"homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

From a staff writer at the New Haven Independent.  I asked her to tell me when (and if ever) the New Haven Advocate EVER published a quote from Lieberman in which he said "Homosexuality is wrong." The quote never happened, according to the staff writer, who looked it up in the archives. I can give Matt Stoller her contact information. Part of the communication is here: -----------------------------

I think I can answer your question. The Independent did not exist in the year 2000. I believe the article you
are looking for is this one from the New Haven Advocate in 2000:

http://www.newmassmedia.com/lieberman/jo elieb.html

"[Lieberman] sided with Jesse Helms on removing federal money from public schools that counsel suicidal homosexual teens that it's OK (or "an acceptable lifestyle," in Lieberman's and Helms' disapproving parlance) to be gay." - Paul Bass

---------------------------------------- -------------

Note that the sentence "Homosexuality is wrong" never was ONCE published in the New Haven Advocate (now the New Haven Independent) by Paul Bass or anyone else.  Furthermore, the "burden of proof" lies upon those who claim this quote as true to PROVE that it didn't happen.  If Paul Bass can't say whether or not he quoted lieberman as saying this, or can't reproduce an article wherein he quoted Lieberman as saying this... and the staff at the New Haven Independent (was the Advocate) can't produce the quote... then the quote shouldn't be perpetuated... no matter how much we hate Lieberman...  And, it further shows how useless scorecards are, because the two scorecards that Matt refers to are using untrue quotes.

Tags: Lieberman (all tags)



No I am shocked.

I am aghast. Are you saying that matt stoller was sloppy, and careless?

I am just shocked. really I am. honest.

by turnerbroadcasting 2006-06-02 12:17PM | 0 recs
I am saying...

that Lieberman never said this.  Period.

Nothing more.

If others were sloppy... well...

by NCDem 2006-06-02 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman

Well, did Lieberman in fact support
efforts to reduce funding for suicide
counseling programs for teens that
told gay kids not to kill themelves,
because they will find out that being
a homosexual is O.K.?

If in fact Lieberman did that, then his
actions speak louder than any words,
published or otherwise.

by Woody 2006-06-02 12:32PM | 0 recs
"Homosexuality is wrong."

is a fake quote, period.

Other than that, and other than having our allies spreading a patently false quote, I agree with you.

by NCDem 2006-06-02 12:59PM | 0 recs
Gore never said that

He "invented" the internet. NEVER did he say that...

but he basically did...

by KainIIIC 2006-06-02 01:40PM | 0 recs
Just a tad more to add...

I can offer something new to the debate.

(Note to Matt: I am in no way vouching for this as being true or authentic in any respect. It is what it is. Whatever that is.)

A Usenet post dated November 4 1994 which includes this graf (emphasis mine):

However, I find it very difficult to vote for Leiberman.  He supported both the Helms anti-gay amendment to the Federal Education Bill and a
continuation of the ban on gays in the military.  He has been quoted as saying that he feels that homosexuality is wrong. I cannot in good conscience vote for a candidate (especially a Democratic one) who claims to represent all the people of Connecticut, yet is willing to see a sizable fraction of them discriminated against.

Now, I don't want to go back over the argument on circumstantial evidence - because I do not believe we need to resort to such evidence. I think we need and can find the actual quote.

But I note that the writer does not put the infamous words in quotes, implying (weakly!) that they were a paraphrase and not a direct quote.

(Which is what I'd infer the LA Weekly quote was, especially comparing the Advocate interview that Lieberman did in January this year that someone linked in the other thread.)

But taking the Usenet post as correct for the sake of argument, that would imply that Lieberman had made the statement (however phrased) for the first time no later than November 1994.

The post does usefully refer to a rag called the IN Newsweekly which still exists and proclaims itself New England's Largest GLBT Newspaper.

Now, it strikes me that if one of the region's twelve US Senators - and so well-known and long-serving a senator as Lieberman, at that - had made such a downright statement so hostile to the paper's readership, the journos at IN would have written about it (it apparently started publication in 1991).

A search on homosexuality is wrong in both the New York Times and Washington Post archives (back to 1981 and 1877 respectively - don't ask!) comes up blank for any piece whose hed looks like it could include Lieberman making the statement.

(Of course, that will not cover paraphrases.)

The Courant - perhaps the most likely rag to pick up on any pearls to drop from the L-Man - has squat on the exact phrase going back to 1991. (Again, that wouldn't pick up a paraphrase.)

by skeptic06 2006-06-02 01:43PM | 0 recs
either way...

the quote, can unoquivocally NOT be attributed to the New Haven Advocate... and furthermore, the quote STILL isn't verified.

by NCDem 2006-06-02 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

I emailed the author of the LA Weekly piece.

by Matt Stoller 2006-06-02 07:33PM | 0 recs
can't wait

for the update!

by NCDem 2006-06-03 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

How come nobody even notices all the lies, distortions, and outright, total, baseless fabrications in my posts? (Only kidding. But trying to derive any "truth" from the lying media apparatus is a pretty odd preoccupation.)

by blues 2006-06-03 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

Remember the original conversation was whether the HRC - whether gay groups should support Joe.

I don't know how to do this properly for you research gurus, but here are some sources that I found without even trying hard on the subject:

http://www.indegayforum.org/news/show/27 088.html

(according this article he never says "homosexuality is wrong", but he does say that those who think homosexuality is wrong aren't bigots. Please split hairs amongst yourselfs about what that means. Us, gays can figure out much like black folk can when someone says "I don't dislike black folks, but I can certainly understand why others do." That's how silly in terms of intellectual discussion this is. Essentially, it's the Bowers v Hardwick argument that was overturned into Lawrence. We don't hate gays, we hate their conduct. Right, and the Nazis didn't hate jews, they just hated their conduct too).

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45c /003.html

Pointing out that in 1994 Joe along with Helms supported a bill that would cut off federal funding to any school district that had materials that in anyway supported homosexuality.

(again, I am not a research guru or scholar on spliting hairs- but what could this possibly mean? Could it be that he, like the Republican states of GA, etc didn't want gay folks when they are kids to know that its okay to be gay. That they didn't have to commit suicide or burn in hell?  This is particularly relevant to those of you who don't know b/c one of the big groups of teens committing suicide are those who question their sexuality. This is why gay straight alliances, PFLAG etc came into existence. Not to be fanshionable or to rebel but because kids were killing themselves b/c they thought something was wrong with them. Here we have a bill trying to stop any positive spin on homosexuality.). If this is not how the bill went down- and if he didn't endorse the bill, it  should be easy enough to prove or disprove.

There is however countervailing evidence of his position:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archive s/individual/2003_06/001445.php

In this article he joins Barney Frank among others supporting domestic benefits to federal employees. The context should be pointed out- it was in 2003. This context may be important in terms of NY Times article which indidated that JL was trying to shore up the liberal wing of the party for his run for Prez. This was commentary rather than a news article. I couldn't link the nytimes article due to proprietary nature of NY Time archival system.

Con to this position is a mydd rebuttal:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/3/2/20410 /64990

Apparently he did vote for the Defense of Mariage Act (the one that Bush and Co are trying to write into the constitution even as we speak). This article also reinforces the fact that he didn't want schools to have the right to teach about the issues surrounding sexuality. for all you libertarian type dems out there- this should be a problem.

There is mixed analysis here:

http://eatthestate.org/04-24/LiebermanBe tter.htm

Doesn't want the homosexual life style, but doesn't want employment discrimination against gays either.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articl es/030818/18gays_2.htm

ALso of interest for how it discusses the democrats and Republicans. The basic picture is that Joe and the Dems like Bush and GOP want to appear "tolerant" of us fags, but at the same time have it both ways and seem moral about it. Tolerant here means giving what are givens to most Americans- ie, non discrimination laws in the work place has been supported for a very long time even for gay folk according to the polls I remember seeing. Its going to be hard to find the "gotcha" moment I suspect.  And, how this relates to the HRC becomes more complicated.

This analysis is a mixed bag. What is clear to me, however, is that if one is conservative- as the HRC is- then their bet on Joe was based on the "he's the best we can get" approach to politics.

Matt's point- if he were inclined to make this point- should be that what Joe is offering is not very much. That HRC like the Dem leadership has a little bit of the battered wife syndrome. We approach politics as if we have already lost the underlying assumptions. Therefore small victories like saying employers can't fire us fags is considered for them a good victory b/c really prior elections have shown us that Americans really don't like gays. I think the accurate discription is that most Americans don't think about it one way or another and when they do- they they may not want to think about us having sex. However, most of the civil rights stuff isn't about this. But, this doesn't matter b/c at the end of the day- its about what the HRC leadership thinks.

On a side note- just to add credence that maybe their strategy isn't the best- consider the story of Harvey Milk- the first openly gay politician in US history who won in SF not b/c he was gay but because he built a coalition of unions, Asians, blacks and others as his base. It's in this book The Mayor of Castro Street and in the documentary the Life and Times Of harvey milk. When looking at the politics of sexuality- the question isn't just whether we should support someone like Joe- but is Joe the best we can get?

by bruh21 2006-06-03 04:11PM | 0 recs
Getting the facts straight is not 'hair-splitting'

We have layers here.

Firstly, there is the accuracy and fairness of the quote in the LA Weekly piece of the New Haven Advocate piece.

Then, there is the accuracy and fairness of the quote (assuming there is one) in the Advocate piece.

Then, there is the question of Lieberman's views, over time, on the various matters relating to homosexuality on which he has opined.

Journos misquote people, take remarks out of context, omit facts necessary to understand quotes, and so on. So do pols. And - of course - they hate it when they're on the receiving end.

One of the roles of the blogosphere much touted - by the blogosphere - is querying quotes, chasing down sources, providing missing context.

That's what we were doing yesterday  - certainly, what I was doing - in relation to the homosexuality is wrong quote.

Your points address the third level.

I'll take a couple of the items you link to.

Firstly, the IGF piece, which refers to a speech of July 10 1998 (it's #50 on this page).

I'd be fairly certain that anyone who did believe that homosexuality is wrong and read Lieberman's remarks would not find there a terribly spirited defense of his position.

As I read it, he's saying it's wrong for people to find such people to be bigots, as it were, on summary judgement.

And let's not forget that, in 1998, he's a pol with an eye on a prez nom, poor deluded thing! He's showing a bit of leg to the red-staters. Or pandering. (There are, after all, a lot of them about. Or so he says.)

He's winking and, like General de Gaulle telling the pieds noirs on June 4 1958 Je vous ai compris, leading his audience to believe he's with them, when he's not. (Or, not necessarily.)

(You could read morally based to imply Lieberman's concurrence with the moral basis of the opinion or feeling that homosexuality was wrong. I think that would be stretching it.)

The IGF piece does not, I note mention the following graf in his speech, which demanded a floor vote on the ambassadorial nom of one James Hormel, on which several holds had been placed (presumably because of knowledge or belief that Hormel was homosexual).

In the speech, we see a pol, working both sides of the street.

But it does not come within a country mile of showing that Lieberman himself believes that homosexuality is wrong. What his actual beliefs are on the subject, I have no idea. If he has any sense, he'll have kept them to himself.


the Nazis didn't hate jews, they just hated their conduct too

I think you'll find is factually incorrect.)

Secondly, the 1994 schools homosexuality amendment.

A search on THOMAS suggests that we're talking about SA 2433 to S 1513, the Smith amendment to the Improving America's Schools Act, the operative part of which ran

No local educational agency that receives funds under this Act shall implement or carry out a program or activity that has either the purpose or effect of encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative.

The amendment was duly put and passed by the Senate.

It's true that Lieberman voted for it. But so did Kerry. And Kennedy. In fact, 49 Dem senators voted for the amendment!

Is that 49 bigots? Or 49 pols doing their jobs, working both sides of the street?

You see where we get to when we don't 'split hairs'?

by skeptic06 2006-06-03 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: facts versus big pic

And hence you go to where I wanted you to go. By ceeding ground for 'political' reasons, we give up the moral arguement. Let's assume for a second you are correct. That all his actions were the result of politics. But, let's change the group to blacks. I feel I can do this - b/c playing identity policis- I am both black and gay.

Before, we do the switch, and in anticipation of any but 'gays' aren't black arguments there are several points I want to make to that.  First, teh black civil rights movement itself borrowed whole arguments from other movements. Indeed, MLK's tactics were rooted in the tactics, and he credited as such, of Ghandi. Second, multiple movements- from the disable community to the women's movement- find their roots in the black Civil right movements. Indeed, even the tactics of anti abortion activists are rooted in some fo the tactics (ie, compare the use of the courts by anti abortionists to the tactics of the NAACP legal defense fund and you will note they both were in it for the long haul- Brown v Board of education for example was started way back in the 1910s - as a long term strategy toward eventually having a case like Brown v Board). Third, if you still remain unconvinced- realize that my statements about Jews were also there to illustrate a point. Afterall- what makes one Jewish? Is it an identity? Is it a set of actions? What defines one's faith in any religion?  I ask this to demonstrate the problem with the usual arguments of saying but gay is a set of behavior when discussing gays as a minority class that's been discriminated against.

Now, in that vain, consider, how your arguments about would work out were the minority in quesiton Jewish or black. Is it bigotted to say whites can not marry blacks? Would it be bigotted to say that we shouldn't teach about MLK (which even during 80s was still a debate in some states in this country)? Would it be bigotted to deny blacks the same protections under the law? Or would that be just politics? Afterall, returning to Jews- if it's all about how the majority feels that homosexuality is morally wrong- then shouldn't we respect the fact that Christians feel that Jewish killed Christ and set up laws to reflect this? And, while we are at it- right now, they (the christian right) are starting to show their true appeal. They havee a problem with contraceptives- since they are in the majority, wouldn't it be more politically expedient to just let them do what they want? No- of course not - because that last one would hurt the majority. As we move away from what just hurts the minority, or what is "acceptable" this question becomes probably more complicated for you.

The thing is- it's not complicated at all- if one has a basic principle that one believes in the equality of all americans under the law. Right now, for gays, there is no such equality- 1200 rights are denied do us. And that's not including the newer laws which are denying us even more rights based on our class.

So you are right- let's split hairs. Afterall, if we didn't still be under Jim Crow. Oh, right- wait a minute- actually,now , that i am thinking about it- it's the reverse. it's because it was decided that these acts of discrimination against gays were indeed signs of being bigots. I mean isn't that what the Loving decision about?  What about the Civil Rights Acts? Under your frame of thinking- if one is to take you seriously- one should choose those acts which are playing both sides of the street. Okay, so why not in the 1960s - after Brown II- why not simply allow the South to continue to ignore the ruling as it had been doing? What lead to the break down between the Democrats and the South- was the Democrats began to enforce the rulings that the S Ct under Warner was handing down.

What's different? By your logic- nothing b/c they would have been better off working both sides and not doing anything for blacks while claiming to support blacks. Certainly- the racists well into the last century justified racism against blacks for a) biological reasons (ie, blacks are inferior biologically so they need our paternal protection) which is similar to gays (gays aren't born that way- it's nuture- so they merely need to be trained in the proper 'moral' life and b) theological (Southern apologists for a long time said that the Bible said that blacks were supposed to be treated the way they were treated) just as they are now quoting scripture to justify laws against gays.  With blacks these things became hidden under things like the Southern Strategy, intelligence tests, etc and with gays it remains openly okay to be bigotted. To say, as you are saying, it's okay to play both sides of the aisle.  My question was should the HRC accept this argument? More to the point- how can you suceed in winning a moral debate- and that's what this is- by saying, "you know- those bigots have a point. we really are immoral."  This would have been equivalent of the NAACP saying - you know those guys down south promoting Jim Crow have a point- we really are inferior.

That's why I said these questions are complicated- but really on a certain level pretty simple. We have spent a generation now ceeding the moral ground to the side that's on the wrong side of history. Everytime we do this we lose the abilty to make the argument that we are right. Looking at this as a chess game- I can see the value in having centrists players- but that assumes you have a strong enough game on your side to pull some fo the moderates out there futher left when need be on issues that will produce real incremental change. instead, we are in a regressive era- the question is why? Some people say it's because we have let the centrist control the debate? They also add that the interest groups are not playing smart long term politics. The example I give below of Harvey milk for example - illustrates this point. When Milk was dealing with the unions- they used to call him fag and all sorts of other names. But he won them over b/c they realized time that he would support them.  When looking at Joe- or the other 49- that's the question the HRC should be asking- and they should be asking that at the grassroots rather than at dinner functions in Washington. but, thats true of all of the so called left. They fail b/c they are no longer connected at the roots.

by bruh21 2006-06-03 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: facts versus big pic

I'm just off to bed. I'll look at this again tomorrow.

But I'd say that the racial analogy is worth exploring.

When FDR became prez, not only was something like the CRA of 64 impossible, but so was a Federal antilynching act.

Of course, Northern Dems voted for the Costigan-Wagner and Gavagan bills, knowing they would fail in the Senate. And that they would get kudos from their Negro voters for so doing!

The 1948 Convention when the Dixiecrats bolted was really the party serving notice that they'd decided to favor the Negroes over the South in the longer term. (Though the civil rights plank itself was a complete crock, of course, except for those elements which could be brought about by executive order. As the NAACP and everyone else will well have realized at the time.)

But even after 1948, there was no question of any principled rejection of the South by Northern Dems. (After LBJ gave his 'We of the South' speech, or the Southerners ran their cloture challenge in 1949.)

All the way along since the end of Reconstruction, Northern Dems pandered to the South because, without Southern votes, there wouldn't be a Democratic Party.

Did those nice Northern Dems fret to see those postcards of fried, mutilated and hanged Negroes so popular in the South in the early years of the last century?

Perhaps. But not enough to deprive themselves of a chance of controlling the Congress!

When public opinion finally swung - thanks to Bull Connor's little exhibition of Southern hospitality - the Northern Dems would finally embrace the Negro vote wholeheartedly.

But even JFK was mighty careful even in delaying issuing the EO desegregating Federally funded housing for fear of riling the Southern Caucus.

Malcolm X did not invent by any means necessary...

by skeptic06 2006-06-03 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: facts versus big pic

I am going to bed too- but we should discuss this more. Basically- I understand the impact of incrementalism-a nd its value as you have described it. That's not a place of disagreement. My problem with the modern party is that in order to have incremental change you must, to borrow a phrase from international politics, speak quietly, but carry a big stick. We speak quietly, but scare no one. So long that is the case- we will fail. We fail not b/c we aren't in control of Congress- we fail because no is scared of us.

by bruh21 2006-06-03 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: one other pt

okay- sorry - forgot one point. I write this fast- but anyway. The other point I forgot to mention- is that when looking at candidates the HRC maybe should be looking at leadership factor as a test. Legislation in great and wonderful- but the long haul is about changing the public discourse. As long as we gays are on the wrong side of the moral divide- we will continue to lose the political debate. The issue with centrists is whether they will lead or continue to play both sides against the middle, and therefore ceed too much ground in the moral debate? This issue with gays perfectly illustrates my problem with triangulation (a Hillary Clinton strategy). Essentially the strategy doesn't produce leaders. We can see that with the Alito nomination. The time to have shaped the debate on his nomination was the minute he was nominated- not at the hearings.  But the mind set of those involved- are along the lines as you have described them- wait, see, and then try to play both sides against the middle. Forgetting Alito- it explains what happened with Iraq, what's happened on issues like the bankruptcy bill, what happened with multiple other issues- including down to running elections. Remember- one of the central flaws of Kerry's run was waiting until the fall once he had gotten the votes. I just see all this as part of the same continium of issues concerning a lack of leadership and taking chances to win a bigger share of the voting population by making our case to them.

by bruh21 2006-06-03 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Leadership?

In 1975 Joe Lieberman voted in the Connecticut State Senate for and ENDA.


Please post what Lamont was doing for gay rights in 1975.

Or Howard Dean.

Or you.

by Blue State Boy 2006-06-03 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Leadership?

Is it about that, or is it about what will he do now, now when the stakes are so incredibly high?

If he supported these things in the past, I am pleased.

But lately he has been on the wrong side of these issues, and moreover, he has been doing so under the guise of appearing "MORAL."

I'm sorry, morality is supporting equality for everyone. Morality is supported ways to end teen suicide (I did a research paper in college on teen suicice and found that research supported that more than 1/3 of teen suicide attempts were related to concerns about sexual orientation).

If Joe can't see that, then his time needs to be up.

by daninvirginia 2006-06-04 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Leadership?

So I guess you are blogging anti-Ted Kennedy rants as well?

by Blue State Boy 2006-06-04 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Leadership?

I love a lot of what Ted says, but not all.

I love Bill Clinton and feel strongly that he has been the best president of my lifetime, but I don't like a lot of what he said and did.

Joe fails to impress me in many ways.

I am not a litmus test guy, tho I act like it a lot :). I don't like Joe's moralizing - I see it as poor political work, and I will vote against him at any opportunity I get because of it, because of his pro-war stance, because he supports and kisses GWB.....

Ted at least fights for much of what I agree with.

by daninvirginia 2006-06-04 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Leadership?

this isn't about anyone issue- if you want to play the tit-for-tat that others play- you have people who will do this. as i wrote above one can go back and forth- it's clear you didn't read my posts above-they are long but they aren't as simple minded as to say this is one issue or another and therefore that's enough. it's the big picture question for me

by bruh21 2006-06-04 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Leadership?

and the big picture question is  leadership. how we define it? whether we are achieving it? I believe leadership relates to several points- character, skill, strategic thinking, political know how in the legislative process, framing the debate for the public, issues stance, etc. On this scale you mention only two- issue stance and leglisative process. How effective are they however at framing the debate for the American people? What the hinderances to framing the debate the way we want them? Is it merely the Republican and the media? Or is it how, we, ourselves frame the debate such that we already assume we are wrong? In 1960 Nixon lost the debate to JFK b/c he didn't realize he had moved into a new era and didn't fight on that new era's terms.  To have known that he had to get outside of his bubble. To realize what was affecting people of the time. Going back to the HRC- I wonder if these fundamental questions are on their scale? I wonder if its on our scale. I think it seems to be starting but I also sense a lot of resistance to it. Again, I go back to the Alito debate- why wait until the hearings to frame the debate? I have the background to have understood the conversation between the Senators and Alito- but the real leadership had to have occured before the hearings even started. Why wasn't it? This again is one among many examples. When others talk about progressive leaning organizations- and there endorsing candidates on issue or another- in terms of figuring out who candidates are toward their issues- I wonder if all these factors are taken into account or is it merely scorecards?

by bruh21 2006-06-04 07:30AM | 0 recs
Addressing (some of) your points...

(There are so many!)

I think, reading your stuff again, that where we differ is in the standards we set for pols.

You seem to want to hold them to a standard based on their private thoughts and beliefs; I think that's unrealistic.

They're legislators, not saints. It's what they do that matters, not what they're thinking when they do it.

In this category, the prime example is LBJ. He was clearly no Bilbo; but he had the racial attitudes of a guy born in East Texas in 1908. (Except that he always had a soft spot for Mexican immigrants, I seem to remember, from his time as a teacher down there.)

And, of course, as Senate Leader and then Prez, he played the race issue like a violin for his own advancement.

In virtually every respect, he was a son-of-a-bitch. Yet, by a pure accident, he was put in a position of being able to secure self-aggrandizement through social engineering - and he took it!

Does that mean we should repeal the Great Society because LBJ was prejudiced against its beneficiaries, and his main motive (no human has a single motive for what he does) was to boost his own position currently and in the eyes of History?

Surely not.

Now, you rightly say

the original conversation was whether the HRC - whether gay groups should support Joe.

I'm not addressing that issue at all. Not a matter I'm concerned with.

Just as no Dem candidate can expect to obtain the nom by rights without a primary challenge, so no Dem candidate can get an endorsement from liberal organizations by right.

If homosexuals think Lamont is the better candidate on the issues that matter to them - well, go for your life.

And if your standard is to sit on your hands for every Dem candidate who has the slightest vestige of anti-homosexual prejudice - regardless of his legislative actions or policy pronouncements - that, also, is your right.

I'd say that standard was one impossible to meet in this universe.

Historically, something of the sort did happen in the period from the 1944 SCOTUS decision in Smith v Allwright (and the Texas Regulars shenanigan at the 1994 Dem Convention) through to JFK's win in 1960:

Negroes who had switched almost entirely from GOP to Dems between 1928 and 1936 showed signs by 1947 of preferring the GOP. Their likely prez candidate for 48 was Thomas Dewey, who had, as NY Gov, pushed through an FEPC (which the Congress was in no position to do) and generally had a good civil rights record.

The famous 1947 James Rowe/Clark Clifford memo to Truman on pre-election strategy expressed concern that, unless action was taken, Negroes would not just sit on their hands in 48 but would bolt to the GOP.

It was essentially that pressure which, with other factors, encouraged ADA (with Hubert Humphrey in the van) to press for a civil ranks plank in the 48 Convention that would drive a wedge into the South and save the Negro vote for the Dems. (It was a worthless IOU as far as legislation in a second Truman term was concerned, but the doubt it shed on the continuation of the old North-South bargain was of lasting value.)

Ike's snaffling of a large chunk of the Negro vote was a dead cat bounce. They went back to the Dems with Nixon never to return.

Of course, Negroes had the voting numbers in 1947 to cause all that anxiety.

Before the war, when those antilynching bills got stymied, before Smith v Allwright and the great northward migration, they didn't.

It was the numbers that counted; the morality hadn't changed one bit.

Judging someone by his thoughts - rather than his actions - is generally thought odious. One talks of the thought police as a concept in tones of revulsion.

If the Constitution guarantees a woman's right to abortion under the head of privacy, it surely guarantees a man's right to think under the same head. (Even a politician's!)

On this issue, the Constitution surely coincides with common sense.

If there is - and I'd stipulate to it - a general revulsion amongst Americans to the idea of male homosexual sex - sodomy, to be precise - that can't be eradicated by legislation or the bully pulpit.

You can pass antidiscrimination laws, certainly. But I gather from you that you don't think that's enough.

If you demand marriage rights - and make support for that a litmus test for Dem legislators, are those legislators going to risk defeat? Or are they going to survive your shunning them, and decide afterwards that you're a constituency they don't need to pay attention to?

That's not a moral choice, it's a political one. I'd say adopting such a litmus test would be foolish, politically.

But if you then go further, and say, Even though this pol is prepared to support a law giving me marriage rights, I'm going to oppose him because he looks to me as he's disgusted by guy-on-guy sex - that would be foolish beyond belief, surely?

More generally, I'd say I notice a willingness in the lefty sphere to escape to a drutherland where taking control of the House will be Judgement Day (literally, what with all those investigations the Signora's planning!) and Jubilee and the last reel of Green Pastures.

Rather than the start of two years of grim attritional warfare, Western Front-style, against a wounded vicious enemy.

This disconnect from reality - to the extent it exists - is bound to lead to disappointment, even if, as seems more likely than not, the Dems will in fact win the House in November. Why put yourself through that grief, say I!

Of course, the GOP have made their fortune exploiting the undoubted persisent and widespread prejudice against homosexuality.

I've not researched it; but I'd hypothesize that a lot of the juice behind the reaction they get comes from a feeling of coastal elites sneering at the flyover crowd and imposing their values for the pleasure of seeing the crackers squirm.

Call it states' rights of a kind.

Take blog fave Brian Schweitzer, the Great White Hope of the West. He opposes homosexual marriage, apparently.

How many more Dem candidates in his neck of the woods do the same? Most of them, I suspect.

The Big Tent isn't going to get to 218 or 50/1 without MCs from his region and others who share his views.

(Quick question: who did the HRC back in the MT 04 gov race? Was it Schweitzer or no one?)

As for the CA textbooks bill, why can't the lege override the veto? (We're talking about SB 1437 which passed the Senate 22-15, and is now with the Assembly.)

By my numbers (which are out of date), the Dems have 48-32 and 25-15. They therefore need (Art 5 §10(a) of the Constitution) five GOP reps and two senators to switch, as well as voting all their members.

Seems to me what they need to do is: roll logs! (Or would grubby politics like that hurt your sensitive soul?) (I'm joking. Really. Honest.)

I go back to that vote on the Smith Amendment. I could also go to the Senate vote on passage of DOMA (HR 3396 (104th)) which passed 85-14, with 33 Dems voting in favor - including Saint Paul Wellstone.

Could we have searched the souls of those senators as they voted Yea or Nay in those votes to find their motives? Would the Yea-sayers have attracted more opprobrium if their vote was motivated primarily by vote-grubbing or by personal prejudice?

Should the Nay-sayers lose points for insincerity if they were fag-haters, deep, deep down?

I don't think that's the way politics works, or ever could work in this world.

By their deeds shall you know them is as good as it gets.

by skeptic06 2006-06-04 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Addressing (some of) your points...

I dont hold them to their "private" thought whatever that means. I hold them to the standard of what it will take to move things forward.  It's really that simple. You can't win an argument that a) you don't think you can win and b) you decide that since you can't win you come to the bargaining table already conceeding the moral argument to the otehr side. That's not a "private" thought argument. That's a what action are they taking argument. ANd to the extent you point out leaders who did they same in the past- is the extent to which I can point out that is why we remain trapped in the same battles of the past rather than having any real incremental long term changes. One of my best professors in politics said that you can't legislate thoughts and feelings. That's totally true. But, I learned as a lawyer that you can provide zealous representation. That means that you come to table ready to win rather than conceed arguments. Maybe you will lose, but often you obtain more than you thought you would because you didn't approach it from the avenue of the otehr side is right.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Addressing (some of) your points...

ps if i am not making it clear- the moral argument here is pretty simple- its equality under the law. It's not a special right. In fact if the Democrats in charged understood this they would spend less time making it about anyone issue and make this point, but because they think the underlying issue is "moral" wrong then they never get to the underlying poiint.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Addressing (some of) your points...

How would you view a politician that does favor equality under the law in this realm (perhaps not by supporting gay marriage, but in the form of civil unions)but also affirmatively states that they don't personally think that same sex marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage?  Or, for that matter, who argues that they think it's appropriate that church's, etc. to refuse to recognize same sex marriages?  

Such an individual is clearly not a perfect ally by any stretch, but should the Democratic party (and more importantly, the progressive movement) accept such an individual into its tent?  I ask b/c I'm curious to hear your answer.  

by HSTruman 2006-06-04 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Addressing (some of) your points...

a) I think the whole church argument is a non question. I say this because no private entity is forced to do anything and the 1st amendement protects churches against this very concern. A church that says it doesn't want to marry blacks and whites (Bob Jones University comes to mind) doesn't have to do so. What changes, if any, would the treatment be between gays marrying and people of different races marrying each other? This whole line of question is meant (and that's part of my point about leadership too) to shape the meme on how rights are granted to new classes in the US. These classes are never granted special rights (which is the conservative christian argument which is meants to lead the public in their direction of the debate)- they are merely granted the same rights that everyone else already has. Even affirmative action is designed to address systemic issues of history, present constructions etc that prevent the laws from adequately promoting equality under the law (due to de facto effects) and are not design to give greater rights to one class over another when looking this as a class (class here is actual a term of art from law which is what a lot of this comes down to- ie, gays as a class or category, blacks as a class or category, jews as a class or categor, women- ditto)

b) Although it has the smell of jim crow about it- I am actually for civil unions. But, I am for civil unions gay or straight. I believe part of the problem with this debate is that the govt is putting it business into something whereit shouldn't. Now there are historical reasons for this- no one contemplated these issues. But, the historical reasons do not outweigh the misconception that has been caused by it. By calling it marriage- the state implies it is involved in a relgious event. It's not. it's involved in the process of handing out rights (1200 plus rights) and that is all. The religious component is not what the state does. One can get married without ever stepping foot in church or for that matter believing in God. If this were truly about "marriage" before God- then atheist aren't married either.  Our system of governance, even if the govt wanted, doesn't allow for establishment of any religion- people are free to believe and not belieave what they want. Marriage as a religious institution is one of the things that they are free to believe or not believe. But, when it comes to handing out rights- the only thing the govt has business doing is making sure that I and my partner do not have to pay higher taxes just because our social arrangement doesn't meet religious criteria. The moral question here- isn't one of what the Bible says (although on a separate post I can argue even that moral ground shouldn't be just handed over to the christian right b/c what the bible says of homosexuality is far less definite than they would have people believe)- the moral question is what rights the state grants to some citizens and denies to others. My issue- and this question isn't just a Joe question- with most Democrats is that they ceed too much ground. By trying to "understand" and use the soft approach- they lose their moral passion to say- there are some lines I will not cross in my values, and people see this.

c) The reason why we have a federal govt rather than a confederacy is to address the state to state issues. That's why we have the commerce clause, the full faith and credit clauses, etc. People by enforcing the laws aren't being asked to make a moral judgement about their faith in God. They are being asking to make moral judgement about what is right for a diverse society. Those are different questions. And they should remain separate because as we see- one corrupts the other. Christianity is infected when it tries to become a theocratic argument b/c it was never meant to be a system of governance over political systems. The government is affected because people who are not of the majority are oppressed. here we talk of gays. But they are also starting to make rumblings about contraceptives as the "true" root of the problems. ie, that women are able to use not only abortions, but also because of birth control pills they are able to choose when and where they have sex. And by women being able to choose when and where they want to have sex- this has lead to the break down in society. The break down about which they are referring isn't a breakdown in society so much as a breakdown in their Christian teachings about what is or is not sin. Those two things aren't the same thing. That democrats ceed the ground on things like the gay issues legitimaze the argument that Christians get to dictate what is not just for a diverse society. today, it's us gays- tommorrow (which is already starting) it's issues like contraceptives and divorces. On the later- one pastor who was particularlly honest was on Larry King talking about gay rights with a vareity of gay folks (some rightl, some left ,etc) and the preacher said that he thought divorce was immoral and it was one of those issues he thinks society should get into more. What he meant- I dont' know. But I do know once you open the pandoras box that y'all are openning- this is what happens. When you say that faith can be used as the sole basis for denying a right- then what happens on the next issue?

d) Finally, as for the Dems- this is a larger question than just the gay issue. I can't really emphasize this enough. Big tent to me means something different. My republican friends keep saying I have some flavors of libertarian in me. That's maybe true. Big tent to me means- not that the Christians get to say whatever they want and do whatever they want- and that we got to accep ttheir policies. All it means is that they get to say whatever they want- but as a free man living in a free society- I shouldn't have to live by that. The irony of the debate  on gays is that we got another Orwellian situation here. It's the straigths trying to tell gays what to do. It's the straights trying to enforce their life style choice (ie, that we must marry straight if we want the 1200 benefits) but somehow- this is all reversed in the rhectoric. It's somehow the gays doing this to the straights. For me a big tent do whatever you want personally so long as there is also the taking on of responsibility for your actions- and respect that others don't or wont feel the same in an open diverse society. If the Dems even remotely went there- really went there I think they would have more converts.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Addressing (some of) your points...

Interesting post, and I agree with most of what you've said.  But you didn't really answer the question I initially posed.  Let me try and be more clear:  Essentially, I'm curious whether you would feel comfortable supporting a politician whose view on the issue of gay marriage boils down to:  (1) I fully support civil unions, b/c everyone is entitled to equal rights under the law; and (2) I personally think that marriage is between a man and a woman and - based upon my personal beliefs - disagree with same sex relationships.

Now, the reason I ask this is not b/c I think that a politician with such views is in any way "correct" in their views.  Quite the contrary.  But rather, I'm curious as to how you feel that the progressive movement and the Democratic party should approach such an individual b/c the reality is that an awful lot of generally progressive people do in fact have this exact view.  One prominent example within the Democratic party is the CBC, which is quite divided on the issue of gay marriage despite the parallels you've noted to the civil rights movement of the 1960's.  

To apply some of the points you've made above, does the party and/or the progressive movement cede their moral arguments if they accept such an individual into the movement?  Or, in your opinion, can the party accept such an individual as a partial ally while - hopefully - fighting for a more complete victory in the future?  

Now, I personally think that these are pretty difficult questions to answer.  There is, without a doubt, a thin line between supporting constructive incrementalism and slipping into apologism and appeasement.  But at present, I think that the Democratic party likely does need to make room within its tent for individuals who -often times based upon personally held religious beliefs - disapprove of same sex marriage on a personal level but don't think that such views should be codified by our laws.  I'd be curious to hear what your views are.  

by HSTruman 2006-06-04 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Addressing (some of) your points...

I think I answered your question but maybe I am being too long winded. So I will answer it in brief: People can think whatever they want personally; however,  so long as their thoughts don't enter the negotation process of incrementally or the wholesale making certain of the fact that I am given the rights due to me as an American citizen, but which I am now denied. There is an old saying which I will say here which a lot of people may not understand but my mother use to say, "You can call me a nigger, just don't treat me like one." What this means is that I can't control peoples feelings and beliefs- what I do want to control is how they control my life in an area in which their arguments are solely based on their faith rather than the higher burden required by law in other areas to discriminate against a class. My problem is where b/c they believe this, that being gay is immoral, that belief trumps their duties to work under the Constitution to protect all members of a diverse society. This can happen outwardly, as we know,  but it can also happen as you say where incrementalism becomes appeasement b/c the representative doesn't believe enough in the principle of equality to overcome their personal feelings. Their beliefs- personal views- those are things that can't and shouldn't be legislated either way. My ideal future is not where we get them to have a lovefest for gays- its where we can separate out what rights we accord people as citizens and what we believe personally. The personal stuff will happen through social networks, one on one communication and the slow turn of society, ie, the numbers of people supporting some form of gay union has actually in the last 15 years went way up, but thats irrelevant.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Addressing (some of) your points...

PS- as for how this relates to Joe- I admit above its complicated. I think were this my only "issue" with him given what I understand of his faith, what I have seen him do- etc I may be more flexible. But, given what I know if him outside of this issue- of how he chooses to lead- the fear I would have- and the fear the HRC should have is whether he will sell out down the river?

by bruh21 2006-06-04 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman


If anyone is particularly interested in the value of interest groups asking "is this the best we can get" and we as Dems asking this question. Consider this. On the issue of education and public funding when it comes to the issue of teaching about gay related issues properly in school- there is a big debate right now going on.

In Cal , we have a Republican governator planning to veto a bill which would do the offensive thing of saying Oscar wilde was gay and so was Banyard Rustin (for those of you who don't know- the later was one of the primary forces behind MLK and especially the march on washington in which MLK gave the I have A Dream speech.). All of this is significant when you consider that two of the biggest markets for text books are CAL and TX. IN texas they are not only trying to get these books not include gays and the book selection committees over run by the Christian right are effectively moving American text books further right by the buying power of the state.  JOe here- if this is still his position- provides cover to this movement and effort through his prior beliefs. If this is no longer his belief, great and wonderful- but someone ought to find out. This groups aren't happy with just the control of text books on issues of gays, they are also doing the same with contraceptives among other issues. These things really are interrelated. And, recently the gay press is reporting that in some areas they are trying to include ex gay movement material in the curricula.

by bruh21 2006-06-03 04:21PM | 0 recs
The Best We Can Get

Over and over, if we appeal to good common sense, we win.

Does America want its teens trying to kill themselves? Even if they are gay or lesbian? I doubt it. America DOESN"T KNOW! This is not well-publicized.

Opinions change when we put our lives out there in the public spotlight. When we tell people that the lesbian couple down the street here in Virginia is considering moving, because if the biological mom dies, the state can take their twins away from their other mommy, people realize that we have a human struggle.

When people heard about Matthew Sheppard, the outpouring was unbeleiveable - they don't routinely hear about gay-bashing and its consequences.

If we push progressives who talk about the real issues and the importance of real change, we will win and there will be leadership. This attitude of "We don't want to offend the red state voters with someone with a different opinion..." is pathetic. Our nation is crying out for real leadership.... the only people answering the call are these triangulators --- look where that has gotten us???!!!!!

by daninvirginia 2006-06-04 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

From Doug Ireland:

To answer your question, the source of the quote from Lieberman saying that he believes that "homosexuality is wrong" is given right in my LA Weekly article -- it comes from an interview Lieberman gave to the New Haven Advocate, flagship of the Advocate chain of weeklies in Connecticut. When I was researching my lL.A. WEEKLY  Lieberman profile,  I talked to the Advocate's Paul Bass -- a fine political reporter who knows Connecticut politics very well and who had covered Lieberman for many years -- and who was kind enough to give me a valuable dossier with copies of his best pieces on Holy Joe over the years from the New Haven Advocate, including several interviews with Lieberman. That's where the quote came from.

Besides, I'm old enough to remember Holy Joe's first Senate primary campaign against my old friend Rev. Joe Duffy (who had headed Gene McCarthy's anti-Vietnam war presidential campaign in Connecticut in 1968, and who later went on to head the Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities under Carter) in '72, in which Lieberman and his campaign not only viciously red-baited Duffy, but in which Lieberman used Duffy's support for gay rights against him. Joe, you must also remember, became a very Orthodox Jew under the influence of his wife, Hadassah, and I[m sure I don't have to remind you that it is one of the canons of the very socially conservative branch of Orthodox Jewry to which Lieberman subscribes that homosexuality is an "abomination.," so it should come as no surprise to anyone that Lieberman personally believes, as he said, that "homosexuality is wrong."

Lieberman's homophobia co-authorship of the so-called Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy on gays in the military -- which resulted in a huge increase in the number of gays expelled from the armed services, and a huge increase in gay-bashing within the uniformed services (since gay military were afraid to report such physical as well as verbal attacks because that would be "telling" (a wave of anti-gay violence and intimidation due to the Sam Nunn-Lieberman Don't Ask-Don't Tell policy that I documented extensively in a cover story for The Nation a couple of years ago). In arguing for his view that any openly gay person should be expelled from the military, Lieberman himself enunciated the now-discredited canard that "homosexual conduct can harm unit cohesion and effectiveness" (the same argument once used against blacks) as indeed I pointed out in my L.A. Weekly article.

I no longer have the particular clip that Paul Bass sent me with that "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman quote in it, but I'm sure if you got hold of him through the Advocate newspaper chain in Connecdticut he could easily supply you with a copy of his inteview with Lieberman from which that quote comes.

Feel free to quote this note of mine if you think it useful.


Doug Ireland

by Matt Stoller 2006-06-04 05:46AM | 0 recs
Where's the beef?

I'm not quite sure what you asked him, Matt. But, if it was, as I'd have hoped, for the date and page of the issue of the Advocate in which the quote appeared, his reply is somewhat disappointing.

In particular, I'm a tad surprised that he says

I no longer have the particular clip that Paul Bass sent me with that "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman quote in it, but I'm sure if you got hold of him through the Advocate newspaper chain in Connecdticut he could easily supply you with a copy of his inteview with Lieberman from which that quote comes.

Given that it's quite a charge to make, and Lieberman is something of a national political fixture, and so the point is likely regularly to crop up. (As it now has done.)

In terms of the reliability of the LA Weekly piece, apart from the unconstrained hostility of its tone, further research on one element of its charges suggests that to call it

a well-sourced article in a respectable publication

may have been doing it too much justice:

In an earlier comment, I pulled out the fact that the vote in which Lieberman

joined with notorious homo-hater Jesse Helms in voting to take away federal funding from schools that counsel suicidal gay teens that it's okay to be gay.

was also joined in by 48 other Democrats!

What the LA Weekly writes can only be described as grossly misleading, and highly prejudicial to any claims that the piece is well-sourced.

Perhaps the homosexuality is wrong quote is not similarly misleading.

Let's see what Paul Bass has to say. (I'm assuming you'll be contacting him in due course, to get the original quote, the date and page it appeared on, the context, etc.)

by skeptic06 2006-06-04 07:41AM | 0 recs
Just one more thing

We really need to know how Paul Bass came by the quote.

(Not betraying sources, but in general terms.)

For instance, I've been supposing that this was something (however phrased) that was said in the course of an interview with a journo.

But what if it were something from a speech that wasn't taped that Lieberman gave to a private audience, but which was attested to be two or three of those attending?

What if it were an overheard conversation?

We know from the Killian memos saga (to name one) how important detail is in unraveling the truth of such controversies...

by skeptic06 2006-06-04 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Just one more thing

A Breaking Blue snippet alerts me to a Courant piece on Lieberman today by Paul Bass.

It looks like a shameless recycling job to me. But there's an upside for us:

Watching Lieberman and Lamont these past few weeks, I had to wonder: Am I the one with amnesia?

So I went up to the attic and pulled out my Lieberman file, with clippings and documents collected from covering him during his three terms in Washington.

Now, wouldn't you think that in that file there would documentation for the homosexuality is wrong quote?

He makes all sorts of allegations about the L-Man, including this familiar one:

in August 1994 he voted in favor of a proposal by Republican Jesse Helms to cut off all federal money from schools that offer counseling to suicidal gay teens by referring them to gay support groups or in any way suggesting it's OK to be gay?

Closer, but still no cigar.

The proposal wasn't Helms', but that of Robert Smith (R-NJ). Helms only offered a technical amendment to the Smith amendment.

But, then, while Helms is still an applause-line bogy-figure for lefties, Smith has the name recognition of a guy you never heard of.

At least the phrasing in this piece doesn't suggest a Pearl Fishers legislative duet between Jesse and Joe, as did the LA Weekly one.

by skeptic06 2006-06-04 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Where's the beef?

It's not misleading to say that Joe supported a homophobic piece of legislation just because other Democrats joined him. That's a little like saying, as I said earlier- well Jim Crow wasn't racist b/c most Democrats went along with it.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 08:16AM | 0 recs
Oh dear, oh dear...

There, you lose me, I'm afraid.

Anyone reading the sentence in question would suppose that Lieberman and Helms were the prime movers in the legislation.

Whereas neither of them was even the senator whose amendment it was!

Evidently, the point was supposed to single out Lieberman as being particularly culpable as a Dem in supporting the amendment.

And that singling-out would have been be impossible if the journo had included the detail that, in fact, there were 48 Dems who also voted with spawn-of-Beelzebub Helms for the same amendment.

The lawyers call it suppressio veri, suggestio falsi - by failing to include the fact about the 48 others, he trails a false impression that Lieberman was something that he wasn't.

Hardly the first time it's been done. But it does tend to confirm the impression given by the vocabulary and tone of the piece that some fairly vigorous hatchet-work was in progress.

by skeptic06 2006-06-04 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh dear, oh dear...

I've just look at THOMAS for the floor proceedings in the Congressional Record for the Smith amendment to S 1513.

Can't find it. (Checking the Record version of events with the other pages on THOMAS is really indispensable to nailing down anything that happens on the floor of either house.)

To judge from the stuff that is there, there was the Smith amendment (SA 2433), as previously quoted; to which a Helms amendment (SA 2434) in the form of a substitute (identical to it, but adding a start date) was passed 63-36 (22 Dems voting in favor).

After that, two Kennedy amendments were passed, SA 2435, to prohibit the use of funds for promoting any sexual activity, hetero or homo (passed 99-0); and SA 2436, governing the provision of condoms in school, passed by a voice vote.

Finally, SA 2433, as amended, was passed 91-9.

I can't trace Lieberman having spoken in any of the parts of the debate that I can find on THOMAS. He didn't sponsor SA 2433 or any related amendments.

Helms is there: but his role seems rather minor, on the face of it.

So far, no Joe.

by skeptic06 2006-06-04 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh dear, oh dear...

oh- and here is a posting saying that he, Joe, has sense appologizing for supporting the homophobic amendment in question with Helms:

http://www.courant.com/news/local/northe ast/hc-pbass0604.artjun04,0,7611693.colu mn

by bruh21 2006-06-04 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh dear, oh dear...

or the point was that JOe isn't particularly as friendly to gays. I think you can go with either interpretation- yours or mines and still be correct. That's the problem with language its not always perfect. You are right that they clearly don't like Joe- but I don't think you can conclude this is a piece that is treating Joe bad for pointing out a vote that he actually did make. It's not wrong to call someone on a vote regardless of how many people voted for it. It doesn't change the analysis to say others were on teh bandwagon. It just makes them all look bad.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh dear, oh dear...

I agree that, in principle, the fact that everybody does something doesn't make it right, morally or in whatever other way.

But the intent of all these pieces is evidently to hit Lieberman in particular. To say that he's worse than those other Dem MCs who aren't too liberal, or who cosy up to the regime.

Now, of course, the singling-out process comes a cropper when the thing you're using to single him out was done by almost all of the Dem senators around at the time.

That's the purpose of pointing to all those other Dems who voted for the Smith/Helms amendment: they show that Lieberman wasn't in any way special in doing so.

If you want to make him out as specially bad, you have to find some other action of his.

And the fact he apologizes? Again, words and context matter. What sort of mistake does he think he's made? Is it just a general regret that times back in 1994 were such that votes like the one on Smith/Helms could attract 49 Dem senators' support?

But saying that

such after-the-fact admissions ring hollow when he continues to oppose gay marriage

when (so far as I'm aware) most Dem MCs do the same smacks of desperation, throwing mud at the wall and hoping some will stick.

The more I read of Bass on Lieberman, the less I feel sure that he would let the facts spoil a good hit piece against him.

by skeptic06 2006-06-04 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh dear, oh dear...

i cant speak to his intent. all i can speak to is what matters to me- Joe and what Joe does (or more specifically how what happens to Joe can start to put a little fear of the base into the Democrats.). I would argue one of the reasons you ahve such skewed politics- among a lot of other reasons- right now is that we have  one party fearing its based and the other does not. I would just like to see various forces creating a return to balance- to the extent that threatening Joe with some of his tactics- regardless of the gay issue- does this, is the extent to which I believe that overall gays will be helped. You can't have a real debate about the morality of the equal protection of laws for gays in an environment in which Iraq or other such issues can happen.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh dear, oh dear...

Oh- ps

the reason being is that the well is already tained from having the necessary underlying debate - above as one person puts it- there is a thin line between incrementalism and appeasement. Joe, people  fear, reps the appeasement side of the line. They fear that because they don't trust his motives. Which is about their fears, like they have with Hillary, over their character.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

Whoa. When I posted Joe's 1975, that's right 1975, vote for gay rights, the response: so what, what what about lately?? Then it is posted that he coauthored Clinton's awful don't ask don't tell policy over a decade ago but failed to post that he now supports its repeal. I am just wondering was sort of twisting acrobatic verbage should be expected next. You guys are getting silly.

by Blue State Boy 2006-06-04 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

why respond down here rather than where the argument took place at? And, if you bothered to understand the analysis- my question remains the same- Should the HRC support him? What criteria should they use? What criteria should we use? These are questions- no answers. I lean toward not supporting him, but that's a broad point, but the question at hand is about interest groups and what criteria they are using. If you are right that he wants repeal of don't ask, don't tell, that is more reason to say that he may be supported, but as I said to you- and this hasn't changed. This isn't a single issue or bill discussion- it's a  leadership discussion. Rather than addressing the bigger question you return to talks about single issues.

by bruh21 2006-06-04 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

Oh- and about that big picture- agree or disagree- this is good stuff and you can do research and prove or disprove the other things about Joe. This is really what these things are about- the whole picture show- not the individual shot.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/4/1 45019/2368

by bruh21 2006-06-04 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

Having been brought up in Danbury, Conn., and moved to Northampton, Mass., I am very familiar with the "Advocate" chain of liberal weekly papers. It's distribution (last time I looked) extends from at least as far south as Danbury, to Brattleboro, Vermont. So I get to read a lot of articles by Paul Bass. He is one very careful writer. So, if he said something like that, it must be basically true.

Anyways, I would not expect Joe Lieberman to have much concern about gay and lesbian issues. Look, I spent years reading all that weird stuff by William F. Buckley, and he (a neocon Catholic oil tycoon) was certainly no friend of anyone who was gay or lesbian. And it was Buckley who sponsored Buckley in his first U.S. Senate run in Connecticut.

by blues 2006-06-04 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: "homosexuality is wrong" Lieberman

(Buckley was Lieberman's first big sponsor.)

by blues 2006-06-04 08:41PM | 0 recs


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