CNN made a major contribution last night to addressing the issue of gay, lesbian and transgender rights, essential for social justice.
Nine Presidential candidates had a half hour each to answer questions and make clear their views on this crucial topic.
Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and Tom Steyer participated between 730 pm and midnight.
Bernie Sanders did not participate due to his recent heart attack, and Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang claimed scheduling issues made it impossible for them to be present.
Particularly impressive, in the mind of this blogger and author, was Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay Presidential candidate, who has made a good impression on many people on many different issues, and has been successful in raising millions of dollars in the third quarter of 2019, and is fourth in most polls.
But all of the candidates are open minded and tolerant, a stark difference from the evangelical right wing Christian view advocated by Vice President Mike Pence, and promoted by Donald Trump, despite his total lack of religiosity his entire life. Trump has ended the policy of tolerance of gays in the military, and has shown no willingness to have an open mind on gay rights, including judicial appointments of nominees clearly anti gay, using religion as an excuse for discrimination.
Recently under fireâ€”and deservedly soâ€”is Emmy-winning comedienne, actress, and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres.
DeGeneres attended at a recent NFL game with 43rd U.S. president George W. Bush.
DeGeneresâ€™s ABC sitcom â€œEllenâ€ (originally â€œThese Friends of Mineâ€) premiered 25 years ago, in 1994, and lasted until 1998. Her character Ellen Morganâ€™s coming-out episode, â€œThe Puppy Episode,â€ won DeGeneres and her co-writers the 1996â€“97 Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson won the comedy guest actress Emmy for the seriesâ€™ final season. DeGeneres has had her syndicated talk-show entertainment program since 2003.
I have not made a point of following DeGeneres for her politics. Whether she has endorsed people. But, as seen in this video, she mentions she is a liberal.
While he was in office as the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush not only exploited LGBT persons (one of whom is DeGeneres)â€”he worked to discriminate against them for the purpose of political and electoral gain. My home state is Michigan. In 2004, when Bush was re-elected and won the U.S. Popular Vote by +2.46 percentage points (it was George W. Bush 50.73% vs. John Kerry 48.27%), he tried to flip Michigan with a motivator being the ballot proposal to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage statewide. While John Kerry carried Michigan with 51 percent of the vote (a margin of nearly +3.50 percentage points), the ban passed with almost 59 percent. (It was passed in all the stateâ€™s counties.)
Jimmy Dore uses a number of accurate words to describe Ellen DeGeneres. But there is this an additional word which needs to be applied: offensive. Yes, Ellen DeGeneres is offensive.
In total agreement with you, D, on Ellen DeGeneres!
It was horrendous what George W. Bush did in the 2004 election cycle!
What he did in the 2004 election cycle is nothing compared to what he did after 9/11.
It would be nice if CNN or somebody ~ Anybody ~ would spend 4 1/2 hours asking the candidates about this nations’s $32 Trillion and growing national, sovereign debt; the scheduled, perpetual $1 Trillion annual federal deficits worked out between Trump and the Democratic leadership; and the looming bankruptcies of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
But that, of course, is not going to happen. For that would make the candidates actually have to think and talk about those Crises; which would make the American people actually have the opportunity to see, hear, and realize that none of the candidates have anything to say about the debt, the deficits, or the bankruptcies.
The road to Hitler was paved by the total collapse of the Weimar Republic’s financial and fiscal structure and system. Those who think that that can’t happen here are ignorant of the similarities between Germany in the 1920s and USA 100 years later.
But everybody’s cool on LGBT.
Or how about 4.5 hours on The Forever War, instead of the 10 minutes it’s received in the first three “debates.” Maybe they could ask all the candidates what they think of the following radically anti-War, radically anti-neocon/neo-liberal corporatist Democrat rant that explains what Peacemongers Obomber and his Secy State The Hillary helped accomplish: â€œThe United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE â€¦ IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.â€
Before we went to war in Iraq under the false pretense of “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” we went to war in Afghanistan under the false pretense that that country and those people had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.
And, of course, we thought we could succeed there where the USSR, the British Empire, Genghis Khan, and Alexander the Great had failed.
The simple fact of the matter, folks, is this: The United States of America is the biggest War Criminal of the 21st century.
And i hear absolutely nothing from the Democrats that is going to change that. They have all gone along with it all from the beginning: the AUMF, the USA PATRIOT Act, the perpetual funding of a War that is no closer to being won today than it was on 9/12. Just curious: [How’d Uncle Bernie vote on those matters?]
And none of this started with Trump. The Dems had their 8 years in the saddle, and accomplished even less than Cheney/Bush except to spend even more Blood and Treasure.
But, we got our 4.5 hours on LGBT, courtesy of CNN. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, in the real world, this was a full-blown disaster for the Democratic Party and every candidate who attended.
Winners: Sanders, Gabbard, Yang, Trump, and every GOP candidate nationwide.
None of the rest are viable candidates once the GOP starts making campaign ads out of that footage.
And there’s no upper limit to the political hay that can be made that the Democrats devote this kind of time and attention to a fringe constituency, while never holding a town hall about jobs and wages, which are what even Democratic base voters care about the most.
This just isn’t healthy for a political party. You simply cannot make a party with national appeal that also makes this a priority.
A nation full of people who are struggling to achieve physical and economic security is not going to be anywhere near as sympathetic to self-actualization concerns as Democrats think. They’re going to be quite hostile, in fact, that their concerns are marginalized for these concerns.
If your top priority is antiwar issues – and a very respectable top priority it is – the Democrats have nothing to offer you. Only among Republicans, if not universally, will you find any significant amount of agreement.
While conversing with the folks here yesterday it occurred to me that I’ve probably been to more antiwar rallies personally than the entire student body of whatever college the Professor teaches at. The way antiwar fell off the Democratic map entirely, the whole constituency voluntarily abandoned, is amazing to me.
I disagree with Ellen. I can’t be nice and respectful to Trump and his Trumpanzees.
Standing up for LGBT rights is not a fringe issue.
This was a town hall, devoted to a specific topic. Next week at the debate there will be discussions about jobs, healthcare, etc.
> Standing up for LGBT rights is not a fringe issue.
If you stop at the B, that’s correct. Add that T and you are well into fringe territory and start getting into things that even radical feminists are hostile to.
The thing with the prepubescent children who couldn’t possibly understand what “transgender” means is straight-up child abuse – Munchausen by proxy syndrome, plain as day.
This is “eat the babies” level fringe. This is not centrist at all.
If you are against transgender people, then the Republicans are the party for you. Democrats are not going to turn away from fighting for social justice issues.
I’m getting the hint she already votes Republican anyway.
The “anti-war” Republican she’s referring to is Rand Paul, who is an isolationist.
I don’t support isolationism. This article explains my reasons why.
We’re going to be offline for a while. Apparently, iTunes for Windows has a bug that allows hackers to install ransomware on computers. To fix the bug, we have to upgrade our iTunes software to version 12.10.1.
> If you are against transgender people
It’s not the people I’m against, it’s 1) the imposition on the rest of us to put up with this nonsense, and 2) the entertainment of a mental illness as a substitute for proper treatment.
And let’s be clear: transgenderism is a mental illness. One with a 50% suicide rate. You should not want anyone you care about to pursue it.
> Democrats are not going to turn away from fighting for social justice issues.
Then my hypothesis that there is no center-left is affirmed, because “social justice” literally comes right out of the Communist Manifesto.
>The â€œanti-warâ€ Republican sheâ€™s referring to is Rand Paul, who is an isolationist.
Mischaracterizing the policy as “isolationist” isn’t doing you any favors.
I remember when Democrats were vocally against playing World Police… it wasn’t THAT long ago. One of many principles they sacrificed at the altar of Obama worship.
Alexis, to say “social justice” comes out of the “Communist Manifesto” does not reflect well on you.
Who cares if it is mentioned in that document, as that does not mean “social justice” is not part of common decency and human compassion!
And we need that in America, if we are to be seen as a nation that is a model for the future!
Shaking my head! 🙁
“Social justice” is the abandonment of equal justice under law.
It is not a synonym for human decency and compassion, which have existed since the beginning of time and will exist when the “social justice” fad has run its course.
I see claims of being “center left” here, which makes the Communist Manifesto reference relevant – no one can credibly argue that Communism is centrist in any way.
Let’s be honest with each other. The Democratic Party today is far left, not center left. The center has been wholly abandoned.
You ladies guessed right. She’s a typical, right-wing bigot.
Let me try another approach. I’m going to treat “social justice” as a linguistic math problem.
If the term “social justice” is not entirely redundant and meaningless, it must by definition deviate from regular “justice”.
There must be some universe of situations where the outcome under “social justice” is *different* from the outcome from regular “justice”.
Therefore, the entire set of solutions where “social justice” deviates from regular “justice”, is unified by one property: that the outcomes produced are unjust.
Mathematically, “social justice” = “injustice”.
Alexis, you are totally off base.
The Democratic Party is center left, while the Republican Party is moving closer to Fascism.
You are indeed extremely right wing, which is your right, but you are distorted by right wing propaganda, including Fox News Channel, a total disgrace, so that truth and facts do not matter, and Shepard Smith, the one decent, honorable person at that channel, felt compelled to leave!
Speaking of Fox News, Shepard Smith has resigned.
I’m not extreme right at all. I’m mainstream right. Hell, I wrote the definition of the mainstream right, and applied it with historically unique effectiveness against Eric Cantor. If you would like to see the documentation I can provide it all.
There’s nothing extreme at all about what I propose. Equal justice under the rule of law used to be a bedrock principle of the Democratic Party, back when it was earning the goodwill so carelessly being misspent now. I was able to united the entire Virginia GOP under that banner of equal justice under law – the heart and soul of the Democratic Party I was once a member of.
Given that I was at ground zero, providing the central narrative that resulted in the most unexpected result in the history of elections, I just might have a little bit of an idea of what real voters actually want.
Alexis, by working against Eric Cantor, as horrific as he was, and promoting Dave Brat as his successor, is proof you are far right. Brat was a Tea Party whacko, and a disgrace to the occupation of college professor!
Brat was a true demagogue, thankfully defeated in 2018, by a moderate center left Democrat.
We will have to agree to disagree, but the Republican Party is far worse now than it was in the time of Eric Cantor!
Cantor was ejected from office for the most centrist of all reasons: corruption reform.
If that’s far right, you have a problem. Because I can build solid majorities on corruption reform in any electorate you give me.
As far as Brat being far right, that’s also a mischaracterization. His main platform was free markets – Wall Street reform. Complaints about bailouts to bankers while no one went to jail. Another position so centrist both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street were in complete agreement on it.
Here’s the mid-campaign narrative from 8 weeks before the vote… everybody who was anybody in the VAGOP read it. This exact same narrative, word for word, would have fit in just fine on the Socialist Worker’s website, or on virtually any website (while it was timely, anyway) dealing with the nexus of financial markets and politics.
Sure the rhetoric is flowery, but on the issues you cannot get more centrist than this… the whole message is stop the corruption, restore the rule of law. I would dare to declare that basic honesty in government must be a precisely centrist principle along any scale worth using to measure.
It’s not even a partisan message, and it can and SHOULD be tried in the Democratic Party too. You need it and if you fail to do it soon you will suffer under another Hillary Clinton nomination and further delay the party’s natural renewal cycle that Clinton has been strangling into submission for this electioncycle and the last.
In Minnesota, Trump Demonstrated His 2020 Strategy: Grievance and Racism
#Alexis: Well, i keep looking for a Democrat, Liberal, Progressive, or neo-proto-Socialist if they agree with the following statement, and the silence is almost deafening: “The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE…..IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE!”
I don’t know if you remember this, but the pre-Obama Democratic Party would have been all-in on that statement.
In fact, that sentiment (if not the exact phrasing) is what Obama ran on. That’s what he got the Nobel Prize for – the expectation that he would end the wars and bring the troops home.
But nope, he conned his antiwar supporters. Instead of stopping the wars they all continued, and new ones were added in Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine.
After 8 years of falling in line behind that, the Democratic Party position completely reversed into a neo-con like hawkishness. See how they profess deeper and more frequent concern for Kurds than the homeless in San Francisco.
Warrenâ€™s Marriage Equality Joke Was Brilliant. The Handwringing Over It Is Not.
The irony of Tom Nichols having written a book decrying â€œThe Death of Expertiseâ€ is that he maintains a large platform to wrongly opine on matters about which he has no relevant expertise. But itâ€™s not just Nichols: there is an entire network of commentators who continue to hold vaunted positions on editorial pages while advocating for debunked and discarded conventional wisdoms about politics in the 21st century.
The latest and more prominent example is the handwringing over Elizabeth Warrenâ€™s joke at a recent LGBTQ+ forum in Southern California:
During the CNN forum on LGBT issues on Thursday, Morgan Cox, the chair of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors, asked Warren how she would react to a supporter who said: â€œIâ€™m old-fashioned and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.â€
Warren replied: â€œWell, Iâ€™m going to assume itâ€™s a guy who said that. And Iâ€™m going to say, then just marry one woman. Iâ€™m cool with thatâ€¦Assuming you can find one.â€
The moment went viral almost instantly. Warrenâ€™s comedic timing was worthy of a stage professional, the zinger landing in a way that a transcript cannot do justice to. Like any good joke of its type, it went to a deeper truth that most â€œseriousâ€ people decline to discuss openly in polite society: that increasingly old-fashioned culturally conservative politics is speaking to the sort of man who rants angrily about women from basement webcams and selfie rants in SUVs, not to the well-adjusted man with healthy relationships. It was also deeply satisfying and validating not just for LGBTQ people across the country, but to all those who spent decades being maligned and marginalized in America as perverts and freaks outside the American mainstream. Marriage equality is the mainstream today, and those who continue to deny the fundamental rights of gay and gender-non-conforming people are not only out of step with the nationâ€™s politics and culture, but increasingly at risk of damaging their own personal relationships with decent people.
But almost as soon as the plaudits began, so too did the handwringing. A Washington Post piece called the celebrants of the moment â€œglitteratiâ€ while grousing that it could validate conservative concerns about her being â€œcondescending and dismissive.â€
Longtime Republican Tom Nichols then weighed in at USA Today, preposterously asking the rhetorical question â€œDo we still agree on beating Trump? After your LGBTQ forum, Iâ€™m not sure.â€ He adds: â€œRepublican culture warriors are lying in wait. Why let them divide us where we already agree?â€ and insists that Democrats are trying to lose the election for even holding an LGBTQ forum in the first place.
Not to be outdone, centrist columnist Michael Cohen tweeted that â€œWarrenâ€™s SSM quip made me chuckle but it came with a political downside.â€ Really?
To put it bluntly, there is no actual evidence for this nervous caterwauling that any person of real political expertise should listen to.
Marriage equality is now incredibly popular. One of the most recent polls on the subject showed 67% approval and only 28% disapproval. There are very few issues on which the public takes the conservative position over the liberal one by such lopsided margins, and in those rare cases there would not be even one public commentator stating with a straight face that a Republican political candidate should avoid marginalizing the few who disagree.
Second, is there anyone who believes that the sort of cultural conservative who actively holds a microminority 28% public opinion on a culture war matter isnâ€™t already maximally engaged on behalf of Trump and Republicans in general? Evangelical Christians are Trumpâ€™s hardcore base, the ones who come to his rallies and stick with him no matter what. They come out to vote in fair weather and foul, a big reason why they continue to exercise outsize political power despite their shrinking numbers. They are already as motivated as they possibly can be or ever will be. Donald Trump is their Flight 93 president, their final savior from the politically correct heathens on the road to what they hilariously see as the perdition of Western Judeo-Christian civilization. A jab from Elizabeth Warren is a tiny lava drop in the fiery ocean of their collective hatreds and resentments.
The last thing Democrats should be concerned about is the snowflake-like fragility of straight-white-male-evangelical egos. Rather, it is essential to marginalize their version of toxic Christianity from mainline faith groups, and work to normalize a healthier, less hateful form of masculinity to which disaffected young men can aspire. This can take the form of high-minded lofty speeches about hope and tolerance, but a good pointed joke at the expense of bigots can also work wonders as both to affirm those who have long faced discrimination, as well as to de-center those who would continue to oppress them given the chance.
But itâ€™s not just the bigots who need marginalization. The handwringers who continue to obsess over not riling them up, as if they still made up the contours of a conservative Silent Majority that simply no longer exists, should also be ignored and set aside in favor of those who understand the dynamics of America in the year 2020.