Barack Obama‘s unity tour took him to Oregon this weekend, where he wagged a finger at politicos who use immigration, gay marriage and other contentious issues to divide the electorate. Karl Rove, he’s talking to you.
Said the Senator:
We argue about immigration, but we don’t try to solve the immigration problem. It’s an argument that is all about people’s passions instead of trying to figure it out. We argue about gay marriage. In the meantime the planet is…potentially being destroyed. We’ve got a war that is bankrupting us. And we’re going to argue about gay marriage? I mean, that…doesn’t make any sense.
There were plenty of Obama faces, that’s for sure.
All Obama has done is minimize gay marriage as an issue not worthy of addressing. No wonder; he’s against it. This just shows that he either doesn’t want to remind people that he’s against ir or that he can’t run an administration that can handle more than one topic at a time. “As long as there’s global warming and wars we don’t have time to address social issues.”
I wonder what other social issues he won’t have time to address.
I disagree. Obama knows that the crowd he’s addressing is probably 50/50 split on the gay marriage issue. But he knows people are generally politically selfish. He’s just making the point to them that as mostly regular straight people, their concern should be more over things like global warming and corporate corruption. Thing’s that actually effect their daily lives.
And when was the last time Hillary even dared to say the words gay and marriage in the same sentence? When was the last time she even said the word gay in front of a mostly straight audience?
The answer to your question, George (to the best of my knowledge) is the evening that she won the New Hampshire primary. That day, NH passed civil unions by ballot initiative. Hillary praised the state for doing so, and pledged to work to make federal recognition of civil unions and federal benefits for civilly united partners a reality.
All I hear from His Messianic Holiness is that gays shouldn’t “get hung up on semantics” and how we should be oh-so-grateful for his “superior” brand of civil unions. I’ll bet he wouldn’t trade his marriage for one of his so-called “superior” civil unions, though.
The issues that Obama could and should address related to the privatization of our government, the huge divide between rich and poor renunciation of our civil rights; the staughter and torture for American imperialism, health care. . . there are plenty of things much more important than gay marriage. if you think not , maybe you can reconsider in a corporate jail. We have the highest rate of incerceration of citizens in the world 1/37.
He’s right, most peoples primary concerns are pedestrian and ignorant, at a time when the very future of democracy is highly in doubt.
His point- which many of you seem to miss- is that we shouldn’t allow wedge issues to be used against us. He’s simply reciting “What’s the Matter With Kansas” It’s not saying gay marriage isn’t crucial. It’s saying understand how the GOP talks about these issues to manipulate the debate. ie, Americans think they are voting on gay marriage ban, but also voting for everything else the GOP does. That we can obtain marriage is critical, but how we obtain it by allowing the right to frame the discussion also matters.
PS- if you read how he starts the quote and how he frames the discussion- what I say becomes clear. He’s talking about how we talk bout all these issues, but nothing gets done because we are driven by the emotional buttons that the GOP would like to drive politics. That nothing is ever done about it. He’s talking about the lizard brain that drives too many voters. Fear, desire, etc. The lack of rational discourse that says– what do you care if the guy next to you is married to another guy?
Crumbs the multitude now swears was a feast…
Where was Obama’s wagging finger and concern about the use of gay marriage baiting to divide when his friend the Rev. James Meeks [whom Obama told the “Chicago Sun Times” in 2004 “he seeks out for spiritual counsel”] in his role as State Sen. James Meeks refused to vote for Illinois’ gay rights bill because giving us job protection might “lead to gay marriage” and who has called being gay “an evil sickness”?
Where was Obama’s wagging finger and concern and self-described powers of persuasion when Meeks [who’s done TV campaign ads for him; was on his Prez exploratory committee; hosted him for several sermons; prayed with him the night he won his US Senate primary] ran for governor on an anti gay marriage equality platform, vowing to fight it at every turn?
MEEKS “MORALITY” VIDEO: http://mfile.akamai.com/12906/wmv/vod.ibsys.com/2006/0327/8289367.200k.asx
Where was Obama’s wagging finger and concern when Meeks was using his mega church to launch petition drives for the Illinois Family Institute that has praised Meeks for leading African Americans in “clearly understanding the threat of gay marriage”?
Real concern, like charity, begins at home and among those closest to you. And there are few closer to Barack Obama than Rev./Sen. James “Hollywood Jews brought us ‘Brokeback Mountain'” Meeks.
I once could have supported Barack. After the past couple of weeks I have started to see the lack of experience and pandering to the media that makes me question his sincerity. For once we, the LGBT community, have the opportunity to vote for our future. I have seen the light and Obama is not in it.
The words “gay marriage” have been a “hot button” that the right wing have used for the last decade to push “Christian” people to vote for them. If Democrats get all emotional and argue about Rove’s hot-button phrases, it just helps the Republicans and hurts the Democrats.
Obama has talked about being fair to all people, including gay people. He has talked about understanding and reducing prejudice and discrimination. He mentions gay people in passing, as one of the groups that has suffered discrimination, rather than as a hot-button keyword. After the election, he can talk about specific ways to do those things. Before the election, it is important to define the issue as “fairness”, rather than allow the Republicans to define it as “gay marriage”.
Remember, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” It isn’t a choice between perfect and imperfect. It is a choice between good and evil. Perfect is not one of the available choices.
Your observation is really astute, Steve. The only way to change things is not to let the enemy define the playing field or the rules of the game. The Right has won by playing to the brainless e,g, Religious multitude.
You’ve put some perspective on an Oped thqt Maureen Doud wrote in theNYTimes about the difference between Obama (metaphorically white) and Clinton(metaphorically black). She plays thier game by thier terms; he on the other hand reframes the issues. That is the only thing that will save America, from this right wing domination. Which is not even about real issues, Just those “hot buttons”.
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