Although I'm sure it's politically motivated in a highly contentious election year, I want to go on record as being PROUD of my president for changing his stand on same-sex marriage. Let the fireworks begin!
Yes. I see your point and I totally agree. I hadn't looked at statistics lately, but it seems to me that marriage is a failing institution over all, at least in the straight community. Gays haven't had much of a chance to experience the legal dark side of that so the proverbial jury is still out.
When I was a young girl, marriage was my primary goal in life. It didn't happen for me. Meanwhile, I have watched my two sisters and now two nieces going through painful divorces. My gay nephew was married in California before Prop 8 was passed so he never had to get divorced when the relationship was over. He's now engaged to another man and waiting for the law to change back so they can marry. I am looking forward to that day.
Yet, as you have clearly pointed out, the blending of the civil and religious institutions of marriage into one catch-all right that excludes one portion of the population is very wrong. It's an example of "church and state" gone amok. Your solution of the civil and religious rights being separate makes total sense. I hadn't thought this way before I read your posts and it has opened up a new way of thinking for me. It's a new enough concept for me that I don't think I am saying everything clearly as yet, but I'll work on it. Thanks for putting your ideas out there!
The downsides to all of this right now, no matter which side you are on, is that 1) Its polarizing, there is no middle ground, and 2) its bringing out the non-supporters more than the supporters, which makes it a losing proposition for the President in the election.
According to a CBS poll released this morning, Obama's lead overall against Romney disappeared since the announcement, and is now down 3%, but within the margin of error.
On this subject alone (per the poll), only 1 in 4 are supportive of gay marriage, and 3 of 4 think he is doing just for a political position.
So, while it took guts for him to take that position, it might have just ended his presidency.
I do agree with his stance on the issue. However, I feel like it is nothing more than a re-election gimmick. I think the only reason he changed his stance is because he doesn't have a leg to stand on with his economic policies.
There's a tendency to analyze everything in politics as an "A or B" scenario these days--and that's a weak way of thinking. It's more likely Obama had a personal conviction on the issue AND he perceived it as a potential positive for his campaign. (It's also more than likely that he saw the real risks and was willing to make a historic concession for a civil rights issue.) When you consider Obama's character, his personal history and his often surprising disinclination for populist appeals, it doesn't seem very insightful to argue that his decision was *only* cynical strategy.
As Letterman said the other night, "What more do we need this man to do for us, honest to God?"
Ask people who are unemployed, under employed, have an underwater mortgage,/in foreclosure, student loan debt, catastrophic medical bills, etc. if they are concerned about this issue, whether gay people can get legally married. Most people have bigger concerns in their own lives. Legalizing gay (civil) marriage does not cost us any tax money. This is just a "wedge" social issue that the right-winger political consultants use to get middle and working class people to vote against their own economic interests. While the working/middle classes are debating gay marriage, the 1 percenters are stealing our tax money
@Matt -- I am interested in your answer to some questions without bringing in other subjects. I'm asking because I really want to know. Thanks.
Question 1: How does two people of the same sex being allowed to marry each other hurt you personally? What does it take away from you?
Question 2: If it is a re-election gimmick for Obama to say that he supports gay marriage, do you think it will work for Obama and gain him more votes? Will it work on you or your friends? How many people who were not planning to vote for Obama will now vote for him because of this gimmick, do you think?
No, that's not all you're "merely" pointing out, Matt. You're not just saying that this issue has stolen the spotlight; you're also claiming that Obama's stance was a cynical "gimmick." On top of that, you're also now critiquing Obamacare.
It stole the spotlight for one week. We have already moved on to dumbass Cubs owners and their bigoted hypocritical plan. Next week it'll be something else. It's a long election season. By the time the debates start it'll be back to the economy .
@Matt -- I think Romney is the one who is trying to distract us with untruths. He says "jobs, jobs, jobs" but what plan does he present? He says he will fix the economy, but the strategies he presents are those of Reagan and Bush that have only made things worse. The numbers of jobs Romney has said he added to the economy are gross exaggerations/lies. He has also said how much he enjoys laying off people from their jobs. Watch him next time he laughs on camera. Cover up his mouth and look at his eyes. They are not laughing at all. He gives me the creeps.
And claiming that Obamacare is going to cost nearly 1.76 trillion over the next decade is simplistic, inaccurate and irresponsible of you, Matt. This particular issue is even closer to my heart (literally) than gay marriage/union, since I'm about to join the ranks of the uninsured myself, because of a health precondition that is making it impossible for me to get private health insurance--even though I would have no trouble affording it. (I also can't get married, but that's considerably less of a concern to me.)
Here's a link to a piece that completely debunks your claim that Obamacare would contribute so drastically to budget costs (basically, you're citing an innacurate right-wing analysis being promoted by the Republican caucus that uses an artificial baseline of calculation for a number of social program cost calculations):http://tinyurl.com/7eodzht
You're also not considering the ongoing cost of having 40-50 million uninsured people (i.e., the people I'm about to join) continuing to get their medical care in hospital emergency rooms, a number that will only grow over time, since even as unemployment declines, fewer employers are providing health insurance: http://tinyurl.com/7wrq43j.
And according to Bloomberg (hardly a partisan source), repealing Obamacare would cost insurers $1 trillion over the same period you are citing: http://tinyurl.com/6us8nup.
But who do you think you are, throwing out bad statistics without even citing any sources? Are you a thinking, caring, reflexive member of this democracy, or a member of the resentful, nihilistic class?
ANYWAY......We are now being distracted from the original post. His coming out in support of gay marriage was a distraction for a week. If he was really using it for that purpose don't you think he would wait till september or october? Its a REALLY long time away and Americans have the attention spans of mice. Theres going to be A LOT more BIGGER distractions
Agreed, lets just make sure EVERYONE has the correct facts and then weight what is most important to you. I am Pro gay rights, pro choice, anti war and pro gun control therefore, I would NEVER vote republican. Thats what makes this country so great.
Mike, when you're debating someone and fail to acknowledge their arguments--or their critique of your own--in any way at all, and then you look up with fawn eyes and ask, "Are you mad?" that's kind of an adolescent thing to do, don't you think? What I'm mad about today is the health insurance market that is refusing to cover me. So when someone cites a grossly inaccurate argument against Obamacare (a program with its flaws, but nonetheless--in my opinion--a step in the right direction, in the face of an opposing party that will do nothing about the healthcare problem), yes, that makes me mad, too. And it annoys me that you're not offering more than vague, fluffy and ill-thought arguments. I'm annoyed that you're just not trying very hard to think and reflect as a political person.
When you cited the Republican policy committee website as your expert source on the failures of the Obama administration, well that's a little absurd, don't you think? About as absurd as if someone else linked to the Obama campaign website in attempting to argue the opposite. Almost none of the failures on that list you cited are credible as actual arguments against Obama. Gas prices? Really? And the fact that Obama couldn't completely turn the economy around in 4 years after the biggest recession in post-war history and two decades of rebellious corporate excess (permitted by both the Reagan and Clinton administrations) and in the face of rigorous tea party obstructionism, that's only a sign of his failure?
If you really want to critique Obama, talk about his bad record on personal liberties in the context of the war on terror. Blame him, if you want, for not increasing employment as fast as you want him to, or for his draconian imigration policies. Talk about his failure to reign in Wall Street. But cite something other than tea party talking points when you call him a failure. You're an intelligent human being, so let that show.
Carl, is it as adolescent as resorting to personal attacks? I have better things to do than dig up a bunch of sources up to your standards. Honestly, It was the 1st thing that popped up on a google search.
It wasn't my impression that I was resorting to personal attacks, Matt, but I'm sorry if that's how I came across. I thought I was criticizing your language and argument, not your person. But speaking of what's "personal," healthcare coverage is a very personal issue for some of us, and you seemed a little callous to that fact. Healthcare reform isn't just an ideological debate like any other; it's one of the most radically "personal" issues right now, because many people are finding themselves in situations where no matter what they do, their lives might be ruined due to lack of coverage. It's a subject that has always made me angry, even before I was completely taken by surprise to find myself looking at the prospect of being uninsured myself. But I know I'm capable of coming across a little strong sometimes. I don't feel hostility toward you or anything you've previously written here on EB, so we can shake hands and end the discussion--just promise me you'll take a little more time with your Googling in the future! (:
Our entire health insurance system discriminates against sick people and their employers. The escalating cost of health insurance is a tax on every job. The incentive is to send jobs offshore, lay people off, hire private contractors, temporary workers or reduce hours so employees are part-time. Furthermore, the dirty secret is to "dump" employees off of payrolls who have high medical bills, or who have family members on their health insurance plan with high medical bills. Another dirty secret: that employees with high medical bills become strangely unemployable. This system is unsustainable and cripples our economy. If we had Medicare for all, it would relieve employers and employees of this unbearable burden, then employers could afford to hire new employees, those employees would pay taxes, buy goods and services, stimulate the economy and there's the economic recovery right there. Medicare for all should be paid for by taxes, spreading the cost over the entire population the same way all of us pay taxes for public schools whether we have children in school or not.
What about what happened to the workers of GST Steel? Romney came in, ravaged it with debt, and it ended up filing for bankruptcy. 750 workers lost their jobs and health care. Romney's managers left their pension fund $44 million short. The 113 year-old steel mill closed its doors and Romney's company made a 150% profit on their initial investment - much like he would do with America.
I don't see it as an election gimmick. He didn't want to take an official position on the issue at all. He feared alienating moderates and swing voters. It would have been safer for him to keep his cards close to his vest on this one, but Joe Biden w/ his personal statement forced the president's hand. It did take some guts to do it. I respect him for that. I do agree though that the vast majority of voters care about the economy, not gay marriage. Yes, the economy/ unemployment and associated problems are a mess. But let's not forget how things got this way. It didn't happen on Obama's watch. He inherited this mess from his predecessor. If Obama could put all the remedies he wants in place, it would take years before the benefits would take hold--that is, IF, they were to work as hoped. But he can't push through the changes he would like to see because the Republicans have stymied his efforts at every turn. We will never know how well his desired changes would have worked. I will tell you this though: if Mitt Romney is elected, who can say how much worse things will get? The small gains and inroads to recovery there has been will be washed out completely. I greatly fear what's coming if the same mindsets that brought on this calamity get full control back.
@ Marianne....I signed on to EB over two years ago to give me info, not everyones political opinions and I'm sorry if that was a riddle to you. Was hoping for more interaction with 50th warders (not enough of them on this site) and, quite frankly, tired of just "hearing" from the 49th. Don't mean to offend, but this site HAS become a blog. May you all have a safe and wonderful summer.