Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So in his article what does he suggest we do? Something very akin to what you’d normally hear from GayPatriot.net or the newly formed GOProud.org. which is “not much” except criticize current activist groups for not doing more.
I think Wayne is commendable for all his hard stances regarding gay rights and especially the ridiculous views of the Right on gay rights issues, but this latest post is incredibly lacking. It’s always easier to criticize than take action. And while he’s hardly one to take fault with on that, especially on projects where Right-wing gay groups talk out of one side of their mouths but do nothing on the other, I’m not sure what anyone is supposed to take away from this piece.
There’s this concept of constructive criticism that Right and Left wing groups are just not getting. Simply criticizing for criticism’s sake does nothing to motivate and engage those being criticized. We do not support gay rights groups when all we have to offer is a sideline negative critique. Especially given that we’re talking about is occurring a world away, it must be especially demotivating to international groups being heckled by privileged American activists.
So here’s an idea and I’m taking my own advice. This is an opportunity where two streams of thought cross. Rather than criticize international groups, How about Wayne Besen and GOProud.org coming together to institute new activism on this front. He could temper their “military intervention is the only answer” proposals into real activism and they could support his efforts through their grassroots network of communications.
A win-win no?
Please to enjoy!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Am I missing something? Where is this “fever pitched anger?”
I’ve seen an incredible amount of mocking for the concept of tea bagging. I’ve seen a number of articles investigating real motives behind the protest and how irrelevant the purported motives were.
But I don’t see the anger, especially not “fever pitched anger.” I watched the Keith Olbermann interview of Janeane Garofalo Byron York (of the Washington Examiner*) cites as an example of the “anger” of the left. Garofalo and Olbermann were both pretty snide. They were very serious. They laid it out flat. It’s what’s known on the Right as straight talk. And Garofalo’s argument was more a rambling statement of belief than proffering facts for basis of her sentiment. But I’m hard pressed to see how they were “angry” when they were laughing at the end of the article about the absurdity of the protests.
The only other article GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt offers as proof of this “fever pitched anger” is a link to a blog called Protein Wisdom (insert your own joke here). And Protein Wisdom also only references the Byron York article. So GayPatriot basis his entire thesis of “fever pitched anger” on one article in the biased Washington Examiner about one MSNBC television interview.
You can view the video below and judge for yourself instead of using GayPatriotWest’s biased prism for comparison. York’s article is as much rambling and unfounded hypothesis as Garofalo’s.
* when I went to the Washington Examiner website, a full length ad just below the main masthead was for Ann Coulter. Surely not much bias there.
So a lot of left-leaning blogs and news outlets are covering stories of the treatment of gay men and women in Muslim countries recently. We’ve seen several highlighting the horrible treatment and swift execution of gay men and women accused of homosexuality in the span of a few days. So it was particularly distressing to hear of a story of gangs in Iraq that go around, abduct men accused of homosexual behavior, superglue their anuses shut and then force them to drink diarrhea-inducing substances that cause their slow and painful death.
GOProud, the conservative splinter group from Log Cabin Republicans, claims one of their platform items is to “fight global extremists” especially in the persecution of gay men and women in Muslim countries.
Now I’ve written that this is basically an excuse for hawkish military policy and has little to do with human rights advocacy for gay men and women. But will this newly formed group join with other left-leaning organizations like International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), who first reported the story, to address issues like this?
IGLHRC is sending letters to top Iraqi officials and advocating to the United Nations for intervention. But with GOProud, their only answer seems to be military intervention. The problem is how can you more militarily intervene when your previous military intervention installed a government that ignores these atrocities?
The sad story of another child, too young at 10 years old to even know what sexuality is about, is another example of the thousands of adolescents each year that commit suicide from the bullying they receive that includes taunts about homosexuality.
As I noted before, gay youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers. This is a very serious problem of which the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) advocates awareness and intervention. Their program, Day of Silence, was designed to highlight the problem of bullying in school. You’ll remember I noted that GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt on the gaypatriot.net site called the program “a silly stunt.”
To find out more about what you can do about this problem, visit the GLSEN website or another gay teen advocacy group, The Trevor Project.
(hattip to Joe.My.God.)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I've written article after article how they use this effect of victimization to insert themselves into the larger conversation. They challenge that liberals, as proponents of tolerance, are obligated to consider the views, normally intolerant views, of Republicans, of conservatives, and especially gay conservatives. Current Republican and conservative philosophy is of privatized privilege, protection of the civil liberties of a privileged few, protectionism of the wealthy, hawkish and over-extended military world policing, devolution of government... I could go on and on but essentially they advocate anything we've found to either not work or essentially make issues worse in politics and government.
Republicans and conservatives, and gay Republicans and conservatives, have not shown a shred of evidence why we should listen to them. If anything they've shown exactly why we shouldn't listen to them. And I'm tired of being baited by them, accused of being intolerant, just so they can still participate in damaging public policy to the benefit of their personal political philosophy.
"In the ocean of baseness, the deeper we get, the easier the sinking." - James Russell Lowell
Gay Republicans and conservatives pull the debate to the bottom, guilt the Left into allowing them help save the ship, and their solution is to pour more water into the boat.
And we're not talking about normal, everyday gay men and women who happen to have conservative natures. These are people that have to form a splinter group, GOProud, because Log Cabin Republicans are just not conservative enough. They regularly advocate public policy that would devolve the progress gay activists have made for the public tolerance of gay men and women. They want to protect the privacy of closeted gay politicians who advocate blocking or rescinding gay rights policy. These individuals at GayPatriot and similar websites are at the core neoconservatives and as such they do the opposite of what they're complaining about - they are intolerant of the Left's tolerance.
Like the religious Right, they use a similar canard with other conservatives and Republicans. They guilt other conservatives and Republicans into taking hard line stances by playing the RINO card. A minority of a minority, they wield power within their own party by guilting others of not being conservative enough.
It has to stop. Like I mentioned in another article on the number of people participating in the tea bag rallies, gay conservatives and Republicans represent the most minor of minorities and yet still have power to control the conversation through their manipulations. The progressive Left have wised up and do not tolerate their intolerance. One can only hope that other sensible conservatives and Republicans will grasp this as well and return the party to more moderate stances that are common to the majority of their membership. GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt advocates that we should be tolerant of inmates running the asylum. Can this be anymore disturbing from someone who sounds like a gay conservative Miss Havisham, watching Clint Eastwood movies on end during the week, relaying an "if only" story about a marriage proposal gone sour because he "came out" as a conservative to obviously intolerant suitor?
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, the eminent statistician/blogger who correctly predicts anything from presidential races to the Final Four has sourced the number to just over 300,000. Why should you trust this? Well he's tracked down specific numbers from non-partisan sources and actually linked to those sources to review.
However, on the Right they hypothetically post anywhere from 500,000 to unrealistically 800,000. No sources. And on GayPatriot.net they pose it really should count as a million using some illogical reasoning of comparing it to a recent Democratic signature drive supporting the President's economic recovery effort.
And just to keep things in perspective? The current US population is just over 300,000,000 making the attendance of the tea bag party rallies at about 0.1%. That's 0.1% of the entire population trying to change the entire conversation about United States economics. Fox News is trumpeting their alliance to an event encompassing 0.1% of the population pretending this is statistically significant. Republican and conservative blogs are trashing essentially anyone they don't agree with with 0.1% participation in this tea bag rally.
Part of the new platform of the newly formed GOProud, the righter than Right, ultra-conservative political advocacy group* is a concept of advocating hawkish military action against "islamofascism." This is nothing new for conservatives, especially the neocon philosophy which GayPatriot.net finds itself aligned with. It's not new for Republicans, who were enablers through the entire Bush presidency. So it's absolutely not unusual to find it promoted by gay Republicans that make up GayPatriot.net and GOProud.
What is interesting is how they dress up their advocacy for hawkish military action. See, in the case of GOProud, they say their advocacy stems from the treatment of gay men and women in Muslim countries that are arrested and sentenced to death for homosexual behavior. A noble sentiment and one which most people can agree - we should be proactive in protecting gay men and women from such persecution. But in the case of GayPatriot, it's really not about protecting these people as much as military aggression and nation building in Muslim countries.
Do gay Republicans advocate laws that would protect gay men and women from religious persecution in Muslim countries? They advocate against non-discrimination laws for gay men and women in the US without advocating to rescind similar non-discrimination laws for religion. The answer would be no.
Do gay Republicans advocate international resolutions that would protect gay men and women from religious persecution in Muslim countries? They heartily advocated John Bolton as United Nations ambassador and promoted his effort to pull down the United Nations from the inside. It included blocking two pro-gay advocacy groups from receiving official non-governmental organization status in the United Nations. This was a move that was specifically advocated by GayPatriot.net and aligned the United States in this vote with China, Egypt and Iran. They mock President Obama signing a U.N. resolution advocating tolerance for gay men and women, the one President Bush refused to sign. The answer would be no.
The only answer they have to resolve the issue of persecution of gay men and women is military aggression. However, their priority first and foremost is military aggression against Muslim countries over protecting gay men and women in those countries. To be fair, they have faithfully reported instances of the execution of gay men and women in these countries. So have a host of left-leaning blogs and news outlets. However, for gay Republicans it's used as propaganda to help further their objective of military aggression.
They don't report or advocate the same kinds of policies within the United States. GayPatriot.net specifically does not post or comment on hate crimes of gay men and women in the United States except as an excuse to advocate against hate crimes legislation. They do not report instances of discrimination except to advocate against anti-discrimination laws. They call efforts like GLSEN's Day of Silence campaign "silly" and protect the closeted status of lawmakers that advocate laws to lessen then protections of gay men and women in this country.
Do not be fooled by the sheep's clothing. GayPatriot.net, its writers, GOProud and gay Republicans are first and foremost reactionary, hawkish neocons. It was this deception of intention that helped lead us into the Iraq occupation and would lead us into further unnecessary military aggression under the guise of aid to gay men and women in Islamic countries.
* I will not describe GOProud as a gay organization since it's clear their objectives are to further Republican policy without regard to gay issues.
As usual, he misses the thrust of the movement characterizing it as a "silly gimmick" from people who "go out of their way to advertise their difference." It's not about promoting gay issues in school or promoting difference. It's about the harassment students receive in school based on perceptions about sexuality and how to make schools safer.
While Grandpa Blatt thinks all the gay kids in school march down the middle of the hall waving rainbow flags, the reality couldn't be further from that perception. The little boy who committed suicide was 11. What could he have know about sexuality to even be considered gay except for the taunting and harassment he received and how miserable he was made to feel from others?
Just as any kid during adolescence, most gay kids in public school do all they can to blend in and not be noticed. But there are blatant examples that issues with gay youth are not being addressed. Here in New York City there's a horrible problem with the number of gay homeless youth turned out from their families or simply avoiding schools for the harassment they receive.
This national protest is about changing behavior, not about trying to change thought. School administrators regularly ignore harassment issues. And while I pity the effect of having to resolve parenting issues in school settings, school administrators have a duty to nip bad behavior in the bud. Ignoring the issue isn't good enough. It's easy to connect this negligence to the fact that gay youth are four times as likely to commit suicide than their straight peers. I doubt this is from the tolerant and inclusive atmosphere promoted by people like GayPatriotWest calling GLSEN's campaign a "silly gimmick."
Maybe Dan just thinks gay youth should just butch it up more, stay in the closet and carry concealed weapons to resolve these sorts of problems. For Republicans and conservatives it's always a double standard of requesting you tolerate their intolerance. Amazing, simply amazing.
Friday, April 17, 2009
It all starts out with an amazingly un-self-aware post called “Why Do Those Who So Readily Revile Us Devote So Much of their Day to this Object of thier[sic] Revulsion?”
It’s a rambling essay, full the folksy anecdotal style of which GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt is so fond. It’s like a little stream of thought that thins until reaching a leech bed of confused summation. I’m not sure if he’s upset that people criticize GayPatriot, or why he’s confused people sometimes have such a strong negative reaction to the site, or if he thinks liberals are secretly hot for conservatives and mask it through criticism. What I do get out of it is how clueless he seems to be about his own blog and the tone it takes. “Now, I welcome criticism…” he says. But as one banned from the site and knowing of a host of others, it’s simply not true. And if not banned, those that remain to post on the blog are attacked by the regular commentors like a pack of hyenas against a lone lion. Surely most critics have walked away from the trying effort to reason with the unassailable belief presented on the site.
“It’s just that I wonder why those who are ever ready to make assumptions about us, criticize us, sometimes in the most mean-spirited of language, spend so much time on our blog.” It’s a clutch the pearls moment for Mr. Peggy Noonan. First, I notice most of the critics in the comments know plenty about the site and the site’s philosophy, but it’s the denial by GayPatriotWest of that presentation that would lead him to assume critics speak from assumptions. And regarding “mean-spirited language,” the regular commentors are experts at the verbal slice and dice. I’d say the mean-spirited language starts there to protect their little den of incestuous conservative think. GayPatriot has always ignored such goings on when it was to their benefit. That lack of oversight makes them absolutely complicit in the devolution of commentary on their site.
Their commentors go on to summarily find that things like insecurity, fetish objects, and the “cruel and tragic” nature at the expense of their “cheeky and fun shenanigans” as motivation for their observations about critics.
The rest of today’s post follow with more intellectual dishonesty. They try to counter criticism they were not critical of Republican deficit spending during the Bush presidency. However, none of their criticism began until 2006, when it was clear the tide had turned with midterm elections. They were apparently OK with it for the six years they were in power but not when they started losing power. Also there’s no mention of criticism from late 2006 to late 2008, a two-year span where you’d think to find criticism of the additional complicities of Democratic majorities in deficit spending they use now as reasoning to castigate the economic stimulus.
GayPatriotWest then assert false observations about the projected deficit. He ignores how it came to be, rather taking the opportunity for pot shots against Democratic leaders who had little to no power during the Bush presidency. He ignores how much worse it could have been if Republicans (“I know nothing about the economy” McCain and the rest of those who relaxed oversight) had retained majority. He then rounds it out with hyperbolic question of how to fix the deficit, when the obvious answer – don’t elect Republicans – is clear.
Then another article asserts CNN “flops” in the ratings over tea bagging parties citing ratings news that finally sees Fox news besting CNN for overall viewership. It’s funny that Dan has to rely on the more critical analysis of his 20+ years younger nephew to fill the void of reasoning on his part. But the Blatt clan fails to consider beyond hypothesis for the one-day spike and the increasing viewership of Fox News over other cable news networks. They also fail to note that WWE wrestling, a kid’s show iCarly.com on Nickelodeon, reruns of NCIS and Spongebob Squarepants all regularly receive better ratings that the O’Reilly Factor in cable ratings, Fox’s highest rated show.
Again what GayPatriotWest, as usual, fails to recognize throughout his posts is that the blog advocates certain public policy philosophy. Those that persuade one way or the other have a huge stake in the outcome of that persuasion. If GayPatriotWest was ruler of the country of GayPatriotland, it would be more than acceptable for him to espouse and advocate the particular philosophies for all that chose to live there. But his words have resonance well beyond the boundaries of his blog. What he says and what he advocates affects far more than himself via this vehicle. So it’s both a right and an obligation for those that disagree to make themselves and their ideas known. GayPatriotWest doesn’t seem to like America as it is, and advocates for changes to philosophies of the Right. And when he insulates himself and those of similar mindset essentially telling critics to mind their own business, even about subjects that affect them, it’s more than time to call them on their BS.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
It would be because the numbers were sad, 112,000 overall by general estimates and as one outlet notes about the same as the single Obama campaign rally in Portland, Oregon last year. Another noted that in Boston, the original Boston Tea Party counted around 5,000 protestors or 46% of its population. Today's event at 500(!) made up 0.08% of Boston's population. Impressive? Or does it highlight the temper tantrum motivation of a disaffected right-wing minority?
But then again surely the protestors' admirable intentions and good behavior would show how meaningful and important these rallies were. But again the answer would be no. From signage I noted before, now I see images of President Obama represented as Hitler and threats of violence insinuated by slogans referring to the second amendment. There was a dust-up with a CNN reporter (which to be fair she was being provocative, but the responses were hardly appropriate yet still utterly innane - "I think [President Obama] is a fascist!" "Why?" "Because he is!"). And what should have been high profile rallies like Washington, DC were poorly planned and the speakers talked about every conspirist theory currently floated besides issues dealing with taxes.
Not surprising at all, but I guarantee that GayPatriot will still celebrate the results like John Galt "stopping the motor of the world."
Every conservative blog reporting about the Tea Bag protests has posted counter arguments to criticisms about the protests as being nothing more than hissy-fits. Well all you have to do is read the signage at such events to know it’s not true.
Conservatives pose these rallies are not anti-tax rallies. And yet I clearly see signs that say “T.E.A. – Taxed Enough Already.” Am I to get some other meaning out of that when we’ve just seen a reduction in taxes for working class people? They seem to want to eliminate the IRS, the SEC and Federal Treasury. This is also acknowledging that the United States has one of the lowest total tax revenues as a percentage of GDP of most large industrialized countries.
“We the people don’t want bigger governments” and yet the Republican majorities supported a 45% increase in federal spending the first five years of President Bush’s administration with little protest.
They say the protests are not anti-Obama and do not seek to demonize him and yet there’s a sign that says “Insatiable, Insidious, Unsustainable – Diminish the Beast” with I think a picture of President Obama. Further I see postings about rantings of “secret societies” like the “Masons” and they still think the President is not the president because they’ve not personally validated his birth certificate.
They goes on and on about how “our” [read conservatives/Republicans] country is becoming like France [filled with delicious chocolate, cheese and wine?], a socialist state, a fascist state, and that Washington, D.C. stands for “District of Communism.”
They just want to throw the “bumbs” – yes you read that right – out of office.
These protests are ridiculous, the sentiments totally self-serving and out of touch and we’re stupid to pay them any bit of serious attention or consideration.
P.S. The morons didn’t get permits for some of the planned activities today in Washington, D.C. even attempting to illegally dump their tea bags before city police stopped them. One protestor threw a box of tea over the White House fence prompting a full lockdown of the area.
Another protest happening today is the “Equal Taxes. Equal Rights” protests happening around the country highlighting the financial inequality to same-sex couples denied of marriage rights.
As the website states:
As LGBT Americans, we work hard, take care of our families, and pay our taxes every year. Yet, our families are not included in the very policies we help fund. Our loved ones are treated like legal strangers and denied the economic protections given to our heterosexual counterparts.
Will GayPatriots, so concerned about financial injury of the current economic crisis, likely attend these rallies?
One would hazard that would be a major “no” as on their own blog and reports from other sources regarding the new GOProud organization stress their belief that marriage should be strictly reserved for heterosexual couples. To be fair, it should be noted that GayPatriot does seem to support the separate-but-equal notion of civil unions, applauding Connecticut’s initial step toward gay marriage there, but immediately doomed the efforts of other states when Connecticut’s supreme court ruled that civil unions were separate-but-not equal instituting gay marriage by “judicial activism.”
It just shows another reason why GayPatriot’s rhetoric will always first and foremost support conservative causes over the concerns of the LGBT community, but yet be presented in a way to convince the reader of the greater gay good. The rambling musings there make it apparent that these are people unhappy about the circumstance of their sexuality (“struggling with their feelings for men”) and are resigned to the personal suffering they advocate for themselves in the guise of good conservative politics.
I find it interesting how GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt spends more time obfuscating the why and wherefore of Tea Bag Party protests around the country instead taking the opportunity to attack critics of the protests. Instead of showing the significance, if any, of the protests, he promotes the continued theme of the persecuted conservative and the deranged Left to negate reasoned debate and criticism.
He’s yet to address the “astroturf” aspect of the protests. Rather than acknowledge the significant corporate and specific conservative media sponsorship, he uses it to create hypothetical persecution of the Right:
Can you imagine how they would react if all conservative blogs repeated in unison that same mantra about the anti-Iraq War rallies, that they were not legitimate, merely made-to-order rallies orchestrated from the top down, that these people really didn’t oppose the war, they were merely goose-stepping to the instructions of the left-wing masters?
Was I not reading GayPatriot for so many years where they did that exact thing? How many posts are devoted to some sort of incestuous relationship between the MSM and critics of the war? George Soros as the dark overlord of the Left, Tim Gill and his silent infiltration of Log Cabin Republicans?
GayPatriotWest could also use these protests to counter arguments from the Left that note that President Obama has actually lowered taxes for most of the individuals attending these rallies and that the corporate tax rate that was raised is still lower than during the Reagan years. He could also take the opportunity to describe how lower taxes during an economic crisis is really the best thing to do despite the overwhelming agreement of financial experts on the Left and Right that acknowledge just the opposite. He could explain conservatives promoting policies that allowed the deficit to grow so large during the Bush presidency. He could even take the opportunity to describe how bank bailouts and stimulus is really hurting the country, again despite significant expert opinion and example in the form of the Great Depression to the opposite.
And while GayPatriotWest asks readers to “Show Respect for Tea Party Counterprotestors” it’s only so that Tea Party protestors do not display the illogical anger that’s fueling the protests to be recorded for the media. He’s not concerned about the rights of free speech and to gather afforded the counterprotestors. He just want to make sure they don’t make the Tea Party protestors look bad.
So GayPatriot spends his time on critics of the protests instead, posing that the Left suffers from the “goose-stepping” herd mentality mentioned above. They have an entire category of posts devoted to “Bush Hatred” exploring the idea that mental instability leads people on the left to mindlessly “demonize Bush, but deify Obama,” - “emotionally, leftist are stuck in middle school,” – and people like Andrew Sullivan, who have repudiated former more conservative viewpoints now suffer from “Stockholm Syndrome.”
Is it any wonder it’s difficult to take these protests seriously with both the protests and their champions operating from the fantasyland they seem to associate with the Left? Last year’s federal elections should have clearly shown the Right how out of step they are with mainstream America. These protests and GayPatriot’s convoluted support only reinforce that idea.
Conservatives, I think you’ve protested too much already.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
He's never explicitly advocated the repeal of DOMA. He's regularly criticized judicial branches of state governments for ruling state DOMAs unconstitutional. He's reluctantly acknowledged the "executive fiat" of Democratic New York Governor Paterson recognizing out-of-state gay marriages but explicitly praised Republican Governor Schwarzenegger for his two vetoes of state laws recognizing gay marriage as an example of good government. He criticized and called for the resignation of gay leaders because their effort to stop Prop 8 was unsuccessful. The only effort he's fully applauded was the Vermont law which not only needed to be passed by the Democratic legislature, but needed a second vote to override a Republican governor's veto.
But even with that, GayPatriotWest seems to have a deep-seated view that gay men and women are really unworthy of marriage since as a population we're just a bunch of hedonistic polyamorists unable of committing to the monogamy that so defines heterosexual marriage. (He's been to vegas, right?) He literally has a post category called "(Gay) Male Sexuality & the Monogamous Ideal."
He constantly criticizes any and all reason for gay marriage based on specious governmental and moral ideals completely ignoring factors of civil liberty and equality. Noting he calls himself a little "l" libertarian, does it make any sense why he seems so vehemently in favor of the roadblocks toward gay marriage where he should be advocating government out of the marriage business altogether?
Or perhaps, like nearly all of the tripe on GayPatriot, the conflict on the issue stems from within his own conflicted psyche? As the talented comedian Wanda Sykes said of gay marriage, "if you have a problem with gay marriage, just don't get gay married." By his own admission, I don't think this is a possibility Dan has to worry about anytime soon, so it might be helpful if he left such arguments to those actually in relationship where marriage rights would have such an effect. I'd rather hear from suburban, middle-class gay conservatives in long-term relationships than from a partisan, effete conservative agent who can't seem to get a date in that gay wasteland of West Hollywood.
As George Elliot said, "An ass may bray a good while before he shakes the stars down."
Monday, April 13, 2009
The conservative persecution syndrome is raging at GayPatriot.net right because Dan thinks he has a secret liberal posing as a conservative posting non-conservative viewpoints. The walls have been breached! Throw up the sandbags before the commie liberals get a chance to make a point!
But don't worry. The ever-brave cowboys at GayPatriot will soldier on. They won't be brought down by such a devastating blow as this insidious attack:
"And I for one won’t be demoralized, but further emboldened. The more people like you try to sow dissension in our ranks, the stronger will become our resolve to stand true to and speak out for our principles." - GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt
How valiant, GayPatriots. How noble.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Alas, or as expected, the rhetoric doesn't meet the road. All those participating seem to be of the left-leaning persuasion, Wayne Besen, World of Wonder blog, Gilbert Baker the creator of the rainbow flag...even the gay Catholics were there in the form of Dignity New York. But where were the gay Republicans?
Now granted they may not have known about it. They may not have been invited. But I can't personally think of another demonstration of this kind spearheaded by gay Republicans themselves or frankly Republicans otherwise. It seems odd they use such an issue as a basis for their ugly accusations toward the left of being unconcerned about gay men and women in Islamic countries while they've not shown any results or even any work on this issue at all. Am I wrong about this? What have gay Republicans specifically done about this issue?
In recent years the umbrella organization that usually advocated for the gay Republican crowd was Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization that represented gay concerns in the "big tent" of the party. But the shift in recent years making gay issues the primary concern over other Republican tenets has sent the GayPatriot crowd apoplectic. The conspiracy theories that rich liberals have secretly infested the organization and the organization's mishandling of it's donations seems to have been the last straw. GayPatriot/Bruce has formed a new organization called GOProud as the even more extreme version of gay Republicanism:
[Log Cabin Republican's] left-of-center positions on important issues have bothered me as LCR has continually sucked the teet of the Gay Leftist agenda. LCR’s silence and unwillingness to stand up and be vocal on true gay conservative issues (outing of Republican staffers, increasing threat of gays being selectively aborted, peril gays face by Islamic extremists) has been mind-boggling.
No hyperbole there, huh? Frankly I'd never realized outing Republican staffers was such an issue except to closeted, hypocritical Republican staffers, the science of homosexuality is far from being confirmed and the ability to selectively abort based on that still only exists in a play/movie called Twilight of the Golds, and while criticism could be placed on Democrats for not advocating protection for LGBT people in Muslim countries more, its demonstrably provable that Republicans are less prolific in their advocacy of homosexuality. But that's just me.
In any case it will be interesting to see where this goes. I generally feel that where Log Cabin Republicans at least tried to be a reasonable, if ineffective, voice in the debate, this group will simply be an even more ineffective but even more shrill detractor of real efforts to affect positive change for gay men and women in America. GayPatriot regularly shows how little interest or tolerance they have in considering the viewpoints of others. I'm not sure how they plan to create action from such a mindset.
P.S. I find it very interesting and telling that Bruce added this post to the category of "Post 9-11 America."
Thursday, April 9, 2009
In his latest in a series of fawning fluff pieces, Dan again defends the embattled Alaska governor. Apparently Katie Couric (competant, nice, diligent, average wardrobe - not a gay diva) should have been nicer to governor Palin in their famous interview. Instead of acknowledging that if elected she would be next in line as leader of the free world, and inquire about subjects showing her readiness for such a role, Couric was supposed to throw out softball questions cause "you'd think a woman" would do that. Instead of expecting Couric to be a journalist, and ask questions appropriate for a vice presidential candidate, they were supposed to do girl talk. Shoes, cosmos, and how Palin took on the old Republican boys club of Alaska. Dan's sentiments are demeaning to both female politicians and journalists.
Now forgetting that every single unscripted mainstream interview was an absolute flop of horrific astonishment (due to the governor's own performance), GayPatriotWest instead uses the occasion of an award to Couric to again criticize the news anchor for doing her job. I watched the interview. I re-reviewed the transcript. Couric was probing in her approach. Her questions were appropriate. Her interview should have given a seasoned politician the opportunity to provide neutral, non-committal answers at worst. She asked questions of national importance and relevance, not leading question that would allow the governor self-promotion opportunities like the conservative news outlets. And with all that, the governor showed amazingly shallow insight, her "hockey mom" personality seemed ditzy, it was clear her general knowledge of world affairs was limited, her knowledge of government and law sketchy, her commitments sentimental and unexamined, but most damning was how pleased with herself she was of all that. She was a regular sorta gal, gosh darn tootin, and proud of it!
See the "gotcha" of the persecuted conservative mindset is that if only the "elite" media would have asked the governor questions only about her record she would have been able to prove her worthiness for the role. The Couric interiew and others did just that though. Upon review, they do include questions where she could have highlighted her relevant experience. There were detailed questions, occasional hypothetical scenarios, and some tough questions, but they did not require the governor to commit herself to specific opinions or policies. She simply needed to field them intelligently, falling back to her experience if it was appropriate. They required her to show a base level of competencey we'd expect of any senior politician, especially one who was next in line to the presidency of the United States. Palin's experience and more importantly her ability to convey that simply wasn't good enough. And Palin showed that all on her own, it did not need to be connived out of her by a sneaky liberal journalist.
So I do understand GayPatriotWest's hero worship of the Diva Palin. Her messy personal life, her force of will with the adversity she's thrown herself into in the role of governor and vice presidential candidate, her fancy for the high life, her strong personal commitment to and defense of the choices she's made. However none of that adds up as anything resembling a smart, competant politician that's ready to face the challenges our country currently finds itself in. Dan's rambling defense of her is admirable, but completely misguided if he were truly concerned about the good of our nation. This is why once again he shows that his partisan alliances trump the broader concern of good government.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
In the past, when the judicial branch had ruled that anti-gay marriage legislation was unconstitutional, the site regularly decried such actions as "judicial activism." Following the talking points of the Right, these courts were "legislating from the bench." To GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt gay rights are special rights, not equal rights. Even in the recent Iowa decision, he just couldn't bring himself to support the court's unanimous decision, instead citing that popular backlash would set the movement back. He's regularly criticized judiciaries' rulings against gay marriage amendments or essentially any kind of judicial action that addresses the discriminatory aspect of anti-gay marriage legislation.
If recognition of gay marriage was promoted through the administrative branch of a state, again GayPatriot was woe to cheer the effort. When Governor Patterson of New York announced that the state would recognize out-of-state gay marriages, since the state had no ban against gay marriage, GayPatriotWest was resigned but unsupportive calling it a decision by "executive fiat," an "end-run around his state Court of Appeals," and simply noting that the governor was on "firmer legal ground." What an endorsement!
Apparently the only branch of the government that gets to have a say on the matter is the legislative branch. The other two don't really count. When legislative bodies create laws, or even constitutional amendments, banning same-sex marriage the sound of crickets is the only opposition at GayPatriot. Even regarding the Vermont decision, GayPatriotWest and his commenters seemed despondent that there wasn't more debate before the legislature's vote enacting the law and some were sure this was a sign of doom to the entire gay marriage effort. Despite the months of effort in creating and passing the legislation, and week of public forum, it still would have been better to continue a debate about gay marriage (read: give more time to national opponents to deconstruct and pick apart the legislation as special rights). One commenter predicts this legislative action will enforce the resolve of states to ban this elsewhere.
Do you understand that? In GayPatriot world, legislative action is the only effort that counts in establishing gay marriage but even that should come with more requirements than regular legislation to really count. See when when people bring down a wall through gay rights advocacy, GayPatriots are right behind it with more bricks and mortar.
GayPatriotWest is someone who thinks gay marriage isn't a fundamental right and requires special commitment and adherence to requirements otherwise not demanded of heterosexual partners. He feels denied that gay conservatives aren't invited to join in discussions about gay marriage (understandably ignoring how they would dissuade and disrupt such an effort as he does regularly on his blog). He feels that gay leaders should remove themselves from authority when their plans do not fully manifest in gay marriage activism. His blog partner GayPatriot/Bruce agrees with writers that insist that (those decrepit, hypersexed) gays do not have the moral fortitude required for marriage and are warping the institution. Instead of recognizing the substantial civil rights that accompany marriage that are denied same-sex partners, he focuses solely on the morality, or obvious lack thereof he sees in the gay community that should first and foremost be the defining factor of the institution of gay marriage.
Gay marriage is a "political trophy" in his world and not a civilly recognized right of union between two committed adults. When he's so focused on unenforceable, personal moral requirements for marriage it's easy to see how he dismisses the fundamental civil liberties in question and the civil privileges being denied gay men and women. And for all the fundamental hurdles he's advocated in the past, he does not get to join in this particular celebration. The gay marriage effort will continue just fine, and probably better, without people like him. There are enough heterosexual bigots already without a few homosexual bigots thrown in. History has shown it's not conservatives that have led us to this more enlightened point in history anyway, where same-sex couples even have the possibility of being married and gay conservatives can promote their agenda without the concern of cognitive schism.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Whether it's calling critics Pavlovian dogs, or creating more and more special hurtles for gay men and women to be allowed to marry, to his hypocritical special criticism of nearly anything the President does despite facts to the contrary, I'm not sure where he finds the time. Such a rough life trying to complete his dissertation in mythology (!), watching those Tolkein movies or Narnia over and over, and _not_ dating since no one amazingly is interested in a gay Republican in his reddest of red enclaves of West Hollywood. Maybe he's doing work for his alumni associations - the schools that allowed him to claw his way from the bottom - Williams or Georgetown. Is anyone else confused at the odd little bubble our Mr. Blatt surrounds himself in?
Did I just hear a bell? Woof! woof!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
To the first point, from his own website the President has called to support blue collar workers with the ability for easier organization of unions. "Obama and Biden will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. He will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act." The Obama campaign vigorously courted unions for their support all through the primaries and general election and has always made passing EFCA a campaign priority for blue collar workers. It simply doesn't make sense to call his support of EFCA "further evidence of rhetorical subterfuge of his campaign rhetoric." What does that even mean?
This administration makes it clear daily that blue collar workers are not a secondary concern nor a special interest group. Putting EFCA into place doesn't obligate anyone to form a union, but rather makes it easier to form a union. Despite what GayPatriotWest would have you believe by his own rhetoric and his one shady link, there have been numerous independent studies showing that union busting is a systematic and insidious practice by business owners with a multi-billion dollar fee to the the firms that specialize in that work. It saves the employers billions more ensuring that the individuals that need solidarity most to guarantee fair compensation and labor conditions are the most often denied. If the national interest, not special interest, is not in ensuring the welfare of those most likely to suffer as a consequence, then what is? "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore...and I'll make sure to keep them that way?"
Not that it makes any difference. GayPatriotWest's main argument is one Rasmussen poll that seems to indicate that non-union workers generally do not want to join a union. The question at hand isn't that the EFCA legislation obligates anyone to join a union. It doesn't. The practice that EFCA seeks to resolve is union busting for those that do want to join a union. Rather than facing the battery of programs aimed to dissuade employees from forming a union that accompanies secret ballot voting, EFCA provides a simpler arrangement that leaves the question of unionization more to the conscience of the employees. For GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt to be against EFCA while at the same time regularly promoting these "Tea Party" rallies around the country highlights his partisan political agenda, not any higher principles of ethical government. He's not supporting the common man, but rather privatized privilege.
Finally it should be obvious to the most jaded Republican/conservative that the election of President Obama was for a leader altogether different than what Ronald Reagan represented. We had the opportunity to elect an aged, charismatic conservative and the electorate said "no thanks, we know how that story turns out." If anything, the repudiation of McCain was an extended repudiation of the Reagan's presidency. The philosophy and policies that were begun during the 1980's have seen their climax in the new century. American international intercession and nation building, increasingly privatized wealth, and the promotion of private interests over common goals were continuously at the fore of Republican politics. That has all changed.
Something that hasn't changed is the revisionist history and myth-making of the Reagan era by Republicans/conservatives though. "[Reagan] did not cast aspersions on her[sic] adversaries, blaming them for our nation’s problems," says GayPatriotWest. Apparently Reagan just had these wonderful ideas that were obviously the best path to everyone...except it isn't true. Notes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August 1980 of Reagan's battle plan for the election, "Throughout the primary season and in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Detroit last month, Reagan blamed Carter for increases in the inflation and unemployment rates, and said the president had betrayed the working classes that supported him in 1976." Reagan complained the Carter record was "a litany of broken promises." And Republicans/conservatives regularly blame Carter for the the recession that came so early in the Reagan presidency. Newt Gingrich even late last years blamed Clinton and Carter for the mortgage crisis. It's clear that Republicans always have, and always will blame their "adversaries" in times of crisis.
But there's a striking difference between that kind of blame and the current crisis. Obama has only rightly pointed out how the current crisis came to be, that the actions he's been forced to take at the fore of his administration come from actions of the previous administration and congressional leadership. This is history, not blame. He doesn't accuse previous administrations and leaders for any lack of progress or responsibility now that he is leading the effort though. Contextually he squarely places any blame on himself if his plans to resolve the crisis don't work out. And frankly for Republicans to question that responsibility while continually playing politics instead of working with the President to that end is shameless. And coming full circle, it's that particular shamelessness of political hackery we see from GayPatriotWest in posts like this latest. The more President Obama's policies continue to improve the economic crisis by policies supporting common people over wealthy special interest and the more tough choices he must make requiring everyone responsible for this recovery, you can be sure the swirl of misleading partisan rhetoric will only increase at GayPatriot.net.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
When you're a spoke in the wheel of the party so at fault for so many things and so in the doghouse with the American public, what's the best way to work back into the good graces of the political landscape? Distraction of course. What GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt is essentially doing is throwing up a huge smokescreen to obfuscate the past and make it possible to regain enough credibility to be taken seriously. And I see this to be a pattern there. He did the same thing after President Bush slipped so much in public approval. The president suddenly was not a true conservative and GayPatriotWest's support for him since his first election evaporated into a NQOKD sentiment - don't hold GayPatriot.net accountable for the situations in which we found ourselves. Gay marriage was repealed in California, but don't hold GayPatriotWest's ignoble sympathy of Yes on 8 accountable, hold the gay leadership in California accountable. The economy has been driven into the ground with year's worth of recovery ahead, but don't hold GayPatriotWest's support of a Republican administration and legislation accountable, blame the current president for actually pointing out how we got here in the first place. Do anything but actually hold GayPatriot accountable.
And it's a condition the entire Republican party has adopted. The phony outrage over issues that they deliberately ignored or even overtly supported for years is nothing but an attempt to win back some shred of credibility. The posing, the grand gestures, the constant attacts on Democrats and liberals... it's not meant to correct anything. It's not meant to improve the condition of America and put the country back on track for future prosperity for effective leadership in the world. The only thing this current round of showmanship aims to achieve is to get the American public to believe there's reason to listen and believe Republicans in the first place.
[In homage to GayPatriotWest's trying mythology allegories] I'm reminded of the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from Disney's The Little Mermaid. The sea witch Ursula sings:
I admit that in the past I've been a nasty.True? NO! Ursula the sea witch goes on to explain that she's only helping others from the goodness of her heart, those "poor unfortuante souls" and that's there's really nothing in it for her. "Yes, I've had the odd complaint; But on the whole I've been a saint." GayPatriotWest's voiciferous ramblings are designed to help you forget their current main interest, namely self-preservation and restoring Republicans' and conservatives' presence in government and access to power. They want you to forget about how they rolled over the American public for years. They want you to trade your voice for shiny, empty promises. And GayPatriotWest/Dan Blatt will do everything he can to help that effort, until it's too late. At that point he'll just wash his hands of the whole affair like he's always done in the past.
They weren't kidding when they called me, well, a "witch."
But you'll find that nowadays, I've mended all my ways,
repented, seen the light and made a switch!