Noooo!!!!!!!!!! It doesn’t even make sense. (For a helpful analogy, see here.) But there’s a real risk that this narrative will start to take hold in light of the large quantity of black voters who voted against gay marriage. Worse yet, there seems to be some nasty racism “rearing its head” (as Sarah Palin would say) in the gay community. The always excellent Pam Spaulding has some great posts on this, here and here. There’s also this excellent post on all the other groups who voted against Proposition 8, and who aren’t being singled out for blame the way that black voters are.
Fun stuff on the election November 9, 2008
So much to read, so much to say, and so little time to catch up on work and sleep! But a few links and teasers for you:
Palin’s presence on the Republican ticket forced family-values conservatives to give public support to working mothers, equal marriages, pregnant teens and their much-maligned parents. Talk-show frothers, Christian zealots and professional antifeminists–Rush Limbaugh and Phyllis Schlafly–insisted that a mother of five, including a “special-needs” newborn, could perfectly well manage governing a state (a really big state, as we were frequently reminded), while simultaneously running for veep and, who knows, field-dressing a moose. No one said she belonged at home. No one said she was neglecting her husband or failing to be appropriately submissive to him. No one blamed her for 17-year-old Bristol’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy or hard-partying high-school-dropout boyfriend. No one even wondered out loud why Bristol wasn’t getting married before the baby arrived. All these things have officially morphed from sins to “challenges,” just part of normal family life. No matter how strategic this newfound broadmindedness is, it will not be easy to row away from it. Thanks to Sarah, ladies, we can do just about anything we want as long as we don’t have an abortion.
Jonathan Raban, “He tried his best to veil it, but Obama is an intellectual”:
…he has rescued the White House… and restored it to the realm of common reason. It’s a measure of the madness of the last eight years that, for this seemingly modest contribution to the nation’s welfare (and not just this nation’s), grown men and women wept in gratitude on Tuesday night.
The same commentators who dismissed every conceivable American demographic as racist, lazy or both got Sarah Palin wrong too. When she made her debut in St. Paul, the punditocracy was nearly uniform in declaring her selection a brilliant coup. There hadn’t been so much instant over-the-top praise by the press for a cynical political stunt since President Bush “landed” a jet on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in that short-lived triumph “Mission Accomplished.”
Got links? Send ‘em in!
Voting: Your stories November 4, 2008
Today is the big day. In case you’re wondering how the rest of the world is feeling, I can say without hesitation that the UK is holding its breath. I’ve never seen this level of interest in other US elections. But tell us what’s going on where you are– if you’re in the US and voting today, tell us how it goes. Any incidents of note? Any interesting people you met? Anyone you were able to help? If you’re outside the US, tell us how it looks from where you are. But most importantly, make sure that everyone you know who is eligible (including yourself!) VOTES.
If you want to do a little extra, don’t neglect this post on more things you can do.
When this is all over, maybe I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep again. Maybe we all will.
Undecided Voters October 29, 2008
I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”
Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.
I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
Thanks, Mr Jender!
Don’t Let Anyone Lose Their Vote August 22, 2008
There’s a really important story up on AlterNet about ways that people may be prevented from voting in the US Presidential election, and things that we can be doing NOW to prevent that from happening. I urge you to read it and act on it, if you’re appropriately located to do so.