I see little of more importance to the future of our country and of civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.
- Pauline Kael, film critic - June 19, 1919-Sept. 3, 2001
Here’s a nice short film about the history of marriage that dispels some of the talking points that jokers like NOM like to toss out.
Perhaps one day, faced with incontrovertible evidence such as that which is included in this film, society will catch up with reality. I just hope it’s within my lifetime.
When President Obama announced the policy change yesterday that will allow undocumented minors to stay in the United States for an additional two years instead of facing deportation, the backlash from the right was immediate. The disrespectful outburst from pseudo-journalist Neil Munro during the announcement was only the beginning.
Republicans immediately started criticizing the policy itself and, more vocally, President Obama. No surprise there.
The biggest kvetch that the GOP kvetched was the fact that Obama’s policy change was merely a political act.
Now I have a few questions for the GOP:
- Are you really pretending that this isn’t an election year and that there isn’t a political component to everything that gets said by every politician between now and Election Day (and beyond)?
- Are we to believe that Obama’s policy change on deportation is a political act, but your immediate, vociferous, rude, and unified objection to this change isn’tpolitical?
- If you think that President Obama’s policy towards non-citizens is wrong, what do you propose as an alternative?
So far, the Republicans have proposed electrified fences, mass deportations, splitting up families, self-deportation (whatever that is), and probably a few more harebrained ideas I’ve missed. Not one plan or policy that the Republicans have proposed to deal with the decades-old issue of undocumented immigrants contains an iota of practicality. All of them, however, appeal to the base, bloodthirsty instincts of the “low-information voters” that the GOP elite are so fond of manipulating into voting against their own best interests.
The fact of the matter is that the INS through many administrations has been widely regarded as the most dysfunctional agency in a government full of dysfunctional agencies. Because immigration and citizenship issues are so problematic and complex, the INS has existed in a state of stasis for a very long time. Consequently, a policy change as comparatively benign as the one President Obama announced is looked at as some drastic swing to the left.
The reality, however, is quite different. Is there a political component? Of course there is. There’s no doubt that an announcement such as the one made on Friday will shore up support among potential Latino voters. Republicans hate that even more than they hate the policy, because they’ve been on the wrong side of the immigration issue for a long time.
But, in addition to being completely in line with the President’s stated beliefs, it’s just the right thing to do.
It was an historic day when the policy referred to as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed. LGBT service members who were in the military no longer had to make the choice between hiding their true identities or losing their military careers.
But today, there’s another milestone that will likely not be as celebrated as the repeal of DADT. For the first time, a U.S. Secretary of Defense not only acknowledged the contributions of LGBT service members but also acknowledged them in the context of Gay Pride month.
The Pentagon has even announced its own gay pride event – a panel discussion to talk about issues affecting gay and lesbians in the military.
When DADT was thrown out, there was still some lingering suspicion that the military perhaps would not fully understand how important this issue was or would, at best, begrudgingly go along with it while maintaining its existing less-than-open-minded internal way of doing business. But it now seems like (as some had always said) that the full and open integration of lesbians and gay men in the military would just be taken as a matter of course.
In gay pride month, that’s definitely something to be proud of.
If you think that dislike for Mitt Romney comes exclusively from the left, a quick gambol around the internet will provide you with some pretty extreme hatred of Romney from the right.
For many in Massachusetts, Romney’s term as governor left a really bad taste in their mouths because of failed promises and his abysmal jobs record. But for at least one Bay Stater, Romney was far too liberal:
I’m particularly fond of her criticism of Romney’s CPAC speech. In Romney’s attempts to be all things to all people, he spoke at CPAC. Liberals questioned his blatant pandering to the uber-conservatives. But for the uber-conservatives, he just wasn’t conservative enough; there were apparently about ten or twelve litmus tests that he just didn’t pass.
And check out this video. Contrada apparently holds Romney responsible for everything from every initiative the Massachusetts Department of Social Services took during his term to what the lesbians were wearing during the pride parades:
Whew. I had no idea any politician had that much power.
Then there are the religious doomsayers. Literally. It’s kind of hard to tell if they’re serious or if they’re just being hucksters and trying to sell books and DVDs:
This kind of hawking of wares is worthy of Newt Gingrich.
So far, I don’t think that anyone on the left has claimed that Romney is Satan. Attribution of demonic traits to a candidate is generally the purview of the right, but this site pulls no punches:
For the author of this site, even Pat Robertson, Sean Hannity, and James Dobson are not crazy enough for his taste, because they’ve endorsed Mitt Romney. It’s clear that Romney’s religion is still a significant barrier for some.
There’s one more site that’s a compendium of all things Mitt in Massachusetts (at least, from the ultra-right-wing perspective):
According to these folks, the problem on issues like gay rights, abortion rights, and health care isn’t that he’s too far to the right. It’s that he’s too far to the left! Glad we got that cleared up.
With all the focus on the economy, I wonder if these issues will even register at the polls.
Liberals, women, the LGBT community, and racial minorities have all to often been on the receiving end of this kind of hatred from the radical right. But it’s instructive to know that someone as extremely to the right as Mitt Romney can be the target of folks like this.
It’s just more proof that, in the last couple of decades, the left has moved right, and the right has moved even farther right.
I couldn’t resist.