Jun 5, 2006

Time for a Political Scapegoat

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(Toledo, OH) With poll numbers for President Bush and the GOP sinking, Karl Rove and Company are apparently fanning the flames of the gay marriage controversy in order to solidify support among religious conservatives for the fall elections.

Many pundits, including me, believed that illegal immigrants were shaping up to be the 2006 bogeymen. Of course, both parties have now outdone each other in stirring up the citizenry about the nation's porous border, so illegal immigrants will likely turn out to be a neutral factor in November.

The so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" is the most hollow, shallow, and ridiculous piece of legislation ever dreamed up by an American politician, as it drags the Constitution into family law and morality. These areas have never been - and should never be - the purview of federal law.

The real issue, however, is the soulless political pandering in which a stigmatized group - in this case, gays - is further demonized for political gain.

I watched in shock in 2004 as nearly two-thirds of Ohioans supported Issue 1, which forbade the state of Ohio (or any of its political subdivisions) from recognizing unmarried relationships that intended "to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."

At the risk of hyperbole, I felt the way that I imagined good-hearted Germans felt watching the Nuremberg Laws unfold in the mid-1930s.

Regardless of the fact that Issue 1 was poorly-written law (and has generated bizarre, unintended consequences), the campaign to "protect" marriage in Ohio also created a hostile environment for gays in the state.

All in the name of political gains for office-seekers courting social conservatives.

I trust that in 2006 people will see through the shameless ruse of the "Marriage Protection Amendment," and instead focus on electing leaders who will strengthen the economy, bring home our troops, and place greater emphasis on improving health care, education, and the environment. I, personally, am much more concerned with these issues than I am with what happens in the bedroom of the house next door, or whether a same-sex couple has the word "union" or "marriage" on the document they received after a civil ceremony.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice liberal try, but gay marriage is a sign of how decadent the West has become.

Hitler was right about one thing - pink triangles.

historymike said...

Anonymous:

1. Do you really believe that gay marriage is more important than the economy, the war, or any other issue?

2. Pink triangles, for those unaware of the term, were used by the Nazis to identify gay male prisoners in concentration camps. Homophobia gives way in this case to the advocacy of orientation-based genocide. You are disturbed, sir.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Mike.

wtol.com has a poll running on this issue. When I cast my vote, it was 76% against the ban on gay marriage. We must live in a more enlightened community than I thought.

Interesting about the pink triangles. I hadn't known about that before.

Brian said...

Interestingly, both of Ohio's senators came out against Issue 1. Both are Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Orientation-based genocide becomes a possibility in a nation where discrimination against the group with that specific orientation is codified in the constitution of that nation. If this amendment were ever to pass, we would be in big trouble in this country:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

JJ4Sonora said...

Mike,
I read your blog often but do not think I have ever posted. After reading your parallel between nuremburg and the latest political "debate" I would like to raise a couple of objections. 1)our economy presently is nothing to what was the global depression of pre-WWII. 2) we are hardly putting "pink triangles" on people. With that in mind I came here ready to BLAST this post. I have always found the reference in all its forms to Nazism way to easy for people, and you usually stand high above that. My thoughts lend me to believe Jim Crow laws are both more relevant and more indicative of the current climate of America now. After reading the history of the "pink triangle" I would like to thank you instead. I had no idea about this and it is very uncomfortable to see a new aspect of said tragedy. Thank you once again for your knowledge and your view.
May we learn from the past.
-jj

Kate said...

Wouldn't it be nice to see an issue handled on it's merits rather than political expediency?

Not to belittle the subject here - I would not, however look at the political process.

Can you insert another topic? "Whitehouse pushes for URGENT African aid".

What the hell would be wrong with that?

Just my thought - if they're going to do a poll response why don't they answer a real problem...like starvation? Disease?

Suss & The Family Stone said...

Mike, always a great read, but as you may have guessed, the Hitler comparison? Reeeeeeeeach.

I'm kind of surprised the amendment's back on the talkin' table, and I don't think it has a shot in hell of passing. Then again this issue probably ranks 457th to me, right below "is my ceiling fan plotting to decapitate me in my sleep?"

Move it on to the states so the people of each community can get a good sniff of it.

-Sepp said...

Gay marriage isn't my cup of tea. I asked on a different blog, who gets half of who's stuff during a gay divorce? I'm not kidding because it will set a legal precident for straight people's divorces too. One person in the relationship will have to be named the "wife" and vice versa to determine who will get alimony which will likely result in future court battles between spouses arguing that they were the "wife" in order to get money from the other. IMHO, gay people have no idea how good they really have it now. As a straight man, I cannot get "partner" benefits for a girlfriend on my company insurance but, if I declared a man to be my "partner" I could. Think about that before throwing the descrimination card out there
BTW, the Nazis may have used the pink triangle to identify gays but, it seems that the gays have adopted it as their own symbol and use it regularly.

Anonymous said...

I see no reason to reserve a special place for Hitler that somehow diaallows people from using him as a point of comparison. I recognize Hitler-esque traits in the behavior of some and don't understand why it's off limits to say so. It's an effective way of raising the alarm when we're headed, or being led, down the wrong path.

Perhaps it's that the number of Hitler's victims that causes some to put him in that hands-off category, but we must remember there was a time when he had only one victim, or ten, or twenty. When there was only one, he was still Hitler, and still had the characteristics and beliefs that ultimately led to the loss of so many lives. I see it as useful to keep in mind the lessons learned from his example, and cannot accept that when there are parallels in current events we should just shut up about it.

-sepp, you haven't divorced anyone recently, have you? Gender isn't a factor in dividing property or deciding anything else when a marital relationship breaks up. Men are getting the kids, women are paying alimony, and property is split down the middle.

Perhaps your girlfriend could be put on your insurance if there were no way that you could marry her. Until gay/lesbian couples are given that option, putting partners on insurance policies seems to be the only way enlightened companies can be fair to all their employees.

M A F said...

The Republicans are running on the Fags and Flag agenda that I have commented on ever so briefly, here if you were so inclined.

Brian said...

Mike,

our anonymous poster advocates orientation-based genocide, and you're all over that individual.

Liberal Dem advocates death for the president, and you bemoan that you can't make such statements in society today.

The moral relativism of the American Left never fails to baffle.

Newsflash for the Left: It is wrong to advocate death for anybody innocent of a crime.

historymike said...

Here is what liberal dem said (Tuesday, May 30, 2006 8:13:59 AM):

I'm not sure that it is 'politics' when citizens demand to know why their leaders have sent our military men and women off to a foreign land to fight, kill, and die.

Unless, of course, that the entire plan was nothing but a political ruse staged to move the poll numbers of an incompetent president upward.

At that point, if true, citizens must demand nothing less than the guillotine.


And here is what I said (Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:27:25 AM):

Agreed that we are free to criticize our government, and that liberal dem's hypothetical "conviction" is protected free speech.

I like the Jefferson reference ["The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"].


Readers can judge for themselves if Brian's criticisms are justified.

historymike said...

Thanks, all.

I posted this expecting to get cyber-blasted by anti-gay and anti-same-sex marriage posters, and was pleasantly surprised that reason and tolerance shine through.

Brian's point about DeWine and Voinovich was well-taken; add Taft to the list of prominent state GOP opponents of the 2004 Issue i.

Ken Blackwell was the champion of the state initiative. Let's remember this in the 2006 governor election.

historymike said...

Agreed about Jim Crow, jj4sonora; it's a better analogy.

liberal_dem said...

Thanks, Mike, for the repost of my comment. The problem with posters such as Brian is that they are the proverbial troll with a specific agenda. You see them on your blog as well.

Brian is the anti-liberal troll who regularly checks his list of targeted blogs to play his sniper role. He is the less-dangerous version of those anti-abortion nuts who pick off doctors at abortion clinics.

Who is surprised at this? After all, look at what those who espouse his political philosophy have already 'done' to our nation. The NSA spying program is only the most outrageous and visible ploy that this right-wing cadre has been using to maintain its control over the citizens.

Our little troll Brian is but a two-bit player in this junior fascist movement. He reminds me of those uber-patriots who, at the onset of Bush's War on Iraq, ate Freedom Fries and spat on the anti-war folks.

Mike- I've been aware from visiting your blog on a daily basis that you have more than your share of anti-Jewish trolls. The 'pink triangle' post is to be noted. These far-right political types adhere to their 'purist' beliefs with tenacity.

I've often wondered about the background, the childhood, the events of their young adulthood of this far-right individual. How do they get these righteous, bigoted ideas that 'they' know best what is right for our nation?

What was in their background? Why do they seem so stunted in their social development?

It is hard for 'regular' citizens to understand their motivation, their thought processes. Perhaps we could hear from them as to their motivation, their reasoning why their vision of America has the paramaters they imbue.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Hypocritemike has no problem with the Islamonazi position on "Gay Rights". Which, pretty much, is that they should all be killed.

Anything that runs contrary to American interests, or any group that declares itself the enemy of the U.S., the Lefties slobber all over, all the while enjoying the wealth and freedom of this country that they despise.

End of story.

historymike said...

Thanks for the driveby, anonymous.

It's amazing how people can make such idiotic assumptions.

Of course, anonymous cannot seem to understand that I could oppose Zionist imperialism while simultaneously opposing mistreatment of gays in mullahocracies.

By the way, where is all of this "wealth" I am supposedly enjoying? I am not starving, but here in Ohio "wealth" is a pretty relative term. Much of the Rust Belt has been passed by in the paper prosperity of the Clinton and Bush eras.

Also - when I was taking pictures of the Ohio state capitol building yesterday, I was stopped by police and questioned. I answered the queries in a polite fashion, figuring that it was better to play along than to risk a trip to a police station, but to extoll freedom in this day and age is to be blind to the encroachments on liberty by a government that uses terror as justification to flout the Bill of Rights.

More on that escapade when I get back from Hell, MI.

-Sepp said...

"Anything that runs contrary to American interests, or any group that declares itself the enemy of the U.S., the Lefties slobber all over, all the while enjoying the wealth and freedom of this country that they despise"

Sad but true in a lot of cases. I know a lot of folks who consider themselves liberals who are patriotic and have a value system not unlike my own and the above statement doesent fit them in the least.
There is however a segment of the left that hates Bush and then equates the "everything counter to America is good" stand. Those specific people are morons and are perfect carbon negatives of the "Bush can do no wrong" crowd.
Neither end of that spectrum is doing the country any favors.

Brian said...

Liberal_Dem and Mike,

I'll stick to my assertion that advocating murder of other people is wrong.

Protected? Maybe.

Morally bankrupt? Absolutely.

Brian said...

Liberal_dem:

I think you have me mixed up with someone else. This is the only blog on which I post regularly. I like it and I like the mix of people.

Unlike you, I am open to new ideas. Dariush won my respect and made me revise my opinions of Iranian culture and people (if not its government). I have learned from others on here who have challenged me to re-examine my beliefs.

I am not opposed to gay marriage. I openly disagree with the President and the Republican Party on it. I wonder how many times I have to say it.

Unlike you, I think, I read, and I reason. I don't automatically dismiss those who don't agree with me as ideologues of the left. However, when the shoe fits, I'll help you put it in your mouth.

Hooda Thunkit said...

“The Marriage Protection Amendment” should fully address the real issues once and for all, and get on with life.

Gay couples should be able to fully benefit from the same benefits that those in a hetero marriage do.

If they would just drop the insistence on calling their commitments/unions “marriage,” I believe that the ammendment would easily pass.

Calling it “marriage” hasn’t worked that well so far, for obvious reasons, and the feelings and resentments behind this is centuries old. . .

IMO, the hang-up on making gay marriage an "in your face" thing to the heterosexual married folks is their downfall.

Kate said...

I keep feeling the need lately to defend Jesus Christ. Isn't that strange that after all these years - he is still misquoted.

First - he advocated a two way loving relationship with us. A voluntary one. He would never advocate hating someone based on - well anything.

He didn't advocate love. He also said the old laws were gone. The Levitican law about homosexuality was in the old law.

The ONLY real clear message he had about message was that it was between one man and one woman. And that they became one.

He did not say anything about anyone else in any loving relationship.

The ONLY thing you have to do to follow Christ is to believe in him.

So all the gay bashing would pretty much have not been ok with him.

Does this make any sense? I just hate seeing him be mis-represented. You can holler at me if you want - but I can look up the scripture - it is in Matthew's writings I believe.

Kate said...

Sorry type. A BIG one.

He advocated love.

Actually that's pretty much the whole message. That one is John 3:16.