Posts Tagged: politics

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My parents have a rule: don’t talk about Hillary Clinton. 

They have been happily married for 25 years, obviously love each other, mock each other, make each other laugh, generally agree on politics, and occasionally screech at each other.

But they don’t talk about Hillary Clinton. 

This is because my mom thinks she is awesome, my dad thinks she is terrible, my mom thinks my dad thinks that because he’s sexist, and my dad is mad at my mom for thinking he’s sexist. So they just don’t talk about her. 

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I find this interview frustrating for many reasons. Chief among them, though, is that Huckabee says, “I’m telling you, people who are in poverty, and who get government assistance, they wish they didn’t - ” and Stewart cuts him off to say, “Of course, of course, of course.” They both assume getting government assistance is something of which recipients should be embarrassed.

Here’s the problem with that: Guess what, Stewart and Huckabee? The both of you receive government assistance. Mortgage interest tax deduction? That’s the government giving you money. Child tax deduction? Government handout. Not taxing the money in various retirement accounts? Government handout. Business expense deduction? Government handout. Charitable deduction? Government handout. 

In each and every single one of those cases, Congress has decided to give you money. And yet I rather doubt either of you would be embarrassed to claim a child tax deduction. No one thinks it’s a problem for anyone to get money from the government because they own a home and a pay a mortgage. Yet those are both forms of public assistance.

When public assistance goes to home-owners, no problem. But when public assistance goes to a figure we have constructed as a nonwhite single mother, a woman who seemingly cannot get a job nor can she get a man, we have problematized public assistance. Now it is something of which she ought to be ashamed. We pathologize public assistance not because of what it is - government payments - but because of whom those payments assist. 

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"We tried the post-partisan thing. It wasn’t working, and that’s where the carpet bombing comes in,” Espinoza said. “We know the Republicans are not going to stand down. They’re not going to play nice. They’re going to fight dirty, so the Obama campaign is braced for it, and they’re going on offense early."

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The New, Nasty Obama Campaign (via The Atlantic)

I don’t know. Not everyone is quite so sure the 2008 campaign was so positive. (Nor that it should have been.) I suppose they arguably tried the “post-partisan thing” in actual governing, and that obviously did not work out.

(via theatlantic)

Source: The Atlantic
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Pre-law school, I worked at a nonprofit supporting foreign-born victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. The Violence Against Women Act *literally* saves the lives of abuse survivors and their children. People would have died without the visa and financial support VAWA provides. Every person in the U.S. deserves this protection. 

If Americans can do anything at all, surely we can agree that people who escape abuse, and the children they escape with, should be protected, helped, and supported as they work their trauma to begin their lives anew. 

HR 4970, the House version of VAWA rolls back protections for immigrant victims, LGBT victims, Native American victims, and decreases funding to untenable levels. 

I know people think calling their reps doesn’t matter. But it does. The Senate originally had a bill up similar to the House’s, and ended up passing a much better (though still not great) version, thanks in large part to enormous pressure from civil rights groups and constituent contacts. And anyway, it’s not like it takes that long to call your rep. 

Just take five minutes. Google your rep’s name, call him/her, and tell them to vote NO on HR 4970.

And thanks.

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scndhanddreams:

ELIZABETH MCINTYRE: stayinbedgrowyourhair: NO i don’t actually want to hear anything more…

stayinbedgrowyourhair:

NO i don’t actually want to hear anything more about obama’s “support” for gay marriage until his administration actually makes positive steps to support some type of federal measure

at the very least he/they could vocally oppose state measures intended to prevent…

Pretty sure we have a system called federalism that prevents Obama from doing this. Could he do some things at the federal level (e.g. sign that executive order extending federal benefits to same-sex couples that he didn’t do a couple weeks ago), of course. Can he demand that states recognize same-sex marriages? Absolutely not. Because that would be unconstitutional. And the last thing we need right now is for Obama to do something else that conservatives can jump on as being a big government takeover of anything (never mind the fact that, let’s be real, federalism has some good things going for it). The President saying “IT SHALL BE SO” is not the answer to everything. DOMA is unconstitutional for the same reason that a federal move to try to force states to recognize same-sex marriages would be unconstitutional — it cuts both ways.

I don’t understand why people can’t recognize that the world does not operate according to our personal political ideals. A presidential administration cannot do everything we want it to do, nor can it even do everything the President might want it to do. And to refuse to acknowledge the fact that Obama has changed the playing field in a significant way without changing a single law is discrediting the power of rhetoric and soft power.

It would be unconstitutional for Obama to say that it is now the law that states must recognize same-sex marriage. Definitely not unconstitutional for him to say that he thinks gay marriage bans violate the Constitution, rather than just that he personally supports the right of people to marry someone of the same sex.

His interpretation of the Constitution is of course not law. It’s not like I want him to say, “Now all gay couples are able to get married, because I say so.” I wanted him to say, “Our Constitution says we must treat equals equally, so I think gay marriage bans are unconstitutional.”

It would be like if Eisenhower had said, “I personally think school segregation is a bad idea, but education is a matter left up to the states.” I understand why Obama needs to take that position politically, but it still frustrates me.

(via beyondareasonablestout)

Source: stayinbedgrowyrhair
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stayinbedgrowyourhair:

NO i don’t actually want to hear anything more about obama’s “support” for gay marriage until his administration actually makes positive steps to support some type of federal measure

at the very least he/they could vocally oppose state measures intended to prevent gay marriage or discriminate against gay people

until then

i will not be applauding

Right. To the extent the state extends a privilege (marriage) it must do so equally. Period. And while I’m glad Obama said what he said, he knows full well federalism is not appropriately used as a cover for the states to disenfranchise disfavored minorities.

That said, talking with a friend about Roe this afternoon - she made that argument that SCOTUS stepped in too early, we were better off having the states continue to liberalize their abortion laws, because the process didn’t happen organically via legislatures it polarized abortion much more than it would have been otherwise, etc. You’ve heard it.

I understand that argument, and strategically, I get why the LGBT establishment prefers the state-by-state, let’s-knock-down-DOMA-first strategy rather than this prop8/SCOTUS thing, and of course I get why Obama chose not to give his full-throated, “Of course the states and federal government must recognize the marriage of two people of the same sex of course they may not discriminate; we have a long line of jurisprudence saying exactly that! Loving, see romer, lawrence, etc.” 

But you know what? Obama’s made the political calculus that he can’t afford to do that. Fine. In a utilitarian sense, in winning-the-election sense, perhaps even for the rights of LGBT folks over the long run sense, that may have been the right call. But the other side of that calculus is that I get to be mad at him for this federalism-allows-states-to-ignore-the-14th-amendment idea. Or at least not give him accolades for it.

Source: stayinbedgrowyrhair
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"It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m right."

- Bryan Fischer, the new, loudest pro-family guy in the GOP, making his last stand against gay marriage, when asked how he felt about being called a bigot. Apparently no one has told him he’s already lost. 
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