If You’re Ready for Hillary She’s Ready for You.

Give a big hand for the little lady.

 

Having lived in the public spotlight for so many years and being accused of being everything from a closeted lesbian to a murderer, taking swings at the Hillary Punching Bag has a fun activity for her opponents since the early Nineties. That is not to say there isn’t more to know about Clinton including more stuff she doesn’t want us to know, but there isn’t a candidate living who hasn’t had her past scrutinized as closely as Hillary Rodham Clinton and the opposition research folders runneth over already.

She wouldn’t bother running if she wasn’t ready for all the guns that will be trained on her, but that’s nothing new.  Even if there’s no one like Barack Obama in 2008 waiting in the wings to deny her the party nomination (and there isn’t), Clinton is the most formidable candidate in either party running.  She’s setting the pace and everyone is trying to keep up with it.

There’s a chance Jim Webb, Joe Biden, Marty O’Malley, Bernie Sanders or Lincoln Chafee steps up to the mic and throws down with Hillary in an epic rap battle. Not much of a chance, mind you.   As for Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Macro Rubio and all the rest of the crew in the Republican Clown Car, they have to fight it out among themselves first before they can step up to take down Clinton.

In some ways it works  to the benefit of the Republicans all the buzz is on their side with the scrum they’re about to engage in. After all, they are the ones whom have been out of the White House for eight years.   They need to convince the American people to step on the lot and test drive all the shiny new models on display in the showroom and their best sales pitch is do you really want the 2016 Hillary that hasn’t changed a thing besides swapping out the CD player for an iPod?

The front-runner is 19 months away from the finish line.

 

Already Clinton is being beaten up because she’s not the warmest woman in the world.  Likability is an overrated trait in politics.  It’s more important to have a president who can handle the forest fires big and small that come across their desk every day instead of whether  they’re a good guy to tip back a beer with.   If Clinton comes off as stiff and unapproachable, that’s not a deal-breaker for me.   An aloof Hillary is better than a friendly Ted Cruz.

As far as not being tested if she doesn’t receive a credible primary challenger, the only bad aspect for Hillary is it allows the Republicans to  attack relentlessly.   While they are all taking free shots at Clinton, she has to choose between reacting and responding or try to ignore it until the GOP finds their hitman to send after her.   It’s the Republicans who will get to set the parameters of the debate in the general election if Clinton sits back and plays defense.

In the 19 months between now and November 2016, the men and women running for president will be asked many questions. Some smart ones, some silly ones, some stupid ones.   Here is one anybody who wants the job should have to answer.

We have Osama bin Laden’s home address. We know he’s going to be there, but we can’t send in the Navy Seals, Delta Force or The Expendables. It’s too dangerous. We need to take him out with a drone, but there are women and children in the house with bin Laden and if we take him out we’re going to take them out too.

We’ve waited for years for this opportunity. We miss him now and we might have to wait years more before we get this opportunity again.

Mr. (or Mrs.) President, what are your orders?

Anyone who wants the job of being the President of the United States who isn’t ready to say, “Take him out,” is instantly disqualified and should be kept as far away from the Oval Office as possible.

Peek-a-boo! Hillary sees you!

Every man who’s ever been president has had to choose those whom get to live and those who have to die then deal with the consequences of their actions.   It’s cool if want your president to be someone could borrow your lawn mower and you wouldn’t have to bang on their door to get it back, but be sure you choose one who can also be the biggest, coldest bastard in the world if the situation calls for it.

There is little doubt Hillary Clinton could give the order.  She and Bill might have looked like peace and love hippies in the day, but on the global stage, she’s no latte-slurping Lefty.

It’s not that’s she is too old, or overly aggressive/ambitious, or entitled or too scandal-plagued, or electing her would effectively be Obama’s third term.  The best argument to be made against another Clinton as president is “What’s so different about Hillary in 2016 than 2008?”

If Hillary can’t win that argument she loses.

Are The 47 Morons Treacherous or Treasonous?

Let’s be clear about something.

I find this brazen move by the Republican senators to do an end-run around the president’s authority to conduct foreign policy to be openly contemptuous of the Chief Executive and groveling in its submission to the demands of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his billionaire backer Sheldon Adelson. I’m still of the mind the letter was poorly conceived, mischievously motivated, and borderline subversive in how these 47 Morons tried to kneecap the President. Treasonous? I heard that word tossed around a lot of talk radio on my lunch hour. Not there yet, but treacherous? Definitely.

Joe Biden didn’t go that far either though he wasn’t happy with his former colleagues.

Vice President Joe Biden on Monday night scorched the 47 Senate Republicans who signed an open letter to Iran’s leadership in a bid to undermine a potential deal on the country’s nuclear program, calling the senators’ letter “beneath the dignity” of the chamber in which they serve.

“I served in the United States Senate for thirty-six years. I believe deeply in its traditions, in its value as an institution, and in its indispensable constitutional role in the conduct of our foreign policy,” Biden’s statement said. “The letter sent on March 9th by forty-seven Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.”

“This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments — a message that is as false as it is dangerous,” Biden said.

The G.O.Tea Party.

Seven members of the Senate Republican caucus did not sign the letter, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), as well as Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowksi (R-AK), Dan Coats (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton and these 45 morons are playing a dangerous game. What do they hope to achieve beyond the gratitude of Netanyahu and Adelson for publicly kissing their asses?  What they have done is a craven attempt to undermine the Constitutional responsibilities and authority of the President of the United States and that’s not a trifling thing which can be waved off as “just politics.”  Not when they’re putting a right-wing agenda ahead of the national security of the United States.

The letter doesn’t even make sense.  The president doesn’t need Congress to ratify anything. The Senate has no say here and that’s why they are trying to undermine the negotiations with Iraq. Reference Fred Kaplan’s brilliant article in Slate:

The letter—which encourages Iran’s leaders to dismiss the ongoing nuclear talks with the United States and five other nations—is as brazen, gratuitous, and plainly stupid an act as any committed by the Senate in recent times, and that says a lot. It may also be illegal.

The banalities begin with the greeting: “An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” By custom, a serious letter to foreign leaders would address them by name. Who is it that the senators are seeking to influence: the supreme leader, the Parliament, the Revolutionary Guards? Clearly none of the above, otherwise it wouldn’t be an open letter. Nor, if this were a serious attempt of some sort, would Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who was among the missive’s signatories) leave the task of organizing it to the likes of Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, an otherwise unknown freshman. As usual, the Republicans’ goal is simple: to embarrass and undermine President Barack Obama.

Reading this, one can only wonder if these Republicans ever consult their staffs. As the Iranian leaders know, and as the Obama administration and the other P5+1 governments have made clear all along, the deal being negotiated is not a treaty, nor is it an agreement. Rather, it is a nonbinding international arrangement, to be signed (if it is signed) by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany, and Iran.

In other words, contrary to the letter writers, Congress has no legal or constitutional role in the drafting, approval, or modification of this deal.

Sheldon and Bibi have their own Big Bang Theory: a U.S. war with Iraq.

Which doesn’t meant they won’t try to stick their dirty little fingers in the pie.

What is the Republicans’ motives? Besides spite and obeying the wishes of a billionaire gambler whose money is deployed on behalf of right-wing causes and Nethanyahu’s wish for a war with Iran.

Why do 47 Republican Senators think it’s a great idea to kneecap the President by attempting to undercut his authority to conduct foreign policy? Why open themselves up to even the speculation they engaged in subversive, and perhaps treasonous behavior? Despising Obama and wanting to deny him any triumphs is petty and partisan, but does that explain this degree of pettiness and partisanship?

Sure it does. Why not? It’s not as though they will pay any sort of price for it. The home folks will applaud ’em for punking the usurper from Kenya and if the 47 get hammered by the press and the Lefties start circulating some meaningless petitions demanding an apology that’s never coming, who cares?   This is March 2015.  Who’s going to remember this in November 2016?

NOBODY. 

The 47 Morons did what they did for the oldest reason in the book. They knew they would get away with it.   They are willing to start a war to stop Obama.

I changed my mind.  That is treasonous.

The Republicans Hate Slavery But Sure Love Talking About Slavery

“If I’m so stupid how come I’m richer than you schmucks?”

What in the hell is up with Republicans and their obsession for making these utterly inept and inane comparisons between slavery and anything else? Is this some new fetish with you guys or what?

Sarah “Pay Me!” Palin: Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China,” she said at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser at the State Fairgrounds Saturday night. “When that money comes due—and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to beholden to the foreign master.”

“Woo hoo! There’s nekked wimmen on the Internets!”

Rand “This Really Is My Hair” Paul: “With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to healthcare, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me,” Paul said recently in a Senate subcommittee hearing.

“It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.”

There’s a joke here, but Allen West’s parents made it a long time ago.


One-and-Done Loser Congressman
Allen West: “He [Obama] does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning, and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave.”

Gifted hands. Brain dead mind.


Sean Hannity bestie Dr. Ben Carson:
“You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson, who is African American, said Friday in remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”

“You been hymotized!”

Repeat Offender Michelle “Batshit-Crazy” Bachmann: Health Reform: In a 2009 speech in Colorado, Bachmann railed against healthcare reform. “What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass.” Claiming that many Americans already pay half their income to taxes, she said, “This is slavery…It’s nothing more than slavery.

National Debt: In January, Bachmann offered her now infamous take on American colonial history in which she declared that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” Bachmann then framed her speech as an argument against the “slavery” of the national debt. “It is a slavery, it is a slavery that is a bondage to debt and a bondage to decline,” she said. “It is a subservience of a sovereign people to a failed, self-selected elite.”

In 2011, Batshit Bachmann and Rick “Foamy” Santorum were the two GOP presidential contenders to sign a pledge against same-sex marriage which included a passage that stated Black families were better off under slavery.

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA‘s first African-American President.”

That’s okay, Rick. Nobody is taking you seriously.

Governor Goodhair Rick Perry: “I think we’re going through those difficult economic times for a purpose, to bring us back to those Biblical principles of … not spending all of our money, not asking for Pharaoh to give everything to everybody and to take care of folks, because at the end of the day, it’s slavery. And we become slaves to government.”

Extra Super Fun Fact: Perry’s family hunting camp was known as “Niggerhead” ranch.

Nevada Assemblyman Jim Wheeler: A Nevada assemblyman said he would vote in favor of legislation allowing for slavery if it was something his constituents wanted him to do.

Jim Wheeler, a Republican from Gardnerville, was talking to a crowd of Storey County Republicans in August he when said “yeah I would” vote for slavery if that’s what his constituents wanted.

If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that’s what the citizens of the, if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for,” he said. “That’s what a republic is about. You elected a person for your district to do your wants and wishes, not the wants and wishes of a special interest, not his own wants and wishes, yours.”

Debated Sarah Palin. Was only the second dumbest person on the stage.

Fair and Balanced equal time inclusion from Joe “I Say Whatever Crazy Think I Think” Biden: Look at what they [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they’re proposing. [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street,” Biden said a rally in Danville, Va. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

Chattel slavery was an absolute evil and as practiced in the United States it became a monstrous abomination. All these cheap politicians and cheaper talking heads are not only engaging in racially insensitive and tone-deaf metaphors with their banal slavery comparisons, they are exhibiting lazy thinking to the extent they think at all.

Republicans in particular should know better. One of their own, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, an accomplishment his fellow Grand Old Party comrades point to with chest-puffing pride when they come in from criticism for their racial views.

It’s doubtful Abe would be down for the casual way Republicans throw the word “slavery” around today. After all, he is the guy who said, “Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

Me too, and it’s a little early, but how about a remake of 12 Years A Slave starring Palin, Perry, Bachmann, Paul, Carson, West and Wheeler? As the slaves.

Abraham Lincoln: Republican Slayer

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Wake the #@&$! Up, Obama!

It’s a fight now, but only because Obama made it one.

Dear Mr. President,

I’m doing my part to reelect you.  I’m wearing a “Obama/Biden” button.  I stuck a campaign sign in my yard (and handed out more to family and friends) and a bumper sticker on my car and my wife’s (despite never receiving the ones we were supposed to get for the campaign contributions we made a few months ago.  Because you’ve been busy running the country, I’ll cut you some slack on that, though my wife is a little sore about that Obama car magnet she didn’t get).

We’ve given money to both you and your fellow Democrats.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but one thing I’ll be glad about is when this election is over, I can get my junk mail folder back into some reasonable shape.   Every day I get pleading e-mails from Senators, governors, members of Congress, party insiders, ex-presidents, ex-vice presidents and all sorts of Democrats/liberals/progressives begging for another $5 or $20 or $100 to make the difference and put them over the top.  I’d love to help, but I’m a working man with bills to pay.   If I could do more, I would do more, but I can’t and I’ll be glad when you and your friends stop pestering me for dollars I don’t have to give.

The other night, I went to one of your campaign offices to get these yard signs and this nice older gentleman convinced me to sign up to work a phone back the final weekend before the election.  Why I offered to do this when I know I work weekends and I’m dead tired those mornings I agreed to call complete strangers to vote for you, I have no idea.   I suppose I want to feel as though I did my part whether you win or lose.

Now I have a question.  Have you ever seen Saving Private Ryan   Well, I want you to do me a favor Mr. President.   Remember what Tom Hanks told Matt Damon?   It’s time for you to do what he did.   Earn this.

I’m a little annoyed at you, Mr. President.  No.  Scratch that.  I’m not a little annoyed.  I’m a lot annoyed bordering on seriously pissed off.   After that debacle of a debate performance last week you may have noticed your lack of actions have had some serious consequences with the polls.  Mitt Romney has come back from the dead and he has now tied you in some polls and leads you in a few others.  According to whom you believe the race is a dead heat.

Were you not listening, Mr. President when Samuel L. Jackson told your supporters to “Wake the fuck up?”   Did you think that meant you could take a 90 minute nap last Wednesday in front of 60 million Americans?   Or are you suffering from sudden bouts of narcolepsy?

You didn’t just disappoint me, sir.   You disappointed your supporters who were expecting you to fight harder for your own job.   Or are you just trying to make things needlessly dramatic in this last month?   If the polls are to be believed, I think you succeeded quite nicely.

No panic. No stress.

I am “in” it to win it, Mr. President.  I got your back.  Do you have mine?   Can you show me next week when you’re debating Romney you want to keep the job he wants to take from you?   Can you prove to everyone you’ve given reason to doubt that you actually give a damn?

Your vice-president, Joe Biden, will have his chance to set things right on Thursday when he squares off against Mitt’s man, Paul Ryan.   Nobody will ever accuse Joe of lacking passion.  If anything, he has to put a leash on his passion in case his mouth out runs his brain.   But a debate between Biden and Ryan won’t change the race that drastically.   Only you can do that.   You’ll have two more shots at doing so.    Foreign policy is on the agenda for the October 16 debate and the last one is a town hall-style meeting on the 22nd.    That’s it.   In a race that will come down to who is more successful in energizing their base in nine or ten key states, turnout matters more than money, more than polls, more than ads, more than endorsements.   \

It comes down to who wants it more.

Do you want it bad enough, Mr. President?   Do you want it more than Mitt does?   Are you willing to put in the time and the work to keep what is already yours?

Mitt isn’t going to give up.  You had a chance to make him and you didn’t take it.   That’s history now and if you lose this thing that shabby first debate will weigh heavily in the reasons why you lost.

But you haven’t lost.  I went to vote today and I know there is an enthusiasm out there to keep you in the White House.   There is what Dr. King called, “the fierce urgency of now.”   Now is when this election is won or lost.

I am in.  I am doing my part.  I’m going to work for you and my country, Mr. President.   I still believe in hope and change and I know it takes more than four years to bring it about.

You have to earn it.  You don’t deserve it.  Anything worth having is worth working for.   And you have to go out and get it.  It will not be given to you.

Can you take the momentum back?   Can you put Mitt back on the ropes?  Sure you can.   Hell yes you can!  But will you?

I’ m done with the recriminations.   I’m not going to worry about it.  I can’t laugh at your making fun of your own shitty performance.   I just want you to take this as seriously as everyone supporting you is doing.

And I want you to earn this.   It’s all out there for you, Mr. President.  Show me you still want it.

No he can’t?

Hillary: Redeemed, Resurrected and Ready for 2016

Cocked, locked and ready to rock for another presidential run?

Sometimes the best way to make a comeback is to never go away.  Hillary Clinton’s bounce back from wandering in the wilderness to my best bet to win the  Democratic nomination in 2016 is a resurrection of Biblical proportions.

Clinton has emerged as one of the most formidable and accomplished politicians in American politics.   After the bitterly fought election of 2008, her stature had been diminished and the Clinton brand name had lost a bit of its luster, tarnished somewhat from the campaign and the fatigue with Bill Clinton.

America needed a break from the Clintons.  By settling into his post-presidential life, Bill has largely put the taint of his sexual indiscretions and impeachment behind him.  The committed Clinton haters will never give up that hate, but their numbers are dwindling.

A 2011 Gallup/USA Today poll of America’s Most Admired People placed Hillary Clinton at Number One (in a tie with President Obama.  George W. Bush is at second place and Bill Clinton at third).  I don’t think that’s an accident.  Hillary is no longer thought of as simply another former First Lady.  She’s grown far beyond that.

Clinton was a respected U.S. Senator.  She’s worked hard as Secretary of State and from all outward appearances, been loyal to President Obama.  Whether or not she thought her reputation needed rehabilitation, Hillary has thrived when she accepted Obama’s offer to join his administration.

While she has said she will not return as Secretary of State if the president wins reelection, nobody should believe she’s going to retire from politics.   If Obama wins, there’s nobody in the Democratic Party better positioned to succeed him in 2016 than Hillary Clinton (sorry, Joe Biden).  If Romney wins, she becomes the Democratic front-runner in 2016 (sorry, Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo).

If Romney loses, there’s going to be a pushback from the moderate wing of the Republican Party.  The far-Right of the GOP has pushed Romney to take positions that makes him less palatable to independents.    I can see someone emerging to pull the Republicans back to the center and away from the challenges posed by a Tea Party favorite such as Senator Rand Paul and that person could well be Jeb Bush.

George Bush’s reign of error made the Bush brand toxic in 2012 (can anyone recall any Republican presidential candidate praising Bush 43?) and the party is desperately trying to avoid any mention of the Bush years.  Voters needed a break from the Bush family and by 2016, another time will have passed to forgive, if not necessarily forget, the bad old days of Dubya and Evil Dick Cheney.

I’m predicting a Clinton vs. Bush: Round Two in 2016.  It would be a contest of epic proportions.  But it sure wouldn’t represent any sort of drastic, dramatic change in American politics.   If you loved Bill and George Sr. and Jr., you’ll love Hillary and Jeb.

Clinton will be 68 in 2016 and younger than Romney will be then.  She’s redeemed her slightly tarnished image.  She can raise money.  She’s a formidable campaigner.  She’s married to a guy who knows how to win.  Why shouldn’t she take a couple of years off and in four years, the Democrats will be begging her to run to replace Obama or take on Romney.

Bill wants this to happen.  George Sr. and Karl Rove want this to happen.  Even if Romney wins and runs for a second term,  I expect Jeb Bush to challenge him for the nomination.

The Dynamic Duo of the Democratic Party are poised for 2016.

It would be the ultimate triumph of status quo, business as usual, politics, and the final throwdown between two political dynasties and I am absolutely convinced that is exactly what is coming America’s way in 2016.  Hillary can write her own ticket and if she wants to, she’s a lock to make history in four years by adding “President of the United States” to her resume of accomplishments.

Love her, like her or loathe her, but you can’t stop her.

Disunity: NABJ and UNITY Find Life Without Each Other.

Holy cow, there’s a lot of Black folks here!

There are two sorts of conventions I’ve attend: The yearly National Association of Black Journalists conventions which I enjoy and the UNITY Journalists of Color conventions held every four years and those I flat out love.   Last week, Vice-President Joe Biden was the featured guest at the NABJ gathering in New Orleans, a convention that under normal conditions shouldn’t have occurred the same year UNITY gathers.

But a not-so funny thing happened to UNITY ’12 in Las Vegas.  After an acrimonious fight last year between NABJ and UNITY Inc. over issues of money, power and respect that remain murky, the Black journalists organization left to hold their own convention in New Orleans.  The three remaining original partners in UNITY, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Asian-American Journalists Association and the Native Americans Journalism Association chose to replace NABJ with the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association (NLGJA), to go forth with their shared convention in Las Vegas this August.

Many NABJ members only learned about the split when they attended the convention in Philadelphia last year. The leadership did not do a good job of informing the membership of what the issues were that led to the decision and they were unhappy and confused by it. But I don’t think UNITY has done much better in explaining their side of the story either.

I passed on New Orleans for the NABJ convention and I won’t be at UNITY in Las Vegas either. In part because I simply can’t afford it this year, but more because I’m disgusted with BOTH parties and their inability to work out their differences.

Writing on his blog, Rafael Olmeda said, “NABJ is in a difficult position now: it must decide whether to rejoin a coalition that responded to its departure by making drastic changes that call attention to the very points of contention that led to the split. If NABJ comes back, it will be to a very different coalition. If NABJ stays away, it does permanent damage to a powerful message it helped craft [that when we join forces, we do not dilute our voices; we magnify them].

A UNITY founding father has disowned his child.

But at NABJ’s convention this year the popular sentiment was UNITY should go their own way.  A commission that was appointed to explore reconciliation advised NABJ should stay out of the coalition “at this time.”   Even members who were bullish on a return cooled on the idea after NLGJA accepted the invitation to join UNITY.

The longer NABJ stays out the less likely there will be any urgency to return to UNITY and that sentiment received a huge boost from Juan Gonzalez, of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and one of the founders of UNITY when he agreed the coalition had strayed from its original purpose.

“The great moral authority of UNITY was its role as the key organization advocating better coverage of race and equal opportunity for journalists of color. Its power came from being organized and led solely by journalists of color. So when UNITY rushed to incorporate NLGJA before properly addressing the departure of NABJ — the largest and most influential group within the alliance — it sent a clear signal, whether intended or not, that racial and ethnic equality was no longer its main mission,”  Gonzalez said

It will fall to those within the five organizations who really want UNITY to be something more than a happy memory to make negotiation and reconciliation a priority, not a hope.

This task was complicated when NLGJA came in and “journalists of color” went out. I understand the reasoning that UNITY was no longer exclusively an organization for journalists of color, but the perception is NLGJA threw their weight around and they were accommodated by abandoning a vital element for UNITY’s very existence.

That suspicion was confirmed when it was revealed NLGJA said they would not attend the Las Vegas convention if “journalists of color” remained as part of UNITY’s name.

That’s a bit like your new next door neighbor telling you to paint your house their favorite color because if you don’t it’s going to be hard for them to get along with you. NLGJA were the new kids on the block and already they were setting conditions before they would play. It only reinforced the hard-liners in NABJ who either never wanted to be part of UNITY or didn’t want to return to it.

The membership of the respective organizations who believe in the idea of UNITY should be willing to fight for it and if that means raising so much hell until the leadership of the five organizations lock themselves into a room and don’t come out until they’ve reconciled their differences, then that’s what should happen.

“Hey, nice logo.”

And reinstate the “journalists of color” tag to UNITY. If NLGJA has a problem with that, they can grab their hat and step off. Journalists of Color isn’t just a motto. It’s a relevant fact and if NLGJA has a problem with that, maybe they need to figure out WHY it’s such a problem for them. When Leroy Aarons, the former president of NLGJA, was running around UNITY ’94 trying to get a seat at the table for NLGJA, I don’t remember him saying, “Okay, now that we’re in, that ‘journalists of color’ thing is out.”

It is insensitive and insulting for journalists of color to watch a predominantly White organization join an existing entity and immediately demand accommodations be made to make them feel comfortable.

It shouldn’t have come as a shock to NLGJA that the name of the umbrella organization was UNITY: Journalists of Color. When he was at the first convention in 1994, I don’t recall Leroy Aarons demanding UNITY change their name as a precondition to admitting the gay journalists group. He just wanted them to have a place at the table. Now that they have that place NLGJA seems to be saying it doesn’t like the seating arrangements and wants to be at the head of the table.

It smacks of White entitlement at its worst. Why does NLGJA want to be part of a group of minority journalists if it wants to assert majority rules?  Why do the journalists of color that make up NAHJ, AAJA and NAJA want to be ditch their individual uniqueness to blend into a bland stew dedicated to “diversity.”

It’s NLGJA who seemed to have a problem feeling they were being excluded because apparently they don’t see being a predominantly White organization as having any racial connotations. NLGJA wanted to be part of UNITY originally because when Aarons was running it he recognized gay and lesbian journalists had commonality with NABJ, AAJA, NAHJ, and NAJA based upon shared oppression and lack of power.

NLGJA was left out of UNITY for two reasons: One, was homophobia. Simple and plain. But two was a lot of Black, Asian, Hispanic and Native American members disagreed that gays and lesbians are discriminated in journalism the same way they are. A closeted lesbian and gay journalist can “pass” in a way journalists whose racial identity is apparent cannot.  The power move by NLGJA to drop “journalists of color” may make White gays and lesbians feel more comfortable, but as a Black journalist, I don’t.

What it comes down to is UNITY was left with a huge hole in the coalition with NABJ’s exit.  The largest of the four partners was out and someone had to step in.  There were hotel rooms in Vegas that needed to be filled and NLGJA was a logical choice.  Only thing was, NLGJA  had some conditions of their own they needed to have met.

The true value of UNITY was it was the only event I am aware of where professionals of color came together under such circumstances. If lawyers of color or doctors of color or auto mechanics of color do something similar I’ve never heard about it.

Maybe UNITY will be better with swapping out NLGJA for NABJ and maybe it will be worse, but it will never be what it was. It may never even be what it might have been.

It’s always the kids who suffer when mommy and daddy fight.

Goodbye to all that.

The President Who Came Out of the Closet

It gets better, Mr. President

Let me make it plain. I don’t care about gay marriage. But then I don’t care about straight marriage either. I mean, since I’ve been married for 31 years, I’m pretty good at it, but I don’t think being married is all that big of a thing. The idea that one person can meet all your needs mentally, physically, intellectually and especially, sexually for the rest of your life always and forever strikes me as damn near impossible.

But if gay folks want to join me in the institution of marriage, why the hell should I be upset? There’s enough misery to share so come on down and get your share.

Like Barack Obama, my position on same-sex marriage had to evolve and what it evolved to was it is no business of mine who wants to get married. As long as its limited to two people of the age of majority, they can jump the broom and turn the two into one. More power to them. The greatest right is the right to be left the hell alone. I can’t think of a single credible reason to be opposed to gay marriage that doesn’t have bigotry and homophobia attached to it.

And I know I’m not hearing any noise from folks  saying they are against gay marriage because it’s “unnatural” and if it keeps up there won’t be babies born.

If there’s two things there are no shortage of its babies and stupid people making babies they don’t love, won’t take care of and really don’t want.  The biggest threat to heterosexual marriage are cheating, divorcing, spouse abusing, not ready to be married HETEROSEXUALS.

Never mind all the number of marriages that crash and burn in bitter divorce.  Forget about all the wives being thumped by husbands.   Let’s not dwell on all those men who slip their ring off along with their boxer shorts to cheat with some other man’s wife.   We can focus on what a threat  celebrity marriages are and how Kim Kardashian’s 72-days long  drive-by nuptials isn’t even close to being the shortest on record.  Try Cher and Gregg Allman’s eight-days of wedded bliss for making a total joke of holy matrimony.

Two women raising their kids together next door isn’t a “threat” to my many years of matrimony.   Anyone who uses that as an excuse for their own shit being raggedy, has no business being married in the first damn place.

Let’s get serious here, people. Bruce and Dick putting a ring on it isn’t going to make one married couple break apart, so don’t use my situation to justify your issues with homosexuals, okay?   The last group that can hide behind their fear of a gay planet are Blacks.   If our right to vote were put up to a vote the way the right for gays and lesbians to get married has been, how many of the 50 states would take that right away, especially when there’s a Black man running for reelection?   Rights should never be subject to who has the best 30-second ad.

As far as Obama coming out (after Joe Biden gave him a big-ass push out of the closet) for gay marriage, the obvious question is, “Evolution complete then?”

Those who were waiting for Obama to come out in favor of gay marriage will be pleased. Those who were waiting for Obama to come out in favor of gay marriage that don’t like Obama or gay marriage will howl like stuck pigs.

Those who are blind cynics that are in favor of gay marriage but don’t want to say anything nice about Obama being in favor of it too will grumble, gripe and grip that it’s too little too late, that he should have done it on Inauguration Day 2008 and that it’s purely pandering to an important Democratic base.

Everyone else? As you were. The sun will rise in the East and set in the West and by the time our kids are having kids, they won’t think twice about those two nice old guys who walk their dog and wave “hello” at their neighbors.

At least not in my neighborhood. Yours might have a problem with it.

“red” vs. “blue” perspectives on the president’s decision.

A Strong Wind Would Blow Her Away

I don’t have any deep or profound thoughts about the vice-presidential debate between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin.  There are more than enough professional pundits who are well paid to tell people what they just heard really meant.

Two fighters in different weight classes.

Two fighters in different weight classes.

Since the bar was set so low for Palin a turtle with three sore feet could have cleared it, I guess the best she could have hoped for was a tie and the Republicans will spin a tie as a win.

I defy anyone to tell me Palin would be better suited to send as the president’s representative to negotiate with our European or NATO allies.  Would she be the woman for the job if she were required to engage in a delicate round of high-level negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in Middle East peace talks?

Clearly, if the main criteria to be the veep is perkiness, then Palin gets the nod over Biden.  If the idea is to have someone ready to step in for an ailing or dead Chief Executive, Biden is ready and Palin is not.

It’s easy to see a President Obama turning to a Vice-President Biden for advice on a matter of international importance.   It’s impossible to conceive of a scenario where Vice-President Palin can do likewise for President McCain.

Unless he wants to find out the best way to field-strip a moose.  Then Caribou Barbie is your go-to girl.

Palin had to demonstrate in the debate that she could forge a thought without a total brain spasm.  Biden just had to not be mean or condescending towards Palin, but not let her float by unscathed when she went on the attack.  She tried to drive a wedge between Biden and Barack Obama, but he wasn’t playing along.

If being cool under fire and showing grace and poise without the relentless attacks on the other person’s running mate means anything,  Obama should be very pleased with his choice of running mate.

Moderator Gwen Ifill didn’t display any overt favoritism or deference to Biden or Palin.   But she did ask the most relevant question of the evening when she put to the two contenders what they would do differently than McCain and Obama should they become president.

Naturally, neither one eagerly said, “Oh, I’d do this, this and this differently.”   But only one of them looked as if you could realistically envision them as the President of the United States, and it wasn’t Sarah Palin.

Palin still comes off a nice lady way in over her head and fighting out of her weight class.  She is a political and intellectual lightweight.   She came into the debate as a rigid ideologue totally devoid of a deep thought.  She leaves the same way.

A strong wind would blow her away.