There comes a point beyond which it is no longer possible to support someone who lays claim to the Democratic Party name. Ford has long passed that point. He has made gay-bashing standard fare in his campaign. Today Ford released his most strongly anti-gay statement to date. If any Democratic candidate made such statements about African Americans or Hispanics or women, they would be drummed out of the party. Ford could have chosen to be circumspect, but instead, he has gone out of his way to disparage the GLBTI community and demean gay rights. And, if you reread the quote, you can't help but notice that Ford gets a double-dip of gay baiting in today. When is enough enough?
I agree with Kos that there was no need for Ford to delve into this issue. Ford chose to do so because he has been pandering for the homophobic vote since the outset of his campaign. Harold Ford, Jr. has seen none of the most brutal discrimination that people of his parents' and grandparents' generation saw. Even so, it is difficult to understand how a person who is a member of a minority that has faced discrimination can turn around and justify discrimination against others. I disagree with Kos in that I no longer want Ford to win.
It's not only Ford's gay baiting that disqualifies him from calling himself a Democrat. Ford has repeatedly disparaged Democratic leaders - especially Howard Dean - using talking points straight out of Karl Rove's textbook. He voted for military intervention in Iraq and for the Torture Bill. He has lined up with Bush on faith-based initiatives that go far beyond the line of separation of church and state. I am well aware that to deny support to Ford would mean that Corker would win. Democrats will have to work all the harder to defeat Corker in 2012.
You know - I have worked all my life within the Democratic Party. I have campaigned for civil rights. I have organized voter registrations in minority districts. I have marched in "Take Back the Night" demonstrations. I have demanded equal pay and reproductive rights. I am deeply offended by those who say that I need to chill out for the greater good - that my rights somehow play second or third fiddle to some greater good. I have worked all my life for that greater good. I think it's high time some of that greater good were returned to GLBTI people.
Withdrawing support from Harold Ford, Jr. - although a difficult decision to make - is the right thing to do.
UPDATE May I emphasize that this diary is about Ford's gay baiting - not whether or not he supports gay marriage. Many responses have been of the type - "Do you expect Ford to SUPPORT gay marriage in Tennessee?" My issue is that he has gone out of his way to use gay baiting much as Southern politicians of old used race baiting. It is reprehensible - and to think that it follows on the heels of the racist RNC ad.
Comments are closed on this story.