Guest Blogger

The Difference between Republicans and Democrats Is Dead Real

Filed By Guest Blogger | May 20, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Democrats, LGBT, republican, stonewall

Editors' Note: Michael Mitchell is the Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats.

Michaelcrop.jpg"There's really no difference between the Democrat and the Republican candidates."

It's an all too familiar comment I hear around election time.

While it would be a gross generalization to suggest that all Republicans are horrible or that all Democrats are good, my experience has been that once a bunch of Republicans get together in a room, bad things happen - especially to the LGBT community.

The 2011 edition of Republicans Acting Badly has been particularly noteworthy in the vicious and ruthless way they are attacking pillars of Democratic and progressive support, whether it be women (pro-choice women, specifically), unions, or the poor. Given a few more million dollars from the Koch brothers and who's to say what (or who) they will turn into this week's bugaboo, all while each new GOP Presidential candidate espouses another round of BS about small government while thinking of yet another way to insert government into the most intimate parts of American's lives.

Republicans take control of the Wisconsin statehouse and governor's mansion and suddenly public sector unions are the enemy, to not only be vilified, but disappeared, a move that is replicated in several other states - unsurprisingly, states that are also swing states in the 2012 elections. In Michigan, the Republican governor is able to pass a measure that gives him the ability to take over local governments and replace them with his own cronies. In South Dakota, they have passed a law that makes it virtually impossible for women to obtain an abortion, even though they are technically still legal.

The Republicans campaigned on an economy and jobs platform in 2010, but have spent most of the last several months enacting a radically conservative agenda built on lies and superstition. And I'm not even talking about the religiously-based motives for opposing a woman's autonomy over her own body or even homosexuality. I'm talking about the lies about how cutting taxes will somehow spur spending or how cutting programs for the poor will put them on a road to prosperity.

I'm also talking about the unfounded and hysterical lies about what will supposedly happen if states pass marriage equality.

I've been watching with a sickening familiarity the crazy that froths from the mouths of so-called men and women of God who use religion-based bigotry to oppose civil marriage for same-sex couples in front of legislative panels from state houses to Congress, even as support for marriage equality steadily climbs among all demographics and has reached a plurality in most polls. A Republican-controlled legislature in Minnesota - the first in years - is on track to put an anti-marriage amendment on the ballot unless some moderate Republicans can put on their big boy pants, find just one 'small government' bone in their bodies and buck their caucus. North Carolina, the only southern state to keep an anti-marriage amendment off their ballot (thanks, in large part, to the able and strategic leadership of Equality North Carolina's Ian Palmquist), is likely to lose that crown now that Republicans control the state senate for the first time in more than a century.

Again, I'm not saying that all Democrats have acted admirably when they've controlled state houses and Governor's mansions. I think it's pretty safe to say, however, that when Republicans are in charge, good things rarely - if ever - happen for LGBT people, something that is being proved to us yet again by this inglorious class of rabid conservatives who care not a whit about anything save their wallets and those of their big business friends.

Say what you want about the unfulfilled expectations of President Obama's promises to the LGBT community, but it's undeniable that he and his administration have done more for us than any other president - combined. We expected nothing from the previous occupant of the White House and got pretty much that: nothing. We were made promises by President Obama and he has systematically been checking them off his list. Has he completed all of them yet? Of course not. Am I certain that he cares about our equality and is doing everything he can, given the political climate and realities, to affect positive change for us and our families? Absolutely. He himself has said that he cannot do it alone; and he certainly can't do it if he's spending all his time fighting off ridiculous GOP attempts to kill Medicare, kill unions, kill a woman's right to choose and kill whatever hope we have as a community for full equality in employment, marriage, and military service.

Let's get real. If Republicans take control of the US Senate and the White House in 2012, progress for the LGBT community will not only make a screeching halt, but will move backward. One doesn't need to look further than Republican-controlled governments across the country to see the game they'll run on the American people, and on LGBT Americans in particular should they be given that kind of control.

America should not reward GOP's bad behavior by returning them to power. They've proven yet again that their destructive, selfish actions are not worthy of the word leadership.


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I agree with much of what you say here, but let's get real: Democrats have proven repeatedly that they simply cannot be trusted to keep their promises to the LGBT community and eagerly throw us under the bus the moment the going get even a little rough.

Have we already forgotten 2007, when Democrats threw transgender working families under the bus to promote a non-inclusive ENDA that had zero chance of actually becoming law with a certain Bush veto looming?

Or how about 2008, when we were promised by Barney Frank that they'd get ENDA passed if they gained 15 seats? Despite gaining 22 seats and control of the White House and both houses of Congress in that election, LGBT American working families were once again thrown under the bus by the Democrats in favor of low-hanging fruit like DADT?

Now we're supposed to forget all that and trust these people will fight for us THIS TIME? Mr. Mitchell, you have GOT to be joking!

What we really need is a progressive third party which is not beholden to the cowardice and craven self-interest consistently demonstrated by the Democratic Party leadership.

As Mr. Scott would say, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

I agree with this 100%. You need look no further than MD and RI to see this. Although the RI legislature is controlled by Democrats marriage equality failed. In my home state of MD it was even worse. Marriage equality got through the MD Senate only to be derailed by the House where the Democratic majority is almost 2 to 1 over Republicans. Then with a deal blessed by Equality MD a bill was submitted for transgender protection without public accomidations. We were told well we need to strip public accomidations so we can get the bill passed. Well guess what that watered down bill failed to pass too all because we have too many weak Democrats and leadership unwilling to play hard bill with those opposed to us.

And "Shame me three times -- you my bitch!"

Rick Sutton | May 21, 2011 10:57 PM

What is your solution to this "betrayal?" Just curious.

The Tea Party has the wrong politics but the right idea. We need to start running real progressives who won't cave on the important stuff like the Democrats always do. We need to start ending careers and changing the course of elections. We need to start providing real progressives alternatives to the self-concerned cowards the Party has in office now. We need to show Democrats that it's not only elections but also repeatedly broken promises to their base which have consequences. Remember, everyone thought the Tea Party was an inconsequential joke until they started winning elections, getting their candidates in office, and successfully pulling the GOP further and further to the right.

Let me illustrate the real problem by telling a little story:

Once upon a time (2004), I, along with Angela Brightfeather, co-chaired an organization called OutForDean-Transgender. Our mission was to get trans folks active and involved in supporting Howard Dean's run for President. When Dean left the race and John Kerry became the Party nominee, we, along with the larger coalition we were a part of, OutForDean, changed the first part of our name to OutForDemocracy and broadened our mission to get not only Kerry but Democrats in general elected to office in that year's election.

A meeting was arranged for a team of transgender activists to meet with the LGBT outreach leaders of the Kerry campaign, the first time such a meeting had ever taken place with the campaign of a major party candidate. We assembled a ten person group of of some of the best and brightest our community had to offer and headed to DC.

Our asks were relatively minor. We knew Kerry wasn't going to come out in favor of trans rights, so what we asked instead was that Kerry and/or the campaign say publicly that he simply supported equal rights for all Americans, no mention of LGBT anything.

At the meeting, we were told in no uncertain terms that Kerry had no intention of even going that far(in fact, it was soon afterward that he came out in favor of a constitutional amendment in Mass. prohibiting same-sex marriage). We were told that one of our team members, Mara Kiesling, had been appointed to the DNC steering committee, but no one from the Kerry campaign could tell us why this was a good thing for trans folks or how it would help us.

As the meeting was ending, I expressed some disappointment in what I'd heard, and one of the Kerry staff, a smirking gay man, asked, "So who are you going to vote for, George Bush?".

That's the problem, right there. The Democratic Party doesn't value us or our votes. They believe they can count on us to be there every time without having to do anything to actually earn our votes or support because the alternative would be so much worse.

In order to win our rights in this country, we need to teach the Democratic Party that our support is not a given. They have to learn that we know that far more real damage was done to the LGBT equality movement by Bill Clinton and the Democrats with DOMA and DADT (which Clinton and the Democrats did campaign on in '96) than in eight years of Bush. The carrots just don't work with these people, and so it's time to resort to the stick.

If Democrats are unwilling to fight for us and expend political capital on our behalf as they have been all this time, then they don't deserve our money, our support, or our votes, and it's time to start seriously considering alternatives. It's really just that simple.

Well, your Democrats royally fucked us over at RI despite a clear majority on both the Senate and House.

But you were too busy putting on that leash and polishing Big D's boots to care about anything other than your partisan messaging.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 20, 2011 3:56 PM

Just how naive do these Democrats think we are? If they can't come up with something better than their quadrennial scare tactic of dangling us over the fire pits of Republican hell then they're in trouble.

"The 2011 edition of Republicans Acting Badly has been particularly noteworthy in the vicious and ruthless way they are attacking pillars of Democratic and progressive support, whether it be women (pro-choice women, specifically), unions, or the poor."

Who was it that excluded free abortions from the health care scam? Democrats. Who was it that excluded the poorest of the poor, imported workers, from the health care scam? Democrats, of course. Obama in particular. Whose administration busted the UAW, forcing them the accept wage and benefit cuts and sign a multiyear no-strike pledge. Democrats, of course. Obama in particular. How are Democrat governors like Brown in California and Cuomo in New York different from Walker in Wisconsin, Scott in Florida or Kasich in Ohio? They're not different at all, they all want want to balance state budgets on the backs of public workers. They're all union busters.

Who's responsible for the mass murder of civilians in Afghanistan and the wreckage of the lives of countless GI's. Who expanded the Clinton-Bush wars into Pakistan, Libya and Yemen. Who supplies the ethnic cleansing thugs of the IDF with their weapons. Democrats. Who, when they controlled the WH and had super majorities utterly refused to even consider passage of ENDA or repeal of Bill Clintons DOMA. Democrats. With the happy support of Republicans.

Trade unionists, our own GLBT communities, the antiwar movement and others are not as naive as they were in 2008. They know the score and that's why Democrats suffered humiliating losses last November, losing almost 30 million votes between 2008 and 2010. Democrats lack the guts to put a leash on predatory banks and the empire building military industrial complex and they refuse to do anything meaningful about unemployment, homelessness and poverty.

Democrat politicians are Republicans in drag and convincing us to ski on the slippery slopes of Bandini Mountain with them is going to be a very hard sell. And just for the record, Democrats are not part of the left, they're right centrists, moving right.

Brad Bailey | May 20, 2011 4:27 PM

Republicans know that any strategy for changing government policy starts at a grassroots level. We could learn a lesson from this.

They have utilized this strategy magnificently. Thirty-one states now have constitutional bans on gay marriage.

The Republican Party is basically fascist at its core. It rolls up religion, government and big business into one great big power ball that runs over everybody and everything in its path.

Any criticizm of the similarities between the two parties comes from federal level policies that have nothing to do with lgbt rights. It's crucial to understand what these similarities are when addressing things like the national debt, national security and foreign policy.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 20, 2011 9:49 PM

The preconditions for fascism are the collapse and failure of capitalist 'democratic' government, the collapse or total defeat of unions and the left and growth of a mass fascist movement based on the middle, not the working class.

A key fact about fascists is that they use the phraseology of the left to build the right. The Nazis were the National Socialist German Workers Party, NationalSozialistische Deutscher ArbeiterPartei. Mussolini was a former socialist editor. After they take power they drop the left verbiage and murder anyone who took it seriously as in the Night of the Long Knives when Roehm and hundreds of other SA leaders were gunned down. Many think that the SS added gays to their extermination list because the SA leaderhsip was largely identifed as being gay. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEhooysNcFo

Sorry to bust your bubble but all the rest - racism, militarism, the 'national security' state, union busting, misogyny, empire building and anti-GLBT bigotry are just day in and day out standard operating practices of capitalists. They've permeated the actions of both Democrats and Republicans since the end of the Civil War.

I only raise this because Democrats often try to portray the Republicans as fascists when the truth is that both parties share the same right centrist agenda.

Brad Bailey | May 21, 2011 4:05 PM

"...just day in and day out standard operating practices of capitalists."

Not hardly. Not when you add organized religion to the mix, which you seem to downplay.

Laurence Britt, a political scientist, wrote an article about fascism which appeared in Free Inquiry magazine -- a journal of humanist thought.

Mr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile).
He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The article is titled 'Fascism Anyone?', by Laurence Britt, and appears in Free
Inquiry's Spring 2003 issue on page 20.

All the characteristics I mentioned are directly from his study.

So I repeat, the Republican Party is basically fascist at the core.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 20, 2011 5:10 PM

'The Republican Party is basically fascist at its core.

No, it's absolutely not a fascist party, any more than the Democrats are a socialist party. Both parties are right centrist and both are moving right. The mass base for a future fascist party exists in the Teabaggers but calling the Republicans fascists is just a way to promote the other right wing party, the Democrats. It's just a stale repetition of the 1932 hysterical election slogan "Only Hindenburg can save us from Hitler" and we all know how well that worked out. Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor.

'It rolls up religion, government and big business into one great big power ball that runs over everybody and everything in its path. So do Democrats, who voted for FISA and the Paytriot Act, who are bought and paid for by the same people who own the Republicans lock, stock and barrel and who bust unions, bash imported workers and organize genocide and mass murder of civilians and GI's from Libya to Pakistan.

Both parties refuse to pass ENDA or repeal Bill Clintons DOMA.

Brad Bailey | May 21, 2011 4:19 PM

No, the Democrats don't have to bend over backwards trying to appeal to a large, powerful and essentially bigoted base of Christian evangelicals to get elected.

That's the crucial difference between the two parties in the context of fascism. One tries to merge organized religion with government. The other wisely defends the wall of separation between the them.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 21, 2011 5:24 PM

You said that "No, the Democrats don't have to bend over backwards trying to appeal to a large, powerful and essentially bigoted base of Christian evangelicals to get elected." You couldn't be more wrong - that flies in the face of years if hard, irrefutable evidence that exactly the opposite is true.

Bill Clinton pandered to christian bigots when he endorsed, championed and eagerly signed DOMA. Clinton began the process when he caved on DADT and then openly campaigned for DOMA. After signing it within hours of its passage Democrats began issuing this ad boasting about Bill Clintons bigotry: "Protecting religious freedom. It's the foundation of our nation... President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions... The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act...and America is better for it. Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96"

Hillary Clinton panders to bigots: "Through all of her years in Washington, (Hillary) Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection." (By Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet. Mother Jones Sept. 1st, 2007) The Fellowship, also known as the Family is a prot version of Opus Dei, the roman cults roving ambassadors to fascism.

Obama panders to bigots more than both Clintons combined. 'gawd's in the mix.' Rick Warren. Donnie McClurkin. His, and his party's obstinate refusal to pass ENDA or repeal DOMA. His appointment and retention of ordained antigay bigots to run the DNC and the White House Office of Faith-based Partnerships and the fact that Democrats overwhelmingly voted for DOMA and DADT.

Democrats and Republicans are far more alike than not in their pandering to bigots and it's not fascism, it just ordinary swamp politics for right centrists. http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2007/10/obama_the_gospel_singer_and_ga.html

Brad Bailey | May 21, 2011 7:47 PM

I think you overlooked the word "base" when I referenced the Republican Party.

The Christian evangelical "base" is the grassroots level electorate that gets people elected. All the things you ascribe to Clinton and Obama happened a-f-t-e-r they were already in office.

Neither of them got into office by appealing to the anti-gay sentiments of the Christian evangelical base, i.e. the grassroots electorate.

The Republicans did. And they're still doing it now. And you as well as every other reader on this blog know this.

And I'm all for Bible study and prayer circles, i.e. Hillary at the Fellowship. Mrs. Clinton also issued a statement in support of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The only thing accomplished by her Republican peers in that group was help initiate the kill-the-gays bill in Uganda.

There's just no way you can get around it: Republicans pander shamelessly to get the votes of religious bigots.

I think I've pretty much made my case. The Republican Party is ultimately fascist at its very core.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 21, 2011 9:18 PM

Where on Earth were you living when you decided that " Neither of them (Clinton and Obama) got into office by appealing to the anti-gay sentiments of the Christian evangelical base, i.e. the grassroots electorate." That's absolutely not true.

Obama fought hard to win over christers from the beginning of his campaign. His use of scum like Warren and McClurkin before he was elected and his putrid and unfortunately successful intervention to end same sex marriage in California in 2008 all occurred before he was elected.

Josh Dubois, the ordained Pentecostal bigot he appointed to run his 'religious outreach' program organized thousands of neighborhood meeting to galvanize the bigot vote all across the country. It beyond belief to think that the faithful ignored his bigoted opposition to same sex marriage. Obama's bigotry paid off for him and it resulted in the passage of Prop. 8. Lose-lose for us. Win-win for the bigots, including the one in the Whit House.

"Barack Obama doubles support from evangelical Christians... Barack Obama has made significant inroads into the white, evangelical Christians vote, detailed exit polls have revealed... The breakdown offers Democrats encouragement that they can make lasting gains among a voting bloc that has been largely off-limits for decades. He... received an extra five per cent across the whole born-again Christian population, which is described as quarter of the electorate. "
Alex Spillius 07 Nov 2008 The Telegraph UK

In any case, it doesn't matter in the least if the Clintons or Obama outed themselves as bigots before or after an election. Nor am I surprised that you approve of cultist practices like Hillary Clintons attendance at meetings of ultra rightist political - religious cults like the Family/Fellowship. You were telling us you unquestionably approve her consorting with other bigots, aren't you? Obama's peers Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin were among those who flooded Africa with appeals to punish GLBT folks, creating the preconditions for the 'Kill the Gays" bill. It's odd that you'd omit mentioning that. (If you say that because it not true I'll prove that it is.)

Theres just no way you can get around it - Republicans are almost as bad as Democrats when it comes to promoting bigotry.

The stories about the wretched bigotry of the Clintons, Mikulski of Maryland, Biden and most Democrats who voted for Bill Clinton's DOMA and refused to repeal it and Obama sabotage of our chances to retain same sex marriage in California were run on wire services across the globe. No one actually on-planet could have missed them.

Where on Earth were you?

Heres the site for Air New Zealand. If you hurry you can escape before they open the camps.

Republican: bla bla bla, Democrats are evil

Democrat: bla bla bla, Republicans are evil

Republican: If you don't vote for this evil
Republican an even more evil Democrat will win! And we're all going to die!

Democrat: If you don't vote for this evil Democrat, an even more evil Republican will win! And we're all going to die!

Independent: So long as we continue to support Democrats and Republicans, Democrats and Republicans will continue to win. And no matter which of them wins, we all lose.

Brad Bailey | May 20, 2011 5:46 PM

Powerful and continuing nationalism, supremacy of the military, rampant sexism, obsession with national security, religion and government are intertwined, corporate power is protected, labor power is suppressed, disdain for intellectuals and the arts.

These are all descriptors of fascism. By themselves, they don't add up to much. But put them all together and they basically define the term. For that reason, I can think of no better word to describe the Republican Party.

But as I stated earlier, the similarites between the two parties involve issues like national security, i.e. the Patriot Act, and our military quest for empire in the Middle-East.

There is no doubt that Obama continued the wars, continued to bail-out Wall Street and continued the Patriot Act.

Both parties have been bought and paid for by powerful corporate interests. This is the problem and it is endemic to the structure of a two-party political system.

Usually you guys are good about transparency.

Though he did not write the piece, it would be appropriate to acknowledge that Jerame Davis - co-owner of The Bilerico Project - is currently employed as the National Stonewall Democrats’ Affiliate Services Coordinator:
http://www.stonewalldemocrats.org/about/staff

There. You have your disclaimer.

The real difference between Democrats and Republicans as far as LGBT rights goes is that Republicans tell you right up front that they won't support your equal rights while Democrats promise you that they're on your side and wait until they already have your money and your votes before they screw you.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 20, 2011 9:14 PM

Exactly. And the corollary of that statement is that the Democrats were more dangerous because they fooled more people.

I used the past tense because these fakers aren't able to fool as many people these days, especially in our communities and in the labor movement. In fact, not only did the Democrats manage to disgust almost 30 million voters but financial support from unions and LGBT donors dropped precipitously from 2008 to 2010. In 2008 unions wasted 400 million dollars on Democrats. That was halved in 2010 when contributions were halved and unions only wasted 200 million dollars electing our enemies.

Today, in an historic about face AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a warning to Democrats, saying that if lawmakers don't "push hard enough to stem attacks on labor's interests, workers will abandon the party in the 2012 election... Budget proposals unveiled in Washington and state capitals across our country revealed a despicable canvas of cruelty. And not just meanness. Destructiveness. A willful desire to block the road to the future." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/20/richard-trumka-democrats_n_864518.html

Two years ago I pointed out that Obama would bust unions and impose draconian measures on working people and that the Democrats and Republicans were well on their way to becoming extinct.

However the next set of elections go it seems that socialists were right and Democrats were wrong.

Brad Bailey | May 21, 2011 9:51 PM

God, I love pissing off Republicans! Never thought I'd have so much fun reducing one to ad hominem attacks. I outta do this more often.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 21, 2011 10:40 PM

Then go piss one off. I'm a socialist. I have nothing in common with right centrists, Republican or Democrat, they're all the same, which is the only point our this discussion.

But before you do try to refute what I said. If you can.

Brad Bailey | May 21, 2011 11:47 PM

Exactly which statement do you want me to refute? You've made so many.

Quite frankly, I think we've taken up more than enough of this thread. The Bilerico staff have been more than gracious to give us this much space.

This thread isn't about you and me. If you want to make this about you and me, suggest an alternative website to debate on so we can give these people a break.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 22, 2011 12:12 AM

As I said, "if you can". If not run and hide.

Brad Bailey | May 22, 2011 12:25 AM

If I can...what? You've not even mentioned what it is I'm supposed to rebuke. I'm not the one hiding behind Bilerico's hospitality. I've suggested an alternative site to debate on and you're the one chickening out.

You're a rude and inhospitable guest on this blogsite.

I apologize to the Bilerico staff for taking up so much of this thread space. I'll make every effort to keep this from happening in the future.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 22, 2011 12:57 AM

Better luck next time.

A plague on both their houses.

And yet, the article is correct in that the Democrats are the lesser of two evils, and until there is an actual viable third party out there, I will continue to vote for the lesser of two evils. Or rather, against the worse evil.

The problem with everyone screaming for a third party is that third parties don't seem to have a real chance, and until that changes, I'll continue to consider myself a Democrat.

Thanks for voicing what I've been feeling for a while now. I always try to explain to my friends what I mean when I say that while Republicans and Democrats are both wrong most of the time, Republicans are wrong more of the time, and for that reason, their messages are dangerous. But I also agree with some of these commenters in thinking that both parties need to shape up. Or, better yet, we need to work toward conceiving a new type of system where we're not pigeonholing hundreds of distinct ideologies into two opposing parties.

Lonnie Lopez | May 22, 2011 8:18 PM

I'm sorry, but it's election time and I see this article as nothing more than the typical "we better vote for the Democrats because the Republicans would be worse" propaganda that is recycled every four years. The description of the author as "Executive Director of the National Stonewall Democrats" should more than disqualify him as unbiased writer. Like the Log Cabin Republicans, the Stonewall Democrats are all too ready and willing to attack their "loyal opposition" in the other corporate, pro-war, anti-queer party, but completely blind to - or worse, deliberately dishonest about - their own party's actions and policies.

I point to only two examples of Mr. Mitchell's dishonesty in this article to illustrate my point: that as one of the Democratic Party's lavender lapdogs, he is goal is the electoral success of Democrats and not equality for queers.

1. "Republicans take control of the Wisconsin statehouse and governor's mansion and suddenly public sector unions are the enemy, to not only be vilified, but disappeared, a move that is replicated in several other states - unsurprisingly, states that are also swing states in the 2012 elections. In Michigan, the Republican governor is able to pass a measure that gives him the ability to take over local governments and replace them with his own cronies. In South Dakota, they have passed a law that makes it virtually impossible for women to obtain an abortion, even though they are technically still legal."

The Democrats have also lustfully attacked working people and unions at the request of their corporate backers. Shamus Cooke of Truthout.org (http://www.truthout.org/democrats-attack-unions-nationwide/1305653855) is only one of many writers who has described the Democrats' assault on working people and unions as a response to the financial crisis caused by Wall Street, from Obama's wage freeze for federal workers (federal workers' partners can now receive health benefits, but they have to pay more out-of-pocket to use those benefits) on down to local governments' cutting social and health services (GSAs, where they exist, now have to further compete with funds and support at a time when schools are physically crumbling).

2. "The Republicans campaigned on an economy and jobs platform in 2010, but have spent most of the last several months enacting a radically conservative agenda built on lies and superstition. And I'm not even talking about the religiously-based motives for opposing a woman's autonomy over her own body or even homosexuality. I'm talking about the lies about how cutting taxes will somehow spur spending or how cutting programs for the poor will put them on a road to prosperity."

Mr. Mitchell forgets (or not) that it was Barack Obama who "reached out" to these evil Republicans to extend (take credit for) Bush's tax cuts for the rich. Obama also broke a promise regarding the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, massively supported by labor, which would have made organizing a union easier. And no queer activist worthy of the name can say that the Democrats' made any effort to push for the passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. The fact that 89% of the American public supports legislation for job protections for LGBT people should show us that it's not us and the Democrats versus the Republicans, but us (the American public) versus the Democrats/Republicans. And we should not forget one of Obama's first acts as "our" president was the massive bailouts of Wall Street. More than $14 trillion dollars was taken from our pockets and handed to the very same Wall Street banksters that caused the global economic meltdown - the most massive transfer of wealth in all of human history. And neither should we forget that those very same Wall Street banksters were some of Obama's largest campaign contributors, including Goldamn Sachs, Citibank, and JP Morgan (http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638).

We are all, of course, entitled to our own opinions. But we are not entitled to our own facts. And the facts clearly show that neither the Democrats NOR the Republicans deserve our support or are on our side, despite what their spokespeople say.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 22, 2011 10:56 PM

Jeepers, Mr. Mitchell, don't you have anything to say at all. Not even a comment chastising all the bitterness?

I invite you comment on last year's Gallup Poll (September 17, 2010) that found that " Americans Renew Call for Third Party, Fifty-eight percent of Americans, and 62% of Tea Party supporters, favor third party - PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' desires for a third political party are as high as they have been in seven years. Fifty-eight percent of Americans believe a third major political party is needed because the Republican and Democratic Parties do a poor job of representing the American people. That is a significant increase from 2008 and ties the high Gallup has recorded for this measure since 2003."

Do you think, as I do, that this is another sign that middle class people are moving to the right and working people to the left? Is it a sign that Democrats and Republicans should change their name to the Whig Party?

I'd also like to know you what you make of the recent remarks of Cornel West, an activist-educator at the Princeton Center for African American Studies. West, a reformist Social Democrat who was tricked like many others into supporting supported Obama in 2008 learned the hard way. Like the almost 30 million voters who abandoned the Democrats between 2008 and 2010. West, like many serious activists from diverse communities, can honestly admit that he changed his mind. In an article in AlterNet he's quoted as saying that Obama is "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it."

I have other questions if you're not comfortable with these two.