Saturday, February 28, 2004

Take Back the Party: If you are a Republican against George Bush, then you need to know about this. There is a Meetup group called National Republicans against Bush and they are meeting accross the nation. If you are disturbed in what is going on currently in the GOP, I urge to go these meetups on March 18. I will keep reminding you from time to time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Marriage is about Love:Patti Davis, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan wrote a great article about gay marriage. Here is the "money" quote for me:

"The harder question is: What is frightening about a same-sex couple standing forth in front of the world and making their commitment to one another public? Is the happiness of others really so threatening? Maybe the bravery is what’s threatening. I don’t know if I could stand up to society’s wrath in the name of love. I hope I could, but as a straight woman, I’ll never be tested on that one."

I think she has a point there. I think there are people who are threatened by another person's happiness. They can only be happy when they ruin the lives of others. I think it's time to make sure they have many bad days.

We Ain't Going Nowhere:The Log Cabin Republicans issued a very strong statement against the President's actions today. What I like about this is that they call the constitutional amendment, "anti-family." I think that makes sense. What the President is encouraging is to deny the recognition of families with two married people simply because the parents are of the same sex. The Religious Right talks so much about protecting the family when this amendment will destroy families. Kudos to Log Cabin for telling it like it is.

I was also pleased for this:

Log Cabin Republicans have been loyal members of the GOP. We have been on the front lines with this President through good days and bad days. Log Cabin members believe so strongly in conservative principles that we have stood with this party even when we disagreed on some issues. Our principles have been attacked by the radical right and the far left, but we have stuck with our party. We’re not going to leave this party now, but we will not remain silent while some in the GOP try to use our Constitution as a tool for discrimination.

They continue:

No matter what happens in the coming months, Log Cabin will stay in the GOP and fight—fight for fairness, liberty and equality.

You know there will be Democrats that will say it is useless to stay and fight. But the fact is if gay Republicans leave, then the far right will have a politcal party to wield their abusive power. I don't want to see that. I also am a conservative with conservative values. I have many Democratic friends, but I disagree with them at times.

No, I will stay and fight to make the GOP inclusive and I'm glad there are other Republicans doing so as well.

This Means War:From Andrew Sullivan:

The president launched a war today against the civil rights of gay citizens and their families. And just as importantly, he launched a war to defile the most sacred document in the land. Rather than allow the contentious and difficult issue of equal marriage rights to be fought over in the states, rather than let politics and the law take their course, rather than keep the Constitution out of the culture wars, this president wants to drag the very founding document into his re-election campaign. He is proposing to remove civil rights from one group of American citizens - and do so in the Constitution itself. The message could not be plainer: these citizens do not fully belong in America. Their relationships must be stigmatized in the very Constitution itself. The document that should be uniting the country will now be used to divide it, to single out a group of people for discrimination itself, and to do so for narrow electoral purposes. Not since the horrifying legacy of Constitutional racial discrimination in this country has such a goal been even thought of, let alone pursued. Those of us who supported this president in 2000, who have backed him whole-heartedly during the war, who have endured scorn from our peers as a result, who trusted that this president was indeed a uniter rather than a divider, now know the truth.

You've just made an enemy:It is really hard to type right now because I'm livid. President Bush announced today his support for a constitutional ban gay marriage. Before today, I was dissapointed in the President. I used to think that he was someone who did not live up to my expectations. Today, I can honestly say, I dislike the President and want to see him gone.

What the President did today is not conservative. True conservatism is about honoring tradition not traditionalism. Gay men and lesbians like myself want to be part of the tradition of pledging our love to another person. True conservatism also acknowledges the power of the state and believes it has no role in the personal lives of citizens. This amendment goes right into our bedrooms and asks who we sleep with. If we tell the State we are in love with someone of the same sex, we will be denied all the benefits of marriage. True conservatism believes in freedom, and is against the State trying to prohibit someone's freedom. This amdendment does something no other amendment does: it will deny the rights of a certain part of the population to do something everyone else can.

No, this is not a conservative guesture. This is a radical measure that tells gays and lesbians that we are second class citizens if that. That goes against all that people in this country have worked for. America has a checked history, but there has always been a spirit of expanding rights to people. We try to live up to the idea of everyone being equal. This amendment makes light of that spirit.

This President has made an enemy of me. I will now work doubly hard to remove this man from office. He has committed a grave sin in my eyes: supporting the restriction of rights to some Americans.

I am ashamed today to be a Republican. But if you think I'm leaving this party, you got another thing coming. I do not want to far right in control of this party. If I leave, then they remain in power and around to do stupid and hateful acts like this. No, I will stay and fight until they don't have a place in the party. The GOP was started by people who believed that my ancestors should not be slaves. I will be damned if I let the far right sully this heritage by picking on gays and lesbians like myself.

So, if you are a Republican, I urge to join this fight. Don't leave the party but stay and fight this. Fight against the amendment and let people know what this amendment is really about: discrimation.

The President and his supporters just woke up a sleeping giant. God help them.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

The truth on Trade: With the economy still in the doldrums and Americans are still losing jobs, the timing is right for politicians especially on the left to start talk about protectionism. Coming from Flint, Michigan, I know a thing or two about this. Back in the 80s when General Motors was laying off workers left and right, many people blamed the economic woes on the Japanese. I can understand the desire to protect American jobs. I have seen the devastation that laysoffs bring up front. Flint today is still coming to grips with the downsizing of the auto industry.

However, I have a hard time saying that the answer to the job loss that is occuring now is to punish any company that outsources jobs overseas. The Star Tribune has a good editorial on this issue.

While it might seem to feel good to prevent companies from moving overseas, I wonder about how these jobs that do move to developing countries like India help the poor rise up out of poverty. Do we want to deny them the chance to better themselves.

My own view on this is not protectionism on the one hand or simply allowing the market to work it course while people lose their jobs. I think there is a middle path. What should be done is to allow markets to work as they should, but for governments to come in and provide a safety net to buffet against the harsh winds of capitalism. The free market is a wonderful system that can benefit all, but it can also be unfair. Government should step in and provide things to help people deal with the changes. That means when a community loses jobs to China or India, the government should provide things like generous unemployment benefits, free education to train displaced workers, health care for the newly unemployed and other items that can bring some stability to a family's life. I know that some on the far-right will cry "socialism" because the government is stepping, but those idiots think snow plows are a socialist plot. I think that instead of closing borders, we should open them up and let the market work, but let government do what it does best as well: promoting the general welfare for the populace.

Run For Your Lives, the Gays are coming! You just need to see this cartoon. It really made my day.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Young and Stupid:If you remember your history lessons, you might remember that it was the GOP who came out strongly against slavery. Because of that, they had a hold on the black vote for nearly a century.

Well, these days the party of Lincoln is fast becoming the party of Jesse Helms. The Associated Press reports that the College Republicans at Roger Williams College in Rhode Island are offering "whites-only" scholarships in an attempt to protest affirmative action through scholarships based on race or ethnicity. The president of the chapter, who is Puerto Rican, states that giving out scholarships based on a person's color is absurd.

As an African-American/Puerto Rican, I have recieved scholarships that were given out because my color. And I'm glad I got one, because I would have had a higher debt load in seminary had I not.

I have problems with how the Left tends to deal with race, but at least they have some compassion. In a perfect world, there would be no need for scholarships based on race. However, because the amount of persons of color, with the exception of Asians still low, institutions of higher ed are trying to do something to encourage them to get a degree. For these kids to protest something like a scholarship, which the school set up, not the federal government really shows that this is not about equality or problems with affirmative action which is a legitamate argument. These kids are expressing racism. They know that talking about "whites-only" scholarships harkens back to the old separate but equal malarkey that my father had to deal with in the Old South. They don't know about the past and decide to spout their racial hatred.

This is yet another example of how far the party has slipped. It's pretty depressing.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Bush Apocalyspe Watch: Well, as Malcolm X once said, the chickens have come home to roost. Now that former UN and US inspector David Kay has said there ain't no weapons of mass destruction, the people have begun to question the President's integrity. Friday's Washington Post states that a majority of Americans polled (54%) now believe that the President either lied or exaggerated prewar intelligence. Barely half (48%) now think the war against Iraq was worth fighting for which of course means that a majority now think it was a mistake.

It's still pretty early in the election cycle, but you have to wonder what these poll numbers are saying. Last year, people thought Bush was invincible after defeating Saddam. Even more so, when Saddam was captured last December, there was talk of the Dems giving up. But with the body count rising and now the raison d'etre for this war now shown to be ficticious, people are starting to think that the President is not so trustworthy after all.

I think that many Americans who were hopeful for a President that would restore some honor to the office (myself included) are feeling betrayed. At first it seemed like just a few disgruntled Republicans, but now it seems like it is becoming a flood. Bush was given two chances to honor the trust Americans put in him. The first was when he was elected. The election mess of 2000, should have reminded him that he had to earn the nation's trust, especially those who were angry at him. He failed that test by starting right away to veer to the far right. He lost it again after September 11th, when a nation was looking for a leader. Early on, he showed some signs of promise at our nation's darkest hour. But then he went on this adventuresome and needless war in Iraq, and again veered to the far right, ignoring the rest of America.

Now the chickens have come home. People are wondering if they can trust their leader. I think he has broken that trust and for that he should start looking for another job.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Clark is Out:The AP is reporting that Wesley Clark is leaving the Democratic presidential race. I guess not a big surprise. What is a suprise is that Dean is still thinking that he can go after Wisconsin. I wish that he would wake up and quit. He ran a good campaign, but now it's time to fold. The people are speaking and it's not Dean's name they are saying anymore. His campagin is starting to look like a joke.

I never thought I would have said that.

This is Important, Why? There's been a lot of salivating in Democratic circles about President Bush's military service or lack thereof. While I can understand some people's anger that one who supported the war did not have the courage to fight in it, I have to say, why is this important? What does this have to do with foreign policy or the economy?

Tomorrow's editorialin the Minneapolis Star Tribune makes that point pretty well. It's easy for the media and Democrats to focus on this story, but that is all it is, a story. In an election year where many people are worried about more terrorist attacks, health care, perscription drugs, and the economy, getting all into a huff about the president's missing year seems rather lame. Come on, guys, focus on the issues, not on this fluff.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Another Sign of the Bush Apocalypse: I'm not a big fan of websites like Common Dreams, which a left-porgressive news website. However, they did post an intriguing article about dissent among GOP ranks concerning Bush. It turns out that in the recent New Hampshire Republican Primary about 8,000 people voted against Bush out of a nearly 63,000 total votes cast. This means about 15 percent of the voters voted for someone else than the Commander-in-Chief.

Who did they vote for? They didn't vote for any of the no-name challengers, but for...are you ready for this? Democrats. John Kerry and Howard Dean were second and third after Bush.

Are these all really Democrats as some have suggested? I doubt it. As you know, I supported Howard Dean. I'm a Republican. I know that there are Republicans who support Kerry and Wesley Clark and maybe even John Edwards. This has to be the greatest story that is not being covered: the amount of animosity that Bush has stirred up, not among liberals and progressives, but among conservatives of all stripes. Bush has turned out to be a leader with no convictions other than to get re-elected in he eyes of this moderate conservative. I think if the media would go beyond the all-Republicans-support-Bush mentality, they would see that many loyal Republicans are sad and angry at what Bush and Co. have done to our dear party. I do hope they are reading this.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Crying Wolf Watch:I've been hearing a lot of talk of censorship concerning CBS's refusal to show an ad by the advocacy group attacking the President. Now, I'm not a fan of President Bush either, but the cries of censorship coming from MoveOn and many liberals is ringing a bit false. People may not like that CBS nixed on the MoveOn ad, but just because they said no does not mean that bookburnings are around the corner. CBS is a private company and it has a right to decide what it wants to show as much as MoveOn has a right to air the ad. Freedom of speech does not mean that people should simply bow down and heap praises on you because you say something. Now if the FCC said the ad could not run on any network, then of course that is censorship and I would be among those protesting. However, that did not happen.

The way that MoveOn and some liberals are acting, you'd think it was not going to ever be allowed on any network. Not true. As far as I know, the ad will run on other venues and the message will still come accross. But then, this was not about First Amendment issues. It was about getting this message to one of the widest television audiences and MoveOn was upset about that. The other thing is that MoveOn is one of the most tech-savvy operations there is out there. No doubt the ad is running on their website and on other websites as well. MoveOn has done a phenonmenal job of getting its anti-Bush message out to the general public. MoveOn has used the Internet to get itself publicity, so it is hard for me to see why they are crying censorship on something like this.

In my view, there is too much confusion between legitamate attempts at censorship or assaults on civil liberties like the Patriot Act and acts dealing with preference that are percieved as censorship. You can't call it censorship simply because someone criticizes you for something you said becasue someone does not run an ad.

But I guess in this age of victimization, it is far easier to portray oneself as the victim being bullied by large corporate interests even though you are well know organization that is not lacking in garnering media attention when it needs it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

"Dear John" Letter; Sort of: I wrote a long explanation about what is going on concerning the campaign of Howard Dean. I haven't made a clean break with the campaign, but I've become more of a disinterested follower now. I think Dean has some great ideas but I have lost some interest in the campaign. After the loss in Iowa I sort of got a second sight that made me think about Dean and the Internet-based campaign.

A lot of the criticism is that there was more activity than there was a movement. In my own experience of running the Republicans for Dean site I have to say that is pretty true. I started this blog and there was a lot of activity, but I goofed on giving people ways to get involved. There was no active Republicans for Dean movement, just this blog. I told people to do things on their own, but in reality, that is not the way to run a campaign. If I were smart I would have got these people organized, but I didn't. Like a lot of others, I saw the activity and saw nothing more.

A friend who is still actively involved talked his recent trip to the state Democratic Central Committee meeting. He said that the other campaigns brought maybe 10 persons to meeting while Dean brought 75. He was pleased with this as if it means Dean will win. No, what it means is that Dean has a lot of people involved in the campaign. That doesn't reflect what voters will do in the local caucuses here.

The other thing is that the Dean campaign seems to be based on pure emotion. People get pumped up and involved, but the feelings fade after a while and people move on. Back in the summer, I encountered a man who was really into Dean. He organized meetups and was pretty visible in the campaign. He was definitely a true believer.

Then he vanished. A few weeks ago after Iowa, I met him again. It turns out he has left Dean and is now following Edwards. When he once revered Dean he was now regarding him as a kook after his scream speech. Here was a guy who donated money and time and spoke passionately about Dean in the summer. A few months later, it all becomes history.

The Dean campaign glommed on to the anger concerning the President. Emotion is a good thing, but the campaign began to be based soley on emotions and after a while it becomes like cotton candy; it's good, but after a while you need something more substantial.

Dean has great ideas. He is fiscally conservative and socially liberal; a message that could reach out to swing voters. But somehow the online community became closed in on itself and did not remember that politcs is about persuasion. It means talking to people and making the case why candidate X is better than candidate Y. I don't think I did that and I don't think others did it either.

Tonight, I'm going to a meeting I am chairing for Republicans for Environmental Protection. We are coming together and meeting and hopefully will go to talk with legislators on environmental issues. That is what politics is all about; talking and perusading people.

!-- End .box -->