After My Own Heart

A.J. Otjen, University of Montana Professor and 2010 GOP Congressional Candidate has an Op-Ed in the Missoulian that flies in the face of the arguments by Treasure State Politics about LGBT rights (see previous post) and takes on the Montana GOP’s Notorious Platform Plank:

Montana Republican Party

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(The) Montana Supreme Court heard an appeal giving same-sex couples the protections that heterosexual couples enjoy. We should demand that our Republican leaders support this decision. But, the Montana Republican party platform says homosexual acts should remain illegal.

Apparently, the party that favors smaller, less intrusive government wants bigger, more intrusive government when it comes to our domestic arrangements. Three’s a crowd in the bedroom, folks.

Worse, the party line doesn’t fit with what most Republicans think. The latest Gallup poll says that 85 percent of Republicans want their candidates to focus on the economy, not social issues.

It will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win general elections if party leaders try to block the Supreme Court ruling or this troubling clause stays in the Republican state platform. Almost two-thirds of independents supported legalizing same-sex marriage in a 2010 Gallup poll.

Anecdotal evidence from online posts shows thousands of voters saying they would vote Republican except for the GOP’s rigid stance on gay issues.

Almost one-third of Republicans supported legalizing same-sex marriage in the 2010 Gallup poll. Over 70 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds support legalizing same-sex marriage, up 16 percentage points from 2010. This “overwhelming” number in favor of marriage equality “makes the trend toward growing acceptance both clear and unstoppable,” says Jon Walker at Firedoglake. (emphases mine)


I am delighted and cautiously optimistic.

Of course I want her to be a bellwether, and having A.J. Otjen singing “The Times, They Are A-Changing” (with statistics) might be the wake-up call the Montana GOP needs. But will they hear it?

The Tea-Party Christianists seem to have a loud voice, if not large numbers- and the fact that this plank was “sneaked in” past the majority of delegates- as some maintain- doesn’t leave me with a helluva lot of faith in the process.

I want to believe it. I do. I like what she’s singin’, God bless her. It’s rational, reasonable, and backed by scientific data.

But I know a few people who’ll run to unplug the speakers as fast as they can. Especially because it’s rational, reasonable and backed by scientific data.

Sigh.

Stay tuned- and read the whole piece here.

In Which I Am Insulted, But Not Named

I was totally going to respond to Treasure State Politics accusation that (without naming me or this blog directly- afraid to catch or promote The Gay?) I am a flippant, hasty writer and I see bigotry where there’s only the desire to discuss judicial activism.

Well, Pogie beat me to it.

In a post entitled: The Future of the Republican Party: A Commitment to Homophobia?, Don Pogreba writes:

Icon for Wikimedia project´s LGBT portal (Port...

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It’s always both disheartening and a bit amusing watching conservatives contort themselves to justify discrimination against GLBT Americans, especially when it comes to marriage equality. They couch their arguments in specious claims about judicial activism, but the truth is, their position rests on the bigoted idea that a group of people can be denied equal protection under the law simply because some people are uncomfortable with relationships that are different from their own.

The latest example? The media darlings and deep thinkers at Treasure State Politics.

When this is your argument, you’re in trouble:

“I understand it is vital for every citizen, no matter their personal choices, to be guaranteed the same rights under our laws. Marriage isn’t a right, it’s a tradition. When a court begins to compromise the meaning of marriage that Montanans have overwhelmingly agreed on, the reverence of marriage can be quickly destroyed.”

The Supreme Court has disagreed with the idea that marriage is not a right, most specifically in the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, which outlawed anti-miscegenation laws. As the majority wrote:

“The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men …”

To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.

Read the whole thing- it’s fantastic.
There are, however, a couple of NYAH-NYAH points I would like to make to Mr Shannon’s insistence that he wasn’t trying to denigrate LGBT persons:
  • When you begin by comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy, that’s offensive.
  • When you say that marriage is a tradition and not a right, not only are you wrong according to the Supreme Court (see Pogreba’s discussion above), you miss the point. Traditions change. For examples, see the following: slavery, women’s suffrage, military conscription, prohibition, comma usage, etc
  • When you bemoan “activist judges” and “legislating from the bench”, you simply are using terms to couch the infantile feelings that you didn’t get what you wanted from the ruling(s).
  • When you insist that you didn’t want to have a discussion about LGBT rights by denigrating same-sex marriage, you are ridiculous.
  • And by writing this crazy pants rebuttal, you prove my point entirely.
Next time, please don’t be afraid to name me or this blog. I don’t like being called out behind my back. It’s cheap.
And by the way, this post took me 24 minutes to write.
Hasty writer, indeed….

The Palinization Of The GOP

Buckley (right) and L. Brent Bozell Jr. promot...

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“The headline on Democratic strategist Paul Begala’s recent Newsweek essay dodged subtlety: “The Stupid Party.”

“Republicans used to admire intelligence. But now they’re dumbing themselves down,” was the subhead.

Democrats couldn’t agree more. And quietly, many Republicans share the sentiment. They just can’t seem to stop themselves.

Republicans aren’t really stupid, of course, and Begala acknowledges this. But, as he also pointed out, the conservative brain trust once led by William F. Buckley has been supplanted by talk radio hosts who love to quote Buckley (and boast of his friendship) but who do not share the man’s pedigree or his nimble mind. Moreover, where Buckley tried to rid the GOP of fringe elements, notably the John Birch Society, today’s conservatives have let them back in. The 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference was co-sponsored by the Birchers.

Meanwhile, the big tent fashioned by Ronald Reagan has become bilious with the hot air of religious fervor. No one was more devout than the very-Catholic Buckley, but you didn’t see him convening revivals in the public square. Nor is it likely he would have embraced fundamentalist views that increasingly have forced the party into a corner where science and religion can’t coexist.”

The GOP will continue to be ridiculous as long as it courts the ridiculous…. Make sure and read the whole thing- it’s good.

MT Dems: Rehberg’s Concern for Foreclosed Homeowners a New Development

Millionaire Congressman Dennis Rehberg says home mortgage lenders “should have been left to fail”, according to a report in Lee Newspapers.

record number of Americans lost their homes during the subprime mortgage crisis, but Congressman Rehberg’s comments reveal he was never concerned about stemming the tide of foreclosures.

“Congressman Rehberg has no solutions because—as a second generation millionaire—he never had to worry about struggling with a mortgage,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Congressman Rehberg needs to explain why he would allow more Montanans to have lost their homes during the mortgage crisis.”

Congressman Rehberg signed on to a bill to hold Fannie and Freddie accountable for extreme bonuses seven months after the bill was introduced, and just hours after Jon Tester spoke out against the bonuses during a Senate hearing.

“Apparently Congressman Rehberg will try to steal someone else’s ideas when thinks he can gain politically,” continued Dick.

Congressman Rehberg’s comments about letting home mortgage lenders fail come as GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich

is forced to answer questions about his consulting contract with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“We’ll give the Congressman another opportunity,” Dick said.  “He should join with his campaign partner Michele Bachmann and denounce Newt Gingrich for enriching himself with a questionable $1.6 million contract with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”