Friday, January 20, 2006
[UPDATE: I was still steaming overnight about this. I've redigested some of my thoughts from the comments and moved it back up. There are a couple of new posts below.]
I ask you -- why was Tim Kaine picked to represent the Democratic Party's "American values" in the official response to Bush's State of the Union address? The Dems have sent a loud and clear message re: 2006/2008 to its gay voters with this selection.
Kaine ran an unnecessary gay-baiting campaign against an even-worse homo-bigot Jerry Kilgore in the Virginia governor's race, and Kaine has pledged to sign off on an onerous marriage amendment that enshrines bigotry into the state's constitution.
That said, I'm willing to take the gay-baiting of Kilgore issue off of the table, since it's noise that's distracting some people from the larger issue, which is what Kaine represents as the new face of the party. The gay residents of Virginia were stuck with two pro-marriage amendment choices for governor because it reflects the political lay of the land there. I feel for folks there.
Any gay Dem should be sick to their stomach at this pick. Kaine is just another Republican-lite clone from a Red state, and that's where the Dem leadership has indicated it wants to move the party. We are on notice -- homos are going to be tossed overboard -- again -- in search of the elusive win. They haven't figured out that voters need and want to see a party that has values it actually believes in and is willing to defend -- and they won't get a dime from me with this bullsh*t.
As you read this it's painful -- like nails down a blackboard. (PageOneQ):
National Democratic leaders today will ask Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) to deliver the party’s response to the president’s State of the Union address, believing that the new governor can best deliver their 2006 message of inclusiveness, American values and high ethical standards.All walks of life except if you're a fag or dyke. We'll hang you homos out to dry -- after we court you at every fundraising opportunity that arises so we can (attempt to) win.
...A Democratic House aide called choosing Kaine “a no-brainer,” adding that the new governor also provides a fresh face for a party running on a message of change and reform.
...Another Democratic source said that Kaine “just got elected on a winning message. He talks about values and serving all the people. Certainly, as Democrats, that’s one of our themes. We represent all Americans from all walks of life, not the wealthy special interests that the Republicans represent.”
What does this party stand for? For the new faces of the Democratic Party, what's OK? I'm just asking because I honestly don't know what the core values are...
For instance, regarding reproductive freedom issues, are you a Fresh-Faced Electable DemocratTM if you:
-- personally don't approve of abortion, but don't want to restrict access
-- want more restrictions such as parental notification
-- believe that late term abortion is always wrong
-- want Roe v. Wade overturned
-- want to restrict access to reproductive technology for unmarried women
Regarding same-sex civil marriage, are you a Fresh-Faced Electable DemocratTM if you:
-- believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and there should be no access to marriage or any civil equivalent for gays
-- believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but there should be some separate, but unequal civil accommodation for gays
-- believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but there should be a separate and equal civil accommodation for gays
-- believe gays can marry
Are they even debating these things at the upper levels of the party bureaucracy?
Let's look at it another way. Where's the line in the sand that if you cross it, you will not get party support?
I'm assuming that if Kaine believed, for instance, that Intelligent Design should be taught in the Virginia schools, the Dem establishment would not be tapping him for this speech. That lunacy should be a deal-breaker (but who knows at this point). But it is A-OK for Kaine to take the position that his state's constitution should be permanently amended to discriminate against an entire group of tax-paying citizens.
As I said in the comments, I just think of poor Laurel Hester and her fate, in a state (NJ) with patchwork gay rights.
For gays living under Kaine and his endorsement of a marriage amendment, it's a clear message that your life partner relationship has no legal footing or recognition in the state -- and it will NEVER be recognized. Oh, and keep paying taxes for that luxury.
Yet that's fine and dandy with the Democratic Party establishment, which tacitly endorses Kaine's position with this pick. Defenders will say: "just ignore that and look at 'the whole package' or 'the long view'.
Well, I'm looking at the long view, and so far all I see are states falling, one by one, passing marriage amendments because Dems are silent. I take that as either an endorsement of the bigotry, or complete impotence and incompetence on how to counter the message coming out of the right wing.
That's when you know that civil equality is not a core value in this party.
To me, a true fresh face from Virginia is Delegate David Englin. He is a Fighting Dem that had the balls to publicly slap back at bigotry in his statehouse with a speech that should be read by Howard Dean and the rest of the shiftless, bleating Dem talking heads. The party leadership had plenty of choices to tap for this speech -- and they chose Republican lite.
That's why I said the day with putting up that bullsh*t is over. I can no longer cast a vote that ensures my basic rights are not granted, or worse, taken away because both parties have put up anti-gay, anti-choice candidates.
I can sit out on voting or just vote for people I know have the balls to do the right thing. And it's not because I'm a single issue voter, either. I think back to the last governor's race here. I had to choose betwwn centrist Dem Mike Easley for governor over the awful Repug Patrick Ballantine. Both were clear that neither supported gay marriage. It was easy to cast a vote for Easley only because of one reason -- NC didn't have an amendment looming. Our General Assembly has kept the wingnuts in check, bottling the marriage bills submitted by the fringe, redneck elements in committee. That's also due to a lot of effective work by Equality NC -- the Tar Heel State was the only state in the Southeast that faced an anti-gay amendment and stopped it.
Had an amendment truly been in play, I couldn't vote for either of them. Not when legislation to ensure that I am going to be a second-class citizen in my state is at stake. I don't know how long we can stave off the bigots here, but they'll be back.
LBJ had the balls to counter the bigots in his party because he knew he had to do the right thing. Today's Dems are so fixated by winning that core values don't matter; it's about job security and pandering to the emotions and not the brains of the sheeple, instead of risk-taking and reframing difficult issues that have been hijacked and demonized (successfully) by the Rove machine.
That is not leadership, that is cowardice and lazy thinking.
Kaine: 'not comfortable with language' but will sign amendment anyway