Friday, March 14, 2003

Guttless Democrats, Dumb-Ass Republicans: Here in Minnesota, the latest flap is about state representative Arlon Lindner. By some accident of democracy, this idiot was elected to represent a far flung corner of the Twin Cities metro area. This Republican denounced the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dali Lama, and more recently has introduced a bill that would remove GLBT protections from the state's human rights amendment.

But wait, it gets better. In a recent speech, Lindler said that teaching about gays and lesbians in school would cause HIV cases to rise and would resemble the African continent. He also said no gays were killed during the Holcaust and that the Nazi Party was full of gays.

It's not surprising that there is alot of furor and I am glad. It is sad that someone so backward is making law and that there has not been enough outrage from Republicans. I am happy that the head of Log Cabin Republicans, Pat Guerrero spoke out against Lindner. It shows some real courage to speak out against one of your own.

What is bothersome is how Democrats love to jump on these issues. They will call news conferences and talk about tolerance and acceptance. All well and good, but are they willing to speak out when its one of their own? It is easy to harrangue the evil Republicans. You can get some political points in being all caring. But Democrats seem to be silent when a fellow Dem says a racist, sexist or homophobic remark let alone do something that restricts the rights of gays or persons of color. They were rather silent when Clinton kept the federal standards that allowed people found in possesion of crack cocaine longer sentences than those found with powder cocaine. Blacks tend to use crack cocaine, while whites use power cocaine. There was hope that the laws would be equalized since they are on the face racist. Nope. And we did not hear a peep from Dems. Then came the signing of the Defense of Marriage Act by President Clinton in 1996. Clinton gained a lot of support from gays in 1992 and then turns around during his re-election by signing a law that restricts our rights to marry. Again, not a peep. In Minnesota, the late Paul Wellstone, in his race for re-election also in '96 said he was against gay marriage because it went afoul to centuries of Jewish teaching. Nothing.

I have nothing against beating up on Lindler. He's a bigot who hides behind the Bible and he deserves the heat that he's getting. But I think it is really easy for Democrats to get up and denounce Republicans. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They are in different parties and it looks good to the voters. But their decision is political and not moral. The moral choice is to speak out when it is dangerous to do so. I am reminded of Fanny Lou Hamer demanding to be seated in place of the all-white Mississippi at the 1964 Democratic Convention. When Democrats are willing to place their political lives on the line for the sake of truth and justice, I will applaud.


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