Thursday, August 8, 2002

Only Democrats use gay litmus test

The title is the headline of an editorial that appeared in the 1 August Orlando Sentinel. The occasion that provoked the column (written by the Orange County Republican party Chairman) was a statement by his Democratic Party counterpart that a gay person voting for (gay) Republican state house candidate Patrick Howell would be like a "Jew voting for Hitler". Absolutely disgusting.

I'm not sure how long the Sentinel keeps articles online, so here is the entire text of the letter.


I was shocked to read Doug Head's comment regarding Republican State House candidate Patrick Howell in Tuesday's Orlando Sentinel. Head said that a gay person voting for Republican Patrick Howell would be like "a Jew voting for Hitler."
Comparing any candidate to Hitler is so extreme, so vulgar and so desperate that it begs for a reaction of indignant outrage.
Fortunately, I do not think Head represents most — or indeed any — of his Democratic voters.
Furthermore, how can any party chairman regard any voting block as exclusively Republican or Democrat? Voters do not belong to me or to my party, like distinct herds of cattle.
How terribly presumptuous, not to mention condescending, of Head to Democratic voters, gay and otherwise.
We Republicans seek allies wherever we can get them, rejecting none out of hand. Ronald Reagan said it best: "Someone who agrees with me 80 percent of the time is a valued friend and ally, not a 20 percent traitor."
For my part as Republican Party chairman, I am happy to be supporting Patrick Howell, not because he is gay, but because he is a hard-working, long-standing Republican who intends to support the president, the governor, the House leadership and the Republican agenda. He will serve all of his constituents, not just 10 percent to 20 percent of them. The Republican Party, to its credit, doesn't care about Howell's sexual orientation. The fact that he has another unique connection with part of his district is simply in furtherance of that old bromide that "all politics is local."
When Republicans say we are a "big-tent" party of inclusion, we mean it. There are no "litmus tests" here. In Orange County this year, we are running many diverse candidates — African-American, Hispanic and now one gay person. But all are Americans and Republicans first. This may cost us a few votes today. But the principles of "team play" and diversity are worth it tomorrow. That is why the Republican Party will continue to bring our message, complete with locally appropriate messengers, to every constituency that will give us a chance.
The final irony of this episode is that it sets back the cause Head, the Democratic Party and much of the gay community supposedly believe in so fervently: that of equality of opportunity.
A person's sexual orientation is not supposed to be relevant, and, yet, which party has officially made it an issue and a litmus test? The Democrats. And which party does not care? The Republicans. I am proud of that, and proud to be a Republican today.
To continue Head's terribly inappropriate Nazi analogy, he would be the one pinning the yellow stars and pink triangles on the voters and candidates alike, making sure that each stuck to its own.
How tragic it would be if anyone followed him.
Lew Oliver is chairman of the Orange County Republican Party.
posted at 03:38 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

I'm not surprised by this at all. As the left continues to slowly and surly lose it's grip on the "gay vote", it's doing anything and everything it can to demonize the Republican party, and try to guilt homosexuals into towing the party line.

To bad for the Democratic party on this one, but homosexuals are as different from each other as they are from straight people. We don't all vote for liberals, we don't all think that "gay" issues are the most important thing in deciding our party alliance, and even when we do, we don't all think that the Democratic party is the sure and true path to justice and equality for everyone.

The fact is, there are very, very few political battles left to fight when it comes to gay rights. Short of total marriage rights for gay and straight alike, there's not a whole lot left for the government to do. The real fight for gay rights is one that must be fought by people - changing social attitudes and gaining acceptance - not passing new legislation.

People who don't understand how a gay person could be a Republican fail to understand one basic fact about party politics - When I cast my vote for a candidate, I do so because I think that person best serves my purposes in the most pragmatic way possible. I don't have to love the candidate, I don't even have to like the candidate, I just have to believe that the candidate will serve my purposes, whether they know it or not.

It's true that many republicans may have discriminatory attitudes towards gays, just as I'm sure many democrats do. I'm sure I can find detestable individuals among the ranks of both parties - but that doesn't mean I abstain from voting. I want small government, free markets, and strong national defense, so I vote for a republican.

Whether or not I would like the person if I were to meet them at a party is of no consequence. I’m not shopping for a new best friend. When I evaluate a potential candidate for president, or congress, or whatever, I add up the ticks in the plus and minus column, and pick the guy who can stay in the Red.

posted by Sean Kirby on August 9, 2002 06:45 PM

I'm probably as conservative as gay men come, but I still would find it very, very hard to vote for a Republican.

I agree with the Republicans on many issues, but I just can't get past certain nagging issues, like, say, accepting me as a person as well as believing I should have the same rights as any other taxpaying American citizen? Why is it that, on the national stage as well as the Republican base in the South, candidates are afraid to reach out homosexuals? Instead, today's Southern Strategy consists of a wink and a nod to the party's religious right and a platform that is hostile to gays and lesbians.

Sure, the democrats are taking gays for granted just like they take the black vote for granted. But if you think helping to advance the Republican agenda is going to be any better, then you're sadly mistaken.

posted by Aaron W. Benson on February 20, 2003 12:10 AM

Clinton Administration employed Enron Accounting

I read this over at Ipse Dixit, and it made my blood boil. After listening to the Dems rake the GOP over the coals over "corporate malfeasance", it is manifestly obvious that the only difference between Enron and the Clinton Administration is that the people at Enron got caught. Go to Ipse Dixit to read the numbers (I'm not going to steal Dodd's thunder), because they are astonishing and outrageous. If this had happened on Bush's watch, every bloody media outlet in the country and every bloody donk in Washington would be screaming their heads off, but I expect a deafening silence from the left over this nonsense.

Wanna bet that they will still try to link Bush to the corporate scandals, and dismiss this as more "hatchet jobs from the vast right-wing conspriracy"? Bloody hypocritical bastards.

posted at 03:06 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Entering the blogosphere

After discovering the Blogtree Project (via Ipse Dixit) and adding my blog's details, I thought a little about where/when I first discovered blogs.

One day last November, I ran a google search on either Wan Chai or Sham Shui Po (they are both subway stations in Hong Kong), and one of the returned results was a personal site run by a guy in Hong Kong (, which redirects to his new URL, Big White Guy). The only other blogs I knew about were the blogs of his friends, which didn't hold my interest like his did.

I continued reading his blog, because his writing style was interesting, and I was vaguely familiar with some of the places he described, from my previous visits to Hong Kong. One day, he noted that he had been nominated for some type of web award, and when I followed the link, I discovered several categories of blogs. Following links at random, I stumbled across VodkaPundit, which served as a portal to the rest of the "warbloggers", to use a term I really hate, but describes most of the blogs I read and to which I link.

My questions to you:

What was the first blog you discovered? How did you encounter it? If it is not a blog that fits into the "warblogger" circle, how did you come across those blogs? I am assuming that virtually all of my readers originally came from a site that links to me, and they are almost all political commentary of one stripe or another.

posted at 02:59 PM | permalink | Comments (6)

If I rember correctly, it was Oliver Willis' site. My "Only a Crazy Person Picks A Fight With Someone That's Nuts" rant made its way around the web and boards like a virus, he commented on it, and after a google search for the false "Orion Ramsey" author... I saw his weblog.

Then, I had no idea what the heck the weblog concept was, didn't have a clue I had written warblogger-bait, and I wandered off for another month or two before stumbling across the concept again.

As for coming across you, well, I think I just chased a referral rabbit back to your little hidey-hole. (here? blogspot?)

posted by Laurence Simon on August 6, 2002 03:21 PM

USS Clueless-- as a new MetaFilter reader curious about SDB's style.

posted by sassafrass on August 6, 2002 04:56 PM

Technically, I think it was Lileks which was Site of the Day at NRO. I didn't pay much attention to the bleat as I was completely captivated by the Institute of Official Cheer and spent most of my lunch hours laughing hysterically and hoping someone would notice when I choked on my sandwich.

The first warblog was which, again, I think I found on NRO.

I am a promiscuous link-clicker so AS led me to Instapundit and the rest, as they say, is history.

posted by Carol on August 6, 2002 05:45 PM

I was an NRO site of the day? Dang.

posted by Lileks on August 7, 2002 08:16 PM

Let's see, that would be to Reason online, Reason to Virginia Postrel, Postrel to Glenn Reynolds. But how did I get to Lucianne?

posted by Janis Gore on August 8, 2002 09:33 AM

Long time no see (and now you solved yet another old-site-referral mystery). Nice place you've got here (are old timers allowed to stick with Scutum?).
As for your questions - not one of your assumed averaged visitors:
first blogs encountered - Cameworld + Zeldman's daily report - the Webies kind, around May 2001 (the credit goes to an independent Israeli Webzine, by which I hang around ever since, "Concept"); first warblogger - as far as I recall, that was Instapundit (but the encounter was not an act of volition... I read one of Glenn Raynolds' legal-articles and noticed, at its bottom, a note saying the gentleman runs his own independent site. So I step right in); as for finding your old site, as I said back then, via the Vodkapundit, who linked to your brief about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
and just for the sake of reaffirming the notion that it's a small world - I myself "encounter", from time to time, BWG's comments, as Jimformation is on my personal blogroll. and so are the Bleats...
I hope you find all that of some interest.

posted by Michal, Israel on August 11, 2002 07:28 PM

Monday, August 5, 2002

Stupid letters from Florida

Today's edition of the Fort Myers News-Press has taken to flacking for the Democratic Party, in the guise of today's featured letter. The amount of demagouguery and doublespeak in this letter requires a response.

As election season approaches, let us pause to look at the leadership of President Bush and the Republican Party. America’s world-wide reputation is at its lowest in decades — and that is among our allies!

America's world-wide reputation is at its lowest in decades if you judge public sentiment in Europe from the pages of The Guardian and La Figaro and other organs of the left. The French (in general) and some of the more socialistic governments (Schroeder's Germany, and lefty stalwarts such as Sweden) dislike us, but they dislike anyone who doesn't share their worldview. The fact that Bush is acting in AMERICA'S interests, rather than theirs, pisses them off to no end.

As to the rest of the world, there is nothing that would improve our image amongst the masses except selling out the Israelis and dumping our GDP on leaders whose corruption and incompetence have mired their nations in debt since the 1960s or earlier. That's simply stupid.

Of course, Clinton was a master of doublespeak; his words and his actions didn't track very closely at all. Bush is a lot more likely to follow a course of action that matches what he says he's doing. If what you want is rhetoric and happy talk, the Dems are your kind of people.

There doesn’t seem to be a treaty that this administration isn’t willing to abrogate, withdraw from or simply ignore. These include treaties on global warming, nuclear arms, international justice and human rights. President Bush has turned the United States into one of the worst human rights violators in the world with the illegal detention of prisoners of war at Guantanamo Bay by simply inventing a category of detainee not recognized by any international body (and criticized by even our closet allies)!

The Kyoto treaty, which Bush ignores, was sent before the senate in a trial balloon during the previous administration; the senate voted it down 95-0. (That means nobody voted in support of it, for those who have trouble with numbers). The ABM treaty of the 1970's is a relic, developed in part to prevent the US from developing a missile defense system; we withdrew from the treaty under the protocols designed in the treaty from its inception. As for the "illegal detention" at Guantanamo Bay, in what way are they illegal? Offending the sensibilities of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch does not amount to illegal activity. In any case, the statement that we are now one of the "worst human rights violators in the world" is absolutely inane and inflammatory.

Economically, the Bush administration has orchestrated one of the worst declines in recent memory. Somehow he doesn’t understand that his tax cut to the rich led to the huge deficit the United States is now facing. His tax cut has led to funding problems for homeland security and prescription drug coverage for senior citizens.

The current decline started well before the Bush team took office. In fact, the majority of the losses suffered by the stock market occured prior to January 20th, 2001, during the sainted Clinton regime.

The writer weighs in with a totally predictable swipe at tax cuts (even though they don't reduce tax rates to the level prior to the Clinton tax hike of 1993, they are characterized as "massive"), and insists that prescription drug coverage for seniors is as important as the security of the entire country, demagoging the issue yet again.

He and Vice President Cheney’s questionable business conduct has been a source of concern for usually conservative Wall Streeters. After the unveiling of his touted business corruption reform package, the stock market has fallen to record lows, as it seems both the president and vice president have engaged in the unethical practices which he now seeks to outlaw. Wall Street must feel that the fox might be trying to guard the hen house. Even staunch Republicans couldn’t stomach the vice president looking at the camera and extolling the virtues of Arthur Andersen.

I must have missed the valentine to Arthur Anderson, which has been barred from conducting audits on any federal agency. As to the Harken deal, it was examined in 1994 and 1998 (when Bush ran for governor) and again in 2000, when he ran for president. It was not an issue because there was no scandal involved. Do you really think that Al Gore and Ann Richards were incompetent enough to overlook this issue, which would have been a bombshell if true? And the overwrought hysteria about the stock market's "historic lows" is execrable; They are higher now than they were at any time during Clinton's first term. Try using facts to support your arguments, rather than mindless blather.

The Democratic Party, on the other hand, offers a fresh approach to fulfilling our country’s commitments to our seniors. It is committed to working with our allies rather than dictating to — or even worse — ignoring them. It is committed to tax fairness, so that America’s priorities can be funded at the needed levels. It is committed to balancing economic development with the environment, not treating the environment as just another “thing” to be used up at will.

The Democratic Party has offered nothing at all, except class warfare rhetoric and empty attacks on the GOP. Their groundless (yet ultimately successful) screeching against privatization of social security killed that plan, while the Democrats offered no alternative. They would rather we subvert the US constitution to the whims of the ICC, which is clearly in violation of the fifth and sixth amendments to the constitution. They have demonstrated over and over that environmental concerns trump property rights, economic benefits, and common sense. They fail to grasp the basics of economics by insisting that we can tax our way to prosperity.

So as we consider which party to vote for, do we want more of this Republican mess? Let us rather vote for a party with a plan for the future of all America, not one that is constantly defending its mistakes or only looking out for the interests of the wealthy. Vote Democrat, for a change.

The Democratic Party is the source of much of our current malaise. Gridlock rules, blocked by a senate that has done nothing except obstruct and attack. The Democrats have substituted name-calling, mudslinging, and the politics of envy for serious debate, because they are desperately scrambling to obscure from the voters that their agenda is intellectually bankrupt.

MARK BOWEN, Cape Coral

I ran a targetted google search on Mr. Bowen, and at the very least he doesn't appear to be a professional hack or an inveterate crank such as some of the letter writers in Seattle. That doesn't make his views any more palatable.

posted at 09:56 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

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