Alex Blaze

Man does not live by doughnuts alone

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 19, 2008 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, chosen family, Christian beliefs, DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, inauguration invocation, optimism, prayer, rick warren

365Gay is reporting that Geoff Kors, who led the No on Prop 8 campaign, has decided to boycott the inauguration because of Rick Warren's invocation. I suspect he won't be the last.

What's getting me about this is the straight people who are coming forth in opposition to Warren. It's refreshing and I enjoy reading what straight people think about LGBT politics (sincerely). Here's Marc Ambinder:

One reason the Rick Warren thing is a big deal to gay rights activists is because, after their experience with President Bill Clinton, the gay community is unusually sensitive to getting the shorter angle of presidential triangulation.

More after.

It is hard to overstate the optimism and excitement that gays and lesbians felt in 1992. But the optimism deflated spectacularly after "Don't Ask, Don't tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act, not to mention Clinton's sneaky 1996 ad boasting about DOMA, which aired only on Christian radio.

Clinton was willing to say the word "gay" in public and appear in black tie at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, but, in the eyes of the gay political community, his commitment to gay rights vanished both times it counted most.

Ambinder's right - this didn't occur in a vacuum, and that's the problem. But it's not just Clinton, although it's definitely Clinton. It's the entire Democratic Party, which hasn't been able to pass jack taco for us, even get a bill worth signing to Bush's desk.

And it's not just Warren, although it's definitely about Warren. It's also about Sally Kern. It's about Firpo Carr. It's about James Dobson, who's been having his name dropped throughout this mishap even though he hasn't played a part in it at all. It's about Fred Phelps and Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul and Dr. Laura and Michael Savage. It's about all those people who bullied us in school and continue to bully us about our sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. And it's about how those teachers in school or the cops on the street or the Democrats in Congress and all the other authority figures ignore what's happening and tell us to be a sport and just get along.

Or be happy that we're given a doughnut and told to shut up.

All for nothing, since Clinton triangulated similarly - prayed with Billy Graham and gave in to the Religious Right on DADT and DOMA and got the warnings on violent video games and advertised on Christian radio. But what did it get him? A Religious Right that was emboldened to oppose him on everything he tried to do, a Republican Party that chased faux-scandals for 8 years, and the second impeachment in US history.

Glenn Greenwald:

Did any of that dilute the Right's anger and resentments towards Democrats? Democrats spent 2002 giving George Bush everything he wanted -- including authorization to attack Iraq -- and the Right then promptly attacked them as Saddam-allied, Osama-loving subversives. In 2004, Democrats got frightened away from nominating an actual combative liberal, because they feared he'd be too divisive and culturally alienating, and replaced him with a mild-mannered, inoffensive war hero, who then had derisive purple band-aids waved at him by the GOP convention throngs, who spent months mocking him as a weak, effete, elitist loser. In 2007, Congressional Democrats even voted overwhelmingly to formally condemn their own largest grass-roots political group, MoveOn, to placate the Right's anger over a newspaper ad the group had placed.

When have Democrats not been eager to accommodate the Right, to sacrifice their ideological beliefs and partisan goals in pursuit of post-partisan harmony, to jettison the "Left" in order to attract the Mythical, Glorious Center? When haven't they done exactly that? Isn't that everything they've been doing for two decades now, what has defined the Party at its core? In what conceivable way is this new, and why does anyone expect that it will generate different results now?

I have no idea why Obama thinks he can bring Warren to the table. The man has already said that he considers his opposition to many of the fundamental principles of the Democratic Party to be "non-negotiable." Add to that the fact that he's going to have to act immediately in favor of women's reproductive freedom, and there's no way that a coalition with hardcore, extreme-right white evangelicals is going to work.

It's never worked, and neither Warren nor Obama is special enough to make the people who think that he's a Marxist, Muslim, sleeper-terrorist suddenly love the president-elect.

So what it comes down to is something Mattilda wrote here on TBP two months ago right after the election. A lot of people gave her a "Give the man a chance!" in the comments, but....

I'm pretty sure that I've never watched a Presidential candidate's concession speech, and definitely not from Canada where I deliberately scheduled my book tour to wander during this election time. Here I am sobbing while listening to John McCain, who knew?

I'm sobbing because so many people have such high hopes for an Obama presidency and I can see him shredding those hopes one by one until we're left with nothing but the shredder. It's tempting to say that an Obama presidency has to be dramatically better than a McCain presidency, but then I remember the last Democrat to replace a Bush, the charming saxophone player who succeeded in Reaganite dreams of dismantling welfare, expanding the security state, and grandiose "free trade" agreements like NAFTA that further trashed environmental standards, job security and standards of living.

We don't have to look far to see the ways in which Obama will betray us.

Two months.

The only way for him to solve this, supposing he wants to, is with legislation, and that'll take a few more months before it's even on the table. I suppose we'll see what happens then, since there's nothing else to do, really.

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Unless Obama was going to end US military and corporate occupation of the Middle East and the Global South, demilitarize the US/Mexico border, release all detained immigrants, abolish the prison industrial complex, de-fund the war on terror and drugs, reverse the privatization of institutions providing our basic needs, and sever the hand of corporate interests reaching into US government – unless Obama was going to do all of those things – then he was never going to be a President friendly to queers.

So yea, fuck that slimy homophobe Rick Warren and the anti-queer, anti-woman violence he perpetuates in order to secure wealth and power. But without acknowledging all the other violence that Obama will be overseeing and committing as president, what kind of tacit approval does Geoff Kors offer by saying he’s boycotting the inauguration only because of Rick Warren?

I don't know why Kors was going in the first place, frankly....but good for him for boycotting.

If he really wants to make an impact - or at least build a bridge within his own community following the Prop 8 debacle - he ought to throw an inauguration rally of his own right here in SF.

We should show the first African American man elected in America what real inclusion is and perhaps remind him of what bigotry is too.

Our indignation is loooooong overdue, folks. We are not over reacting here. We are arriving extremely late to this ball.

Step the hell up.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 19, 2008 5:43 PM

"Our indignation is loooooong overdue, folks. We are not over reacting here. We are arriving extremely late to this ball.

Step the hell up."

Words, words, words, Patrick.

Details, please....or is it easier to just rant?

Hmmm....wasn't it Saint Obama himself that was praised for his words words words for 18 months...with very little plans to back them up??

Betcha voted for him, didn't ya?

What's your plan, Don? Gonna keep doing the same old thing and then looking the other way as you keep getting pelted with crap like we have been for the past 16 years?

Sure sounds like you are willing to take the lead in that respect. Unless someone commenting at a blog presents you with a plan, you are gonna sit in your easy chair and let the erosion continue.


Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2008 8:43 PM

Whoa, there, boyz...I know Don doesn't sit idly by and suspect that neither does Patrick/Bill/whoever. It's a matter of tactics and I believe that inside and outside games are not mutually exclusive and can even be mutually supportive in their own ways even when it looks exactly opposite to that.

That said, I wish that Kors had the balls to go and protest instead of merely boycotting. If Obama were coming anywhere near where I am, I'd be setting up bird-dogging.

As for Alex's post -- and the rest of what he's had to say here on the subject, my hat's off to you! Bravo!

Not to get political but this is exactly why I am a Libertarian:
We believe in the individual over the group: and as such, all (persons) men are created equal; government should be limited; and government does not have the right or the privilege to license regulate or define personal relationships, period; as far as military service goes were all for it.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 23, 2008 2:41 AM

If you want to abolish civil marriage, do so separately from my getting equal access to it as long as it remains the gold standard of civil unions, please. Frankly, the small taste of civil marriage I had while in a place that recognized mine was something wonderful and heady that I don't want to give up - and the many rights/responsibilities/benefits it conveys are important to couples and bring needed legal order to the many legal complexities these relationships present that I don't want to have to continue to do without, much less that they protect the privacy of intimate communications so important to a relationship from the reach of the law -- a thing that I thought libertarians would care about!