Monday, October 20, 2008

Read These Now

Because it's mid-October. And you are just. not. busy. enough.

Stop the Presses: Andrew Sullivan Got Something Right: In a short piece on California's Prop 8, Sullivan calls on Barack Obama to spend some of his political capital (and some of his 16.5% lead) on standing up for marriage equality in the Golden State. Noting that support for Prop 8 is especially strong in the African-American community, Sullivan writes,

All this makes it vital, in my opinion, that Barack Obama strongly and unequivocally oppose Proposition 8 in California, rather than keeping mainly quiet as he has done so far. We need him to make an ad opposing it. This is a core test of whether gay Americans should back Obama as enthusiastically as they have in the last month. If he does not stand up for gay couples now, why should we believe he will when he is in office? And if black Americans are the critical bloc that helps kill civil rights for gays, that will not help deepen Obama's governing coalition. It could tear it apart.

Memo to Obama: make an ad. Speak loudly. Defend equality. Defend it when it might actually lose you some votes. Show us you are not another Clinton.

Oh, Andrew, you just couldn't resist a wholly gratuitous swipe at the Clintons, could you? Do we need to point out to you how much more forceful and far-reaching Senator Clinton's support on LGBT issues was than Senator Obama's during the primary campaign? Never mind. The point here is that Sullivan is right to insist that Obama step up to the plate on this issue pronto. If he remains silent and Prop 8 passes, this blog will never forgive him. Think about that, Mr. Practically-the-President.

Eight Against Eight: Speaking of Prop 8, a bunch of the Big Dyke Blogs have banded together to raise money for the No on 8 cause. Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend has signed on. The plan is for eight lesbian blogs to blog against Prop 8 for 8 days. And on the ninth day they'll have a big virtual softball game. Ha-ha. No, they didn't invite yours truly to participate, but, remember, I'm a dog. The dykes just do the scut work around here. (That sigh you hear is from my bitter, publicity-hungry typist.) Show some love to the sistah bloggers and give some money to the cause, doggone it.

Digby Speaks -- er, E-Mails:
Nice interview with the Mother of All Progressive Bloggers in today's LA Times. We heart Digby, who is the opposite of publicity-hungry, even though we can't figure out why lately there are random gray boxes obscuring our view of her site. Has anybody else had this problem?

Kiss Liddy Good-Bye: Could it be the insufferable Elizabeth Dole will lose her Senate seat in the Obama tsunami that seems poised to sweep through North Carolina? Why the heck not? Read this encouraging New Republic profile of Kay Hagan, the Carolina state senator who is trying to make that lovely dream come true.

Pet Songs -- Yes, Pet Songs: This was a loopy piece in the Sunday Post that had Moose spitting her coffee across the breakfast nook -- music videos of songs people had written about their pets. The critics picked "Bones" as their favorite song, a song we liked because it featured an old dog with arthritis who was still capable of great mischief. Our personal favorite, though, was the hilarious yet heartfelt "Rescue Dog Rock." We like its message about who really rescues whom in these complex human/canine interactions, so we'll leave you with that video to go to sleep on tonight. Arf arf arf and a woof woof too to you, my beloveds. Don't work too hard.


  1. Anonymous11:26 PM EDT

    You know I always avoid my homework if I possibly can! But doggies interfering with the instruments -- even sitting on the drumheads! -- is pretty delightful.

    Funny that folks aren't elbowing each other to comment on Roxie's post about aging. Maybe because none of your loyal readers will admit to the fact? Though I'd listen to Michelle Shocked most any day. I do rather like the way in which the ad does a (selective) reading of the song, in the optative (not the crazy-headed, doll-smashing) mode.

    But I"m not growing any older until I grade some of these papers! Don't work so hard, yourselves, Rox 'n Moose!

  2. The theory in this house is that grading papers greatly accelerates the aging process and may lead to doll-smashing impulses, so you be careful, DEB, and come back here when you need a pleasing distraction.

  3. With all due respect, I think Sullivan was referring to Bill Clinton, who gleefully used the LGBTQ community as a prop during the 1992 campaign and then gleefully took a dump all over queer folks as soon as he got into office.

    Just read Virtually Normal, which packs quite a punch.

  4. Yeah, you're probably right about the Clinton ref, Eitan, but the swipe still seems a little gratuitous, and it still bugs the hell out of me that Clinton (Hillary) hasn't gotten more credit for her support on these issues, even though she, too, keeps her distance from the M-word. Alas.

  5. Of course Sullivan was referring to WJC, but, as his sloppy spiteful swipe makes plain, many more folks than Frank Rich have gleefully overlooked the facts of the matter and mingled Hill & Bill as if they were both candidates this year and share one brain. They were not and do not, and HRC is very much her own woman, thinking from and in a room of possibilities that go beyond anything WJC did or dared to imagine. Hillary was/is the *only* candidate this year who said/says that queer couples should get ALL OF THE RIGHTS that heteronormative couples enjoy, ALL OF THEM (even if they can't call it by the "m" word). She even talked about social security benefits. No other candidate has done that, and, with all due respect, the President-in-waiting welcomed self-righteous homophobes up on his campaign stages (Donnie McClurkin et al) and considers Douglas Kmiec a worthy legal adviser.

    So, you are absolutely right to point to WJC, Eitan -- Thank You! WJC and BO are very, very similar in their centrisms. Neither has ever come close to the full-throated support that HRC has consistently given the LGBTQ communities over the course of this campaign.

    If BO came out and used his clout to defeat Proposition 8, and defeat it roundly and soundly, I could begin to believe in his leadership capabilities. Realizing Hope and enacting Change require *that* kind of risk-taking, and I'd love to see it from him. Even WJC was much more supportive of gay rights during the campaign season than BO has been (and that was 16 years ago).

    If he doesn't want to stand tall and help defeat Prop 8, then he could go one or more better and stand tall and say that social security benefits and other perks bestowed by marriage should be disentangled from one another. THAT would be truly progressive.

    But this appears to be the year of the Fauxprogressive, the year of feel-good rhetoric of the chimera of 95% tax cuts and de-escalation of war that simply moves it east rather than gut-wrenching actions that will require sacrifice, sweat, some real pain, and a hardheaded thinking that dares to imagine that forging peace (rather than militarism) would be the most effective way to defeat "Bin Laden" (whatever we mean by that name now). But Muriel Rukeyser is undoubtedly still correct: "our imaginations must be strong enough to make a peace" (the imperative conditional indicating that we are not there yet).

    We need a leader willing to weather pain who will ask those of us who should have our taxes raised (I am one of those and I don't make $250K) to give even more, a leader who is strong enough to refuse to indulge in the simplistic "I'm going to defeat terrorism by getting Bin Laden." And confronting those of his supporters who support Prop 8 by using their $$$ to defeat it would begin to convince me that BO is willing to weather pain. Votes would undoubtedly be lost by doing that. But much, much (including votes) would be gained.

    As I said when commenting on the October 17th post--nobody told me there'd be days like these / strange days indeed, Mama. . . .

    And now to that wonderful post about the Mamas becoming GrandMamas and GreatGrandMamas. . . .

  6. Anonymous11:39 AM EDT

    Hi Rox, that tall stack of books fits well with your previous post on the Road to 50th Birthdays and Beyond. There's much evidence that continuing to challenge yourself with study of all kinds is the best way to stay alert as you age (the body follows the mind) --

    Again on standing tall, AGREE with Goose's proposal --

    "If [President Obama] doesn't want to stand tall and help defeat Prop 8, then he could go one or more better and stand tall and say that social security benefits and other perks bestowed by marriage should be disentangled from one another. THAT would be truly progressive."

    Here! Here!

  7. You are wise, EI, to promote reading and other forms of mental fitness as a way of having a happier old age. And, of course, blogging is scientifically proven to improve one's mental agility, so we can all look forward to millions of geezer blogs as baby boomers click into their golden years!


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