Skip

Radical shift?
August 24, 2004 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Are the Republicans starting to hedge their bets?
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 -In a break with months of Republican efforts to outlaw gay marriage, Vice President Dick Cheney offered a defense of the rights of gay Americans on Tuesday, declaring that "freedom means freedom for everyone" to enter "into any kind of relationship they want to."
posted by lilboo (66 comments total)

 
yay boo, I've not run into you in a while in the path station.

boo, 'boo, $%@#! nyt registration.

freedom means freedom for everyone

now, that's just crazy-talk! we all know that leads to anarchy and the salt and the truncheons and the morris-dancers!

I would damned well like to see cheney define the fundamental difference between ethos and ethics. ah well.
posted by dorian at 8:31 PM on August 24, 2004


My money is on their laying the groundwork to ease Cheney out of the picture. If he can respectfully disagree with Bush on gay issues they can argue that, regretfully, he has to go. They can thus eliminate an albaogretross and still leave a lingering feeling that, "hey, Cheney's not so bad; he's nice to gay people." Then... McCain?

Say it ain't so, John.
posted by mmahaffie at 8:33 PM on August 24, 2004


Seriously, what the fuck is with this post?

Is there a point?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:35 PM on August 24, 2004


his daughter finally started squeezing his balls. it's about time.
posted by quonsar at 8:36 PM on August 24, 2004


Mary beat him until he agreed to finally mention her (and her sexuality) in the same sentence in public, for the first time ever.

They're just starting their run-up to the convention, where "reasonable" and "compassionate" are some of the key words. They certainly just can't start behaving differently overnight, can they? (and maybe, but i doubt it, the Log Cabin fools have gotten thru to some of them, or this is a bone thrown to them so they don't sit home.)
posted by amberglow at 8:38 PM on August 24, 2004


see, this is what I've been trying to tell you ('all) -- if we let only the_q post on mefi, it would still all be good.
posted by dorian at 8:38 PM on August 24, 2004


Cheney: declaring that "freedom means freedom for everyone" to enter "into any kind of relationship they want to."

That looks like a point. Steve, are feeling okay ... you don't look so good. Maybe you better lay down.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:39 PM on August 24, 2004


Dick Cheney is such a goddammed flip-flopper.
posted by mathowie at 8:40 PM on August 24, 2004


Are you saying he swings both ways, matt? a little ac/dc? (like Lynn and her lesbian novel?) ; >
posted by amberglow at 8:41 PM on August 24, 2004


Steve, the question is about political strategy tactics on message for the upcoming election. I'm not pushing an agenda, i'm looking for the subtleties. Take a chill pill.
posted by lilboo at 8:42 PM on August 24, 2004


It's too late for Cheney, et. al. to start espousing ideals of democracy and human rights. Anyone who believes in equal rights for gays isn't voting for Bush.
posted by fleener at 8:45 PM on August 24, 2004


i agree with quonsar. seriously.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:50 PM on August 24, 2004


It's just that I'm seeing this as part of a larger re-calibration of the Republican message on social issues, I think they are starting to worry that they look a little too right-minded these days, and might be looking to tone it down a little.
posted by lilboo at 8:52 PM on August 24, 2004


I think they are starting to worry that they look a little too right-minded these days, and might be looking to tone it down a little

yes but even if they think they are serving only themselves by their change in message, if they really end up serving the populace is that so much something to worry about? (hoist with their own petard and all that...)
posted by dorian at 8:58 PM on August 24, 2004


Uh oh, Seth is coming. Everybody look busy.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:13 PM on August 24, 2004


Well D, I think they are trying to have it both ways. George isn't going to change his position on this - that would REALLY be news. It's all about appearing more moderate, whether or not that's actually true is sort of besides the point - now in accomodating both sides the fine-tuning kicks in, so they don't look so inflexible.
posted by lilboo at 9:14 PM on August 24, 2004


That's it. The real ploy it to make republicans feel better about voting for Bush despite their better judgement.
posted by fleener at 9:28 PM on August 24, 2004


that's what I mean, is just how moderate can they appear to be, before the public's expectation actually forces them to start to be that moderate...

it's just a nice thing to think about, when the alternative is me'n'wulfgar! sitting around with semi-automatic weapons waiting to 'larn some sense into those jackasses (not that that wouldn't be fun either!)
posted by dorian at 9:32 PM on August 24, 2004




If republicans can't support this as a party, they hate america.

USA! USA! USA!
posted by mathowie at 10:01 PM on August 24, 2004


you forgot this one
posted by mr.marx at 10:08 PM on August 24, 2004


The Republicans are unstoppable now. They have war *and* hot girl-on-girl action.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:08 PM on August 24, 2004


The man whose only real power is to break the tie-breaking vote in the Senate disagrees a little with the President.

Wow, if that won't get all the swing voters I don't know what will!
posted by skallas at 11:39 PM on August 24, 2004




Separated at birth.
posted by solistrato at 12:14 AM on August 25, 2004


I prefer an amalgation of the Quonsar/"Squeezing the Balls" Hypothesis and the Amberglow/"Throw Them a Bone" Theory.
posted by troutfishing at 12:44 AM on August 25, 2004


amalgamation, that is.
posted by troutfishing at 12:45 AM on August 25, 2004


The head of the "family research council" is Tony Perkins? God that's creepy.

A boy's best friend is his mother.
posted by condour75 at 2:25 AM on August 25, 2004


the new GOP strategy on gay issues: "God Hates Fags, We Just Despise Them"
posted by matteo at 3:09 AM on August 25, 2004


For the record, here's a transcription of what Cheney said:

"Well, the question has come up obviously in the past with respect to the question of gay marriage. Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. We have two daughters, and we have enormous pride in both of them. They're both fine young women. They do a superb job, frankly, of supporting us. And we are blessed with both our daughters.

"With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be able to free -- ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to. The question that comes up with respect to the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction, or approval is going to be granted by government, if you will, to particular relationships. Historically, that's been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that basic fundamental decision in terms of defining what constitutes a marriage. I made clear four years ago when I ran and this question came up in the debate I had with Joe Lieberman that my view was that that's appropriately a matter for the states to decide, that that's how it ought to best be handled.

"The President has, as result of the decisions that have been made in Massachusetts this year by judges, felt that he wanted to support the constitutional amendment to define -- at the federal level to define what constitutes marriage, that I think his perception was that the courts, in effect, were beginning to change -- without allowing the people to be involved, without their being part of the political process -- that the courts, in that particular case, the state court in Massachusetts, were making the judgment or the decision for the entire country. And he disagreed with that. So where we're at, at this point is he has come out in support of a federal constitutional amendment. And I don't think -- well, so far it hasn't had the votes to pass. Most states have addressed this. There is on the books the federal statute Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996. And to date it has not been successfully challenged in the courts, and that may be sufficient to resolve the issue. But at this point, say, my own pre [sic]

"More questions, yes."
posted by josephtate at 3:13 AM on August 25, 2004


I think the technical term for this is "passing the buck." Saying that the states should be responsible is shrugging off, deferring the question of whether or not he supports gay marriage. The language is vague, intentionally: does he support gay marriage? Well, he supports freedom of relationship--but whether or not all relationships are or should be marriages is left open, etc.
posted by josephtate at 3:16 AM on August 25, 2004


Public Radio covered this story in the AM today :

First, a Cheney bit, and then a "rebuttal" from Tony Perkins of the "Family Research Council".

Methought - "Liberal" NPR ? My ass. Fewer lies, more polish : not "Fox Lite" but, rather, "Fox Pro"
posted by troutfishing at 4:44 AM on August 25, 2004


I think the technical term for this is "passing the buck." Saying that the states should be responsible is shrugging off, deferring the question of whether or not he supports gay marriage. The language is vague, intentionally: does he support gay marriage? Well, he supports freedom of relationship--but whether or not all relationships are or should be marriages is left open, etc.

While I think he's just saying what he thinks is going to appease his audience, allowing a state to decide their own laws for themselves is hardly 'passing the buck'.
posted by angry modem at 4:53 AM on August 25, 2004


Is this the first time that he has publicly acknowledged his daughter's sexuality? He used to get these questions all the time and respond with broad platitudes.

this non-scandal brought to you by Bush/Rice '04
posted by PrinceValium at 5:24 AM on August 25, 2004


Skallas (jeez, ever the polemecist), this has nothing to do with convincing voters of actual power and impact - it's more about voter perception of the party's policies as a whole. Just maybe winning these elections will depend on which candidate can most accurately calibrate the temperature of the electorate on right vs. left, re: social issues. If the majority of the voters feel that the Reps have skewed too far right, in a close election that could cost them. Why take chances?
posted by lilboo at 5:41 AM on August 25, 2004


OK, here's the current score:

Republicans who think "freedom" means "freedom for everyone": one, apparently.

Same-sex/same-gender couples I personally know who have been married in Massachusetts since 5/17/04: 14.

Sightings of the end of the world: none.

Grrr! I was promised Sodom and Gomorrah! The dogs of hell! Chaos in the streets! I feel cheated.
posted by andreaazure at 6:01 AM on August 25, 2004


And another point, after McGreevey came out of the closet his polls in NJ actually went up. Do you think that escaped the Rep radar? I'll bet we would never have seen anything like this if his polls had dropped
posted by lilboo at 6:02 AM on August 25, 2004


And another point, after McGreevey came out of the closet his polls in NJ actually went up.

True (happily, in my eyes), though there was scare room for them to move in the opposite direction.
posted by jalexei at 6:27 AM on August 25, 2004


I think McGreevey's polls went up, not because he came out of the closet, but because he went public and came clean about his affair, thus sparing us lurid news stories that would have dragged on and on for weeks.
posted by wobh at 6:46 AM on August 25, 2004


"freedom means freedom for everyone" to enter "into any kind of relationship they want to."


Just not get married. And go to hell.
posted by agregoli at 6:52 AM on August 25, 2004


Bible-thumping, mouth-foaming social conservatism plays great in rural Oklahoma. GOP doesn't need to pander to them any further--they're up by like 25 points there.

A more moderate stance is probably an attempt to shift voters in states that are in play: Wisconsin, Ohio, maybe Pennsylvania. I'd read it as a calculated play--they may think that the number of disaffected moderates they'll win back is greater than the number of hardline conservatives who will sit home and sulk on election day.
posted by gimonca at 6:54 AM on August 25, 2004


Methought - "Liberal" NPR ? My ass. Fewer lies, more polish : not "Fox Lite" but, rather, "Fox Pro"
posted by troutfishing at 4:44 AM PST on August 25


My thoughts exactly.
Something hilarious I have to share from Josh Marshall:

Oh, that's beautiful.

The Bush campaign and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have so little in common that they share an election lawyer -- Florida recount veteran, Benjamin Ginsberg.

He must be over there to enforce President Bush's well-known opposition to 527s.


Lying and hypocrisy without bounds. What maroons!
posted by nofundy at 7:01 AM on August 25, 2004


I don't think that anyone who believes that gay marriage should be legal will trust this. It's just talk, ambiguous as that, and from the VP. If the Bush/Cheney administration really wanted or intended to legalize gay marriage, they would have done so.
posted by orange swan at 7:04 AM on August 25, 2004


Is it just me, or is this a really wishy-washy statement that seems more calculated to appease libertarians by dropping some talk about freedom, then deferring the question to talk about what Bush feels.

I actually don't see anything new here. The Right for a while has for a few years given up on bedroom behavior by admitting that gays and lesbians are going to have relationships no matter what. I've noticed a shift from "that's just wrong" to "just keep it in the closet."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:33 AM on August 25, 2004


Oops, wrong button.

He's not advocating for gay marriage here. He's aruging the party line. A social "don't ask/don't tell."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:35 AM on August 25, 2004


Bible-thumping, mouth-foaming social conservatism plays great in rural Oklahoma. GOP doesn't need to pander to them any further--they're up by like 25 points there.

Careful! I once made the mistake of suggesting that intelligence and empathy were liberal values by pointing out that the further from the center of the country you got, the more likely you'd run into either. The results weren't pretty.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:55 AM on August 25, 2004


"The language is vague, intentionally: does he support gay marriage? Well, he supports freedom of relationship--but whether or not all relationships are or should be marriages is left open, etc."

Exactly. Certainly, by Cheney's standards, sodomy laws are also an issue of state's rights. In other words, he supports the relationship, so long as the state supports it.

It would be amusing to see how many different colors Cheney would turn if asked about his opinions on sodomy laws in the debates or by a clever reporter. There's just no way that he could express an politically / ideologically-consistant opinion which wouldn't get him into serious trouble somewhere...
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:55 AM on August 25, 2004


Cheney is a babbler. Deconstructing anything he says is a waste. He also repeated recently his belief that Saddam had connections to Al Qaeda. See also his speech were he blasts Kerry for talking about a "sensitive" approach to the war on terror, after Bush had said the same thing. The man's only claim to fame is his skill at sleazy back room deals. If he's talking about no-bid contracts, or sweetheart deals for energy companies, it makes sense to listen to him. But about social issues? Not so much. The man lives in a bunker, and that's where his mental state resides as well.

"We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." - Dick "go fuck yourself" Cheney
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:26 AM on August 25, 2004


y6: nice to know you have access to secret intelligence than none of us have. Actually, I think you just have access to secret hubris and delusions of knowledge.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:34 AM on August 25, 2004


Well, it's not like Cheney's going to do anything about it. "Mr. Cheney noted that Mr. Bush sets policy for the administration." So he's even more of a schmuck for not taking an aggressive stand on an issue that might have a direct effect on his daughter.
posted by bitpart at 8:38 AM on August 25, 2004


OK, excellent article (more perspective on electorate-stroking) from the New Yorker here.
posted by lilboo at 8:39 AM on August 25, 2004


CD: Careful! I once made the mistake of suggesting that intelligence and empathy were liberal values by pointing out that the further from the center of the country you got, the more likely you'd run into either. The results weren't pretty.

Actually, your claim was not about intelligence and empathy, but about "Whereas the insular, never-been-out-of-their-own-state, under-educated, overly-religous folk who tend to fear cities and stay in the countryside -- they tend to vote Republican." You pretty much diserved to have your rhetorical ass handed to you on a platter for that one. Interestingly the only evidence you provided in that thread counters your claim in this thread. Note that the Mississipi valley and the upper midwest, pretty much the mean center of the population, went Democratic in the last election.

There are a number of whopping bits of prejudice in there:
liberal = empathetic
rural != liberal
therefore rural != empathetic.

The way I see it, conservativism has very little to do with a lack of empathy, and quite a bit more to do with what kinds of social support structures should exist. Should philanthropy and charity be the domain of churches, or government projects?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:45 AM on August 25, 2004


"nice to know you have access to secret intelligence"

Quite the contrary - I wear my hubris on my sleeve. And while I doubt I've said anything in this thread that would indicate or require secret intelligence, I can proudly say that every time I've disagreed with Cheney's prognostications (as with the above quote), he's turned out to be wrong, and I've been right. Every. Single. Time.

And this is a man who *does* have access to secret intelligence. Yet I still seem to know more about how the world works than he does. Which is my point - The man doesn't understand anything outside the boardroom. And bonehead quotes flood out of his mouth. Who gives a rat's ass what he has to say? He doesn't deserve the credit.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:56 AM on August 25, 2004


You pretty much diserved to have your rhetorical ass handed to you on a platter for that one.

Handed to me? As if I was wrong or something? Got news for you: cities win the intelligence game over their rural counterparts. While there are a few cities located on major waterways in the center of the country (namely, the Mississippi) for the most part, that means the two coasts. My original point was actually that the Red/Blue map of the United States from last election reflects this point beautifully. Landlocked, rural insular states tend to be conservative. They also tend to be filled with insular people without a world view who have never even seen the ocean, who have been out of their state perhaps once in their life (to a neighboring state), who are primarily homogenous in religious outlook and, frankly, skin color.

The way I see it, conservativism has very little to do with a lack of empathy, and quite a bit more to do with what kinds of social support structures should exist.

Please. Conservatives are the most selfish bastards on the planet. The irony is that the church is probably the only social support mechanism in more rural areas; unfortunately the message that got through wasn't "be kind to each other, be charitable to those less fortunate" but was instead the fundamentalist, evangelical "they're poor because they haven't chosen God, because they're wicked, because they had a child out of wedlock or had a gay lover."

Should philanthropy and charity be the domain of churches, or government projects?

Philanthropy should be second nature to kind, caring people. To those that don't want to play the charity ballgame, they should hung upsidedown from their ankles and shaken until all the loose money falls from their pockets.

</rant></opinion></sorry 'bout the derail>
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:27 AM on August 25, 2004


it's not secret intelligence to quote Cheney. What would be secret intelligence would be if Scooter Libby was really the Plame leaker on Cheney's orders, what was said at the energy task force meetings, how many calls he's made to Halliburton or the Pentagon re: contracts in Iraq, how many sizes too small his heart is, whether he's really an alien, whether he has a boy on the side in that hidden bunker.....
posted by amberglow at 9:29 AM on August 25, 2004


and they're putting a plank in the platform specifically calling for the amendment, and for an amendment outlawing abortion too.
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on August 25, 2004


well, see, it's like this. mcgreevy, up to his ears in a cesspool of corruption, screams "hey! i'm gay!" and what do you know? his popularity soars. cheney, barely afloat on a sea of energy 'policy' conspiracy, middle east 'hallibucks' and rumors of being dumped from the ticket, observes this phenomena and, wanting some of that action, meekly raises his hand and says "hey! um, what about me? i have a gay daughter." everyone pretty much shrugs. sucks to be you, dick.
posted by quonsar at 10:42 AM on August 25, 2004


CD: Handed to me? As if I was wrong or something?

Certainly, you failed to support any of your claims regarding education or how well traveled a person is. Your claims regarding education are directly refuted by the facts. Urban students are less likely to complete highschool than their rural counterparts. And while urban students are more likely to perusue college, they are also more likely to drop out of college.

Got news for you: cities win the intelligence game over their rural counterparts.

The best evidence I've found reveals a mean difference of 5 points or 1/3rd of a standard deviation. While statistically significant, that does not go as far as to establish cities as an urban elite and rural areas as a group of hidebound hayseeds. Of course, interpretations of this difference vary. It appears that IQ and most other standardized test insturments are culture and context sensitive raising some questions of validity. Are differences in test scores this small really due to a difference in g or is it an artifact of the test having been calibrated to specific cultural populations?

They also tend to be filled with insular people without a world view who have never even seen the ocean, who have been out of their state perhaps once in their life (to a neighboring state),

Um, do you have any evidence for this beyond your own personal bigotry? (And an interesting non-sequitor here, are you now going to claim that having seen an ocean results in a change in political outlook?) I personally don't know of anyone who has not visited both coasts at least once, and I know quite a few people who have traveled overseas for either work and pleasure.

who are primarily homogenous in religious outlook and, frankly, skin color.

Oh yes, the wonderful ocean-front property of New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona where there is a complete absence of Hispanic and Native American populations. Or the beautiful beaches of Arkansas and Mississippi where the people are lilly white as far as you can see. The myth that there exist no sizable ethnic minority populations outside of the urban coasts just does not fly. More importantly, it blinds us to the fact that there is far more going in when we talk about race and ethnicity in America than what we see in urban areas.

Religion is an interesting duck. It seems that Indiana, Idaho, Arizona, and Michigan are less religious than NY or MA.

Please. Conservatives are the most selfish bastards on the planet. The irony is that the church is probably the only social support mechanism in more rural areas; unfortunately the message that got through wasn't "be kind to each other, be charitable to those less fortunate" but was instead the fundamentalist, evangelical "they're poor because they haven't chosen God, because they're wicked, because they had a child out of wedlock or had a gay lover."

This seems to be a huge overgeneralization, and lets just focus specifically on the gay rights claim. I'm NOT a Christian and I find it to be a huge whopping fallacy to make the claim to a unified Christian condemnation of lesbigays given that two large denominations may be facing a scism over issues such as celebration of gay relationships, and acceptance of lesbigay people in the clergy. I do speaker's panels with a lot of other lesbigay people and just in terms of anecdotes, I would say about half didn't change their congregation after coming out and were accepted.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2004


Vice President Dick Cheney offered a defense of the rights of gay Americans on Tuesday, declaring that "freedom means freedom for everyone" to enter "into any kind of relationship they want to."


GOP Platform Pushes for Gay Marriage Ban

"Republicans endorsed an uncompromising stand against gay marriage Wednesday while struggling to accommodate the views of activists who declared that such a hard line could cost the GOP the election.

"A panel made up largely of conservative delegates approved platform language that calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and opposes legal recognition of any sort for gay civil unions."


~sigh~

It's not clear to me whether Republicans are born with two mouth holes through which they may talk, or whether they get that plastic surgery done when they join up.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:01 PM on August 25, 2004


Just to add to add some detail to KJS' skewering of CD:

As someone living in a coastal city, I can tell you that the mythical New York Liberal is just that, a myth. SoHo, The Upper West Side, and Tribeca are not the entire city. In fact, they get their supposed radical, edgy charachter predominately from drama club kids from midwestern suburbs who migrate to the city to remake it in their own image.

Trust me, you could probably divide NYC into red and blue neighborhoods. Areas like Marine Park, Bensonhurst, Kew Gardens, and Bay Ridge are as close knit and insular as any village in Arkansas, and there are neighborhoods in other supposedly blue cities that are similar. Yes, there's a lot of ethic diversity in big cities but these diverse ethnic groups tend to splinter off into ethnic hamlets, and many of these groups tend to be highly religious and somewhat socially conservative as well.

CD's answer shows a lot of self-congratulation and simpleminded wishful thinking, (NTM elitism), but very little honest analysis.
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on August 25, 2004


Eeeeg. Just as another thought, one of the reasons why CD pisses me off so much is because with friends like him, who needs enemies? I've been involved in gay rights activism in the middle of a red state for, wow, almost 15 years now. Yes Virginia, there are lesbigay people who live outside of New York and San Francisco. Some of us even like it out here. There is the entire range of attitudes ranging from open support, don't ask/don't tell, to outright hostility. There is even gay-positive clergy who try to push their congregations on baby-steps to more acceptance.

I am so damn sick tired of people who crow about how nice and wondeful their costal urban utopias are and then talk about those of us who live in "flyover country" without really understanding what actually goes on out here.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:36 PM on August 25, 2004


Hey, KJS, happen to notice where I live? Dead-center "flyover country."

Certainly, you failed to support any of your claims regarding education or how well traveled a person is.

No, this is one of those mini-surveys I've done since moving here that wasn't funded by any particular organization. If you doubt me, come to Nebraska my friend. Ask ten people if they've ever seen the ocean. Nine of them will say no. This isn't some statistic I've made up, it's a real question I ask real people I meet. People out here are from here, live here, and die here. Generalization? Damned straight. But my personal experience with people out here bears it out.

Now, you might not think that has any bearing on their political outlook. You might think there's no "positive analysis" that directly correlates how likely it is that a person has travelled outside of their own country to the likelihood that they'd, say, support a war in a foriegn country who's people, culture and ideals they have no freakin' clue about, and who are insultated by so much land and have nothing worth bombing to validate any kind of fear of a plane flying into them.

I tend to think that being surrounded by people of different nationalities, races, religions, and the like gives one an appreciation of differences. That doesn't mean it's all racial harmony in NYC, jonmc, but having lived in both places I can tell you that it's different living in a homogenous society.

And yes, I said homogenous. Though I suppose the 7% of people who aren't white in my state does constitute a sizable minority population. But most of the Native Americans that live here stay primarily in their own communities due to outside racism and extreme poverty they tend to face. That leaves a couple of percentage points for the Hispanic community -- primarily migrant farm hands -- again, not exactly mixing it up.

I am so damn sick tired of people who crow about how nice and wondeful their costal urban utopias are...

Please. You're from Indiana. You've got cities. You've got minorities. Come to Big Red Country some time and you'll understand true fear.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:19 PM on August 25, 2004


jonmc: Good point, my sister has noticed a similar clustering effect in Chicago. IMNSHO, we need fewer gay ghettos and more gay neighbors.

Yes, Virginia there are gay rights advocates in Arkansas as well. It's not all hayseeds and klan wannabes. (For another example of bible-belt liberal activism, there is the Southern Poverty Law Center out of Montgomery that tracks hate groups.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:19 PM on August 25, 2004


The plural of "anecdote" is not "data". Just saying.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 8:56 PM on August 25, 2004


I do speaker's panels with a lot of other lesbigay people and just in terms of anecdotes

"lesbigay"? Is that a... subliminal suggestion?
posted by soyjoy at 9:26 PM on August 25, 2004


CD: If you doubt me, come to Nebraska my friend.

Have you considered that it might be a fallacy to generalize from Nebraska to other rural states? Checking out the maps, the upper planes are very different from the Great Lakes states, the rural South East, or the South West. But yes Virginia, there are gay rights resources even in Nebraska.

Please. You're from Indiana. You've got cities. You've got minorities.

Omaha and Lincoln are certainly not villiages by any stretch of the imagination. (Except to the sort of person who picks and choses the definition of "city" to meet their agenda.) However, again you need to avoid generalization and take a look at geography. A large chunk of Indiana's minority population is concentrated in the industrial rust belt due to 20th century urban migration.

soyjoy: "lesbigay"? Is that a... subliminal suggestion?

An old well-used contraction.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:02 AM on August 26, 2004


KJS - Omaha and Lincoln are also the only cities in the state. The next couple of cities come in at around 50,000 people. Then there's another huge dropoff to about 25,000. The median population of all the towns in the state is 700.

700 people.

Now, it might be a fallacy to generalize my observations about Nebraska versus New York City or Boston, but having lived in all these places, and futher, having at least visited more than 3/4ths of the other states in the U.S., there are some fairly obvious patterns that emerge. The most Republican states in the nation (Idaho, Utah, Nebraska) also have some of the smallest median town population sizes (i.e. "rural").

But beyond statistical data, I urge you to actually visit these states and talk to regular folk. I work at a rural development non-profit, and I have met a wide array of characters -- entrepreneurs, politicians, but mostly plain, ordinary folk. And I am consistantly amazed at their insular nature.

Case in point: I met a Vietnam vet in a bar in a town the size of my car's trunk. He works at the state pen, used to work at Leavenworth in Kansas. He was lamenting about how his benefits had been cut, his prescription drug costs have gone through the roof, he was having a hard time just making ends meet -- and yet when I asked him, "So, who you voting for?" he almost embarassingly says under his breath, "Well, you know, Bush."

Just about every single policy that our president has implemented in the past four years has hurt this guy. And he knows Bush is a deserter and Kerry a war hero (yada yada) -- yet he has resigned himself to doing what he's always done. That's how people work around here. They just do what they've always done, reason be damned.

You can call that "simple town ways" or "conservative nature" but I call it stupid. To ignore the reality of your situation because, well shucks, we've always done it this way... that's dumb. And that's the mindset you'll find all over these small towns. I could go on and on about almost any aspect -- the war in Iraq ("Kill the towel-heads, they bombed New York"), homosexuals ("What's next, marrying your pets?"), etc., etc.

Now, I know Republicans in New York City. There are plenty of 'em. And it makes perfect sense to be a Republican in New York City. Figure the average salary of a Republican in NYC is nearing 6 digits (more thanks to tax cuts), with a bevy of i-bankers (with stock they no longer have to pay dividends tax on), and a considerable group of old-money folks (that can pass their cash on to the next generation without Estate tax worries) and it makes sense to vote for Bush.

But these rural people are voting for him even though his policies are directly hurting them. Much the same way they pack (literally PACK) the local (within 100 miles) Wal-Mart instead of shopping on their own Main St., yet wonder why all the local shops are closing up. And wonder what they can do to keep their property values from plummeting. Also related, these are the kinds of people that fill their pie-hole with fatty, super-sized foods every day, then drive everywhere instead of walking the two blocks to "downtown", then buy hundreds of dollars in diet foods, diet aids, diet books and diet tapes each year.

Abject, complacent stupidity. These people are the reason we are the laughing stock of the rest of the 1st world. They will be the ruin of this nation.

Now, I understand that I come across as rather harsh, and that I don't normally reel paragraph upon paragraph in order to nicely work the masses into believing me. I used to. But I'm sick and tired of it. I'm also sick and tired of people hiding behind scholasticism -- i.e., "Well, show me some statistics and maybe I'll believe you." I used to be like that. Then I realized that, frankly, the only knowledge you can ever really trust is the kind that comes from direct experience. The rest is just hearsay. So I've made it pretty much my life's goal to get as much direct experience as possible and make up my own mind about things. I really, honestly, sincerely urge you to do the same -- which means, pretty much ignoring everything I've said here. I accept that.

This country has too many people that don't go out and find the truth for themselves, and rely on second and third-hand information coming from unreliable sources that do not have your best interest in mind. I have a feeling that if more people expressed even basic critical thinking skills, we wouldn't have gone to war with Iraq, we certainly wouldn't have voted for GW... argh. And here I am ranting and raving to myself, because nobody visits dead threads, anyway.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:28 PM on August 26, 2004


« Older Cat Spiders!   |   Medal tally by world population Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post