What convinced a majority of Canadians to support gay marriage was then-Prime Minister Paul Martin's argument that it wasn't really gay marriage that was at stake but rather the basic human rights of everyone -- he demonstrated true leadership on this issue, to get Canadians to realize we should accept the court decisions about gay people having a right to marriage because it would simply be wrong to try to take away someone's human rights.
I am very glad to see someone make that argument in California. I only wish it had been Arnold who had demonstrated such leadership.
I just posted a diary about this very topic over at Kos:
Magical ponies are not going to gallop out of Denver to rescue the Obama campaign. While his staff apparently are wonderful people, disciplined, loyal, knowledgeable, etc. etc, its becoming pretty clear they're in over their heads. They've been distracted by style ("Look, Ma, no 527s!") and technique ("we have offices in 50 states!") and they've lost focus on substance.
It's time to stop with the wishful thinking.I think Blogtopia should stop waiting for marching orders from Chicago and make our own plan.
1. We need a theme -- "reality-based community" and "I am aware of internet traditions" spread like wildfire and all of a sudden they were on blogs everywhere. Is there an Obama phrase which we all should be using and blogging about? Maybe a phrase from the convention will be the thing. Years ago, I thought Democrats should adopt the slogan "truth, justice and the American way" and I still think that something like this, though hackneyed, has power.
2. We need a message. I am sick to death of reading blog posts about McCain said this and McCain said that and you kids get off my lawn. Funny, yes, but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Why does OBAMA want to be president, and why should VOTERS want him to be president? And please, please no more earnest dense graph-filled posts about 10-point economic plans or 15-point health care initiatives. The most "points" Obama is allowed from now on is three. Two would be even better. That's right, TWO! Because that's the most anybody can remember anyway.
3. And we need stories, stories, stories. We need Obama anecdotes and history and 'Obama's best quotes' and posts about Michelle and the girls. What kind of professor was he? What did he like best about Kenya? Does he tell jokes? Does he like puns? What was his first job? Was it hard for him to stop smoking? What basketball shot would he most like to be able to do? Across blogtopia, there are people who know him personally, who can write about him or be interviewed about him, who can tell us more about this guy. We need to pass these stories on to the hundreds of thousands of blog readers who are aching to know more -- and to the media who would pick them up and run with them.
Blogtopia has been pretty dismissive about people wanting to have a beer with George Bush. but really this was just a way of expressing a political truth -- Americans absolutely demand a personal connection to their leaders. If they don't have it with Obama, they won't vote for him. This is the basis of the "elitist celebrity" meme. So we need stories about this guy, human stories. People won't necessarily see Obama as the guy they want to have a beer with, but he could be the teacher who is coaching their kid's basketball team, or the friend who is laughing at one of their jokes, or the neighbour who's helping them build a back fence.
Maybe as a Canadian I can be more objective, but voluntarily limiting what you spend in an election campaign would be an amazingly stupid move for any Democrat, much less one who is going to be fighting an uphill battle against both an entrenched Republican machine AND a society where racism will be a significant factor limiting his vote-getting potential. Obama will have to out-fundraise and out-spend the Republican candidate by millions and millions, and certainly he'll have to run a 50-state campaign to create the "unstoppable rock-star landslide" impression -- which is the only way a Democratic president, black or white, has been elected in the United States in the last 50 years. The last dull Democratic president was Johnson in 1964 -- and he won against Goldwater!
This post isn't talking about "aligning" with Hollywood, but rather USING the expertise of expert communicators.
The reason you haven't been used in the past is that the Democratic national campaigns are apparently weighted down with "communications consultants" and "public relations experts" and "campaign strategists" who haven't actually won a national election for the Democratic party for the last decade, and will not permit anyone else to win them either.
Better you should focus on individual Senate and House races around the country -- they aren't high profile enough to attract the national do-nothing consultants, and they will likely be grateful for your help -- MyDD knows the races that would need you.
Blue Dreams wrote:
"In Canada -- because of the proximity to the U.S. -- many of my co-workers went to the U.S. for most of their health care and many had fake U.S. addresses and purchased private health insurance in the U.S. and used that for their medical care. Shockingly both systems have cut-off ages for "curative treatment" with Canada's being 55 and the U.K.'s being 58. If you are those ages or older - because of the cost -- if you have a serious illness you are not treated but you are made "comfortable". A co-worker of mine in Toronto found out she had cancer at age 57. She was told she would receive no treatment but would be able to get all the painkillers she wanted."
Now, I'm not a health economist and no expert on our system, I'm just an ordinary Canadian health-care consumer, but this is complete and total BS.
It sounds like Republican 'scare tactic' talking points.
First, Canadians who move south for the winter, to Phoenix or Florida, do have to purchase extra health insurance before they leave, because US health care is so much more expensive than ours.
But the idea that Canadians would set up fake US addresses and buy US health insurance -- what a ridiculous idea. Who could afford your premiums?
And there are no age cutoffs for care here -- EVERYBODY is treated, for whatever is wrong. That's the whole point, for crying out loud. There are some variations in treatments between provinces in some areas like physical therapy, but the federal Canada Health Act requires all provinces to adhere to common standards for basic health care.
The main problem in the Canadian health care system lately has been waiting lists (like, people having to wait 2 years for a hip replacement, for example) but through concerted effort over the last two years, governments are making a dint in this and the waiting times for treatment are falling -- governments are putting millions more into the system to increase the number of hospital nurses and to train more doctors. Also, we do have problems for people in rural areas getting access to specialists, who naturally tend to congregate in our larger cities, but I would think this problem also occurs in those areas of the US which are less populated, too.
Stories like this will make a difference in the long run.
There will likely not be a single act or event which will bring down Bush and the neocons, but an accumulated weight of incompetence and poor judgement.
Sounds like when Bush asked Pelosi "What didn't go right?" it wasn't a sarcastic question as I had thought -- it sounds like he actually did not know anything that had gone wrong. She was right when she called this "dangerous" -- I wonder what else is no one telling Bush.
The Dems need to frame this as: "is Bush appointing the right people to the right job? If he could appoint such glaringly incompetent people to these key posts, what are his standards?"
This speaks particularly to the supreme court appointments, of course -- no wonder they wanted a vote quick quick. Well, they shouldn't get one.
OK, time to start the University of Utah Alumni for Truth.
So Rove just "dropped out" of the University of Utah in 1971? Perhaps a check with his fellow students and professors is in order to see if, really, he was booted out for cheating. Now of course, I am not making ANY accusations whatsoever, just that someone really should discuss this on a few talk shows, now that this serious question has been raised.
And why, once he left university, was he not drafted and sent to Vietnam? Did Nixon personally issue a special deferrment? Or did Rove tell the draft board that he was gay? And was this the truth, or did he just lie to get out of serving in the military? Once again, of course, I am not making ANY accusations whatsoever, just asking. But of course, now that these serious questions have been raised, well, once again they must all be discussed in detail on the talk shows. We demand definitive and documented answers to these serious questions! We demand that Rove release all his medical and university and selective service records so that we can see for ourselves what the truth really is!
There are so many 911 stories that never have been told, because there are so many of them.
And yes, the Gander story is one of them.
Here's a link to the Gander airport's website which describes what happened there http://www.ganderairport.com/911.htm
And 100,000 Canadians gathered on Parliament Hill on Sept. 16 to hold a memorial service, too.
Sorry -- I also meant to add the dems need to talk about HENRY SAAD.
Remember, Republicans always attack to avoid having to defend areas where they feel vulnerable -- ie, they attacked Kerry's military service, to avoid having to deal with the question of Bush's military service.
Start asking "hey, if there is something in that file that shows this guy is a poor choice for a judge, the American people ought to see it too -- does it say that he went to a gay bar to beat people up? Or that he had an affair then paid for her abortion? Or that he once worked for the mafia? Come on, which is it?"
Because really, who cares who said what about the file -- the real news is what the FILE says.
Yes, acceptance is the ideal. It just doesn't happen on its own.
Black people waited well into their second century in the US for white people to "accept" them as equals -- and it didn't happen until the courts and the federal marshals forced integration. And look what happened to Jews in Europe -- lacking the mechanism of a Constitution through which they could have asked for anti-semitism to be banned, they faced two thousand years of discrimination, culminating in the Holocast -- the worst hate-crime the world has ever seen.
Here in Canada, gay marriage wasn't on anyone's horizon until several provincial supreme courts ruled that denying marriage to gays was unconstitutional because it contravened our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And then, instead of using this as wedge issue, Liberal Prime Ministers Chretien and Martin led Canadians to respect the court's judgement and defining this not as a moral issue but as a civil rights issue, which a majority could then support.
Here in Canada we have concluded that any change in the rules or names or definitions which results in continuing to deny gay people the right to marry is sexism and therefore discriminatory, regardless of how laudatory and progressive it may appear to be.
Changing the name of marriage so that it can continue to be denied to gay people is disriminatory.
Permitting gay people to form civil unions, but not to marry, is discriminatory.
Getting the government out of the marriage business just so that they don't have to permit gay marriage is discriminatory.
This is what our courts have said, and what a significant majority of Canadians now support.
The suggestion that civil unions would just be the first step, until people get used to the idea of gay marriage, won't work. Its like suggesting that the "colored only" water fountain should be moved halfway closer to the "white only" water fountain, or women formerly paid 60 percent of what men make should now be paid 75 percent of what men make.
If you want American society to go all the way on gay marriage, then that is what you must fight for, right from the beginning.