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By Tom Cushing

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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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The Gay Rights Movement Coming of Age

Uploaded: Apr 10, 2014
(Note: In a rare triumph of propriety over punsmanship, I decided against calling this a 'Gay Rights Coming-out Party.' Don't get used to it.)

In its perpetual race to catch-up with expressed ideals of liberty and inclusiveness, the American culture has not had an easy time of it. This country has absorbed waves of new influences across its history as a nation; not so much by welcome assimilation as by the forced addition of new flavors into an evolving mix. Nothing has been given -- each new seasoning has had to push its way into the fusion, over the objections of earlier staples. So it has been with a series of immigrant, race and gender-based interests that have pursued their rightful places as full participants in the promises of this society.

Movements are messy and only directional, and too much can be made of individual events, but there comes a point of maturity in the progress of each successful crusade. The March on Washington may have been an event with such meaning, in terms of a declaration that it was here to stay and commanded nationwide respect. Two recent occurrences and their very different responses suggest that the gay rights movement has reached that point – I believe the correct, very different result was achieved in each case.

The first was the recent demise of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps. He was a dedicated hate-monger, whose followers famously brandished those "God Hates Fags!" placards. That tiny band of Kansans picketed various events across the country, most notably military funerals ("Thank God for IEDs" read another favorite sign), to provoke media coverage of their message about America having lost its way in terms of tolerance.

Phelps' passing might have been cause for celebration in the gay community, and for turn-about picketing of his interment rites. Instead, the response was muted – "Sorry for your loss" was the only funereal placard message widely circulated. This post from George Takei (Mr. Sulu to you Trekkies) seems to have captured the spirit of the response: "I take no solace or joy in this man's passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral . He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end."

The second event was the abrupt resignation of Brian Eich, who had been very recently appointed CEO of Mozilla (maker of the Firefox browser program). A furious storm of protest had erupted on social media regarding his 2008 donation to the successful 'Yes on Prop 8' initiative campaign that briefly read marriage limitations into the CA state constitution.

That outcome provoked a backlash against "the intolerance and hypocrisy of gays who demand our tolerance," and concerns over a presumed "abridgment of Mr. Eich's freedom of speech." Leading gay pundit Andrew Sullivan joined the fray, inveighing against the "mob rule" that led to Eich's likely-forced departure. All those objections get it wrong.

As to the intolerance point, we're not talking here about symmetrical viewpoints. This isn't a matter of poTAYto versus poTAHto. It is a civil rights struggle, in which there are right and wrong answers. Those who call on the gay rights community to 'accept' Mr. Eich's vote-with-his-dollars fail to appreciate that crucial distinction.

Put it this way – if Mr. Eich had contributed instead to the Klan, or even to Westboro Baptist Church, would his expression have been equally deserving of tolerance? If you can say 'no' to that, but 'yes' to his opposition to marriage equality, then congratulations: you have achieved the enlightenment of those who once declared that 'some of their best friends were black' (but would cloister their daughters before contemplating racial intermarriage).

The fault here lies not in anyone's intolerance of what is wrong, but in some other folks' ongoing under-appreciation of what is wrong.

Further, there is simply no application of any "free speech" argument here. None. Our hallowed Free Speech guarantees only apply as against Government actions that might limit expressions of various kinds (including intensely unpopular or reprehensible ones). Government must mind-and-tend a free marketplace of ideas; individual people (organic OR corporate, my friend) have no such duties. The difference is fundamental – there has never been a "free speech" right in the private sector that makes it immune from consequences (If you don't believe that, try exercising those sacred rights by telling your boss what you REALLY think of her).

Here, the consequences of Mr. Eich's Prop 8 expression (for, as we all know by now, money = speech) led to his resignation under pressure. His ability to lead the company was as compromised as if some other personal background matter had come to light that was not directly relevant to his technical facility with software (like, I don't know – maybe devil-worship, or a dog-fighting hobby -- or maybe he's even a Yankees fan). Would anyone question that the Board might look askance that those things as disqualifying him from any important leadership position, much less CEO?

Or, again put another way, we are all aware (aren't we?) that in states where sexual orientation is not protected against job discrimination, his at-will employment could have been terminated with no consequences for homosexuality, or even making an anti-Prop-8 donation? Businesses often put restrictions on the off-duty activities of their employees, lest they reflect poorly on the company. It is freedom of contract, not freedom of speech that is implicated here – and if the Mozilla Board forced him out, it is nearly certain that they had a right to do so.

Finally, I think Sullivan is off-the-mark, too. A big reason that both the Phelps and Eich outcomes demonstrate a mature gay rights movement is that one situation looks to the past, and the other to the future. Fred Phelps was gone, and most of his group's ardor will die with him. A celebration would amount to a mean-spirited flogging of a dead lout. He does not matter. Eich's tenure, however, was just about to begin. Those who believed strongly that they did not want to report to a leader who would devalue their lives did move swiftly – the 'web'll do that – but not hysterically.

This was not a mob, but an exercise of new, hard-won power by a resolute group who reminded us that they, and their evolving rights to full participation in the American culture, both matter.

Comments

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm

I perceived Fred Phelps and his followers as poorly educated severely mentally ill and cruel.

I learned of his death on the 6 pm news and when the story was over nobody that I'm connected to commented. I feel no loss and I agree that his gang of disturbed pranksters is over. I derive no pleasure in trashing/harming the severely mentally ill.

I'm not so sure that his passing has much significance within the LGBT communities nationwide.

It's my understanding that one of the most primary issues facing LGBT individuals is about coming to grips with one's identity. It has been described by some individuals as extremely difficult and painful. In some instances it involves multiple losses. For others it seems to pose fewer difficulties. Some of the most painful stories of "coming out" involve multiple losses and in some instances the internal struggle can lead to miserable lives combined with high levels of alcohol/drug addiction being disowned by family/loved ones job loss alienation and suicide. Tragic.

The issue of "coming out" involves multiple tasks and many LGBT individuals need external support/psychotherapy. In my opinion thousands and thousands and thousands of LGBT knew little if anything about Fred Phelps.

The LGBT communities nationwide are indeed involved in a major Civil Rights struggle. Slowly the barriers are coming down. Hopefully as the struggle advances fewer will view suicide as an option. Life is too precious for anybody to suicide. I will admit that when Hitler took his life I was delighted. Incidentally I also believe in the Death Penalty.

As for the CEO who stepped down who cares? He could have filed a lawsuit and fought the legal battle to remain. He chose a coward's way out. Many people have lost their lives fighting for the legal rights that we American enjoy. There is absolutely proof that he would have lost a court case. In a way I am disappointed to he chose not to fight back. It is basic American right of ones case be tried in a court of law. He may be a coward? Hopefully he will find another job and hope it's a struggle.

I agree that when groups go through meaningful struggles it can lead to power that one can exercise. The LBGT community knows how to use its muscle.























Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Corrections:

. Many people have lost their lives fighting for the legal rights that we as Americans enjoy.

. In a way I am disappointed that he chose not to fight back.

. It is a basic American right to have one's case presented in a court of law.

. Perhaps he was a coward?

. Hopefully he will find another job and encounter new struggles.

. I agree that when groups encounter struggles that it can lead to a new found power that involves new responsibilities.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 12, 2014 at 10:26 am

Thanks for your thoughts, Cholo!


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Apr 12, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Phelps was a creepy guy and I'm glad he's gone and I hope his "church" dies along with him.

Eich is a different story. This wasn't a political issue; it was a business issue. Eich was hired to be the head of a corporation. CEO's play golf. That's my way of saying the job of CEO is to be the image of the corporation, to win friends and influence important people and increase the value of the stock.

His stepping down had nothing to do with gay rights. He had a stain on his character that could reflect badly on Mozilla and the Board of Directors had to wipe it clean.

Cholo, there's no cowardice involved. Eich didn't have the option to fight it. If the BoD said "Go" he had to go.

Mozilla is not in such great shape that they can afford to keep someone controversial as their CEO. This is an image job and they need someone with an impeccable image. Anyone we know?

Roz


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 9:56 am

I can live in a world that Eich supported. He was only considered because he possessed the requisite skills to interact within the international business community. He met all of Mozilla's requirements for a CEO.

He voted his conscience and I don't perceive that as a stain. How does stepping down wipe anything away? It simply cements the memory of what happened at Mozilla. In my opinion the Mozilla behaved like good storm troopers. In a destructive manner before testing the man.

Not 1 person on Planet Earth has an impeccable image.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Hi Roz: I'm interested in your point that "Eich's stepping down had nothing to do with gay rights." There are those, like YT, who believe it had everything to do with gay rights in the sense that that's where the protest cam from.

Would you elaborate, please?


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Apr 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Tom,

As an Observer (plug for my blog), I saw this as a Corporate decision to remove a potentially controversial CEO. I agree with Cholo that Mr. Eich had the right to support whichever political side he believed in. That's free speech.

I don't know what Eich's contract was with Mozilla. You're the lawyer, I'm not. But if the Board of Directors at Mozilla felt Eich was attracting the wrong kind of attention that could hurt their business, then they had the right to fire him.

In this case the negative attention was from the gay community because of Eich's position on Proposition 8. Suppose Eich contributed to the No on Prop 8 instead of Yes, and supporters of Prop 8 objected to his appointment. Would BoD of Mozilla still have fired him?

It should depend on how much the BoD of Mozilla felt the Prop 8 supporters could have on their business and stock price. That's their job, to make decisions that support corporate interests. If they fired Eich because they supported gay interests over Mozilla's interest, then they voted wrong.

Roz


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 8:15 am

Hey Roz: it looks like our palatial offices will be right next door to each other. I want the one closer to the coffee, please.

Once again, the term 'free speech' has very little meaning in the private sector -- it's just a dressed-up way of saying everybody gets to have his/her own opinion. And they do -- but not without consequences, as happened here, and happens all over everywhere, all the time.

I'd suggest that the Mozilla Board knew about Mr. Eich's donation in advance, but hoped it would not be a problem for the company. When it became a problem, I'll speculate with you that they helped him find the door. That said, the reason it became a problem had everything to do with gay rights.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm

I looked up the Hx of the gay rights movement: Web Link I find the wikipedia link helpful in understanding LGBT movement history.

I don\'t understand how corporations function. I\'m still convinced that activist LGBT Nazi\'s had a part in ridding Mozilla of Mr. Eich. I appreciate that there are many highly politicized LGBT folks active within Mozilla.

The world is not a tidy clean place where many fellow Americans play fairly.

I\'m sorry that Mr. Eich lost his job and that he stepped down so quickly. I won\'t call him a coward but I\'m disappointed that the his story has only been told as fragments of the 6 pm news.

There must much more to what actually happened?


Posted by One-Tone Charlie, a resident of Downtown,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm

This blog would be soooo much better were Cushing to censor Roz and Cholo as he censors others. [remainder of comment removed].


Posted by Tom Cushing, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Sorry, 'Charlie' -- only the worst commenters get to be deep-sixed.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:48 am

Too bad liberals don't force Obama to resign for being against Gay marriage a few years ago.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:02 am

C'mon, s-p, you don't really believe that Mr. Obama opposed same-sex marriage, and neither do most liberals. They have forgiven him for not leading on the issue.

Informed as he was by Karl Rove's skillful 2004 turning of s-sm into a wedge issue that kited evangelical fervor and turn-out, he refused to be sucked-into the fray on a matter that might've given us President McCain. It was a baldly political judgment; true believers have had to come to grips with the fact that he is, after all, a politician. Web Link (sfw)


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 9:16 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

The fact that even the far left bastion of political commentary, Bill Maher, commented about the Mozilla lynching as an act of the \'gay mafia\' should tell you all you need to know about how far out of whack things have gotten. It\'s no better than the minions of the current administration constantly yelling that anyone who disagrees with their policies is a racist, woman-hater, bigot, etc. These groups seek to stifle all speech they don\'t agree with, regardless as to whether the other party has valid counterpoints or beliefs.
There never was and never will be a time when everyone will agree on everything, nor will there ever be \'equality\'. Bludgeoning people into submission in the name of \'tolerance\' tends to have the opposite effect on people who understood our country was built on freedom of expression for all, not just a whiny, loud minority.
No one likes bullies or bullying tactics. I understand you don\'t fully comprehend that there are two sides to this issue and that\'s fine. I don\'t expect to force you into an objective position; nor, would I expect anyone to force me to accept (or tolerate) something that I find repulsive.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:18 am

Bill Maher is a funny STAR!

As I recall Mr. Eich RESIGNED. I\\\'m waiting for "disease" to provide insider information so that we all understand what actually encouraged him to step down.

If anybody tries to stifle free speech it\\\'s you "disease". It\\\'s my impression that you frequently disapprove of any opinion that differs from yours.

You remind me of Beavis of Beavis \\\'n Butthead fame because you delight in being silly willy nasty with others...alway quick to get dirty surly! And why am I not surprised to read that you choose words like "repulsive" to describe the behavior or others that is none of your business? I\\\'m curious if you spend hours ruminating about the behavior that others engage in in the privacy of their homes? Have you ever taken a sneak peek into the bedrooms of neighbors who could possibly be equally "repulsive"? What in the world could be the most "repulsive" stuff you\\\'ve seen in Plutonia? hmmmmmmmmmm...?

You forgot to mention GENOCIDE and how history tells us in glorious living color about the KILLING of millions upon millions of native inhabitants when the Europeans arrived in the Americas. Did you conveniently forget to mention the reality of genocide in the founding of our great republic? I love AMERICA just as much as you do. However I have a great respect for history and especially for American history. At least tell the truth.

I\\\'m so tickled that you\\\'re seem to be compelled to related to others in a vertical way. It must be exhausting. Take a walk on the beach...it may help you relax!

signed...take 5









Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

cholo, please try to stay on topic. You seem even less focused than usual today.///\\\. Thanks for illustrating my point about trying to shut down the conversation with deflections, rants, tirades, etc. When you have nothing of substance to add, this is what you devolve into.

By the way, Tom, do you know when the blog sitet started adding slashes to our posts every time you enter text in quotes? Pretty annoying, especially when cholo parrots the behavior.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 11:35 am

Okay cholo and LibDiss, now that you've flagged each other's comments, can we all be friends now?

I agree with LibDiss that cholo's comments too often wander from the topic. So my choices are to constantly clean them up, flag 'em all, or rely on readers to sift the chaff. I've generally chosen the latter course, but not always, as cholo knows. S/he has not been the party jerk that has led to bannination, in 2 rare situations.

I don't agree with LibDiss that this is just a genteel difference of opinion, to which we all have a right. You see, Prop 8 took that mere opinion and codified it into a law that severely restricted the Actual Rights of others -- a significant minority that, in my view of right-and-wrong, deserved to enjoy those same rights as the majority. It is not that I dont 'see' the issue, or I wouldn't have written the poTAYtp/poTAHto paragraph -- I reject it as an under-appreciation of the seriousness of the Rights involved.

On another level, Mr. Eich was perfectly free to feel any way he wanted -- when he expressed that feeling as he did, there were consequences -- there always are. I am pretty sure that there are businesses whose leaders would never hire me because of what I write here -- and that is fine with me, too. To miss-paraphrase Groucho, "I wouldn't want to work at a place that wouldn't hire me."

As to Maher (and Sullivan, whom he parroted), there goes the argument that we jack-booted liberals all goose-step to the beat of the same freedom-hating drummer. I don't hold Maher up as a particularly thoughtful commentator -- that's Jon Stewart's job and Bill will never measure-up.

About that annoying slashies problem, I am not certain what causes it, but I will check with our Ace IT Guy. I do try to avoid contractions, but you can-not always do that.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I know what causes the slashes. It's very easy to figure out and very easy to correct or avoid. If those of you getting slashes in your missives have not figured it out, especially those who think you are smarter than I am, I am not going to tell.

Roz


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 1:42 pm

some people just don't like to cooperate...i rest my case...you haven't changed at all...and I mean it!

BUSTED!


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Gezz, Roz. How about taking steps to correct the problem and leaving the arrogant condescension to someone smarter than you? OK? Thanks so much, hun... Bye, bye, now....
Tom, thanks for your response. I'll close this subject with this thought for you to ponder:
Aside from your certainty that changing the centuries old establishment and tradition of marriage was necessary, you do know that prop 8 was passed by a majority of our state's voting citzens...they can't all be wrong, even though you seem convinced you know better than those millions of your neighbors and co-workers.
The gay lobby targeted Eich because they insist the only tolerance of opinion must be thoughts that match theirs. This 'my way of the highway' approach is why they will never be 'equal' and will invite much deserved resentment.


Posted by spcwt, a resident of Danville,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Tom says, "Prop 8...severely restricted the Actual Rights of others."

WRONG!!!!

Prop. 8 prevented gays from using the marriage label. That's it.

Prop. 8 did not t prevent gays from having all of the legal protections of marriage or adopting children, etc. Gays had all those rights with civil unions.

Prop. 8 was mean-spirited, divisive, and had no rational purpose. 52% of California voters were duped into supporting Prop. 8 for religious reasons or whatever. That makes them guilty of having religious beliefs or whatever. That doesn't mean 52% of California voters are bigots.

If you want to call someone a bigot, you'd have to start with people like Bill Clinton and the others who passed DOMA. Now THAT law severely restricted the actual rights of others.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

C'mon LibDiss, give Roz a break. Maybe she'll blog about it -- do you think it's easy coming up with new topics all the time?

You are plowing very old, barren ground with that 'traditions' argument. Traditionally, women couldn't vote. Traditionally, African Americans were kept as slaves -- other people's property. Tradition alone is a very weak argument for retaining a policy that curtails the legitimate rights of a 'traditionally' oppressed minority.

The 'majority rules' claim does little better. The Constitution protects the Fundamental Rights of those who will forever be a minority, by making it very difficult for a majority vote to deny, or to take those rights away. Would you want Your right to marry, or vote, or own property to be subject to a majority vote in an election? How about by an electorate that was 95% gay?

Fortunately, you are protected against that possibility, and so are your fellow Americans who happen not to share your sexual orientation.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Cholo,
You haven't changed either. You still demand attention and want to be perceived as helpful. I like the links you provide because the provide information and information contributes to learning. Simply telling someone how to do something does not lead to learning but to rote.

The slashes are a result of cause and effect. Look at what you did when you posted a message without slashes and what you did when you posted a message with slashes, especially more than one slash per apostrophe, and determine what happened before the slashes appeared. Do some experimental test posts to see if you can reproduce the slash effect.

We have a lot of highly educated, stupid people because they have been "taught" stuff that they believe but cannot explain why they believe it other than to parrot back what the "instructor" (whether that's Tom Cushing or Glenn Beck) has told them.

Roz


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm

it\'s back! this is getting very very interesting...hmmmmmmmmmm...where do I stand?

. that roz r. sure knows how to smack a very nice a person

. prop 8 deprived a large group of American citizens of their legal rights and that\'s plain ole wrong

. voters were not duped and younger more educated voters appreciate that they are in a position to make the USA a better place for all citizens...they have a different understanding of what is fair and reasonable today

. many of the old prejudices are fading away and a more reasonable USA is emerging

this discussion is NOT about DOMA...it\'s about the defeat of 8 and that my friends is way cool







Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Incidentally how could anybody not appreciate this Fine American Woman?

Web Link

Everybody in my dinner group signed the letter of love and support for her!


Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

I reported my test findings to the Express IT Guy and Publisher. This should help him find the bug in the code that's causing the slashes.

If any of you continue to have the problem, report it to Frank Bravo at Web Link

Roz


Posted by Ben, a resident of Birdland,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

The left in this country always plays stupid when it comes to their past. Their past of fighting for slavery, their past of fighting against the civil rights movement (remember it was Republicans that marched with the movement) and anything that blows a big hole in their grand scheme of distortion.

Tom states: "you don't really believe that Mr. Obama opposed same-sex marriage, and neither do most liberals." Maybe he didn't oppose same sex marriage based on what he believed was a constitutional right (go figure that!), but stated his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. In November 2008 the Democratic Presidential candidate appeared on MTV to come out against California's Prop 8, which would overturn gay marriage in our state. At the same time, however, Obama reiterated his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Said the Senator from Illinois: "I've stated my opposition to this. I think [Prop 8 is] unnecessary. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don't contract them."

Repeat, then Senator Obama stated, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."

So he get's a free pass from the militant gay rights movement, and Tom, because he's a "progressive", but apparently Mr. Eich doesn't. Go figure.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Bad Looser? Web Link

I feel no sympathy for Americans who vote and then whine forever about loosing. What's that?

So many Americans are bitter and have no understanding of what it means to vote in this great country.

The law is the law and some of you will simply have to cry until the cows come home.

I admire the American electorate for stepping up to the plate and supporting equal rights for all Americans.

VIVA AMERICA! VIVA!


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Hi Ben: There are at least four levels at which you could examine the President's views: personal, as a lawyer, as a Presidential candidate and then as Prez. I have very little doubt about the first two -- especially the second, because when you plug this into established =P jurisprudence, the case has always been pretty clear, at least since Romer v. Evans in the 1990s, if not Perez in 1967.

But as I said, he'd seen what Rove did with the issue in 2004, so as a candidate in 2008 he refused to be suckered into falling on the same sword. Smart politically, if disappointing as a matter or moral leadership. By 2012 the tide was turning strongly, Biden had already spilled the beans, so he went ahead and stated the obvious. Given his whole record, he's been forgiven his understandable tardiness. You see, libs don't tend to demand litmus test purity in all things -- the world is a complicated, nuanced place.

Now, if you dig up a secret donation from the Prez to Prop 8, I'd say we might have at least comparable situations. Here's your (steam) shovel -- good luck!.

BTW, here's a brief article in the New Yorker just today that may be good as background -- a whole book's worth comes out next week. Web Link)


Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Tom,

Yes politicians always like to jump on the bandwagon when it is safe to do so. Obama played it safe and it worked for him. Liberals are so forgiving of those they want to forgive.

Roz


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I agree Roz. Obama played his cards close to his chest. Politicians can be so two faced. Still he knew when the time was right to make himself look good.

Still he finally took a stand and it counted.

I like to believe that America is for everybody.

Different strokes for different folks makes America a better place to hang out!


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Ben,

Republicans also gave Lincoln a free pass after he flip-flopped on slavery. Times change.


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Apr 17, 2014 at 9:08 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

"Flip-flopped on slavery"?

In fairness he was "against slavery's expansion, but not calling for immediate expansion". But that does not equal being pro-slavery.

Web Link

What Obama did was pure and simple political pandering.

Obama flip-flopped, not Lincoln.

Sincerely,

Dan





Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Apr 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Sorry, "immediate expansion" should be "immediate emancipation".

Dan


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Attorney changes views of Prop 8: Web Link

This is quite a change for an attorney who defended 8 in CA.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 17, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I just received an email from Frank Bravo that the slash problem has been fixed. I tested it under the conditions that were causing it and the slashes did not appear. So you should be able to submit your replies slash free from now on.

Roz


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:40 am

"What Obama did was pure and simple political pandering."

What Lincoln did was pure and simple political pandering. Lincoln original position supported slavery continuing for decades. Then he flipped-flopped to immediate emancipation. Just read what some of his opponents and supporters wrote of him.

George H. W. Bush did the same sort of things with taxes. It is what politicians do.

Lincoln was a politician, Obama is a politician.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:40 am

"What Obama did was pure and simple political pandering."

What Lincoln did was pure and simple political pandering. Lincoln original position supported slavery continuing for decades. Then he flipped-flopped to immediate emancipation. Just read what some of his opponents and supporters wrote of him.

George H. W. Bush did the same sort of things with taxes. It is what politicians do.

Lincoln was a politician, Obama is a politician.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:51 am

Cholo: thanks for that link about the Prop 8 lawyer's evolution on the issue. It's up on SFGate now, too. Web Link As the great philosopher and social critic Rock, C. summarized it: "karma."

Have a great wedding and marriage, kids -- no thanks to ol' Dad.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 20, 2014 at 7:22 am

For anyone still following this thread, here's a longer article on the process of evolving the Prez's public viewpoint on the matter of same-sex marriage. Web Link


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