Michael Crawford

Gay Bishop to Deliver Invocation at Inaugural Event

Filed By Michael Crawford | January 12, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Gene Robinson, Obama Inauguration

Openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson has been invited by President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural committee to deliver the invocation at a concert held at the Lincoln Memorial. The concert will be held on Sunday, January 18th and will be the first inaugural event that President-Elect Obama will attend.

This announcement follows weeks of controversy over the Rick Warren being named to deliver the invocation at the inauguration. The debate has been intense on Bilerico with Alex, Bil and I expressed different points of view on Warren.

The most on point analysis of how things have played out comes from Ezra Klein.

Politicians respond to incentives. To noise. To anger. Warren, on some level, was a response to the loud protestations of evangelicals who believed the Democratic Party had no place for them. It's hard to see Robinson is anything but a response to progressive activists who sense that Obama was more willing to risk cross those who supported him than those who opposed him. Erase the anger from either side and it's not worth Obama -- or any president -- taking the risk to placate them. But this is a step in the right direction. This is genuinely inclusive. If it was the plan all along, the Obama administration sure did a good job keeping the secret. And if it wasn't, then equality activists have something to be proud of this morning. They changed the incentives.

The outrage expressed by progressives bloggers and groups like HRC showed that our community will strike back if we feel that we are attacked or disrespected. Now, we need to make sure that that same kind of energy is put into passing an inclusive ENDA, a national AIDS strategy, a hate crimes law and repeal of DADT and DOMA.

In the comments section of one of my recent posts on gay appointments to positions in the Obama administration, Patrick asked

And what was the carrot that enticed Obama to choose gays in these posts?

What is this carrot we will use to get our way while we are not employing the stick in order to avoid seeming...impatient?

do tell.

The carrot was the LGBT community's strong presence in the election during which millions of us volunteered, made contributions and voted for Obama and Democrats up and down the ballot. We made a very visible showing during the election and that has not gone without notice.

Now is the time for us to employ the "constructive impatience" that Joan Garry wrote about on Huffington Post to make advances in equal rights at the federal level.

"We can't let the right wing co-opt yet another good and well-meaning Democratic President. That is our responsibility. The poor dupes never know what hits them until after it is done. Barack will only be different if we stay connected to him and smart."

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I pretty much felt the same as Michael through all of this. I can easily bet that all the negetive bloggers and commenters will try to take credit for this, when it was probably in the works before the Warren thing became a sore they couldn't stop scratching.

I'm becoming more and more impressed with this upcoming President, the one that many on this blog have already given up hope on. I think this blog is loaded with fair-weather voters. And yet, he's still a week from actually becoming President. Ah, ye of little faith.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 7:02 AM

To put it another way Monica, could you blame Obama, at this point for saying "a pox on all your houses both Gay and Fundy" I have a country to run, a economy to save, a prison in Cuba to close and wars to end. Get waaay in the back of the bus.

If you want fairness treat him fairly in return.

Robert, I always had a great deal of respect for you and you once again have proven to me why. Thank you for framing this in this way.

Reality check, everyone.

Your soldier is showing. :)

Ah, "sailor."

"Arrrggg. Shiver me timbers!"

"Take 'er down! Take 'er deep!"

"Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!"

"Pieces of eight!"

Submarines: A hundred men go down, 50 couples come back. A big black tube filled with seamen. Bubbleheads.

Ooops, my bad. A cousin of mine was a submariner, his boat was called the love boat. At any rate, I could see your brass bristling...

It's very brave of you to co-opt the story and spin it this way, Michael. Bravo!

This kind of manipulation is particularly fitting on the day of Bush's final press conference.

Heck of a job, Crawford!

Spin that carrot until you can convince yourself that it sprung from your pocket.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 12, 2009 4:35 PM


I am well aware that it took a village to elect Obama as our president and that we are going to have to help him be the best possible president that he can be.

I, however, I am not giving in to the cynicism that some people are lapsing into before Obama has even taken office.

After 8 incredibly long years of Bush I am ready to move forward.

I knew the cynics would not hold back. 8 days and he's still not President. I wonder how nasty some of these people will be when he decides to work the economy before ENDA of DADT? I get the impression that this community is full of "Harray for me and to hell with everyone else" people. If self-centerness is a trait for many people in this community, then I may have to rethink my entire life, or just end it. I am not proud to call mysef a trans lesbian because of many people on this blog. You, Michael, seems to stand above the . Thank you.

Very respectfully, opposing Warren was not Hurrah for Me and to hell with everyone else.

We by and large had principled reasons for deploring the choice. You know well what mine are.

You are not proud to call yourself a Lesbian?
I hope that you are engaging in hyperbole there. We come from a distinguished lineage, Monica. Heroes and giants have walked amidst our ranks.
Eva Gore-Booth
Gertrude Stein
Alice Toklas
Natalie Clifford Barney
Romaine Brooks
Djuna Barnes
Greta Garbo
Mercedes de Costa
Nancy Cunard
Marlene Dietrich
Dr. Kathleen Lynn
Madeline ffrench-Mullen
Margaret Anderson
Jane Heap
Jane Addams
Dr. Sara Josephine Baker
Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall
Lady Una Troubridge
Marie Laurencin
Janet Flanner
Solita Solano
Natalia Desai
Adrienne Monnier
Sylvia Beach
Bernice Abbott
Lucie de la Rue-Madras
Eva la Gallienne
Nance O'Neil
HD(Hilda Doolittle)
Dolly Wilde

and so many other talented, wonderful women.
And you are ashamed?

Yes, because you want to deny a person their Constitutional rights. You are no better than Warren for doing the same thing. How many of those women gave years defending the Constitution? Sorry.

"I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." I even told that to Cathryn once. If you won't do that, or all those others, then it shows the main difference between you and I. It's a difference I can live with.

with respect, this is silly and hyperbolic of you. Don't wave the flag in my face to try and stop me from objecting to the Government of the United States lending Warren credibility. This kinf of patriotism, as Clemens said, is the last refuge of a scoundrel and in my experience you are no scoundrel.

He can still talk, no one is locking him up for hate speech.

But THIS PODIUM adds to the legitimacy of the man and his message. And it is inappropriate of the Government to do so for the reasons that I have repeatedly listed.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 7:06 AM

And Ellen, and Rosie and Ellinore Roosevelt...

You go Monica!

Do you have issues with Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert?
She was a human rights champion and human rights and international law are the bases of my objection to Warren.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 15, 2009 2:14 AM

I was looking for prominent Lesbians/ Bisexual women you had not named. While encouraging Monica to stay on her roll.

The pressure no doubt did make a difference, the anger, the noise, etc.

And I was a reluctant voter, I described it as taking two stiff glasses of Jemmies and then pulling the lever.

Oh, and Warren remains a grossly inappropriate and unacceptable choice.

Having a gay cleric praying does not remove the taint of Warren's association with Akinola and his advocacy of international crime.

Alcohol, before voting? I think the noise may have made a different, but, I'm still erroring on the side of, "I don't fucking think so." I'm adding this to the list of questions I'll be asking God after I am pushing up daisies, Number 6855.

"Reluctant voter." I like that.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 12, 2009 5:00 PM


I agree that the noise made a difference. Now let's focus the noise in ways that are going to make ENDA, hate crimes, a national AIDS strategy, DADT repeal and DOMA repeal law.

Agreed, Michael, and we need to get the dialogue on these things going now.

If Obama really believes that having Gene Robinson, as positive a figure as he is, appearing at this preliminary event somehow balances out the open anti-LGBT bigotry and discrimination practiced by Rick Warren and his ilk then it's quite obvious that he and his staff really don't understand LGBT Americans at all.

Settle in and get those umbrellas ready. It's gonna be a long four years.

That's right, Rebecca - and it also shows how well the Obama camp know their cheerleaders.

Obama knows he can rely upon the arrogance and guile of his sycophants to come his defense when necessary. Don't look behind the curtain!

Obedience pays, eh? Only for fascists and people that don't know history.

I wonder: If it was a national public event that featured David Duke we were talking about would his bigotry be considered acceptable by Obama and his team as long as someone like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson were also allowed to speak?

This is not only an insult to our community in general, but an insult to our intelligence. Damn, Obama and his people must really think we're idiots. More's the pity.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 12, 2009 5:06 PM

Give me an "O"
Give me a "B"
Give me an "A"
Give me a "M"
Give me an "A"

What does that spell?

This most pro-LGBT president in U.S.

He'll have to prove that to me, Michael. Everything he's done since winning the election leads me to believe that either he just doesn't get it or that he does get it but we're simply not a real priority for him or his administration.

I'm done taking politicians on faith, believing in their words when their actions indicate the opposite. I think a lot of us are. We've been kicked in the teeth too many times to do otherwise anymore.

After all, if we can't even count on Obama to treat us respectfully during a party, how is it reasonable to expect it from him once he's President?

Oh Dear, Michael...i can see you with the pom poms...a post-gay president in a anti-gay world.

You really have stepped through the looking glass.

No one in the administration-to-be has said anything about the choice of Robinson as being some kind of extention of inclusion to the LGBT population, yet here you are drawing hearts in your notebook like a school-girl dreaming about Zack Effron.

You help nobody except yourself (and our as yet unproven savior) by fawning.

With no evidence that he is either acting on behalf of his LGBT supporters or in reaction to the affront of the choice of Warren, you bend over backwards to applaud him...giving away our power.

At least show us something Obama has said about Robinson that compares to what he has said in defense of Warren and of his selection of Warren.

Show us how these two choices are equatable. Show us something that Robinson has said or done that is comparable to the ignorant and bigoted things said by Warren. How much money and influence does Robinson have compared to Warren?

Don't be so transparently shallow...if I'm going to admit that I was being too judgemental of Obama, you need to make more of a case.

And since you use me in your post to show that I am wrong, you really ought to make a stronger case than you have here.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 7:09 AM

Is this a spin on "and he who is last shall be first?"

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 12, 2009 4:46 PM

This is real progress.

First, we get a marching band in the parade. That was a fig leaf to cover the open sore of Democrats grandstanding the bigot named Warren who helped the bigot named Obama torpedo marriage rights in California. Warren’s inaugural exposure was tit for tat for giving Obama a southern baptist forum to denounce same sex marriage as sinful and pick up bigot votes. Obama was just doing what Clinton did when he ran on a platform of supporting DOMA in 1996. He is in fact little more than a Clinton clone, except for those connections to the Chicago Machine.

And now, a superstitious cult leader at a prelim is supposed to atone for Warren, Donnie McKulkin, delaying debate on DADT, torpedoing us with prop 8, 2 and 102 and excising the terms Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered from Obama’s platform? What next? Will Lily Tomlin get appointed as chief switchboard operator at the White House?

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | January 12, 2009 5:04 PM


We need to get you a gig on SNL cause you are funny as heck.


Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 12, 2009 5:35 PM

No Michael. When it comes to comedy your sense of madcap humor wins hands down.

Give me an "O"
Give me a "B"
Give me an "A"
Give me a "M"
Give me an "A"

What does that spell?

This most pro-LGBT president in U.S.

Now that's what I call hilarious. Were there pom poms? Is there a video?

Bill, that one note song of yours is getting on my nerves.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 13, 2009 3:12 AM

Take a pill. Take two pills.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 7:13 AM

Why should he join you?

Sorry, Bill; unlike you, I live in reality.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 13, 2009 6:03 PM

I looked at your website Blue, and what I saw was a bunker. That's not reality.

Now if you want to emerge from your bunker and explain why you have delusions that Obama is not a bigot, not pro war and not an enemy of working people on a par with other reprobates Bush and Clinton be my guest.

But even then I'd be hard put to worry about what gets on your nerves. That's a personal problem. Keep it that way.

Sorry, crazypants, but I don't have to defend myself to a bomb-throwing demagogue like you. You're a one-trick pony, always screaming about how bad and evil and wrong Obama is without one shred of proof, just your own hateful garbage.

I'm just a better person that a political teenager like you, Billy Goat.

Obama is sending out contradictory signals here, perhaps to indicate that he's not in anyone's pocket. I can guarantee that Warren and his followers will not be pleased - +Gene Robinson is the most famous openly gay cleric in the world, due to the US and worldwide infighting culminating at last summer's worldwide Anglican Bishop's every 10 years meeting ("Lambeth"). (OK, MCC members - Troy Perry is famous, but only among MCC members and other gays).

The worst thing about Warren is not "merely" that he is anti-gay, but that he (along with the Catholic hierarchy and other US conservative Protestant preachers) has actively promoted no-condom policies in Africa. Consequently, all that money sent over for HIV/AIDS prevention is minimally effective. A wife's abstinence and faithfulness doesn't mean a thing if the husband has a concurrent long-term mistress or visits prostitutes and gets infected with HIV. Women have very little power to enforce condom use by husbands or customers. Too many children get orphaned by AIDS. The scale of the problem is huge, the entire adult population has trouble getting cheap condoms.

Read Bo Shuff's posting. I think all of you wanting to deny another American the right to speak and a President giving him that right should be ashamed of yourself. All these years we have had people denying us our rights and you want to do the same thing. I'm disappointed in all of you. I spent 8 years defending the Constitution and you want to trash it. Shame on you. Shame on all of you.

This is what you just said about Michael Savage:

If we get four more categories covered, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability, then when people like Savage opens his mouth to spew his garbage, the outrage will be based more on the US government saying you shouldn't show hatred toward these people. It will not happen over night, but it's a start. It will, unfortunately happen long after Savage is gone and people become tired of pissing on his grave.

Why does Michael Savage deserve outrage but not Rick Warren? If anything, Rick Warren will have a wider forum.

The "freedom of speech" defense of Rick Warren has to be one of the silliest arguments made this past year (not far from with "Vote McCain for his health care plan!"). He's sold millions of books. He goes on TV, radio, print media whenever he wants. He preaches at a huge mega-church every week. He's not silent.

I think that's part of the issue here, though. Many people are loathe to criticize people who are rich, famous, or powerful if it's been accepted by others that they're "respectable." Warren's been treated like that, unlike Robertson or Dobson or Savage, so it's not fashionable to disagree with him. I get that. But I don't think that's an excuse to let him off the hook.

I did show outrage with Savage, as did African Americans did with Imus. I didn't think Imus should have been fired, and Savage shouldn't be fired. But the issue did teach Imus a lesson, because of the law. Savage hasn't learned because no one but transgender organizations are showing outrage. There is no law protecting us. Even the LGB (supposed T) organizations are doing nothing or care less.

I would truly like not to hear Warren on 1/20/09, and I would truly like never hearing from Savage, Dobson or Robertson ever again. BUT, I will not deny them the right to speak. I believe in karma, and what comes around goes around. I have seen it many times in my life. Savage, Warren and the others will get what's coming to them. Just remember. Karma works both ways.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 7:17 AM

Alex, he sells "millions" of books...to the same people over and over and over. They give them away for nothing. They appear in garage sales across the south. Monica's defense of freedom of speech is what keeps this blog site happening.

I was going to write a response, but I'll just keep it to:

Ummmmm... no. If Monica's vision of freedom of speech were enacted, this site would not be around.

Actually, you have it completely backwards. In my version of freedom of speech, there would be more Religious Right people commenting here because they wouldn't be as afraid to say anything, keeping within the TOS, of course.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 14, 2009 9:26 AM

But book burnings would be on the increase?

I find myself agreeing with you completely.
Are you certain that you are not really a Lesbian?

I am not ashamed to want to deny a man advocating violations of Hague IV a place at the front and centre of the inauguration, Monica. If I were ashamed to make my stand, I would be unworthy to advocate on behalf of the victims of men like Warren.

I just made the mistake of rebutting Monica at the other post (that Bo guy).

I should know by now that she and Mr. Crawford are like quick sand. There is no there there. I think they are taking bets on the side to see how many comments can be drummed up.

I'm all for an argument or a discussion on complex issues, but this regurgitaion of Obama/Warren has become tiresome and masturbatory.

Monica is now even talking like Pat Buchanan just to keep the juices flowing. Is opposition to Warren really an affront to free speech?


That's not even an argument that is worth a reply. It is a way to change the topic and irrigate the wound.

Blogs - especially this one that I have voted for for days - ought to be able to rise above talk radio rhetoric...maybe I shouldn't have voted the way I have been. I don't come here for cheap antagonistic bickering.

Freedom of speech, even hate speech is as real as it gets. The Constitution is not a cafeteria, where you get to pick what parts you like and who gets them, just like the Religious Right's habit of picking and choosing the parts of the Bible they like and what parts to ignore. Integrity is important. Where's yours?

First of all, it's great news that Gene Robinson will be saying a prayer on Inauguration Day. There's nobody I respect more than the Rt. Rev. Robinson.

Last, before we strike up war over whether Obama's the bomba, you should have watched the drunken brain-dead performance of Georgie Bush today. Whether you feel Obama was the bomba, or whether you just settled for him, it certainly is going to be extraordinarily nice to have a President who has a brain, and isn't a drunken sodden drooling fool.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 13, 2009 5:05 AM

Bush was probably the worst ’lesser evil’ that’s befallen us since Lyndon Johnson. And with Nixon and Clinton in the running that’s saying something. Bush is inarticulate and was a crackhead. He chose the rich boys way out of military service – he deserted. And because his family was rich and powerful he got away with it.

But that's not why I despise George Bush. I detest him because he invaded and occupies Iraq and murdered over a million Iraqis and as of today 4226 GIs. Obama will continue that, and continue menacing Iran, Syria and Pakistan and plans to ramp up the occupation forces in Afghanistan, killing more civilians. So there’s no difference there. None at all.

Bush is in favor of bailouts for the rich and imposing austerity on working people. So, as the left predicted, is Obama. Both supported the myriad handouts to the rich to recoup their losses after their economic looting put us on the road to a depression. And both agreed that autoworkers should endure speedups, givebacks, wage cuts and benefits to pay for the incompetence of management to get bridge loans to let GM and Chrysler survive. Again, no differences.

Bush is a bigot who runs on a platform opposed to same sex marriage and pandered to bigot preachers endlessly to cultivate their votes, just like Clinton did before him. So does Obama, and he’s at least as good at it as Karl Rove. Again, no differences.

Being sober and articulate are not litmus tests for being a successful president. For sure he’ll make the rich richer, make the murder machine happy and grease the profits of the military industrial complex, and he’ll pander to scum like Warren till the cows come home. And Democrats will call that ‘political realism’. But in the real world that’s a disaster for the GLBT communities, working people and world peace.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 7:30 AM

Lyndon Johnson was a saint compared to either Bush considering Medicare and the Voting Rights act were his accomplishments. The latter being the courageous response to reality that cost the Democratic Party it's "solid South." Johnson had something called integrity.

There was no oil in French Indochina Bill, just the irrational fear Americans (or her government)had of Communism. We have now grown much greedier than just principle or we would not tolerate starvation around the underdeveloped world while a third of all Americans are obese and another third are merely overweight.

Why was it that LBJ finally got around to submitting all that Civil Rights stuff in the mid 1960s....hmmm...what was it???...why did it finally happen in that decade...100 years after the Civil War amendments should have taken care of all of the issues of inequality???

Maybe it was all of those annoying people complaining and demonstrating and raising hell that finally got the attention of the federal government.

The Civil Rights Act certainly wasn't the product of voters all over the country deciding to support Democrats and LBJ rewarding them for their support, as is implied here.

That also wasn't the case for suffrage - both houses of Congress and the executive branch were run by Democrats and they couldn't/wouldn't extend the vote to women until they were pressured into it.

Johnson has something called "no other choice."

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 13, 2009 7:21 PM

Well put, Patrick.

The Democrat Party does occasionally respond to popular pressure and so do Republicans. The key is not which of the parties is in power but the intensity of the movements applying the pressure. Proof comes from decisions of the US, California and Massachusetts Supremes nullifying sodomy laws and permitting same sex marriage. All three courts were dominated by Republicans.

Those decisions demonstrated that the ruling rich, the looters, do indeed fear the growth of a militant LGBT movement. The Democrat Party fears us a bit less because collaborators like HRC, No on 8 and their other front groups operating in our movement assure them that we’re ‘under control’. That's no longer true and it’s up to us to prove the collaborators are wrong by building an independent left.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 10:40 PM

Johnson got the legislation passed that no one else had the guts to propose. Serious "rioting" had not yet occurred. The antiwar movement had not even gotten it's steam up. I do not recall any seniors rioting for Medicare either.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 14, 2009 1:20 AM

Rioting doesn't have anything to do with anything.

Political clout is exercised in many ways. None of them are available to those captured by the Democrat or Republican parties but all are available to mass movements that act militantly and independently of them.

Riots are usually an act of desperation. We have lots of them in the US because lots of people are desperate. The direct cause of the last LA riot was a police beating but the underlying cause was the loss of good paying union jobs in Los Angeles. The local economies of Black and Latino communities tanked. It expressed the rage of people whose standard of living was being slapped down and much as their rage over yet another unjustified beating by racist and demonstrably sadistic cops.

The fact that you confuse riots with political clout tells us all we need to know about your level of understanding.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 15, 2009 9:09 AM

You, talk to me about irrelevant remarks? Silly Billy!

So I suppose Patrick's remark about LBJ having "no choice" was because of his innate decency. I would buy that. LBJ was a decent man who helped insure that Jim Crow laws were abolished, augmented "The Great Society" programs, and got Medicare started to protect the health of elderly.

Unfortunately, he also took bad advice from J. Edgar,the CIA, and Army intelligence boys that deepened our involvement in French Indochina. In 1963 they saw communists behind every tree. The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missle crisis were recent events and they reacted with the same type of hysteria and fear that created the present "Patriot Act" abomination. He remains a decent, well meaning president who was trapped in the cold war paranoia too prevalent at the time.

I have just visited Vietnam and the Vietnam War Museum in Ho Chi Minn City. I spent eleven days in Vietnam, but nothing will replace the several hours I spent (with many American Vets of the war, and some tears) viewing the horrors of what can happen when America over reacts militarily. Any president who ever again considers substantial military reaction should be required to spend six hours at this museum learning the degree of human suffering they could unleash.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 15, 2009 9:20 AM

Only you could claim that a mass murderer was decent. Unbelievable. Or that riots are a way to get social change or...

But go ahead. Brand yourself.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 15, 2009 11:05 AM

OK, The decent American

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 15, 2009 11:15 AM

My reference to riots was in response to Patrick's remark that LBJ "had no other choice." Leave it to you to shade truth and torture facts to build an argument. Spratly Islands!

Pity Bill, even when you say something I agree with the manner of your discourse is so repugnant. It need not be that way.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 13, 2009 8:30 PM

You seem to have forgotten history again.

In the sixties LBJ came from a party and a state where concurrent membership in the Democrat party, the KKK and the southern baptist cult was as common as feces in a pig pen. Those porkers, the political and cult forbears of Warren and other friends of Obama were as terrified of the civil rights movement as antebellum southern planters were of Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner and John Brown. Democrats at the time pasted a few fig leaf concessions on the running sores of the bipartisan national policy of racism but they were accompanied by a horrific FBI/police organized murder campaign against the Black Panthers, Malcolm X and other leaders because they were on the verge of creating a massive Black independent political action movement.


The habit of describing mass murderers like LBJ and Clinton as 'saints' while criticizing similar genocides by Bush or Nixon is a textbook definition of the fallacies described in Orwell’s 1984.

For many Democrats that smug double standard will be used to defend Obama while he murders people in SW Asia. Democrats, and you can see in the thread on DADT, will tell us that the ‘troops’ must be ‘supported’. By that they do not mean pulling them out of harms way. They really mean that we should, lemming like, support Obama’s continuation of the Clinton-Bush genocide and avoid rash actions like antiwar demonstrations (The Pentagon, March 21st).

In truth the only real way to support the troops and end the murder of civilians is to first demand the immediate and total withdrawal of all US troops, mercenaries and murder, espionage, kidnapper groups to US home bases on a permanent basis.

And secondly we should call for the confiscation of all profits made by US and English oil companies for the next 50-100 years to pay reparations to GIs and their families and to Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Afghans and Iranians injured by zionist and US military attacks.

Another bit of history you forgot is the existence of large oil deposits on the Spratly Islands which were a minor element in the LBJ-Nixon war of genocide against Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It was not the overriding issue it is in SW Asia but you raise it, as always, in a futile attempt to deflect the discussion with irrelevant add-ons. It doesn’t work.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 15, 2009 12:29 AM

Neither does taxing the future paying for the past

Correction, Polar: Gene Robinson will NOT be speaking on Inauguration Day.

Nice to see people debating the Warren/Robinson issue using long-dead Presidents from the middle 20th Century. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is 2009, the 9th year of the 21st Century. (2000 was not the first official year of this century.) We have a historical event next week, the first African American President will be sworn in.

And yet, all people can think of is acting self centered. Hell, this country is FUBAR, "fucked up beyond all recognition," and yet people want to focus only on themselves. Personally, I would rather have the economy brought back to a reasonable level then see the passing of a fully inclusive ENDA. Having the right to get a job doesn't mean squat if there are no jobs to get.

I could not disagree more, Monica. Both are equally important. Speaking as a trans job seeker myself, I know that as the economy worsens so does a transperson's chances of being hired. The job front for transpeople has been awful since I've been working as an out transwoman (since '97), even in the most progressive areas of the country, and is rapidly getting worse.

I don't believe that these are separate issues but rather branches of the same tree. My ability to be able to secure and maintain employment is no less urgent than that of any other American and until an inclusive ENDA is passed (and probably for some time after that) trans and visibly gender-variant job seekers will continue to be at a disadvantage in the job market.

To do as you suggest, Monica, would be to look the other way as our own community's suffering increases exponentially, as more and more jobs disappear and fewer and fewer transpeople are able to maintain employment.

I'm sorry but that's just not a trade-off I'm willing to make. None of us should be. No one who's paid attention to the history here should be willing to do so.

We are all Americans and I, for one, am not willing to wait around quietly and patiently while others are taken care of. We voted to change that kind of thinking from our government, and we were successful in doing so. It's time to expect that change to happen as promised, not happily move to the back of (or under) the bus again.

You're decision is perfect for you, and I respect that. This is my decision on how I feel. But, if there is anything I can do to help you find a job, I will do it. After all, that's what friends do for each other.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 15, 2009 9:11 AM

Nice to see people debating the Warren/Robinson issue using long-dead Presidents from the middle 20th Century.

Helms contempt for history and it's lessons is why she gets it wrong all the time.

Helms ignores history because it helps her ignore why Obama is following the same low road as Clinton, who also pandered to bigots and gave us DOMA and DADT. She has to learn, but probably never will, that “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them“, at least according to to James Baldwin. And that Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it., as George Santayana said.

So for Helms and all those Democrats who insist on ignoring history there’s this little reminder…” When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. remembers Desmond Tutu.

Over 80 governmental jurisdictions already have fully inclusive ENDA-like statues, including many of the major cities and metropolitan areas as well as several states, yet those protections have had no effect whatsoever on the unemployed transgender.

As Rebeccas and Monica have brought up ENDA, does anyone really think that ENDA will end the employment challenges of the transgender?

As I noted above, Susan, I expect those disparities to continue for a while after ENDA's passage, just as was the case for African-Americans once the Civil Rights of 1964 passed into law. The point is that until we have that law on the books it's doubtful that things will get substantially better.

ENDA is by no means a cure-all, but it is an important step toward the goal of equality and fairness in the workplace for Americans.

We've waited a long time and we will continue waiting once ENDA becomes law. The real question here is whether that wait will be shortened by the passage of a fully inclusive ENDA. Personally, I believe it will be.

In addition, ENDA will send a clear message that discriminating against LGBT people in the workplace is not only morally wrong, but illegal under the laws of our country. I believe that's an important message to send and long overdue.