We're Not Afraid Anymore

Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama.

Yesterday, Gary Bauer wrote a piece for Politico in which he warns the vast left-wing homosexual conspiracy not to underestimate the power of homophobia in mobilizing sheep voters to the polls.  In his article, he repeats the argument that anti-gay marriage amendments helped rally evangelical conservatives to polls to vote for homophobia and fear (George Bush).  The argument that fear of gay nuptials pushed President Bush over the top is not without its detractors:

Many analysts at the time credited a large turnout of social conservatives in Ohio as being responsible for Bush's razor-thin victory in the state. Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College in New York, has analyzed the Ohio election returns and concluded that was not the case.

"If you look at county-level election returns, you see that Bush's improvement over his 2000 vote was greatest in the counties where the amendment didn't do well," Sherrill said.

Building on that flawed argument, Bauer argues that the recent California Supreme Court ruling will send angry voters to the polls not just in Florida, which has its own gay marriage amendment on the ballot, but also Ohio and Pennsylvania:

Polling, however, suggests otherwise. Only two states (Florida and California) will vote on marriage protection amendments in November. But a 2007 Quinnipiac poll found that homosexuality remains important among voters in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. No candidate has won the presidency since 1960 without carrying at least two of these states. In all three, a much higher percentage of voters (34 percent to 10 percent in Ohio, 28 percent to 10 percent in Florida and 28 percent to 11 percent in Pennsylvania) said they would be "less likely," rather than "more likely," to vote for a candidate who received an endorsement from a gay rights group. Importantly, these margins diminished only slightly among independents in each state.

Ok, so let's get this straight (no pun intended).  In 2004, when gay marriage was not on the ballot in Pennsylvania (but was next door in Ohio), John Kerry won Pennsylvania by 2.5% and lost Ohio by 2.11%.  In 2008, two years after Democrats in Ohio retook the governors mansion and ousted an incumbent Republican Senator, two years after Democrats in Pennsylvania ousted an incumbent Republican Senator, in a year in which the nearest gay marriage amendment is 900 miles away, John McCain is going to outperform George Bush in Pennsylvania and Ohio?  Huh?

Earth to Gary Bauer. We're not afraid anymore.  No more politics of fear.  In 2002, the politics of fear gave Republicans control of the Senate.  In 2004, the politics of fear gave George Bush a second term.  In 2006, voters repudiated the politics of fear and gave Democrats control of Congress.  In 2008, voters will again repudiate the politics of fear and keep John McCain in the Senate, where he belongs.

If you have any doubt about what we think of your agenda, allow our nominee, the next president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama to explain.  From his speech at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in November 2007:

And if those Republicans come at me with the same fear-mongering and swift-boating that they usually do, then I will take them head on. Because I believe the American people are tired of fear and tired of distractions and tired of diversions. We can make this election not about fear, but about the future. And that won't just be a Democratic victory; that will be an American victory.

Mr. Bauer, read my lips:  We're not afraid.

Yesterday, Barack Obama made that clear when he came out against the gay marriage amendment in California:

In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club read Sunday at the group's annual Pride Breakfast in San Francisco, the Illinois senator said he supports extending "fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law."

"And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states," Obama wrote.

Is Florida an important battleground state?  Yes.  Is there a gay marriage amendment on the ballot?  Yes.  Are we afraid?  HELL NO!

Your movement, Mr. Bauer, is on the defense.  As I wrote last week, there are experts who believe that Barack Obama's appeal to younger voters could spell defeat for the anti-gay marriage movement in these states.

So Mr. Bauer, it is not us who should be afraid.  It is you who should be afraid.  Very afraid.

Tags: Barack Obama, Gay Marriage, homophobia, politics of fear (all tags)



Bring it on, crazy RW bigots.

'Cause we're not afraid anymore.

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 03:41PM | 0 recs
I'm very very afraid.

Of Barack Obama.

by CoyoteCreek 2008-07-02 04:53AM | 0 recs
I fear John McCain. n/t

by psychodrew 2008-07-02 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

Bauer, Dobson, the whole smarmy gang is on the run.

Tony Perkins, just as loathsome, but a bit smarter has been really coy on TV lately.

He has his head down, he knows a smack-down is coming.

But Dobson is too fricking stupid, he tried to go at Obama, and he didn't even make 1/2 a news cycle. No one cares what he says anymore.

Their day is over, even the young hard core evangelicals reject them.

They will go out kicking and wailing, but the dustbin of history awaits.

by WashStateBlue 2008-07-01 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore
I'm a Democrat.  I support Democratic principles.  As such, I support your diary.  
by ChitownDenny 2008-07-01 03:45PM | 0 recs

We don't have to agree on everything, right?

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

Amongst your cadre, you and I agree on most.

by ChitownDenny 2008-07-01 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore



by rankles 2008-07-01 10:43PM | 0 recs
We fixed Florida ...

so that it now takes at least 60% to pass an ammendment to the state constitution.

I am hopeful that the ammendment will fail.  It is noteworthy that there is work to do here because the wording is flawed,and the presentation of the ammendment to the public is couched in terms of saving marriage, when in fact it is simply an act of discrimination.  If we can actually get the truth out about the ammendment here, I firmly believe it will fail.

Obama could come here and help.  Will he,or will he write off Florida?

All that said, remember 2006 and TN and Harold Ford: the state constitution ammendment passed with I think I remember 80%, and even though Ford caved and supported the ammendment, he still lost to a cad.  Nothing is absolute, except for the right's hatred of gays, and the complicity of some Democrats.

by emsprater 2008-07-01 03:53PM | 0 recs
Tipped and recced!

Fight the power, Drew!


by spunkmeyer 2008-07-01 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

right on!


by alyssa chaos 2008-07-01 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

Its true that we arent afraid, but at the same time since it is Florida, I'm guesssing its probably going to pass. We are moving forward but right now, I don't think most Americans would support gay marriage. Why bother posting anything from Gary Bauer?

by bsavage 2008-07-01 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

The link to my previous diary is in this diary above.  In that diary, I quoted an initial poll that put support in Florida at 58%.  It needs 60% to pass.  If Obama fights for Florida, and he drives out the youth vote in ways not seen before, he could help defeat the amendment.

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

Great diary. I totally agree that the younger people and some older ones as well are seeing this as almost a non-issue. I do think that the far right wing is gonna have a heart attack over this and will stop at nothing to make their point. I almost like them the most when they are like that, they start looking so crazy to everyone.

by Hollede 2008-07-01 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

Great Obama narrative. I don't think that Gary Bauer has any political sway let at this point, and few people actually care what he has to say - even right wing Republicans.

by Jeter 2008-07-01 04:33PM | 0 recs
Who's afraid?

Apparently Obama is still afraid.  He thinks that marriage is still between a man and a woman.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-01 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Who's afraid?

He came out against the amendment.  You have to give him credit for that.

In 1992, when Bill Clinton came out for gays in the military, did he go as far as many had wished?  Not really.  But he was stood on that stage and said gays and lesbians deserved to be treated with dignity and respect.  That was huge.

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Who's afraid?

He came out against the amendment because of constitutional issues.

He has said time and again that he believes that marriage is still between a man and a woman.

He just doesn't want his personal views to be enshrined in the constitution, for fear that the coming generations will find him stupid and prejudiced.

Face it, this country by and large is still afraid of the gay agenda.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-01 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Who's afraid?

It is afraid of the gay agenda.  I won't necessarily agree with that.

But Obama wants to repeal DOMA.  That's a big deal.  That means that if a couple is married in California, even if their own state doesn't recognize, the federal government must.

He says he supports equal rights and that is most important to me.  I don't care what it's called.

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Who's afraid?

That should have read, "I won't necessarily disagree..."

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 05:58PM | 0 recs
Please forward to me .....

your copy of the 'gay agenda'.

Mine must have been lost in the mail, for I am sure that if it truly exists and every gay person has one, I was either inadverdently left off the list or it was lost.

Thanks in advance, hugs and kisses.

by emsprater 2008-07-01 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Please forward to me .....

It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to process, though some have reported getting it as early as 3 weeks.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-01 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Please forward to me .....

Really?  Wow, in a few weeks I will celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the first time I 'knew' another boy.  The pony express must have lost mine.

by emsprater 2008-07-02 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Please forward to me .....

There's still a gay aptitude test that you need to take.

Plus they require at least 3 references-- could be from an ex-lover, a f* buddy, your mother, whoever could attest to the fact that you're gay.

I don't know why they make it so hard.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-02 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Please forward to me .....

Well, I guess because I never wear cologne and do always wear t shirts and jeans, ride a motorcycle and belong to a gym, and would never, ever use a dipilatory, I must have failed the test, even though I still sleep with another guy a lot like me every night.

Perhaps their 'gay agenda' is far too narrow.

Oh I forgot, I can't decorate worth crap, but I can cook like hell.

by emsprater 2008-07-02 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Please forward to me .....

no cologne = the new cologne
t shirts and jeans = gay costume since the late 90s
motorcycle = gay, gay, gay
gym = church
depilatory = don't you know that hair is back?
sleep with a guy every night = aaawh how sweet
can't decorate worth crap = that's why there're interior design magazines and oprah
cook like hell = your mother knew all along

Dear sister, you didn't fail the test.  You're in!!!

by Sieglinde 2008-07-03 04:55AM | 0 recs
he tried to get them full privileges

but Colin Powell, the other Bush holdovers, Republicans, and Democrats including Sam Nunn stonewalled Clinton getting gays into the military. His problem was that he did it the minute he took the Presidency in 1993: too soon that people weren't broken into him and the idea.

by Lakrosse 2008-07-01 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: he tried to get them full privileges

Yeah, he didn't show great political instincts on that one.  Or maybe he just didn't want to wait to push for greater equality.  

Whatever, he deserves a lot of credit for the wins he did get and a lot of leeway for his mistakes.  The progressive movement just wasn't as strong, so a lot of times he was just out there all by himself, a lonely warrior for rationality.  

by bosdcla14 2008-07-01 11:37PM | 0 recs
What do you think McCain

promised the Grahams in his meeting on Sunday?  I bet the Grahams aren't too pleased with Obama's opposition to the California proposition.  The Log Cabin Republicans are roasting McCain right now; coincidentally, McCain is starting to talk more about the Supreme Court recently.  This topic could dominate the news conversation next week.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-01 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you think McCain

I sure hope so. That's one of McCain's biggest vulnerabilities with Dems and many independents.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-01 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you think McCain

I hope it gets more attention.  A lot of PUMAs I've talked to don't seem worried about the SC as long as we have a majority in the Senate.  I don't share that optimism.

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you think McCain

Well, the SC argument works the other way as well; it can get conservatives pretty riled up and McCain is using the argument against Obama.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-01 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

While sweating over the mortgage and the cost of gas and food and taking care of the kids and continued employment and social security benefits and the cost of prescription drugs, I myself sometimes think about how people aren't angrier that they were diverted from paying attention to how badly Bush has run this country by an issue such as gay marriage. My mind moves quickly from leave the constitution alone to how are we ever going to get out of the debt that will ruin my jobless kids' lives.

by Jeter 2008-07-01 04:48PM | 0 recs
Wonderful diary.

You're incredibly inspiring.

by sricki 2008-07-01 05:15PM | 0 recs

I loved your diary on 1.2 million reasons to vote for Obama.

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

As a member of my local Young Democrats chapter here in Florida, we are actively working against the amendment. Attacking gay Americans is becoming a double-edge sword for Republicans, while they may increase turnout for conservatives slightly, they are  also activating the youth vote and pushing the young pro-equality generation more solidly in the Democratic direction.

There is ample evidence to suggest that the anti-gay constitutional amendments in 2006 brought more young Democrats to the polls.

by College Progressive 2008-07-01 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

Really?  Do you have a link to that source?  I would love to read it.  I'm a bit of a "polling" geek.

by psychodrew 2008-07-01 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

Absolutely, here's an article from Wisconsin, where voter registration and get-out the vote efforts by Fair Wisconsin (opposed to the amendment) ended up contributing to the Democratic takeover of the state legislature:


Buy a link here

But the measure clearly had an unintended consequence by sparking a larger-than-expected turnout, especially among left-leaning college students, who flooded their campus polling places.

The result: Dems scored some unexpected gains in the Statehouse.

"We're very happy," said Rep. Mark Pocan, an openly gay Madison Democrat, "and we definitely saw this as a product of the turnout on the college campuses."


Wiley said he witnessed this firsthand at UW-Milwaukee on election day. Some 30 UWM students waited in line to register to vote while he was there, he said, and more than 1,000 ended up signing up to cast ballots Tuesday.

According to the left-leaning Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, 16,837 people voted this week in the 10 wards in and around the UW-Madison campus, compared with 10,140 in the same wards in 2002 - a whopping 66% increase.


Here's an article by a Log Cabin Republican for the politico who makes an interesting point:


In 2006, the five Republicans who used marriage most prominently as a wedge issue all lost. Sens. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and George Allen (Va.), Reps. John Hostetler (Ind.) and Anne Northup (Ky.), and Ken Blackwell (in his race for Ohio governor) tried to win with anti-gay campaign tactics. They didn't necessarily lose because of their tactics, but these tactics didn't prevent them from losing, as they might have a decade ago.


Also the exit polls from the defeated Arizona proposition 107 provide nice goalposts for future opposition campaigns.

by College Progressive 2008-07-01 08:40PM | 0 recs
Thanks! n/t

by psychodrew 2008-07-02 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: We're Not Afraid Anymore

I wouldn't doubt that at all. Younger people are much more open minded and having an anti Gay stance would just make McCain look even older.

by Politicalslave 2008-07-01 10:54PM | 0 recs
great diary drew.

how is this still an effing issue in the world?


by canadian gal 2008-07-01 07:08PM | 0 recs
No one need fear the empty suits

by activatedbybush 2008-07-02 05:43AM | 0 recs


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