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Equality Has A Party, And It Ain’t the GOP

[ 97 ] June 28, 2011 |

As Malaclypse notes, the great Patrick Neilsen Hayden has a perfect response to the idea that opposing marriage discrimination has become a bipatrisan cause:

Cranky moment. Over on Twitter, our Abi retweets a tweet by the generally excellent George Takei. In case Twitter is failwhaling, I’ll reproduce his remark: “Same-sex marriage was passed in NY by a Republican-controlled Senate. Equality has no party, freedom no partisans.”

George Takei is a guy who spent a big part of World War II in American concentration camps, and emerged to be a huge advocate of more democracy and equal rights for everybody. He was on Star Trek. He helped get LA’s new subway system going. He recorded this. His Totally Awesome Human Being credits are, well, astronomical.

But this is bullshit. “Same-sex marriage was passed in NY by a Republican-controlled Senate.” Yes, by 29 out of 30 Democratic state senators and 4 out of 32 Republicans. “Equality has no party?” That’s not what the numbers say.

Don’t mistake my political outlook. In New York State, just as at the federal level, the Democrats are nothing better than the party of the sane billionaires. “Let’s not actually kill everyone and take their money, let’s keep them alive and healthy and in a state of eternal indenture to the powerful” is their idea of progressivism. But you know something, it’s actually better than “let’s kill everyone and take their money.”

And you know something else? 29 out of 30 Democratic state senators voted for SSM. 4 out of 32 Republicans did. And Takei is claiming that “equality has no party.”

Great way to treat your friends.

Great way to treat the people that actually worked on this year after year. Want to look at how many times the (Democrat-controlled) New York Assembly passed SSM?

No, let’s lionize the four Republicans who “bravely” changed their minds, after a covert group of Republican donor billionaires promised to defend them from their bigot constituents, as documented in this terrific New York Times story. Profiles in courage. Yeah, let’s put these guys on stamps, instead of the people who actually worked for this when it wasn’t safe to do so.

More than one person in my corner of the twittoblogoverse has mordantly observed that 5-to-10 years from now, right-wing Republicans will be claiming that they passed same-sex marriage over Democratic opposition. They will indeed. And idiotic, sentimental, pudding-headed nonsense like this tweet from George Takei (who is generally more awesome than I will ever be in a million years) is what will enable them.

Exactly right. We’ve already seen this movie with the “liberal northern Republicans who were being excommunicated from the party supported civil rights, so actually conservatives supported civil rights too” routine.

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  1. soullite says:

    Unless you’re talking about class or income inequality, in which case, still no party.

    • Malaclypse says:

      Did you read PNH’s comment?

      Don’t mistake my political outlook. In New York State, just as at the federal level, the Democrats are nothing better than the party of the sane billionaires. “Let’s not actually kill everyone and take their money, let’s keep them alive and healthy and in a state of eternal indenture to the powerful” is their idea of progressivism. But you know something, it’s actually better than “let’s kill everyone and take their money.”

      Link to the wonderful Jonathan Schwarz added back.

  2. CJColucci says:

    There is the awkward political question about what progressive forces ouight to do about the 4 Republicans who did the right thing, and may be unusually vulnerable because of it.

    • strannix says:

      Exactly. The posture here seems not to be, “how do we build on this and persuade more people from the other side to join us?”

      Instead, it seems to be, “Game’s over! We won! Fuck you GOP!” Which seems a stupid position to take given the circumstances.

      Not to mention that building a rant around someone’s Tweet is stupid itself. Yes, let’s throw George Takei under the bus because of one vague, context-free Tweet. Why, that traitor just said that the GOP is awesome! He just spit in the face of everyone who’s been working for this!

      Except, no he didn’t.

      • Uncle Kvetch says:

        Yes, let’s throw George Takei under the bus

        Straw.

        Why, that traitor just said that the GOP is awesome!

        More straw.

        He just spit in the face of everyone who’s been working for this!

        Good grief, more straw.

        Don’t you ever get tired of this shit?

        • Holden Pattern says:

          Concern troll is concerned!

          • strannix says:

            29 out of 30 Democratic state senators voted for SSM. 4 out of 32 Republicans did. And Takei is claiming that “equality has no party. ”And Takei is claiming that “equality has no party.”

            Great way to treat your friends.

            Great way to treat the people that actually worked on this year after year.

            No, let’s lionize the four Republicans who “bravely” changed their minds…

            More than one person in my corner of the twittoblogoverse has mordantly observed that 5-to-10 years from now, right-wing Republicans will be claiming that they passed same-sex marriage over Democratic opposition. They will indeed. And idiotic, sentimental, pudding-headed nonsense like this tweet … is what will enable them.

            Sorry for the lengthy repost, but it’s clear that you didn’t read the post in question.

            Yes, I feel that I summed things up quite fairly.

            Spit in face of activists: check. (“great way to treat your friends”)

            Saying the GOP is awesome: check. (note that “lionize” is Hayden’s word)

            Throwing Takei under bus: check (“sentimental, pudding-headed nonsense”)

            • Malaclypse says:

              Massive usage of elipses to take quote way out of context? Check.

              Saying the GOP is awesome: check. (note that “lionize” is Hayden’s word)

              But his whole point was about how anybody who lionized the GOP was wrong. That was what his entire comment was about. Reading comprehension fail.

              Also, his last name is not “Hayden.”

            • Uncle Kvetch says:

              I read the post.

              “Someone whom I have enormous respect for has said something I think is dumb and misguided, and I’m disappointed by that” is not “throwing under the bus.”

              PNH got it absolutely right. George Takei is an all-around wonderful human being, and in this particular instance he’s 100% wrong.

              Now please find something else to work yourself into a tizzy over.

              • Jon H says:

                No, PNH didn’t get it right.

                NY isn’t the last state where equality is going to hinge on *some* number of Republicans voting for it.

                So why alienate them all? The last thing you want is for Republicans to go all tribal and uniformly treat gay marriage as a Democratic issue that has cooties and they want no part of.

                Better to point out that, hey, it’s *not* a pure Democratic issue, that Republicans *did* vote for gay marriage, and not just Republicans from Manhattan or the Hamptons or Fire Island, Bloomberg and Giuliani types. They’re from Rochester and Buffalo, the Hudson Valley and Albany.

                4 out of 32 is 12.5% That’s a *big* chunk of the electorate to throw away on this in order to preserve bragging rights. Which won’t work anyway, because the GOP will misappropriate whatever they want when they want it, and don’t mind telling blatant lies.

          • Norman ..Thomas the ..Socialist says:

            DNFTT

      • Malaclypse says:

        Yes, let’s throw George Takei under the bus

        By saying “George Takei (who is generally more awesome than I will ever be in a million years).”

        Worst. Strawman. Ever. Dear Cthulhu, I’ve seen NormyTheVeryDumb post more cleverly-constructed straw than that.

        • DrDick says:

          Concern troll is still cluelessly concerned.

        • strannix says:

          By saying “George Takei (who is generally more awesome than I will ever be in a million years).”

          Um, so what? He still accuses Takei of treating his friends poorly while pushing pudding-headed nonsense. A “Takei is usually cool” disclaimer doesn’t change the substance of what he wrote.

          • Malaclypse says:

            The idea that Republicans are equally accepting of equality is, indeed, pudding-headed nonsense.

            Saying that PNH “lionizes” Republicans is batshit stupid.

            • strannix says:

              The idea that Republicans are equally accepting of equality is, indeed, pudding-headed nonsense.

              Except that’s not what Takei said. I suppose it’s unlikely-but-possible that Takei thinks that, but it takes an act of mind-reading to know for sure. All he did, on its face, was celebrate the bill passing GOP-controlled Senate.

              This is why Neilsen Hayden’s comment bugs me. If he has so much respect for Takei, why not give him the benefit of the doubt? Why not ignore the Tweet altogether, until such time as Takei a) elaborates on it, or b) says something else that is more obviously offensive? There’s a rush to judgment here, and an eagerness to put words into the man’s mouth, that belies his supposed respect. And to me, it smacks of slf-righteous rigid ideological purity, targeted at one of the unambiguous good guys.

              Saying that PNH “lionizes” Republicans is batshit stupid.

              Not what I meant – I meant that he accuses Takei of lionizing the GOP. Which he explicitly does … again, “lionize” is Neilsen Hayden’s word.

              • Malaclypse says:

                And to me, it smacks of slf-righteous rigid ideological purity,

                PNH is one of the last people I would ever accuse of “self-righteous rigid ideological purity.” He’s got a pretty long track record of “more and better Democrats.”

                Not what I meant – I meant that he accuses Takei of lionizing the GOP.

                Then I misread you, and apologize. But I also disagree that PNH is accusing Takei of that. He linked to like 10 youtubes of Takei being totally awesome in calling out Republicans.

                • strannix says:

                  He’s got a pretty long track record of “more and better Democrats.”

                  Could be – I’m unfamiliar with him. In fairness, I should acknowledge that he may not have meant his comment to come across the way it does.

                  But I also disagree that PNH is accusing Takei of that.

                  Well, I’m afraid he does so pretty explicitly:

                  Want to look at how many times the (Democrat-controlled) New York Assembly passed SSM?

                  No, let’s lionize the four Republicans who “bravely” changed their minds, after a covert group of Republican donor billionaires promised to defend them from their bigot constituents, as documented in this terrific New York Times story. Profiles in courage. Yeah, let’s put these guys on stamps, instead of the people who actually worked for this when it wasn’t safe to do so.

                  Emphasis mine, of course.

                  The only way around this that I see is that PNH has stopped addressing Takei’s comments and is now addressing unspecified, possibly hyothetical comments of others. But if this is the case, he’s constructed a strawman of his own.

                • Jon H says:

                  “PNH is one of the last people I would ever accuse of “self-righteous rigid ideological purity.” He’s got a pretty long track record of “more and better Democrats.””

                  Maybe, but this looks like an ill-considered comment by PNH. Not up to his standard. Then again, it’s a comment he made on a post, not a full post. I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts more time into full posts. He may have been a bit heated when he posted this comment.

                • Jon H says:

                  I mean, he *says* “cranky moment”. That’s a pretty good clue that maybe he wasn’t thinking it through as calmly as he otherwise might.

          • Anonymous says:

            What, if anything, is the functional difference between throwing someone under the bus, and arguing their position is incorrect or misguided?

            Because if the former means the latter, let’s please retire the stupid phrase already.

            • Scott Lemieux says:

              Throwing that phrase under the bus would be a game-changer. On steroids! Let’s close the deal.

            • strannix says:

              You’re perhaps correct that I used the phrase flippantly. At any rate, it’s caused a lot of trouble for a handy (and admittedly overused!) euphemism.

              For the record, all I meant was that PNH, despite his supposed respect for Takei, shows a very quick willingness to criticize him on very harsh and accusatory terms based on a vague and seemingly harmless Tweet.

              If anyone has an issue with the use of “throw under the bus”, they are free to substitute their own euphemism.

          • dangermouse says:

            A “Takei is usually cool” disclaimer doesn’t change the substance of what he wrote.

            Of course it does.

        • NormanThomasTheSocialist..- says:

          DNFTT

      • Instead, it seems to be, “Game’s over! We won! Fuck you GOP!” Which seems a stupid position to take given the circumstances.

        Yes because gay marriage is the only issue that matters. So what if they may support the conservative agenda on every other issue, they were right on this one so good progressives should all vote them in the next election.

    • mark f says:

      Win their seats?

      • Campaign ferociously against them on every other issue except gay rights.

        Including during the primaries, when their opponents accuse them of selling out to the left.

        • hv says:

          Including during the primaries, when their opponents accuse them of selling out to the left.

          Individuals in the Republican Party should be applauded when they break ranks with their party. It takes quite a bit of courage to do so.

          I’m confused… when they are accused of selling out, should we be applauding them or helping take them down?

          • Applauding them among ourselves.

            Blasting them in public.

          • should we be applauding them or helping take them down?

            In a Republican primary, liberals applauding them would be “helping take them down.”

            We should blast them during Republican primaries because it would help them among Republican primary voters.

            • hv says:

              Brilliant plan! It combines the best of both worlds.

              Our praise will be hidden under a bushel and Republicans who consider defection won’t be embraced or emboldened. But we get this non-improvement at the low, low price of risking a long-term breach of trust with the public.

              It’s foolproof.

      • Jon H says:

        Takei’s not talking about elections. He’s talking about the Republicans who are in office whenever one of these bills comes up.

        Chances are, there won’t often be enough Democrats to pass the bills without GOP votes. Waiting until the Democrats to win enough seats to tilt the balance is a waste of time if you can get a few Republicans to flip NOW.

        New York didn’t wait until the Democrats could pass it in the Senate by themselves.

        So avoid spinning gay marriage as a Democratic issue. Position it as an issue Democrats and Republicans have voted for, that both sides have seen is the right way to go, to make it easier to flip enough Republicans onto the right side.

        • Jon H says:

          Or to put it another way: Takei doesn’t have patience for Democrats to get their shit together and win lots more districts and win control of a bunch of states. He’ll take Republican votes for gay marriage. The issue is, in fact, bigger than a stupid partisan pissing match.

  3. Margarita says:

    There’s also the fact that the Republican leadership’s “official” position was that it was a vote of conscience for its members. Translation: “Those four guys? They’re not with us.”

    • MAJeff says:

      Exactly, and the Republicans back home in Buffalo are making it clear they’re pissed off at Grisanti.

      http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article470472.ece

      • Grisanti was a Democrat. He might well be again– without getting too much into the minutia of Erie County politics here it would not surprise me if the local Dems took him back into the fold in the face of a Republican primary challenge. The signs point to it: Cuomo has consolidated his authority over the various factions of the party here; the most liberal assemblyman in the area personally lobbied Grisanti and assured him that he’d have liberal support which would overcome any conservative religious backlash….

        • actor212 says:

          He might well be again– without getting too much into the minutia of Erie County politics here it would not surprise me if the local Dems took him back into the fold in the face of a Republican primary challenge.

          Francine Del Monte would throw a shit fit the likes of which Buffalo hasn’t seen since, well, since Accardo kicked her ass in 2010.

  4. Glenn says:

    While it’s certainly true that this was a victory mostly for the Democrats, I wouldn’t go too far in the other direction. Dean Skelos didn’t have to bring this to the floor, and if you know Albany at all, you know that the leaders of the two houses don’t give a rat’s ass about whether they look “anti-democratic” (small d) or not. Joe Bruno consistently and single-handedly blocked marriage and even the state’s employment non-discrimination act from a vote for years on end. So Skelos deserves some credit here.

  5. There was a lot of this same nonsense when DADT repeal passed among the gay rights activists at DKos.

    Lots of “Thank you, Susan Collins!” comments and diaries, but not one step back on their criticism of the Congressional Democrats and the “Homophobe in Chief,” who’d been voting for and pushing for the bill all along.

    • MPAVictoria says:

      Joe thank you for pointing this out. One of the things that has been driving me crazy recently is the refusal on many progressive blogs to give Obama ANY credit for all the important work he has done on gay rights. Shakesville is a great example of this phenomenon.

    • Ed says:

      More is expected from your own side, or from those who say they are on your side and ask and receive your support. This is not only human but quite natural. In addition activists tend to be just that – people who have dedicated their lives to the cause. They know just how hard they had to push and at the moment of victory may not feel wildly grateful to those who required the pushing. Why not offer thanks to someone who risks her seat on your behalf?

      • More is expected from your own side

        Campaigning for the cause for years, pushing for it throughout the legislative session, working to try to bring about its passage, and voting for it every time it came up in Congress – that is, the contributions of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and virtually every Democrat in the Senate – is “more” than eventually voting the right way after helping to block it for a year (the contribution from Brown and Collins).

        Why not offer thanks to someone who risks her seat on your behalf?

        It’s not the expression of gratitude to Collins that is the problem. It’s the lack of gratitude, of even greater gratitude, to those who did a lot more for the cause, that is the problem.

  6. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    Gotta disagree with this:

    We’ve already seen this movie with the “liberal northern Republicans who were being excommunicated from the party supported civil rights, so actually conservatives supported civil rights too” routine.

    This really isn’t fair to the liberal Northern Republicans in the mid-1960s, who were, indeed, later excommunicated but who were, at the time, a much more significant portion of their party than the four marriage-equality supporting NY Republicans are of theirs.

    Similarly, white supremacist Southern Democrats (soon, it should be said, to become not only Republicans but leading Republicans) were a much more significant portion of their party in ’64 and ’65 than the two NY Democrats who voted against marriage equality are of theirs.

    Let’s look at the vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

    The original House version:
    Democratic Party: 152-96 (61%-39%)
    Republican Party: 138-34 (80%-20%)

    Cloture in the Senate:
    Democratic Party: 44-23 (66%–34%)
    Republican Party: 27-6 (82%–18%)

    The Senate version:
    Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%–31%)
    Republican Party: 27-6 (82%–18%)

    The Senate version, voted on by the House:
    Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%–37%)
    Republican Party: 136-35 (80%–20%)

    What can be said honestly about this?

    First, region was in fact much more important than party in this vote.

    Secondly, this very vote helped transform the two parties in question, so that what was absolutely true of the Democratic and Republican Parties in 1964 was no longer true within a decade.

    At any rate, this is a fundamentally different state of affairs from the vote in NY this week.

    It was the case that, for a moment in the mid-1960s, Civil Rights was not so much a matter of party than of region.

    It is simply not the case today that equal marriage rights is not a matter of party.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      Here are the votes on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by party AND region:

      The original House version:
      Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7%–93%)
      Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0%–100%)
      Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%–6%)
      Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%–15%)

      The Senate version:
      Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5%–95%)
      Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0%–100%)
      Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%–2%)
      Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%–16%)

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Yes, but note that even in 1964 Republicans in both regions were less likely to vote for the CRA, and it was a Democratic president who did the necessary nut/ovary-cutting.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        You beat me to my point!

        • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

          Oh, absolutely, Scott! I’m certainly not endorsing ridiculous contemporary GOP revisionism about Civil Rights in the ’60s.

          But I do think that those mid-60s votes were actually bipartisan and looked fundamentally unlike the vote in NY last week…and we shouldn’t engage in revisionism of our own to disguise this fact.

          • Scott Lemieux says:

            That’s true — Republicans had more to do with the CRA than with the New York vote. Conservatives, however, were equally firmly opposed.

            • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

              Absolutely.

              And, of course, that’s the biggest change between 1964 and today.

              In 1964, the GOP, especially in the North, was not a conservative party (though it included many conservatives). And the Democratic Party in the South was a deeply conservative party.

              Today, at least in NY state, there are few remaining (socially) conservative Democrats. And the GOP is deeply conservative across the country.

  7. actor212 says:

    My suspicion is Takei didn’t read the vote carefully, or he would have been more carefully in how he characterized it. He just assumed “majority controlled” meant a firm lock on the vote, rather than as little as a 51-49% mandate (or some similar proportion…I can’t be arsed to do math today).

    I’d cut him some slack over a bit of irrational exuberance, and be a bit more circumspect in how I’d bring his error to his attention but that’s just me.

  8. Vertov says:

    I think Takei’s diplomatic “good on you” shows a lot more political astuteness than a spiteful “Great way to treat your friends” directed at a prominent ally.

    The most successful pressure groups focus on both parties, even if its a 90/10 split. And they don’t belittle the 10 percent, either – it makes them less likely to join the next time around, and if YOU’RE calling ‘em contemptible RINOs, well, so will the Hugh Hewitts of the world.

    I’d like to see some pragmatic politics working to help move the country leftward. This won’t happen if we denigrate legislators who openly buck the talk-radio types.

    DU

    • strannix says:

      This is all I was trying to say above. Thanks for saying it better than me.

      • Tiercelet says:

        Yes, this is what you were trying to say, and it’s still a stinking load when either of you says it.

        A diplomatic “good on you” would be something like “Tremendous thanks to those Republicans who supported, and continue to support, this key human rights issue” (hey, 32 characters left!)

        That’s not what was said. What he said was “Equality has no party.” Which is hogwash, except in the sense that both parties are willing to sell out or back-burner equality when they deem it politically convenient (looking at you Mr. President).

        “Equality has no party” strongly suggests that this was a bipartisan vote, that it was something everyone got behind, that this vote didn’t show a gaping fault line between the parties and that both contributed equally to the eventual outcome. When in reality, it would’ve been an even shorter thank-you if Takei had individually named the specific Republicans who supported this.

        It winds up being more of the false-equivalency idiocy that gums up our entire national civic discourse, when the reality is there’s a reason Log Cabin Republicans are a joke everywhere, there’s a reason that this bill could never have happened if Democrats had given merely seven times as much support for it as Republicans. Takei would have been much wiser not to go there at all.

        It’d be like describing Bush’s 2003 tax cut as “bipartisan” because 7 Dem reps and 2 Dem senators voted for it. It is *a gross misrepresentation of what actually happened*, and there were better ways to achieve whatever good aims you attribute to Takei’s communication.

        And one more thing — as for “pragmatic politics moving the country leftward,” keep dreaming. Pragmatic politics from progressives is how we got this far to the right.

    • It’s possible that Takei was being more forward-looking that we think. One of the revolutions in anti-binge drinking campus campaigns in the last 5 years is the realization that people tend towards what they think of as the norm: traditional anti-binge campaigns gave the impression that there was lots of binge drinking going on, and rates actually went up sometimes; current campaigns focus on “smart choices” and trying to marginalize binging as unusual behavior.

      Takei’s claim that equality is a priority for both parties makes it possible to imagine marginalizing anti-homosexual views within the Republican party as well as the Democratic party (which isn’t uniformly pro-SSM, etc., but mostly).

      • Mark Centz says:

        It shouldn’t be forgotten that Takei was imprisoned under the best president the party of equality is ever likely to elect, simply because of his race. While the D’s have been by far the better civil rights party for the entire lifetime for most of us here, that isn’t true of Takei who thus is in a good position to remember that things change. Plenty of democrats have been wobbly on this and other progressive issues, and a little friendly pressure isn’t always a bad thing.

  9. Vertov says:

    Let’s not forget that some Republican lawmakers were necessary because the gay marriage advocates knew they could never change Dem. Senator Ruben Diaz’s mind.

    Magnanimity in victory, you know?

    • Glenn says:

      Well, even with Diaz the entire 30-vote Dem caucus is not enough to pass a bill in the Senate, you need 32. But yes, the fact that Diaz was unswayable meant pro-equality forces need an extra Republican. Fortunately, they got 2.

  10. Burt Likko says:

    Was Hayden raised by wolves? Name-calling and confrontation are lots of fun and there is some political utility to them. But there is also a time and a place when conciliation and courtesy are required, even with people you ordinarily love to hate, and one of those times is when people you ordinarily count as your opponents incur substantial personal political risk in support of something that you consider important.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Oh, fer crissakes. Yes, I’m sure comment #50 on a Making Light thread will transform the SSM debate in this country for many years.

      • strannix says:

        Ha ha. And to think that I was accused of strawmanning above … I must have missed the part where Burt, instead of merely making a general point, said that this “will transform the debate.”

        This is especially ironic since you are the one that plucked it from obscurity as “comment #50″ and gave it a broader platform. It sure looks like having an impact on (if not exactly “transforming”) the debate is exactly what you had in mind.

        • Furious Jorge says:

          I hate the fact that concern troll actually has a point.

          • strannix says:

            What are you, like, a child who saw a grown-up use the term “concern troll” once, and thought it would be cool if you did it too?

            Because I’m not sure that the term means what you think it means. A “concern troll” is not simply someone who disagrees with the party line. For better or worse, I’ve responded to objections, clarified my arguments, and generally made my case and contributed to the discussion.

            You, on the other hand, show up hours after the fact, and contribute nothing except trying to curry favor with the group by throwing insults around, apparently finding it amusing to call me a concern troll for the third? fourth? time in this thread.

            And I’m the troll? Fuck off.

            • Norman..- ThomasThe Socialist. says:

              And I’m the troll?

              MMMMMmmmmmm…..yep

              • Norman..- T.homasThe Socialist. says:

                And I’m the troll?

                MMMMMmmmmmm…..yep

                If you want to play sockpuppetry, two can play this game….

                This will ruin this board.

            • Furious Jorge says:

              Did I hurt your widdle fee fees?

              And yes, you are a concern troll. You’ve been a concern troll in plenty of threads here. I know a concern troll when I see one, and I’m talking to one right now.

              Also, I’m sorry I don’t have a Google Alert set up to let me know when strannix posts a comment so I can show up in a more timely fashion that would apparently be more suitable for you, but part of the beauty of blogs is that that doesn’t really matter.

  11. Murc says:

    Speaking purely for myself, Jim Alesi won my vote for his action on this issue.

    ONE vote. Once. If he wants me to CONTINUE voting for him, he’d better preform equally well on other issues in the future. Otherwise I go back to voting for his perennially under-funded (or nonexistent) and forgettable Democratic opponents.

    (This offer applies only to my statehouse reps. It would take somethign pretty extraordinariy to get me to vote Republican at the congresisonal level.)

  12. Joe says:

    Sure. And, the split in the NY Senate is 32-30. Bare majority. 29 Dems (a few more this time) voted for SSM. The assembly already did. Even partisans find it hard to lockstep against equality and public support totally. See also, DADT.

    Strategically, it’s useful to say a few nice words about the other side when they do something like this. When some Republican legislative body votes on some gay rights issue, activists can say “hey, the Republican led NY Senate supported marriage, can’t you support this?”

    But, let’s not be too confused. One party is sane these days. Leaves a lot to be desired sometimes, but sane.

    • cer says:

      I’d agree that strategically it is good to gloat that this is a legislature moving on this and that it required GOP support but it is also important to emphasize that it was not the party that moved on this but individuals. It’s important to continue to point the finger at what the GOP is doing elsewhere AND to acknowledge the leadership role of Democrats here. One party is on the right side of history, don’t sell them short by trying to soothe the egos of the GOP, most of whom are happy to have the bigots representing their party.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      At least on this issue it’s sane.

      Meanwhile, both major parties are currently spending their time trying to figure out how to cut the federal deficit in the middle of an economy desperately in need of further stimulus. And that’s just nuts (which is not to say that there’s no difference between the two parties plans, as their certainly is).

  13. Matt McIrvin says:

    This is kind of like the biblical parable about the workers in the vineyard, or, better, the Prodigal Son. The person who came over to the right side at the last minute gets the applause; the ones who were faithful all along naturally feel shafted. But while it seems unfair, it doesn’t necessarily mean this is the wrong way to play it, if more conversions like that are what you’re going for. Presumably the point of agitating for better policy is to get better policy, not to get congratulations for it.

    • Jon H says:

      ” But while it seems unfair, it doesn’t necessarily mean this is the wrong way to play it, if more conversions like that are what you’re going for. ”

      Right. Winning in further states is going to depend on a few Republicans voting for equality. Yay for the Democrats who vote for it, but, really, they weren’t enough to get it done.

      So avoid turning gay marriage into an exclusively Democratic issue that becomes poison for Republicans, like public health care or something like that. Remind them that Republicans vote for it, Republicans like Ken Mehlman support it. Give them some cover, so you can get a few Republican people to flip and get the bills passed.

      Will Republicans try to claim all the credit for it? Sure, but they’re shameless. They’ll claim credit for gay marriage in NY and stopping gay marriage elsewhere, simultaneously, while subjecting the 4 NY Republicans to a witch hunt led by Bill Donohue. There’s little that can be done as long as they’ve got FOX News and the WSJ, so might as well focus on getting legislation passed.

  14. [...] interesting to examine a recent manifestation of taking misplaced credit. Lawyers, Guns & Money links to Patrick Nielsen Hayden on the New York passage of same-sex massage, which discusses George [...]

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