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Friday Talking Points [210] -- Most Impressive, Mister President

[ Posted Friday, May 11th, 2012 – 15:03 PDT ]

We're throwing our usual format away today, because this was a momentous and historic week in American politics, and we thought it needed the entire column to address. Call it an extended rant, rather than talking points. There are two parts to this rant. The first is positive. The second is negative. Then, I (hopefully) change it all back to positive at the end.

 

Most Impressive

We've had to create a new award today, because our usual Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week doesn't even begin to cover it. Instead, we award President Barack Hussein Obama our first-ever Most Impressive Democrat (On This Issue) In My Lifetime award. We fully expect the MID(OTI)IML award to be a rare one indeed. If the column is still around to issue a second one, we'd actually be (pleasantly) surprised. You'll notice, however, that we did think ahead, as the careful wording means that Obama himself could win a second MID(OTI)IML, if he'd just pick another issue on which to be so downright impressive, in the future. In addition to the big award, we've got several Bravo! honorable mentions to individually hand out, as well.

Bravo! to Vice President Joseph Robinette Biden Junior for his part in this historic week. Biden either (depending on which you believe) "got out in front of his skis" on the gay marriage issue in an interview last Sunday, or was the advance man for the rollout of a new presidential policy. Whichever version you're a fan of, Biden did indeed play a crucial role in this drama, and deserves credit for doing so. Arne Duncan had a part to play as well, but Biden was the guy who got the ball rolling.

Joe Biden said one thing during his interview that I found fascinating, because it is something I've personally believed for years. Biden was making the broader point that America and American culture had changed, when it came to the subject of being gay. Biden said:

I take a look at when things really begin to change, is when the social culture changes. I think Will and Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody's ever done so far. And I think -- people fear that which is different. Now they're beginning to understand.

Biden's comment about Will and Grace is what resonated with me, because I've been saying similar things for years now. American culture -- television and movies in particular -- had a lot to do with the growing acceptance of being gay in America. Gays used to be a caricature in pop culture, when they were even acknowledged at all. Think Three's Company, for instance. But soon after, Hollywood and corporate broadcasting began to have their own very slow evolution. Billy Crystal was a gay character on Soap. Two decades later, gay characters began popping up on shows like Roseanne, Friends, Melrose Place and even All My Children. Then Ellen DeGeneres "came out" on Ellen. Soon after, Will and Grace opened the floodgates, which led to gay characters appearing even on hard-bitten cop shows like NYPD Blue. In the movie world, the turning point was likely the moving drama Philadelphia, with Tom Hanks playing the sympathetic lead role of a gay man with AIDS. All of these cultural references probably did more to "mainstream" acceptance of gay people into the American culture than anything else. Biden was right about Will and Grace, and he had the grace to say so, beautifully. Today, it's a rare sitcom or drama that doesn't have a gay character. That's a big change, and a big evolution, and it has changed the conversation in America -- especially with young people -- more than anything else. So Bravo, Joe!

Bravo! to Obama's re-election team. Politically, this week was handled perfectly. Last Friday, some rather weak economic numbers were released. Mitt Romney had planned to use this issue to bludgeon Obama all week long. Guess what? It didn't happen. Obama, instead, was in the spotlight this week, looking good. Romney was pushed off to the side, and pushed off message, and wound up the week trying to defend being a bully in high school. That is a good week for the Obama political camp. The more the subject of gay marriage is talked about, the more mean-spirited and intolerant the Republican position looks. Obama, in the political media parlance, "won the week" and he won it big time. That's a clear victory for the political wonks, and they deserve credit for how smooth this entire rollout truly was. Well done, Obama team!

And our final Bravo! goes to none other than Barack Obama himself. If you take the president at his word, he has struggled with this issue for a long time. Obama is no different than a lot of Americans in this respect. Gay rights have not just appeared on the American scene overnight -- millions and millions of minds had to be changed for their now-growing acceptance. People who either hated gays, feared gays, were disgusted with the whole gay concept, or largely indifferent and uncaring on the issue have all moved solidly into the pro-gay rights camp -- most of them, for the remainder of their lives. It is a major realignment of thought, but once it happens, almost nobody turns back to what they believed previously. Barack Obama has not been hostile to gay rights up until this point, but he personally believed that gay marriage was a step too far. There are millions of Americans who think exactly the same thing -- including millions of Democrats and others who voted for Obama last time around.

Obama, if you take his words at face value, completed this evolution this year in two ways: asking himself how he would have voted as a state senator if a gay marriage law was being passed in his state, and seeing the entire issue through the eyes of his daughters. He saw the arc of history, and he saw which was the side of right and equality and justice for all. He overcame his religious beliefs to see the issue differently, as one of civil rights. These are momentous changes in the way any human being sees his or her world. They are not to be belittled, because (as I said) millions of other Americans are traveling the same exact path, and not all of them are precisely where the gay rights people are, or even where the president now is.

In a word, President Obama is showing leadership on the issue. Now, there are those who disagree with that statement, which we'll get to in a moment. But the President of the United States of America just used his "bully pulpit" to speak out on an issue that no president has ever done before in such a fashion. This is history-making stuff, folks. This is what presidents like to refer to as "legacy" stuff. One hundred years from now, schoolchildren will read about this week in their schoolbooks. It is momentous.

For showing such leadership, for leading in the right direction, and for completing his evolution on the issue of gay marriage, President Obama not only deserves accolades and cheers, he also earns the first-ever Most Impressive Democrat (On This Issue) In My Lifetime award. Bravo, indeed, Mister President!

 

Most Disappointing

This section really should be labeled with a word that I can't remember where I heard first ("Dear Abby" springs to mind, but that just can't be right...). It is a one-word term for a sentiment which I simply must apply to many belittlers of Obama this past week: Qwitchyerbitchin'!

Seriously, it seemed like President Obama didn't get the worst criticism of his announcement from the far right this past week, but rather from his own base. This is exasperating in a number of ways, so we've got a number of Qwitchyerbitchin' awards to hand out. If you feel like this is going to be too annoying to read, then I wouldn't blame you if you just skipped the rest of this article. But you have been warned. Nobody's ox is going to be spared, in this gore-fest.

Qwitchyerbitchin' to everyone on the Democratic side who uses the gay marriage issue as a litmus test. Seriously, just stop, OK? The most ironic part of this week, to me, was the tut-tutting which happened after Senator Richard Lugar was "primaried" out of office by a Tea Party challenger. Tears were shed, handkerchiefs were clutched, woe-is-us choruses filled the airwaves over how the Republicans could possibly force out of their party an impressive politician because he simply wasn't pure enough. If you can't see where I'm going with this by now, you need to have your irony-meter adjusted down at the shop.

People who feel perfectly fine expressing dismay that the Republican Party has such fierce litmus tests for office then also feel perfectly fine turning around and flatly stating that anyone who doesn't fully believe in gay marriage equality is simply unfit for office, and will "never get my vote." Putting down Republicans for not having a "big tent" party is stupid if you are arguing for the same thing on your side of the aisle.

I welcome Democrats who are not fully behind gay marriage. My hopes for them are that they will evolve eventually. If a politician votes the way I would vote on every other issue, then this is simply not a disqualifier for me, personally. I realize others feel differently -- there are one-issue voters on all sorts of things. But choose one or the other. If you're for litmus tests and party purity and "small tent" politics, then please don't comment on the Republicans being more efficient in their own purity drive.

Qwitchyerbitchin' anyone who is a leader on gay rights who said anything slightly snarky about Obama's decision this week. You folks need a wake-up call, seriously. President Obama has done more for the gay rights activists than he has done for pretty much any other Democratic activist group you can name. You guys have been in the driver's seat for awhile, now. Here is a quick, and incomplete, list of the other Democratic core constituencies for whom Obama has done precious little or even moved backwards: Labor, African-Americans, Hispanics, the medical marijuana community, civil liberties activists, abortion rights activists, voting rights activists, the single-payer legions, the government-option horde, the anti-Wall Streeters, the end-the-Bush-tax-cuts majority, and a good argument could also be made for the anti-war crowd. There are a whole lot of Democrats -- many of whom feel just as strongly about their issue as you do -- who have gotten very little, nothing, or an outright slap in the face from President Obama in return for their support. They -- most of them -- are still going to turn out to vote for President Obama's second term. Most of them are hoping that Obama will "see the light" on their issue and have the same sort of epiphany we just witnessed this week on gay marriage -- especially in a second term where he won't face the pressures of re-election.

But the fact remains -- in terms of specific legislation, in terms of how he has used his Justice Department, in terms of actually overturning bigoted legislation from the past -- Barack Obama is going to go down in history as the man who did more for gay rights than any other president -- and I even include most future presidents in that estimation. If Bill Clinton was the first "black president" than Barack Obama is going to be the first "gay president."

Qwitchyerbitchin', on whether Obama "went far enough" or not. Obama is not King. He cannot change everything, overnight. He's going to disappoint you on some facet in some way. But ask yourselves -- everyone who is parsing his statement and belittling how timid his stance now is -- would you rather have a president to convince to move even further on your issue who does support the concept of gay marriage (in any fashion), or would you rather have a president who had never made the news Obama just made? Which do you think will be easier to advance your cause? You just won an enormous victory, and all the rest of your future victories are going to be a whale of a lot easier because of what just took place.

Now, this sort of feeling can easily deteriorate into rank jealousy, among the Democratic groups who have not seen Obama's strong support or dramatic movement for their various issues. But seriously, gay rights activists, almost all of the rest of the Democratic Party is right next to you, cheering whenever Barack Obama moves America closer to a place where being gay will be as little remarkable as having green eyes, or being left handed. But you'll have to excuse us, because sometimes the ones outside the debate are the ones cheering loudest. We look over at the gay rights activists next to us in the midst of our cheering, and we see you standing there with your arms crossed, grumbling. We've never gotten to cheer in such a fashion on our single issue (whatever it may be), and it is truly bizarre not to hear you cheering along with us. So qwitchyerbitchin' and join in the celebration. Give the man one week of cheering, and then you can return to pushing as hard as possible to advance your cause in whatever way you see fit. We'll be trying to convince Obama to move on our issues, too, but at least give the man some credit during his moment in the sunshine.

Qwitchyerbitchin' to all the people dissecting the politics of Obama's announcement. We must, in all honesty, include ourselves in this category, to show how eminently fair-handed these rants can be. Ahem.

Political wonks are fascinating creatures (once again, including myself), aren't they? The entire universe is seen through the glass of politics, darkly. Nothing happens -- no leaf falls -- without us putting a massive political spin on it (before it even hits the ground). We fall all over each other to parse how many black votes Obama will lose, versus how big the enthusiasm will be among the youth, to what it will mean for him in the swing states, to watching the polling with eagle's eyes to see if it quivers. The rest of America (quite rightly) gets pretty sick of this sort of thing, since it really is geared towards a very particular audience -- other wonks.

Is Obama's leadership on gay marriage "good politics" for him, or "bad politics" for him? Well, you know what, we'll have plenty of time to discuss that sort of thing in the weeks and months to come. We should all just sit back, take a deep breath, and (once again) allow Obama his moment in the sun. If it turns out to be bad for Obama politically, then it is even more important that we acknowledge his leadership now. Leaders lead, and sometimes not everyone follows. That is the price of leadership -- being willing to take that gamble, and accept that risk. If it turns out Obama does gain support for his move, then we've all got plenty of time later to sneer at the cynical politics that went into his decision. For now, just get off the political high horse and stand next to everyone else in the crowd who is loudly cheering what Obama just did. Sometimes it's more important to cheer than it is to offer our sage thoughts on why each person is (or is not) cheering. Again, speaking for and to myself: "Get over ourselves, eh?" Obama just did something historic. History will remember what he said this week, not what we say, which should introduce a little humility into our writings -- humility which is in very short supply, at times.

Qwitchyerbitchin', in a similar vein, to those who are riding the cynical horse. Did Obama "evolve" just for more campaign donations? Oh, please. Obama's not going to be short of money later this year. He really won't be. Sure, there are plenty of gay rights donors. But you know what? That should spur every other activist group to action. If you're cynical enough to believe that absolutely everything in politics boils down to the money, then go out and raise millions of dollars for your cause! If it's "pay to play" then get your own leverage with the president. You want Obama to pay more attention to you than to the gay activists? Well, since we're atop the cynical pony, then pony up or qwitchyerbitchin'!

Qwitchyerbitchin' to all the people who know -- really know -- exactly what went on inside Obama's brain. These people are ignoring what Obama is saying (again, to my embarrassment, this includes me, as well). Maybe Obama is a Machiavellian multidimensional chess player, and none of what was said in the past week was anything short of sheer calculated politics. Maybe -- to put it another way -- Obama is just flat-out lying about his own personal journey in this regard, and the whole thing has been politics from Day One.

Isn't it odd that those who are arguing this point of view are falling into the trap of arguing exactly what Obama's political enemies have argued from the beginning? Righties -- for approximately the past four years -- have told everyone who would listen to "ignore what Obama's actually saying, here's what he's really saying." This is the same logic that came up with the supposed "Obama apology tour" (in which he never actually apologized for anything), and even birtherism. Obama's just a big fat liar, and we have the omniscient viewpoint of what is really going on in Obama's head. It's interesting to note (irony alert!) that these same folks are the ones who are, this week, arguing that Obama should be taken at his word and that the whole thing was just Joe Biden and gay donors pushing the president into his position, instead of what Obama is actually saying.

Give the guy a break. Take him at his word. He has personally and religiously struggled with this issue. He did not come to his views overnight, and he is a human being. How can anyone get indignant over something that we are projecting on Obama, when we haven't the tiniest shred of evidence for such analysis? Respect the ability of all people to make up their own minds. Respect the fact that everyone who disagrees about gay marriage is not merely some caricature bigot. The entire American public is "evolving" on this issue, and such things don't happen overnight. Reach out to those struggling with the issue with love and help them to walk the path to where you are. Don't belittle them for being further behind than you, and don't call them names and scream at them. Barack Obama walks a path many are walking, and all on that path should be given the basic respect for their opinions, no matter where on that path they currently are. In other words, qwitchyerbitchin', folks.

 

Change we can believe in

Now that we've got all of that off our chest (pause for a cry of "Tell us how you really feel, Chris!" from the peanut gallery), let's get back on a little more positive note, to wrap things up.

It's rare when you see history being made. It's even rarer when you see history being made, and it is the good kind of history. And it's even rarer still to know when it happens just how historic it truly will become. That was the past week.

This is the "change you can believe in" that millions upon millions of Americans voted for when they voted for Barack Obama. This isn't the only change we voted for, and a lot of change that some of us voted for simply hasn't happened. But that's OK for now, because this was indeed the biggest change we've ever seen from Obama. This was a momentous week for Obama, and for America. This is the sort of inspirational thing a lot of Democrats have been looking for. Sure, Obama changing his own personal views doesn't change any laws overnight. Sure, it doesn't go far enough. Sure, politics was involved.

None of that should really matter, at this precise moment in time. None of it is going to matter in that long arc of history. President Obama just announced to the country that discrimination against gay marriage was, in his opinion, wrong. He took a stand for equality. He took political risks for doing so. He showed leadership. He showed strength that even people who disagree with him on gay marriage will respect, as a politician and as a human being. He showed his love for his daughters, and his hope that they grow up in a world where they can continue to treat their friends with two mommies or two daddies as no big deal at all.

And that, my friends, is change I can believe in.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
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Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

89 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [210] -- Most Impressive, Mister President”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    I hate to bring you down to earth.. No, really I do...

    But all Obama did was SAY something..

    As Obama is wont to do, he SAYS a lot..

    But his actions in support of what he says fall far far short..

    In that, he is like a recalcitrant teenager..

    He knows all the right things to say, all the right words and where to put them, all the right buttons to push..

    But, when the rubber meets the road, when it's time to translate word into deed..

    He falls far FAR short...

    Time will tell who is right and who is wrong on this issue..

    But, if recent history is any indication..

    I'll be a rich rich man, quatloo wise... :D

    Michale.....

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, for the record, that's all I am going to say on this issue..

    I'll give ya ya'all's moment in the sun without pissing on yer parade... :D

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    To be polite, that's horse puckey. You are being hypocritical on two fronts:

    (1) You are the one who keeps telling Obama to show a spine and some leadership. When he does so, you've got to at least give him points for that, even if you don't agree.

    (2) I seem to remember you howling when he actually DID act on this -- with DADT repeal. Do I really need to go back to all your dire predictions at the time, and show you how monstrously wrong you were on that? You howl when he acts, you howl when he speaks -- doesn't seem much of a difference, from where I sit.

    But, you're right, maybe I'm being too petty. I did have to take a giant whack at myself, earlier this week, so I should just shut up, as you suggest in your second comment. Let's see what others have to say about this rant.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I agree ... Obama SAYS a lot. He seems to publically apologize for his vice president and accept apologies from his vice president, a lot.

    Frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of it.

  5. [5] 
    Paula wrote:

    I'm with you on this one Chris. I think Obama deserves kudos, period. It doesn't matter "why" he acted as he did, or when, or whether political calculation informed his decision or timing. (How could it not, btw? He's a politician; he's campaigning; it's a thorny issue for a lot of people--not a "slam dunk" --he can't have NOT considered the politics involved.)

    Something very telling, to me, is the reaction by members of the gay community, which has been overwhelmingly positive. People are writing all over the web about how much this has meant to them. Even if it's a largely symbolic gesture (as opposed to the nitty gritties of overturning laws and all the rest) it is still very significant and meaningful.

    Separately, whether this past week was a shining example of brilliant political maneuvering or simply something that could have gone either way, but went well, I have to say "well played".

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    (1) You are the one who keeps telling Obama to show a spine and some leadership. When he does so, you've got to at least give him points for that, even if you don't agree.

    I did give him points..

    "He knows all the right things to say, all the right words and where to put them, all the right buttons to push.."
    -Michale, 1520hrs PDT 11 May 2012

    And, if he follows thru, I'll give him points then as well. For example, if he actually signs the Anti-Discrimination Executive Order that the gay community has been after him to sign..

    Until there is some actual action beyond lip service, it's nothing but shiny beads and shallow flattery... :D

    (2) I seem to remember you howling when he actually DID act on this -- with DADT repeal. Do I really need to go back to all your dire predictions at the time, and show you how monstrously wrong you were on that?

    Why even go back that far?? Just look back a few days ago to when I posted that Obama won't be pushed into doing the right thing and (I swear) not TEN FRAK'IN MINUTES later Obama up and did what I swore he couldn't do!! :D

    Major Egg N Face there, I tell ya! :D

    Have I been wrong? Sure have.. Will I be wrong again?? Probably..

    But it is undeniable that I am right more often than I am wrong. :D

    But, to be fair... When I *AM* wrong... It's a doozy!!! :D

    I did have to take a giant whack at myself, earlier this week,

    I musta missed that... :D Care to refresh my memory?? Ya know me. At my age, the memory is the second thing to go.. :D

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    See the two "Qwitchyerbitchin" sections above that have links. Both those links are, basically, taking a whack at my stated opinion of two days ago.

    Paula -

    I agree. Best commentary I've received yet pointed out that Lincoln freed the slaves for political reasons, and that he didn't do so on Day One. People remember the history, not the nitpicky details.

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    dsws wrote:

    there are one-issue voters on all sorts of things

    That's as it should be. It takes all kinds.

    But by the same token, it takes all kinds. Single-issue voters (and organizers, and organizations) on each issue should be part of one party's coalition or the other's. They shouldn't dominate the party.

    History will remember what he said this week, not what we say

    You switched the order of the clauses, and left out "little note, nor".

    help them to walk the path to where you are. Don't belittle them for being further behind than you

    It's not the same path for everyone. Age has a lot to do with it, as does which subculture you were born into. My path was pretty effortless, and if someone had barely moved a millimeter along it by now, there would be good reason to blame them. But if someone is still trapped in the attitude that history is abandoning, odds are that they didn't start anywhere near the same spot: their path was very different and much harder.

    That is, I agree with the quitchergriping conclusion (if not with the spelling of it), but disagree with the same-path metaphor you use to argue for it. This, btw, illustrates what a charade "reason" often is. Conclusions tend to be arrived at by a process that would feel more familiar to Burke than it would to Descartes if each could see the workings of the human mind in all its gory glory, and then the putative basis for each conclusion gets slid under it afterward.

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    I have to admit, I did it from memory, and I can't shake the thought that it was either Dear Abby or Ann Landers. Maybe she spelled it "qwitcherbeefin"? I dunno. Someone chime in here, to correct me, I'm begging y'all...

    But I did wing it on that spelling, you're right about that.

    I also left out "nor long remember"... heh.

    As for the rest of it, yes, I have close family members who have not trod that path to its fullest extent, and may never do so. I should probably have included "and that path may not lead everyone to the same place" somewhere in there, but I just couldn't do so in the spirit of letting Obama have one shining moment in the sun, so forgive me for the lapse, is all I have to say.

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    but I just couldn't do so in the spirit of letting Obama have one shining moment in the sun,

    Gods know, Obama could use all those moments he can get, eh? :D

    Michale....

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    But soon after, Hollywood and corporate broadcasting began to have their own very slow evolution. Billy Crystal was a gay character on Soap.

    Yea, but his character sunk down to all the negative stereotypes of gay people at the time...

    I would wager that the gay community cringed when they saw how they were represented by Crystal's character...

    Later in the shows run, his character was more of a guy who just happened to be gay, rather than a gay guy..

    If you get the distinction..

    Michale....

  12. [12] 
    dsws wrote:

    I don't actually think there is a right or wrong spelling for kwitcherwhining, although I would prefer to avoid the gender-rooted option for the second word (even when as here it's being used in a perfectly gender-neutral way).

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama's SecDef says that there is an Al Qaeda presence in Syria..

    Is anyone else getting a familiar case of deja vu'???

    Michale......

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hefty salaries, perks for union leaders raise eyebrows
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/05/13/148607/hefty-salaries-perks-for-union.html#storylink=cpy

    Your "99%" in action....

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    akadjian wrote:

    CW-

    I think what's interesting to me about President Obama is that like what he said or not, he's fighting and trying to drive issues from out in front.

    This is the Obama I voted for.

    Conservatives will howl, but maybe he's finally realized the lesson that holy shiite, they're going to howl no matter what he does!

    So why not fight!

    Go'bama!

    -David

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Conservatives will howl, but maybe he's finally realized the lesson that holy shiite, they're going to howl no matter what he doe

    It's not just the Conservatives who are howling, however..

    African-American Church Leaders Condemn Obama For Gay Marriage Support
    http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/05/13/same-sex-marriage-supporters-opponents-gear-up-for-november-ballot/

    *THE* Core group for Obama is also howling.

    While it's unlikely that they will vote for Romney, what IS likely is that the black community will stay home by the tens, if not hundreds of thousands...

    From THAT constituency, a NO Vote for Obama is a de-facto vote FOR Romney.

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    akadjian wrote:

    While it's unlikely that they will vote for Romney, what IS likely is that the black community will stay home by the tens, if not hundreds of thousands.

    When Obama leads, you say he should follow the polls and try to get re-elected.

    When Obama follows any polling advice, you accuse him of being political and not leading.

    Really ... you can't have it both ways, Michale :)

    -David

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    When Obama leads, you say he should follow the polls and try to get re-elected.

    When Obama follows any polling advice, you accuse him of being political and not leading.

    Really ... you can't have it both ways, Michale :)

    You misunderstand me..

    I am **ECSTATIC** that Obama has stepped on his wee-wee with his Core Constituency...

    And my thoughts on Obama's actions are clear.. At first I gave him marks for leadership. Then I discovered what really prompted this "evolution" and it was back to same ol same ol political animal.

    I wasn't trying to cast aspirations in #16... I was simply analyzing the possible fallout that will likely result from Obama's "evolution"...

    You have to admit, if you look at things completely objectively, Obama has a problem. A BIG problem that has absolutely NOTHING to do with Republicans and EVERYTHING to do with Obama trying to please everyone and ends up pleasing NO ONE..

    Obama tries to please the environmentalists and the labor unions get pissed. Obama tries to please the gay community and the black community gets pissed..

    Honestly and truly, if these weren't problems of his own making, I might actually feel a tad sorry for Obama...

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    I'm back! My browser is telling me there are 81 comments on 'Obama's Gay Marriage Rollout' but it refuses to show me more than 77! So I'll simply respond to what I CAN read.

    First, while I disagree with you (and the rest of the country!) I'm not saying you are wrong (since the rest of the country agrees with YOU its a little hard for me to say that.) What I am saying is that my copy of the Constitution says a two-thirds majority of the Congress and of the several States is required to amend the Constitution. Not a simple majority of the Supreme Court. I understand that the rest of the country, and particularly Republicans, don't care what the law really is.

    My copy of the Constitution also does not say the Supreme Court has the final word on all things constitutional. (See comment above about national indifference to the actual laws of the land.)

    My view is that since SCOTUS has already ruled that the States do not get to decide whom marries whom that the bevy of laws currently being rolled-out by Republicans are unconstitutional even if their pet SCOTUS tries to change the constitution for them, but they are certainly unconstitutional until and unless their pet SCOTUS changes the law. I do, however, recognize that no one else shares my view. (See again above comment re national indifference to the law.)

    While I personally would have thought that asserting all (Republican) laws are constitutional until SCOTUS rules otherwise on each and every one individually would be a bit much for Republicans, in their push to replace our democratic republic with a Republican oligarchy, to actually get away with. Clearly I would have been wrong. (Once more, see above comment about national indifference to the rule of law.)

    I must admit, however, that its probably a lot more efficient since SCOTUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican party.

    And I believe that I already mentioned that the church is a founding partner in this national Republican conspiracy? I think I did anyway!? There's an echo under this tin-hat and sometimes I can't hear myself talk.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay LD,

    I'm back! My browser is telling me there are 81 comments on 'Obama's Gay Marriage Rollout' but it refuses to show me more than 77! So I'll simply respond to what I CAN read.

    I think it has something to do with how CW's WordPress counts a comment. There is some kind of outside linking mechanism that when a commentary is linked, the system views it as a comment, even though no new comment has been actually posted.

    That's my understanding of it anyways.. I a hardware guru. Software is one step above magic to me..

    How many software programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
    None. It's a hardware problem.

    :D

    First, while I disagree with you (and the rest of the country!) I'm not saying you are wrong (since the rest of the country agrees with YOU its a little hard for me to say that.) What I am saying is that my copy of the Constitution says a two-thirds majority of the Congress and of the several States is required to amend the Constitution. Not a simple majority of the Supreme Court. I understand that the rest of the country, and particularly Republicans, don't care what the law really is.

    Allow ME to say that I have no doubt that you will, eventually be proven right on this issue. Once this does make it to the SCOTUS, I am convinced that the SCOTUS will rule as you have said.. If only for the fact that it IS the right thing to do.

    My only point has been that all laws passed by any government entity in this country are assumed to be constitutional until such time as they are ruled un-constitutional.

    A sticking point I was forced to concede during the CrapCare/SCOTUS discussions... For the record, I did not do so willingly.. :D

    And I believe that I already mentioned that the church is a founding partner in this national Republican conspiracy? I think I did anyway!? There's an echo under this tin-hat and sometimes I can't hear myself talk.

    You most likely did..

    But the nuance here is that the vast majority of the black community (Obama's core constituency) are "righteous church going people" and, as such, they are facing a crisis of faith...

    They are having to decide what it more important to them. A black POTUS.. Or their religious beliefs..

    I am not laying any bets on the outcome...

    I also have to wonder if Obama factored this in when he decided on his "evolution"... Or if he just assumed that the black vote was locked and he didn't have to worry about their concerns...

    Michale.....

  21. [21] 
    akadjian wrote:

    the vast majority of the black community (Obama's core constituency) are "righteous church going people" and, as such, they are facing a crisis of faith.

    Here here ... !!!

    I think it's a good bet and I'm glad Obama stood up for what everyone knew he believed in. I'll take the stand up Obama any day!

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW, because it made me laugh, a quick funny:

    http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/050912/butt-zits-and-religion.gif

  23. [23] 
    Buckeye54 wrote:

    I've long been familiar with the idea of President Obama playing 3-dimensional chess while everyone else is fooling with a checkerboard. It's an intriguing idea, and it certainly is possible, but I'm not totally convinced yet.

    As a gay man, I will certainly say this about President Obama's evolution: I evolved myself as a gay man, slowly and gradually reaching the place that I am. None of it was quick, some of it was painful, but it was an evolutionary process. So I have to give President Obama the same consideration—that we evolve at our own pace, and that the only heart one knows with certainty is your own.

    One aspect of this argument that is largely ignored: Both VP Biden and Arne Duncan made statements that were contrary to Administration policy. Unlike the Romney campaign, where just being gay is cause for your supporters to call for your ouster, nothing happened to Biden or Duncan.

    Democrats, it seems, are comfortable enough to allow for dissent in the ranks. Except, of course, I am sure Biden and Duncan both knew that change was in the wind. Whether or not they were testing the wind's direction or not, we may not know that until some of these people's political memoirs are written.

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think it's a good bet and I'm glad Obama stood up for what everyone knew he believed in. I'll take the stand up Obama any day!

    I would be more enthused if I actually thought Obama stood up for what he believed in..

    But, from all accounts, he wouldn't have done it at the time if Biden and his gay donors hadn't forced his hand..

    http://www.toothpastefordinner.com/050912/butt-zits-and-religion.gif

    EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    :D

    Michale.....

  25. [25] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    I still think you'll find that when the rubber hits the road in November Blacks won't really have a terribly difficult time in supporting President Obama's position over their local pastor's. The current framing from the right and the clergy on this issue won't sound nearly so reasonable, to Blacks in particular, once this moves from the "States rights" arena into the 'Constitutional issue" phase.

    There'll be more than "a crisis of faith" as this moves down the road and more Blacks figure out that supporting marriage as "one man, one woman" but LGBTs can have "civil unions" means reversing the SCOTUS decision that outlawed segregation and reaffirms the "separate but equal" position under which segregation was justified by the states in the first place.

    And that allowing the states to determine if gays can marry reverses the rational behind SCOTUS' rejecting state interracial-marriage bans as not the states' business!

    Blacks may be conservative and religious but, trust me, unlike the the white conservative religious-right that supports the Republican party, we've NO desire to roll back 60's era civil rights legislation!

    Don't be to impressed by the usual polls and positions. Self-interest reliably trumps religious beliefs. If the Obama team successfully gets the word out this could very well increase Black support, and turn-out, for him. It definitely is not a guaranteed negative. This is EXACTLY why 90% of Blacks vote Democratic and its not hardly gonna inspire us to jump ship now! Believe me!

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Blacks may be conservative and religious but, trust me, unlike the the white conservative religious-right that supports the Republican party, we've NO desire to roll back 60's era civil rights legislation!

    I've also found, LewDan, that most religions preach tolerance. And while I know many people personally don't agree with homosexuality, when it comes to forcing their own religious beliefs on others, there are many, many people who consider themselves conservatives who would side on this issue with Obama.

    Libertarians for example ...

    I'd be willing to take the side that government should stay out of people's bedrooms all day.

    -David

  27. [27] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Buckeye54 -

    First, welcome to the site. Your first post was held for moderation, but you should be able to post and see your comments instantly from now on. One caveat: if you post two or more links per comment, it will automatically be held for moderation, to cut down on comment spam. You can avoid this by only posting a single link per comment.

    I have to post today's column, and then I will return here and answer your (and everyone else's) comments, I promise!

    -CW

  28. [28] 
    LewDan wrote:

    David,

    You and me both.

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    i 1000% support the president's evolution on the gay marriage issue, and it's highly significant regardless of whether or not an executive policy evolves that fits his new point of view. honestly, who cares whether he meant it initially or was pushed into it, what matters is that it's happened.

    that said, with all respect, i will not quitmybitchin' because that's not the only thing the president did last week. by presidential proclamation, president obama declared last week to be national charter school week, when it was already supposed to be national teacher appreciation week. he took one kind of school organization (pseudo-privatized) and singled it out for special favor during the week that's supposed to be dedicated to all teachers. while it may not have any direct policy impact, many of my colleagues view this proclamation as a virtual slap to the face of public school teachers. it's right up there with his 2010 commentary praising central falls high school in rhode island for firing its entire staff. Race to the Top has been consistent with that view, and reading this week's proclamation opened up that old wound. seriously, after three and a half years of this policy he still hasn't learned that there's something wrong with it. i'm sorry if this rains on your parade, but i read about this six days ago and my stomach is still knotting up every time i think about it.

    ~joshua

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    I still think you'll find that when the rubber hits the road in November Blacks won't really have a terribly difficult time in supporting President Obama's position over their local pastor's. The current framing from the right and the clergy on this issue won't sound nearly so reasonable, to Blacks in particular, once this moves from the "States rights" arena into the 'Constitutional issue" phase.

    I dunno.. Religious upbringing is a pretty powerful precedent to shake... Black churches are famous (or "infamous" considering my own views of religion) for the sway that they hold over their community..

    While it may not have TOO much of a deleterious effect on Obama's chances, I also don't believe that Obama is going to emerge un-scathed...

    Plus, there is likely going to be many reminders of this in the lead up to the election. More on that below..

    Don't be to impressed by the usual polls and positions.

    Oh, you know me. I never am...

    Self-interest reliably trumps religious beliefs.

    And yet, comments on here abound about how perplexing it is that certain groups would vote Republican "against their own self-interests"

    :D

    This is EXACTLY why 90% of Blacks vote Democratic and its not hardly gonna inspire us to jump ship now! Believe me!

    Time will tell.. I believe that the same sex marriage issue will have more of an influence on the black community than you think...

    David,

    I've also found, LewDan, that most religions preach tolerance.

    Most religions *PREACH* tolerance just like Obama *PREACHED* Hope and Change...

    But when it comes to putting deed to words, they oft fall flat..

    I'd be willing to take the side that government should stay out of people's bedrooms all day.

    So, you are saying that more government is not the answer!!???

    Whooaaaaa!! Who woulda thunked it!! :D

    I think the biggest problem for Obama is that this is not going to be an issue that will be put back on the back burner, out of sight and out of mind..

    The gay community is not going to be mollified by shiny beads and shallow flattery for long..

    Obama has (usually) never had a problem with coming up with the right words to say..

    His problem has, 99% of the time, been one of follow-thru...

    The gay community is going to expect some concrete action from Obama to show them that he just wasn't spoutin' off..

    And concrete action on this issue is something that Obama is desperate to avoid..

    It's the classic Rock and Hard Place for Obama.

    If he signals that lip service is all the gay community is going to get, that will turn off that constituency in droves.

    If Obama starts putting deed to words and integrating same sex marriage into our society with real and concrete actions, it will unite the Right behind Romney and also cause hundreds of thousands from the black community to just stay home...

    It's going to be very interesting to see Obama juggle these two view points that are in direct contradiction amongst two vital interest groups..

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    If he signals that lip service is all the gay community is going to get, that will turn off that constituency in droves.

    A thought just occurred to me...

    I can picture many in the gay community saying, "We probably won't get any action before the election, but that's OK. We just have to get Obama elected again and THEN he can help us!!"

    Such a mindset is a double edged sword.

    After the gay community helps Obama get elected, he has no reason TO help them. As a matter of fact, Obama will have lots of reasons NOT to help the gay community. To throw them under the bus..

    It all comes down to one thing..

    Is Obama's "evolution" truthful?? Or is it borne of political expediency...

    Considering that Obama's stance on gay marriage has shifted back and forth a half dozen times in the past 16 years or so, I don't think that Obama has "evolved"...

    I think Obama simply stuck his finger up and gauged the political winds and decided it was time to mollify a core constituency with shiny beads and shallow flattery...

    So, if the gay community works their ass off to get Obama elected, they better prepare for a very painful trip to under the bus...

    Michale.....

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    So, you are saying that more government is not the answer!!? Whooaaaaa!! Who woulda thunked it!! :D

    Heheheh. It's a bit of a broad generalization, but liberals believe government should stay out of people's personal lives. The role of government should be to do things that no one individual can, like police, or fire departments, or sewers, or regulating the economy.

    Conservatives, again a broad generalization, tend to believe government should stay out of the economy. But they have no problem with government regulating people's individual lives. At least the religious conservatives. Libertarians tend to believe both.

    Contrary to the popular straw man argument that liberals want "big government," we believe there are things government does well and things the private sector does well. We think we should look at these things and try to make that determination.

    One thing the private banking sector doesn't do so well, for example, is regulate itself.

    -David

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Heheheh. It's a bit of a broad generalization, but liberals believe government should stay out of people's personal lives.

    Yea, I know.. It's the same contradiction that the Right does, except in reverse..

    The Right believes that MORE government in our bedrooms and LESS government in our business is a GOOD thing.

    The Left believes that MORE government in our business and LESS government in our bedrooms is a good thing..

    Go figger.. :D

    Conservatives, again a broad generalization, tend to believe government should stay out of the economy. But they have no problem with government regulating people's individual lives. At least the religious conservatives. Libertarians tend to believe both.

    I really need to start reading ALL of the comments BEFORE I respond. :D

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I really need to start reading ALL of the comments BEFORE I respond. :D

    LOL ... :)

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The Left believes that MORE government in our business and LESS government in our bedrooms is a good thing.

    What's interesting is that back in the day ... before regulations such as Glass-Steagull ... when the economy was pretty much unregulated ... think the later 1800s up through the Great Depression ... there was a market crash about every 5-6 years.

    The regulations of the Depression era stabilized this for over 50 years. And now we seem to be back to the cycle of market crashes.

    It was also a great age of prosperity for our country.

    I don't know about you, but I think the repeal efforts went too far.

    Does this mean I think everything should be regulated? Of course not. But where it makes sense - financial services, for example.

    This idea that government and regulation are always bad is nothing short of religion.

    -David

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Does this mean I think everything should be regulated? Of course not. But where it makes sense - financial services, for example.

    My biggest beef is that the people who are making the rules, doing the regulating are the ones most profiting from the DE-regulating..

    You have to admit.. Our current crop of leadership are up to their asses in responsibility for this mess.. They took a bad situation and made it much MUCH worse..

    What I just don't understand is how you can believe that the ones who CAUSED the problem are the best ones to FIX the problem..

    Michale.....

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama campaign: New York Times poll is 'biased'
    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/obama-campaign-new-york-times-poll-biased/543191

    The Obama campaign complaining about media "bias"..

    BBBWWWWWHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Now THAT'S funny....

    "We can't put the methodology of that poll aside, because the methodology was significantly biased." Cutter insisted on MSNBC this morning.

    When pressed by Todd, Cutter said that she didn't want to bore the viewers with talk of methodology, but repeated that she believed the poll was flawed.

    Oh by all means.. "Bore" us... I, for one, would LOVE to see the tap-dance the Obama can do to spin this obviously accurate poll... :D

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Obama campaign complaining about media bias is like the Palestinians complaining about terrorism..

    It's all fine and dandy until they perceive it's happening AGAINST them...

    Michale.....

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's all fine and dandy until they perceive it's happening AGAINST them...

    "It's all fun and games until someone gets shot in the leg!!!"
    -Ben Affleck, ARMAGEDDON

    :D

    Michale.....

  40. [40] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I keep hearing the Left saying that gay "marriage" has the support of the majority. It doesn't. I has just 38% support: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57433493-503544/poll-most-americans-support-same-sex-unions/?tag=pop;stories Just saying.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    I keep hearing the Left saying that gay "marriage" has the support of the majority. It doesn't. I has just 38% support: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57433493-503544/poll-most-americans-support-same-sex-unions/?tag=pop;stories Just saying.

    The Left likes to point to poll after poll after poll that says the majority of Americans are fine with gay marriage...

    But, as you point out, these polls only show this when A>the game the poll or B>they gin up the questions to achieve the right answers...

    However, it's the Voting Booth that is the ultimately accurate "poll"...

    And, in THAT poll, same sex marriage always loses...

    Each and every time....

    Michale.....

  42. [42] 
    akadjian wrote:

    My biggest beef is that the people who are making the rules, doing the regulating are the ones most profiting from the DE-regulating.

    I think that's a valid concern. Heck ... it's one of my beefs w/ the health care reform. Rather than going with what I thought was the best solution, much of it was written by industry lobbyists.

    Whether it's regulating or deregulating I believe it should be done for the good of our country, not because some special interest wants it.

    What I just don't understand is how you can believe that the ones who CAUSED the problem are the best ones to FIX the problem.

    Good question. And yes, I'd be happier if Obama had brought in a completely new financial team. A team who was completely unrelated to the deregulation of the past. Either by Clinton and Bush II or anyone who preceded them.

    For me, I guess, I'm judging the solution rather than the people involved. And the solution I want to see is something akin to the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. Basically, stronger financial regulations for banks which are federally insured so that they don't gamble with money knowing that the government will pick up the tab if they fail.

    So I'll support anyone who is for this or for moving farther in this direction. It's the direction the Obama team is moving in, though they haven't gone far enough for me.

    -David

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whether it's regulating or deregulating I believe it should be done for the good of our country, not because some special interest wants it.

    Couldn't have said it better myself..

    That should be the overriding concern for ANY leader..

    But too many of our leaders, both Dem and GOP put the needs of their Party before the needs of the Country...

    Michale.....

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting note..

    In a poll by CBS News, almost 70% of Americans polled said that they thought Obama "evolved" for political/campaign reasons, rather than a sincere evolution of his thinking...

    So, I guess I am in good company with my thoughts on Obama, eh? :D

    Michale.....

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, I guess I am in good company with my thoughts on Obama, eh? :D

    That is, if I actually had any faith in polls.. :D

    Michale.....

  46. [46] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [11] -

    Good point, but compare Billy Crystal to Three's Company (a character that wasn't even actually gay, just pretending to be).

    When researching this, I found out that the first portrayal of a gay couple was on "Hot L Baltimore" but it's a pretty obscure show, so I went with the Soap reference.

    dsws [12] -

    Yeah...but...but... it rhymes so nicely! qw-IT-cher-BIT-chin! I heard (over on Huffpost I think) that it was "quityerbellyachin'" from Ann or Abby, which sounds more like something they'd say.

    David [15] -

    I heartily agree with your entire comment!

    Also, nice zinger on Michale in [17]. Heh.

    LewDan [19] -

    Welcome back!

    I have this browser problem occasionally, too, and I have never figured out what causes it (other than lots and lots of comments), programmatically. I suggested paginating the comments here, but people didn't seem to like the idea.

    Good point about the 2/3 bit, but that is exactly why Republicans like Romney have started pushing for an actual Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage -- because then, SCOTUS couldn't touch it.

    Michale [20] -

    How many software programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
    None. It's a hardware problem.

    HAH! Now THAT was funny!

    Buckeye54 [23] -

    I've never been convinced at the multidimensional chess analogy, to tell you the truth.

    You make an excellent point RE: Biden and Duncan. But it wasn't that long ago a Democrat fired a Surgeon General for speaking her own mind -- neither party's pure on this issue.

    LewDan [25] -

    Good points, all. Also, the fact that DOMA is so blatantly wrong when you read the 14th Amendment, that's the only thing I would add. Where did the 14th Amendment come from, after all?

    joshua [29] -

    Wow, I hadn't even heard about this. Got a link?

    Chris1962 [40] -

    Without even looking, I bet this is the one poll which didn't ask the question as yes/no -- but instead threw "gay marriage" "civil unions" and "no unions at all" together. The polls which ask up-or-down on gay marriage are the ones which show majority support.

    Michale [45] -

    Fastest irony in the wild, wild west, there. Heh. Got to hand it to you for your followup comment.

    :-)

    -CW

  47. [47] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Chris: Without even looking, I bet this is the one poll which didn't ask the question as yes/no -- but instead threw "gay marriage" "civil unions" and "no unions at all" together.

    Yeah, because that's how you actually get to know what the reality is. Only 38% feel gays should be allowed to marry. Worse, only 24% feel they should be allowed civil unions. Does that sound like the majority of country supports gay marriage? Or even gay unions, for that matter?

    You can SPIN it by adding the two figures together and stating that "a solid majority of Americans support legal recognition for same-sex couples." But where does that get you on election day when, say, a gay-marriage, or gay union, initiative is on the ballot — or both? The majority is still voting against it, not for. And all the "spin" does is give a deliberate false impression to the public.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://navysealsagainstobama.com/

    It was only a matter of time..

    Obama's about to get SEAL-boated

    Michale.....

  49. [49] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Obama's about to get SEAL-boated

    ROFL! OMG, I'm totally stealing that and using it at the HuffPo, Michale.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    hehehehehe Be my guest...

    They'll LOVE it over at HuffPo... If ya throw a CW link in your post, we all might be able to partake in the festivities.. :D

    Michale.....

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    CB,

    In the totality of the universe, the LAST people you want to piss off would be Navy SEALS...

    Michale....

  52. [52] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Chris1962 -

    Oh, but I can spin that one, quite easily. As you point out, when it's on a ballot, it becomes binary: either/or. The poll was not. And only 38% were against both.

    Now, you can probably argue (to be fair) that the civil union people would get added to the "no" people if gay marriage were on the ballot. But you cannot argue that the same would be true if civil unions were on the ballot, as logically all the pro-marriage folks would assumably vote pro-union as well.

    Spin aside, though, Obama's numbers have quavered a bit since his announcement, but within the margin of error (on both Gallup and Rasumssen daily polling). As you stated a while back, Obama's numbers simply don't seem to be affected much by ANYthing....

    So far, at least, seems to be a wash for Obama, poll-wise.

    -CW

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Now, you can probably argue (to be fair) that the civil union people would get added to the "no" people if gay marriage were on the ballot.

    And I think that's the important part..

    Very few Americans, even religious ones, have a problem with "civil unions"...

    Where the problem develops is when the gay community wants to redefine something that has been religion's bailiwick for thousands of years..

    As I said before, it's like some dictator coming to power here in the US and wants to re-define "democracy" to mean one ruler uber alles..

    Our response to that would be, "We like OUR definition, the one we have followed for hundreds of years, just fine, thank you very much." and we would defend OUR definition most vigorously, would we not??

    It's the same thing with the religious community. They see this as an immoral minority imposing THEIR will on the moral majority..

    Now, even though I don't really AGREE with their stance, I *DO* understand it. And, given the circumstances, the religious groups DO have a point..

    Again, as I said earlier, if BOTH sides would cool the rhetoric and actually talk TO each other, instead of talking AT each over and OVER each other, a LOT more would get accomplish..

    But the religious Right is damn well making it an US VS THEM war and the Gay Community is going right along with that....

    BOTH sides need to be slapped upside the heads like recalcitrant children and told, in no uncertain terms, to knock the shit off and work it out...

    Michale.....

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay CW,

    We were talking a bit ago about Obama's narcissism...

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/16/white-house-under-fire-for-adding-obama-policy-plugs-to-past-presidents-bios/

    Your thoughts??

    Is it common for sitting Presidents to alter past President's bios to include themselves in them??

    Michale.....

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://obamainhistory.tumblr.com/

    Now, I don't care WHO you are, that ^^^ right there is funny as hell!!! :D

    Michale.....

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW [46]

    sure, that was actually the link that went directly to your spam folder on the previous post. here's a news article about it:

    http://www.mlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/05/president_obama_calls_charter.html

  57. [57] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  58. [58] 
    dsws wrote:

    I'm glad I live in MA. My 5yo son asked this evening "Can boys marry boys", and I was able to say yes (after a digression into "no, only grown-ups can get married" and before a digression into "but the federal government doesn't recognize it"). We had seen a pair of teenage girls being a cute couple at the park on the way home.

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    In one of these past threads, we touched on the birther controversy....

    Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.

    This is taken from Obama's first book...

    I make no claims. I just present this to ya'all for your edification and enlightenment.. :D

    Michale.....

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is taken from Obama's first book...

    Correction: That was taken from Obama's literary agent synopsis in anticipation of Obama's first book..

    Michale.....

  61. [61] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."

    assuming that this is a true document and not a fabrication, there are a few possibilities. one, perhaps the literary agent accidentally conflated O's own birth with his father's. two, perhaps the literary agent thought an author born in kenya would sell better, and didn't see any major harm in purposely switching the facts around to sell the book. three, Obama misspoke to the agent, a misplaced pronoun or two creating the conflation of his father's birth and his own. four, perhaps Obama himself thought the kenyan birth story would sell better, and intentionally misled the agent, not anticipating that it would create a controversy when running for president of the united states sixteen years later.

    there are other, more obscure possibilities as well. judge the likelihood of each on its own merits. what is absolutely not even a remote possibility is that obama was actually born anywhere other than hawaii. yet, that's the one that every piece of ambiguous evidence seems to confirm for those who are already so inclined.

    however, none of that much relates to the topic of the column, the president's new and (at least to my sensibilities) improved stance on gay marriage. if we're going to criticize him, i'd like to get back to the topic of how he decided to yet again add insult to injury vis-a-vis the nation's teachers.

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I said, I make no statements regarding what it means.. You can read the whole article here:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/17/The-Vetting-Barack-Obama-Literary-Agent-1991-Born-in-Kenya-Raised-Indonesia-Hawaii

    It seems that it's well backed up...

    Personally, I think it's indicative of how Obama reinvents himself, due to the needs of the moment.

    If it's to Obama's advantage to be born in Kenya, then viola'... Obama is born in Kenya.. If it's to his advantage to be born in Hawaii, then Poof.. He is born in Hawaii.. If it's to his advantage to applaud teachers, then Obama applauds teachers. If it's to his advantage to throw teachers under the bus and applaud charter schools then Ziiinnnngggg Under the bus they go.. If it's to Obama's advantage to be against gay marriage, then Taaa Daaa... Obama is against gay marriage. If it's to Obama's advantage to "evolve" and be for gay marriage, then guess what?? Obama evolves...

    Michale....

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh and, just for the record...

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2012/05/08/romneys-secret-weapon/#comment-21600

    "Whose house?? ROOONNN'S House... I said WHOSE HOUSE??? RONNNNSSSS' HOUSE.. say what?? Whose house!? RONs House..."
    -Matt Damon, DOGMA

    :D Sorry.. When I call something so dead on balls accurate, gloating is just a knee-jerk reaction... :D

    Michale.....

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    But back to Obama...

    Seems like Obama's literary agent was using the Obama-Born-In-Kenya bio til early 2007...

    Interestingly enough, Obama launched his presidential campaign in Feb of 2007..

    Archive.org shows that the Dystel website used the following biography for Obama as of April 3, 2007:

    BARACK OBAMA is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long time New York Times bestseller.

    By April 21, 2007, the Obama bio had been changed to state that Obama was born in Hawaii:

    BARACK OBAMA is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Hawaii to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long time New York Times bestseller.

    Things that make you go 'hmmmmmmmmm'....

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm

    Michale.....

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    if we're going to criticize him, i'd like to get back to the topic of how he decided to yet again add insult to injury vis-a-vis the nation's teachers.

    By all means...

    It's simply a pattern that has developed with Obama that none of his admirers want to concede..

    Obama is the consummate political animal. He is the center of the universe and everything revolves around him..

    If it's to his advantage to smooze with the teachers, they are the most important thing to him.. If the needs Charter Schools, then teachers become second class citizens..

    I do understand and feel your pain.. But it's simply another step in a long pattern that is becoming obvious, even to those who were Obama fans.

    If you can help Obama politically, you are his best friend and the most important person in his life.

    If you can't... You don't exist..

    Michale.....

  66. [66] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Michale,

    THC in treyvon's blood is not exactly a revelation, nor even remotely relevant. and it's RUN's house, not RON's house. matt damon was singing along with RUN DMC.

    "Well my name is DMC,
    The all-time great
    I bust the most rhymes in New York State
    Reporters Claw, Producers die
    They want to be down with the king!
    The wanted man from the wanted clan
    Wanted by every fan from across the land
    Not a G.A.N.G from off the street
    R. and U.N. D.M.C complete!"

    http://youtu.be/xEkcmbuy0Os

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But back to Obama...

    Seems like Obama's literary agent was using the Obama-Born-In-Kenya bio til early 2007...

    Interestingly enough, Obama launched his presidential campaign in Feb of 2007..

    probably because up until then it was such a triviality that nobody thought it was worth bothering with. don't get me wrong, to a large extent i agree with your above assessment of the president's character as a political animal (i.e. just like every other career politician). i just don't think the birther issue is particularly useful in demonstrating that.

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    i just don't think the birther issue is particularly useful in demonstrating that.

    I dunno.. I mean, yea, there is a logical explanation for one, two three... Maybe they ALL have a "logical" possibility...

    One must keep in mind Occam's Razor.. The explanation that utilizes the LEAST assumptions is most likely the right one...

    It's been my experience that, where there's smoke, there is usually fire...

    But it's not as if it really matters anymore.. It's not as if Obama is going to be removed from office a few months early...

    I think the more value in this latest release is that, like Elizabeth Warren, Obama has played fast and loose with the truth in a manner that they thought would NEVER come back to bite them on the arse..

    Yet.... It has...

    Michale.....

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    THC in treyvon's blood is not exactly a revelation, nor even remotely relevant.

    Not relevant??

    Zimmerman reported to the police Operator that Martin appeared to be "on drugs'..

    The fact that Zimmerman called it is certainly relevant as it gives credence to Zimmerman's other observations.. That Martin appeared to be casing the houses...

    But, regardless of all that, I was simply tooting my OWN horn when I called it, several months ago, that Martin's autopsy will show he had drugs in his system... :D

    and it's RUN's house, not RON's house.

    I DID not know that. I have always wondered what the significance of "Ron's House" was...

    Thanx for that.. It has been knawing at me all these years.. :D

    How do you rate Dogma as a funny movie?? I put it up around an 8...

    Michale.....

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    How do you rate Dogma as a funny movie?? I put it up around an 8...

    But everyone knows that I am easily amused.. :D

    Michale....

  71. [71] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Zimmerman reported to the police Operator that Martin appeared to be "on drugs'..

    tests for marijuana don't necessarily demonstrate intoxication or impairment. note that i'm not saying you're necessarily wrong, but it also doesn't necessarily mean you're right, nor that zimmerman was correct in any of his assumptions, nor that he was correct in ignoring the police dispatcher and following on foot.

    nor am i saying that there is any possibility of conviction; there's definitely reasonable doubt, to which the THC finding contributes. nonetheless, it's far from conclusive about anything.

    and speaking of inconclusive....

    why should anyone care what elizabeth warren's heritage is? she must really be squeaky clean if this is the best dirt they can dig up on her.

  72. [72] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    How do you rate Dogma as a funny movie?? I put it up around an 8....

    i don't really think dogma is particularly funny. don't get me wrong, i love kevin smith's jay and silent bob series, and dogma is a very cool movie. i would agree with your 8 rating overall, but in my view it's only a 4 or 5 on the funny scale; what makes it a great film is that it's also quirky and thought-provoking.

    ~joshua

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    why should anyone care what elizabeth warren's heritage is? she must really be squeaky clean if this is the best dirt they can dig up on her.

    She lied to further her own personal ambition..

    Voters don't like that very much...

    but it also doesn't necessarily mean you're right,

    I predicted that the autopsy would show that drugs would be found in Martin's system..

    The autopsy showed that drugs were found in Martin's system...

    Now, in my neck of the woods, that makes me right.. :D

    nor that he was correct in ignoring the police dispatcher and following on foot.

    The.... oh never mind.. :D

    It's all here: http://sjfm.us/temp/zimmerman1.rtf

    i don't really think dogma is particularly funny. don't get me wrong, i love kevin smith's jay and silent bob series, and dogma is a very cool movie. i would agree with your 8 rating overall, but in my view it's only a 4 or 5 on the funny scale; what makes it a great film is that it's also quirky and thought-provoking.

    Yea, as I said. I am easily amused.. I thought it was hilarious..

    But, then again I thought Demolition Man was hilarious too, so.... :D

    Michale.....

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    I will say that Angela Cory is going to go down as the next Mike Nifong...

    It sure would be nice if those racist scumbags Crump, Sharpton and Jackson would get the come-uppance they deserve...

    Michale......

  75. [75] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i know, i know. chain of evidence, outliers, etc. -- but the THC doesn't mean TM was impaired. you may have been right that it was in his system, but it wasn't in quantities that would cause impairment. read the latest from yahoo news and you tell me how the details of the article are addressed.

    http://news.yahoo.com/documents-shed-light-trayvon-martin-killing-235341368.html

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    but the THC doesn't mean TM was impaired.

    According to the autopsy report, Martin had THC in his urine AND his blood.

    THC in the urine indicates marijuana usage within the last 30 days or so. THC in the blood indicates marijuana usage within the last 12 hours or so.

    While TM might not have been impaired, it clearly shows that he was a druggie... And it gives credence to GZ's observations.

    Put another way.. If there weren't any drugs in TM's system, it would call GZ's observations into question, would it not? So the converse would also be true.

    read the latest from yahoo news and you tell me how the details of the article are addressed.

    http://news.yahoo.com/documents-shed-light-trayvon-martin-killing-235341368.html

    OooooooooOOOOoooooo A homework assignment!! :D Goodie!!

    Michale.....

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    It always cracks me up to read media reports that say "everything is unclear" or "there aren't many facts" or "we'll likely never know what happened"..

    What a crock.

    There are TONS of facts.. Anyone who looks at these facts objectively can create a scenario of what occurred and be fairly accurate...

    There are many glaring inaccuracies in that YAHOO report.

    First off, there is absolutely NOTHING about this incident that indicates race was a factor. NOTHING... The audio recording of "fucking coons" (which supported the fiction of racism, along with NBC's blatant lies) has been discarded. The FBI's best can't figure out what GZ said. And, since there is absolutely NO evidence of racism on the part of GZ and TONS of evidence that GZ and his wife helped black people and children, the question of racism being a factor has been settled. With the exception of one outlier report, no racism has been attributed to GZ.

    Another false lead in that Yahoo report was that the lead investigator (Chris Serino) wanted to charge GZ with manslaughter. This is simply not true. CS put "manslaughter" on the top of the police report because he had to put SOMETHING in that box. CS is quoted in several reports (that Sanford PD had posted online, but then pulled them) that he could find no evidence that contradicted GZ's version of events..

    Don't even get me started on Crump

    "If George Zimmerman hadn't gotten out of his car, they say it was completely avoidable. That is the headline."
    -Crump

    Look at him.. He thinks of media strategies and headlines. He's not interested in justice for Travon. He's interested in dollar signs, profiting from Trayvons death. What a douche..

    Regardless, the idea that, if GZ had stayed in his truck, it wouldn't have happened is ludicrous. If Martin hadn't gone to the 7-11, it wouldn't have happened. If Martin hadn't gotten expelled from school for drugs, it wouldn't have happened.

    IF IF IF.. While that makes good for sound bites and blog fodder, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the legal issues of the case.

    Was GZ breaking the law when he called the police from his truck and then got out to give the PD an address??? NO, he was not.

    GZ getting out of his truck to ascertain TM's bona fides is no more relevant as a causation of the incident than TM going to 7-11..

    It's simply desperation on the part of Team Skittles...

    You should read some of the earlier statements by TM's father and the father's girlfriend.

    The Father's GF initially said that TM was just sitting on her porch and was shot by Zimmerman. A total lie that is not supported by ANY evidence...

    The father said that TM went to the 7-11 to get skittles and tea for his GF's son, Chad, during half time of an NBA game that was playing that night. Funny thing is, the incident kicked off at around 1900hrs and the NBA game in question didn't even START til 1930. Further, the GF's son Chad wasn't even HOME at the time..

    You should read some of the early statements of Crump's crew.. They were all over the map..

    I have no doubt in my mind that O'Mara will tear up Team Skittles in court.. But, it won't even get that far.

    Barring any new evidence that GZ is secretly a KKK Grand Wizzard, he will walk at the immunity hearing. There is no doubt of that..

    The down side of that is it won't happen til the first part of August.. Which means there will be race riots right before the presidential election..

    Oh.... Joy....

    Michale.....

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's one for you... :D

    Cops, Witnesses Back Up George Zimmerman's Version of Trayvon Martin Shooting
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/cops-witnesses-back-george-zimmermans-version/story?id=16371852

    All the evidence that has been released since discovery was served on Monday indicate that things happened just as GZ said they had.

    Cory is going to be Nifong'ed and it couldn't happen to a more deserving individual...

    Michale.....

    Michale.....

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, I don't know what's more exciting..

    The fact that GZ is going to walk...

    Or the fact that, late as April 2007, Obama's literary agent listed Obama as "Kenyan Born"...

    WOW, what a heady time, eh?? :D

    Michale....

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    why should anyone care what elizabeth warren's heritage is? she must really be squeaky clean if this is the best dirt they can dig up on her.

    Didn't Dems go hysterical over some Republicans who plagiarized stuff??

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/18/did-elizabeth-warren-plagiarize-pow-wow-chow-recipes

    So, now we find out that not only did Warren lie about being Native American to further her career, she also plagiarized recipes in a "Pow Wow Chow" (I dunno, but I think that would be considered racist) cook book...

    Oh yes... Warren is the epitome of integrity, eh?? :D

    Michale.....

  81. [81] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So, now we find out that not only did Warren lie about being Native American to further her career, she also plagiarized recipes in a "Pow Wow Chow" (I dunno, but I think that would be considered racist) cook book...

    so, what you're saying is that thirty years ago, not only did elizabeth warren claim to be a nationality for which her blood wasn't pure enough to pass muster, but she cooked a dish that was also cooked by someone else, using a similar recipe. oh, the horror! was she also a commie? i repeat, if this is the best dirt breitbart can come up with, warren will win in a landslide.

    ~joshua

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    as for obama's kenya bio, maybe he left it there on purpose as bait, knowing that republicans would make horse's arses of themselves trying to claim he wasn't a real american. i'm not saying that's definitely the case, but the issue has been a huge distraction from the more substantive campaign issues, and has generally played out in his favor.

    ~joshua

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    Awww, come on Joshua...

    The Left goes apeshit when someone on the Right plagarizes anything..

    I seem to remember in the Scott Brown campaign, the Left went apoplectic when he was caught plagarizing..

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=Plagiarism+%22Scott+Brown%22&oq=Plagiarism+%22Scott+Brown%22&aq=f&aqi=g-K1g-bK2&aql=&gs_l=hp.3..0i30j0i8i30l2.49774.53510.1.53773.15.14.1.0.0.2.1436.5230.0j6j1j1j1j3j0j1.13.0...0.0.W1gOYwh1LuM&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=ee39e6d564b1abcb&biw=1920&bih=930

    So, I guess it's perfectly OK for LEFTie candidates to plagiarize, but not the right.

    And, for the record, it wasn't that Warren cooked a dish that was someone else's..

    It was that Warren claimed someone ELSE's work and sweat and ingenuity as her own...

    That's piss poor, no matter HOW you slice it..

    Wouldn't you agree??

    Further, as far as claiming minority status... She did so to further her own agenda...

    It's like Danny Partridge claiming he was jewish to get close to the hottie chick in his class...

    But a thousand times worse...

    It all comes back to integrity....

    Apparently, Warren doesn't have any.. Brown is going to wipe the floor with her... :D

    Michale.....

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I seem to remember in the Scott Brown campaign, the Left went apoplectic when he was caught plagarizing..

    agreed, that is equally silly as criticism of a candidate. brown even admitted that the passage had been plagiarized, and it's still meaningless. now that we've established they're both politicians, maybe we can move on to something that matters.

    ~joshua

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    now that we've established they're both politicians, maybe we can move on to something that matters.

    yes, NOW we can.. :D

    My point in bringing this up is that Elizabeth Warren has been the "cat's meow" around here. Like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz..

    My only point in bringing it up is that they are politicians..

    No better than any other lying, scheming and hypocritical politician..

    As long as we are agreed on that, no further comment is necessary... :D

    Michale.....

  86. [86] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    My point in bringing this up is that Elizabeth Warren has been the "cat's meow" around here. Like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz...

    don't get me started on DSW...

  87. [87] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    make that DWS. yeesh.

  88. [88] 
    dsws wrote:

    Hey, watch where you're putting my initials.

    I wonder whether the other D. W.-S. has a middle name separate from the 'W.'.

  89. [89] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    dan,

    probably. i wonder if it starts with an S :)

    ~joshua

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