pleased.

John J. said...

Mary Ellen, do you mean this fundraiser where Rendell, when asked how it feels to be supporting Obama, said "It’s good he’s a good man."?

Going back to the core of this post though, I have already made my view on this issue pretty clear. I believe that the word "marriage" has too many religious connotations. As such, I don't believe that government has any business handling marriage and should only handle civil unions. Leave the term "marriage" to the religious and make sure it has 0 legal meaning. Just as baptismal certificates and confirmation names have no legal bearing, neither should religious marriages, only the legal civil union documents.

Obama doesn't go that far, and he doesn't take states to task for infringing on their citizens' civil rights, but he does still pledge to get the DoMA repealed and he will make sure federal institutions recognize marriage rights of same-sex partners.

I also don't see the flip flop or wishy-washy-ness Sue and Mary see. His position is complex, but can be summed up in one sentence: He is personally against same-sex marriage, but he recognizes that they deserve the same rights as hetrosexual couples. This is very similar to many people's views on free speech, "I may hate every word you are saying, but I will fight to the death to protect your right to say it."

Mary Ellen said...

john j- I never said the fundraiser didn't take place, and of course, Ed Rendell isn't going to hold a fundraiser and then bash Obama in a speech. I guess it's easier for guys like you to look beyond Obama's snobbish, arrogant ways...exactly the way the right wingers looked beyond GWB's arrogance and stupidity.

You're the second person I've see who have said that Obama isn't a flip-flopper, but has "complex" positions. It seems to be one of the new Obama talking points and I also have the feeling that if I read his website, it will be on there.

There are no equal rights if heterosexual couples have the right to "marriage" and homosexuals do not. Period. Obama's views show that the only form of civil rights that he recognizes is civil rights for blacks. If he was true to his word (which he has never shown to be) he would fight for civil rights for ALL....blacks, whites, Native Americans, women, and yes....even gays.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Perhaps you could remind me what Hillary's position is on this gay marriage issue. Oops, was that sexist of me to ask? Ever so sorry.

Bill Stankus said...

Which is better - a McCain administration chock full of right wingers and religious zealot who will continue the restrictive policies we've been seeing?

Or an Obama administration with the potential of being moderate and even liberal?

Assuming he does a so-so or passable job as president - he probably will get a second term - that usually means a chance to do all the social issue things not possible during a first term. And one more assumption: Suppose there’s acceptance of what Obama accomplishes during his two terms - that then sets it up for another Democrat to be elected after O. That means upwards of 16 years of continuing Democratic administrations and 16 years to right the social wrongs we’ve had for too long.

I totally understand pushing candidates to define themselves - but I also see this in very simplistic terms: I do not want another Repug Administration.

Sue J said...

Grrrrr! If one more person uses this scare tactic ("McCain is against everything you believe in!") whenever I ask for more of Obama, I think I'm going to scream!

Is this really the Democratic Party slogan now, "Obama: Hey -- he's not McCain!" ?

BAC said...

There are two candidates in this race that have any chance of winning. Are some here suggesting that the "so-called progressive" candidate cannot be challenged by members of a class of people who still don't have basic civil rights in 48 states?

Oh, it's too much to ask???

Gee, I guess Obama, along with Dr. Monkey and Bill, would have supported Emancipation plantation by plantation.

And John, there is never going to be a separation of "marriage" from "religion" in this country.

There are houses of worship that are currently performing "marriage" ceremonies for same sex couples and would like those unions to have the same legal recognition as the ceremonies for heterosexual couples.

It's a church-state separation issue as well as a civil rights issue. If we support separation of church and state, then we cannot allow the government to dictate to a religious group which ceremony is "legal" and which is not.


BAC said...



Mary Ellen said...

This is the second time I've seen Dr. monkey make a snide remark and then say "Oops, was that sexist of me to ask? Ever so sorry.". Really, kiddo...get a new line, that one is old.

Sue j, you are exactly right. The Obama supporters can't defend him with policy, because Obama flip flops on his policies on a regular basis. Instead, the fear tactics come out..."If you vote for McCain, then (fill in the blank with a scary sounding threat). It seems the Obama camp has his supporters trained like little Dr. Monkey's (Oops, was that rude of me to say? Ever so sorry.)They keep using fear tactics when they can't defend their candidate. I saw the right wingers use this tactic regularly.

John J. said...

I think Dr. Monkey was right to point out that Obama's position is the exact same one Clinton has and was supported by you.

I also have to agree with people asking whose policy do you support more, one who has, since he came on the political stage, said that homosexual couples in civil unions deserve the same rights as a married heterosexual couple or someone who has, for as long as it has been an issue, been completely against homosexual relationships having any rights? It is a choice of the lesser of two evils on this topic, but that is all we have had this election cycle, and on this issue more than the LGBT community has had in my memory.

BAC, you have echoed my sentiments. I don't want a separation of "marriage" and religion; I want a separation of government and "marriage." Because marriage is a religious term, and is clearly a hot issue, government needs to ONLY be in the business of civil unions.

Mary Ellen, I'm sorry if you won't accept complex positions on complex topics, but this is how the world works. The free speech example I gave was a pretty clear comparison - "I may disagree with what you are doing, but I will defend your right to do it." This is, to my mind, one of the core tenets of Liberalism and the hardest thing for Conservatives to understand. It is a weakness, because it can bring confusion and dilution of the message, but I believe it is also a strength.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Your claim that Obama and I and anyone else would have supported the Emancipation Proclamtion plantation by plantation is absurd. I've been a supporter of gay marriage from day one but since I don't do every other post about it on my blog then obviously I am against it.

Mary Ellen, how very characteristic of you to attack someone you disagree with your mordant "wit." I see you no longer post on your own blog but you sure do comment on blogs that you find friendly to your twisted delusional world view. How very cowardly of you and I'm not being sexist when I point that out, I'm just being honest. If you have anything further you'd like to say to me how about you post it on your blog.

Hmm, I'm still waiting on you to enlighten me on what Hillary's position on gay marriage is. Oh wait, now I remember, she doesnt support it either.

Mary Ellen said...

Dr. Monkey- Oh dear, a monkey fit. Don't start throwing your shit through your cage bars at the spectators, please, that's not nice.

I closed down my blog a while back, and as far as I know, it was no secret to any of my regulars. I left a final post and thanked everyone for visiting. I didn't realize I had to check with you first before I did that. My bad. a

Since I've been coming to these blogs for many months, even when I had my own blog, I see nothing sinister or cowardly about my commenting here now. I guess I must have missed some kind of monkey rule that says that when you close down your blog, you must stop going to any other blogs.

Now, what I don't do is go to blogs that annoy yours, for instance. That isn't being "cowardly", I just prefer to visit blogs that I feel are intelligent and well-written, like this one. I see no reason to go trolling on other blogs who support Obama in order to make little quips to annoy the other bloggers, like "Oops, was that sexist of me to ask? Ever so sorry." Or, should I say, "Oops, was that racist of me to ask? Ever so sorry."...since that seemed to be the insult that was thrown at many of those who would not support Obama.

Now, regarding Hillary and why I feel she has a better handle on the gay issues. When Hillary was First Lady, she stood by the gay community and fought for them. This wasn't something that was always politically smart, but she believed in helping them when she was in the position to get the attention they needed. She marched in gay pride parades (also as Senator...many times), sat with gay activists and listened and talked to them. She never showed signs of wanting to distance herself from them. She's supported AIDS-care funding and an expansion of hate-crimes legislation.

Now, let's look at your guy...the one who refused to have his picture taken while standing next to Mayor Gavin Newsom, refusing an interview with a gay activist magazine (later, after a lot of negative press, he agreed to an interview). Once President, Obama will do all he can to avoid the gay community because it will not make him look good to his Evangelical followers. His flip-flopping on the issue and trying to skirt the issue is where I think he is making a big mistake...and a fool of himself. Can you tell me of any gay pride parades Obama marched in? Can you tell me what he has done for the gay community as Senator of Illinois or U.S. Senator?

So, since Obama is the supposed nominee here...instead of throwing the attention towards Hillary (who is not the nominee), why are you trying to deflect the issue? Hmmm?

Oh...and you might want to supply me with a list of blogs that I'm allowed to visit, since you seem to have taken on the role of "decider" here.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Mary Ellen-I could care less whose blogs you visit you coward.

And despite what you delusions you have, I am not trying to deflect anything away from Obama, I am merely pointing out Bac's hypocrisy in on this issue. Both Clinton and Obama have the same position on gay marriage. But since I have a penis and I have an opinion that differs from yours and her then that makes me the bad person for pointing that bit of hypocrisy out. And as far as my comments about being called a sexist, I'm just saving you and your ilk some time by going ahead and calling myself what you are going to call me anyway.

I'll be doing a post about Clinton supporters like you later tonight or tomorrow so please feel free to come by and leave a comment on it after you read it. If you fear I'll delete your comments then you need not, I let most anyone's comment stay unless you leave insulting comments about my other commenters. Honestly, I'd love to have you come by and read it and then comment. This will be the last time I respond to your intellectually bankrupt comments here, I will however respond to any comments left on my blog.

Mary Ellen said...

Dr. Monkeyshine- LOL! You are a card! First you come over here to call BAC a hypocrite, and then you call me a coward, and then you want us to come to your blog and comment on a post that you are writing in order to insult us further. Aren't you getting enough banana's in your diet, dear?

Oh...and I love how you put out some insults that you are sure we are "thinking" and you are saving us the trouble of saying it. That's funny...really, a bit loony, but funny nonetheless. Your monkey antics are amusing, so your avatar is fitting.

As much as you think that all women must have some sort of penis envy, I can assure you that you are mistaken.

I also noticed you were hanging out at Reverend Amy's blog and using the same weird comment about how she must think your comments against Hillary are sexist. Now let me go to multiple blogs that are written by gay women and say they are calling you a sexist when they aren't and then you start talking about your penis.

Get some help....quickly. And please...don't take it out of your pants, we get your drift.

Oh...and this is rich, "I let most anyone's comment stay unless you leave insulting comments about my other commenters."

By that standard, BAC should delete your comments since you have been calling me a coward and delusional on this thread, and calling her a hypocrite. Hmmmmm......

I won't be checking out your post...not because I'm a "coward", but because like I said before, I stick to the blogs that are written with intelligence, and that doesn't seem to be what you are doing over there if you are writing a whole post on our "ilk". Grow up, monkeyshine.

BAC said...

Dr. Monkey - you are the reason Obama might lose this election. He needs the support of women to win, and you are doing all you can to drive us away.

Let's try a little experiment here ... Why don't you tell the class who I'm going to vote for in November. Do you even know? No, but that hasn't stopped you from making an ass of yourself here.

So please, write your post so that you can drive EVEN MORE Clinton supporters away from Obama. I'm sure he's THRILLED to have your assistance this election season. ha


ps: I'm getting ready to post something new just for you!

Sue J said...

You know, they say you can put a monkey on front of a typewriter and eventually they will type something coherent.

Personally, I'm not seeing the evidence in this thread ...