When Will Ford's Political Opportunism Be Framed By A Reminder Of GOP Claims That He Was Only So Homophobic To Cover Up His Own Tendencies?
My favorite tweets this morning were the above from New York radio host Mike Signorile concerning reactionary Tennessee Democrat Harold Ford's lust for political office. This morning's Murdoch-owned NY Post announced that Ford, a career-long vicious homophobe, now supports-- not forced "cures," but... gay marriage. Earlier today a conservative DWT reader, DocWeasel, commented, weasel-like, that "Not only did Dems NOT free the slaves, they opposed '60s Civil Rights reform in much larger percentages than Republicans. If not for Republican votes, Civil Rights reforms under LBJ would not have passed." As I responded, he's correct. This has been a battle between progressives and conservatives, not between the shifting corporate parties. I remember as a school boy how there were so many southern Democrats fighting their party when it came to Civil Rights in the '60s. All that southern Democratic racist scum-- almost every single one of them-- joined the GOP, from Strom Thurmond, Phil Gramm, and Jesse Helms to Richard Shelby and Sonny Perdue. Parker Griffith is the latest of the breed. Their departure helped solidify the progressive nature of today's Democratic Party and the embrace they got from Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes absolutely defined the GOP as the party of racism, bigotry and hard core, unchallengable conservatism, a trend that began taking root in the 1920s. When conservative Democrats started abandoning the Democratic Party, they left Harold Ford, Jr. behind. African-American conservatives were not welcome. So he worked against progressive values inside the House Democratic caucus (and as a commentator on Fox and other right-wing TV programs), making common cause with the GOP on issue after issue. Take a look:
And here's Ford expressing outrage in a 2006 campaign ad that the Republicans had accused him of being pro-gay:
Today's Post reports that it's "another sign of his interest in running against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in this year's Democratic primary, [that] ex-Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. publicly said for the first time that he was in favor of same-sex marriage."
"He supports gay marriage, in the interest of fairness and equality," Ford spokesman Davidson Goldin told The Post.
Ford backed up that statement himself this morning on the "Today Show."
Host Matt Lauer asked, "So you're now in favor of same sex marriage?"
"Civil unions and same-sex marriage, yes," Ford said.
When Ford was still in the House, he was one of only 36 Democrats to vote for the blatantly homophobic Federal Marriage Amendment. The bill failed, 27 Republicans refusing to go along with the homophobia that so enchanted Ford and so many Blue Dogs. Among the Democrats who joined Ford in crossing the aisle that Sept 30, 2004 day were many of the Democrats who have been crossing the aisle to wreck President Obama's agenda for change this year: Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR), Allen Boyd (Blue Dog-FL), Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (Blue Dog-SD), Colin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC), Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT), Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN), Lincoln Davis (Blue Dog-TN), etc.
During his failed 2006 Senate campaign, Ford, now the president of the reactionary DLC, Ford thought it appropriate to jump into the New Jersey judicial ruling that favored same sex marriage. For no reason at all other than ugly politics, Ford issued a statement denouncing the New Jersey judges. On July 19 of that year he proudly voted for a constitutional amendment to forever ban same sex marriage. Only the 34 most viciously, hysterically anti-gay Democrats (including Ford) voted for it. It failed 236-187, largely because 27 Republicans deserted their party to vote with the Democrats.
It also should be noted that Ford's reactionary credentials-- and hypocrisy-- are not just centered on his homophobia. He's been an anti-Choice fanatic for his entire political career... and, as you can see from the video below, proud of it:
The retweet from Blogdiva goes right to the point of Ford's impending candidacy. It's all about the benjamins. The millionaire fundraisers who are encouraging Ford to run-- who all talk among each other but with no one else in the real world-- like the idea of Democrats who vote like Republicans. That's why they financially support the DLC, the corporately-oriented Insiders that Ford heads. Yesterday's NY Times emphasized the difficulties Gillibrand is facing because of the big money backers behind Ford. Ellen Malcolm, president of Emily’s List, takes the point that Ford's race is of great service to conservatives because progressives can "ill afford an expensive primary fight," which would be of great benefit to whichever rightist the GOP eventually vomits up to run against Gillibrand. Meanwhile, don't put it past "Fancy Ford" to dig up the old Republican accusations that he was so hysterically anti-gay to cover up his own bisexual tendencies. Now, he's liable to start floating them and whispering that he really is!