In this Obama winter of gloom and doom there are flashing glimmers of hope.
In a just published interview Republican Chairman Michael Steele made some very sensible statements regarding abortion and homosexuality. Democrats who genuinely care about the issues of abortion and gay rights saw a glimmer of hope, a conversation starter to bridge the gap on these issues and help women and their families and Gay Americans and their families.
Obama Dimocrats and their PINO Big Blogs sneered. Obama Dimocrats did not put people first, they put their interests of keeping women and gays in the Democratic “tent” first. Usually sensible Governor Rendell made the mistake of telling the truth. Rendell thinks in time Chairman Steele would be effective for Republicans and he rejoiced that because of Chairman Steele’s positive remarks for women and Gay-Americans Democrats would be hurt and that Steele would be removed: “Michael Steele’s days are numbered. “Fortunately for us, his days are numbered.”
Heaven forbid that women and Gay-Americans might have better lives if the Republican Party was a bit more tolerant of opposing views. During the general election Obama Dimocrats waved the red abortion flag to get women to vote for the sexist and misogynist Obama that Dimocrat had forced on the grassroots of the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton Put People First. Obama Dimocrats put women and Gay-Americans last.
Here is what Steele said about abortion:
Steele called abortion an “individual choice” and opposed a constitutional ban on abortion in the Feb. 24 interview, which appeared online Wednesday night. He echoed the language of the abortion rights movement and appeared to contradict his own heated assertions during his campaign for chairman that he is a committed soldier in the anti-abortion movement. [snip]
“Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?” GQ’s Lisa DePaulo asked in the interview in his office.
“Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice,” he said, according to GQ’s transcript, which he did not dispute.
“You do?” he was asked.
“Yeah. Absolutely,” he said. [snip]
He told GQ, “I think that there’s a whole lot that goes into the makeup of an individual that, uh, you just can’t simply say, oh, like, ‘Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being gay.’ It’s like saying,’Tomorrow morning I’m gonna stop being black.’”
“Chairman Steele’s comments regarding a federal marriage amendment reflect the traditional conservative belief in federalism,” Christopher Barron, a former political director for the gay GOP group the Log Cabin Republicans said in an e-mailed statement.
As a member of the liberal Republican Leadership Council, an organization composed largely of Republicans who support abortion rights Republican Chairman Steele just possibly might be someone who can genuinely help to open communications between two groups that have diametrically opposed views. But for Obama Dimocrats and their PINO Big Blogs the response was to put the interests of women and gays aside and attack Chairman Steele.
We are very aware that Republican Chairman Steele has made many statements against a woman’s right to choose and many statements attacking Gay-Americans. But we know John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis wisely responded to a positive and hopeful message from the Soviet Union and ignored a later message which was aggressive and not positive.
JFK when presented with two messages from the Soviet Union foe chose to respond to the positive message which moved the interest of peace forward and ignored the ugly message which only benefitted munitions makers and war mongers.
Obama Dimocrats when faced with the JFK choice helped themselves and put the interests of women and Gay-Americans last.
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Barack Obama ran a race-baiting, and gay-bashing, and woman hating, primary campaign so we are not surprised that Dimocrats put their vote getting interests ahead of the interests of women and Gay-Americans.
Gay-Americans were particularly targeted by Obama in order to get votes from African-Americans in South Carolina. Gay-Americans, were failed by their own leaders in California who did not demand Obama reject homophobia during the Proposition 8 campaign even as Obama’s words were the chief weapon utilized by the anti-Gay campaigners.
Now Gay-Americans have yet another test for Obama even as they pathetically wait for Obama to do something, anything, for Gay-Americans on marriage rights, work rights, and the right to serve the nation in the armed forces.
In separate, strongly worded orders, two judges of the federal appeals court in California said that employees of their court were entitled to health benefits for their same-sex partners under the program that insures millions of federal workers.
But the federal Office of Personnel Management has instructed insurers not to provide the benefits ordered by the judges, citing a 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama said he would “fight hard” for the rights of gay couples. As a senator, he sponsored legislation that would have provided health benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.
Now, Mr. Obama is in a tough spot. If he supports the personnel office on denying benefits to the San Francisco court employees, he risks agitating liberal groups that helped him win election. If he supports the judges and challenges the marriage act, he risks alienating Republicans with whom he is seeking to work on economic, health care and numerous other matters.
Obama words, already contradicted by his gay-bashing primary campaign, are being tested again. Expect the glimmers of hope for Gay-Americans to be dashed.
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Republicans agreeing with Big Pink? That is one huge glimmer of hope. Karl Rove, a.k.a. Bush’s Brain, agrees with us that the Obama attack on Rush Limbaugh was a diversionary tactic because Obama is not ready on Day 1, 2, 3,….
Did it do any good with voters not strongly tied to either party? I suspect not. With stock markets down, unemployment growing, banks tottering, consumers anxious, business leaders nervous, and the economy shrinking, the Obama administration’s attacks on a radio talk show host made it seem concerned with the trivial.
Why did the White House do it? It was a diversionary tactic. Clues might be found in the revelation that senior White House staff meet for two hours each Wednesday evening to digest their latest polling and focus-group research. I would bet a steak dinner at Morton’s in Chicago these Wednesday Night Meetings discussed growing public opposition to spending, omnibus pork, more bailout money for banks and car companies, and new taxes on energy, work and capital.
What better way to divert public attention from these more consequential if problematic issues than to start a fight with a celebrity conservative? Cable TV, newspapers and newsweeklies would find the conflict irresistible. Something has to be set aside to provide more space and time to the War on Rush; why not the bad economic news?
Rove agrees with us that reality will intrude:
Here’s the problem: Misdirection never lasts long. Team Obama can at best only temporarily distract the public; within days, attention will return to issues that clearly should worry the White House.
Not even Team Obama can forestall unpleasant reality. And among those America now faces is Mr. Obama adding $3.2 trillion to the national debt in his first 20 months and 11 days in office, eclipsing the $2.9 trillion added during the Bush presidency’s entire eight years.
Another reality is that Mr. Obama’s fiscal house is built on gimmicks. For example, it assumes the cost of the surge in Iraq will extend for a decade. This brazenly dishonest trick was done to create phony savings down the line.
Mr. Obama’s budget downplays some programs’ true cost. For example, his vaunted new college access program is funded for five years and then disappears (on paper); the children’s health insurance program drops (on paper) from $12.4 billion in 2013 to $700 million the next year. Neither will happen; the costs of both will be much higher and so will the deficits.
Mr. Obama’s budget also assumes the economy declines 41% less this year and grows 52% more next year and 38% more the year after than is estimated by the Blue Chip consensus (a collection of estimates by leading economists traditionally used by federal budget crunchers). If Mr. Obama used the consensus forecasts for growth rather than his own rosy scenarios, his budget would be $758 billion more in the red over the next five years.
Then there’s discretionary domestic spending, which grows over the next two years by $238 billion, the fastest increase ever recorded. Mr. Obama pledges it will then be cut in real terms for the next nine years. That’s simply not credible.
Then there’s his omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the next six months, laden with 8,500 earmarks and tens of billions in additional spending above the current budget. What happened to pledges for earmark reform and making “meaningful cuts?”
In this Obama Winter it is almost as if every Friday is Friday the 13th. But Spring creeps ahead and the glimmers of hope pop out like crocuses.
Part II, tomorrow.