Yesterday, Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain clashed with Piers Morgan about whether or not people are born gay. Here's the video:
The important thing to know is that Cain sets out saying that "homosexuality is a sin" because of his "Biblical beliefs," but Morgan quickly steers the conversation into "born this way" territory, outraged that Cain won't concede his point. Cain's response: "What does science show? You show me evidence other than opinion, and you might cause me to reconsider that... Where's the evidence?"
Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown (not to be confused with the football player) was yanked by GOP operatives at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans this weekend when he came a bit too close to sensitive topics like Tim Pawlenty's backbone and the rest of the presidential field. With the grace of a roughly managed Oscar night, the music began and the helpful staff ushered him offstage. Maybe more telling than the sudden end of Brown's performance, however, was which jokes drew laughs and which a few jeers or silence. Mocking Obama's mixed race heritage—lots of laughs. Saying Barbara Bush looks like a really old George Washington—boo. My own one liner goes something like: The next best thing to defeating Obama in an election is getting to boot his impersonator off stage! Hey, I'm here all week, folks.
Information on the power of American workers' wages show stark losses in their portion of the money pie, unemployment figures took a hit in May that required explanation, and for all of the "recession is over" talk in Washington, people don't feel optimistic about their own economic outlook. In rolls the second GOP debate of the 2012 campaign. Did they capitalize on the country's bad mood? Well, kind of.
Last January a certain bill in the House of Representatives caught the attention of the media. At the very start of the 112th Congress, House Republicans made moves to "redefine rape" and shift how publicly funded insurance covers (or doesn't cover) abortions. Speaker of the House John Boehner, at the time, said that the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act was a priority for the GOP. An outcry from pro-choice, women's health, and anti-poverty advocates rose up almost immediately, and the bill's sponsor, Christopher Smith of New Jersey (and my Representative when I was a teenager), backed down.
It has only been a few years since the "yes we can" wave made landfall in Washington, DC, ushering in Barack Obama and a broad sense of hope, after two long Bush administrations, during which progressives were increasingly alienated and frustrated. While President Obama was marketed, during the last campaign, as a liberal politician, his political stances on everything from same-sex marriage to economic policy and health care reform, were more centrist. So while hope and change led the day, for 2012 he will have to struggle against whatever cynicism has formed since 2008, and battle what many see as a disappointing track record in his first administration. So what are the messages we're likely to see from his campaign management this time around?
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.
Speaking of anticipation: who's looking forward to the release of Bumped by Megan McCafferty? I am, I am! Check out Phoebe North's insightful review in which she describes the dystopian satire as "sex positive" and "a biting comedy with a tender heart."
Jason Linkins recalls a provocative piece about journalism that seeks to create and criticize candidates' personae rather than report on their politics. Sounds like most news stories about female politicians, doesn't it?
Tom Tom Magazine, the magazine for female drummers, is under attack from Tom Tom GPS, since, you know, people might confuse tracking software with one of the only independent publications covering women and music.
Poor Knut. I don't know about you, but I was dismayed to learn of the famous polar bear's passing. As always, this song is for him.
During the campaign season we took a look at a few campaigns that actively used race and ethnic stereotypes as part of their strategy on the road to Washington, DC. There were undocumented workers slipping across poorly guarded borders to steal American jobs and infect the country with drug-related crime. We faced Islamic terrorists who flaunted their hatred of the US right in the face of Ground Zero. The President himself was often a target, being caricatured as everyone from Che Guevara to Adolf Hitler to a turban-wearing Muslim, to an extra from Amos and Andy. One week out from Election Day, how did they do? And does anyone out there think that using these tactics had any effect on who showed up to cast votes?
It's Election Day, feminists! You knew that, didn't you? You've voted already, haven't you? You've been reading EvMaroon's Political InQueery series and getting fired up to cast your vote, right? Of course you have! But if you're a procrastinator (and hey, we've all been there), go and VOTE before today's polls close. And if you need that extra oomph, Presente made a video that might inspire you (Warning: it also might make you really angry):
Yesterday the New York Times ran an article highlighting transgender candidates for office in this election cycle, asking if more trans candidates will translate into greater tolerance for the community. While there are a handful of transfolk running for office, there are also out lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men who are knee-deep in their own campaigns, and then there are the few LGBT members of Congress who are looking to hold on to their jobs. And although the Times may find some choice quotes from people that seeing transgender people in positions of power will generate greater acceptance, there doesn't seem to be any actual cause and effect at play.