Friday, August 15, 2008

Resisting Civil Rights

There was a report by Alegre earlier today that language referring to gays and lesbians appeared to have been removed from the DNC platform and then reworded to say "same-sex couples" with reference to the Defense of Marriage Act. I've written before that the push for gay rights is looked at resentfully in some "liberal" quarters as being too, ahem, presumptuous, too pushy, making too many people uncomfortable. Kind of like every form of civil rights since, oh, forever.

I'm disturbed by the langauge that replaced "gay and lesbian". Why? Because it talks about a particular condition for receiving rights, being a couple. I don't like or trust the retreat from defending individual rights, the inherent rights of human beings, independent of a particular institution or social construct besides that of citizen.

I want to know which people decided to change this language. Was it a compromise? Was the original removal just an interim draft while new language was crafted or was it an actual attempt to remove defense of non-heterosexuals from the platform? The attachment of rights to marriage for anyone, not just same-sex couples (And where are bisexuals and transgendered citizens positioned in this rather rigid construct?) also leaves me suspicious.

I am watching the retreat of the Democrats from civil rights as such. Women of all socio-economic statuses are having their reproductive control bargained away. GLBT rights are being rejected as "politically unviable" even as individual states push forward. The rights of working class and poor men and women, regardless of color, religion, sexual orentation, etc., such as a right to health care or Social Security, are treated as "bi-partisan" bargaining chips. Privacy rights? Fuhgeddaboudit...

What I see in the Deaniac crusade is a failure to address fundamental protections while pursuing a feel-good approach that caters to those who have already made it (or who fantacize that they belong in that group), the Whole Foods Nation crowd.

It is as profound a change in this party as the Republican abondonment of its abolitionist roots.



sister of ye said...

I used to hang out at a certain Big Blue Blog, and it was fun while it lasted. But even there, when MA legalized gay marriage, there was copious hand-wringing about it not being the right time, it would just antagonize people against liberalism, and how dare those gays selfishly put themselves forward when there were Really Important Issues that we should be concerned about.

Not to minimize the importance of the Iraq War, global warming, and a host of other issues, but when you can't make decisions for your critically ill partner, that is Important. When you can't give your spouse legal custody of your kids, that's Important. When you've no guarantees against discrimination that could cost you your job (and with it a roof over your head, health care, and so on), that is Important.

God forbid that gays be equal citizens who don't have to worry about watching their backs all the time, and thus have the security to allow them to work on other issues like the Iraq War, global warming and the rest.

PUMA.SF said...

I believe they are pandering again and this time I am sure it is the religious right. Remember, in 2004whe we held our noses and voted for Kerry? Well, he was quite the wind surfing liberal himself but that was not all. Wasn't the MA gay marriage issue on the table at the time. The DNC is making a very transparent move.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. Today's Democratic party is by and large the party of the Whole Foods Nation. The poor were dropped as "monsters" (they could say it, so Hillary assumed the position) and now comes the GLBT turn. After all, in Whole Food they whore the atmosphere and we cannot allow that, can we?

I wonder, are there precedents in history where a ideology-free group such as Whole Foods Nation succeeded to take over from progressives and the needy a political party and went on to a victory just to preserve their way of life?

hg said...

Amen, Anglachel: The capitulation of congressional Democrats over the last two decades on reproductive rights and working class issues has finally come to a head. We are stuck with a hardcore conservative Supreme Court, states that have maneuvered to ban all Planned Parenthood clinics and allow their pharmacists to deny contraceptive medication to women (which is NOT always taken for contraception), a broken health care system that leaves millions of Americans unnecessarily suffering and dying, and a insiduously sexist culture that was blatantly used to bring down the most qualified candidate of this election. This is not the Democratic party of FDR and LBJ--and we no longer live in the America of our forefathers.

Andre said...

Of course, it is the premier "American" value, that individual rights be expanded. If they are not expanded, then they are contracting, they do not stand still. It would seem to me that any attempt to decrease individual 'rights' is most certainly un-American. Here in Massachusetts, our highest court has stated that our constitution disallows the discrimination against same sex couples in the ability to marry, and to receive all the rights that flow from marriage. Our constitution was written by John Adams 200 years ago and the highest court's decision is a perfect example of how the rights delineated in our nation's founding must always and forever be expanded. That is the essence of America!

Anonymous said...

OT but this makes my blood boil.

Gen. Wesley Clark is not invited to the Democratic National Convention in Denver:

First he snubs Rangel now Gen. Clark? These are some of my favorite politicians and the reason why I still consider myself to be a Democrat. If Obama purges the Clintons and all of their supporters from the Democratic Party, I'm leaving too.

Oh, and I guess he won't even try with the "bitter" typical white people in Arkansas who love the Clintons.
Obama Ignoring Arkansas:

Obama disgusts me more each day.

Unknown said...

I take mild exception to the 'Whole Foods Nation' meme. It's cool and all but I know a couple who could at a distance look like they belong to that 'group'. He's a private chef for rich folks and she works at Whole Foods as a produce buyer, produce buyers never see the food but that's another story, They have one child.

Whole Foods Nation Fambly?

Take a closer look and not quite. He is a drummer in several Reggae and Indy bands in the area. Grew up a hardcore Punk follower of Black Flag. Her...she's a bisexual who spends a lot of time in the clubs.

Nightclubs where the crowd is an least a quarter LGBT, another 15% black and mobs of the Brown Brothers.


It's and anecdote that leads to my real contention:

The Democratic Party, DNC..DLCC...whatevah, is rotten to the core. Miss Nancy presides over a network of play for pay and uses her 'salesmanship' to sell the Constitution, the rule of law, voting rights and anything else that's not nailed down to the damn floor to whoever has the Benjamins.

How could it be any other way the culture of the Congress has been pay for play since JFK. Both parties do it. All the damn time.

Problem is that the nation can no longer afford such a method of government. Our domination of the manufacturing, finance and lastly technology sectors of the world economy is at a....

...fucking end folks.

We can no longer afford the level of corruption we are seeing now.

It's killing the nation.

We need the Congress cleaned out completely There are not, I would venture to say, more than 50 people in both houses who are fit for their jobs.

There is no major problem with the American people or any size able fraction of them.

The problem lies in Congress. They have become a knot of toads squatting and defecating on the people's houses. They simply must go.

And I'm pretty sure they will. Nobody with a 9% approval rating last too long at their job. No matter what excuses they make.

Anonymous said...

I think that "...the retreat of the Democrats from civil rights as such." is because the corporations are now "We, the People..." and the dominant species on the planet, and the decisions of courts and legislatures flow their way. And as the chickens on their farms, our civil right are not important.