Prop 8 Plays The Barack Obama Card
by Todd Beeton, Fri Oct 31, 2008 at 07:17:35 PM EDT
It was inevitable that the fight over Prop 8 (the California ballot initiative that seeks to eliminate the right of same sex-couples to marry) would ultimately hinge on African-American support. Expecting a surge in African-American turnout for Barack Obama on (and leading up to) Tuesday, both sides are targeting black voters, who, as The Bay Area Reporter puts it, "have traditionally had conservative views on same-sex marriage."
In a desperate appeal to African-Americans, today the Prop 8 campaign distributed a mailer that played what can only be called the Barack Obama card:
(You can see the other side, which features four African-American ministers who support Prop 8 HERE)
This is an incredibly deceptive mail piece. The fact is that while Barack Obama and Joe Biden do favor civil unions to gay marriage, they have both been vocal about their opposition to Prop 8 (see Barack's initial letter stating his opposition to 8 HERE) and even issued a statement to that effect in response to the mailer today:
"Senators Obama and Biden have made clear their commitment to fighting for equal rights for all Americans whether it's by granting LGBT Americans all the civil rights and benefits available to heterosexual couples, or repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' While Senators Obama and Biden oppose same-sex marriage, they support civil unions," said a statement issued by campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt. "Senator Obama has already announced that the Obama-Biden ticket opposes Proposition 8 and similar discriminatory constitutional amendments that could roll back the civil rights he and Senator Biden strongly believe should be afforded to all Americans."
While not perfect, the statement actually does provide a framework for those who still are not comfortable with the concept of gay marriage to vote No on 8. In fact, making it about rights and not marriage has been central to much of No on 8's messaging. It's nice to see the Obama campaign not shirk from reiterating their opposition to 8 plainly today. And who knows, this may actually backfire on the Prop 8 folks since now far more people are likely to learn that Barack opposes Prop 8 than had previously.
Thanks, Prop 8!
In the meantime, No on 8 went up on the air yesterday with a TV ad of their own appealing to African-American voters in a far different way.
The difference in style and tone between the two ads could not be more stark and speaks to both the relative integrity of the two campaigns but also to the positions the two campaigns find themselves in 4 days out. That Prop 8 is resorting to such blatant deception tells me they are desperate and believe they are behind. Indeed, polling confirms their suspicions although it's way too close for comfort (Field has No beating Yes 49-44.)
So, please do what you can between now and election day to defeat 8. To donate, go HERE; to volunteer, go HERE (and don't forget to tell them MyDD sent you;) and check out my call to action post from yesterday to find out how you can spread the word to your friends and family in California to vote No on 8.