Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Which 2 House Dems Were Eager To Go On Record As Anti-Gay-- And Which Republicans Wanted To Be On Record As Less Bigoted Towards The LGBT Community?


Congress' ugliest Member, Dan Lipinski (D-IL) will never be able to use gay panic as a defense for his vicious homophobia

Everyone was cheering this week when 4 conservative Democratic senators, Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Warner (VA), John Tester (MT) and Mark Begich (AK), [UPDATE: and Kay Hagan (NC)] finally came up, tepidly, with the courage to come out in favor of marriage equality. That's nice. I wish they weren't so late to the party. Even Rob Portman (R-OH) came first. Needless to say, none of the GOP congressional closet cases-- Lindsey Graham (SC), Tim Scott (SC) and Miss McConnell (KY) in the Senate and only-god-knows how many in the House-- are supporting marriage equality. Many of them, take Patrick McHenry (NC), Aaron Schock (IL) and Trent Franks (AZ) for example, are virulently opposed, hoping that they can hide behind a policy of steadfast homophobia without anyone back home remarking on the grotesque hypocrisy. There are only 9 House Republicans who don't have a zero lifetime ProgressivePunch score on crucial LGBT roll calls: libertarians Justin Amash (MI) and Jimmy Duncan (TN), mainstream conservatives Richard Hanna (NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Jim Sensenbrenner (WI) and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), and libertarian-leaning teabaggers Jason Chaffetz (UT), Tom McClintock (CA), and John Campbell (CA). None of them have remotely pro-gay records. But none have zeroes like the rest of the House Republicans.

Now I'm wondering how many libertarian-oriented Republicans in Congress are ready to just tell their Establishment colleagues-- if not the religionist nuts in the caucus-- to just leave it alone and stop inserting Big Government into people's private lives. Indiana Republican Todd Young doesn't ever step out of line. He's the ultimate dull backbencher who does whatever he's told by the leadership in the hope that no one ever notices him and tries to take away his cushy new job. This year his ProgressivePunch crucial vote score is a nice round ZERO. A former Heritage Foundation staffer, rocking boats is not what Todd Young does. So it was with some surprise that he actually spoke up on gay marriage this week-- and not in the usual homophobic way most Indiana Republican elected officials do. Explaining that it may not be appropriate for government to sanction marriage-- gay or straight-- in the first place, he insists that his priority remains addressing the nation's budget issues-- he's an Austerity freak-- as opposed to social issues like same-sex marriage. "It's my hope that we would leave these things to the states rather than one side prevailing over another. We'll see if that is exactly what the law says. It's the Supreme Court's job to decide what in fact our fundamental law, the Constitution, requires. Of course all of us will abide by that decision." He almost sounds like Robert Reich.
We’re still legislating and regulating private morality, while at the same time ignoring the much larger crisis of public morality in America.

...The new House Republican budget gets a big chunk of its savings from programs designed to help poor kids. The budget sequester already in effect takes aim at programs like Head Start, designed to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children.

Meanwhile, the morality brigade continues to battle same-sex marriage.

Despite the Supreme Court’s willingness to consider the constitutionality of California’s ban, no one should assume a majority of the justices will strike it down. The Court could just as easily decide the issue is up to the states, or strike down California’s law while allowing other states to continue their bans.

Conservative moralists don’t want women to have control over their bodies or same-sex couples to marry, but they don’t give a hoot about billionaires taking over our democracy for personal gain or big bankers taking over our economy.

Yet these violations of public morality are far more dangerous to our society because they undermine the public trust that’s essential to both our democracy and economy.

...Why doesn’t the morality brigade complain about the rampant greed on the Street that’s already brought the economy to its knees, wiping out the savings of millions of Americans and subjecting countless others to joblessness and insecurity-- and seems set on doing it again?

What people do in their bedrooms shouldn’t be the public’s business. Women should have rights over their own bodies. Same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

But what powerful people do in their boardrooms is the public’s business. Our democracy needs to be protected from the depredations of big money. Our economy needs to be guarded against the excesses of too-big-to-fail banks.

With most Americans supporting marriage equality-- and a plurality of Republicans under the age of 50 backing it-- GOP legislators have to figure out how to pivot on the issue before they look even more out of touch with the zeitgeist than usual. I suspect more and more Republicans are looking towards Rand Paul (R-KY) for guidance on this kind of thing-- and he's tap dancing.
In recent years, Senator Rand Paul has called for abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service. He’s urged an audit of the Federal Reserve. He’s questioned the constitutionality of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

He’s even suggested there’s a risk Americans could soon become like Germans of the “Weimar Republic in 1923” and need wheelbarrows full of money to buy groceries because of hyperinflation triggered by excessive debt. Adolf Hitler, Paul warned, gained power as a result.

“We’re on that road, if we’re not careful,” he said during an April 2010 campaign stop.

Now that he’s considered a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, Paul isn’t emphasizing any of that... Paul says he’d like to see marriage eliminated from tax and insurance laws. Instead, he’d promote the use of contracts between adults as the marital bond for legal and tax purposes.

“I don’t want the government promoting something I don’t believe in,” Paul, who supports the religious definition of marriage between a man and a woman, said during a March 24 Fox News interview. “But I also don’t mind if the government tries to be neutral on the issue.”
The most recent vote regarding the LGBT community in the House was a failed amendment to the Violence Against Women Act offered by Washington homophobe Cathy McMorris Rodgers on February 28. She tried to would strip the bill's protections for American Indians, immigrants, and members of the LGBT community from the anti-domestic violence bill. Sixty Republicans and all but two Democrats--vicious homophobes Dan Lipinski (IL) and Mike McIntyre NC)-- teamed up to block McMorris Rodgers' amendment. It went down to defeat 166-257. The aforementioned Todd Young voted for it, as did Boehner's leadership team-- Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA), Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA), Conference Chair McMorris Rodgers (WA), Conference Vice Chair Lynn Jenkins (KS), Conference Secretary Virginia Foxx (NC), Policy Chair Jim Lankford (OK), NRCC Chair Greg Walden (OR) and committee chairs Fred Upton (MI), Paul Ryan (WI), Buck McKeon (CA), Frank Lucas (OK), Hal Rogers (KY), John Kline (MN), Jeb Hensarling (TX), Mike Rogers (MI), Mike McCaul (TX), Ed Royce (CA), Goodlatte (VA), Pete Sessions (TX), Lamar Smith (TX), Sam Graves (MO), Bill Shuster (PA), and Jeff Miller (FL). The only members of Team Boehner voting with the Democrats were Darrell Issa (CA), closet case Dave Camp (MI) and Doc Hastings (WA). Another Republican closet case who, uncharacteristically, voted NO, was Patrick McHenry (NC).

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At 6:25 PM, Anonymous me said...

Isn't it amazing how many of our "leaders" are suddenly changing their minds about gay marriage? I don't suppose it has anything to do with the fact that Anti-Gay has become a losing position.

It just goes to show that those assholes have no principles and never did. Other than protecting their cushy jobs, that is.

How many other of their firmly-held values are so malleable? All of them, I suspect.

That means that if we as a people DEMAND the return of the estate tax, a fairer tax system, more jobs, and Medicare For All, we can have them. And if we don't, we won't.


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