Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.
I'll just get this out of the way now: no matter how you want to call it, both Edwards' and especially Kerry's, remarks in the debates clearly calling out that Dick Cheney has a gay daughter served no purpose other than as bait to lure that small group of Americans that believe homosexuality is such an abomination to God or nature that no man who raised a daughter to be gay could possibly be fit to help lead our country?
And I don't care how many people want to rationalize it, but it wasn't just an aside. If you read the debate transcripts or watched the debate, you know those guys were both on-script the whole time, even to the point of occasionally being non-responsive to particular questions because they needed to deliver certain key messages. (In contrast to Bush who may occasionally have been non-responsive to a particular question to avoid having to answer it directly - a different issue.)
The actual delivery of Kerry's words was important, and of course quoting him in print or having other people paraphrase him don't let you hear how he said it. However, if you watched the last debate, Kerry actually seemed to have second thoughts even saying it, choking on his words mid-sentence. I don't know if this was because he was second-guessing whether it would backfire, or whether it was because he knew what he was doing was wrong.
I guess I just wonder how gays and lesbians feel about Kerry and Edwards taking GLBT political support for granted while they consciously deliver a message intended to attract the support of those with bigotry and hatred in their hearts?
If you think I'm being a little harsh in my characterization of them using it as an attack, then explain why Mary Beth Cahill refered to Mary Cheney as "fair game." This is not usually a choice of words that aligns with Kerry's day-two spin that he was "praising strong families".
I am working on a longer-format piece right now that should open a lot of eyes on the issue of which candidate really has acted in the best interests of gay rights, and it will surprise people to know that it's not the one who has spent the most time talking about gay rights.
In the interim, you might be interested in reading Kerry's only formal intervew with the gay press during the entire primary and general campaign season. He gave a total of 30 minutes of time to speak to this group he claims to support. What a prince. The message in the interview is clear: John Kerry might conceptually support the gay community as a constituency, but he isn't willing to expend a single ounce of political capital on their behalf.
Update 10/18: Powerline links Safire and Novak discussing the issue as well.
e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink] | | Friday, October 15, 2004