Catch up with Political InQueery and Grey's Rounds contributor Everett Maroon as we talk about the Obama Administration's LGBT initiatives, how GOP candidates are beginning to frame Obama's presidency thusfar, predictions for summer politics, and yes, Weinergate (with apologies to the Watergate Hotel).
It seems like only six months ago we were talking about the 2010 midterm elections. Oh, wait. I suppose the 2010 midterm elections were only a little more than six months ago. At any rate, the early campaigning for the 2012 gubernatorial election is underway. When I brought up the idea of guest blogging about this summer's candidates to Bitch's editors, Osama bin Laden was still at large, Donald Trump hadn't done himself in as a serious contender, and people were still talking about the possibility of nominating Tim Pawlenty. (Well, okay, a few people still insist Pawlenty can pull it off.) My point is, if the last two months are any indication, this campaign cycle will be hectic and as fast moving as Trump's bangs in a July thunderstorm.
We took a long gander at the 2010 midterm elections, and I'm grateful we've had this time together, even if electoral politics often seems like an unworthy issue to spend quality time examining. For me, assessing the rhetoric from politicians and the press who cover them is telling because it outlines the parameters of debate across a range of issues and by illuminating what gets spotlighted, we can ask discursive questions about where the silences are and what effects stem from that silencing. With this general method as context, let's take a look at the next two years, as we gear up for another presidential election.
I spent two hours standing in line yesterday to hear President Obama and Senator Murray rally the troops for her reelection bid. In the University of Washington's Huskies stadium, there were reminders of the basketball court under our feet, the Democrat's passage of student loan reform, and several rounds of the wave that people do in sports arenas. So imagine my surprise when the AP wire put out a story that today's rally was all about getting women to the polls on November 2. Uh, what?
There's a brouhaha in northern Iowa, as people have begun decrying a new anti-Obama billboard bought and paid for by a local Tea Party organization. It depicts Adolf Hitler as a "Nationalist Socialist," Barack Obama as a "Democrat Socialist," and Lenin as a "Marxist Socialist." Nevermind that "socialist" means different things in the first and last contexts, and that the middle descriptor is totally made up and nonsense. The billboard unwittingly represents nearly the entire length of the political spectrum from communist to fascist, but it's presented like these folks would be beer buddies.
Sunday I joked to my husband that it was Father's Day, "Time for your lecture from the President!" But it's only a joke to us because my daughter's dad is in her life and that we have the "ideal" family going here. It's not a joke that far too many kids are living without their fathers. And I don't mean not living in the same home, but kids who can't remember the last time their dads came around to say hi. I have too many men and boys in my life who just don't know their dads.
During the '08 campaign season, I cringed at comments made about former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s “hotness” and at the idea of the porno “Nailin’ Sarah Palin”--even though Palin's politics, her demeanor, and pretty much everything about her, made me throw up in my mouth a little. And to be sure, if Palin had become vice president, continued objectification of her and ongoing commentary about her of sexual nature would have bugged me to no end--even as I packed up and headed to Canada. And yet...