by Jessica Osman of Drawnlines Politics.
You’ve probably heard by now that Barbara Bush recently came out in support of gay marriage. She has joined other Republican heavy hitters’ daughters such as Mary Cheney and Meghan McCain. In addition, Cindy McCain has posed for the NoH8 campaign in support of gay marriage and even Laura Bush has said that gay marriage will come and that she’s “OK with that”. These women are certainly doing their part to break stereotypes that all Republicans or conservatives think the same and that there is room for differing ideas within a party.
These ladies are just a few in a large group of center-right people that are calling for our leaders to stand down on this issue. Gay Americans and their allies are not asking for special treatment, they are asking – nay, demanding – the same treatment as other Americans. Let us not forget that until the 1960’s interracial marriage was illegal and today most people wouldn’t give it a second thought. This is just another time in our history where we have to fight to break down barriers and open people’s eyes to the fact that they are denying basic freedoms and saying that one group is more superior and deserving than another. Domestic partnership laws and civil unions only recognized in certain states are not equality, they are just the same oppressions, but with a pretty bow on it. It’s not “separate but equal”.
One of the large dividing factors is the serious religious ties to the idea of marriage. Why do the people that use this as a reason not have a problem with atheists, agnostics, “spiritual” people, etc. getting married? Also, so often people cry out about “separation of church and state” when they feel religion is getting involved in government, but why not cry out the same when the government is so clearly involved in a religious institution?
If I were in a position of legislative power here’s what I would propose: First, rename the legal binding/recognition of a couple. Any consenting adult couple should be allowed to be legally bound and receive the benefits and recognition that go along with that. Instead of the state issuing a “marriage license” they would issue a “civil union license” or whatever we decide to call it. This would put everyone, regardless of religion or sexual orientation, on the same playing field and be afforded the same rights under the law, with insurance companies, etc. People have such strong feelings about the definition of the word marriage, so just take it out of the equation. Second, if a couple wants a religious “marriage” ceremony they can still have it – we just leave it up to the individual places of worship to decide what type of services they will provide.
As a Christian and a Republican, I proudly support gay marriage and believe more people need to publicly take a stand like the Bush and McCain women and so many others. Marriage for all is coming and we are going to need people from both sides of the aisle to work together and find the middle ground.
by Jessica Osman of Drawnlines Politics.
I absolutely love movies and every winter while many are enjoying sports playoffs and championships, I revel in award shows. The glitz and glamour is so easy to get wrapped up in and it’s usually a lot of fun to watch. Yes, there are problems going on all around us and Hollywood is superficial, but it’s entertainment and if we take it as that, I think we’ll be alright.
It’s widely known that Hollywood is very liberal and audiences were slapped with a reminder of this during this past weekend’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. The Screen Actors Guild is a union and it is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. What I find pretty funny is that most of the people being honored and attending the award show are probably very far removed from the union and the benefits that it might provide those new or still struggling in the business. Keeping this in mind, I almost choked on my dinner when I heard the President of SAG, Ken Howard, “give a shout out to the teamsters and the AFL-CIO” and the audience break out into applause. The award immediately following Mr. Howard’s speech was won by Alec Baldwin. During his acceptance speech he also thanked the Teamsters. As I started to fume, John Hamm made a joke presenting the next award saying that “according to the Teamsters, the Actor goes to…”
The SAG awards reminded me that so many in Hollywood believe that because they have a microphone and an audience, that they should voice their opinions and that they’re right. This is not so. (I have a couch and a camera, but it doesn’t mean I’m Oprah and should start a talk show). I, like many people I’m sure, do not watch award shows to listen to how great the unions are or what Susan Sarandon or Sean Penn or Michael Moore think about the President. I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert while the Health Care Reform Bill was originally being debated and he stopped singing at one point to talk about it. I did not pay to hear his political views, I paid to watch and listen to him perform. Even if I did agree with him, I would have still been annoyed by this.
I understand that having a celebrity or big name behind a political movement or cause, like a product, is great exposure, but there are appropriate places. If stars want to share their opinions and feelings on talk shows, their personal web pages and at rallies, so be it. I do not think that award shows and concerts are the place for that. If there is something that a celebrity is really passionate (and educated) about then there are plenty of outlets for them to use. There is no need to use bait and switch tactics to get people to listen to them (i.e. you think you’re just watching someone accept an award and before you know it you’re left wondering if you accidently changed the channel to CNN). We are in an age where people are obsessed with celebrities and, sadly, will buy anything (tangible or otherwise) that they attach their name to so getting a TV spot to talk about what they want is not hard.
Let’s remember that just because a celebrity says something it does not make them right or that they even know what they’re talking about. Hollywood is entertainment and a chance for people to break from reality for a few hours and just relax. Sit back, watch the show and laugh.
by Jessica Osman of Drawnlines Politics.
In November on Election Night on Drawnlines Politics we discussed Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican” and I’ve been mulling over this concept in the recent wake of a heated REC election in Broward County. For those close to it, you know the drama wasn’t even between the candidates themselves, but from the general REC members. One person got a hold of a list of everyone’s emails and it was blind copy and forward hell from there until after the election. Now an uncensored forum has been started where people continue to call each other RINOs, talk trash about the newly elected board members and say how doomed BREC is. (All with anonymous screen names, of course.) You know what? BREC is doomed. These loud few are a poison that seeks to get into the veins of as many members as possible and destroy an organization and until they are gone the rest of us are just trying to keep BREC afloat.
The political opposition is supposed to be liberals and Democrats. Instead, the target has become “fellow” Republicans; Republicans that step up to the leadership plate and want to enhance the party no less! I placed “fellow” in quotes because I believe these people aren’t really Republicans and that, in fact, they are the real RINOs. It is one thing to question leadership, their motives and the direction of the party. It is quite another to constantly bash individuals and spew venom and hate. Enough is enough.
With any and every election there are those that voted for the winners and those that voted for the losers. Since the beginning of democracy people have been able to put on their big kid pants, move on and try again in the next election cycle to back a winner. Why does it seem that this is a new concept? While in an election such as a primary or REC election I don’t think you should be forced to be happy with the winner, you should stay quiet or not get involved if you can’t get behind them. Why is this so difficult? Being a member of the REC is not a requirement of being an active Republican. Democrats don’t need any help getting dirt or finding weaknesses, why must we make it so easy for them?
REC members must sign a loyalty oath that says they will not actively campaign against any registered Republicans in partisan races. The oath also states that members “swear and affirm that [they] will not engage in activities or conduct that may be deemed…as likely to injure the name of the Republican Party or interfere with the activities of the Republican Party”. Hello, RINO? This is Violation, pleased to meet you.
What is possibly worse is that these are grown adults acting like squabbling children who can’t see the big picture. A county like Broward can change a statewide race and in a state like Florida it can change a national race. Certain members have claimed they are going to resign and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I hope they actually do. The faster they get out of BREC, the faster the real Republicans can get to work turning our government red.
by Jessica Osman of Drawnlines Politics
This month’s elections proved once again that politicians should listen to the people. Fed up citizens all over the country told their leaders they were sick of being ignored and of the business as usual practices in their states and in Washington. People spoke with their voices and their votes by ousting several incumbents, most notably Democrats. Many Republicans swept through to take control of everywhere from city and county offices all the way to the House of Representatives.
Republicans spent months telling voters how they would handle our money better than our current leaders and how they had learned from the mistakes of those we voted out in 2006 and 2008. These were Republicans who were returning to fiscal conservative cornerstones and promising to fix America. Voters made their choices and Republicans rode a wave of victory to office. Now what?
Now the real work begins. To stay in favor with voters, Republicans must now fulfill the promises they repeatedly made in their stump speeches. Without putting people back to work and fixing the economy and our deficit (or at least making huge strides in the right direction) the cycle of blame will start all over and Republicans will surely get the pink slip again. With America in crisis, we cannot afford to have politicians sitting at their desks pointing their fingers at their opposition saying no to everything brought to them or refusing to compromise on their own agenda. This is not the time for partisan bullying and pushing through an agenda that only one side will be happy with. Don’t misunderstand, absolutely, Republicans should push for more conservative spending and less taxes, but they shouldn’t be blind and deaf to all the people that don’t agree with them. They must not be too prideful to admit that there are good ideas they can take from Democrats. Plus, isn’t it better to lead a united force with members that feel appreciated and heard rather than rule like a tyrant and have constant grumblings of a coup going on? Republicans said Democrats didn’t listen; well if they want to get reelected they shouldn’t make it that easy for Democrats to turn around and say now they’re the ones not listening.
Republicans also need to not lose sight of what they’re supposed to be doing. This is not the time to push huge personal agendas or make waves with divisive social issues. Republicans get elected because they have generally proven they can handle money better and then they get voted out because once in office they want to push social reforms instead. For at least the next 2 years I think Republicans should ask themselves one question before submitting any bills, suggesting change, etc: “Will this have a positive, negative or no effect on our financial crisis?” If the answer is “positive”, run with it. If the answer is “negative”, run away from it. However, if the answer is “no effect”, just let it be. Items such as extending the Bush tax cuts, cap and trade, overseas aide and borrowing from overseas all can be answered with “positive” or “negative”. Some things like trying to overturn Roe v Wade or creating a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage are things to be left alone. Let me repeat: Leave. It. Alone. It’s not going to happen right now, it’ll upset voters and you were elected based on the promise to fix our economy. Push your social agenda in the next election cycle and see what your constituents think then. I would say almost no person who is struggling financially will be sitting at home saying “I have no idea how I’m going to make rent this month, but I sure am glad my legislators are discussing Roe v Wade”.
Republicans need to look at the long-term and not get tunnel vision. If they can’t keep their promises now, there’s no way voters are going to let them keep the House and then give them the Senate and the White House in 2012. We need all of our leaders to be smart right now and focus on common goals because in case they haven’t noticed, unlike so many of them in the past, this crisis reaches across party lines.
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by Jessica Osman of Drawnlines Politics.
This is the most important mid-term election in over a decade. In Florida, not only is every cabinet seat up, but there are no incumbents running. It’s really anyone’s game and these are not positions to skim over or take lightly.
The most important race is probably the gubernatorial. Not only will the winner lead the state and its leaders for the next four years, but so much more is at stake. Once the 2010 Census results come in, Florida is expected to pick up more congressional seats and the state will need to be redistricted, something the governor can have a lot of say in. While elections are when voters elect their leaders, redistricting is when our leaders pick their voters. If Alex Sink wins she will most definitely use her power to make sure the lines are drawn to favor the Democrats, not only creating new blue districts, but redrawing current swing districts to lean more democratic. At the very least, Florida MUST remain a purple, swing state and this will not happen under Ms. Sink. In addition, when President Obama is running for reelection Ms. Sink would be heavily involved in events around the state making sure the President wins Florida again and shortly after that would have to start campaigning for her own reelection. I don’t know about you, but I need my governor working to fix the problems in this state, making the lives of Floridians better and not spending the majority of their term campaigning.
This election is critical. We must make sure our voices are heard. If you didn’t early vote, please make it the utmost priority to vote this Tuesday. Remind your friends, neighbors and family to vote. Offer a ride to the polls if you can. Many of these races are going to be tight and when the results are read tonight you don’t want to think, “What if I had made the effort to vote before work or on my lunch break?”, “What if I had sent an email to all my contacts?”, “What if I had called my family or talked to my neighbors when I saw them?”. Not only do you not want feelings of wondering, but if you don’t vote, you can’t complain on Wednesday or for the next four years about how you don’t like our leadership.
It can’t be stressed enough, this Election Day VOTE.
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