Saturday, October 20, 2007

Why is Obama pandering to anti-gay bigots?

Because anti-gay bigots are sometimes also members of the religious right? Or did Barack think sponsoring a "Gospel Tour" in South Carolina would help him shore up his bonafides in the black community there and elsewhere? Maybe both. But Obama is treading on thin ice here. Among the Gospel singers performing on the tour is Donnie McClurkin who
...has detailed his struggle with gay tendencies and vowed to battle "the curse of homosexuality," said yesterday he'll perform as scheduled at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, despite controversy over his view that sexuality can be changed by religious intervention.
Donnie McClurkin is in denial on so many different levels it makes me dizzy.

Why would the senator risk the votes of two traditionally Democratic constituencies that don't require pandering to? I 'm referring to gay and lesbian voters*, and voters who want to preserve the separation of church and state.

I'm trying to remember what Obama-mania felt like.

*maybe this should be qualified to read "openly gay and lesbian voters" since there's been a rash of news items involving sexually confused Republicans that have embarrassed the GOP.


Alex said...

One can only run on the strengths of oneself for so long - about as long as it takes to capture a nomination. After that point, though, regardless of what you were before, you become the Democratic candidate trying to court everyone's vote, regardless as to whether getting a voting bloc from one would diminish your voting bloc elsewhere. Which means, here in America, that showing your religion and blinging it up is generally a good way of getting people to vote for you. Then all you have to do is convince the GLBT vote that once you're elected, you're going to follow them rather than the sheep that were convinced of your ability because of your giant golden cross.

red rabbit said...

Sounds like one needs to be an acrobat and trust that voters in all blocs have short and/or forgiving memories. I understand the ultimate goal is getting elected. I spent a lot of time defending Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 to less forgiving lefties who wanted the candidate to possess and show the courage of our collective progressive convictions at all times.

But I haven't trusted Obama since before he became Saint Barack, and as much as I wish there was some substance to the man, his stock gets lower with each disappointing pander. And every time I hear the fake black Southern Baptist preacher persona he affects, I remember how uncomfortable he was visiting black churches on the southside of Chicago when he ran a ridiculous and futile campaign against Bobby Rush. And I cringe.

Alex said...

That's the idea. And until the American voting populace can demonstrate they've got that memory, then the pandering will continue. And then, unless the voting populace actually votes their convictions, rather than voting who they think will do the least amount of damage, things will get even worse.

Saint Barack is one of many personae that all the politicians have. What he's really going to be like is what we'll find out if we elect him. The same with Hillary. I wonder how many will think they elected a liberal, only to find someone else. In some ways, the conservatives are being more up-front with themselves.

red rabbit said...

In the name of voting one's convictions: I have a good friend who still defends his vote for Ralph Nader in 2000. He believed the only way to get the Democrats to sit up and take notice of their natural liberal constituency was to deny them votes. Well, look who we got with the help of that logic. The price was way too high. Like it or not we have two political parties that tolerate varying levels of corruption and we can no longer rely on our "free press" to blow the whistle on our government. They've been bought and paid for and are complicit in hiding the truth about the Abu Ghraibs, and trumped up evidence of WMDs, and cocaine-addled Texas governors.
I'm afraid we're stuck with Barack and Hillary and Mitt and Rudy. These are our choices and as much as I criticize the Democrats, I know I will hold my nose and vote for the Democratic nominee next November. I no longer require a candidate I actually believe in. It would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath.

Alex said...

At the point where only a few people decide to vote their convictions rather than electability, I agree that we'll have things like the current situation. Thus, the idea of voting on electability self-perpetuates, because a deviance that isn't big enough ends up being "wasted votes" (an oxymoron of large proportions) in letting the Other Guy win.

I will probably still vote for a third-party candidate, if their views come close to mine, or on the principle that America needs more third-party candidates to succeed. I won't consider it a wasted vote, even if everyone else does, or decides that voting for a third party is voting for The Other Guy.

I'd like to see everyone vote their convictions in this presidential race and the primaries. Not only will we see how America really thinks, but it would help to bring candidates in that express the entire range of political leanings, not just the narrow band that American politics are.

red rabbit said...

I agree that "voting on electability self-perpetuates." But we've got two progressive Supremes who are hanging on by the skin of their teeth (Stevens and Ginsburg). Any one of the Dem. candidates would nominate a replacement who would help move the court forward. Not so any of the Repubs. These are lifetime appts. and arguably more important than who sits in the White House.

If everyone voted their convictions it would give quite a bit of power to any one voting bloc (like the religious right), and we'd have a president elected with less than 40% of the vote and a possible nutcase, to boot. This is how the Republicans continue to control the direction of Congress. They usually vote in a bloc while the Dems don't. Divide and conquer, the oldest strategy in the book.

There is actually another third party: the Labor Party. The friend I mentioned upthread helped found it. They are concentrating on South Carolina because of limited resources, but they started out hoping to make an impact nationwide, and they are the real deal. I should say "we" since I'm a card carrying member and I've volunteered my time, talent, and money to the cause. If you want to know, John Edwards is the most progressive candidate in this race, (although Richardson is to the left of him on some issues, and to the right of him on others), and many members of the Labor Party are working on his campaign. But as I said upthread, I'm prepared to hold my nose if the nominee is someone else.

Alex said...

Hrm. Now you've made me think. How many people who are voting on electability rather than principle follow the same logic? Because it's true that the President has the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court, and they do tend to outlast any sitting President. One would think that means that regardless of political bent, said President would present the best candidates for the job, but we know that doesn't happen.

I still think we could do better all voting our conscience and seeing how the electoral votes fall, but I suppose voting on electability to keep a balanced Court is at least a justifiable reason.

imsmall said...


"Republicans cannot present
A viable replacement
For what they have," so words have went
From pundits with effacement;

Yet troubles which they face are rather
Because can´t be sustained
Alliance partly "Holy Father,"
Part cash-flow unrestrained.

These are opposed: to reconcile
While former cheats, deceits and gile
Grow plainer for to see.

With no one held accountable
For such dishonesty
Their struggle insurmountable
Has plainly got to be.