Monthly Archives: May 2012

Obama makes it easy to be Green

Updated below

Unlike both Barack Obama and Mittens Romney, a Green Party president wouldn’t be just a puppet of the corporations.

I yet to have been inspired to give Barack Obama’s re-election campaign a single fucking penny, and I already have cast my (mail-in) vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for California’s June 5 presidential primary election.

I am not sure which is worse: to have had the unelected Bush regime use opposition to same-sex marriage to “win” “re”-election in 2004, or to have the (at-least-actually-duly-elected) Obama administration use support of same-sex marriage to win re-election.

In both cases, we of the “LGBT” “community” are only being used by the “leaders” of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party in order to raise million$ and in order to pander for votes.

The Obama campaign earlier this month released an incredibly pandering five-minute re-election campaign video in which the Obamanistas act as though all throughout his first term Obama has been fighting fiercely for the LGBT community when, in fact, his fairly recent “breakthrough” announcement that he finally has “evolved” and now supports same-sex marriage — even though he had proclaimed that position way back in 1996 in Chicago, and even though he still maintains that each state should be allowed to decide the issue, meaning that we will continue to have gross inequality and unfairness and injustice throughout the nation — came quite late in his first term.

Yes, the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is a good thing, but let us recall that it was “Democrat” Bill Clinton who gave us “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the first fucking place, as well as DOMA (the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama administration does not defend in court, but which remains the law of the land).

The Dems are our friends? They enact awful, discriminatory, unlawful/unconstitutional legislation, and then want to take credit and want praise for reversing it? Really? Really?

And “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, someone who doesn’t see why anyone of any sexual orientation would aid and abet the criminal U.S. military in the first place, someone who recognizes clearly what a fucking racket the U.S. military is — it’s not about actual “defense” or “national security” nearly as much as it is about funneling the contents of the U.S. Treasury (billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars) to the pockets of the traitors who comprise the military-industrial-corporate complex. (Well, the nation’s treasury is empty these days, so what they’re doing is making sure that those of us who have to follow them inherit a mountain of national debt.)

The members of the U.S. military these days primarily serve as the thugs for the corporations to exploit other nations’ natural resources — thugs that we, the taxpayers, pay for, even though it’s the plutocrats, and not we, the people, who get the lion’s share of the spoils of the wars that we, the people, pay for.

(The Vietraq War, for instance: Saddam Hussein’s real crime was not that he tyrannized his people, but that he nationalized Iraq’s oil fields. Now that the people of Iraq have been “liberated,” so have the nation’s oil fields — for Big Oil. No one in Iraq died for freedom or for democracy or for puppies or for kittens or for butterflies or for marshmallowy goodness. No, all of them died primarily for the profiteering of Big Oil and the profiteering of the military-industrial-corporate complex, such as Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton, which couldn’t profiteer without a war, so the unelected BushCheneyCorp gave it a war from which to profiteer, using 9/11 as a pretext, much as how the members of the Nazi Party had used the Reichstag fire as a pretext to ram their right-wing agenda down their fellow countrymen’s throats. Happy fucking Memorial Day, by the way, and it’s so awfully nice to know that we of the “LGBT” “community” now are “free” to be cannon fodder in the plutocrats’ war profiteering that we call “national security” and “national defense” and the like.)

I suppose that I digress, but I like — well, I love — what Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi had to say earlier this month about Presidential Race 2012:

…But this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it’ll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it. It’s just impossible to take Mitt Romney seriously as a presidential candidate. …

This is exactly the John Kerry scenario. Kerry was never going to win, either, and everyone pretty much knew that, too. [No, actually, I, for one, thought that Kerry had a pretty good chance, having recognized that an incumbent president usually is difficult to unseat, and I still suspect that Kerry actually would have won the pivotal state of Ohio, and thus the White House, had the election in Ohio not been overseen by the Katherine-Harris-like Kenneth Blackwell.] But at least in the Kerry-Bush race there was a tremendous national debate over the Iraq war, which many people (incorrectly, probably) thought might end more quickly if a Democrat was elected.

This year, it’s not like that. Obviously Republican voters do hate Obama and genuinely believe he’s created a brutally repressive socialist paradigm with his health care law, among other things. But Romney was a pioneer of health care laws, and there will be dampened enthusiasm on the Republican side for putting him in office. [No, they hate Barack Hussein Obama primarily because he’s black. The “Muslim” and “socialist” charges are just code words for “nigger,” which you can’t utter in the public domain anymore without repercussions. Let’s be real about that fact.]

Meanwhile, Obama has turned out to represent continuity with the Bush administration on a range of key issues, from torture to rendition to economic deregulation. Obama is doing things with extralegal drone strikes that would have liberals marching in the streets if they’d been done by Bush. [Absolutely.]

In other words, Obama versus [John] McCain actually felt like a clash of ideological opposites. But Obama and Romney feels like a contest between two calculating centrists, fighting for the right to serve as figurehead atop a bloated state apparatus that will operate according to the same demented imperial logic irrespective of who wins the White House. [Emphasis of that money shot is mine, although the money shot of Taibbi’s piece actually might be his hilarious but fairly accurate assertion that this year’s presidential election “will be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse.”]

George Bush’s reign highlighted the enormous power of the individual president to drive policy, which made the elections involving him compelling contests; Obama’s first term has highlighted the timeless power of the intractable bureaucracy underneath the president, which is kind of a bummer, when you think about it. …

That, to me, is the main reason that I’m not at all excited about this cycle’s presidential race: Both Obama and Romney indeed are calculating centrists. But since the Repugnican Tea Party has succeeded in moving what used to be the center to the right, that makes both Obama and Romney, in my book, center-right candidates. Romney is a bit more to the right than is Obama, but not enough to see the two as much more different from each other than are Pepsi and Coke. The tiny plutocratic minority will continue to do well while the rest of us, the vast majority of Americans, will continue to suffer, regardless of which calculating centrist wins in November.

Obama panders to the left now and then — when he or his spokesweasels aren’t calling us such things as “sanctimonious” members of the “professional left” — but it’s his actions, or lack thereof, that I pay attention to, not his words, especially after his words “hope” and “change” fizzled specfuckingtacularly.

Speaking of Obama’s lack of actions, on June 5, not only will California hold its presidential primary, which will help Mittens finally get the 1,144 delegates that he needs to be the Repugnican Tea Party’s official presidential candidate (he has 1,084 delegates right now, according to Politico), but Wisconsin will hold its gubernatorial recall election.

Unfortunately, as I type this sentence, intrade.com puts Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s chances of surviving the June 5 recall election at 92.6 percent.*

That’s in no small part because Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party have been conspicuously missing in fucking action where the fight for the right to collectively bargain in Wisconsin has been concerned. Wisconsinites have been on their own since early 2011, after Walker took office and gave tax breaks to the state’s plutocrats and announced that it was the state’s public-sector labor unions that were the cause of the state’s fiscal problems.

In November 2007 at a campaign rally in South Carolina, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said this: “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.” (Here is video of that promise.)

Yet Obama has yet to appear once in Wisconsin to stand up for the Repugnican-Tea-Party-beseiged members of the working class and the middle class there. The national Democratic Party has thrown some money Wisconsin’s way at the very last fucking minute, too late to make much of a difference, if any difference at all (Scott Walker’s corporate sugar daddies have thrown many more millions his way than the Dems in Wisconsin have had available to them), but now, I suppose, the national Dem Party can say, and will say — well, actually, it has said — that it did something in Wisconsin, even though this has been just a repeat of the Democratic cowardice and incompetence and sluggardry that we have seen before.**

I remember the debacle that was California’s 2003 gubernatorial recall election all too well: The state’s Dem Party was in incredibly stupid denial that its uber-uncharismatic incumbent governor, Gray Davis, might actually lose the Repugnican-orchestrated recall election, which more than anything else was just a do-over of the 2002 gubernatorial election that the Repugnicans had lost, only this time they would front as their candidate against Gray Davis testosterone-movie-star Arnold “Baby Daddy (We Know Now)” Schwarzenegger. Because of their denial, the state’s Dem Party elites staunchly refused to rally around another Democratic candidate to run against Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger. To do so, the Dem elites rationalized, would be to admit Davis’ impending defeat.

Then-Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, apparently recognizing that Davis indeed might lose, ran against Schwarzenegger in the recall election, but he did so on his own, without the support of the state party. Had the state party supported Bustamante, or another viable Democratic candidate, he or she might have won the recall election.

It’s incredibly fucking difficult to support a party that absofuckinglutely refuses, repeatedly, to fucking fight for you in return for your support.

Should Scott Walker survive his June 5 recall election, I will chalk that up in no small part to the fact that Barack Obama utterly reneged on his 2007 promise to “put on a comfortable pair of shoes” and join “American workers [who] are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain” — “because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

We workers do deserve to know that somebody is standing in our corner, but nobody fucking is — at least no one who actually can win the White House in November.

However, I’d much rather vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein again in November, even though of course she can’t win the White House, than to vote again for Barack Obama, to continue to be punk’d by the party that claims that it loves me so much — but that can’t show me such “love” unless it can then use me in its fundraising efforts immediately thereafter.

P.S. Disclaimer: I have been registered with both the Green Party and with the Democratic Party. Currently I am registered with the Green Party, in large part because I can’t stomach the Democrats’ pseudo-progressivism, their unwillingness to fight the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, and the party’s ever-increasing move to the right. Background:

In 2000 I voted for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for president because he was the candidate whose platform most closely matched my own beliefs and values, and because it was obvious that Democrat Al Gore was going to win all of California’s electoral votes anyway (and, of course, he did).

In 2004 I supported and voted for Democrat John Kerry, primarily because preventing a second term by the unelected Bush regime was my No. 1 priority, and Kerry early on struck me as the strongest candidate to put up against Bush. (Of course, the spineless, incompetent Dems didn’t let me down; when it was announced that Kerry had “lost” the pivotal state of Ohio, Kerry couldn’t concede fast enough, and shortly after the election, word came out that Kerry had not spent millions of dollars that he’d collected, millions that might have made a difference in the outcome of the election.)

In 2008 I still was not sure, as I entered my polling place, whether I would vote for Barack Obama or whether I would vote for Ralph Nader again. I knew that Obama would win all of California’s electoral votes anyway, just as it was a foregone conclusion that Gore would win them in 2000 and that Kerry would win them in 2004. (Until we get rid of the Electoral College, millions of Americans’ votes for president won’t really matter at all.) At rather the last minute, I blackened the oval by Obama’s name.

That is a mistake that I won’t make again, unless, perhaps, by some miracle it actually looks like Mittens Romney might win California. (That, of course, will not happen.)

Update (Monday, May 28, 2012): Oops. I wrote above that Mittens should seal the deal on June 5. Actually, Mittens is expected to finally reach 1,144 delegates tomorrow, when Texas holds its presidential primary. If for some reason Mittens does not get enough of Texas’ 155 delegates — Reuters reports that he needs fewer than half of those to reach the magic 1,144 — then he would get the remaining delegates on June 5, when California and four other states hold their primaries. (The very last state in the presidential primary season is Utah, which doesn’t vote until June 26.)

*As I type this sentence, intrade.com gives Mittens Romney only a 38.7 percent chance of winning the White House and gives Obama a 57.4 percent chance of winning re-election, which seems about right to me, about 40 percent to 60 percent.

**While I have yet to give Obama another penny for his re-election — I gave him hundreds of dollars in 2008, primarily during the 2008 Democratic primary fight because I believed that as president he would be significantly more progressive than would Billary Clinton — I have given hundreds of dollars towards the recall elections in Wisconsin, because that, to me, is where the real fight has been, and because, as I noted, the Wisconsinites for the very most part have been on their own, having been abandoned by the Obama administration and the national Democratic Party.

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When it rains, it pours: NAACP now is on board with same-sex marriage

I still believe that President Barack Obama, for his ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” publicly came out for same-sex marriage too late in his presidency — the time to do the right thing is (almost) always right now — and I still believe that Obama publicly came out for same-sex marriage only after he’d calculated that it was politically safe to do so (and maybe even only after he’d calculated that it was politically harmful to continue not to do so).

And I certainly don’t want to be told that I should be thankful that Obama politically went out on a limb for my fellow non-heterosexuals and otherwise non-gender-conforming individuals when, in fact, we helped put him in the Oval Office, and when, in fact, our equal human and civil rights always have been and always will be far more important than is one politician.

All of that said, Obama’s belated pro-same-sex-marriage proclamation seems to be having benefits that perhaps even he didn’t foresee.

Not only have leaders within the black community such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton proclaimed that they support same-sex marriage — Jackson not long ago enough was adamant that same-sex marriage is not about civil rights — but the NAACP yesterday announced its support of same-sex marriage, calling same-sex marriage a civil right.

The Associated Press quotes NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous as having proclaimed: “Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”

Wow.

True, Jealous is a young black leader — he’s 39, the youngest president that the NAACP has ever had — and it’s true that younger people are much more accepting of same-sex marriage and other equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals than are older people. And it’s true that there are many, many older people (and yes, plenty of younger people), of all races, who are going to take their homophobia with them to their graves, regardless of what Barack Obama or Benjamin Todd Jealous or Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or you or I have to say about same-sex marriage and equal human and civil rights for all.

But the good news is that old bigots do die, that they have fewer days ahead of them than they have behind them. And as today’s younger bigots grow older and their bigotry becomes less and less acceptable, at least they increasingly will keep their stupid fucking mouths shut and keep their ignorance and hatred to their miserable selves.

Given that blacks have been the one racial group in the United States most opposed to equality for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, having the likes of Obama and Jealous and Jackson and Sharpton now proclaiming that the black community should share the civil rights pie already with non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals should, within a few years, I surmise, put a fairly solid majority of Americans (say, at least 55 percent of them) in favor of equality for all.

There is a pretty good article on the topic of black homophobia that Slate writer William Saletan posted in November 2008, shortly after the nation elected its first black president — and after black voters were the largest racial group of voters in California who voted down same-sex marriage by voting yes on Proposition 8. Saletan begins:

[November 4, 2008] was a good day to be black. It was not a good day to be gay.

Arkansas voters approved a ballot measure to prohibit gay couples from adopting kids. Florida and Arizona voters approved measures to ban gay marriage. But the heaviest blow came in California, where a gay-marriage ban, Proposition 8, overrode a state Supreme Court ruling that had legalized same-sex marriage.

A surge of black turnout, inspired by Barack Obama, didn’t help liberals in the Proposition 8 fight. In fact, it was a big reason why they lost. The gay marriage problem is becoming a black problem.

The National Election Pool exit poll tells the story. Whites and Asian Americans, comprising 69 percent of California’s electorate, opposed Proposition 8 by a margin of 51 percent to 49 percent. Latinos favored it, 53-47. But blacks turned out in historically high numbers — 10 percent of the electorate — and 70 percent of them voted for Proposition 8. …

I remember that Election Day well. I had cast my vote for Barack Obama, only to learn within the following days that while I had supported the black community, the black community had coldly turned its back on me.

Saletan’s article even indicates that perhaps black homophobia helped get George W. Bush a second term in 2004:

A report from the pro-gay National Black Justice Coalition attributes President Bush’s 2004 re-election in part to the near-doubling of his percentage of the black vote in Ohio, which he achieved “by appealing to black churchgoers on the issue of marriage equality.” This year, blacks in California were targeted the same way.

The NBJC report paints a stark picture of the resistance. It cites surveys showing that “65 percent of African Americans are opposed to marriage equality compared to 53 percent of whites” and that blacks are “less than half as likely to support marriage equality and legal recognition of same-sex civil unions as whites.”

It concludes: “African Americans are virtually the only constituency in the country that has not become more supportive over the last dozen years, falling from a high of 65 percent support for gay rights in 1996 to only 40 percent in 2004.” Nor is the problem dying out: “Among African-American youth, 55 percent believed that homosexuality is always wrong, compared to 36 percent of Latino youth and 35 percent of white youth.”

Saletan then goes, at some length, into the black homophobes’ “mutability”/“immutability” “argument,” which I just don’t fucking buy. (Who chooses to be a member of an historically reviled and oppressed minority group? Fucking duh.) I still surmise, as I wrote recently, that most homophobic blacks remain homophobic primarily because (1) they want to remain, in the national story, the only victims of prejudice and discrimination and oppression, because their identity is wrapped up in race-based victimhood, real or imagined/fabricated, and (2) because they want there to be one minority group that even they still can shit and piss upon, because it’s better to be near the bottom of the sociological dog-pile that is the United States of America than it is to be at the very bottom, isn’t it?

This is cruelty and hypocrisy, of course, to demand equality for one’s own minority group but to continue to shit and piss upon the members of another historically oppressed minority group. When the historically hated and oppressed become the haters and oppressors of others, it’s pretty fucking ugly. (Are you listening, Palestinian-oppressing Israelis?)

And, of course, homophobia within the black community doesn’t just hurt gay whites like me. It hurts blacks in many ways. Being rejected by your own family for not being heterosexual and/or gender-conforming contributes to such problems as drug and alcohol addiction, emotional and psychological disorders, suicide attempts, and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, because individuals who have come to believe that they are shit for not being heterosexual and/or gender-conforming often don’t worry too much about protecting themselves because they probably want to die anyway, their self-esteem is that low.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in fact, reports:

African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Despite representing only 14 percent of the US population in 2009, African Americans accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV infections in that year. Compared with members of other races and ethnicities, African Americans account for a higher proportion of HIV infections at all stages of disease — from new infections to deaths.

Black homophobia — and its attendant ignorance and fear and stunning lack of education and enlightenment — probably is the No. 1 reason for those grim statistics, and, of course, heterosexual black women are less likely to contract HIV and other STDs if their black male sexual partners who actually are homosexual or bisexual don’t feel pressured to lead double lives in order to give the appearance of heterosexuality in order to please the homophobic bigots in their lives. (The CDC reports than for 2009, “Most [85 percent of] black women with HIV acquired HIV through heterosexual sex. The estimated rate of new HIV infections for black women was more than 15 times as high as the rate for white women, and more than three times as high as that of Latina women.”)

And, of course, it’s much easier for me and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals to be supportive of the members of the black community if we have the same love and respect from them that they want from us.

With equal human and civil rights for everyone, everyone wins.

Except, perhaps, for the members of the right wing, who have opposed equal human and civil rights, who have opposed liberty and justice for all, forever.

That so many blacks have shared that trait with the white wingnuts is nothing short of tragic.

P.S. Here is the text of the NAACP’s decision to support same-sex marriage, from the organization’s website:

The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.

Of course, that last sentence, an apparent afterthought, apparently had to be thrown in there in order to appease the churchgoing set. Of course, one’s religious freedoms do not include the “right” to impose his or her own religious beliefs upon everyone else, which the churchgoing set has a problem understanding, thus their incredibly insane claim that they are victimized if they are not allowed to victimize others, because their religious beliefs include the supposedly Bible-based victimization of others.

Not being a member of the black community, I don’t know how much sway the NAACP has within the black community. The organization’s website proclaims:

The NAACP has addressed civil rights with regard to marriage since Loving vs. Virginia declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in 1967. In recent years the NAACP has taken public positions against state and federal efforts to ban the rights and privileges for LGBT citizens, including strong opposition to Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and most recently, North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which changed the state constitution’s to prohibit same-sex marriage.

While I am happy to see the NAACP’s comparison of same-sex marriage rights to mixed-race (heterosexual) marriage rights, if it is true that the NAACP showed “strong opposition to Proposition 8 in California,” the fact that 70 percent of the state’s black voters voted down same-sex marriage nontheless indicates, unfortunately, that the NAACP doesn’t have an awful lot of sway within the black community, at least not here in California or in North Carolina or in the other states where black voters have shot down same-sex marriage in much higher percentages than have their white, Latino and Asian counterparts.

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Katherine, Kenneth and Ken: Three Ks make KKK

Gov. Jan Brewer, left, pauses to answer a question, as she is joined by Secretary of State Ken Bennett, right, and Attorney General Tom Horne after signing the canvass on the recall election results on the defeat of state Sen. Russell Pearce during a brief ceremony in Bennett's office at the Arizona Capitol, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in Phoenix. It was the first recall election of an Arizona legislator, setting the stage for successful challenger  Jerry Lewis to take office. Lewis defeated Pearce in the Nov. 8 recall election in a Mesa legislative district.

Associated Press photo

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is a Mormon and a co-chair of fellow Mormon multi-millionaire Mittens Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona. The Repugnican Tea Party traitor Bennett (photographed above in November with Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who initially appointed him to his post) says that there is a possibility that he will remove Barack Obama from Arizona’s November ballot because of lingering “questions” over Obama’s U.S. citizenship. Do the “tea party” traitors really want a rematch of the Civil War?

In late 2000, it was good enough for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to block a recount of Florida’s presidential votes and to have the right-wing “justices” on the U.S. Supreme Court crown George W. Bush as president, even though Al Gore had won not only the popular vote, but the state of Florida as well.

(In order for Gee Dubya to “win” the pivotal state of Florida, it was awfully helpful for him to have his brother Jeb as Florida’s governor and also to have the state’s secretary of state, Katherine Harris, in his pocket as well. Harris served not only as her state’s chief elections official, but she served as co-chair of her state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya as well. No conflict of interest there!)

In 2004, Repugnican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, among other things, made damn sure that Repugnican-heavy precincts had plenty of voting booths but that Democratic-heavy precincts had too few, making Democratic voters (or would-be Democratic voters, anyway) wait in line for hours.

Just like his mentor Katherine Harris, Kenneth Blackwell also was co-chair of his state’s committee to “re”-elect Gee Dubya, even though he was the state’s chief elections officer. Unshockingly, with the help of Blackwell, Gee Dubya “won” the pivotal state of Ohio in 2004, giving us four more years of his unelected rule.

Now comes the Repugnican Tea Party secretary of state of Arizona, Ken Bennett, who initially was not elected, but who initially was appointed to his post by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer after former Arizona Secretary of State Brewer ascended to the governorship when Democratic former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano stupidly left the state to become Barack Obama’s secretary of “homeland security” and to leave Borg queen Jan Brewer in charge. (Arizona’s constitution provides that the state’s secretary of state becomes governor in the event of a vacancy in the governorship. Arizona has no lieutenant governor.) 

Reuters reports that Ken Bennett, a Mormon, “is Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign co-chairman in Arizona.”

No shock there, right? This is a pattern that we’ve seen.

But Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennnett is talking about the possibility of his removing incumbent president Barack Obama from Arizona’s November ballot altogether.

Why bother to stop the vote (re-)counting?

Why bother to suppress the Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters, such as by falsely labeling them as felons (as Katherine Harris did) or by making them wait in line for hours to be able to vote (as Kenneth Blackwell did) or by making them show state-issued ID cards in order to be able to vote (as the legislatures of the red states are doing or are trying to do)?

Just remove the Democratic candidate from the ballot altogether!

Clearly, Ken Bennett is a fucking political genius.

Bennett says that he has received some e-mails from constituents, you see. Constituents who are “concerned” that Muslim socialist Barack Hussein Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

Not e-mails from anti-democratic, white-supremacist fascists. No. E-mails — and we all know that all e-mails, by definition, are credible and respectable — from concerned citizens. Concerned. Citizens.

So let’s see. Let’s run the logic of this:

Billary Clinton wanted to be president of the United States of America very badly. Repugnican Tea Party fossil John McCainosaurus also in 2008 wanted to be the next prez. Maybe not as badly as Billary did, but: Do you really fucking think for one nanosecond that if there had been any actual problems with Obama’s qualifications to be U.S. president, neither Billary nor the McCain-Palin camp, with millions of dollars at their disposal, would have discovered this fact through their opposition research? And prevented Obama from continuing in his quest for the Oval Office?

The birther dipshits have failed in the court system, too. Notes Wikipedia:

Although Obama was confirmed as president-elect by Congress on January 8, 2009, and sworn in as president on January 20, 2009, litigation continued into his presidency. Numerous individuals and groups have filed state or federal lawsuits seeking to have Obama disqualified from standing or being confirmed for the presidency, or to compel him to release additional documentation relating to his citizenship.

By mid-December 2008, at least 17 lawsuits had been filed challenging Obama’s eligibility in states including North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas and Washington. No such suit had resulted in the grant of any relief to the plaintiffs by any court. All of the cases have been rejected in lower courts. Three post-election suits were dismissed by the Supreme Court of the United States. [Emphasis mine.]

The U.S. Supreme Court coronated George W. Bush as president but won’t touch the birther bullshit.

This fact also speaks volumes.

But here comes Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett — who, as well as helping out Mitt Romney in Arizona even though Bennett is the state’s chief elections official, according to the Los Angeles Times also has his eye on Arizona’s governorship in 2014 — saying, according to the Times, that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of removing Obama from Arizona’s ballot if the state of Hawaii does not meet his demands regarding Obama’s birth certificate. Reports the Times:

Asked if he would keep Obama’s name off the state’s 2012 ballot if Hawaii fails to fulfill his request, Bennett said: “That’s possible. Or the other option would be I would ask all the other candidates, including the president, maybe to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. But I don’t want to do that.”

So, to recap: Neither Billary nor McCainosaurus disputed Obama’s American citizenship during the 2008 campaign. The right-wing, president-selecting U.S. Supreme Court has refused to touch the matter of Obama’s citizenship. And Arizona’s Ken Bennett remains the only chief elections official of any of the 50 states to try to make Obama’s citizenship an “issue” at this time. And he certainly is the only state’s chief elections official who has raised the specter of removing the incumbent president from the November ballot altogether.

In light of all of this, three things need to happen:

  • The state of Arizona, the South Africa of the Southwest, needs to be (continued to be) boycotted for its backasswards, white supremacist/racist bullshit, such as its blatantly unconstitutional “breathing while brown” legislation, its blatantly white supremacist infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio*, and for its secretary of state, who, along with Katherine Harris and with Kenneth Blackwell, we now can induct into the Chief State Elections Officials’ Hall of Shame.
  • Federal legislation needs to be passed that prohibits any state’s chief elections official from participating in any political candidate’s campaign, even just on paper. This is a no-fucking-brainer. You cannot have a fair election when the top elections official has a horse in the race. Subordinate state elections officials also should be prohibited from being active in any political campaign that their elections office oversees. Otherwise, it’s a blatant and anti-democratic conflict of interest. 
  • The actual democracy- and freedom-loving residents of Arizona need to recall Ken Bennett. In November they successfully recalled the architect of the state’s “breathing while brown” legislation (a.k.a. SB1070, which the state’s legislature passed in April 2010), former Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce (who is yet another fucking Mormon). They can recall Bennett, too.

And, of course, should Bennett actually remove Barack Obama from Arizona’s ballot – which is, I think, unlikely, and the threat of which I believe most likely is just his political ploy to get the white-supremacist/racist vote – the federal government would need to intervene forcefully in such a blatantly anti-democratic violation of a state’s citizens’ voting rights.

And we real Americans would need to consider the need to pay Arizona a visit with our torches and pitchforks, because this bullshit will not stand, and this bullshit is the stuff of which civil wars are made.

P.S. Fun Ken Bennett trivia! Wikipedia notes that in 2006 Bennett’s son, Clifton, pled guilty to sexual battery, specifically, to having rectally violated at least one fellow minor:

A 2006 plea bargain involving [Bennett’s] son, Clifton, became controversial after several parents of victims accused [Bennett] of exerting undue influence to affect the case. In what a county attorney described as a summer camp “hazing ritual” gone wrong, Clifton [Bennett] and another man inserted a broomstick into the rectums of at least 18 boys in over 40 separate incidents.

Ultimately Clifton [Bennett], only 17 years old and a minor, pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault. Clifton was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation. [Democratic] Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said he “had questions about the handling of the case,” but that his office had no authority to intervene. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk defended the plea bargain and accused the news media of misrepresenting the issue.

A nut usually doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

And why is such sadism apparently so prevalent within the Mormon cult, such as how the 18-year-old Mittens Romney led a band of thugs to commit assault and battery on a young gay man? Romney called his forcible cutting of the young gay man’s hair a “prank,” but that isn’t a “prank” — that is assault and battery, a crime — and today, it would be classified as a hate crime.

Mormons are evil.

*Reuters notes that “In March, Maricopa County Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio declared Obama’s birth certificate a forgery following an [“investigation”] by a volunteer posse, acting at the request of conservative [“tea party”] activists in the Phoenix valley.” Of course, such a federal matter is not within any county sheriff’s jurisdiction, but white supremacists like Joe Arpaio, who is in deep shit with the feds for his office’s blatantly racist mistreatment of Latinos in Arizona, come to believe that they are omnipotent.

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Thanks to Obama, Jesse Jackson, et. al., seem to have evolved

Um, let’s not call Barack Obama “the first gay president,” but let’s credit him with being influential within the black community where equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are concerned.

Newsweek’s May 21 cover pronouncement of Barack Obama being the nation’s “first gay president” is typically-for-Newsweek hyperbolic — Obama is no more the “first gay president” than Bill Clinton was the “first black president” — but Obama’s belated pronouncement of last week that he supports same-sex marriage (although he hasn’t changed his “states’ rights” “argument” and thus he has not argued that same-sex marriage should not be prohibited by any of the states) might have the benefit of easing some of the homophobia within the black community.

Seventy percent of the black voters who voted on California’s Proposition 8 in November 2008 voted “yes” and thus voted against same-sex marriage here in California — on the very same election day that brought us the nation’s first black president, mind you.

Seventy fucking percent. (Overall, 52 percent of the state’s voters passed Prop H8.)

The Washington Post at the time of Prop H8’s passage reported that “Similar [anti-same-sex-marriage] measures passed easily in Florida and Arizona. It was closer in California, but no ethnic group anywhere rejected the sanctioning of same-sex unions as emphatically as the state’s black voters, according to exit polls.”

This, I think, was for two primary reasons:

One, most black Americans have adopted the toxic, backasswards, ignorance-, hatred- and fear-based religion of those who once were their enslavers. They and their equally fucktarded and bigoted white counterparts call this patriarchal, misogynist and homophobic bullshit “Christianity,” but I’ve read the New Testament, and Christianity this ain’t.

It’s unfortunate that so many black churches are just like white churches. The only significant difference between the black Protestant churches and the white Protestant churches, it seems to me, is the race and the racial identity of the churchgoers. The ignorance, hatred, bigotry and the us-vs.-them, fear-based bullshit pretty much are the same.

Two, many if not most blacks refuse to share the victimization pie. These blacks don’t want to acknowledge that any other historically oppressed minority group also has been oppressed in the United States of America. Their victimization (real and/or fabricated) is their identity, after all.

Of course we cannot exactly compare gay rights and the historical oppression that non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming have experienced to race-based rights and the historical oppression that blacks and other non-whites have experienced in the United States of America.

Slavery, and being discriminated against for your race, are a whole other ball of wax from being discriminated against for your sexual orientation and/or your gender expression. Obviously and of course.

However, it’s also true that gay males and lesbians and other non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals are the only minorities who routinely are rejected even by their own families. Racial minorities, on the other hand, almost universally are accepted by the members of their own families. (There are exceptions, of course, such as in the cases of biracial children; a white supremacist white family probably would to some degree reject a biracial child born into the family, for example.)

But getting into arguments over which historically oppressed minority group has had it worse probably isn’t very constructive, and fuck it, I will say it: Those blacks who make stewing over the injustices that were done even primarily to their forebears their second or even their first job probably are quite stuck in their development, and since they have a difficult time living in the present, but remain stuck in the past — even others’ past — their chance of making significant progress in the present is slim. They are sad cases who not only are miserable themselves, but who do their best to make those around them miserable.

I mean, shit. I can’t marry my same-sex partner of five years here in the supposedly liberal and progressive state of California, and I can think of no other minority group that isn’t allowed to get married. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1967, in Loving vs. Virginia, that no state can outlaw mixed-race heterosexual marriage, but here I am, decades later, and I don’t have marriage rights. Gay indeed apparently is the new black. (Maybe that is reason No. 3 for rampant black homophobia: Many if not most blacks want to ensure that there is at least one minority group that they still can shit and piss upon. In this dogpile that we call the U.S. of A. it’s still better to be next to the bottom than to be at the very bottom of the dogpile, isn’t it?) I could stew over this gross injustice a lot more than I do, but I would like my life to be about more than stewing over this injustice.

All of that said, same-sex marriage rights and other equal rights and human rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are civil rights.

Civil rights is a large umbrella — an umbrella that doesn’t cover only blacks. Wikipedia notes in its entry “civil rights”:

Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.

Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples’ physical integrity and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical or mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, age, status as a member of the uniformed services, sexual orientation or gender identity; and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement.

Fuck it, I’ll say it: If you maintain that civil rights cover only your group, you’re a selfish fucking hypocrite who demands that your group be treated with fairness and with justice, but you don’t give a flying fuck about other groups. Therefore, you don’t fucking deserve the same respect that you demand that others show you.

Therefore, I was incensed when Jesse Jackson announced some time ago that gay rights (or at least same-sex marriage rights) aren’t civil rights. As recently as two years ago, Jackson reportedly declared, “Many African-Americans believe gays are discriminated against, but they don’t believe marriage is a civil-rights issue. [Really? Loving vs. Virginia, which allowed mixed-race heterosexual marriage, was not over a civil-rights issue?] There are issues of acceptance [of gays], but there is no back of the bus; there are no lynchings.” Um, Matthew Shepard and countless other non-heterosexuals who have been killed for their sexual orientation and/or non-gender-conformation have not, in effect, been lynched? Jackson at that time added that being non-heterosexual “is not immutable” and “is not an externally observable characteristic unless you want to flaunt it.”

Actually, for most non-heterosexuals it is not a choice, any more than heterosexuals have a choice as to who they are and are not sexually attracted to, and of course, that word choice — “flaunt it” — reeks of homophobic bigotry (the only way for effeminate males and masculine females not to “flaunt it” is to [try to] pretend to be who and what they are not, which is soul-crushing), and of course the “immutability” “argument” is bullshit where civil rights are concerned. Civil rights protect one’s religious beliefs, for example, and certainly one’s religious beliefs are not immutable. (And why, oh, why, must so many “Christians” flaunt their mutable, bullshit, backasswards beliefs that they wish to inflict on all of us? And why do the “Christians” want to convert our defenseless children to their perversion?)

However, Jesse Jackson seems to have evolved on the issue of same-sex marriage since his earlier effective public proclamations that blacks have the monopoly on civil rights.

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday surreally reported (emphases are mine):

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday praised President Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriage, comparing the battle for such unions to the fight against slavery and anti-miscegenation laws intended to keep blacks and other ethnicities from mingling and marrying with whites.

“This is a bold step in the right direction for equal protection under the law for all citizens,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday morning. But, he said, he wished the president had gone further, pushing for federal protection for all citizens instead of leaving the controversial issue of gay marriage up to the states to decide. [!!!]

If other hard-won civil rights battles had been left up to the states, Jackson said, African Americans would have been on the losing end of those battles.

“If the states had to vote on slavery, we would have lost the vote,” Jackson said. “If we had to vote on the right [for blacks] to vote, we would have lost that vote.” …

Wow. Here is Jesse Jackson now more or less comparing the fight for same-sex marriage in all 50 states to the fight to eliminate slavery in all 50 states, a comparison that I recently made myself and was expecting to get shit for (but miraculously did not).

Of course, not being allowed to marry the one you wish to marry absolutely is not just like being involuntarily owned and involuntarily worked like livestock instead of being treated as a free human being, but the idea of allowing any of the states to put the treatment of and the equal human and civil rights of any minority group up for a fucking vote is anti-American. And I do believe that while of course we cannot directly compare the prohibition of same-sex marriage to slavery, we can more or less directly compare laws that banned mixed-race marriage to laws that ban same-sex marriage. Yes, marriage rights are civil rights.

I have been critical of Barack Obama for still not having gone far enough on same-sex marriage — and, by and large, most Americans, even non-heterosexual Americans, seem to be letting him off of the hook for his willingness to go only so far thus far — so it is gratifying to see Jesse Jackson’s proclamation that Obama hasn’t gone far enough on same-sex marriage.

The L.A. Times reports further of Jackson’s recent pronouncement (emphases mine):

His statement comes as a growing number of African-American leaders and civil-rights activists are stepping forward to voice their support for same-sex marriage. Their positions are significant because there is a stronghold of opposition to same-sex marriage within African American communities. This week alone, African-Americans voters were instrumental to passing North Carolina’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. [Deja vu all over again…]

Acknowledging that gap, Jackson called on religious leaders nationwide to address the issue with their congregations.

Jackson said gays and lesbians are among the ranks of soldiers dying for their country, the teachers educating the nation’s children and even the pastors guiding parishioners through the Bible. It’s time to reward gays and lesbians with equal protection, he said.

He urged opponents to remember that same-sex marriage isn’t about taking rights away from anyone else, but rather extending those rights to all. He also recalled a painful time in America’s not-too-distant past when African American men in the South faced swift punishment or even death if they tried to date a white woman, even as white men boldly dated across racial lines.

With such history in the rear-view mirror, Jackson said, it’s time to stop dictating the actions of others.

“You may choose your mate, but you cannot deny someone else the right to choose their mate,” he said. “The law protects you from being abused. It doesn’t threaten your lifestyle for someone else to have the right to exhibit their lifestyle,” he later added. [“Exhibit” — I hope that that’s not just a euphemism for “flaunt”… And your sexual orientation, in the vast majority of cases, is not your “lifestyle.” Your lifestyle, by definition, is your choice. Your sexual orientation, in the vast majority of cases, is not your choice.]

Other African-American leaders were also vocal this week in their support for gay marriage, joining Jackson in reframing the issue as one of civil rights.

“I salute President Obama’s statement today supporting same-sex marriage,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement that went on to add: “This is not about mine or anyone’s personal or religious views. It is about equal rights for all. We cannot be selective with civil rights. We must support civil rights for everybody or we don’t support them for anyone.”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, seen as a rising [black] star in the Democratic Party, appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC Wednesday to lend an impassioned voice in support of gay marriage rights. [I saw that interview, and I like fellow Gen X’er Cory Booker, and he is, I think, an example of the fact that one’s age largely determines his or her stance on same-sex marriage. Younger Americans, as a whole, are more accepting of same-sex marriage than are older Americans, such as Jesse Jackson, regardless of their race.]

And, earlier in the day, the social media savvy leader tweeted: “Historic day for justice and equality. Our United States President Obama endorses marriage equality. I rejoice in this announcement.”

I suspect that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et. al., wouldn’t be as on board with same-sex marriage as they are now if our “first gay president” weren’t black and if our “first gay president” hadn’t first made his (limited) support of same-sex marriage public, but I’ll take their (belated) support anyway.

Truth be told, their support of my equal human and civil rights makes it much easier for me to give them my support of theirs wholeheartedly.

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Barack Obama’s cold calculation on same-sex marriage

President Barack Obama made headlines today by having proclaimed in an interview with ABC News, “…[A]t a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go  ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

I can tell you what that “certain point” was: the point at which Obama finally calculated (correctly) that his stubborn refusal to publicly endorse same-sex marriage was causing him more political harm than political gain.

On Saturday, I presciently raked Obama over the coals for having yet to fulfill what I had considered to be at least a strongly implied 2008 campaign promise: his endorsement of same-sex marriage — of full marriage equality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation — in all 50 states.

Among other things, I wrote:

Instead of delivering upon his relentless, ubiquitous [2008] campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” [Obama] for the most part has maintained the status quo and has told us dreamers of full equality for all that our dream must be deferred.

No, it doesn’t have to be deferred. It’s that Barack Obama lacks the character, the courage and the moral conviction to deliver upon what he promised (explicitly and implicitly…) …

On Sunday I felt fairly psychic, for the big news of that day was that Vice President Joe Biden had come out in support of same-sex marriage. But, as I wrote on Sunday, Biden’s endorsement of same-sex marriage was not nearly enough.

To a commenter on Saturday’s piece, I responded:

Nationwide polls taken over the last year or so show that about 52 percent of Americans, when asked to give a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down to legalized same-sex marriage, give it their thumbs-up. (The spread is about 51 percent to 53 percent. See http://pollingreport.com/civil.htm.)

As Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular vote in 2008, there probably is great overlap — at least 90-something percent, I venture — among those who voted for Obama in 2008 and those who support same-sex marriage.

So I don’t see what Obama gains politically, especially in terms of votes for re-election, by claiming that he’s still “evolving” on same-sex marriage. For any support from the homophobes that he might get (and most of them hate him because he’s black), Obama is losing the support of those like me who used to support him but who no longer do, in large part because he is still “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Sacrificing your base in order to cater to the “swing voters” is, I think, a huge fucking mistake.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mittens becomes the next president. And after Election Day we can say that it was completely avoidable, that Barack Obama fucked it up royally.

Again, while it’s hard to calculate and thus hard to prove, I do believe that any political gain that Obama might have garnered from refusing to “evolve” already and publicly endorse same-sex marriage was canceled out by the loss of support from his base. And it’s your base, not the fucking “swing voters,” who give you money, who enthusiastically give you their votes, who talk up your candidacy to their associates, and who even volunteer for your campaign.

And we gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) long have been sick and fucking tired of the Democratic Party asking us for our money and our votes — the term “gAyTM” was coined for this phenomenon — while refusing to fight for our equal human and civil rights, instead perpetually telling us that it’s not the right time yet.

A recent nationwide Gallup poll (which was taken between May 3 and May 6 and was released after I wrote the paragraphs above) put support for same-sex marriage at 50 percent and opposition at 48 percent, with 2 percent “unsure.”

Now, it seems to me that if you’re vehemently against same-sex marriage you are vehemently against same-sex marriage, so I surmise that more than half of those who are “unsure” would support same-sex marriage if they had to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down, so, I surmise, we’re looking at at least 51-percent support.

A Pew Research Center nationwide poll taken last month showed that 47 percent favor same-sex marriage, 43 percent oppose it, and 11 percent are unsure (yes, that’s 101 percent — which Pew says is due to rounding). Let’s give the freedom-hating homophobes more than half of the unsures — 6 percent — and the lovers of liberty and justice for all only 5 percent of the unsures. That still is 52 percent for same-sex marriage. I stand by my earlier assertion that we’re at about 52 percent of Americans favoring same-sex marriage.

Indeed, an ABC News/Washington Post nationwide poll in March found that 52 percent of Americans favor same-sex marriage, while only 43 percent oppose it, with 5 percent unsure. Give the pro side only 2 percent of the unsures, and that’s 54 percent support.

Again, Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular vote in 2008 — which very apparently is within a percentage point of the percentage of Americans who support same-sex marriage.

Obama had nothing to gain, but, I surmise, had a lot to lose by continuing to hold out on same-sex marriage.

If we cannot agree on that, well, then, at least we had better agree that we cannot call Obama’s new-found stance on same-sex marriage an epiphany or even a change of heart — not when he put himself on record as being a supporter of same-sex marriage way back in 1996, when he answered a question of a campaign questionnaire as follows: “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

Politico.com reported back in January 2009, the month that Obama took over the Oval Office, that this response was typed out and that the document was signed by Obama, and Politico included this graphic with the January 2009 story:

Image from Politico.com

So: Of course it has been cold, political calculation on Obama’s part.

But at least this is one clear contrast between Obama and the multi-millionaire Mormon Mittens Romney, who today in response to Obama’s surprise pro-same-sex-marriage pronouncement affirmed his homophobic, “Christo”fascist, anti-liberty-and-justice-for-all stance on same-sex marriage.

(The patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, racist Mormon cult, which is led by a cabal of stupid old evil white men in Salt Lake City, did, after all, give millions of dollars in support of Proposition H8 here in California, as did Mitten’s fellow “Christo”fascist nutjob Prick Santorum’s Catholick cult, which is led by a cabal of stupid old evil white men in the Vatican.)

Mittens — who, if elected, might as well move the Oval Office to the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City — proclaimed today: “Well, when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name. My view is [that]domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”

Whether or not it’s too late for Obama to recapture enough of the love that he has lost over the past few years in order to ensure his re-election remains to be seen. He has disappointed millions within his base, and he has only six months to try to woo them back.

He might find that mere words aren’t enough; after all, it was the words “hope” and “change” that took him all the way to the White House (on the wave that Howard Dean had created in his ill-fated 2004 quest for the White House), and it has been the fact that those words have remained, for the most part, just words that accounts for the gap of enthusiasm for Obama of today from a few years ago.

P.S. I note that Obama apparently hasn’t abandoned his “states’ rights” “argument.” In a fundraising e-mail that he sent out today titled “Marriage,” he wrote: “I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.”

That is not the same as saying that no state should be allowed to outlaw same-sex marriage, of course, even though he had just finished asserting, “But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally.”

“All Americans” means all 50 states.

This very much reminds me of the days of slavery, when some states retained slavery and others rejected slavery.

Speaking of which, North Carolina was a slave state, of course, so it’s no fucking shock that the backasswards state’s voters decided to write discrimination into their state’s constitution yesterday by banning same-sex marriage.

None of the former slave states is exactly enlightened.

(To wit, the haters of North Carolina voted not only to ban same-sex marriage, but voted to ban even separate-and-unequal civil unions and domestic partnerships as well, to be extra hateful.)

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Biden’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is not nearly enough

So Vice President Joe Biden today on “Meet the Press” said that he supports same-sex marriage.

When host David Gregory asked Biden, “You’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?”, Biden replied: “Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. …”

That to me sure sounds like an endorsement of legalized same-sex marriage — full marriage equality for same-sex couples — in all 50 states, but the White House was quick to back-pedal and say that no, Biden actually still is “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage just as President Barack Obama is.

Whether Biden’s nationally televised endorsement of same-sex marriage is just a calculated political game of good cop-bad cop, or whether Biden was, at least in the Obama White House’s opinion, just shooting his mouth off again, I’m not sure, but in either case, I am not moved, perhaps especially in light of this fact:

MSNBC quotes a White House “aide” as having stated: “The vice president was saying what the president has said previously — that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to roll back those rights. That’s why we stopped defending the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it.  Beyond that, the vice president was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country.”

Um, no, Biden did not say that “he too is evolving on the issue” of same-sex marriage. He said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.” He said “men marrying men” and “women marrying women.” He did not say, “Committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans.” He did not use such mealy-mouthed language that public-relations hacks love to employ, believing that they are word-magicians who are bamboozling all of us with their ingenius hocus-pocus. He was not talking about the separate-and-unequal, second-class, unconstitutional substitutions for marriage, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. He was talking about same-sex marriage.

Obama’s pussy, trying-to-have-it-both-ways public political stance is that each state reserves the right to determine whether or not to institute legalized same-sex marriage, and he very apparently sees no problem with forcing non-heterosexual Americans to drink from different drinking fountains by offering them only cheap imitiations of marriage, such as domestic partnerships or civil unions, which he supports. Publicly, at least, he very apparently thinks that these unconstitutionally separate-and-unequal substitutions for marriage are A-OK. (He used to teach constitutional law, too. He truly must have sucked ass at that as much as he sucks ass at being president of the United States of America.)

This “states’ rights” “argument” is the fucking coward’s way out, and if President Abraham Lincoln had adhered to such cowardice as the “states’ rights” “argument,” slavery probably would have lasted a lot longer than it did. (Funny that Obama’s official kick-off of his 2008 presidential campaign in February 2007 had him mimicking Abraham Lincoln at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois:

Associated Press photo

Barack Obama is no fucking Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had balls. Big balls.)

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not nearly enough that Joe Biden supports same-sex marriage. He’s just the vice president. I and millions of other non-heterosexual Americans are to hope for Barack Obama to die or to otherwise become incapacitated, so that President Biden can fight for our equal human and civil rights, since President Obama refuses to do so? Is that it? Is that the kind of change that we are to hope for?

No, fuck Barack Obama.

Nothing short of his full endorsement of same-sex marriage in all 50 states could induce me to give him my vote in November or to give him a fucking penny toward his re-election.

Obama also has been a dismal disappointment as far as labor rights are concerned. Early next month, Wisconsinites will decide in a recall election whether or not to allow Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker to keep his job for his decision to try to destroy the state’s labor unions, a project that he apparently started immediately after his election in November 2009 (if not even beforehand).

(Walker claimed that the labor unions were making the state go broke, but he had had no problem giving the state’s plutocrats tax cuts. In bad economic times, you see, it’s the working class and the middle class who are to suffer even more — not the plutocratic elite, who, like on the Titanic, are the ones who get the lifeboats while the rest of us are to drown in the icy sea.)

In November 2007 at a campaign rally in South Carolina, Barack Obama said this: “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.” (Here is video of that promise.)

Yet when Wisconsin became a battleground for the life of its labor unions in early 2010, when national media attention was focused on the state’s capital, where the fuck was President Barack Obama? He couldn’t find a comfortable pair of shoes? Despite his clear promise to stand up for — in person — “American workers [who] are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain,” Obama showed his face not once in Wisconsin. Not once.

How about the British Petroleum debacle? Obama sat on his hands as BP’s oil well in the Gulf of Mexico filled the gulf with crude oil for months in the summer of 2010, making it the largest marine oil spill ever. Clearly the corporate-ass-kissing Obama White House took a back seat to BP and to Big Oil in the environmental catastrophe.

Yet despite his colossal failures of leadership — and these are just three of them — the sweet-talking Barack Obama, who is as slick as the millions of barrels of crude oil that have filled the Gulf of Mexico, wants, even apparently expects, the money and the votes of gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming Americans who want equal human and civil rights right now — none of this “evolving” bullshit), the money and the votes of the members of labor unions, and the money and the votes of environmentalists.

Barack Obama does not deserve this money or these votes. He makes promises and he breaks them. He asks you to put him or to keep him in power, yet once you do, he does not deliver for you, but tells you that in the future, in the future, in the future, he will use his public office for the public good.

You have absofuckinglutely no reason to believe that Barack Obama the sweet-talking and self-interested two-faced coward will be any more effective in a second term than he has been thus far. None.

(On a related note, when “Meet the Press'” Gregory asked Biden if the Obama administration would come out for same-sex marriage in a second term, Biden replied, “I don’t know the answer to that,” adding, “This is evolving.”)

You know, at least with Mittens Romney we would know what we were getting. The enemy clearly would be the enemy.

Which is worse:

Someone like Mittens, who at least is fairly up front about the fact that as president he wouldn’t lift a fucking finger to help non-heterosexuals achieve equal human and civil rights, that as president he would help further destroy what’s left of our labor unions and our middle class in order to further enrich the filthy fucking rich, and that as president of course he would side with Big Oil and other corporations over the environment — or — someone like Barack Obama, who explicitly or implicitly promises us progressives that he’s on our side, but then, once we’ve put him in office, fucks us over anyway?

And memo to Joe Biden: You also stated on “Meet the Press” today, “I think ‘Will & Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done so far.”

“Will & Grace,” Joe?

Really?

It’s a fucking sitcom, Joe. A fucking sitcom. One that ended six years ago this month.

That’s the best example that you can come up with to show how gay-friendly and how politically correctly accepting of non-heterosexuals that you are?

That’s like saying to a gay man, “I have a gay cousin in New York City. Maybe you know him!”

As well-intended as it might be, it’s better to say nothing at all than to reveal that you actually have no fucking clue about the historically oppressed minority group that you’re talking about.

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I am Barack Obama’s ex, too!

Fire and ice!

You come on like a flame,

Then you turn a cold shoulder!

Fire and ice!

I want to give you my love,

But you’ll just take a little piece of my heart…

— from Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice”

A younger Barack Obama and his former girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, the daughter of an Australian diplomat, are shown in a photo from the 1980s, when they were a couple.

It was interesting to read the remarks of one of Barack Obama’s pre-Michelle girlfriends about her experience of him in the 1980s. While I didn’t see that anyone else made the overt comparison, it certainly struck me that Barack’s modus operandi in love is the same fucking one that we’ve seen in his politics.

“His warmth can be deceptive,” Obama’s ex-girlfriend, Australian Genevieve Cook, wrote of Barack in her diary years ago, adding, “[Though] he speaks sweet words and can be open and trusting, there is also that coolness. …” AFP reports that Cook’s diary chronicles “how [Cook and Obama’s] romance grew and then cooled when the couple moved in together.”

Fuck. I’ve had the same damned experience with Barack Obama. He courted me madly but then became a cold fucking fish. Does that make me one of his exes, too?

I remember one of my first exposures, if not my very first exposure, to Barack Obama’s first campaign for the White House. When I was visiting San Francisco for the Castro Street Fair (no, that’s not a sex fair [not that there’s anything wrong with that…]) in October 2007, an Obama campaign operative gave me an Obama campaign sticker that had the rainbow morphed into the ubiquitous “O” logo:

I was happy to see a Democratic presidential candidate courting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and non-gender-conforming vote.

But I also remember that the campaign sticker fucking ruined my faux-sueded shirt. (Seriously — the adhesive never came off completely.)

Maybe that was a sign of what was to come.

Barack Obama, you see, despite his rather unequivical embrace of same-sex marriage in 1996, today claims that on the topic of same-sex marriage he still is “evolving.” Today, he refuses to advocate for legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, even though that is the right thing to do. Apparently he believes that to do so will cost him too many “swing votes.”

This issue has an awful lot of relevance to me. Let me give you a fresh example of how I have been relegated to a different drinking fountain because I am gay.

My same-sex partner and I are in our fifth year together. We consider ourselves to be, for all intents and purposes, married. We do maintain separate apartments (largely because both of us hate moving, and also largely because he doesn’t want to move to my city and because I don’t want to move to his suburb), but we are together on weekends and on holidays and on other days that we have off in common, and we speak on the phone every day that we are not together in person. And certainly, there are heterosexually married couples who, for whatever reasons (such as having jobs in different cities, states or even in different nations), see each other in person much less often than my partner and I do, but the validity of their marriages is never called into question — because they enjoy heterosexist favoritism.

Whether or not my partner and I have legal or social recognition of the fact that we consider ourselves, for all intents and purposes, to be married, this fact is our reality, is our truth, and as such, while recognition of our relationship from others is nice — and while such recognition, at least from our local, state and federal governments, is our pathetically and sickeningly unfulfilled constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil right — it’s not essential for us to have others’ approval or recognition for us to know what we have together. We know that we are, for all intents and purposes, married; anyone who disagrees is a mean-spirited, fucking heterosexist, homophobic bigot who can go fuck him- or herself.

Recently, I claimed some “family” sick leave (time off for caring for an ill family member; in this case, for my partner) in my California state job. Whether I claim sick time for myself or for a family member, it doesn’t really matter, as it comes out of the same sick leave bank. There is not a separate sick leave bank for myself and for my family members.

My employer — the state of California, which should know much, much better — this past week mind-blowingly questioned whether or not my partner really is a family member. After all, my employer essentially stated to me, my partner and I do not have a domestic partnership. (The only legal protection that same-sex couples in California have, outside of such legally protective documents as wills and living wills, is the domestic partnership. [The marriages of those same-sex couples who married when same-sex marriage briefly was legal in California* remain legal, but today, all that same-sex couples in California have in terms of seeking state recognition of their partnership is the domestic partnership.])

My employer also, unethically if not also illegally, asked whether my partner and I live together full-time, and suggested (or at least implied) that because we don’t, my partner is not actually my family. Of course, California’s domestic partnerships, one of which my employer at least semi-faulted me for not having, don’t require that the two individuals share the same residence all of the time, and allows them to have two residences yet still be registered as domestic partners, so the invasively personal question was way out of bounds. And again, whether or not two heterosexually married individuals share the same residence all of the time never is used to determined whether or not their marriage is valid.

Sure, I told my heterosexist employer, my same-sex partner and I could get a domestic partnership, but to do so, of course, is to give tacit support to something akin to having to drink from a different drinking fountain or having to swim in a different swimming pool.

Real marriage, you see, is reserved for heterosexual couples. Non-heterosexual couples in the United States are lucky to get even second-class, separate-but-unequal marriage, such as a civil union or domestic partnership.

This bullshit is blatantly unjust and unfair in a nation that promises “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “liberty and justice for all.”

If I were heterosexually married and stated that my wife were ill, or even if I just claimed to be heterosexually married and claimed that my “wife” were ill, would my employer have asked to see the marriage certificate? Would my employer have questioned the validity of my heterosexual relationship/marriage?

Fuck no, because of widespread heterosexism, even within the supposedly “progressive” and “liberal” California state government.

(My employer advised me, by the way, in the future to claim sick time for myself only, whether or not the reason for my use of sick leave was for me or for my partner. In other words, my partner, according to my employer, the state of California, is not my family because we have not bought into the separate-but-unequal institution of the domestic partnership. I have a real fucking problem with my employer dictating to me who is and who is not my family. Especially when California state government explicitly prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation.)

I still am torn on the subject of getting a domestic partnership. The legal protections that come with it are good, and all couples deserve such legal protections, but it still rankles me that in the supposedly “liberal” and “progressive” state of California, my partner and I, if we want those legal protections, are forced to drink from a different drinking fountain than the fountain from which heterosexual couples drink. It’s unfair, it’s un-American and it’s fucking wrong.

To bring all of this back home: Does Barack Obama give a flying fuck about any of this?

Hell fucking no.

He is, indeed, as Genevieve Cook described him to be: a cold calculator. He says what he figures he should say in order to get what he wants from you.

He lures you in with pretty promises, such as of “hope” and of “change.” He gives you a pretty rainbow sticker. Then, once he has your money and your vote, he leaves you high and dry.

Instead of delivering upon his relentless, ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” Barry for the most part has maintained the status quo and has told us dreamers of full equality for all that our dream must be deferred.

No, it doesn’t have to be deferred. It’s that Barack Obama lacks the character, the courage and the moral conviction to deliver upon what he promised (explicitly and implicitly, and it goes beyond much more than just same-sex marriage; it goes into such other areas as combatting poverty and the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, and combatting the corporate thievery that is responsible for this growing gap, and ceasing the bogus warfare for the military-industrial complex, which is looting the U.S. Treasury while Americans go without adequate health care, higher education, environmental protections, etc.).

Barack Obama has found going along to get along to be the easier, more politically expedient route. He is a moral sluggard. He can trumpet what the right thing to do is — like a trumpeter on crack. He just can’t bring himself to actually do the right thing.

Which is why, like Genevieve Cook, I broke up with Barack Obama a long time ago.

I gave him hundreds of dollars in Round One. His sweet talk swayed me that he’d be a significantly more progressive president than would Billary Clinton, but he turned out to be just another Clintonista, a Repugnican-ass-kissing Democrat in name only. I’m giving him not a single fucking penny in Round Two.

I also gave Barry my vote in Round One. He made me regret that vote, so in Round Two I most likely will cast my vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

I don’t care that she can’t win the White House. I would much rather vote for the person I actually would like to see in the Oval Office than be punk’d by Barack Obama, the sweet-talking cold calculator, once again.

*The California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on May 15, 2008, that the state’s Constitution as it was written at that time guaranteed legalized same-sex marriage to residents of the state, so Proposition 8, in response to the state’s highest court’s ruling, wrote the prohibition of same-sex marriage into the state’s Constitution after the proposition passed narrowly on November 5, 2008, and became effective the very next day.

The window period during which same-sex couples could legally marry in California in 2008 — after the California Supreme Court’s ruling until the passage of Prop H8 — was less than six months.

My partner and I had been together for just over a year when the window for same-sex marriage in California slammed shut on November 6, 2008. While we consider ourselves essentially married today, it was too early for us to get legally married then. We wanted to know each other for longer than just a year before making such a serious commitment, a commitment that we take much more seriously than do many heterosexual couples who marry and divorce willy-nilly — and whose marriages’ validity is never questioned simply because they are heterosexual.

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