Gay IS the New Black

What I say is true. The sooner politicians and conservatives, in general, realize this, the better.

I’ve been told that blacks like me should be offended by this development. True enough, blacks don’t DO anything to qualify as black. It is an “accident of birth”. The nature/nurture mix of homosexuality is not settled science. So there is some logical truth to saying that the civil rights of black and gay are a false equivalency.

That said, so what?  Like blacks, gays don’t hurt anyone by being gay. Defenders of the original Indiana RFRA law present us with their own false equivalency. On Face the Nation former Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum asked should a gay printer be forced to publish flyers from the Westboro Baptist Church that declare “God hates fags”?

Here’s the problem with Rick’s logic. The Westboro Baptist Church is expressing hatred toward gays. A gay wedding does not express hatred for Christianity. In fact a good number of gays are as God fearing and God loving as their straight counterparts. So, the REAL truth is “Christians of conscience” CHOOSE to be offended by gay marriage. Being a baker, florist, photographer or caterer doesn’t mean YOU have to copulate with someone of your own gender.

What further bothers me about the debate is this notion of religious conscience and freedom of religion. Do you REALLY think there aren’t atheists who find homosexuality repulsive and disgusting? Do they get to refuse services related to a gay wedding? I suspect not. So let’s get this straight. If I find homosexuality an “abomination” I can only act on my “conscience” if I attend church on Sunday’s? Is that it? Only the religious have a conscience?

99% of commerce arrangements work out naturally. Most folks regardless of orientation don’t want to do business with folks who don’t like them. In the rare case where a consumer insists on doing business with a particular merchant, that merchant needs to realize times have changed and you don’t get to refuse service based on who the customer chooses to love.

WITH THAT SAID…

I find it ridiculous that an angry vindictive gay consumer can bring a small company to its knees over this. Penalties should be capped, perhaps with a small fine. If a gay wedding cake upsets you that much, cough up a $100.00 fine and put your money where your “conscience” is.

Second, there is a difference between a “gay wedding” cake and a “gay” wedding cake. A merchant should be able to refuse to put two copulating figurines on a wedding cake. One would hope the baker would have the same reaction to two straight figurines copulating on a wedding cake. A blanket refusal to serve a group of people is different from refusing to provide services that current mores dictate are indeed offensive.

That is really the crux of the debate. Gays embracing traditional marriage has largely gained acceptance in this country and our laws should reflect that. Our laws evolve to reflect societal values. If Adam and Steve ask for a tasteful cake for their wedding just like Adam and Eve do, bake the damn cake and get over yourself. Or pay a fine. But you don’t get to say no because your “conscience” aligns with some religion.

What do you think? The bar is open.

Advertisements

Insulting Voters — The GOP Leaves no Stone Unturned

200px-Wheelchair_symbol_mailto_02.svgDuring the just completed campaign season, the Grand Old Party managed to deliberately or accidentally insult virtually every voting block. They deliberately insulted women (running the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Murdock) and Hispanics (with Mitt’s self-deportation strategy toward illegal immigration). They inadvertently insulted a slew of minorities including veterans with Romney’s 47% statement.

Just when you thought the Republican party had run out of people to alienate, they’ve gone after the last remaining voting block, the often ignored American disabled. Last week the Senate was asked to ratify a United Nations treaty which would spread the laudable standard of our Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) around the world. When the time came for Republicans to promote the greatest advance in disabled civil rights to the world stage, they incredibly declined. They declined in spite of the fact that wounded war veteran and respected elder statesman Bob Dole was on the floor of the Senate, in his wheelchair no less,  to urge the body to ratify the treaty.

What was their reasoning? Pure insanity but I’ll use their words — they feared it would threaten US sovereignty. Former presidential candidate and full-time crackpot Rick Santorum (whose daughter is severely disabled) warned against ratification citing a fear that the U.N. would interfere with home schooling and other decisions revolving around child rearing.

I also oppose CRPD because our nation has been the worldwide leader when it comes to protecting the disabled. We should be telling the U.N., not the other way around, how to ensure dignity and respect for the disabled. — Santorum: U.N. Disabilities Treaty Would’ve Had Bureaucrats Unseat Parents

Ehhhhh, what the hell is Rick talking about? The treaty is patterned after our ADA. It seeks to spread our ADA standards to other countries. In essence, we are “telling the U.N., not the other way around.”

This is yet another chapter in the saga of the nutjob contingent of the GOP bringing shame to this venerable party. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. John Boehner has finally found a pair and is kicking folks off their preferred committee assignments based on past voting patterns. While that doesn’t help matters in the Senate it does give some hope that Boehner is going to grab control from House loonies where the Republicans have a majority. Now if Harry Reid can ram through filibuster reform, perhaps we can all “get our country back.”

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

Why I Am Voting for Barack Hussein Obama

Arrogant conservatives, despite their utter ignorance about anything HUMAN, claim a profound wisdom when it comes to their ability to divine the motives of liberals who will grant Barack Obama a second term as President of the United States. They say Obama is our Messiah. They say that in the eyes of liberals, Obama can do no wrong. They say that whenever we liberals are confronted with one of Obama’s weaknesses, we cry “racism!” We are unthinking “sheeple”.

You don’t have to believe that Obama is a secret Muslim to think he’s not perfect.

You don’t have to believe he was born in Kenya and has a forged birth certificate to think he’s not perfect.

You don’t have to believe he is somewhere between a socialist, communist and anarchist to think he’s not perfect.

While the conservative fringe fouls the air with the stench of their crazed conspiracy theories, many liberals, myself included, can readily concede that Obama has thus far not been one of our “great Presidents”. Of course it takes decades of history and hindsight to judge the historical significance of a President, but we’ll concede that for the time being Obama ain’t no Washington, Jefferson or Roosevelt (the GOP one or the Democratic one). In fact, some liberals are very disappointed with the man.

Take comedian Lee Camp whose recent video contends that there isn’t too much daylight between Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney.  Camp claims to know who will win this election and the winner’s name doesn’t even matter:

It’s gonna be the guy who seems to support endless war, countless drone attacks and would sooner sit down to watch every Pauly Shore movie back to back than consider decreasing our 900 military bases around the world by a single one.

It’ll be the guy who deports immigrants hand over fist and would sooner adopt Honey Boo Boo than stand up for unions over the corporatists.

It’ll be the guy who surrounds himself with advisers from Goldman Sachs, GE and Monsanto. Not only will he win the election but I bet you he’ll get every single electoral vote.

I don’t know whom Lee is voting for but despite his disappointment with Obama,  I doubt it will be Mitt Romney.

Then we have (another) comedian who is also an actor and writer, David Cross who had some harsh words for the current POTUS:

There are dozens, if not hundreds of legitimate reasons why you should not vote for Obama. You were lied to, seduced by yet another smooth talking politician who promised you hope and change. …

And yes, after three years of Obama, we still live in a country with an ever-peeling veneer of “democracy” that is run by and for the moneyed power brokers and their vested interests. A country where cancer patients smoking medicinal marijuana in the privacy of their home participate in a criminal offense, but knowingly manipulating the markets and stealing from pension funds goes, not only unpunished, but lucratively rewarded.

And true, we still live in the most violent first world country on earth, with increasingly lax restrictions on the freedom to buy assault weapons online. And we still spend more of our precious decreasing tax dollars on “defense” than the next ten countries combined. …

And unquestionably, the banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses and really, all financial institutions have gotten away virtually untouched with the biggest theft of the people’s money since Rome was sacked by the Visigoths. — David Cross from 90 Days, 90 Reasons.

But then Cross asks the reader to consider the alternative. This brings me to why I am voting for Barack Obama in November.

First let’s rewind to the Republican primary season where each candidate tried to outdo the other on just how cut-throat they could be with the American people. GOP audiences cheered at the notion of letting a man without insurance die in the street, and candidate Ron Paul said nothing to condemn the notion. A soldier asking candidates about marriage equality was booed by an audience of homophobic cowards, not fit to wipe his ass much less shine his shoes. And Rick Santorum stood by and said nothing in defense of the man. Santorum, a so-called patriot, except when it comes to what you want to do in the privacy of your bedroom. Let’s not forget Herman Cain who reminded the jobless in this disastrous economy that it was their fault that they didn’t have a job.

Through it all, Mitt Romney seemed comparatively innocuous. His most memorable moments amounted to challenging Rick Perry to a ten thousand dollar bet and deflecting accusations of hiring undocumented workers by saying that he told his landscaper “I can’t have illegals. I’m running for President for Pete’s sake.” Mitt was the most presidential in a cast of mean-spirited clowns and he won the nomination.

Ah yes, the nomination … the Republican National Convention helped further flesh out the Republican party that we were introduced to in the primary debates.  The theme was the makers vs the takers. If “you didn’t build that”, the Obama phrase perversely mangled by opponents, was offensive, the GOP upped the ante by suggesting that if you didn’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps you were a loser. Virtually every speaker told tales of ancestors who made it with no help from the government, just by dint of hard work. Yet, in twisted convoluted logic, they lauded America as the place “legal” immigrants came to for opportunity. Somehow, the greatest governmental experiment ever launched by mankind had nothing to do with their ancestor’s success. It made no sense, but then Republican’s government-hating patriotism makes no sense either.

Shortly before the convention, Mitt announced his running mate, Paul Ryan, a card carrying enemy of the “nanny state”. Ryan was a no-win choice no matter how you looked at it. Either he was the austerity minded, program cutting makers-vs-takers candidate or he was the man who voted for every unfunded Bush initiative of the prior administration. Another example of the contradiction that is the current Republican party.

Then within the past few weeks a tape was released that revealed what Mitt Romney (and by extension, the entire GOP) felt was an effective pander to his “base”. Mind you, I didn’t say the tape revealed what Mitt actually feels. We don’t know what Mitt actually feels about anything. Pick any topic  and a YouTube of two Mitt’s side by side saying opposite things can be produced. But this pander, this low that Romney was willing to stoop to for votes and contributions, spoke volumes about the attitude of the folks who will be empowered by a Romney win in November. It is the attitude that many many Americans see themselves as “victims” and do not want to take “personal responsibility” for themselves.

Forget about Mitt for one moment and think about the arrogant prick who asked the question, how is Mitt going to convince people “you’ve got to take care of yourself”. He asks this while a no doubt minimum wage waiter serves him his champagne and caviar at the home of a man who hosts sex-parties for his out of touch spoiled friends who wouldn’t know a tough break if they had it shoved up their pampered butt.

These are the folks Romney wants to impress. These are the folks who think that because you got laid off and haven’t been able to find work in 18 months that you’re a loser mooching off the nation. This is the movement foretold by Rick Santelli back in 2009:

How about this, Mr. President and new administration. Why don’t you put up a website to have people vote on the internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers mortgages? Or would they like to at least buy cars, buy a house that is in foreclosure … give it to people who might have a chance to actually prosper down the road and reward people that can carry the water instead of drink the water?

This is America!

How many people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgages that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?
Raise their hand!

I stand with David Cross and Lee Camp and many other liberals who are disappointed in Barack Obama. But I’m voting for him again this November because I detest most of what the Republican party has come to stand for:

Homophobia.
A dangerously “nostalgic” view of women.
A lack of empathy that borders on resentment and hatred of the poor and newly poor.
A love affair with the wealthy complete with delusions that we all could be wealthy if we just worked hard enough.

I don’t think that way and I won’t cast a vote that puts me in common cause with people who do. That is reason enough for me to vote for Barack Hussein Obama.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Art by Vectorportal [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance