Friday, December 19, 2008

what can i say, i'm a libra

i am of two minds on the choice of rick warren to lead the invocation at obama's inauguration. this is terribly convenient for me because there are 2 mindsets to have: it is a good idea or it is a bad idea. i choose both.

warren has been very vocal against gay marriage and oft offensive, not to mention illogical, in his comparisons of it to incest and polygamy and pedophilia. he was an outspoken advocate for prop 8 and no doubt his campaigning played a role in its passage. i certainly find his views on this, and other infringements on civil liberties, disdainful and in complete opposition with my own. i don't think i would ever invite the guy to pray for me, but maybe obama is a bigger person than i am. i think that his wanting to reach out to and include those who oppose him and oppose the beliefs of his supporters is admirable and important. we have to acknowledge that obama is the president of all of the nut-job right wing idealogues as well. i mean, have we decided that the inauguration is only for the people who supported obama in the election and agree with his viewpoints and not for anyone else? he wants to, and needs to, reach out to them. i think this is totally legitimate and at the end of the day we won't get anywhere in this struggle if we don't come together, find common ground, relate to one another and then argue our differences from there. this separatist and divisive approach that we have had over the last 8 years; the karl rove, "you're with us or against us", those who oppose our principals are our enemies and must be dismissed is not the way to move forward as a society. we have to find a way to listen to each other, especially when we don't agree, and to understand our opposition. it is the decent, civil and respectful way to approach dissent and it is the truly effective way to reach real resolution. rick warren brings evangelicals to the table, his presence will undoubtedly bring an audience to the inauguration that would not otherwise feel like they were a part of it. and they are a part of it - this is their next president, the leader of their country. this choice is smart but perhaps insensitive.

i completely respect, understand and empathize with people feeling hurt and betrayed, especially with the open wound of prop 8. this must feel like the proverbial salt in said wound. i think that this perhaps was not given careful enough consideration. yes, it is just the opening prayer, but it is also starting off the commencement with the voice of oppression of a population that
are feeling tired of being the ones that people disregard. obama is reaching out to one group while slighting another and the one he is slighting is the group who could really use the support right now. yes, the conservative christian right might feel excluded but that is a self-imposed exclusion that results from their choices and beliefs and close mindedness. the lgbt community feels excluded because they are marginalized and denied equal rights by others, specifically the group of "others" that obama is reaching out to. they are tired of being the acceptably oppressed and feel beyond slighted that a major voice of that oppression has been given a national stage.

but maybe it should have a national stage. not because the position is legitimate and needs to be heard so that it is accepted and practiced but maybe it needs a national stage because we need to take our heads out of the sand and stop pretending that the gay rights movement is san francisco's problem. the lbgt community and it's supporters need to capitalize on the passion and momentum that the passage of prop 8 has sparked. it has caught the attention of the nation and voices are being raised on both sides of the aisle. it is about time that this groups' fight for equality was played out, loudly, on the national stage. this appointment not only brings the opposition to the table but it raises the country's awareness of this opposition and of the fact that we should be confronting it and dialogging about it. everything i know of barack obama suggests that this was at least in part his intention.

i think i support both sides not only because i think both sides are valid but also because there are 2 valid sides that are confronting each other on a national stage, in the media, on the internet, and this choice has sparked debate with 2 legitimate points of view that are not easily dismissed or even easily assigned to one end of the political spectrum or the other. i sense the coming of the true lgbt revolution, the last stand for gay rights. now is the time that we fight until the end - this is the ball being set in motion and picking up speed. this is us being equipped with further ammunition, further will and determination as unfolds before us a clearer opposition and a broader base of support.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

another one bites the dust

here's the thing about the latest political scandal. and when i say latest i really mean literally the latest because maybe i am just paying closer attention, but it seems like there is a 'scandal of the day' as of late. every time i turn around someone is being forced to resign or indited or unseated in shame and i know that politics is supposed to be corrupt but what good is corruption if it is so common that it becomes a given? it's like the nasdaq falling - oh again? quelle surpise...
in some ways that is what bothers me most about this whole rod blagojevich thing (aside from the fact that there is a perfectly amazing name, tarnished now and no doubt soon forgotten - what a waste). it is just such a total cliche. not only is he a politician, he is a chicago politician! there is no greater expectation of a political corruption than from a chicago politian. it seems so lame - lacks creativity and pizazz. it doesn't carry any of the seedy glamour that corruption can, when it is coming from the most obvious source. any hack writer or blockbuster movie producer could have come up with this one. i do have to give him a little credit for the ballsy move of trying to sell a senate seat. that certainly jazzes things up a bit. i mean, selling an office is nothing new but something about selling the newly elected president's former senate seat adds that je ne sais quoi that is missing from this otherwise typical scandal.
this does bring me to the other area of my annoyance - do these guys honestly think they will get away with this kind of crap? ( i use the word "honestly" very loosely here). you have to be seriously ego maniacal or seriously stupid (or both) to think that you can auction off a senate seat, the appointment of which has sparked national interest, in this day and age and think that no one is going to catch onto your little scheme. you've got to be kidding me. even if he hadn't been tapped or bugged or whatever, i have the foresight to see how this would all come to light: you whore around the position. a bunch of sleazoids are interested. you, the greedy bastard that you are, drive up the price and string people along until someone finally sweetens the pot. super, seat sold. but then you are left with the peanut gallery - the group of people you tried to manipulate and then left hanging. if they are low enough to try to buy a senate seat they are certainly low enough to blow the whistle and sell you out. that's what happens when you put a bunch of people together who are all looking out for number 1 and have no shame in trying to get what they want. i know this. how does this guy not know this?
i can't say that i share the fbi's "repulsion", shock and disgust over this, it seems like the are being kind of oversensitive pussies about it. you're the fbi! i know you've seen much shadier stuff, sorry this senate seat thing has given you the vapors. get a grip. for me this situation is irritating because this guy did the most obvious and expected thing a chicago politician could do without seemingly having considered the most obvious and expected results of such an action. sure it's wrong and corrupt and all of that but it is also just fulfilling the oldest and most expected cliche in the book and frankly, rod, you could have done better.