Tag Archives: Rush Limbaugh

Time for the Republican party to step up

I’ve had this conversation twice today, once with a fellow liberal and the other time with a fierce independent and we all three agree:

The Republican party needs to step up over the next four years if it wants to play a serious role in this country’s politics.

Four years ago, in the wake of the Bush presidency and after the failure of the McCain – Palin ticket, the party was hijacked by the Rush Limbaughs of the world and dragged impossibly far to the right.

The GOP’s position on things like abortion and immigration were revised so that what once had been moderate positions within the party were now considered outside the party.

With no apparent heir to Bush or McCain, the Republicans have given into the extreme wing of their party for fear of getting unseated by Tea Party candidates the way Christine O’Donnell destroyed Mike Castle’s chances at the US Senate here in Delaware or Lisa Murkowski had to run as a write-in candidate after getting defeated in the primaries by Joe Miller.

We saw this again last night: When you go too far to the edges, you may still win your party, but you’re not going to win the general vote. Dick Lugar would have won easily last night, but his unseating by Richard Murdoch winded up giving Republicans a pick-up in the Senate.

There is an alternative, though, to this crazy, fanatical version of the Republican party as it exists right now under Donald Trump.

I have two examples of what I consider good leadership for the GOP to consider.

Firstly, Chris Christie. While everyone is obsessing over his ability to work with Obama following Hurricane Sandy, I think this a no-nonsense man who could teach some of the clowns in his party a thing or two.

Secondly, Rick Snyder. Michigan’s nerd. Although I haven’t always been the friendliest to our governor on this blog and I definitely disagree with some of his policies (EFM, anyone?), I think that Snyder is a smart man, a good leader, and he knows how to stay above the level of petty politics that has kept this country in a stalemate for the last couple years.

Today, Snyder reiterated his desire to stay away from “divisive issues” like right-to-work laws that House Republicans want to bring forward.

Earlier this year, Snyder said that he would not sign a bill passed by Michigan Republicans requiring voters to bring photo ID to the polls, correctly citing the confusion that it would introduce right before an election.

While other politicians are out pursuing blatantly partisan agendas, Snyder is doing a pretty commendable job working in a bi-partisan (maybe even non-partisan) manner.

To the rest of the GOP, you have two options. You can stay on course. You can keep racing to the right and trying to win elections by voter suppression. You will definitely still win some contests. You’ll probably hold the US House for a while, too. But you will continue losing races you should win when you pick candidates like Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, Todd Aiken, Richard Murdoch, or Christine O’Donnell.

Or you could step up and show that you have a role to play in our politics that isn’t purely contrarian. You could show us that you want to be answerable to the American people rather than the most extreme elements within your party.

Mitt Romney failed, in part, because the GOP is dominated by voices demanding a “severely conservative” candidate. But the United States is not the GOP.

Maybe it’s time to retool.

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Filed under Election 2012, Post-politics, US Politics

People really think this way

Since I follow NOM on Facebook, I have at least one “WTF!?” moment every day when I see something on my newsfeed.

Today, I learned that I’m a fascist.

I don’t know how much credence can be given to this story that a woman got bullied at her front door by a liberal, pro-gay rights activist. Anyone can go on Rush Limbaugh or any other call-in radio show and make up anything they want. But for the sake of it, let’s pretend that this really did happen and this woman really was intimidated by a canvasser in her own home to the point where she felt threatened by this “evil person”.

Apparently she was asked to sign a petition against the ballot initiative in Minnesota to define marriage between one man and one woman and she told this canvasser that she supported his right to his own opinion but she disagreed with his views on marriage at which point the conversation went from bad to worse.  According to the caller, “Then he really went off the wall and started yelling and screaming and shouting and waving his arms.”

First of all, I would like to apologize to this woman first and foremost as a canvasser. Supposing that this really did happen. As a canvasser, I do everything I can to approach people with sensitivity, recognizing that not everyone I talk to is going to agree with me on politics. In fact, I had my own interesting run-in last weekend. Long story short, no one should ever feel intimidated by a canvasser. That’s not our job. Our job is to connect with voters, to have conversations, to exchange ideas and try our best to sell ours. If people don’t want to talk to us, we shake the dust off our feet and go on our way.

Secondly, I would like to say that when we frame political discussion based on extremes, we get nowhere. The only way forward is earnest discussion between reasonable people of good faith. People who “go berserk” are not going to lead the way forward, whatever side you’re on. People who compare gays to Nazis or terrorists are not going to lead the way forward. People who propose an “underground railroad” to save kids from gay parents are not going to lead the way forward.

As an advocate for LGBT rights, I ask heterosexual people who oppose LGBT rights to examine what exactly they’re opposing and why. As necessary as legislation is, the best way forward is for all LGBT people to live their lives as authentically as possible – something that’s not always easy, which is why I would like to particularly call on other gay men to do so since we, as a group, enjoy the greatest privilege of any letter in our community. (Of course I don’t want to say that all gay men enjoy the same level of privilege, any number of other factors come into play from religion to socio-economic background, to where you live, etc.)

The more visible we are, the more authentic we are as queer people, the less credence the Right Wing has when they point to stories like this about “gay fascists” taking over America and trying to “take away religious freedom”. People will be able to dismiss these stories when they know our faces, when they know our own stories, when they know that we’re they’re friends, co-workers, children, sisters and brothers.

I’m out. Are you?

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Filed under Queer Politics, Religious Wrong