Serena Freewomyn

McCain Did What Obama Couldn't

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | August 29, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: chosen family, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain, running mate, Sarah Plotkin, vice president

I'm a little pissed off today. John McCain picked Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. A crusty old white dude can stomach running with a woman. But Barack Obama, Mr. Change, can't? WTF!

One of my best friends and I have been Hillary supporters from the beginning. Today my friend e-mailed me to say that she might be voting for McCain because he picked a woman. How many other voters like her are there? I'm willing to say a lot. And if you want to call my friend a moron, let me pre-empt your attacks by saying she's a prosecuting attorney and was a nationally competitive debater for ten years. So this woman knows a thing or two about politics. If she doesn't vote for McCain, she won't vote at all. That's how much she dislikes Obama. And I'm right there with her.

Hillary Clinton is an inspiration and a role model for women. You might say that women are morons for voting for someone who looks like them and talks about issues that have a deep connection to their own life experiences. But having a woman in the White House, whether as President or Vice President, is the kind of change that would actually mean something to them.

I'll be honest, I didn't pay attention to any of the DNCC coverage. That's how over this circus I am. I did watch Hillary's speech, because she has been a role model to me since I was in high school. Sure, my political views have ventured a lot further left since then. But I remember hearing her speech at the Beijing Women's Conference in 1995 and being completely overwhelmed. Here was a woman standing on an international stage saying that women's rights are human rights. I love the early suffragists who fought for women's rights. And I think Hillary's reference to them in her speech is apropos. I appreciate her paying homage to the Seneca Falls Convention and honoring our history. And I voted for her in the primary because I believe in women and I wanted to honor all the women who came before me.

Throughout history, women have been asked to step aside, be lady-like, take a back seat, and most importantly . . . keep our mouths shut. When Hillary Clinton urged her supporters to support Barack Obama, all I could think was, "here we go again."

Obama and the Democrats should have this election locked up. Americans hate the war and the economy is in the shitter. But there is still a 10% undecided vote. Why? Because the Democrats are chicken shits who will pander to the least common denominator. They're so busy going after the Evangelical vote that they've forgotten the Left. And Obama's going to lose in November because McCain did what he couldn't. And you know what? He deserves it.


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I don't see how voting for McCan't is going to help anything in women's rights or the LGBT community if you elect people that are pro life, and aren't pushing progressive policies like the democratic party is. I accept and respect your opinion on the matter but I don't think ANY CHANGE whatsoever will be done if McCan't gets elected to office. I understand that a lot of women are pissed off that Hillary didn't get the VP slot but seriously, I have to think that a conservative woman (Palin), who has a history of being anti-choice and anti-LGBT is not going to help anything at all; not to mention that McCan't himself is no good for the presidency... the truth is, the country is not voting on the Vice President to run the country (or shouldn't be in the sense of dissenting Hillary supporters in favor of John McCan't now). We are deciding between Barack Obama and John McCain. Not Joe Biden or McCain's surprising (to me)VP choice of Sarah Palin.

The election for presidency is not an american idol contest. It's a race for who can lead us out of the dark ages of bush/chenney.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 2:53 AM
I don't see how voting for McCan't is going to help anything in women's rights or the LGBT community...

Tim, you vision is too limited. The choice between Obama and McCain is no choice at all. The only real choice is between a protest vote for the US Labor Party, socialist or communist candidates or sitting it out.

A far better alterative is to build local and national groups to compel passage of the real ENDA, the hate crimes bill and to compel permanent immediate and total withdrawal of all US forces from the Middle East region.

Hi everyone -

These postings are interesting and great at the same time. I wont come out and admit that I am the person that Serena references (oops I just did) but I will say one thing. I have decided NOT to vote in this election at all. The main reason- is because no one is voting for a candidate - people are voting because they do not like the other person. So at the end of the day the person who wins will be because people did not like the other person more.

This election, more than anything, proves a couple of things that are mentioned in some of these posts. First, it shows that there are many groups that are disenfranchised by the government and that their voices are still not heard (they could have been if Hillary was the candidate). Second, we are not living in a true democracy because there should be more than one party - rather than two parties that seem to think they can represent every group in America. Finally, these elections prove to me, more than anything else, that the people of this country are still sleeping. You want a revolution? You want a change? Then who have you put there to make it happen? What do most Americans really know about the people that are running?

I love the words, hope, change, peace, etc. In reality though, the elites that run this country, say what they say because people like words, they never punish politicians for not acting.

Finally, for those of you who think that VP's dont have power - look at Cheney. If you think that man isnt running this country more than the Pres, you really have not been doing your homework!

"The main reason- is because no one is voting for a candidate - people are voting because they do not like the other person."

I think it's inappropriate for you to ascribe motives to anyone else about who they're voting for, much less *everyone* else. It's almost never correct to use monolithic terms for any group, much less *all* American voters.

Your statement doesn't speak for me, and I would venture to say it doesn't apply to at least 80,000 people who attended Obama's acceptance speech.

"First, it shows that there are many groups that are disenfranchised by the government... "

Really? As far as I know, everyone who wanted to vote, did vote. Just because their candidate lost doesn't mean they were disenfranchised. Losing is just much a part of democracy as is winning.

" ...and that their voices are still not heard (they could have been if Hillary was the candidate)."

That's absurd. Hillary is wholeheartedly supporting Obama because he overwhelming supports her issues. And so are the majority of her supporters, including me.

"Second, we are not living in a true democracy because there should be more than one party - rather than two parties that seem to think they can represent every group in America."

Do you understand that you are contradicting your own premise just in the course of just this one sentence? As you yourself acknowledge - in the same sentence - there *is* more than one party. That alone nullifies your argument.

Your claim that both parties are trying to represent every group in America is demonstrably untrue. Republicans aren't particularly interested in representing pro-choice, GLBT, working class, etc. people. Period. But even if it was true, it's the nature of all political parties is that they want to *win*. That means appealing to the broadest coalition of people.

However, there are many more than two parties. The fact that they aren't terribly successful is owing, in part, to their lack of popularity. But they exist and are available to support, which - once again - inherently disproves your assertion.

"Finally, these elections prove to me, more than anything else, that the people of this country are still sleeping."

And how does not voting make any kind of positive change? Not voting *is* the political equivalent of sleeping.

"You want a revolution? You want a change? Then who have you put there to make it happen?"

Revolution and change aren't the same thing. We've already had a revolution. That's how we became a country. Revolutions are extremely infrequent and improbable. And the only way to make real change is to vote in a different party. Obama can and will make the changes we want.

"What do most Americans really know about the people that are running?"

Obviously not too much if you don't think there's much of a difference between McCain and Obama.

"I love the words, hope, change, peace, etc. In reality though, the elites that run this country, say what they say because people like words, they never punish politicians for not acting."

That's another reason to vote the incumbent party out.

"Finally, for those of you who think that VP's dont have power - look at Cheney."

Once again, this is another important reason to make sure that McCain/Palin are never brought to power. They will try to limit our rights. And with the likelihood of multiple Supreme Court nominations, they will be successful for generations to come.

If you're a lawyer, surely you appreciate the consequences of having three more justices who do not recognize a constitutional right to privacy.

Before you or your friends jump on the McCain Bandwagon do a little research. She is anti-gay, pro-life (she doesn't care about a woman's choice). I am BIG disappointed HRC voter and I was considering voting for McSame, but with the possibility of three supreme court nominations in the balance during whatever presidential candidates first year let alone first term? You know I am not going to let McSame nominate conservatives to the bench. One other thing (although there are alot) do you really think McSame will lift the ban on gays in the military?

I know, unfortunately, what you're saying is right. My wife is one who feels as you do. She felt that Hillary should have won, voted that way, and felt that, if she couldn't be the nominee, that Hillary should have automatically been veep. I think she'll eventually cast a reluctant vote for Obama in November, since she dislikes Republicans regardless of their gender, and recognizes that Obama's there on the important issues, but I know she's not happy about it now.

Well, it seems that some people in this country don't give a shit enough about LGBT rights, civil rights, women's right to choose, the lives of our young people in the military, the economy, the housing crisis, the price of gas, global warming, veterans' care, good jobs, good health care, our standing in the world, etc, etc, etc. They would rather vote for an asshole who'll give us 4 more years of the failed Bush policies and whine about Hillary not being the Democratic VP then all the things that REALLY ARE IMPORTANT TO OUR EXISTENCE! There is a point where all of this self-centerness can piss a person off and this posting has pushed me past that point. I don't want to see another election like 2000 where Nader screwed us over.

The bitch he picked wants to see us DEAD just like he does. Just because she a vagina doesn't mean she has a brain. She ain't no Hillary, by a million light years. Get a clue! Is that too hard to understand?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 3:05 AM


Well, it seems that some people in this country don't give a shit enough about LGBT rights, civil rights, women's right to choose, the lives of our young people in the military, the economy, the housing crisis, the price of gas, global warming, veterans' care, good jobs, good health care, our standing in the world, etc, etc, etc. t

Well put, and his name is Obama.

The truth is that he opposes same sex marriage, admits that he’ll continue the war, the mass murder of Iraqis and increase the GI causality count. The price of gas goes up as long as the war lasts. He supports NAFTA like treaties that cause widespread environmental disasters and destroy union jobs, the only “good” jobs for working people. He’s opposed to good health care and socialized medicine. Because of the war that he supports and wants to increase in Afghanistan and spread to Pakistan, and because of his support of apartheid against the Palestinians puts us all in danger of more barbarism like 9-11. Etc., etc., etc.

Vote for the US Labor Party, socialist or communist candidates or sit it out. Whatever you do don’t vote for Republicans like McCain and Clinton clones like Obama.

US Labor Party? Is that the same one that was started by Lyndon LaRouche or is a different group using that name? Because if it is, then that is not a very good example, since LaRouche was the guy who wanted to quarantine AIDS patients in what would have been something like leper colonies.

Frankly, I was going to vote Green out of my own frustration with Obama, but after some of the things McCain has said in recent weeks (like how he plans to appoint SCOTUS justices in the mold of Thomas, Roberts and Alito), I feel obligated to vote for Obama if it looks like even a remotely close race in my state.

I may disagree with Obama on many issues, but in a close race, sitting it out or voting for a third party candidate will amount to a vote for McCain. Given the likelihood at at least two justices are likely to retire or die during the next four years, letting McCain get elected because we get angry with Obama and want to make a point is just too risky. People who want to vote third party or sit it out need to look at early returns for their states and decide if that is a strategically wise move. If either candidate is heavily favored in the early returns, than vote 3rd party or don't vote, but if it is really close, don't risk handing your states electoral votes to McCain.

Susan, this is exactly the reason why third parties have a difficult time on the national level in this country. We're so locked into bifurcated thinking that we can't see the forest for the trees. Boy/girl. Coke/Pepsi. Democrat/Republican.

In Holland, they have like 20 political parties and their government functions just fine. In fact, no one party has a deadlock on legislation or the nation's agenda because, get this . . . parties have to make concessions and build coalitions to get things done. What a concept!

I felt this way in the 2000, 2004, and now the 2008 elections. No one should vote for the Democrats because they feel "obligated." If the Democrats can't muster the courage to represent the Left, then it's time to move along.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 11:10 AM

No Susan, it was started and is funded by entirely by unions in the AFL-CIO. Your ought to have know that or at least have taken the trouble to Google before asking such an peculiarly misleading question. I guess McCains not the only one who can't Google. In any case here's a hint:

http://www.kclabor.org/labor_party.htm

Your panic over the Judiciary is misplaced. As I’ve pointed out before the three most important decisions affecting us - sodomy laws being overturned and same sex marriage upheld in California and Massachusetts - were passed by Supreme Courts with Republican majorities.

The Greens are all over the place and inconsistent on the issues that affect us, as is Nader. While reform-minded votes for Democrats are simply tossed in the toilet, reform votes for the Greens go to a party that lacks a mass action approach to social change, the only approach that works to compel the judiciary and legislatures to accede to our equality agenda.

Bill, I voted for the *man* not the party. Green, pink orange or whatever, he was the best candidate for the job(and I do not disagree with you about his party.)

We have a top-two primary here, so at least for positions where the big two are not throwing money at their candidates, third party candidates do have a shot.

So what's in someone's pants matters to you far more than things like policies?

You're a fucking disgrace. Enjoy your McCain vote.

Voting for McCain because of Palin is a woman would be the equivalent of taking a big dump on Alice Paul's grave.

I am a huge Hillary supporter and really wanted her to be my President -- not just because she's female, but because she supported women's rights, LGBT rights, and a whole host of other progressive issues.

Palin does NOT. In any way, shape or form. I don't want her to be the first woman in the Oval office -- No way, no how. It would make Susan B. Anthony cry. Seriously. She will rise up out of her grave to come after you, and I'll probably point out where you live.

Steph, thanks for your comment and the reference to Alice Paul. I am by no means saying that I will vote for McCain and Palin. The point that I was trying to make (which obviously didn't come across well at all) is that this is a HUGE letdown and the fact that the GOP can do it but the Democrats can't is just salt in the wound.

Sorry, Serena, but for the folks who may have read your original post and been influenced by it, but are not reading the comments section, that is too little, too late.

Did you even think about the fact that in your last line you said that Obama deserves to lose the election? Do WE deserve what it would cost LGBT people, people of color and minority religions if people like you shoot off your mouths and influence people not to fight tooth and nail against letting McCain win this election?

You do have influence and with influence comes responsibility. Grow up and think about that the next time you get pissed off and want to post something written in anger.

Yes, absolutely we deserve to lose. If we are hoodwinked into blindly following someone who will pander to the Evangelical vote, and then surprise! The Evengelicals win, then yes. We deserve exactly what we get.

I agree with you about the pandering to evangelicals, I am certainly not "hoodwinked" by anybody and I am not blindly following anybody.

I am merely being pragmatic about which of the two people who actually have a chance of WINNING this election would, overall, be the better option.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 11:23 AM

Susan F. Is this Stalin's Russia? Why are you demanding a recantation and a dose of Uncle Joe style self-criticism, Susan?

Your prosecutorial approach to politics is why I always try to remember to follow the term "Democrtic" with (sic).

Don't twist my words.

Nobody who has actually read this far into the comments is going to buy into your deliberate misrepresentation of the intent of my words or your hysterical-sounding assertions.

You are fooling no one, except maybe yourself.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 31, 2008 4:30 AM

Susan F - you got caught being a rightwing, patronizing (if not particularly effective) bully: "You do have influence and with influence comes responsibility. Grow up and think about that the next time you get pissed off and want to post something written in anger."

Its a free discussion, not a confessional, and you're no one's priest.

Your best bet is to get off your high horse and try to calm down.

You are the one who needs to get off of your high horse. We all know that your only agenda is to push for third parties (a position that you know I agree with). An honorable goal, but frankly, you are the one who is coming off sounding like a bully and a hysteric. And I highly doubt that you would use some of the tactics and words you are lobbing at me if you did not know you were talking to a woman.

You, sir, are the bully not me.

I merely called a regular contributor about making irresponsible statements in a post.

Your statement "Susan F - you got caught being a rightwing, patronizing (if not particularly effective) bully" because I said "You do have influence and with influence comes responsibility. Grow up and think about that the next time you get pissed off and want to post something written in anger." is so far off base that it is laughable.

I stand by my statement that Serena's post was totally irresponsible and her opinion, stated in a later post, that "we deserve to lose [the election]" is just stunning. I understand how she means it, but her apparent lack of consideration for would happen if McCain wins. Do we deserve to have a guy who can't control his temper, has questionable judgement and thinks that maybe be should consider re-instating the draft? What about our service members who are fighting and dying in Iraq? Do they deserve to die because the democrats did not nominate a woman? She is entitled to her opinion, but her further statement only serves to show how totally callous she is. She apparently does not care if McCain wins and service members die because he keeps us enmeshed in Iraq for "a hundred years, if that is what it takes."

If I were to interpret her response using your tactics, one could even say that she essentially is saying that our troops deserve to die.

Kind of proves my point that as a contributor, she needs to THINK before posting--which was my original point.

Bill, this post isn't about Susan. It's political and I know that gets you worked up, but de-personalize, please. You can make your points without getting personal.

Serena,

I respect your opinion, but I hope that both you and your friend have the time to think about the difference between the Democratic Party and Ms Palin.

First and foremost, Ms Palin is anti-LGBT.

Then there's her desire to have legislative control over your body.

Not to mention what she'd offer to the environment, the supreme court, and all of the other issues that should be truly important.

Obama's candidacy alone is a risk. He's the first African-American to be nominated. That alone probably accounts for the 10% of undecideds. There are a lot of backward-thinking people. Do you believe that those racists would have suddenly come on board because Obama compounded the risks by selecting a woman?

Yes, it would have been cool. The right woman, like Governor Sibelius, or even Senator Clinton, would have been fantastic.

But he made his selection to balance out the risks.

Calculated, perhaps. And with Senator Biden's track record on war (especially the war on drugs), disappointing to a lot of people.

But if you really and truly believe that any American woman, and especially an LBT woman, would be better served by a McSame administration, then you are going to need to do some serious convincing on that score.

Fair enough. It was the same with the suffrage movement. Women were asked to step aside, even though they had led the fight, because it was a big enough gamble to give African American men the right to vote. Which is why I say, "here we go again." I understand why Obama did it. I'm still disappointed.

As a sixty year old transwoman, it kills me to hear this kind of talk from anyone, but most especially from young people. We need to stop with the petulant whining over Hillary's losing the primary.

Do you even know who championed the Violence Against Women Act? Hint, it wasn't Hillary Clinton. You need to do some research on Joe Biden (which I'll guarantee will help you regain your common sense), and then get out there and participate with all your heart in the hard work of getting an African American elected president.

This is a WINNING ticket, and one that you should be proud to support -- and right now, we just can't afford to lose.

Dana

Of course she did not know that. She said herself that she did not pay any attention to the DNC because she was "too over this circus".

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 12:44 PM

The DNC that Susan F. is so proud of is run by the benighted team of Dean and Daughtry, a pair being sued by the gay former DNC GLBT coordinator whose charged them with anti-GLBT harassment and discriminatory firing. Your donations will end up paying for Dean and Daughtry’s hefty legal bills and for a good sized final settlement. The plaintiff has already rejected an offer of $100,000.00 to settle.

http://www.washblade.com/blog/index.cfm?blog_id=15963 DNC attacks gay press…

http://www.washingtonblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=19485

http://www.queerty.com/tag/washington-blade/ The DNC is baring it’s antigay claws…

Daughtry, who ran the DP convention, is an ordained pentecostal bigot whose narrow-minded christian intolerance informs her pigheaded opposition to same sex marriage. She’s not much different than fellow pentecostal minister Jimmy Swaggart. Daughtry stupidly refused to admit to bigotry and settle the lawsuit long ago and Swaggart stupidly went trawling for prostitutes driving a huge rented Jaguar. Somebody tipped off the media and he was followed by a fleet of media vans, which he failed to notice.

Daughtry heads up a DNC unit called "Faith (read superstition and ignorance) in Action. The DNC’s FIA financed the pringitn of party brochures opposing same sex marriage and adoption, opposing choice for women, and advocating prayer (read superstitious cant) in public schools. Yourcontributions pay for that too.

http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc3=&id=77736&pf=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/magazine/20minister-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Why doesn’t Susan take this into account before she tells critics of the DNC to STFU?

Stop making assumptions about my political leanings or trying to mislead people about my positions or the intent of my words.

Whether you have actually READ them or not, you have had access to enough of my posts to know damn well that you are misrepresenting my position.

I DO, however, agree with you about donations to the Democratic party.

Bill, this post isn't about Susan. It's political and I know that gets you worked up, but de-personalize, please. You can make your points without getting personal.

Bil, I get into these frays about personal attacks because while I have lots of disagreements with Serena, Patrick and others I think we each have an absolute right to present our views without being distracted by insults like:

Damian: So what's in someone's pants matters to you far more than things like policies? You're a fucking disgrace. Enjoy your McCain vote.
Susan_F: Grow up and think about that the next time you get pissed off and want to post something written in anger.

I think we should all get ‘worked up’ about that.

Those two were not the only ones who took that tack and it’s been used before. Its escalation is a function of campaign hysteria, which is inevitable is also unhealthy. Using personal insults and demanding conformity converts political disputes into personal disputes. I've been sidetracked before and don't like it because I'd rather keep my temper reserved for our real enemies - Obama, Frank, McCain and der pope.

These rightwing tactics are meant to choke off discussion. They don’t suceed as much now because more people are disgusted by the rightwing drift of both parties.

People often note the appalling conformity in the Communist Party and in Maoist cults but the same process occurs internally among Democrats (sic) and Republicans. The difference is we don’t have a Gulag yet. But we do have Guantanamo plus unfettered wiretaps and internet snooping. We live in a surveillance state. That’s reflected politically in demands for conformity in much the same way that McCartyhyism took hold in the fifties long after Joe McCarthy was consigned to the DT ward at Walter Reed.

Political discussions always involve characterizing opinions and programs. Thats OK. Demanding political conformity is not. I don’t control the terms of the discussion, and if I did I’d still want it be focused, as you say, on the political, not the personal. If everyone who engages in the tactics of personal attack is discouraged that might help to keep things on track.

It is not even REMOTELY the same thing.
"Women" are not being asked to step aside. YOUR candidate LOST. Stop acting like a a little girl who is pitching a fit because she did not get her way.

Did it ever occur to you that all the people who threatened to vote for McCain if Obama did not tap Hillary for the VP slot made it impossible for him to pick her EVEN IF HE HAD WANTED TO? If he had, he would have sent the message that he caves under pressure to both the GOP and foreign governments. You all may have COST her the VP nomination, but apparently you do not have a good enough grasp of politics and international affairs to understand that.

Besides which, you are in serious danger of causing an anti-feminist backlash with this kind of behavior: the way all you "Hillary did not win, so I don't want to play with Barack" women are acting, all that you are accomplishing is to give misogynists a way to say "see how women act when they don't get their way? This is why we can't trust one to be president." You are HURTING the next woman who wants to run for President.

So vote how you like, but STFU.

Come to think about it, McCain *also* didn't choose Hillary as his running mate. So then he also dissed her. Why should her supporters vote for him?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 12:01 PM
Besides which, you are in serious danger of causing an anti-feminist backlash with this kind of behavior

Patronizing, i.e., saying that feminists shouldn’t get too militant or they’ll frighten the misogynists and cause a ‘backlash’ went out of style a long time ago and for good reason. It’s demeaning (if done well, but not clumsily and ham-fisted as ^^^^^) and counterproductive.

So vote how you like, but STFU.
!!!!!!

So vote how you like, but STFU.
??????

That's sounds more like what Joe McCarthy or Joe Stalin would say than what should be said in a democratic and open discussion. Calm down, Susan.

Again, you either misinterpreted or deliberate misrepresent what I said.

I NEVER said that "feminists shouldn’t get too militant or they’ll frighten the misogynists and cause a ‘backlash’", what I said was in specific reference to FEMALE HILLARY SUPPORTERS WHO ARE PLAYING THE "Hillary did not win, so I don't want to play with Barack" are in serious danger of causing an anti-feminist backlash with this kind of behavior.

I am well aware that it is not just women who are behaving this way, but that is who the right-wing misogynists will focus their attention on--with a great deal of help from the mainstream media.

Why have you decided to start constantly attacking my posts in this manner. If you disagree with me fine, say so. But stick to the facts and don't invent ways to attack me by twisting my words.

I tend to go a long way with folks who are upset about Clinton's loss. I stop short of understanding why someone would "hate" Barack Obama. Not only does he share 90% of Clinton's policy goals -- and is flexible enough to alter his goals once in office if the Party persuades -- he and his campaign are also not responsible for the various issues that caused Clinton to lose. This primary played out in every state and the territories. It was a narrow victory for Obama. The Clinton campaign did not plan for a 50-state campaign, and neither did Obama, I'm sure, but his philosophy of campaigning and voter outreach made it easier for him to adjust and succeed when a June end-date seemed unavoidable. The Clinton campaign assumed an early victory and got knocked off their feet when it slipped away.

And there's very little use in going into sexism versus racism in this dialogue, either. Both were present. The media gave no pass to Obama. Obama took his fair (or unfair) share of hits for simply being who he is. And I'm not saying he's the first woman president, a la the Toni Morrison comment on Bill, but he is a man surrounded by women (a strong wife, two daughters, and, in spirit, a single mother who faced incredible racial and gender odds in the mid-20th-century America and who taught him those lessons). But he's certainly no McCain, calling his wife a cunt in public (or anywhere, for that matter) and laughing when an audience member at a fund raiser called Hillary a bitch.

Hate sexism, hate misogynists, hate people like John McCain whose new female running mate equates being tacked on as VP to breaking the same glass ceiling that Hillary would have broken after nearly 2 years and 3 decades of hard fought battles at being a strong, independent woman taken seriously for her intellect and her talents.

Hate Obama? Vote for McCain, a third party, or no one? Respectfully, I just don't get it...

Hi Dustin, thanks for the excellent comment. I don't think you can say that racism or sexism trump one another. And I'm definitely not voting for McCain. But it's really going to take a lot to get me to vote at all this time around. I never said Palin is a role model. For from it. I'm not of the mind that any vag will do. I'll say it again . . . I'm just really disappointed that the McCain managed to do what Obama couldn't.

Hey Serena -- glad that you didn't take my comment as a personal attack. Impassioned as I am about this, I hoped to lay my arguments out thoughtfully. I would encourage others to do the same.

Since you did clarify that you're mainly upset that McCain could pick a woman VP and Obama couldn't (alternately, that the GOP could do it and the Dems couldn't), I just want to add that I don't think it's a matter of could/couldn't. Obama and his VP search team made an assessment of the best possible ticket scenario given any number of complicated factors. We won't know if he was right until Nov. 5 (God I hope it's only Nov. 5 when we know...).

In a strange way, I think Obama's pick more so reiterates the state of all non-WASP males in this country. Given the opportunity to elect the first black man president, I imagine the idea of trying to also elect the first woman vice-president at the same time weighed heavily on their minds. Obama could have chosen to try, yes, but do I lay the blame on him for a society in which it might seem too daunting to elect these two firsts at the same time on the same ticket? Personally, I don't.

However, it's pretty clear, especially given which woman McCain chose for his VP slot, that the Republicans aren't interested in progressing women's rights or even really women's political power beyond what the women themselves are taking. I don't think they "hid" Gov. Palin all this time merely for surprise and effect. Rather, I think we haven't heard about her (and we're hearing grumblings from the old white guys he didn't pick) precisely because a calculated political decision was made at the end to throw a woman onto the ticket to offset Barack's firstness and reiterate Hillary's loss.

If Gov. Palin becomes the first woman vice-president, I won't begrudge her or women's history that. But I reiterate that it will not be the same as if Hillary had succeeded in the long, hard primary battle and go on to win the presidential election.

Absolutely. I think that if McCain wins and Palin is an abysmal failure (she doesn't even know what the VP does, for Christ's sake), then the GOP can use her as an example of why women are unfit for office. They could have at least picked someone with a little charisma to offset McCain's deadpan "personality."

Serena, if you need an excuse to go to the polls, if nothing else, then make sure to vote in your House, Senate, and local races. I cannot overemphasize the importance of local and state races to winning rights; regardless of who's President, we need sharp and supportive people in Congress, and locally, all the way down to city council and school board. I suspect that, to win our rights, the success is still going to rise from the local level, rather than devolve from Washington.

Matt Hicks - Columbus Ohio | August 29, 2008 9:41 PM

Hey Dustin, I don't think anyone hates Obama, it's more the case that no one really knows what he stands for and he really has nothing that he can really point to for accomplishment. I still am and always will be a Hillary supporter. I met Bill and Hillary during Bill's first campaign and Hillary impressed me then and I always though she would run and hoped she would. There are issues that I have with Obama and the way he seems to make light of them when he is pressed on the issue. Like his voting present, rather than taking a position on contraversial legislation while in the Illinois legislature. He said it was just the way things were done, that's a weak excuse.
His use and refusal to stop using Donnie McClurkin (the ex-gay minister) during his campaign through Georgia. His refusal to have his picture taken along side Gavin Newsome, Mayor of San Francisco, because he was too closely aligned with the LGBT community.
His refusal to participate in a conference call/interview with the leaders of the largest gay media companies.
His techniques of getting his opponents (fellow democrats) kicked off the ballot because of questionable signatures on candidate applications.
His name was on the ballot in Michigan, his campaign asked for it to be removed. Good way to argue that his name wasn't on the ballot, but a misleading claim. There is just something in my gut that makes me question his sincerity. He likened people's feeling about the term marriage and its importance to the by saying "to some people semantics are important." No, Senator its about equality in the use of the term.
All in all for me it was about qualification, HRC was the most qualified. I think if Barack had really wanted to unite the party, HRC should have been selected as VP.
My disgust lies with the DNC and the rules committee, primarily with Howard Dean. I will no longer contribute to the DNC, the DCCC or the DSCC. I will contribute to the candidates campaigns that I support directly. I will vote for Obama, only because of the possibility of Supreme Court nominations. I don't think the voters chose the nominee, the nominee was selected by the DNC.

I'm sorry, but we are not voting for a single person- we are voting for an administration and set of ideas. Look beyond "I don't like Obama" or "Hilary was better" or "Palin is a woman."

The question is simple: do you most agree with preserving and expanding women's rights, moving forward on LGBT issues, and moving beyond the failed policies of the past 8 years? Then vote. And vote your conscience.

This talk about voting for McCain because Hilary didn't win or isn't on the ticket really is exactly the same as what got us into all the trouble in the first place. Our country is so concerned about "liking" someone or being able to "sit down and have a beer" with them. That's how Bush got elected- TWICE. I don't know Obama, Hilary or McCain as people at all- I know their politics. And that's why I'd never vote for McCain or let him get elected by staying home.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 1:07 PM
"That's how Bush got elected- TWICE."
Waymon Hudson

Wrong. Totally wrong.

The history is very clear. Bush got elected only once in 2004 and that’s because Kerry and the Democrats offered no alternative on the war, NAFTA, GLBT rights, etc. and because he beat the Democrats at pandering to christian bigots using same sex marriage as a wedge issue. This time, though, it’s Obama who’s won the bigot vote by endlessly repeating his pigheaded opposition to same sex marriage at hoe downs, cult centers and in his revival meetings scum like Mary Mary and the most very reverend ex-gay Donnie McKlurkin

Bush was selected, not elected, in 2000 by the Supreme Court in what the highly respected Brit paper The Guardian called a coup d’état. The election was only close because Gore promised to continue Clintons genocidal embargo against Iraq using the same lies that Bush later used to justify his invasion, which was uncritically supported by paytriots like Biden, Hillary Clinton and virtually all Democrats. Clinton-Gore lost a big chunk of the union vote because they pushed NAFTA and a lot of our vote because of DADT and DOMA.

The Democrats lost in 2000 and 2004 for the same reasona they always lose - they're rightwing Republicans in drag.

Bill,

Thank you so much for so quickly and elegantly saying these things! I was particularly happy when I saw your response to the "STFU" nonsense. I lead a discussion section of Health, Sex and AIDS at the University level. On Friday the students and I brainstormed about what makes a good discussion. Two of the big things that the entire class agreed on is that in order to have an open discussion where multiple views can be expressed we need to be respectful of each other and refrain from insults. It would be nice if people could do that here.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 4:11 PM
" in order to have an open discussion where multiple views can be expressed we need to be respectful of each other and refrain from insults. It would be nice if people could do that here.

poorboi - there'll be plenty of personal attacks on the LGBT left, the antiwar movement, feminists, supporters of immigrants rights and others during this election period from Democrats and Republicans.

They’re frantic because we’re coming to the end of the period when slick fakers like Obama and doddering old frauds like McCain can promise the moon and deliver a pile of shit without paying a serious political price for it.

The American people are sick to death of being forced to choose between lesser evils.

Right wing Democrats, Chamber of Commerce Democrats and pro-war Democrats (My country, Right or Wrong!) and apologists for the treason of people like frank are quite happy to join Obama in pulling the DP to the right. They have no political defense at all and are often the most rabid in their personal attacks.

Even centrists get livid when told that, far from being leftists, they’re often simply apologists for the right. They so want to be 'kewl' lefties but they’re Obama followers and he admits that he’s going to continue the war that’s already taken the lives of 1,200,000 innocent Iraqis and 4,000 GIs solely to enrich Texaco, Halliburton and Blackwater. That's not cool.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 31, 2008 4:35 AM

Sorry about screwing up your name, poolboi, I just had laser surgery and my eyes are awash in floaters.

...in order to have an open discussion where multiple views can be expressed we need to be respectful of each other and refrain from insults. It would be nice if people could do that here.

Thanks for helping out, Poolboi. Doesn't matter what our personal politics are, we need to remember to attack the policies or positions and not our fellow Projectors.

I'm baffled by voters who are so angry about Hillary not winning they'll vote for McCain. If a Log Cabin Republican were running, I wouldn't vote for him just because he's a gay man. As a progressive, stonewall-era gay man, my views would be contrary to his in just about every single way.

I thought either Hillary or Obama would be just fine as a candidate.

However, I never felt her candidacy was truly a breakthrough for feminism. Her primary fame came because she was a wife, not as someone known for her own accomplishments. Even though she had an extremely impressive resume by the time she became first lady, Average Joe saw her first as a wife. I see that as a kind of backdoor positive message for young girls. Marry someone successful and then you can be too?

I very much want to see a woman at the top of the national ticket, but not the wrong one. I would think voting for a fundamentalist christian woman would be an insult to everything Hillary stands for.

Ekeby, I think that you make a really good point, but I'm going to disagree. As long as we live in a patriarchal culture, women will always be viewed/judged first and foremost as wives/mothers/daughters before anything else. This is as true for Hillary Clinton as it is for any woman.

And I'll say it one more time . . . I'm not praising McCain for picking Palin, and I certainly don't think that any woman will do.

Point taken. I tend to forget that, as a white male, I benefit from society's patriarchal hierarchy. Until, of course, it's understood that I'm gay. At that point, any benefits or advantages vanish.

I must say that looking at Palin's video interviews, etc., I think she will be an asset to McCain's target audience, and I am now seriously worried about the Democrats chances. What I think happens is that the closet racists can now proudly vote Republican and think of themselves as progressive.

I truly believe the reason McCain and Obama are running so close in the polls, despite the horrendous state of the Republican brand, is because of under-the-radar racism.

I really don't think that the racism has been that far under the radar. Just like the sexism in this race wasn't very hidden, either. We may have come a long way since the 1800's, but there is still so much work to be done in just changing people's attitudes.

Serena, I'm going to say to you what I have never considered saying to other Clinton supporters because I believe it's disrespectful: GET OVER IT! If you are foolish enough to even consider voting for a McCain simply because he chose a woman who's policy stances are COMPLETELY antithetical to Hillary's, then that's you're right. But please, spare me the lecture on role models and honoring the women before you since Palin obviously isn't the former - at least not if you consider yourself a liberal - and has done absolutely nothing about the latter.

Hi Dennis, I don't consider myself a liberal. I'm a little further Left than that. And I don't consider Palin to be a role model.

Get over yourself.

Obama didn't reject women or even a woman VP. He rejected the corporate democrat machine - currently embodied by an intertwined Hillary AND BILL Clinton - a machine which was so arrogant during the primary process that it would not adapt to the reality that the entire party populace was not going to uniformly vote for Hillary via mass genuflection and that most of the people it thought would seal the deal for Hillary by Feb. 5 actually would love to see a woman president or vice president but recognized Hillary as being a corporate democrat hack and instead went for Barack Obama.

As for Hillary for VP? All of that corporate hack baggage would be along for the ride - and nothing of substance would actually happen during the Obama administration. And even less if HRC's HRC were to go on to the top job.

McCain-Palin?

And then just Palin?

Perhaps Palin-Huckabee?

Welcome back sodomy laws.

Welcome back Amendment 2.

Hello mandatory reparative therapy.

Goodbye to what's left of the Constitution.

If you're GLB or T and vote for that monstrosity of a ticket because Obama didn't want to deal with the Clinton mahine, you deserve all of that.

Problem is - the rest of us don't.

Kat, you do have a point about the Clintons' big money connections. However, I don't think that's why Obama said no.

John R. Selig | August 29, 2008 5:51 PM

Serena,

Please do yourself a favor. Listen to Barack Obama's speech from last night. After watching it, ask yourself if what Obama said last night is more in line with what you want for our country or if McCain is.

One of the many things Obama said was that the election wasn't about him. It was about us. I understand your hurt over Hillary not getting the nomination. She wasn't my choice for the nomination and not because she was a woman. I would love a woman president. Al Gore was my first choice followed by Obama.

The person who turned me off on Hillary more than anybody else is one of the brightest people that I have ever known and has been one of my dearest and closest friends from my hometown in new York) that I have known for over 40 year. She detests Hillary for many reasons and has for a long time. My friend has faced discrimination, is fed up with corporate America and detests Bush and the Republicans.

So trust me, my support for Obama was because I thought him to be the best choice and I would bet that the overwhelming majority of folks for voted for him and not Hillary voted for Obama not because Hillary is a woman.

McCain is terrible on all LGBT issues, all women's issues and all issues that Americans who are not staunchly conservative hold dear.

Next, ask yourself why McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Do you really think it was because of her experience, her talent, her vision, her ability to run this country in case she needed too? McCain chose her for one reason and only one reason. She is a woman. He is using her. He is using her as propaganda.

It reminds me of the corporation who appoints a woman or African American to a management position to fulfill and EEOC quota. The person is shuffled off to a back office and ignored. They reach the glass ceiling and they are only there to be used. They are joked about disliked by others (of their same gender and race) and will never progress further. They are also used to keep other talented more threatening women and Blacks who deserve promotion in their place. Personally I find that an insult. Would you really want this person to run the country?

Palin has been Governor of the State of Alaska for under two years (Alaska's population is approximately 670,000 which has about as many people as the city of Memphis, Tennessee). Prior to that she was the Mayor of a town of 9,000. At the moment She is under investigation by an Alaska State Legislative Council that will find out whether Palin was angry at and fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan for not firing an Alaska State Trooper who went through a messy divorce with Palin's sister.

Like McCain, she is terrible on GLBT and Women's rights issues. Like McCain, Palin will appoint ultra-conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who will hurt our rights. Is your anger and bitterness that deep that you are willing to support something so destructive to yourself and others and ideals you hold so dear?

Again, I empathize with your pain. I have had to back candidates I didn't like anywhere near as much as the one I backed. Like you I have faced discrimination. I have been held back in my career because I a was raised a Jew and because I am gay. If Obama held political views that were harmful I could understand voting for another candidate. But Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's views are as close to identical as one could hope.

Does it make sense to vote for somebody just because they are the same nationality, have the same religious preference, sexual orientation or live in the same state as you? There are plenty of gay people I wouldn't vote for. I am ethnically Jewish and I sure wouldn't vote for Joe Liberman who is as much a war monger as Bush and McCain.

I understand your feelings of hurt. I have had to accept my second or third choice after primaries many times. I understand the importance of having a woman in the White House. I was the one who wrote the post last weekend using the term "moron." I wouldn't call your friend and you morons. I think the best term is one that out lesbian progressive Rachael Maddow used the other night on MSNBC. Rachel has been on Air America and a frequent guest on Keith Olbermann's show and she is starting her own show after Olbermann's on September 8th. The term that Maddow used is "post rational." Rachel's term implies a meaning the that one is so upset and blinded by their anger and pain that until they have time to mourn their loss they aren't making rational choices. This is understandable but it can be dangerous.

You, your friend and others are hurting. I understand. I am sorry that you didn't watch the convention. Most who attended and watched who were strong Hillary supporters found it to be cathartic. I did too. My respect for both Hillary and Bill Clinton plummeted during the primary season (as did that of many). During the convention my respect and admiration for both of them skyrocketed above where it was when before the presidential election kicked off. I want good things for both of them. I would love to see Hillary get a plum appointment or take Harry Reid's spot. I hope that Obama appoints some strong women to key positions in his cabinet so that one of them could replace him when his time in office is over. Personally I wish Madeline Albright could be president as I think the world of her (since she wasn't born in the States she isn't eligible).

I encourage you to take the time you need to mourn Hillary's loss. Watch her speech, Bill Clinton's speech, Joe Biden's speech, Al Gore's speech and finally Barack Obama's speech. Read the Democratic Party platform. Then tune into the Republican Party convention. Will they have an out lesbian perform like Melissa Ethridge? Will almost every one of their key speakers talk about LGBT rights, equal pay for women, a woman's right to choose? Listen to John McCain's vision for our country vs. Obama's. Then read their party platform.

Then ask yourself if you really want to vote for John McCain who is using your disappointment to hurt you and the rest of us.

My warmest regards,

John

My 74 year old mother (who is gay and a Physician) decided to vote for McCain after the Palin pick. I asked her why and she said that as a practicing OBG who was practicing before Roe v. Wade that to play fast and loose with these hard fought rights, like the Dems did with Obama, will serve them right. I asked her what about all the suffering that would occur and she said that's their problem now........she is really despising the Dems here in her golden years

With all due respect, is your mother using this as a cover for voting for her pocketbook rather than for her principles?

If she hasn't been paying attention, HRC has been softening her abortion-rights stance for the last two years. I don't think that she would have stood firm against required parental consent, though I do think that she would have appointed a liberal to any SCOTUS opening available.

Sure she might feel a little disgusted with the general apathy the majority of young women have displayed vis-a-vis reproductive rights. But face it, apathy is the theme of the times.

Youbetcha when a liberal justice retires or dies, the Republican president will appoint an extremist and not a centrist. South Dakota is already aiming to take on Roe v Wade, up to SCOTUS level. Exactly how long do you think it will take for a sodomy law to be reinstated in some state, and taken to SCOTUS? I suppose there are a few states where the invalidated law remains on the books.

All in all this strikes me as purely a strategic move by the McCain campaign to pander to women and former-Hillary Clinton supporters. I’m not saying that’s wrong- Obama’s pick was strategic too - but there’s something about McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin that really bothers me. I even find his pick a bit offensive towards women.

I come to this impression by looking at Palin herself: What exactly does she bring to the table other than being a woman? She is two years younger than Obama, has zero foreign policy experience, and has been Governor of Alaska for less than two years! With the Republicans being so vociferous in their attacks on Obama as not having enough experience to be President, why on earth would they think she does? Why would they choose the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with so few qualifications unless they were trying strictly to appeal to women? Yes, she’s very conservative and will help McCain with that base, but many of the other VP candidates were conservative as well and had better credentials.

This VP pick reminds me a lot of Dan Quayle. He was chosen in an effort to draw in women’s votes without much though as to whether he actually was qualified to do the job. Did anyone really feel Quayle was ready to take over as President? Considering McCain would be oldest elected President and has had cancer in the past, I think it’s fair to put extra scrutiny on whether or not Palin is ready to take over and become President if needed.

Palin was not chosen because she’s unknown and therefore scandal-free either. Governor Palin is currently under investigation by a state legislative panel to determine if she abused her power while in office. It is alleged that Palin dismissed the Commissioner of Public Safety in Alaska due to his reluctance to fire an Alaska State Trooper who had been involved in a divorce and child custody battle with Palin’s sister. For someone who is trying to portray himself as being separate of Bush, McCain chose someone who reeks of the cronyism so prevalent in the Bush administration.

All this is where the offense comes into play. I get this vibe from the McCain campaign team that they now expect women to want to vote for him because he chose a woman for VP. That attitude is incredibly sexist and demeaning towards women. Do they think women aren’t smart enough to think for themselves and choose the best candidate, not just one of the same gender?

I hope not, but I have my doubts.

Scott, thanks for your comment. I totally agree.

Interesting pick is all I have to say on this a choice that was on nobodys list other than a real long shot.

Scott Morris | August 29, 2008 6:27 PM

I was very disappointed to read this post because I think people are allowing their emotions and feelings to cloud their better judgment. Can anyone who supported Hillary and believes in Hillary's positions honestly think that McCain or Palin would be a good choice.

If McCain were to be elected, he has said he would appoint justices like Scalia and Thomas to the supreme court. Gay rights could be set back another decade or so. Abortion rights could be taken away or limited to the point where it is nearly impossible to get one. Science education will become a joke when they institute Intelligent Design. The wall of separation of church and state will be torn down, as Bush has already started. We will be bogged down in Iraq for years to come wasting trillions of dollars that could otherwise be invested in education, alternative energy, reducing poverty, etc... We will see our environment destroyed by those wishing to pillage our natural resources instead of conserve. We will see vouchers instates that take badly needed funds from lower income schools to private schools. Healthcare will remain the same and nearly 50 million Americans will go without any serious options or coverage. I could go on and on about things that should be important to all Americans, and especially progressive/LGBT voters.

Scott Morris

Serena,
Zora Neale Hurston said it best.

'All my skinfolks ain't my kinfolks.'

It's why Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas are more hated in the African-American community than a white sheet wearing Klansman.

Gov. Palin isn't progressive, neiter does she has the 'experience that many of you Hillaryites castigated Sen. Obama for unmercifully for months.

Voting against you own political and economic interests is stupidity, and I don't care whether you have a PhD or no degree.

To Monica and everyone who is calling this as it is, thank you. We need to send a message to those who would vote against their own best interests because of their sexism (and yes, that's what it is) that they should think hard about what they're giving up for the sake of a stupid, selfish gesture.

And Serena, FYI, the Democrats already picked and ran with a woman VP candidate in 1984.

Does the name Geraldine Ferraro ring a bell?

Monica, yes it does. And you're absolutely right about your Hurston quote.

I'm not saying I would ever vote for McCain and Palin. And I have pretty much said this in other responses to the comments that I think the GOP chose Palin a) because they think they can get some of Hillary's supporters to switch camps. And b) Palin is an open door to ANWR.

Everyone who has talked about Supreme Court justices and all that have excellent points. But in my heart of hearts, I really don't see the Democrats doing much about it either.

"Everyone who has talked about Supreme Court justices and all that have excellent points. But in my heart of hearts, I really don't see the Democrats doing much about it either."

Forget about your heart. It's really quite simple. The Republicans will appoint justices who do not believe in the constitutional right to privacy. That's the philosophy on which Griwold v. CT is decided, and Roe v. Wade, and Lawrence v. TX. Take away that right, and all three decisions can be overturned.

McCain has *promised* to appoint justices like Scalia and Thomas. It is probable that the next president will appoint three justices. John Paul Stevens is 88 years old. He is the last justice who voted in the majority in Roe v. Wade. How much longer do you think he can hang on?

Then bye-bye right to privacy.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | August 29, 2008 6:45 PM

Serena, I'm not just "a little further Left" than liberal, I'm far left. And I don't think you could be more feminist than I am.

Which is exactly why I find McCain's--or should we say Rove's--pick of Palin to be such a brilliant but disgustingly offensive move. You can bet your last LGBT dollar she is a token, cynically picked to bring in disgruntled Clinton supporters and steal the thunder from Obama's historic nomination this week. Rove’s hands are all over this, from the disinformation campaign that had the media focused on the likes of Mitt Romney, to the timing, immediately following Obama’s rousing speech to 80,000 people.

I am anything but an Obama supporter--he's too corporate and to the right for me. But I still recognize the historic import of the first black man to be nominated for the presidency. As well, I recognize that a McCain presidency will mean a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade. It could well mean a war with Iran, with the subsequent deaths of hundreds of thousands of more Middle Eastern residents. It will surely mean at least four more years of environmental policies catering to big business and the oil companies, which could push us past the tipping point for global climate change--with absolutely disastrous consequences for the planet and generations of humans, plants and animals.

I don’t have great faith in Obama. But I do have a deep and abiding panic and revulsion at the prospect of four more years of a Republican administration. Don’t fool yourself, the implications for women’s rights, LGBT rights, the environment and the rest of the world will be devastating.

Maybe Obama didn't pick Clinton because of a number of offensive, and poorly considered things she said or did during the primary, such as bringing up how Robert Kennedy was assassinated in the month of June, and how white voters liked her, or her embarrassing, irrational, self-contradictory desperation tactic near the end about Florida and Michigan.

I completely agree that it would have been a great thing if Obama had picked another qualified woman for VP. The key word is qualified. This is NOT what McCain has done. He's picked a woman because she is a woman, and is also anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage.

Should Obama have picked, say, Kathleen Sebelius over Joe Biden? On the basis of general qualifications, I don't think so. On the basis of advancing equality, perhaps he should have.

I just think it is unfair that Obama is getting blamed for something that most White men have not done either: select a female running mate. As Monica stated, only one White male candidate has done it.

I hate to admit it but I think there is a lot of white privilege and entitlement that is coming out. Obama is seen as uppity and should know his place. It was Hillary's time and how dare anyone take it away from her? Um, how often has that line excluded women??????

Seriously? I respect Hillary Clinton for who she is and what she has done for our country, but I've been a supporter of Obama since his DNC speech 4 years ago. To say your friend is voting for McCain because he picked a woman as his VP is complete crap. Obviously she wasn't supporting Hillary for her views, beliefs and record, because Clinton and Palin have NOTHING in common besides being women. This is no reason to vote for someone who's going to give us 4 more years of the last 8 years.

Then again, we all love America because we have the right to do what we will in the voting box and make our voices heard. Have a great weekend!

If you are LGBT...voting for McCain/Palin you might as well be voting for your executioners.

(hat tip for that line to a Blend poster)
Wally

I don't think HRC even wanted the VP spot to Obama. I'd rather see HRC appointed to SCOTUS by Obama and *think* possibility, Bill Clinton could also be appointed to SCOTUS. That would be real History!

The Gay City News has an interesting article about some of the folks behind the party unity my ass type orgs.

http://gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20096175&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=569342&rfi=6

"Mantouvalos and William Bower, a gay Washington, DC resident, founded justsaynodeal.com, a coalition of Clinton supporters who are trying to somehow snatch the nomination from Barack Obama so they can back Clinton on November 4.

Of course, Mantouvalos will have to register to vote first."
-snip-
"Another Clinton supporter, Darragh Murphy, founded PUMA PAC, which stands for Party Unity My Ass or People United Means Action, depending on whom one asks. The web site pandagon.net reported in late June that she gave $500 to McCain in 2000."

Serena, you know I respect your viewpoints even when I disagree, and in this instance I can feel your pain with you even as my choices may be different.

Previously, I have said that I would not hesitate to vote for a black candidate as long as he or she is the proper black candidate --- and equally, I'd not hesitate to vote for a female candidate as long as she is the proper female candidate.

Palin is not the proper female candidae by any stretch of the imagination. In addition to her being anti-choice, anti-LGBT, pro-big-oil and pro-drilling, she is also pro-creationism. This bothers me more than it does most people, but I have a strong belief that science is science, and a religious position should not be taught to our children as science.

(Creationists have a right to their religious beliefs, and to teach those religious beliefs to their children if they so choose; but I don't believe they have a right to call those beliefs a form of science --- that is not religious freedom, that is mis-information and mis-education. They have a right to free speech, but saying that religion is actually science is illogical and irrational. And if science is anything, it is a particular type of logic and rationality. And we should not only teach our children science facts, but also what is correct scientific reasoning and what is not. Creationism belongs in the religion class, not in the science class.)

I am not at all surprised that McCain chose a woman --- in fact, as I once wrote here at Bilerico, I was very concerned that he might really mix things up and pick Condoleesa Rice herself. Thank God he didn't --- Condoleesa would have been a far more credible VP candidate, far more experienced in international politics than any of the four candidates we now actually have, and a far more formidable opponent for the Obama-Biden ticket. McCain was courageous to pick a woman, but if he wanted to play that game hardball-and-go-for-broke, he picked the wrong woman.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 2:41 AM

Serena, your remarks we're nuanced but perfectly clear. The panic-stricken reaction to them arises from the ham-fisted demand for conformity by rightwingers in your party and the dawning realization by the centrists that they've been fooled again. They’re wondering if they’ve got another Dukakis/Gore/Kerry on their hands.

And with good reason.

Obama pretends to be on our side but he’s been mollifying us while spending the bulk of his time pandering to evangelical bigots. He apes Jesse Helms and John supporting ‘States Rights’ and opposing same sex marriage. He kept his mouth shut when Kennedy, Reid and Pelosi tossed hate crimes out the window and did nothing to stop Barney Frank form whacking ENDA. His followers end up supporting that.

Obama admits that he’ll continue the wanton slaughter of civilians in Iraq and the mauling of US troops. In fact he wants to invade Pakistan exposing us to nuclear retaliation. He wants to repeal DADT because he’ll need cannon fodder. Obama’s devotees support the war.

Obama supported measures like the FTA that impoverish working people and cause environmental disasters while causing the rich to get richer. He opposes socialized medicine. He consistently votes to increase illegal government surveillance operations by taking a hatchet to the Bill or Rights. His fans are following him as he moves right, defending and spinning each step he takes.

The upshot of all that is that he’s not going to be bamboozling as many people as originally projected. On the big issues his politics are identical to Clinton/Bush politics and people are sick to death of that. They want a change and it’s clear they’re the only change they’ll get is a different set of crooks in office. And his strategy, bigot pandering and dancing to the right, are exact duplicates of Clintons. The only real difference between them is that silly sax and the fact that there’s no Monica yet.

Will huge numbers of voters lodge a protest vote or stay at home on November 4ht? Or will they get hoodwinked again. Stay tuned to “As the Stomach Turns.”

Then join whatever activist groups emerge to fight for ENDA and the hate crimes bill and join the antiwar movement.

Seriously Bill, staying home is NOT an option. There are other positions and ballot measures at stake here, including Amendments to ban equal marriage in three states.

If people want to vote third party and are in a safe enough district not to "get hoodwinked" into HELPING MC CAIN WIN by doing it, great--the more protest votes the better, just take the time to learn about the other candidates and actually vote your conscience. But don't just stay home!

We actually had a Green candidate do relatively well in his bid for State Representative here in our primary (and yes, I voted for him--not because of his party, but because he was the best person for the job).

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 30, 2008 11:35 AM
If people want to vote third party and are in a safe enough district not to "get hoodwinked" into HELPING MC CAIN WIN by doing it, great--the more protest votes the better.

There are no significant differences between Obama and McCain. They both pander to bigots (the polls indicate that Obama’s much better at it than McCain, Clinton or Bush), they’ve both signaled their clear intention to continue the mass murder of muslims and extend it to Pakistan or Iran, and their fiddle duo while the economy burns is a betrayal of the interests of working people.

I've probably said it a hundred times in these discussions that we should defeat and vote against anti-GLBT initiatives.

But thanks for reminding us.

Bill, you're a man after my own heart. Thank you for articulating this so perfectly!

I think most of what I wanted to say has already been covered in the comments, especially by Brynn's comment.

That said, I think this pick (and those who are planning to vote for Obama are going to hate this fact) also puts a lot of Democrats on notice when it comes to sexism. We already know that Democrats are perfectly capable of sexist rhetoric no matter how high-falutin' we think we are (see the primary), and the GOP machine is definitely going to be using it in the media, hoping that we'll forget their history of misogyny and misogynist policy goals).

I think things like this are going to get more attention than they deserve just because the McCain campaign is going to look for whatever to jump on to take attention away from his solidly anti-choice record.

I think it's important to remember that the Democrats first put a woman on a national ticket 24 years ago. So whatever props the Republicans are getting for this it's a quarter of a century later.

"A crusty old white dude can stomach running with a woman. But Barack Obama, Mr. Change, can't? WTF!"

What's the deal with all of your ageism? You have referred, several times, to people being old. Calling someone old shouldn't be wielded like a weapon.

You're assuming that just because Obama made a different pick that it means he couldn't "stomach" running with a woman. There is nothing in his personal life or political record to indicate that he's a sexist. So you're making an ad hominem attack against him.

"Today my friend e-mailed me to say that she might be voting for McCain because he picked a woman."

EMILY'S List is dedicated to electing women. But not just any woman. Only pro-choice Democratic women. They recognize that it doesn't advance the women's agenda by simply electing women. They have to believe in women's rights. If a pro-choice, pro-GLBT rights man won't be supported simply because he is a man, that's gender discrimination. And it does little to encourage the majority to be our allies if we're going to throw them overboard.

Or maybe she just needs an excuse for not voting for someone who supports her issues.

"So this woman knows a thing or two about politics."

That's demonstrably untrue if she's going to help elect someone who will strip her of her rights. And to do so in a fit of pique, is at best childish.

"If she doesn't vote for McCain, she won't vote at all. That's how much she dislikes Obama. And I'm right there with her."

You don't have to hang out with Obama, or have him over for dinner. We're electing the most powerful person in the world, not a BFF. He needs to be competent and right on the issues. Likeability is optional. BTW, what happened to anarchists don't vote?

"But having a woman in the White House, whether as President or Vice President, is the kind of change that would actually mean something to them."

Not if she uses that power to outlaw choice, access to birth control, quash GLBT rights, and outlawing sex that doesn't lead to pregnancy within a heterosexual marriage.

"I'll be honest, I didn't pay attention to any of the DNCC coverage."

Perhaps if you were undecided in the most important election in several generations, it would have behooved you to watch the convention. Especially if you're writing opinion pieces about the race.

"Sure, my political views have ventured a lot further left since then."

If your politics have veered so far "left" that you're voting for conservative Republicans who hate you, then you're no different than the right wing Republicans who are voting for the same people. Your vote doesn't come with an asterisk.

"But I remember hearing her speech at the Beijing Women's Conference in 1995 and being completely overwhelmed."

Well, if you're really so enamored with her as a leader and role model, than why won't you follow her leadership *imploring* her followers to not only vote for Obama, but to work as hard for him, as they did for her?

"Because the Democrats are chicken shits who will pander to the least common denominator."

Oh, and picking a woman who is patently unqualified was an act of good governance, and not a cynical attempt to pick off Hillary supporters? Or is pandering not cool only if Democrats do it?

"They're so busy going after the Evangelical vote that they've forgotten the Left."

If the "left" is voting for McCain because Obama isn't left enough, he needs to make up those votes somewhere. Anyway, it doesn't matter where the votes come from. They all count just the same. And if they're for the progressive candidate, that's the important part. We want to convince people to vote for Obama from the other side, *That's* how you *win* elections.

"And Obama's going to lose in November because McCain did what he couldn't."

It's absurd to believe that more people are going to vote for an unqualified, extremely conservative woman, rather than choosing the top of the ticket based on the issues and merit.

"And you know what? He deserves it."

You just don't get it. Obama will be just fine if he loses the election. He will still have a high paying job with plenty of prestige, and opportunities to make even more money, and continue to advance in his career.

***WE"RE** the ones that will pay the price if John McCain is president. Unless you believe that another Republican Administration will improve the lives of women, GLBT people, minorities, the poor, etc., helping them get elected screws us.

Having a woman running the country does NOT mean the rights of LGBT citizens will be upheld or improved. Margaret Thatcher was the first British female Prime Minister and one of the first things she did was introduce a Bill that prevented homosexuality being mentioned in schools. "Just because she has a vagina doesn't mean she has a brain". How right you are, Monica.
I mean, left.

God, things just don't change, do they? The attorney friend may be smart but she certainly isn't very wise. To vote for McCain simply because he chose a female running mate, or because you think Hilary should have won is absolutely sophomoric behavior! McCain's time has come and gone. He SHOULD have been president these past eight years. He was gay and choice friendly then, but he had to sell out to the "religious" freaks to get it this time around. He sold his personal values for the nomination and now he's not worthy of my vote. The whole country has been screaming that we need change. We need to start running this country using our hearts rather than our brains. We need to find peaceful ways to meet challenges. What's it going to take to get everyone to see that bombing the shit out of people and killing each other doesn't change anything? It just makes more enemies. While Iraq was in place Iran didn't dare do anything for fear of them. We've given Iran the courage to do whatever it wants and it uses OIL MONEY to buy what it wants from the Chinese and Koreans.

So, you want to vote for McCain to get back at Obama, go ahead. But you get what you deserve.

It's so mice to have so many people telling me what my best interests are. It's so hard to figure out on my own! ;^)

I absolutely do not understand this line of thinking. WTF?
A vagina is more important that the actual issues?
WTF??

For VivaZoya and everyone else who thinks that I have simply boiled this debate down to "Hillary Clinton has a vagina":

My disappointment has never been about Hillary. Hillary is not the point. It's the principle.

And you might say that I am an idiot. You might patronizingly tell me that I don't understand what my own best interests are. And I guess you could say that about all the working class women who work three jobs and have kids to raise who supported Hillary because she talked about things that mattered to them. McCain isn't banking on died in the wool Democrats jumping ship. The GOP is hoping that these women, who don't have time to sit and surf the web because they're too busy raising their families, will vote for McCain because there is a woman on the ticket. The GOP is saying any woman will do, not me.

This is going to be my last response for the weekend because I have family coming to visit. I encourage ya'll to continue hashing this debate out amongst yourselves. There are a lot of interesting strains of conversation happening here. Let's try to keep it polite, shall we? Many of the comments on this thread are borderline TOS'able. So please keep the focus on the arguments themselves, and refrain from the personal attacks. THANKS! :^)

This is such a tired argument. If you want to sit out the election as a form of protest, that is fine. But anybody who would honestly vote for McCain because Hilary Clinton isn't on the ticket is a damn fool. How is electing a conservative going to advance women's rights or the GLBTQ movement?

This Republican appeal to pure symbolic identity politics has been used before with black people during the Bush II administration. I don't think Rice, Rod Paige et al have done a whole lot for black people.

"I'm a little pissed off today. John McCain picked Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. A crusty old white dude can stomach running with a woman. But Barack Obama, Mr. Change, can't? WTF!"

McCain picked a woman for the sake of picking a woman, not because she was the most qualified. Obama picked Biden because he is the most qualified and brings tons of foreign relations experience with him, which is what we need right now. So I suggest looking beyond the sex, race, creed of the candidates (as we often ask people to look beyond our sexual orientation and gender expressions) and see the person and their qualifications. What will be best for the country.

Serena - tell your friend, from me, that the only reason Hilary wasn't chosen as Barack's VP is because of her Very Problematic spouse. your friend is smart; the abundant difficulties must be obvious!

Statement from the
Planned Parenthood Action Fund


Yesterday morning, on my way back from the high of the Democratic National Convention, I learned that Sen. John McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential pick.

What might have been encouraging news for women was just the opposite — somehow McCain had managed to find a woman running mate even more conservative than he is on women's rights.

It was heartbreaking news, especially on the heels of such an inspiring week. Right now there is so much shameless rhetoric from the Republicans about breaking the glass ceiling, especially from McCain and his running mate. What good does it do to break a glass ceiling with a woman who wants government to control women's reproductive health? That isn't the world I want for my two daughters.

A day later, and I'm still having trouble expressing the depth of my anger about McCain's choice of a running mate. This shameless pandering to women — with a woman who doesn't trust other women to make their own decisions about childbearing — has really got me going.

My dear friends and supporters, the stakes in this election just got unbelievably higher. More than ever before, the November 4 election is the most important vote for women's rights of my generation. And our actions in the next eight weeks — yours, mine, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund's — have never been more critical. Believe me, I don't say that lightly. It's time to get to work — and hard.

If you can only do one thing, it should be to tell every woman you meet that McCain and Palin are the most anti-choice, anti-women pair imaginable. Don't stop at just telling your friends. You can bet that I'll be telling strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store, the women I see at the gym, parents at my kids' schools.

Women trust other women to tell them the straight truth — and the straight truth is that McCain and Palin would take us back to a time when women had absolutely no right to decide whether or not to have a child ... zero. It's been widely reported that Palin is against abortion even in the cases of rape and incest!

And, yes, money helps us too — very much. That's how this all works. Your donations help the Planned Parenthood Action Fund reach voters person to person — conversations with one million women that tell the truth about John McCain and Sarah Palin. Bear with us over the next two months. We're going to be asking for your help, your contributions and your time a lot. Thank you in advance for doing what you can, when you can.

Times like these, it's hard not to hear my mother's voice in my head. I can tell you that my mother, the former governor of Texas and a remarkable feminist leader of her time, would have been downright outraged right now. What would have offended her most about McCain's decision to put Sarah Palin on the ticket is how utterly calculated, how awfully pandering it is to women. It is the worst kind of politics. Mom would have said, "Women voting for this ticket is just like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders."

We have the opportunity in Barack Obama and Joe Biden to elect a team that have always stood strong with us for women's health — end of story. I'm so excited coming back from Denver — but with this decision by John McCain, I recognize that everything for us is at stake.

Thank you, as always, for standing up with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the women Planned Parenthood health centers serve. We are quite a force, aren't we?


Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Action Fund

To Serena's friend,

Whining about how the system needs to change and then not voting seems a little counterproductive don't you think? Even if it's for what you consider the lesser of two evils at least it will be a step in what you may consider the right direction. By not voting you're whomever you consider the greater of the two evils to continue to move the system in the wrong direction. Not voting is what is plain ignorance.

Serena: I'm guessing that when the curtain shuts on the voting booth 11/4 you and a lot of other (rightfully) disenchanted Hillary backers will hold your nose and vote for a Democrat, and that D person will be none other than Barack Obama. As well you should, because, guessing again, I have a suspicion that Senator Obama will have more women in his cabinet, more gays in his administration, and more LGBT friendly everything surrounding him in DC. Ms Palin in the meantime will find herself marginalized faster than you can say Wasilla Alaska, and if she's not--if the 'Republic-can'ts' actually cede her a bit of turf, she will use it against you and what you hold sacred. Take Hillary's advice; support Obama, and if nothing else consider where I went after my candidate lost in the primary--yes, I, too, thought she was a superb choice, and still do. There's always 2012.

By this point, anyone saying "we don't know what Obama stands for" is likely a republican attempting to turn people against him. If you've completely ignored all media, you can go to Obama's website to see what he stands for- it is clearly spelled out.
If you think voting for McCain is a good idea because HE picked a woman, you should be aware that she has stood against abortion EVEN IN CASES OF RAPE & INCEST. Her policy has been to have rape victims PAY for their own examinations. Think long & hard about what it would mean to have such a woman as President ( McCain is 72 & has had four run-ins with cancer ).
Beyond all of that, look at McCain's history of pushing deregulation in banking which led to this economic mess. If you want four more years of what we've already suffered through the past eight, then vote for McCain, who fills his staff with lobbyists ( one of whom got $2million from Fannie & Freddie for access to McCain ).

I have been reading all the posts. Everyone is entitled to vote for whomever they wish. On Obama; He missed 300 of 602 votes in his 3 years in the US Senate, He removed the FLAG from his plane, He and Mrs admitted they do not like the flag. You mention FannieMae. Look into his 2 advisors. Raines and Johnson, Both ran FannieMae. they walked with $190M between them. Look into Ayers, His Rev,Acorn, he donated $800,000 He has NO experence. McCain is not even a republician. I have watched his voting record and he sided with Democrats alot. As a transgengered rebublican I didn't want to see McCain. Obama is not a TRUE American. He has never Ran anything. 20 years ago we would not be having this debate.A war vet and a nobdy.. Gay rights all 4 agree. No gay marriage.