Alex Blaze

Compare and contrast

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 03, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: bisexual, conservative politics, Daily Kos, Democrats, Free Republic, gay marriage, gay patriot, iowa, kossack, lesbian, LGBT, liberals, marriage, marriage equality, Republicans, same-sex marriage, transgender

A vast majority of LGBT people vote Democratic in elections, and that led GayPatiotWest to ask why gay people aren't more receptive to conservatism. He said that it's a "political conformity" brought on by "time socializing with their gay peers." I beg to differ.

Today's a perfect day to compare and contrast liberals and conservatives when it comes to their views on LGBT people. What follows are initial reactions from Free Republic and Daily Kos commenters. No, marriage isn't the end-all-be-all litmus test, and those two sites, while popular on either side of the aisle, don't encompass every political persuasion. But it's something.

From a Freeper:

Hey wasn't Iowa ....BO's claim to fame !!
Can we scratch Iowa off the map ??

From a Kossack:

Obama...now this!
My 66-year-old Iowa dad, a Democrat who tends to the conservative side occasionally, called me practically in tears this a.m. He is just so proud of his state...and so am I. Go Hawks!

Freeper:

Iowa

Iowa?

IOWA?

This is fully expected in the nutbar places like New England and California. But Iowa? This is about as disturbing a news article as I could have ever imagined.

Kossack:

WHOOOOOEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!
IOWA ROCKS!!!!!!!!

Freeper:

Prop 8...make it a constitutional change and the black robes can't be run by the lavender mafia.

Kossack:

Iowa selects judges by merit, using a modified so-called Missouri plan. No campaigning, no campaign contributions allowed. Judges appointed from among nominees selected by commissions, half lawyers and half nonlawyers, stand for retention at general elections.

The merit selection of judges, with accountability to voters but without the partisanship in some state elections, accounts for the high quality of the Iowa judiciary.

Freeper:

We are fools if we think that God's judgment will not come to this land. Fools.

Kossack:

Please explain again...
...why my 30+ year old "traditional" marriage is threatened by gay marriage?

Freeper:

This is scary. Unlike Massachusetts, Iowa is an agricultural breadbasket. Watch crop yields plumett now. God takes His revenge in many ways. Just ask those people burned out of their homes (or had their crops dry up from drought) in California. Russia's crop yields plummeted too, once she became an atheistic nation in 1922.

Kossack:

Since ND doesn't have marriage equality we may assume God's punishing them until they please Her by changing that.

Freeper:

Oedipus can now marry his mommy.

Kossack:

But won't this tarnish ...
... the holy sanctity of Rush Limbaugh's three failed marriages?

Freeper:

-- I'm not saying that it is time to get out the guns,--

If now is not the time, that time will soon be at hand

Kossack:

so PROUD to be from Iowa today!!!! Let the wedding bells start a-ringing!!!! A great, historic day in Des Moines! Congratulations!

Freeper:

"I have no problems with gays getting married. They just have to marry someone of the opposite sex, just like normal people. No special privileges for them!"

True. They can even have a 100% gay marriage...a queer can marry a carpet muncher!

Kossack:

Unanimous?!?!
The other state rulings on this have all been close split decisions. Not only that, but the ruling says that only marriage will do, that civil unions won't cut it. This is an earthquake of a ruling.

Freeper:

This also increases the likelihood that the US will be a target of Muslim terrorism. The Muslims (correctly) see homosexuality as an abomination. They won't take kindly to rulings like this.

Kossack:

Lookout... if there's a natural disaster in the next week, some whackjob Fundie will blame it on gays and the Iowa Supreme Court.

Freeper:

I am beginning to believe that there is no silent majority. The queers and the unemployed are running the country. I am a slave, 2/3rds of my taxes go into the pocket of someone else.

Kossack:

where's the dissenting opinion?

haha, there wasn't one :)

Freeper:

they said the constitution allows sodomy and despite the dicta, that case is being used to allow homosexual based marriage.

IOW marrigage based on popping an orgasm rather than benefit to society.

Kossack:

Well, the good news is that it will be delayed...
...so, in three years, when people realize that Iowa hasn't been destroyed, they will be more open to the idea...

Freeper:

And yes, the regular manner in which one or two non-elected "judges" ("czars"?) trump the will of the people (shown via voting results) as well as ursurp legislative powers that do not belong to the judiciary show the USA is much more the fascist dictatorship than the kind of govt of the people it was founded to be.

We could call the future of the USA the "4th Reich" or some such...USSA?

Kossack:

I'm too happy to think!
This Iowan couldn't be more proud of her state this morning!

Freeper:

Regarding the Soviet Unions agricultural failures after it became an atheistic state, I don't think I need to post a chart. That's common knowledge. Before 1922 the (then) Russian Empire was exporting food. After 1922, when the atheists took over and attacked religion, ag yields plunged. I remember back in the 1970s the US selling the USSR huge amounts of grain.

Kossack:

Iowa-The state that brought you a good start towards President Barack Obama and now Marriage Equality.

I don't think it's too hard to see why LGBT people in general steer left when it comes to voting. There's a noticeable difference between the two parties, and until the Republicans resolve that, LGBT people are going to rest where they are: about 3-1 Democratic in presidential elections.


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Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 3, 2009 4:40 PM

Alex, the Republican Party national platform calls for "a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives."

Right alongside that section on their official website is a comment from a Bible-reading Republican reiterating that homosexuality is a sin.

Some Republican state platforms go further. Take Texas:

Homosexuality - We believe that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, recognition, or privileges including, but not limited to, marriage between persons of the same sex, custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

And that's just a sample. For a gay person to belong to the Republican Party requires that they be in denial. Pure and simple.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 3, 2009 5:13 PM

This is going to make life a little more difficult for President ‘gawd’s in the mix”. His wiggle room on same sex marriage is shrinking all the time.

People say that politics make strange bedfellows but there's nothing strange about the way Obama is snuggling up the bigots on this question. He used to support same sex marriage but lost an election over it and got religion, aka bigotry. Everyone knows his history from revival meetings with ex-gay turncoats like Donnie McClurkin to blowing us out of the water last November with 'gawd's in the mix'.

Obama is our open enemy and so are most Democrats in Congress. They’re the ones who passed DOMA and DADT and aren’t about to repeal them. They’re the ones who trashed ENDA and scuttled the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes law. It's time to break with them and build an independent, left, militant, massive LGBT action front to propel our equality agenda toward.”For a gay person to belong to the” Democratic or “Republican Party requires that they be in denial. Pure and simple.”

---------------------------------------

I just got a call from a couple of friends in Red Oak. They're torn by this. They love the idea of living in sin and rubbing their christer neighbors’ noses in it, but they'll trade that for tax breaks any day.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | April 4, 2009 9:59 AM

Lest we forget, your friends' dilemma is also faced by opposite-sex couples -- and one of the strongest parts of the decision was its recognition of primacy of equal protection that, when granted, gives us choice about whether or not to exercise rights such as civil marriage, not a mandate to.

Prior to the ruling, your friends simply did not have the choice of whether or not to eschew civil marriage. They could merely speculate about whether they would if they could.

And it is not a choice to be undertaken lightly -- especially while federal DOMA is in place and while we have a checkerboard of 'here you're married, there you're not' which can complicate such things as dissolution of the marriage contract.

Like opposite-sex couples, not only does whether marriage make personal sense in terms of one's relationship and personal sexual style matter but also such practical considerations as how civil marriage could affect property ownership dates, access to government benefits/programs that are income-based, whether one already has another form of legal relationship such as a civil union, etc.

Choice -- such a little word for something so big.

lacy panties | April 3, 2009 5:28 PM

A vast majority of LGBT people vote Democratic in elections

Or maybe not. What's the percentage of LGBT people who don't vote at all? I think less then 60% of eligible voters typically vote--is voter turnout signficantly higher among gay people? If it isn't, it's hard to imagine a "vast majority" of LGBT people vote Democratic, since a significant percentage of them aren't eligible, a considerable percentage of eligible voters don't vote, and some percentage of LGBT voters don't vote Democrat.

It's also interesting that you use contrasting comments about gay marriage to build the case for overwhelming support for the Democrats in the gay community when the Democratic candidates for both president and vice president were at some pains to point out that they didn't support gay marriage.

Good point. I didn't add much commentary to this post to explain it.

I wasn't saying really much about the politicians. I was talking about the people who tend to support either party, and the culture and climate that that creates. In fact, this wasn't meant to show "overwhelming support for the Democrats in the gay community," to the contrary, it was meant to explain said overwhelming support.

As for the statement before the jump, you're right, that should read "a vast majority of LGBT people who vote go Democratic in elections." I was basing it on the 2004 and 2008 CNN exit polling.

As for whether queers vote more often, I think I posted about that a long time ago...

Ah, here we are:

http://www.bilerico.com/2007/08/gay_and_lesbian_voter_turnout_is_pretty.php

he study this spring by San Francisco-based Community Marketing Inc. found that an eye-popping 92.5% of gay men reported that they voted in the 2004 presidential race, and almost 84% said they cast ballots in the 2006 midterm election. Among lesbians, the results were almost as impressive; nearly 91% said they voted in 2004; for the midterm, the figure was 78%.

By comparison, the Washington-based Committee for the Study of the American Electorate put the turnout for all Americans eligible to vote at about 61% in 2004 and roughly 40% in 2006.

I don't know how accurate that was, but I don't find it hard to believe that gays and lesbians vote more often than straight people.

Brad Bailey | April 3, 2009 11:27 PM

Your sampling of comments definitely points out a stark philosophical contrast between Republicans and Democrats on the subject of homosexuality.

You said GayPatriotWest's original question was "why aren't more gay people receptive to conservatism?" Perhaps it is because they have been convinced that Republican=Conservative. In truth, there is a big difference between true conservatism and what most Republicans have come to regard as such. That difference becomes poignantly clear after reading the works of Burke or Adams or Hamilton.

beergoggles | April 4, 2009 1:09 AM

If that's the case the answer is quite clear: There may be plenty of gays receptive to "true conservatism" (whatever that may be, is it shorthand for "political ideology easily hijacked by neocons and religious fundamentalists"?) who vote for Democrats because obviously Republicans aren't "true conservatives" and Democrats are closer to those "true conservative" principles than Republicans.

It's not some weird twisted logic I'm employing here. The answer would be staring the guy in the face if his head wasn't buried so far up his posterior.

lacy panties | April 4, 2009 1:39 PM

It's also ironic that support for gay marriage is often manifested as a celebration of conservative values--conservative in the Conservative=Republican sense, not the classical sense. The big rally here in New York after the Proposition 8 vote opened with a prayer and featured a performance of "America, the Beautiful." "For Family, God and Country" could have been the slogan of the day.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 4, 2009 5:19 AM

A book recommendation: (if you can get past the title) "Ain't you glad you joined the Republican party?"

It demonstrates how since it's founding (1854?) as a progressive, anti slavery, party in Chicago it morphed itself into what it has become today. Of course, the Democrats were the slave owners then, so we need to remember there are many shades of gray and few things completely pure.

Yeah, there's definitely a higher demand for ideological purity as well in the parties now than there was even 30 years ago. It's hard to imagine now that Nixon was almost impeached by a Republican Congress.

Brad Bailey | April 4, 2009 8:04 AM

beergoggles: Sorry I don't fit into a nice neat little box for you to stereotype. Your moniker communicates more than your post.

I think he has a point, although I wouldn't have put it quite the same way he did. :)

But the Religious Right thinks they're the "true" conservatives. The aristocratic old-skool right thinks that they're the "true" conservatives since they've been around the longest. The free market fundies think that they're the "true" conservatives because they see conservatism as an equivalent to non-intervention. The law and order right thinks that they're the "true" conservatives as well, and anyone who disagrees can go to hell.

In the end, the only thing they agree on is tax cuts, but they think that they each own the word "conservative." It was a useful position to be in for some time - every time a conservative failed, they'd just say he wasn't conservative enough or in the right way. Like they tried with GWB at the end, after years of selling him as Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, and Winston Churchill in the same body.

Since "conservative" and "liberal" don't have much meaning in and of themselves, maybe the best way to define "conservative" in the US is "associated with the Republican Party." Because it's not like the US takes all that much part in the global right or left anyway.

Gerri Ladene | April 4, 2009 2:30 PM

The Republican party, the one that stood against Social Security protecting older low income Americans, used to be the favorite party of the rich corporate banking gang, that bunch moving on both parties now since loyalty is not a requisite for power. The Repub's artfully drew in the fanatic religious faction in a political power quest by increasingly pandering to religion. The example that the Freeper(Creeper) gives in his comments shows the true ideology and thought process of an anti-intellectual evangelical fundamentalist Repub of today. His ignorance shows no boundary! And as was mentioned, the Southern Democrats were the party of slavery!

Conservatism, what is it actually? Scholar R.J. White wrote: "To put conservatism in a bottle with a label is like trying to liquefy the atmosphere […] The difficulty arises from the nature of the thing. For conservatism is less a political doctrine than a habit of mind, a mode of feeling, a way of living.” Given that, it's no wonder that conservatism and fundamentalism go so well together!

Does anyone think it's time to get serious about a third party since it would appear that our two party system is just becoming something of two opposing factions of the same party?

Or, as digby puts it, "Conservatism can never fail us, we can only fail conservatism."

beergoggles | April 7, 2009 12:16 AM

Thanks for getting the point Alex (I always knew you were a smart one).

To expound on my point for Brad Bailey: The issue with throwing a term around like "true conservative" is that it can mean anything. It is akin to the No True Scotsman fallacy (If you don't know what that is, may I suggest Wikipedia). If you want people to take your argument seriously, you need to avoid resorting to fallacies to back it up.

Now if conservatives were interested in balanced budgets and not getting in the way of people living their personal lives, it would be easy to at least empathize with some of their goals. That, however, is not the reality of their agenda. There hasn't been a single conservative controlled session of US government that has not grown the budget and the deficit, yet they continue to lie about what an integral part of their plank it is while at the same time interfering with people's personal lives.

It's a case of say one thing and do another.

Now I do understand that the conservative movement is a lose coalition of differing interests. Such a coalition may work in a parliamentary system where each faction of the coalition can ally with others to advance their goals, but in a system such as ours where the winner gets it all, the power of each segment of that coalition is weak and the segment that brings the most votes gets to drive the entire train.

So it doesn't matter how pure intentioned one little conservative faction is. The reality is that they are beholden to the theocons and the batshit crazy insane twenty-odd percent of the population that votes for them. So asking gays to hitch their car to that crazy train ends up demeaning our intelligence and our ability to observe reality.

FWIW, I tend towards libertarianism although I don't observe it as a philosophy since it seeks to promote liberty with no notion of equality, but I am sympathetic to the arguments for liberty. However, I place greater priority on reality, rationality and pragmatism. So I don't fall pray to ideological snake oil salesmen that try to tell me conservatism smells like roses when I can see that it's shit.

Then you have me:

fiscally conservative
socially progressive.

That was the core of the party prior to the Dominionist takeover.

These days, the *words* are fiscally conservative and socially conservative (and anyone who says that the republicans are not such is a lying sack of feces, point blank, as I was one until last year), but the actions and policies of the party elite make it clear that they are no longer fiscally conservative.

And *that* shift in the last 20 years is why I left the party.

Brad Bailey | April 4, 2009 3:53 PM

"14 Points of fascism: The warning signs" Laurence Britt, July 2004:

Britt identifies social and political agendas common to fascist regimes. His comparisons of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile) yielded this list of 14 identifying characteristics of fascism.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections

Sound familiar? This is the kind of government we lived with for eight years. Fascist? Yes. Conservative? No.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 5, 2009 4:54 AM

"14 Points of fascism: The warning signs" Laurence Britt, July 2004”

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism (Expressed by most Democrats who voted [in the Senate] to demand that Iraq accede to American hegemony over their oil. Iraqi oil workers beg to differ.)

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights (Obama is continuing rendition [kidnap/murder], internal espionage and is closing the Gitmo concentration camp but relocating most internees.Meanwhile no word that he'll be offering blanket asylum to GLBT refugees from Iran, Iraq, Uganda or Jamaica.)

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause (Obama declares that the Iranian Government "A Continuing and Unusual and Extraordinary Threat" and imposes sanctions.) http://news.antiwar.com/2009/03/12/obama-extends-iran-sanctions/

4. Supremacy of the Military (Not quite yet but the military industrial complex calls the shots on a lot of questions. What saves us the GI antiwar sentiment, now a movement. http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/93627/iraq_veterans_against_the_war_bring_hope_to_active_troops/)

5. Rampant Sexism (yes)

6. Controlled Mass Media (yes, for decades. They elected Obama.)

7. Obsession with National Security (yes)

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined (yes - gawd’s in the mix even more so with Obama than with Bush. He learned from Rove and is applying those lessons with a vengeance.)

9. Corporate Power is Protected (yes - Obama is giving a trillion or so every few weeks to the rich. Rubbing salt in the wound Obama disapproves of taxing their golden parachutes and other excesses. http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/134986/proof_that_geithner%27s_bank_plan_is_a_massive_giveaway_to_the_bastards_who_started_this_mess/ )

10. Labor Power is Suppressed (yes, or at least they're trying. There was Clintons NAFTA and Bush's post 9-11 refusal to aid unionized airlines and now Obama is demanding austerity measures from the UAW and worse http://www.alternet.org/workplace/134389/is_obama%27s_car_czar_plotting_to_crush_the_auto_unions/ )

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts (yes, there are plenty of philistines in both parties.)

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment (yes – by both Clinton and Bush. The stats on Obama will be in soon.)

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption (are you kidding, it's why Obama, Biden and etc. are in politics. And then there’s Rahm - http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-rahm-emanuel-profit-26-mar26,0,5682373.story )

14. Fraudulent Elections (of course, both parties have decades of experience denying ballot access to left parties.)

"Sound familiar?" Absolutely, and now updated.

Nevertheless it's important to understand that we we do not live in a fascist state. Obama and Dubois may succeed where Bush and Rove failed, and push their theocratic agenda much further, but that is still not fascism. Fascism, as distinguished from a rightwing, neocolonialist or theocratic state is the result of the military, not the political defeat of the left, unions, minorities, women, etc. That hasn’t happened here.

It's not even close in spite of the silly hyperbole of Democrats when contrasting Obama to McCain.

Brad Bailey | April 4, 2009 4:22 PM

I despise the current platform of the Republican party because they pick and choose which issues to apply conservative principles to. The "war on drugs" is an excellent example.

Conservatives value pragmatism over idealism, advocate less government and greater individual liberty and responsibility, and recognize the futility of seeking a utopian society. All of these principles are violated by current U.S. drug policies. And these policies were put into place by Republican administrations.

Pragmatism would dictate that the so-called "war on drugs" can never be won. Why not? Because there has never been, nor will there ever be, a "drug-free America." U.S. drug demand has remained virtually the same over the last thirty years, starting with Nixon's federal policy of scheduling illegal drugs to Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" program to today's repressive laws. Legislating government policy along the lines of some unattainable ideal is anathema to most conservatives.

Secondly, state and federal drug laws violate the conservative principle of less government intrusion into the personal lives of its citizens. There are millions of responsible adults in the U.S. who make positive contributions to society and who occasionally smoke pot or snort a line. Current drug laws turn these otherwise responsible people into criminals. As such, these laws are unjust and unnecessary.

Lastly, to seek a "drug-free" America is to strive for a utopian society in which no one ever takes another illegal drug. Every government that has attempted to create such a perfect society has failed.

I agree with a lot of what you say, Brad, but I think the point people are trying to make is that the definition of the word "conservative" has changed. You say:

Conservatives value pragmatism over idealism, advocate less government and greater individual liberty and responsibility, and recognize the futility of seeking a utopian society.

But a lot of people who call themselves "conservative" definitely don't. Like the neoconservatives whose foreign policy vision is anything but pragmatic, or the Christian conservatives who want more and more government to control sexuality, or the Randian conservatives who try to make a "utopian" free market society with their dogmatic adherence to a crude psuedo-philosophy.

I don't know of any numbers, but I definitely get the feeling that those groups outweigh the sort of classical conservative that you are. Which makes me think that the definition of the word "conservative" has just changed.

Brad Bailey | April 4, 2009 5:32 PM

Point taken. Well put, Alex. Neoconservatives are not conservatives because of their interventionist foreign policies. Our founding fathers warned us against foreign entanglements. Likewise, Christian dominionists throw the principle of limited government right out the window when it comes to their theocratic agenda. And I can't speak for Randian conservatives; I'm not an economist.

I think we are on the same page here, Alex. It really saddens me that the Republicans have hi-jacked the term "conservative" and turned into a dirty word. I see a lot of wisdom in classic conservative philosophy.

Thanks again.