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Like so many others in the progressive world, I was beyond dismay at the passage of Proposition 8 in California.  The joy of having helped elect so many great Democrats this year (not least of all President-Elect Barack Obama) was muted by the knowledge that the graffiti of hatred had once again been scrawled into a Constitutional document.  And it wasn't just California's Constitution that was defiled: same-sex marriage bans were passed in Florida and Arizona as well, and a particularly atrocious amendment was passed in Arkansas banning adoptions by unmarried couples.  These paradoxical defeats on a night of otherwise strong progressive victories show just how much farther we have to work for equality and human decency all across America.

And yet, there is a major silver lining to this cloud that will help Democrats and progressives for years to come: a benefit that would be foolish to overlook even as we gird ourselves for the fights ahead.

That silver lining is the inevitable rise of Social Conservatives to top of the Republican Party.  And truthfully, the damage done to my LGBT friends and allies this election cycle, horrible though it was, is nothing compared to the damage that the passing of these propositions will do to Republicans and to conservatism itself for the next decade.

To my LGBT friends who have seen the Religious Right attempt to snatch their wedding rings off their fingers and tear up their marriage licenses, I say this: we will win this fight.  In California, we will only need to wait two short years before kicking this discriminatory legislation off the ballot.  The home invasion ad I co-wrote and co-produced, backed by our wonderful friends at the Courage Campaign, is a starting point for the new, more aggressive tone that we will be setting in the fight against outside religious organizations enshrining their peculiar brand of hatred into our Constitution.  That doesn't just go for the Mormons, but for the Donahues and the Dobsons as well.  Notice has been served: screw with us in 2010, and we will screw with you.  We guarantee it.  America is becoming increasingly accepting of LGBT brothers and sisters: two more years and a better messaging effort will mean victory in California.  And it's a short step from California to the rest of the nation from there.

The prospects of the Republican Party, on the other hand, are not nearly so bright.  Try for a moment to put yourself in the head of a Republican.  I know it's difficult to envision your brain in a permanent cloud of fear, greed and ignorance, but just give it a shot.  If you're still having trouble, a visit to RedState or Free Republic will put you in the Right frame of mind.  As you and your GOP allies survey the damage  and begin your internecine warfare, here's what you know:

  • The Republican Economic Message lost.  This one is pretty obvious.  After years of tax cuts for the rich, a healthcare disaster, and bailouts for Wall Street, Republicans spent the last two weeks of the campaign calling Obama a socialist or a communist.  Glenn Beck even released a recording of the Soviet national anthem with lyrics praising Obama.  The American People laughed and voted for Obama anyway.  When your party runs on a virulent anti-taxes-for-the-wealthy message, but the educated wealthy think you've left the economy in such tatters that they scream "Please, Tax Me!", you know you've lost the argument.

  • The Republican Foreign Policy Message lost.  This one is also obvious.  The Occupation of Iraq remains deeply unpopular with Americans--and for some reason, Americans would prefer to be loved rather than hated the world over.  That doesn't just make us feel better: it also seems to make us feel safer.  If you can't figure out why that might be, then congratulations: you've successfully conducted the intestinal-cranial transplant required for the Republican worldview.

  • The only message for Republicans that seemed to win on a night otherwise filled with defeats was the Social Message.  In all other respects, Republicans found themselves drubbed, shellacked, obliterated.  These propositions were their only ray of hope.  Social conservatives feel that they have been vindicated by the election results.  Combine this with the fact that McCain's campaign would have been funereal without the base energy provided by crazy social-issue wingnut Sarah Palin, and social conservatives now feel that they've been proven out.  They feel that the economic and foreign policy legs of the Republican stool have failed, and that it's their turn now.  RedState editor Dan McLaughlin penned this sentiment most exhaustively, and it's a common meme throughout the Right these days:

But I'd suggest that there are some cautions before the cultural Left engages in triumphalism here.

The first is the referenda - even if Republicans were quite unpopular on this Election Day, socially conservative positions did a lot better in referenda. Besides Proposition 8 passing a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in gay-friendly deep-blue California, you had similar ballot initiatives pass in Arizona and Florida. A ban on racial preferences passed in Nebraska and a similar measure lost only narrowly in Colorado. (Pro-life initiatives did less well in some places like South Dakota where they were poorly funded). These are not the results you would expect from a nation that has suddenly taken an abrupt left turn.

Second, while the Democrats are still intent on fighting a culture war, their behavior over the past 3-4 years suggests that they nonetheless recognize that there are serious downsides to them doing so.

This makes sense from a certain perspective.  Democrats won big in the election, but lost on a few social issues referenda.  So Republicans should strike at their Achilles' heel.

This, of course, is exactly what we want them to do.  Nothing could be better for Democrats than to watch the GOP fulfill David Brooks' prophecy and let the Traditionalists run the Republicans headlong off a cliff.  Republican Party leaders understand that this would be horrible strategy:

Party leaders said the focus on those issues had constricted the party’s appeal to moderate and independent voters more interested in jobs, health care, education and other issues that touch their lives in more concrete ways.

"We can’t be obsessed with issues that are not the issues that are important to American voters," said Jim Greer, the Florida Republican chairman and a likely candidate for national party leader.

Unfortunately for them, their base will have none of it.  Their base believes that their party leaders were the ones who lost the last two elections in the first place.  If the GOP Leaders could lock Sarah Palin and her Messianic delusions away forever, they would.  But GOP voters want her as their next nominee, and they're making sure to punish anyone who gets in their way.

The American People will not pick their elected leaders over the next four years based on social issues, given the economic and foreign policy challenges with which we are faced.  Nothing could be better for us than to watch Republicans delude themselves into thinking that these are the issues on which they will win elections--especially as the electorate becomes increasingly tolerant and accepting of "the other" year after year.


So yes, Prop 8 was bad.  Yes, we're going to win our rights back.  But don't forget the silver lining: we've got a future.  In the short term, they don't.  Prop 8 made sure of it.

Originally posted to thereisnospoon (David Atkins) on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:51 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  LOVED (13+ / 0-)

      The home invasion ad. It was the only ad with balls!

      you scratch a redneck and you will find a liberal underneath.....

      by Schtu on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:55:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I love it but I'm reminded of one important quote (8+ / 0-)

      "Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake."
      – Napoleon Bonaparte

      Shhh... Let's allow them to joyously & sanctimoniously head over that thar cliff...

      "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

      by frisco on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:59:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We probably won't get the chance in 2010 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eddie L

      Prop 8 will likely already have been declared unconstitutional next year.

      What I'd like to see people doing now is, given that there's no way Prop 8 should be held Constitutional after the May 15 decision this year, for Californians to be making the same rumblings about recall of Justices that the right wing is.  If the Justices gave way on this and allowed a declared fundamental right of equal protection to be overturned based on a majority vote, it would only be because they were afraid of ending up like Rose Bird and her associates did in the 1980s.  Well, I hate to say it, but if that's really a possibility -- as some legal observers (not including me) seem to think -- then force ought to be met with force.  Such a turnaround would justify a recall; I just continue to have faith that they won't make such a craven mistake.

      I spent the week before Election Day in Nevada and all I got is this great President!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:11:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i don't think so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it would take extraordinary courage on the part of the CA Supreme Court.

        Besides, I want to win this at the ballot box, not in the judiciary.

        Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

        by thereisnospoon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:12:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  extraordinary courage (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane, Devsd

          ... which Chief Justice Ron George (& 3 other California Supreme Court justices) already displayed when they struck down the exclusion of gay couples from marriage this summer.

          It may be that they did not think through the consequences of that decision -- even with the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage gathering signatures while the opinion was being written.

          But I suspect they did. They certainly spent a long time looking behind (they mulled their options for a year & a half before rendering the decision) -- and the Prop 8 battle played out much the way other similar battles in other states played out, including California's own earlier Prop 22 (except Prop 8's margin of success was unusually small).

          The hope from everyone who approved of the California Supreme Court's decision was that they wouldn't be tested again, they wouldn't have to face going again out onto that tottering limb. They may choose to back down. Even if they did, however, Ron George & the three who joined the decision will face a campaign to  be removed from the bench. The religious right will not be magnanimous in victory.

        •  You probably don't intend the implication (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that you hope that the SC of CA upholds the constitutionality of Prop 8, but I note it explicitly to give you the chance to say so.  The fight in the courts is coming first.  It would take extraordinary cravenness for the majority to reverse course.

          I hope that they reject Prop 8 because (1) that is what they should do as a matter of law, and (2) because it settles the issue, even if it imposes some greater political cost on our side.  The notion that the electorate can reverse fundamental Equal Protection rights enshrined in the state Constitution by a simple majority vote is actually the greatest danger here.  Think through the implications of that!  It can't be allowed.

          I spent the week before Election Day in Nevada and all I got is this great President!

          by Seneca Doane on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:57:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't care where its won... (0+ / 0-)

          Like I commented earlier, there is nothing sacred about the majority vote and we are not under mob rule.

          It will be won either way.

    •  Do you think it's better for the movement (0+ / 0-)

      to have the courts validate gay marriage through the current challenge to Prop 8 or to have it brought in by a vote in two years?

      I think a court ruling affirming that marriage, due proces and equal protection can't be stripped from the constitution by mere majority vote will lead to a wave of similar decisions accross USA.

      Honestly, if the courts go this route, a defeat of Prop 8 might paradoxically advance gay marriage beyond California.

  •  So... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kels, browneyes, 4kedtongue

    Don't mind the people under the bus, as long as the bus keeps going? Okay then. We'll keep doing our part by staying under the tires.

  •  For a moment there... (6+ / 0-)

    I thought you had lost it.

    Now I see that Republicans have lost it.

    And yes, that's a good thing.

    NFTT Progressively supporting the troops

    by Timroff on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:57:39 AM PST

  •  Not sure how dissimiliar this is (0+ / 0-)

    To that old argument about abortion.

    The silver lining to repugs outlawing abortion would be the fact that it would doom the repug party to a perpetual minority.

    how can it be permissable/ to compromise my principle. -- robert palmer

    by Edgar08 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:58:13 AM PST

    •  somewhat dissimilar, but somewhat similar (0+ / 0-)

      They want the war to rage.  Unlike abortion, however, they're winning this war for now.  In a few short years, they're going to lose it.

      The key is that they want to keep fighting it, and recent successes have emboldened them.

      Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

      by thereisnospoon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:02:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  hey, welcome back, Edgar (0+ / 0-)

      Are we pulling at the same oars again?

      I spent the week before Election Day in Nevada and all I got is this great President!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:06:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll be defending Obama more (0+ / 0-)

        Than Kos will be over the next 4 years.

        If that's what you mean.

        But let me enjoy my popcorn, ok?

        how can it be permissable/ to compromise my principle. -- robert palmer

        by Edgar08 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:07:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll believe it when I see it nt (0+ / 0-)

          "Kestrel...a shit storm is coming. Drop me a line in November and let's see how things worked out." - Larry Johnson

          by kestrel9000 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:07:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, you're probably right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Vincent

          I hope not too much more, though.

          Enjoy your popcorn if that's to your taste, but stirring the shit doesn't become you.

          I spent the week before Election Day in Nevada and all I got is this great President!

          by Seneca Doane on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:51:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure it does (0+ / 0-)

            Morons who accuse Bill of being a battered spouse in one post and then in a post a few hours later they write a long rationalization for why Obama does the exact same thing.

            Those morons just scream to have their shit stirred.

            That's what I'm here to do.

            how can it be permissable/ to compromise my principle. -- robert palmer

            by Edgar08 on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 03:16:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, at least you've presented your credentials (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neon Vincent

              I see "shit-stirring" as being a provocateur.  What you're talking about there is giving people shit for good reason; that's different, in my book.  See you around.

              I spent the week before Election Day in Nevada and all I got is this great President!

              by Seneca Doane on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 08:56:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Abortion is a natural process by which (0+ / 0-)

      the human body rids itself of unwanted/unviable tissues.  The majority of fertilized eggs are aborted before or shortly after implantation.

      What conservatives are really concerned about is the medical or chemical intervention to terminate a pregnancy prematurely.  "Prematurely" is an important word because, in most cases, the surgical intervention, commonly referred to as a Caesarian section, is a premature, mature, or post-mature termination.

      The people who are agitated by this issue are fixated on the importance of "intent," even as they are incapable of understanding that intent is virtually impossible to prove.  So, instead of confronting the irrationality and impossibility of their position, they are content to declare something (abortion) illegal that isn't and can't be.  Makes about as much sense as declaring the sunrise illegal.  But, making sense is not the issue.  Feeling good and virtuous is.
      Might as well call forth the sunrise.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:22:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm always impressed about how abortion (0+ / 0-)

        is immoral for the same people who are quite content to deny preventative health care to children.

        •  Well, that's because they believe that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Vincent

          once born, humans have to earn staying alive.  That parents or their cohorts have an obligation to sustain their off-spring is a level of responsibility many find easy to reject.

          One of the things that put me off Hillary Clinton was her assertion that people "deserve" health care.  Being kept healthy is an entitlement--i.e. people who make people have an obligation to keep them alive.

          How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

          by hannah on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:41:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I tried spoon (8+ / 0-)

    Try for a moment to put yourself in the head of a Republican.  I know it's difficult to envision your brain in a permanent cloud of fear, greed and ignorance, but just give it a shot.

    I tried as hard as I could, but I just can't get there from here. Brain doesn't work that way, at all.  It's not the GOP party hacks that scare me, it's the 50 million plus neighbors of mine that appear to me to be clinically insane but blend in quite well unless one is paying close attention.

    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." Carlos Castaneda

    by FireCrow on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:58:40 AM PST

  •  Republicans are the least of my concerns now. (6+ / 0-)

    Some of them will never get it.  Ever.

    But I did see a Republican strategist, a young woman, take on O'Reilly the other night.  She insisted that she and her generation of Republicans see marriage equality as a civil rights issue and that O'Reilly and his ilk are just wrong.

    My concerns are with so-called "progressives" who don't support equality.  What do we do 'bout them?

    Sorry if I seem pessimistic.  I'm still sad for so many people.

    Tiger the Tabby 1990-2008 RIP

    by browneyes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:01:04 AM PST

    •  it just takes some time (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, pamelabrown, browneyes, mellowwild

      there weren't that many progressives who opposed this.  Lots of moderate Dems and religious Dems did.  All we need to do is sway 3% of the vote.  We can do that easy.

      Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

      by thereisnospoon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:03:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "moderate Dems and religious Dems did" (4+ / 0-)

        IMO, as a gay, I think this will be grassroots led, which I understand.  We will get 'er done folks, probably with little support from our elected officials. That's okay by me because minds will be changed neighbor to neighbor.

      •   Just gotv in SF might do it, heh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        along with outreach and education to religious communities, the vote would be quite different if redone today.

         In what I see as an overnight change, a sea change, the tv commentors are being respectful in their honest coverage of the protest marchs. They show a wide range of people, and show 'straights against 8' as well as showing same sex people hugging and hand holding.
         I've seen no smirks or smears. There is respectful coverage.
          Any coverage in the past has been smirky..always.
         To see this many people standing up and getting out in virtually spontaneous demonstrations has turned some opinion.
         And that IS progress in a most fundamental way. I'd almost translate that as the state going 'woops, what the hell did we just do?'..but that might be a stretch.
           Governor, back to you...

    •  I'm as tired of having my fight for equality... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...viewed a liability as I am of having my rights denied viewed as an opportunity to crush an enemy.  The former is insulting, the latter trivializing.

      My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

      by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:11:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hear you, friend. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        roycej, 4kedtongue

        I had to log out the other day cuz I had a virtual hissy fit.  Some asshat gave me that ol' "this issue will hurt Democrats so don't push it" spiel.  

        This is an issue that fortunately and unfortunately crosses party lines.  The fortunate part is that younger Republicans are with us; the unfortunate part is that some of our own are against us.

        Tiger the Tabby 1990-2008 RIP

        by browneyes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:16:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Competing agendas... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

 'optimistic' as this diary seems to be regarding the blow-back the Republican Party will experience as a result of the passage of Prop 8 (and other anti-equality ballot measures elsewhere), it fails to recognize that there are those within the Democratic Party who are even more difficult to convince of the gravity of the situation for some of us.  Furthermore, since the issue of our inequality bodes poorly for the Republicans long-term, the longer it's around as an issue, the worse it will be for them...what's the rush in making a 'winning' position for our side go away, when it can be used to take out a few more Republicans.

          Truly, this is what I hate about our 2 party system.

          My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

          by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:47:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is another reason I hate wedge issues. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Leaders of both parties have their heads so far up their asses, they can't see what's good for the American people.

            If we achieve equality, that's one less issue Democrats can use to beat Republicans over the heads with.  A lot of people don't want to see that happen, unfortunately.  I, for one, would rather you have equality than to have the issue to smack Republicans around with!

            Tiger the Tabby 1990-2008 RIP

            by browneyes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:55:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  it's just analysis. there IS a silver lining (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        whether you like it or not.  And I'll be at the vanguard of the 2010 repeal.  I'm not trivializing anything.  I'm just describing the lay of the land as it stands today.

        Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

        by thereisnospoon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:25:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have three questions about Prop. 8 and maybe it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angry Mouse

    wouldn't be out of topic to ask them on this thread. They all concern the current CA governor:

    1. Has Arnold being an obstacle to gay marriage remaining lawful in CA?
    1. Would it help in any way to have him removed and what are the chances of that?
    1. Does Arnold have any support from democrats in general and members of the LGBT community in particular?
    •  I don't live in CA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fairy Tale, 4kedtongue

      but I've seen Arnie on the airwaves being vehemently opposed to Prop 8.

      It doesn't appear (to me, at least) that he is at all the problem.

      Tiger the Tabby 1990-2008 RIP

      by browneyes on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:06:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good questions. (4+ / 0-)

      I haven't lived in CA for a few years, so I've paid less attention to Arnold since I left.  But my understanding is this:

      1.  Arnold isn't an obstacle, necessarily, as he claims to oppose Prop 8.  But he really didn't lift a finger to fight against it before the election.  Now, he's saying "this isn't over," but that doesn't mean he's leading the charge.
      1.  Removing Arnold probably wouldn't help in any way.  
      1.  Arnold does have support from dems in CA.  In fact, a surprising number of my friends there who were totally opposed to the recall and to Arnold say that, all in all, he's a decent enough governor.  He's pretty socially liberal, and although he hasn't done a great job, CA could do a lot worse.

      Arnold is an interesting one to watch.  I think it's inevitable that he will run for the senate when he's done being governor.  The question is whether he'll decide he has a better chance of beating Barbara or Dianne.  Personally, I'd rather he run against Dianne, and I can't even say I'd be disappointed to see her go.  She's mostly a pro-choice, anti-gun Republican who LOVES big business.  

      And Arnold is the kind of Republican the party should embrace.  He understands that global warming is real, he's socially liberal -- in a lot of ways (strange as it feels to type this), he is one of the better members of his party.  

      (Seriously, I can't believe I just wrote that.  But I think it's fair to say.)

      Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:10:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! One more if I may: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angry Mouse

        Does gay marriage need to be approved by referendum necessarily? Can it be approved by the State legislators?

        •  Neither. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          suzq, browneyes, Fairy Tale

          The California Supreme Court held that prohibiting gay marriage was unconstitutional.  So Proposition 8 amended the Constitution to specifically state that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

          This is going to court, and the court may well find that Prop 8 is in conflict with the equal protection clause of the constitution, and then can overturn it.

          (There are other, additional legal arguments being made to overturn it, but I think that's the strongest.)

          So really, to have gay marriage in California, don't need a referendum or the legislators.  We just need the judges to practice that "judicial activism" that really means they're doing their job and upholding the state constitution.

          Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:21:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The legislature passed marriage equality twice (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          browneyes, Fairy Tale, 4kedtongue

          And both times Ahnold vetoed it, saying it was up to the California Supreme Court. The legislature, in his opinion, could not overturn Prop 22, which was an initiative from a few years ago that banned gay marriage. I wondered at the time why the foes of marriage equality didn't go for a constitutional amendment with Prop 22. If they had the Supreme Court probably would not have taken the case in the first place. But it's a little bit cheaper to file an initiative than a constitutional amendment so the marriage foes went cheap.

          The marriage foes win, not because they are competent, but because gays are still a reviled minority and most people find it easy to vote against them.

    •  Arnold Says "Don't Give Up" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      browneyes, Fairy Tale

      Albeit, one week late....

      Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already married would not be affected by the initiative.

      "It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN this morning. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."...

      Today, Schwarzenegger urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a bodybuilder trying to lift weights that were too heavy for him at first. "I learned that you should never ever give up.... They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done."

      Charlie Brown, an American hero who lives in CA-04. This ain't over!

      by LaughingPlanet on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:13:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hasn't Arnold (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fairy Tale

      twice vetoed gay marriage bills from the California Legislature? He wanted a vote of the people, but now he's changed his mind again, I guess.

      Bottom line, I think he's a moron.

      •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fairy Tale

        I believe that is correct.  Thus, it seems rather odd to hear him making these comments when the two times he had the power to actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, he punted.  Rather Pontius Pilate-esque if you ask me.

      •  No - he was right on legal reasoning (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fairy Tale

        He's twiced vetoed them because the legislature cannot overide initiatives.

        That's how the California Constitution works.  I don't like Arnold or his schemes to create a Republican advantage in Gerrymandering, or his "raid education to build prisons" philosophy.

        I strongly support marriage equality.

        However, he was right.  If he had signed either of those bills, the State Supreme Court would have had to overturn them.  They would have had no choice.

        This is settled law here - Intiative Statutes have precedence over Legislative Statutes.  It sucks.

        However, for once, Arnie wasn't wrong.  

  •  One-legged stool. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    manned spaceflight, street demonstrations, high-maintenance landscaping

    by nu on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:05:30 AM PST

  •  I think it's only a matter of time b/f same-sex (3+ / 0-)

    marriage becomes a reality but how long that takes is hard to predict.. Really hoping soon and just not right to allow this to go on...  Yeah, let them think this is an issue they can win with only to find out people aren't looking at this one issue alone...

    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK (1917-1963)

    by ebbinflo on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:05:37 AM PST

    •  i think it won't be more than a few years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      2 years in CA, 5-10 throughout the rest of the non-southern US.

      Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

      by thereisnospoon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:09:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try 40 years... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebbinflo, browneyes

        ...maybe more.

        My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

        by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:14:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  whoa, pessimistic much? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          suzq, ebbinflo, KenBee

          look how far LGBT issues have come in the last 10-15 years.  Now picture that advance over the next ten years.

          Way too pessimistic.

          Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

          by thereisnospoon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:28:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We'll see... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...this struggle does not occur in a vacuum.  The population is growing -- exponentially.  We are probably going to face problems we haven't even yet considered.  Possibly STAGGERING problems that might determine our fate as a species (now I'm being WAY pessimistic).

            Already some on this site don't equate the need to reverse prop 8 and the continued struggle of the GLBT community for equality with other priorities.

            So yes, very pessimistic...but my pessimism only stiffens my resolve.

            I appreciate the attempt to glean something positive out of this demoralizing setback, however, the analysis is very one-sided and assumes that everyone HERE has joined the struggle in equal measure.  Check out some of the diaries and comments.

            My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

            by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:56:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wedge issues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    browneyes, mellowwild

    will not win many elections for candidates any longer.

    The election of Obama proved that even racism, the most visceral wedge issue of all, didn't factor much into 2008's race(s).

    There are still a good chunk of "single-issue voters" out there, but they will only be able to elect local officials or pols who will be marginalized (ahem: Palin) if they're ever sent to a national stage like the Senate.

    Charlie Brown, an American hero who lives in CA-04. This ain't over!

    by LaughingPlanet on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:06:01 AM PST

  •  Social conservative = hierarchy (0+ / 0-)

    That is the conviction that human society is ordered according to a natural ranking of superiors and inferiors, with white males at the top.

    That's what the support for "traditional marriage" is really about.  The gender difference is supposed to validate the hierarchy, much as the skin tone difference was supposed to do earlier.

    Hierarchy is the anti-thesis of equality.  Anything that re-enforces/promotes the latter is ipso facto suspect.

    Ironically, what seems to make hierarchy more attractive, rather than less, is the prospect that legislative restrictions can promote or inhibit it.  In other words, while hierarchy is assumed to be a natural condition, social intervention can help determine who's out and who's in.  While these positions may be difficult to reconcile logically, the people who ascribe to them don't concern themselves with logic or reason.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:06:40 AM PST

  •  The backlash seems to be a positive thing too (8+ / 0-)

    Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" last night was one for the history books.

    I think a lot of religious Americans who initially were against same-sex marriage will be asking themselves, "Wow, look at how unhappy we've made these people who really just want to express their love and commitment?"

    Bertrand Russell, as always, said it best:

    If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.

    The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy-- I mean that if you are happy you will be good.  

    The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.

    •  In some ways it's just half a step behind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suzq, KenBee

      the movement that just won at the national level.

      It took the stolen election of 2000, the flamingly botched response to 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, torture, spying, the economy, etc. etc. etc. to gel an internet fundraising and activist infrastructure, a nascent VLWC with Air America and Olbermann and Maddow, and in general the populist movement that started with Dean and ultimately took over under That One.

      Looking back, it was all the cost of doing business. We as a whole had to experience the crime syndicate in full monty before we could get it together to lurch forward again.

      The No on 8 campaign sucked -- as bad as Democrats post Johnson through early Dean. But I like what I'm seeing since it passed.

      "Rove's job, and by extension McCain's job, is to basically nuke reality and leave everything open to question." - dday

      by itswhatson on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:35:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Leave it to Republicans leaders... (5+ / 0-)

    ... to outsource grassroots organizing for the Party (to the social conservatives) and get burned by it.

    Corporate America outsourced so much manufacturing that they left the country with a middle class that has dwindling purchasing power.  And they wonder what's the problem with the economy.

    The GOP outsourced its organizing to social conservatives, whose insistence on legislating the bedroom left the GOP with a dwindling support among swing voters and independents.  And they wonder what's the problem with voters.

    I am fundamentally a D Wreck-ulator.

    by D Wreck on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:07:01 AM PST

  •  Hmm. (5+ / 0-)

    I think in 20 years, we'll have won this issue - it's perhaps the one issue where Millennials and X'ers will be most influential going forward. And I think that it's going to be the civil rights issue of the generation.

    That said, I don't really see the silver lining to losing. I think the social conservatives already wield ridiculous influence in the party, and I don't know that they're any less galvanized with winning Prop 8 than they would have been with losing.

    Plus, I mean, it just sucks. Especially on such a historic day, in a civil-rights have this bitter reminder of how far we have yet to go, is a touh pill to swallow.

    Oh, well. We keep fighting.

    "Intelligence and stupidity have no limits. Unfortunately it looks like stupidity has won" -Arsene Wenger

    by Arjun Jaikumar on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:08:08 AM PST

    •  i know--but this gives SoCons even more influence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brownsox, KenBee

      than they had before.  It's not a question of their being galvanized: it's a question of their feeling vindicated.

      We'll win regardless--and I fully expect to win in CA in 2 years.

      Head to Heading Left, BlogTalkRadio's progressive radio site!

      by thereisnospoon on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:10:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm fighting on the front lines. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, your neighbor

      My kid called his brother "gay" last night.  I asked him why he did that.  He said it was because his brother, who is five, was trying to kiss him.

      I told him that the term is much more complicated than that.  I didn't have time to go into the whole explanation then and there, but I told him not to use the term at all until he fully understood what he was saying.

      I've got some 'splainin' to do.  Clearly.  One mother and one son at a time.  We'll win this.  

      A month ago, a woman approached me about our local scout troop.  I know why she asked.  She's a lesbian, but her son wants to be a scout.  "Fine with us," I replied.  She was shocked.  But what about me?  I replied, "What about him?  What if he were gay?"  I explained that the troop itself decides what its values are, not the BSA.  There are troops all over the nation who value protecting a boy's privacy more than they desire to shape his sexuality.  Last time I checked, the Boy Scouts were not supposed to be about sex.  Some may differ, but that's our stand.

      Take a stand.  We're in control, not some anonymous "them."

      Take control.

      •  LOL... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Boy Scout troop.

        I explained that the troop itself decides what its values are, not the BSA.  There are troops all over the nation who value protecting a boy's privacy more than they desire to shape his sexuality.

        Should I consider that glass half empty or half full?

        My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

        by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:39:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I understand what you're saying... (5+ / 0-)

    but it's still hard to look at what happened in California as anything but shameful.

    Still, better to make lemonade, I suppose.  So if this was the setback we needed to become truly motivated to fight harder, I suppose that is a silver lining.

    Hope you enjoyed it, Sarah, 'cause we just kicked your silly winking folksy lipsticked ass back to Alaska. For good. Also.

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:12:12 AM PST

  •  My hope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, your neighbor

    is that the Prop 8 fiasco will finally spur action to separate legally-based unions from religiously-based unions.  Let the religious types whine forever about the "sanctity of marriage" but make them get a civil union if they want their "marriage" to have any basis in law.

    •  Yes - I like this solution, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ernest T Bass, KenBee

      It makes great sense to have the secular "civil union" be the legal part of "marriage" and be available to all. Then individuals can add religious rites (or not) as they choose - and particular religions can define marriage however they (and their members) choose.  

      "The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time." - Terry Tempest Williams

      by your neighbor on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:56:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Forgive me... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...but that will not do for me.


      Even KO talked about that 'equal in everything but name' psuedosolution.

      Again...piggybacking your marriage agenda on to the equal rights struggle of the GLBT community.

      My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

      by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:42:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

        It has nothing to do with "equal in everything but name."

        The word "marriage" apparently has deep religious meaning to many people - enough so that even a measure such as Proposition 8 can win in a relatively liberal state in an election with massive liberal turn out.

        By focusing on marriage, people are guaranteeing a religious backlash against gay marriage.  So - my recommendation is give marriage to the churches and the social clubs and whatever other entity wants it.  They can do their ceremonies and exclude anyone they want to exclude.

        But such marriages would have no legal recognition.  For that, they would have to obtain a civil union certificate from the state.  All existing marriages recognized by the state would be given civil union certificates, and all future unions would have no legal basis until they obtain the civil union certificate.

        There's nothing separate but equal about it.  It's a rational step given the irrational bigotry and fears associated with "gay marriage," such as claims that churches would be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies or risk losing their tax exempt status that were reportedly used with some success by the Proposition 8 proponents.

        •  I'm so sorry I misunderstood. (0+ / 0-)

          Then you agree with the passage of Prop 8, right?

          I mean, since you're willing to capitulate to the deeply religious and allow them to own the word marriage, I must assume that you have no problem codifying that word in the California State Constitution as the union between and man and a woman.   That's all prop 8 did.

          So yeah, I'm with ya, Ernest.  Sign me up for Civil Unions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Let me give in to the irrational (translated - FALSE) argument that the pursuit of my equal rights threatens the tax exempt status of churches.

          I have a better idea, Ernest.  And one that doesn't involve giving in to irrational arguments for the sake of expediency.  Here it is:

          Let's scare the shit out of the deeply religious by letting them know that rather than being irrationally afraid that the tax-exempt status of their respective churches is jeopardized by our insistence of being able to marry, they should have a VERY REAL and RATIONAL fear of losing the very same tax-exempt status if they continue to work to deny us our equal rights.  

          In these days of unfathomable deficits and proposed infra-structure investments, I propose we begin to tap a VERY deep pocket that has gone unmolested by the IRS since forever...we NEED the revenue (sinister laugh).  Do you think you could get on board with that?  Think you could convince others to get on board with it.  I think it would practically sell itself.

          Let's put the REAL fear of God in them.

          My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

          by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:32:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your position could described as irrational (0+ / 0-)

            And please don't accuse me of crap like supporting Proposition 8.  That's ridiculous.

            If you want to delay a rational change that accommodates people who have sincere, while misguided, religious beliefs by insisting on the word "marriage," have at it.

            I think what I've suggested is reasonable and frankly helps remove an intertwining of state and religion that is part of the cause of things like Proposition 8.

            We should get the state out of the marriage business, get churches out of the civil union business, and make civil unions the only union with legal standing.

            •  It was rhetorical, Ernest... (0+ / 0-)

              ...of course I don't believe you supported prop 8.

              I will give greater consideration to what you propose (but I still like the idea of stripping the tax exempt status of churches regardless of how all this plays out -- now it seems as though I'm piggybacking MY agenda on to the GLBT community's struggle --lol.)

              My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

              by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:04:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I think you miss the point.. (0+ / 0-)

        Everyone, regardless of gender, would get a "Civil Union" or "domestic partnership".

        The word "marriage" would be stripped from the law, and all would get the same legal term applied.  Government would no longer call anything "marriage".

        This is one of the two possibilities when it comes to how the California Supreme Court will rule.  They will either toss Prop 8 on the basis that it was a fundemental change to the Constitution that could not be made without a Constitutional Convention...

        OR they will follow up on their opinion in RE: Marriage Cases, and say that there no more "marriage" as a legal term in California.  Just "Domestic Partnership" for everyone.

        The Fundies fired a major footbullet on this one.  The Court is fairly likely to say "YOu think Domestic Partnership have all the rights of Marriage?  Ok.  Now you have one. Let us know how you like it.".

        Golly gee...I wonder who a heck of a lot of voters will blame for that...the people who lied them into voting to support bigotry, maybe?

        •  I get it... (0+ / 0-)

          ...either everyone who chooses to get married enjoys the full range of legal and societal benefits or no one does.

          And a part of me relishes the idea of punishing the very people who claim marriage as the exclusive providence of heterosexuals for religious reasons.  The only problem is that it would be disingenuous of me to advance an argument that I myself do not believe AND in the process punish those heterosexual couples who are already married and believe that I should be able to marry as well.

          I'm not interested in pinning blame on the religious, I am only interested in having my rights recognized.

          My 'diaries' SUCK! But check 'em out anyway just to make sure.

          by 4kedtongue on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:59:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Spoon, what about the pundit wisdom that the (0+ / 0-)

    "No on 8" campaign didn't go into African American communities door to door, church to church, on a personal level to get them on board one vote or one household at a time?  I've heard this several times now on Maher, Olbermann and radio.

    Will a more aggressive attempt to really reach African American (or Black) voters be part of the 2010 renewed efforts?  And not just media targeting, but feet on the ground intensive personal and community targeting?

  •  please explain (0+ / 0-)

    In California, we will only need to wait two short years before kicking this discriminatory legislation off the ballot.

    how are we gonna do this?

  •  might I suggest a more inclusive response? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    something that says
    in California, there will be equal treatment of all, with no exceptions based on race, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

    seems like this would be hard to vote against

    When we say worst president in history, we're including the next 200 years as well

    by askyron on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 11:20:07 AM PST

  •  What, we've got 'em right where we want 'em? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, browneyes

    Since we hoped for sunshine and got a hailstorm I suppose we ought to look for the pearls among the stinging ice.

    My favorite silver lining so far is the shock from straight people. Uh. Hello? Wake up? There were a lot of nongay people invested in the Prop 8 fight and to hear their confused disbelief over the vote to "eliminate rights" (as it was described on the ballot) bodes well for the future.

  •  I think it amazing Prop 8 almost lost (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LuvSet, suzq

    after the years of hate and stupiity I've seen in KKKalifornia, I'm amazed.
     It will fail untimately, there is no way to put human rights back in the jar with the fireflies.

     Kalifornia was one of the worst states in the murder and enslavement of native peoples and immigrants as well. I never expected better.
       At least the southern states had a Civil War and they stood up for it, we here pretend we don't have this horrid history: we have among the worst.

  •  How did the Civil Rights Movement work? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, browneyes, your neighbor

    How did we overcome the "evils" of yesteryear?  When a person with colored skin was 3/5 of a man?  When a child was considered to be a small adult, capable of working without protection?  When a woman couldn't vote?  When a Jew was mistrusted and then scapegoated on an entire continent?  When countries were merely lands to be conquered and controlled?  When all languages and cultures had to acquiesce to the dominant "western" culture?  When science was considered with suspicion?

    We uncovered the untruths.

    We challenged their morality.

    We helped fan the winds of righteousness.

    We humanized those folks who were labeled less than human.

    We need to continue to show the human, compassionate, courageous, and patriotic face of the gay community.  We need to introduce America to the good gay parents out there.  America needs to meet the gay doctors and nurses who save lives every day.  The gay detectives who solve crimes.  The gay lawmakers, one of which may soon help us out of our economic crisis and help us avoid the next one.

    Not to sound too trite, but WE CAN DO THIS.  It doesn't happen in a day.  It doesn't happen with just one law or one court ruling.  It happens over the course of time, one person, one heart at a time.

  •  My 18 year old daughter became politically aware (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My 18 year old daughter was dismayed and confused by the passage of this bill> She compared to laws banning marriages between races. Since those laws existed in my lifetime, I couldn't disagree. Before this I had a hard time getting my daughter to be politically aware. Now she is paying attention to politics and hopefully her generation will fix this form of discrimination.  

    Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. ~James Bryce

    by california keefer on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:04:40 PM PST

  •  playing devil's advocate (for a moment) (0+ / 0-)

    One of the most important roles of our judiciary is to defend the rights of minorities against the ugliest of majoritarian impulses. Looking back over the history of civil rights (African-Americans,  Women's Rights) we see that important rights were often secured first in the courtroom.

    Are we a 'civil rights movement'? I was amazed to see headlines reporting that some people — a lot of people — apparently didn't think our movement 'qualified.'

    Just to say, I think our civil rights movement is unique, bearing comparison to previous struggles (and able to take lessons from them) but also with its unique challenges and distinctions. I don't want to compare my suffering to anyone else's, but I will point out that no other minority has endured quite what the GLBT community has experienced every two years since 1996: a raft of homophobic measures "against gay marriage" (which didn't even exist at the time, anywhere) on state ballots across the country. What our minority has had to face such plebiscites — as if we were the ones putting it on the ballots? A lot of GLBT in this country have a kind of PTSD for these things... Do people who are not gay and lesbian know what it feels like to go through this over and over and over again, to have our characters attacked? Even Bill Clinton and Dianne Feinstein blamed gays and gay marriage for Kerry's loss in 2004. (And John Edwards, good and moral Christian that he is, did not even support civil unions until late 2006 in preparation for his Presidential run. He still opposes gay marriage, which apparently remains a threat to his own, I guess.)

    Our track record in defeating these marriage amendments has not been very good -- something like 1 for 32, and that lone success (in Arizona) became a fail just last week, when it was re-submitted to the people.

    Why does our mere existence so deeply offend people — and why are we asked to defend our mere existence, to prove that our sexuality isn't a "choice"? Just to say, even if we win a re-match here in Caliornia in 2010 ("Bring 'em on!" I say — but that 52%-48% split was predicted by some deep polling trends, some have said) we will still have battles to fight for many years, and it will be the courts who help us most.

    What they hate is that we have chosen to be honest about who we are and how God made us. And yes, being honest about who we are is a choice.

  •  Oh My God! (0+ / 0-)

    "The home invasion ad I co-wrote and co-produced, backed by our wonderful friends at the Courage Campaign"

    You had something to do with that??? Let me say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! That is exactly the kind of ads we should have been running in the early days of the battle...and I hope other states under the same threat from the Mormons, Catholics, Knight of Coulumbus emulate that ad!

    It was by far the most power ad created and RIGHT on the money!

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