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Monday, January 30, 2006
Does Being Gay Make You an Enemy of the People?

The leftist coalition in America is in tatters. Defeated, desperate, and despondent, Democratic strategic planners look forward to the upcoming battle in November with joy. The plan is to overturn the Republican hegemony in the Congress; and if not overturn, then seriously cripple the ability of the Republican party to rule. The Democrats chances of doing so seem better than ever. As ABC News reports:
Americans — by a 16-point margin, 51 to 35 percent — now say the country should go in the direction in which the Democrats want to lead, rather than follow Bush. That's a 10-point drop for the president from a year ago, and the Democrats' first head-to-head majority of his presidency.

The Republican Party is feeling the pinch as well. The Democrats lead them by 14 points, 51 to 37 percent, in trust to handle the nation's main problems, the first Democratic majority on this question since 1992. And the Democrats hold a 16-point lead in 2006 congressional election preferences, 54 to 38 percent among registered voters, their best since 1984.

Independents — quintessential swing voters — prefer the Democrats' direction over Bush's by 51 to 27 percent, and favor the Democrat over the Republican in congressional races by 54 to 31 percent (the latter result is among independents who're registered to vote.).

Naturally, as the election cycle approaches Democrats are searching for someone in their coalition to blame. The going theory for 2004 was that African-Americans failed to mobilize to clinch Democrat majorities in states like Ohio, which enjoy Democrat senators. Even if this theory is true, left-leaning political blacks have little reason to vote for Democrats if race is their primary concern; the Democrat party offers an equal amount of benefits as the Republicans: nothing. Moreover, in places where Democrats enjoy political hegemony, like in Louisiana, the Democrat leaders scheme to remove underclass blacks from New Orleans.
"The mostly African-American neighborhoods of New Orleans are largely underwater, and the people who lived there have scattered across the country. But in many of the predominantly white and more affluent areas, streets are dry and passable. Gracious homes are mostly intact and powered by generators. Yesterday, officials reiterated that all residents must leave New Orleans, but it's still unclear how far they will go to enforce the order."

"The green expanse of Audubon Park, in the city's Uptown area, has doubled in recent days as a heliport for the city's rich -- and a terminus for the small armies of private security guards who have been dispatched to keep the homes there safe and habitable. Mr. O'Dwyer has cellphone service and ice cubes to cool off his highballs in the evening. By yesterday, the city water service even sprang to life, making the daily trips to his neighbor's pool unnecessary. A pair of oil-company engineers, dispatched by his son-in-law, delivered four cases of water, a box of delicacies including herring with mustard sauce and 15 gallons of generator gasoline."

How do they want the city rebuilt?

"The power elite of New Orleans -- whether they are still in the city or have moved temporarily to enclaves such as Destin, Fla., and Vail, Colo. -- insist the remade city won't simply restore the old order. New Orleans before the flood was burdened by a teeming underclass, substandard schools and a high crime rate. The city has few corporate headquarters.

"The new city must be something very different, Mr. Reiss says, with better services and fewer poor people. "Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way: demographically, geographically and politically," he says. "I'm not just speaking for myself here. The way we've been living is not going to happen again, or we're out."

The Village Voice provides similar forecasts:
Mike Howells, of the public housing rights group C3/Hands Off Iberville, estimates that 3,750, or about half of the city's previous number of public housing units, are either habitable or can easily made so (this does not include the projects like Lafitte with serious flooding). And yet only a few dozen units, at a senior citizens' development, have been officially reopened. This at a time when the Gulf Coast director of FEMA, Thad Allen, is telling the New York Times, "Our No. 1 priority is housing, our No. 2 priority is housing, and after that, at No. 3, we'd put housing."

At the moment, public housing residents or those with Section 8 housing vouchers who wish to return to the city are being asked to register with FEMA and wait for rental assistance, as though they were still evacuated.

Comments by U.S. Representative Richard Baker of Baton Rouge and Alphonso Jackson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, suggest a different motivation besides safety for changing the locks on New Orleans' 10 public housing projects. "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did," Baker was overheard telling lobbyists in September, as originally reported in the Wall Street Journal. Jackson predicted to the Houston Chronicle that those who return to the city will be just 35 to 40 percent black, saying, "New Orleans is not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again."

The Democrats, however, are tired of blaming the failure of blacks to turn-out and vote, and have instead targeted the gays as the source of Democrat electoral woes.
Frank called San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s official civil disobedience an “illegitimate act,” said that “nobody thinks what they’re seeing here is marriage,” and that, come springtime, “we’re going to have actual marriage in Massachusetts.”

“No, no, we’re going to follow the law,” he said as he went back inside.

This week Frank kept up his criticism of Newsom, now blaming San Francisco’s 37-year-old mayor, at least in part, for John Kerry’s defeat last Tuesday. Frank said unequivocally that he favors gay marriage.

“Being for same-sex marriage is like being for sunshine in Florida,” he said. But in the places where mayors acted in defiance of their state laws, like San Francisco, Portland, Oregon and New Paltz, New York, the gay rights movement “took the political flak but with no gain,” he said, as those marriages were soon halted by courts.

After Kerry’s defeat, and with the success of anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendments in 11 states on the same day, Frank said that Newsom’s actions accomplished nothing but to inflame opposition.

“It’s cumulative,” Frank told Gay City News this Tuesday. “The more you do, the more opposition you provoke. Why not just concentrate on the fights you can win? What Newsom did was to feed the flames of fear.”

What exactly are the fights that the Democrats are winning? They haven't persuaded any Republicans to prevent a gross expansion of executive power through either Congressional power or the judiciary. The Democrats largely supported the war in Iraq and provided little by way of anti-war debate. The Democrats supported the Patriot act, and, for the brief time in which they were in control of the Senate (from Summer 2001 to Fall of 2002) did nothing to stop Bush's tax cuts or spending. There's has been a load of crap argument floating around that the Democrats are insufficiently moral to inspire the American, and that the morality focus of the 2004 election swung it in the Republicans's favor. Lucky, the Economist verifies that less voters in 2004 voted on "moral issues."

Some Democrat woman, named Molly Ivins, recently declared that she will not support Hilary Clinton for president. Not addressing the fact that Clinton understands that health disparities are just another way the poor get screwed over in America, and that you can't cut domestic political support on troops while at war, Ivins' tirade harps about being deceived by Bush as the main reason not to support Clinton. She doesn't mention the struggle for gay civil rights, the ethnic cleansing and militarization of New Orleans, or the unchecked presidency. If this is the best the Democrats can offer, maybe we should start voting Libertarian. (The Libertarian party was probably started with this thought: "Hey, let's get a bunch of rich people together and defend capitalism while calling it justice." At least they're honest.) Even the media has stopped reporting on the Katrina disaster, the rampant land speculation, and all the homeless families with children whose quality of life worsens everyday.

A few Democrats get the message that being pushovers is no way to win an election.
[O]n December 6 of this year, San Francisco’s gay Assemblyman Mark Leno, a Democrat, the chair of the legislature’s five-member lesbian and gay caucus, still plans to reintroduce his “Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act” a bill that would legalize gay-marriage in California, regardless of what the court decides.

Of Newsom’s actions, Leno said, “He did the right thing for the right reason.”

When he introduced his bill last session, an election year, it failed in committee. But this year he has the support of powerful Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and about 30 other legislators.

Without the ceremonies occurring simultaneously in San Francisco, Oregon and elsewhere, Leno said, “I would have been just another crazy San Francisco legislator trying to change the world. We would not have made the progress we made.”

“This is now a nationally recognized civil rights movement, and we have Mayor Newsom to thank for that,” he said.

“It’s my conviction that if [the Democratic] party nationally were to embrace the issue of marriage equality,” Leno continued, “proclaim loudly and repeatedly that a core moral value of our party is equal justice under the law, we would attract more support. We would win.”