Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Interesting Exchange on Morning Joe

Former U.S. Representative Harold Ford Jr (D-Tennessee) spends the first 5 minutes of his time trashing the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, particularly for siding with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (who he thinks isn't visiting her constituents enough) even though her reversal on gay marriage occurred over night while his purportedly happened over time. We've never heard the former representative speak out for gay marriage until he decided to run for Gillibrand's seat so his authenticity behind his claim can neither be confirmed nor denied. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough followed up, suggesting they are too obsessed about gay marriage and abortion.

Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell of Princeton University, to her credit, defended those who think abortion and gay marriage are important since these officials may affect them more than others. Straight people, the professor pointed out, can avoid these issues since marital laws are written for straight people by straight people. The financial and legal benefits straights take for granted when they marry are not provided to those who cannot marry their loved ones because they are gay.

Scarborough said he thought gays in Brooklyn might be more concerned about the economy because they, too, would like to keep their jobs so they can provide for their and their partners' welfare. At this point the professor should have asked Mr. Scarborough what he thought of (a) Governor Bob McDonnell's (R-Virginia) decision to repeal his predecessors' executive order barring state discrimination against gay civil servants and (b) the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. Both relate to the gay person's need to obtain and hold onto a job to provide for themselves and their partner. Virginia's governor, arguably reignited the cultural war in Virginia by repealing the executive order forbidding job discrimination through his executive order.

Mr. Scarborough also claimed, incorrectly I might add, that a "pro-choice" Republican could get elected in any state while a "pro-life" Democrat can only get elected in a few states. "Pro-choice" Republicans might win their party's nomination in the northeastern states and California but I doubt they could win their party's primaries in the deep south where they face a conservative evangelical base.

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