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the emotions of politics

I don't even know where to start on this topic. Ok, I'll just dive right in. Once again, differences in politics and beliefs have caused hurt feelings, broken friendships and some sadness. I'm not going to address the plethora of people who are on my case today. I only want to address Chris, because he was a good friend at one point, one of only two blogging friends who were invited to my wedding, someone I've had dinner with, someone who has been in my home. I'm not providing a link, not because I want to be secretive, but because I don't want anyone going over to his comment section and making things worse. Chris - and many others - can't understand how I can be a one issue voter, yet they want me to not vote for Bush based on one issue.
But if you know me, and consider yourself my friend, and appreciate me as a person, and you still vote for George W. Bush this coming November, then let me tell you something right now: Don't ever let me know that you did. Because I will never speak to you again.
Further down, he says, on the same subject:
then I am sorry, but I do not ever want to see your face or hear your voice in my presence. It's a done deal. My apologies if that offends anyone, but guess what? If that's you, you've been offending me for a long, long time. And I'm just a little bit angry about what you would allow to be done to me, and to our country.
I'm stunned. Completely stunned. You are asking me to consider one issue and one issue only in the coming election, yet you are taking me to task for doing the same. Yes, I believe in gay rights. I believe they should be allowed to marry. And I don't think there's a chance in hell that Bush's proposed amendment to the consitution will pass. But that's not enough. It's not enough for my gay friend to know that I support him and once loved him like a brother. I now have to vote like him. A vote for Bush is not a vote against you, Chris. It doesn't mean I think less of you. It just means that I've weighed my options and I took into account my own life, my own situation, my family, concerns and Bush turned out to be the best candidate for me. It's not like Kerry is going to press for the right for gays to marry, either. So what of the people who vote for him? Will you still talk to them even though he doesn't believe in your cause? In his next post he says:
All I can say to those who disagree with me on this issue is, I'm sorry we've reached this place. I'm sorry the world's gotten so fucked -- ignore the reasons why -- that people who all believe in liberty have to be torn apart by which ones to protect first: I'm sorry that the assault on our freedoms is so fierce, and comes from so many assailants, that we have to fight each other before we can get permission to fight back. Shit's fucked up and I have to believe that I'm doing what I can to make it better. I guess you do too, but at the end of the fight, if it ever comes, I want you to sit down and take stock of what you have, and then think about what your neighbor still has, and ask yourself: Was it worth it?
I believe the same things as you, Chris. I believe that what I'm doing is right for the long term. I could ask the same question about you. And like I said yesterday, I cannot go into the voting booth and take into consideration you and my neighbor and myself and make the right choice for all of us. It's impossible. So what do I do? Make the choice that 's right for you? Isn't knowing that I support your cause enough to keep a friendship going, or do I have to actually march in your footsteps and do all the things you do in order to regain your acceptance? I can't do that. But I can be really, really sad that it's come to this. I've lost friends over politics before. I've had blog fights and I've had people delink me and call me terrible things. But nothing hurts as much as a friend telling you that, because you are putting your beliefs and needs ahead of his when voting, that he no longer cares about your existence. I'm not going to defend my choice any longer. I'm not going to explain once more why I've made that choice. I don't know why I even felt like I owed anyone an explanation to begin with. Yes, I am incredibly pissed at George Bush for the action he has taken in regards to gay marriage. It's one issue that he's really gone opposite from me on. So you want me to vote for Kerry instead? I don't agree with Kerry on anything. Sure, he's not going to try to change the constitution. But everything else about him drives me mad. I'm torn apart here, trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing in order to make this world a better place, a safer place; in order to make my children's future bright and free of terrorism; in order to make wars stop and the economy rise and inflation go down and every single child in the world have food and clothing and proper schooling and hey, let's cure cancer, eliminate natural disasters and draw rainbows across the sky while we're at it. There is no one - no one candidate - who can fulfill all your wishes. So why would you expect me to not vote for the candidate who at least fulfills a good portion of mine? I'm angry and upset to the point of being nauseous. I'm being attacked on from an incredible amount of people from all sides on this issue. I'm confused, angry, hurt, most likely incoherent and not making much sense and just...livid. I've managed to keep a lot of friends who are so liberal they make Indymedia look like NewsMax. I manage to still be friends with people who are anti-war, who poke fun at my politics or march against the things I stand for - and vote against them, too. I've accepted that basic fact that everyone is different. If I stopped talking to people who have values opposite mine, I would be a very lonely person. This is going to eat at me all day. I've encountered three people in the last half hour who come off as if they would put a knife in my heart and spit in the wound if they met me. Maybe I'll lose all my gay friends, which are, admittedly, a big portion of my friends. Maybe I'll eventually lose every friend I have who is liberal or voting for Kerry or anti-war. But the one thing I will never lose is my sense of self. I am not going to fold up my Bush tent because someone has used a friendship to bully me into it. Never.

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» "You Only Lose People You Thought Were Friends" from Captain's Quarters
That doesn't mitigate the pain of finding out that the friend you thought you had values his/her politics more than they do you. They value their undisturbed environment of outrage and victimization than they do your love and support. And that hurts. [Read More]

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Some people call the period that we are entering a Culture War. Gay marriage, abortion, broadcast standards, all of these have come down to two phrases: "How dare you offend me," and "How dare you decide what is right for me." [Read More]

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Comments

FWIW, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm pissed at Bush and a lot of his appointments for many of their actions. But Bush seems to be the only candidate that understands there are people out there that would enjoy blowing us off the face of the earth just for who we are.

And yeah... there seems to be acceptable litmus tests (abortion, gay rights) and non-acceptable litmus tests (protecting from Wahhabist terrorism).

Michele,

I'm really sorry that it's come to this. There are one-noters on just about every issue, unfortunately. Although I disagree with your overall assessment on this one particular issue, I still love your blog and think you're a wonderful person. You're one of the good guysgirls!

You don't lose friends, Michele. You only lose people you thought were friends.

Bravo! Hope he rethinks his position. As I'm sure you can tell, Michele, I disagree with you pretty fiercely on this issue from the other side . . . t'ain't none of it worth busting up friendships over. I long ago learned to live with the fact that I have strong disagreements with my friends over politics, morality, religion, the Hated Yankees . . . you can't get so fanatical that you start to cut off everyone who disagrees with you, still less those whose disagreements are fairly narrow or tactical.

I agree totally...my friends run the spectrum from folks right of Kim DuToit to those who wold be moveon.org members... However, everyone can agree to disagree on a civil basis. I agree with Ed Koch on this one...I disagree almost completely with Bush's social policies, but must vote for him based on his stand on national security, energy and environmental issues.

Crank,

There are political differences worth busting up friendships over.

This is not one of those things. If Michele were to vote for Bush SPECIFICALLY because she was anti-gay, then I wouldn't want to be her friend. However, I know she is not doing that. She's voting for Bush for very valid reasons, and she'll probably hold her nose while she does it, knowing what Bush's policy is on equal marriage.

I'm gay. I obviously don't support the president on this issue. But I support him - vehemently, few questions asked - on national security.

Besides. Michele's "friend" obviously hasn't looked at Kerry's policies on this issue either. Kerry's a fair-weather politician, whose policies on equal marriage is only marginally, at best, better than Bush's.

The writer above you said it best:

You don't lose friends, Michele. You only lose people you thought were friends.

Hang in there!

I've said for a long time, that if the abortion issue did not exist, the GOP would win nearly every election in a landslide. Now, maybe there is a 2nd litmus test.

The funny thing is, that John Kerry said he would support an Ammendment as well, if it allowed for civil unions. His position is basically the same as Bush's position, but no outcry?

Vote the way you want, and if the intolerant left doesn't like it, tough.

Standing for what you beleive in is what its all about. If people are willing to break off friendships because of this then what does it tell you about the friendship in the first place?

As far as Gay Marriage:

Let the Supreme Court decide it once and for all.

Again, I have to ask (to which no one has sufficiently responded): why do people believe that Bush is their Saviour against terrorism? Why do people think that a Democrat would stop attacking the terrorists? Why do people think Bush is this Sun Tsu character, master of war, protector of people? He was never serious about fighting terror; he invaded Iraq (a non threat), buddied up with Saudi Arabia (the majority of the highjackers came from SA – and Bush invites their leader to his hobby ranch), has left the janitorial duties in Afghanistan to Canada and is now buddies with Pakistan!

I think people have been frightened into stupidity. It’s a shame.

Michele, I have friends who I disagree with politically. Whether I would continue my friendship with them should they support an open bigot remains to be seen. It would really have to be whether I saw them as bigoted as the person they vote for, or whether they are just misguided.

What Dave said.

I haven't much to add to the observations already made, only a few additional words of support. I can only imagine how painful this has to be for you. I hope that the knowledge that you're doing the right thing in voting your conscience is some small consolation.

hey michele,

it has been a while since i commented - just wanted to say that i have a great deal of respect for you and your willingness to make sense! hang in there, the storms will pass.

funy how passionate people can be from their side, without a willingness to see the other side - i know we had a couple of discussions on religious matters (some on which we disagree) you were always repectful...i would count you as a friend and be honored.

Peace...PJ

So, Vince. Anyone who disagrees with you does so because they are stupid and misguided?

Get over yourself, guy.

> Let the Supreme Court decide it once and for all.

Ugh. As with abortion, the Supremes are one of the wrong places to make this sort of desision.

The marriage thing should be decided in legislatures, where all concerns, etc. can be considered.

I'm still with ya Michele, still worried about you and your husband, hoping the kids are good, wondering what you'll write about at any given time every day.

But I'm finding I'm taking Bush's stand the other day personally and just can't vote for him now. I agree, and have argued with some of my lesbian readers, that Kerry and the other Dems aren't any better, but that's no consolation now.

Hang in there. Keep writing your heart and mind, at least you help us think and clarify our own positions.

In answer to Vince, "Why do people think that a Democrat would stop attacking the terrorists?"

I suppose because the most recent terrorist attacks that took place under Democratic administrations resulted in responses ranging from nothing (Carter and the Iranian hostages) to a couple of cruise missiles (Clinton, WTC and USS Cole).

It has nothing to do with fright, it has to do with learning from mistakes.

I also love Vince's view of those that disagree with him. You're either a racist, homophopic scumbag, or stupid. The elitist viewpoint summed up in one sentence.

I respectful disagree. You need one law of the land on this. You cant have a quilt work of laws on a subject as important as this.

Vince:

Maybe people don't trust Kerry to fight terrorism because he said it is mostly a 'police issue' or that he said the the war on terrorism is mostly rhetoric?

I don't know, it could be those things.

Vince -- Calling people like Michele "scared into stupidity" is (a) pretty darn stupid itself, (b) completely untrue, and © not likely to win you any friends or converts.

As to why Kerry is better than Bush on this issue -- yeah, he's not exactly a proponent of same-sex marriages, either, and certainly wouldn't enact them.

It comes down to this -- I'm 27 years old. Without the FMA, I'll probably be able to get married at some point in my life. With the FMA, I won't (imho, there's very little chance that, once enacted, it would be repealed within 50 years). Kerry's weaseling, while hardly praiseworthy, is, from a practical point of view, very preferable.

Still, I certainly don't think people with a different assessment of this issue, or a different assement of the priority given to different issues are "scared into stupidity". We just disagree, is all.

"I also love Vince's view of those that disagree with him. You're either a racist, homophopic scumbag, or stupid. The elitist viewpoint summed up in one sentence."

Bingo. Matt hit it dead on.

I'm sorry you're going through this. It's hard to find out your friends go through life with blinders on. It's even harder to realize that they have no intention of ever taking them off.

you can't respect a person whose basic argument is, "anyone who doesn't support full and immediate gay marriage is an anti-gay bigot". as far as i can tell, that makes the vast majority of the united states, and every country in the world save three, bigots.

grow up.

and the amendment process was designed, in part, to ensure that a Supreme Court whose constitutional interpretation invalidates the will of the people wouldn't have the final say. considering that the judiciary is inherently an aristocratic and undemocratic institution, one of two things is possible:

1) liberal democrats are using the court as an expedient, and as the best way to accomplish their goals, or

2) liberal democrats are really not democrats at all, but minority theorists who use the court system to protect minorities against the tyranny of the majority.

but either way, if a group of people thinks that the courts are wrong, they're following their constitutional duty to amend the source which the courts interpret. that's not to say i agree with the motive here (because i'm strongly against the amendment), but i'm against this growing notion that the courts, and not the people, represent the last option of what is/is not constitutional.

I don't know this friend or person you're speaking of, but I have a strong feeling he's one of the people who claim to be "open minded" and "tolerant". If I'm wrong, forgive me, if I'm right, it really pisses me off. I've been struggling with this for a while now. I love how tolerance seems to mean "only if you agree with me!"

I'm truly sorry you're going through this.

Michele, Dave in his comment above was right--Chris was never your friend. You haven't lost a friend, you've lost a Leftist, so tell yourself good riddance.

You understand, I am sure, why Leftists are not fit for the company of decent people at this point, no? They politicize everything, and I mean everything. If I recall correctly, it was Andrea Dworkin, or one of the other Libbers, who said, "The personal is political". What a stinking, evil, liberty killing philosophy. Every damn little thing which anybody says, thinks, or does is a political act to them, and so affects the broader society at large, and so is a legitimate area of coercive interest on the part of the State, or a mob, or one graceless, ugly individual, as Chris seems to be.

Shame on Chris for threatening to end a friendship because he doesn't like the way you vote. It may be possible to maintain a cozy friendship across a political divide, just not with this particular lousy little Leftist. Leave him to marinate in his bumper-sticker little mind, you've been done a favor.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I can't totally agree with you, Mike. You can't throw one blanket over everyone and call it a group. Not all my leftists friends react the same way to my politics.

As for my former friend, I can't just dismiss it like that. Just can't. He's really a wonderful person despite all this.

I'm sorry this is happening to you, Michele. It's not like you don't have enough on your plate already. I had a similar experience with a 15 year friendship over the war. It was unexpected and a bit of a stunner. She chose to never speak to me again.

“Vote For Bush Or Kerry Will Hand Out The Boxcutters!”

“A Vote For Kerry Is A Vote For Terrorism!”

“Down with Trade Towers! Up With Jihad! – is something a Democrat would say!”

It’s getting quite hysterical in here.

Scared into stupidity? Some has demonstrated that quite immensely. Some have been tricked into voting for an open bigot. The whole ‘vote for a demmy means you ride with the terrorist’ thing is old and tired.

How far will America regress? 2 towers = no gay marriage. If the terrorists blow up the Empire state building, can we re-enact Jim Crow laws? What do I have to do to reverse women’s right to vote? Mini-nuke DC?

That’s some wild, stupid rhetoric I just wrote, but what about things like abortion and open borders? How much so the Republicans have to scare you into accepting to repeal some very serious rights?

Voting for Bush means you are voting for a virulent homophobe; he voted to criminalize gay sex while emperor of Texas. Would you vote for a virulent racist, or a misogynist?

he "voted" for something while emperor? interesting...i was under the impression you couldn't vote for legislation while you were an executive.

but then, it's becoming pretty clear that vince has a pretty good handle on a) politics, and b) venus.

Troll, troll, troll Michele
Angrily in this thread
Crazily, crazily, crazily, crazily,
Vince is a poop-head.

"Would you vote for a virulent racist, or a misogynist?"

Is this statement supposed to be more irony, or are you serious?

Kerry and Edwards don't fully support gay marriage, so why is this a democrat/republican issue?

Gay marriage isn't even a leftist issue. Most of the gay couples I know tend to be conservative. Maybe that just happens when you get older and want to settle down.

I can't believe that Michele is getting so much pointless grief about this - and we still have months to go before the election. It's going to be a very long year...

"As far as Gay Marriage:

Let the Supreme Court decide it once and for all."

So it can turn into another Roe v Wade issue?

I would rather the people decide for themselves, rather than a group sheltered from the people decide for them.

Kong

Count me as "gay, probably voting for Bush, not particularly concerned about the no-gay-marriage issue, and supportive of Michele to vote any damn way she pleases without resorting to emotional blackmail."

Now pass the fucking pie. Blueberry, please.

So the President has an OPINION on gay marriage and wants to SUPPORT a FMA. The Defense of Marriage Act was signed by Clinton not Bush; that's the last point that the president has any Constitutional power.

The ammendment process is the one of the very few areas where the president has no power (e.g. appointing judges or vetoing legislation). Obviously, he has the bully pulpit, but that didn't help Carter pass the ERA.

Why is this even a Presidential issue??

Kind of like America against the world, eh? You helped found TCP. You know what's going on out there, it aggravates you that even a 2×12 won't get the message thru, yet someone you thought was a "friend/ally" showed his/her true face. (Or maybe it was always there and you're more tolerant and let it go.) It hurts, but that's life. What are you going to do, become a doormat? Grovel, keep silent? You've lived too long and learned too much to "get along" on important issues. If they're that shallow.....

---

AND

If emperor Bush was a virulent a homophobe as some believe, I really don't think we'd be having this discussion. You can crank up the hate precisely because you know nothing will happen.

As to leaving it to the courts, you didn't learn from the abortion issue. 30 years of division in this country because it was imposed from high. You think that's used as a litmus test to approve a judge, you haven't seen anything yet. Those states that approve, you live in. But that's the catch, even CA at this point in time says no. Not soon enough for some, but a lot faster than other changes in our society happened.

No president can guarantee that we won't be attacked by terrorists again.

But a president can guarantee that he won't support a constitutional amendment further disenfranchising a portion of the nation he is supposed to represent.

NRAMSEY, again I say, the President doesn't have any power to guarantee that an amendment won't be passed (He's not involved... read Article V of the Constitution).AND if he guarantees that he won't support a PASSED constitutional amendment, whether it disenfranchises a portion of the nation or not, he cannot take the Oath of Office.

Michele,

I too have lost a good friend and fellow blogger because of these issues. Seems no matter how good a friend Ive been, how much support I have given the person when they needed it, or how many times I stood up for this person for the very same issue, since I dont agree with him I am the bad guy. Regardless of the fact that even if I believed he was wrong, I stood up for his right to have his own opinion on the matter. I too am hurt, and I wsih that my friendship with this person could continue, but not at the cost of my convictions.

There are people on both sides on any issue that through their anger and threats to those on the opposing side only serve to burn bridges that might need to be crossed along the line.

It's a shame that it comes to this. It really is.

The whole Ďvote for a demmy means you ride with the terroristí thing is old and tired.

But, somehow, the whole 'vote for a democrat and you'll automatically get everything republicans won't give you' isn't?

Get a clue.

Face the facts, Vince: Kerry and Edwards don't want same sex marriages, either. Does that make them homophobic bigots in your view? According to what you've said, no, it doesn't.

I have gay and lesbian friends who refuse to vote Republican for the simple reason they're still offended that Reagan didn't say the word AIDS for years. And this is almost twenty years after the fact. They've tarred and feathered a party because of the actions of one man who was president twenty years ago. Is that exactly "enlightened"? I don't think it is.

The next time you're tempted to call Bush a homophobic bigot, keep this one fact in mind: he allowed domestic partners of those killed in 9/11 to apply for compensation from the 9/11 fund---and this includes gay/lesbian partners. He was under NO legal obligation to do this, but he did it anyway. Is that the action of a "homophobic bigot"? I don't think so. His support of the proposed amendment is PURE politics---he's trying to please the religious right---you know, the people who, if he didn't express some viewpoint on this subject, wouldn't vote at all because they will think it's a sign of the second coming.

Do the math: there's no way this thing will pass through Congress, let alone be approved by 3/4 of the state legislatures. Besides, as many have pointed out, he has absolutely NO control over the process. If he really wanted to ban gay marriage, he could sign an executive order---that would take care of the issue, wouldn't it? But he hasn't.

Learn how to read between the lines.

And Michele, I'm REALLY sorry you're having to go through this.

This is why my blog's about geek issues and tech, and not about what I believe in :)

I have friends that I meet with weekly, and we do discuss some issues. However, we avoid the ones that are just hidden landmines out of consideration for each other. Unfortunately, you can't do that on a blog that deals with your thoughts and beliefs.

No matter how eloquently you put it, there will always be a yammering Vince who puts his issues and his concerns above yours.

I love your blog, and this series of posts is one of the best that I've seen dealing with the country-splitting issues that are coming up this election. Folks holding "friendships" hostage over political or religious issues is juvenile, at best, and reflects the depth (or lack thereof) of the friendship.

I support gay marriage. Voting for either candidate will do very little for or against that issue. I support the current war on terrorism, although I dislike many of the manipulative things that have happened along the way. I'm also an athiest, and dislike the "immoral minority" that seems to have conquered the Republican party.

That said, the biggest issue to me this election will be our international concerns, including the current war / rebuilding effort.

D

But a president can guarantee that he won't support a constitutional amendment further disenfranchising a portion of the nation he is supposed to represent.

Shades of my college graduation - Dan Rostenkowski- remember him, former head of the House???

Ninety-friggin degrees it's about him and "don't not vote for me because you don't like the way I voted on an issue. I have to represent all the people...."

Please.

How do you represent ALL the people when you have a country as diverse as ours??? We're not Japan, you know. Someone's always getting disenfranchised, it's just that as the "majority," no one cares about me getting disenfranchised. And trust me, when you're a white oppressor responsible for all the evils in the world, but the world still expects you to pay for the world kicking you, count me fed up.

Hey, girl; I'd love you if you voted for Satan.

I've lost friends over politics, too. My very best girlfriend, roomie through college, won't have ANYTHING do do with me now, because I said that I thought the war with Iraq was a good idea. Another friend - of fifteen years - called me a Nazi and told me to go buy a sheet for the next KKK rally because I'm alarmed at the rise of anti-semitism in Europe. Dude, that shit hurts. It really does.

Isn't it funny, though; all the "friends" that won't speak to me due to my political beliefs are left-of-center. They accuse me of stifling their free speech, yet I find myself banned on their blogs, having never even made a comment.

The really funny thing is that, like you, I'm not even a Republican. I'm a staunch moderate.

This shit sucks. It's tearing the country apart, and tearing apart friendships. I'm really, really sorry that you're on the receiving end of this nonsense now.

I'm also an athiest, and dislike the "immoral minority" that seems to have conquered the Republican party.

If this were true, how come CA voted the way it did in '02? Is CA is representative of the "immoral minority?"

If it were GA, it's understandable, but CA?????

Sandy: Quibble: it was 2000, not 2002.

Michelle...I'll stand with you.

Why is everyone treating the FMA as if it's a done deal?

All Bush has done is put the issue back into the hands of the states.

Want gay marriage? Civil Unions? Make your case! Get to your legislators and tell them why they should not ratify this amendment. Surely there's enough grassroots support for it to at least keep the number of states that DO ratify it under the number needed to get it into the Constitution.

Stop acting like you've lost.

And those of you who think Bush has done something heinous. Consider--he's taken it out of the hands of the courts, he's shelved it as a debate issue, and, unless the FMA is REALLY popular, he's staved off a quick harsh backlash.

So how does everyone feel about it now that Kerry supports the Massachusetts state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?

Gee, I bet Kerry will still get "the gay vote" (however monolithic a creature that is), even though his answer is let the states (38 of which have already banned gay marriage) decide.

would voting for Satan be a write-in or can he make it on the ballot?

Jack: because it's almost certain to pass and be ratified, of course. It would have been a better than even-money bet in any event, but now, it is more or less a done deal.

I'm certainly leaning on my federal and state legislators as hard as I can, but then again, I've been doing so for quite a while now. I've got my vote and a few thousand dollars a year to give, though. T'ain't much.

We'd need 13 states to vote it down to prevent ratification. Ain't gonna happen. Only chance was to keep it from getting out of Congress, and that's pretty much not gonna happen now.

Note: I'm not too fond of the Mass SC decision, either, and I think of the SF Mayor's tactics as a (faily amusing) publicity stut. I am fully aware of the fact that they have been acting in a counterproductive fasion. That does not let Bush off the hook.

"You need one law of the land on this. You cant have a quilt work of laws on a subject as important as this."

In this country, Dell, importance alone does not make something a federal issue. We have 50 different state laws on murder, so does that mean it's not important?

"If he really wanted to ban gay marriage, he could sign an executive order---that would take care of the issue, wouldn't it?"

Uh, no. The President can't go around issuing executive orders based on nothing: they have to be derived from another source of legal authority granted to him, either in the Constitution directly or by Congress through a statute.

As others have have said, the President's support for the FMA bothers me, but as drafted, it's not going anywhere (and it bears stating that he stated support for AN amendment, not for Marilyn Musgrave's particular language). 2/3 of the House maybe; 2/3 of the Senate, not a chance; forget about 3/4 of the states although it'd never even get that far.

A more moderate and reasonable amendment like that proposed by Jonathan Rauch, that would explicitly leave this issue entirely in the hands of the states, that'd be another story, and would allow the ordinary political process to play out on this issue: you'd get an evolving consensus that, over time, I cannot help but believe would eventually accept gay marriage in most states, since polls suggest that the younger you are, the less they have a problem with it. But removing something from local and democratic control, imposing it on them from upon high, hardens people's positions, polarzies, anatgonizes: that's the lesson of Roe v. Wade, which the Supreme Court in its cough cough infinite wisdom actually thought would settle the issue rather than ramping up passions on both sides by orders of magnitude.

Michele, I know I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said here already, but making friendship contingent on political allegiance is a REALLY shitty thing to do. Someone who would demand that as their "price" is not a friend, and one has to question whether they ever truly were.

Well Michele, I wish you'd vote for a more qualified candidate, like Bozo or Spuds Mackenzie (Whatever happened to Randy of the Redwoods?) but I respect that you have concerns about the word that you feel GW Bush best addresses. (I don't agree, but then again I disagree on a lot of things with various friends of mine.)

Certainly when my own state had the big civil union fracas it was observable that homophobia did not run strictly along party lines. Even then Governor Howard Dean said that gay marriage made him "Uncomfortable".

Do what you feel you have to do in November and I'll still think you're cool.

...making friendship contingent on political allegiance is a REALLY shitty thing to do. Someone who would demand that as their "price" is not a friend, and one has to question whether they ever truly were.

Dave J. is right.

I used to be friends with a woman who, like me, has volunteered for Planned Parenthood in the past. She once asked me how I could be friends with people who were anti-abortion. This wasn't said in a hostile or accusatory tone, just one of wonderment that I could actually bear to be in the same room with such horrid folks.

I haven't been in touch with her for three years. The friendship ran aground on personal, not political, issues. But it's safe to say that she is/was someone who sees things in much more contrasting shades of black and white than many of my right-of-center friends do.

And I certainly didn't feel free to express certain opinions of mine, such as on animal rights (she supports PETA; I think they're a bunch of people-hating terrorists and I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to subsist on veggies), in front of her. If she were still speaking to me, she'd probably stop once she knew I intended to vote for Bush this fall...and, like you, Michele, hold my nose while doing so.

Hang in there. You put up one of the best blogs out there, IMHO. :-) And the fact that it irks "friends" like Chris bumps it up a few notches in my estimation.

I've always regarded the practice of shunning as infantile and profoundly thick-headed. I'm no Bush supporter, but as bad as I believe he is for the country, he is certainly not more important to me than ANY of my friends.

On the upside, allowing gay marriage at a federal level would increase support for the abolition of the marriage penalty by a few percentage points.

in canada, provincial courts(Ontario,B.C.) have ruled that opposite sex definitions of marraige are unconstitutional. And all that is required is for provincial legislators to enact legislation defining marriage. Therefore...no constitutional amendment(for Canada). No need to go to the supreme court for referral...although this has been done.

Thomas Sowell wrote of "the vision of the annointed", i.e. the beknighted Left, who hold that their position on a particular issue is the valid one, to the exclusion of all others. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that those who do not hold the same position must be morally deficient...they cannot possibly hold a position out of principle, only out of some base motive.

It seems to me, Michele, that this is what you are experiencing with your "friend."

Who knew gay dudes could be so dramatic!

Michele you are right you "friend" is wrong. The only candidate running who supports gay marriage is Nader. So unless he insisted you vote for Ralphie he is not being truthful about why he isn't voting for Bush.

Not in love with Bush either, but in my estimation, gay marriage is not a big deal to me (one way or the other) and for a Constitutional amendment to pass it wd take a heck of a lot more then just the Pres decreeing it.

Re: Vince. Vince is a well known anti semite, who has personally wished me dead ("why don't you just spend your days going on Israeli buses? tee hee").

He is an idiot.

Michelle!

For one thing, your friend will probably apologize once he's had time to cool off a bit. When I found out about Bush's announcement, I raged for two days, but I'm better now. Chris will be too. If not, find the video of the Taliban collapsing a stone wall on a homosexual and forward it to him; tell him to get a grip. If he can't, tell him to call you when he gets over his religionism.

You know it occurred to me when I was reading the various posts comparing the various candidates positions, but if I remember correctly, the President's role in amending the Constitution is... zero. Nada. No signiture required. It's all about the Congress and the state legislatures. So if the FMA pisses Chris off so much, perhaps he should call his Congressman.

regards/
jackson.

Not that anyone cares about my opinion but here it is anyways.

While I give Bush some props for the like the first three months of the War on Terror, that has been undermined by his actions in the last two years. Setting aside for the moment whether you buy into the Iraq imminent threat issue (and I did when it was first made until I learned that most of the slam dunk evidence turned out to be bogus and all that was left was lots of circumstantial evidence that could be interpreted seven ways from sundown), what has Bush himself accomplished in the last two years for the War on Terror?

The CIA and FBI are going to be pursuing terrorists whether there's a Democrat or Republican in the White House. It's their job, irrespective of who's in the Oval Office. So I don't give Bush (or a democrat if that's who's running the show) major credit in that department.

Bush was against a Department of Homeland Security until he got dragged kicking and screaming two it. Now only a few days ago Tom Ridge gave a speach saying how Bush spearheaded the drive for it. Unbelievable...

He was against federalizing the workforce until he got dragged kicking and screaming to it.

He was against an independent 9/11 commission until he got dragged kicking and screaming to it.

He refuses to secure our borders because that will cost him votes with the Hispanic population. Admittedly no Democrat would do this either but it's a sore point for me either way so it's on the list.

Our ports are still a disaster area just waiting to be exploited.

The Patriot Act...where do I start...I'll say that it was a good idea but like a lot of things Bush has done since the first few months of 9/11, it was badly thought out and implemented. Congress shares a ton of blame for this because they should have READ the thing before voting on it.

Afghanistan is an afterthought. Our troops are now stuck in Iraq (they have to stay there now...we can't pull out...it would be disasterous) and resources that should be going to take care of Afghanistan are now being used in Iraq. Instead of one front in the War On Terror; AFghanistan...we now have two because Bush couldn't wait to get into Iraq even though Saddam was effectively in check by UN Sanctions.

So to answer the "one issue security" question, I do not feel more secure than since before 9/11. I feel either as secure or less secure given the way our forces are spread out right now. I don't feel that Bush has done a lot to advance security in this country and a lot of the advances that have been done were at first openly opposed by Bush until he realized he was going to end up on the losing side and he flip flopped.

So for me although security is important I don't feel swapping one candidate for another is going to affect the overall security mission of this country. If a Democrat gets in there's be enough Republican oversight to keep him in line even if he should waver, which I doubt he would much since Bush has committed us to so many thing that we now have to follow through on or else we end up looking stupid in the world's eyes. Well more stupid than he's made us look.

So although I feel relatively secure, I wonder what's the point of being secure if this country is going in the wrong direction just about everywhere else. I'll be alive but not happy. Doesn't sound too fun to me. So it's anybody but Bush for me. Your mileage may vary but security isn't going to matter much if the country goes bankrupt.

I guess people really don't get this.

Bush wants to amend the Constitution over this issue. He really seems to have no sense of what liberty - and the separate status of religion in our country - is all about; he wants to defend the "sanctity" of marriage, remember? If that phrase doesn't make people a little nervous, I don't get it.

I would have voted for him, actually, because I agree with the war against Hussein and with Bush's start in the effort to create a "forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East."

I guess we're going to have a "backward strategy of freedom" here in America, though. Liberate Iraqis - repress Americans. I'd suggest reading Andrew Sullivan today on the topic of the "Trojan Horse" FMA. I think he's quite right: you're next.

No thanks. I'll hold my nose and vote for Kerry, and hope this country can kick Gary Bauer to the curb for once and all.

But a president can guarantee that he won't support a constitutional amendment further disenfranchising a portion of the nation he is supposed to represent.

And what is it that you can do today that you won't be able to do the day after the FMA passes (if it passes)?

Will you no longer have the right to vote? That's what it means to disenfranchise someone.

For goodness sakes, there are good arguments to be made against the FMA, but this isn't one of them.

Jim Treacher once again cuts right through to the heart of an issue. wiping Coke off my keyboard

Unfortunately this is a no win issue.
But I think it will be worse for gays who I believe were gaining acceptance by a large portion of our society.
But it seems they pushed too far and will cause a backlash.
Even I am sick of having it shoved in my face, and I have gay friends, and really don't care whether they pretend they're married or not.
But blatantly going against a recently passed law can't be permitted. A compaign to change the law would have probably worked. But now I don't know.

The mayor of San Francisco isn't gay - he's straight, married, and has two kids.

The mayors of Chicago, Salt Lake City, Portland, and New Paltz, NY are also straight, as far as I know. They all support same-sex marriage, and have said they'd either be part of this "civil disobedience," or would like to be.

Reading all these posts, I have to say that I'm amazed that gay people are, once again, the villains of all this. All for wanting a few simple rights that everybody else takes for granted.

Well, good to know who your friends are(n't). I'm actually glad Bush did this - it has clarified the entire world for me.

Artemis: "Bush wants to amend the Constitution over this issue."

No, he doesn't. That's a blatant misstatement of what he said. He has said that a Constitutional Amendment would be required if judges (and now rogue public officials) wouldn't enforce the laws.

The funny thing - Kerry's said the same thing. Of course, as someone pointed out today, Kerry flip-flops so much that he's always at some opinion, so it's not that much news.

It's not that big of a deal. So Bush wants the Amendment. Great. So what? He can want it all he wants, it doesn't make it happen until the Constitutional provisions have been followed. (And if you think that having an Amendment matters, well, let me direct you to the 2nd... and the NFA, and all of it's children)

It's like the Ashcroft hating. "He did [sic] the PATRIOT act!" "Uh, no, Congress passed it. They can revoke it. Write your legislator. IIRC, the vote was 99-1 in the Senate" "NO, man, ASHCROFT! BAD! EVIL froth froth froth".

Michelle: Sorry to hear about this. I, too, can attest to friends I've lost in the last 2 years. To use the LGF term, they've gone utter moonbatty. Some of the smartest people I've know have literally taken leave of their senses. One told me - and was serious - that he'd prefer to be around Saddam Hussein rather than Bush.

I can go on with more anecdotes... But it's a moot point. When people are going to be that pigheaded, that stupid, that shortsighted as to threaten your friendship unless... Well.. The only thing you can do is back off.

I certainly can see a genuine reason for that sort of ultimatum - I stopped talking to those friends because they refused to entertain facts and reality. So I left them to their devices. I suppose, in all fairness, if your friend feels so strongly about that, that's his right to say so. (Personally, considering the status of homosexuals in the U.S. right now, even compared to 10 years ago, I don't understand the insistance, I'd personally chalk it up to a general (usually Leftist) erosion of any tolerance for any opposing viewpoints that's seems to have been getting worse with the advent of faster and more instantaneous communication.)

But all that aside, it does truly suck.

For those of us who have had the misfortune of teaching American Government to hundreds, nay thousands, of undergraduates, let me bring some news. Of the 27 Amendments to the Constitution, 10 were the first order of business of the 1st Congress, 1 was enacted about 200 years later left over from the first attempts, 2 were applied within 15 years to straighten out a couple of kinks in the Presidential electoral scheme, 3 were added after the Civil War. This leaves 11 that were added in other situations. One of these rescinded an earlier one. One was added after 200 or so years to again correct a presidential succession deficiency. This leaves 8. One was during the Vietnam War to allow 18 year olds who were "old enough to fight and die" to vote. This leaves 7.

Okay. Seven Amendments sorta like the FMA. How many have been proposed over the past 215 or so years? THOUSANDS!!! The chance of any proposed Amendment making it to the passage stage at the state level is literally thousands to one. Even when time was added for ERA, it failed by a couple of states. (The rules on how states vote to accept are individual by state, so it can get very complicated.)

Unless the citizens are OVERWHELMINGLY in favor of FMA, and it becomes a state-level electoral hot-rail, it simply won't happen. I don't see that happening.

On the other hand, at the time of Roe v. Wade, 6 states had abortion laws pretty much like what exists now. Many more were moving in that direction. Without Roe, maybe MO and LA would have pretty restrictive abortion laws, and you could always go to another state to get an abortion. Plus, 30 years of acrimony would have been avoided. I expect same sex marriage to come along eventually, probably gradually over the next decade or so. Or, we can do a Roe and force it on an unwilling public and endure 30 years of acrimony (and counting). Our choice.

This irrational hatred of Bush is based largely on one thing. Your readers might not admit it--but it's the religion thing. He has talked very forthrightly about his faith and that is completely unacceptable for many on the left and some on the right. Bush and Ashcroft are the devil and his accomplice to the religious left.

This irrational hatred of Bush is based largely on one thing. Your readers might not admit it--but it's the religion thing. He has talked very forthrightly about his faith and that is completely unacceptable for many on the left and some on the right. Bush and Ashcroft are the devil and his accomplice to the religious left.

I don't know about that; I'm an atheist and while Bush's in-your-face way of touting his religion bothers me, I don't hate him for it.

Agree with Artemis. Liberty, separate status of religion in our country, protection of the minority from the tyranny of the majority, ensured by Supreme Court decisions preserving these rights according to the constitution. We must be speaking of abortion rights, eh? Oh, wait, we're talking about "defending the sanctity of marriage"? Oh, that's very different, never mind.
And Spud doesn't realize the GWOT has only just begun. There's still Iran and Syria and eventually Saudia Arabia, none of which could begin with Saddam in the way. Of course Iraq wasn't an imminent threat. No one said it was. But then no one knew for sure either. Why Iraq?
The best choice. The point is, according to the rhetoric so far, you couldn't depend on the democrats continuing the so-called "war on terror". "Feeling relatively safe" doesn't get it.

All this talk about friendships destroyed by political differences leads me to ask a question, if ya'll don't mind - for those of you who've had friends dump you because of your beliefs - how old are you? I'm asking because I'm thinking (hoping) this might be a 20s-thing; I just turned 40, and when I think back to how absolutely sure I was of my own opinions, how convinced of my own political righteousness I was, it makes me burn with shame. I don't think I would have ever dumped a friend because of it, unless said friend turned out to be a Nazi or member of the KKK, but even in my leftist 20s I didn't equate voting Republican with Nazis or bed sheets - it's frightening to find adults who think like that. (And yes, I'll be holding my nose and voting for W, but I'm a Texan, and I used to live in Louisiana, so all in all I'm used to holding my nose when I vote).

In my own group we have a wide range of political beliefs, from strongly rightwing to moderately leftwing, gay and straight, and several different ethnicities, and we all manage to love and tolerate each other.

We don't have any strong leftwing folks in the group - we're in Houston. All the strongly left wing folks are kept in Austin.

Stubby, I'm 41.

I really do not understand the viceral reaction to Bush's view. He said this is what he supported 4 years ago... why is anyone surprised that he would come out in favor of this amendment now? Why would a person draw a line in the sand over something Bush did this week when it was pretty clear that he supported this all along? It wasn't as if Bush was hedging on the gay marriage issue, supported it, sponsored gay rights or anything of the sort. And then turned his back on gays.

I dislike his stance on gay marriage but understand that my views (I support it) are in the minority and are creating a backlash that will cause this amendment to pass.

I'm curious if your friend supported Clinton's reelection in 96. I'd like to see people reconcile support for Clinton in 96 with his support for the "Defense of Marriage Act" with virulent opposition to Bush's support for an Amendment he has no role in making law.

I have never understood this visceral hatred of Bush at all. He seems to me to be a rather mild-mannered, not-particularly-distinguished person who just happens to have handled the situation after September 11th, at least as regards Kicking Terrorist Ass™ rather more effectively than the previous Appeasers-'R'-Us approach of the previous administrations. As for his other policies, such as the are -- domestic, economic -- he has been Republican Lite, with some Almost-A-Democrat thrown in for good measure. Clinton was harsher on the welfare state than Bush. And Clinton was no better for gays -- for all his pretty words he made hash of the gays in the military thing, so much so that I do believe he set the cause of gays in the military back at least ten years. But it's Bush who is Darth Vader. Whatever.

As for the friends=fiends thing, this makes my policy of killing all my friends and burying them in an undisclosed location look even better.

Michele,

I belong to an Irish-language group, which tends to be composed of academics (I'm not) and therefore hard-leftists (not me either). One of them sent me an invite to a Dean rally, and when I explained that I didn't support Dean, she assumed I supported Clark. I haven't discussed my politics with the group, even though I consider them to be friends, with three exceptions that I consider to be exceptionally mature and accepting. Those three know about my blog; the rest I keep in the dark.

It's a sad and fortunately uncommon reaction with a small percentage of people to make their friendships conditional on total political agreement. I find that the process of discovering this is terribly painful as it is really a betrayal of the love and caring you've put into the relationship, but once the shock is over, you realize that you may be better off without placing so much importance on someone who would treat you so badly over something so impersonal and irrelevant.

Hang in there. I've been there, it sucks, and now I just remain very careful with whom I discuss politics at all.

You're not the only one. I've found myself drawn into a lot of really ugly political arguments lately for some reason, and though I've done fairly well and keeping my mouth shut and letting them go on until they get tired and shut up, I've lost one friend already, a guy who I've talked to online for more than two years.

It seems like America is just a really divided place these days. So much for "a uniter, not a divider."

so no one wants to help me out with the Satan/write-in thing? danggg...

All you think is that Bush can save you from terrorists so THAT'S why you are going to vote for him???

I'm sorry that you may lose a friend, that's a little harsh, and I hope it is just the heat of the moment and he comes around to be friends with you again. But he is right and he has a point to be angry and disappointed in you.

Anyone who votes for Bush is voting FOR the terrorists to win.
A vote for Bush is a vote to destroy America from with in. The terrorists won't have to blow us up, foolish little girl, you are freely ruining it yourself.

You are not smart at all, you know nothing about what is really happening and you are a drone of the status quo if you vote for Bush thinking he's the only one who would protect us from the "evil doers". What a retarded thing to call them, by the way. It doesn't make any sense, because it implies that anyone who does something he deems as doing something bad is evil. But sometimes when your only option to protect yourself and your culture is to fight back. And we have a billion dollar army and they have rocks. All they have is terrorism to protect their world.
And I'm not saying all terrorists are doing it for the right reasons, or that any of them are doing the right thing, but a lot of them do have reasons and the reasons make sense to some degree.
And the fact that you don't care only helps to prove the terrorists point, which makes us look bad, which makes other people around the world side with the terrorist which makes more terrorists which makes more people who want to blow us up. For decades the "evil doers" have been claiming that America is nothing but an arrogant, evil, great Satan hell bent on taking over the world and corrupting your children. So what does Bush do? He creates fake reasons to invade Iraq, he invades and kills thousands of innocent Muslims based on nothing but his own beliefs, and now the terrorist can say "see? We told you so!" and all those people who were sitting on the fence start thinking maybe the terrorists were right all along. And so they join up to protect their children and their grand children from the great Satan. So they join up and try to blow us up in the name of their god.
So go ahead and vote for Bush, the terrorists will thank you for it later.

And Bush isn't helping to protect you at all. I would like you to show some facts that support your claim.
You know he has cut and under funded national security organizations such as FEMA, the police, fire dept, and his own ďHomeland securityĒ, which sounds a lot like ďFather LandĒ talk. He has cut an under funded the coast guard.
He wants to give a quasi-amnesty to illegal aliens. Potentially legalizing people who are hiding here just waiting to attack us. Most terrorists have clean records. You would never know they were up to something bad just from their past.

He's lied about intelligence to justify his own beliefs, OR he truly believed them because he only listens to the people around him, which means they can get him to believe anything and get him to tell you anything. And you believe anything he says. That doesnít make a very safe nation.
And he is still lying about the reasons for invading Iraq... THAT alone will make more people want to blow us up or make them want to help us less.
So how is putting Bush back in office making things safer when he is helping to create more hatred against us... and not doing anything extra to help protect us here at home? How is that a good thing?
Saddam was never a threat, we weakened him severely with the gulf war, we scared him when we were quickly and accurately able to show him that we knew it was him when he tried to kill the first Bush, we broke his back completely with Operation: Desert Fox. He knew he didn't have any power anymore and if he wanted to keep his fake power in Iraq he better only rattle his sword and never use it.

You don't actually think if there was a terrorist attack, one that involved Saddam in it at all, that we wouldn't find out about it and blow him totally away? You donít think that do you? How powerful do you think any of these people are? Even if China attacked us it wouldnít be enough to destroy us instantly let alone a hand full of idiots trying to sneak things into our country and time everything out. Not with our intelligence. Itís not as bad as people think it is.

There was nothing, NOTHING! any terrorist could do that would destroy America. We could and would always be able to retaliate. And if we were ever attacked with a WMD we would hit them a hundred times harder than we did in Afghanistan. Saddam, or any country, would never take the chance of being blown away or taken out when that is all he had, his pathetic little power trip of being the dictator of a third of a country the size of California (he didn't even have power over half of Iraq).

AND Bush is STILL claiming that Saddam and Osama were connected, he is still saying there are WMD in Iraq when everything before, during, and now after were always saying he didn't have anything. Even Colin Powel said Saddam was no longer a threat in 2001.
Bush is not taking any responsibility for being wrong, they said they KNEW exactly where they(MWD) were, they held intelligence back from the inspectors on where to look, they made outrageous claims that Saddam could attack America in forty five minutes! If Bush cared so much in saving your lives why wouldnít he insist that the inspectors have EVERY bit of intelligence so they could find and destroy the weapons before Saddam or any other terrorists could get their little evil doing hands on them? Huh? Why?

And worst of all, ever since July Bush has been telling everyone that invading Iraq was justified because saddam wouldn't let inspectors into Iraq! He is either blatantly lying, or he's got Alzheimerís, or... he is so stupid that he believes whatever the people around him tell him to say. You would think he would remember something like that when he and his administration tried to discredit and slander Hans Blix when Mr. Blix couldn't find any weapons. You wouldn't think you would easily forget something like that.

THAT alone should prove he is not fit to be the president.

He is ruining the environment in America, his people are sludge dumping, raising pollution levels, and claiming that swamps and wet lands don't actually filter water but that they actually CAUSE pollution.

He is ruining education in America, forcing states to follow "no child left behind" but then each year he cuts the budget for it.

He wants to reclassify fast food workers from service industry to "manufacturing" just so he can claim manufacturing jobs have gone up.

He wants to get rid of social security for the baby boomers. Even though our economy is in GREAT shape. Isnít it? Then why do we need to get rid of social security? Huh?

They claim that he inherited the recession but no one is mentioning that the recession lasted much longer than it should have. Economists were baffled why it was lasting so long, but gee, cutting taxes and giving all the money to the greedy rich and very little actual tax cuts and money back to the working class will keep a recession going. I don't know anyone who got back more than $125 dollars back, in fact most people I know got nothing back or about $35 back. And I don't know anyone whose taxes have changed much at all if any.

He's spending more and getting less. Mostly getting less from the wealthier people who could afford it and if they really cared about America they would be more than willing to pay their taxes or at least donate to America to help it during a time of stress. Helping out America and Americans.

He can't even be man enough to admit he was a dumb kid and got into the National guard and skipped out on a lot of it. America would have forgiven him for being a dumb rich kid. Just like they forgive him for being an alcoholic womanizer.

He is dangerously mixing church and state. I for one do not want to follow his religion. I don't want to have special treats if I do happen to follow his religion. I do not want the laws of this country based on what his religion tells him is right and what is wrong.

He treats gays like they treated blacks in the 40's and 50's. "All men are created equal" means nothing to him. It's his way or you're an unpatriotic, unAmerican, enemy combatant.
He is taking away civil rights in the name of these boogey men terrorists.

You all act like there are enough terrorists to blow up America day after day, and like they are smart enough to do it. These are not smart people. The only reason they succeeded was they got lucky that no one connected the dots, but we did have all the clues. They could have been stopped had we thought such an outrageous idea was possible. And they also got lucky in that it was a one in a million chance that both planes would hit that perfectly. The best pilots who have been flying for decades couldn't do it very easily. So they got lucky. Beginner's luck, as they say. Or maybe Allah was their co-pilot. Maybe next time Allah can build their hotrod.

So you are voting for Bush for no reason what so ever. Just to spite your liberal enemies. There is nothing that shows Bush deserves to be in or can handle it or is doing anything that is good for America or itís Citizens.

Sometimes one has to swallow one's pride and drop the party politics and just admit that Bush is not a good leader and he isn't good enough to be president. You can survive four years of a Republican house and a Republican senate and a Democratic president. Which is the way it should be. It's called checks and balances. It keeps the most extreme ideas of one party from getting through. There should always be one of the three in the opposite party's control. To keep a president from having too much power, or to keep an idiotic idea like invading a country without any proof. Something that is, by the way, one of THE most UNAmerican things in the world. We are the good guys, we do not pre-emptively invade a country let alone just because some people "feel" it would be best, because a few people "think" that country is a threat.

Hitler thought the world was safer after invading Poland, and after gassing the Jews. So think about that. And the German nation believed him too.

Don't vote because you're scared. Any one will do a good job protecting us. And since Bush isn't doing anything to beef up security here in America, I don't see how you can feel safer with him in office. Look at the numbers and what still needs to be done after two years of promises.

Your friend has every reason to be disappointed that you would even think of voting for Bush... but I don't think it should be enough to break up a friendship. Especially if you think enough of him to invite you to your wedding. I am sure it will all work out. Besides, have you ever thought that YOU could be wrong about it? maybe you donít deserve HIM as a friend? Iím not saying itís true, Iím just saying itís a possibility you should be willing to think about. Especially if you call yourself his friend. Because your reasons for voting for Bush are pretty weak or non-existent.

Good luck.

He's really a wonderful person despite all this.

Nothing like discarding a friendship over a political disgreement to take a little lustre off someone's wonderful personality.

"Besides, have you ever thought that YOU could be wrong about it? maybe you don't deserve HIM as a friend? I'm not saying it's true, I'm just saying it's a possibility you should be willing to think about. Especially if you call yourself his friend."

Yeah, Michele, why can't you be more tolerant of other people's intolerance of your tolerance for what they see as intolerance? It's all very logical.

Hey, P.J.:

T
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Didn't read.

I would argue that many on the Left hate Bush precisely because (to quote Andrea above) "he has been Republican Lite, with some Almost-A-Democrat thrown in for good measure." Similarly, I would contend that the hatred of Clinton stemmed from his marketing as a "New Democrat" and intensified after the 1994 elections, when Clinton began triangulating, finally signing the welfare reform bill, etc. When a President goes about "stealing" the opposing party's issues, members of the opposing party will become frustrated, and lacking policy issues to debate, will focus on issues of character, personality, morality, etc. I will not say that the differences between President Bush and Sen. Kerry are small, but the former has been triangulating and the latter has been such a weathervane that an ugly campaign is assured.

One more log on the fire; and while, in the crush of responses, I don't expect it to be read, the situation that caused all of this is a real shame.

There are only a very few situations in which "you're with us or you're against us" apply, and the choice of a political candidate is certainly not one of them.

Particularly on an issue which doesn't even belong at the governmental level (federal/state/other), I can't get excited about this one. It will not survive the amendment process, if it even gets started, and that's that. There's still an issue to be resolved, however, and it will get resolved. The vast majority in the US are not gay, and a quite-significant majority disapprove of gay marriage.

But the number of folks who honestly disapprove of "gayness" (or would that be "gaiety") is diminishingly small. For the average non-speaking-in-tongues-evangelical, it's not an issue that illumnates their day.

This will come through, loud and clear come voting time on such an amendment, if that day ever comes. And when it does, I hope that the screeching harpies on the issue, like Chris (and Andrew Sullivan, for that matter) look back at the wrecks they've unnecessarily made of logic and relationships over such a non-issue and regret it.

Please ignore the background noise as much as you can, Michele. Your stance is solid, justifiable, inviolately your own, and not in need of apology to anyone, including faux-friends.

being gay is no excuse for not being a man.

Michele,

What you are going thru is gut-wrenching. However, we should not be so sure that we all need to live with each other at the end of the day.

Among such needs as praise, attention, and affection, people also need/crave VALIDATION. People will seek anything that confirms what they already know/believe. This is why the Internet, so far, has made us MORE partisan and polarized. If you have a site that pats you on the back, why seek out ABCCBSNBCCNNWaPoNYT for a sign of validation?

This has naturally extended into the realm of personal relationships as well (as Meetups will testify). At this time, as long as we can find someone who will agree with at least 80% of what we believe, we truly don't need anyone who is a political opposite for validation and friendship.

I'm sorry; I know this is a cold slap in the face in the midst of your pain. Unfortunately, sometimes we need to live apart from one another before we can be together again in friendship.

I think it pretty obvious that Bush really would have prefered not to get involved in this if he could have avoided it. One idiot mayor in a beautiful but socialist city forced his hand.
One thing about Bush and that makes him the ideal person to lead this war is that he won't back down.
If they pass the FMA with language that will let the states allow civil unions it will probably pass and faster than you might think.

Hey PF,
Wonderful (almost) post. A bit long, very predictable, typically condescending.
I am certainly glad to know that there will always be someone like you to tell me what is best for me (and the rest of the world)whether I (we) like it or not.
A typical troglodyte who will never let reality stand in the way of his/her own delusions. Why live in a real world when you can join Alice in hers? Or better yet, create your own.
Another time, another place and perhaps you could have been Joseph Stalin, Hitler, even SadMan Hussein and all your dreams would have come true. You really would have been able to make people do things your way!
Tough luck, not in this life time. Bummer! Forced to live in the USA, the most despotic, corrupt, vile country in history.
My condolences on your loss.
Oh, by the way, never grow up, if you did you would be forced to look back at who you once were and you really don't want to go there!
Ken

P.F., you said so many idiotic things that I can't even take time to address them all, so I'll stick to the most aggregious:
"He treats gays like they treated blacks in the 40's and 50's."

No he doesn't, jackass. Nobody is unleashing police dogs on gay people for trying to go to school. Nobody is trying to tell gay people they can't sit next to us on the bus or at a deli. And nobody is telling gay people they're second-class, as much as people like to blow things out of proportion. One of the main reasons there's such a backlash about this issue from conservatives is the fact that gay folks invariably get all "I've been to the mountaintop" about this issue, and comparing this to the civil rights movement is ridiculous. The fact of the matter is that there are alot of people who oppose gay marriage who do not hate gay people, and they're not bigots. They simply believe that marriage is about children, and that a traditional family with a mother and father is far superior than a gay "marriage" for raising them. That's not bigotry, it's a legitimate difference of opinion. Marriage has been the cornerstone of breeder society for thousands of years. You don't think they're going to be irritated when people who reject their culture want to horn in on their action? I guarantee that if gay folks would get off their fucking high horse about this and relax a little they'd have far more success in advancing their agenda. Hell, the only reason we're at this point now is because some militant activists pushed us this far.

So Chris wants you to be tolerant of his views but is intolerant of yours? Does that make him intolerantly tolerant, or tolerantly intolerant? I'm always surprised when people cannot see that they're behaving exactly like they're accusing you of behaving.

Lots of flying rhetoric here - no facts.

If Bush wanted to stop gay marriage/civil unions NOW he could have, with an executive order. He didn't do this.

With the exception of Nader, Bush's position is little different from the other possible candidates.

Rogue courts and moronic mayors have created this mess. This is an issue that was well on its way to being sorted out, particularly after Lawrence decision. Gay activists jumping the gun created the backlash.

The whining of (some) of the gay community, including your alleged friend, is beyond the pale, given who precipitated this fight.

If anybody bothers to read Bush's statement, not the media's spin of the statement, it is clear that he is looking to stop judicial creation of law, and is willing to leave the civil union issue to the states.

I am sorry you are in distress over the immature reactions of your pathetically self centered friend.

PF:
"Hitler thought the world was safer after invading Poland, and after gassing the Jews."

Godwin's Law, anyone?

But, PF, if you think Hitler invading Poland (an unabashed land grab against a neighboring country) is equal to Bush invading Iraq (when Iraq failed to comply with cease fire terms after the war, which was caused by Iraq invading Kuwait in an unabashed land grab against a neighboring country) then your knowledge of history is questionable at best.

Pop quiz: Who invaded a neighboring country to secure riches and resources, Bush or Hussein? Who gassed a troublesome ethnic minority, Bush or Hussein?

Then look up some estimates: How many Iraqi citizens died during our attack? And at what rate were they being killed by the former regime? How many newspapers are we letting publish whatever they want to say? How many free papers were there under Hussein? How many newspaper editors have we had killed because they were unflattering in their stories?

But hey, it's easier to just say "Bush-Hitler."

Michele, I am sorry your friend has such a hot button issue. PF is an excellent example of the mindset, it can strike even otherwise delightful people. PF's final paragraph sums it all up (for those who read it all the way).

I hope you can salvage the friendship, but from experience it will come out damaged at best. I am sorry.

A friend who requires you to demonstrate loyalty by agreeing with them on every issue has evidenced a maturity level no greater than that found among sixth grade cliques.

Painful to experience, but a clear decisive message to you that what mattered all along was not you, your needs or your relationship, but him. Always him.

I'm sorry about your situation, Michele. I'm having similar problems with my parents, for similar reasons. Nothing is more painful than realizing that a person, in whom you have invested so much of your trust and emotion, decides to behave in such a reprehensible manner over something that really shouldn't be an issue. Or should at least be discussed in a mature manner.

It's not your loss, hon--it's Chris's loss. He lost someone who was far more open-minded and tolerant than he could have ever thought to be. If he wants to behave like that, to shuck off a cherished friendship over a matter that should have been discussed instead, then he obviously wasn't worth wasting your time on.

I'm also sorry that the trolls couldn't keep out of this thread, either. I have yet to find a truly dissenting Leftist opinion on this thread that doesn't sound tacky, tasteless, exaggerated, and despite being on-topic for the most part, still wholly inappropriate to be posted on a story concerning a woman's emotional distress. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

--TwoDragons

Michele, you're a courageous woman.

P.F.

"But sometimes when your only option to protect yourself and your culture is to fight back. And we have a billion dollar army and they have rocks. All they have is terrorism to protect their world."

I'm willing to guess this was a "hit & run" trolling, but maybe you can enlighten me as to how murdering ~3000 civilians is protecting their world?

P.F. is way over the line but he makes some salient points and does it better than I could vis a vis whether the country is safer or not under Bush than it would be under Kerry or Edwards. I don't necessarily think it's measurably worse under Bush but I definately believe it's not measurably better.

Consider who the "enemy" is. Terrorists. What country has ever been able to successfully stop terrorism. There isn't one. Isreal has been going at it for decades and they're probably worse off now than they were when terrorism first started (though there are mitigating factors in Isreal's case that do not apply to the US scenario).

So if Terrorism can't be stopped, the best that can be hoped for is to be aware and do what we can. Given that nobody wants this country to be a Police State, we are limited in our options. But the two questions are, is Bush doing everything he can and are the other candidates patently worse than him?

The first answer I would have to argue is no he isn't. In terms of the threat of rogue nations While I totally supported the Afghanistan war (though not the way the country has started unravelling in the years since under our watch)Bush has essentially beat up two countries who couldn't stop us while countries with highly advanced WMD capabilities; North Korea and Iran are basically thumbing their noses at us. And please let's not talk about Libya. If Iraq was a country with WMD ambitions but a program in dissaray and mothballed, Libya was a country wishing it was up at the level of being considered in dissaray. That's how pathetic their efforts were. Bush cites Libya as an example of a country now finding their way in the world when the sad reality is their WMD program sucked so bad they gave up on it.

North Korea on the other hand is an entirely different matter. They're highly advanced. They have the bomb. They are a weapons exporter. in short they're everything Bush says the War on Terror is about. And what has he done to stop this great threat? Nothing. What actions has he taken to make us more secure from them? None.

He has talked and talked about SDI and how it's a key component on security. Problem is the system doesn't work. I present some URLs to Fred Kaplan's excellent dissection of the inherent problems in Bush's SDI program. If you haven't read them, you should. They're truly illuminating...

http://slate.msn.com/id/2079062/

http://slate.msn.com/id/2083470/

This one in particular really slams the lid on SDI

http://slate.msn.com/id/2086724

Ifr SDI is currently unworkable, then by insisting on a rollout starting this year, Bush is putting the country in danger by generating a false sense of security.

So if Bush's record on securing this country is at best spotty, then what are the alternatives and are they patently worse? I know BC04 sure as hell is arguing they'd be worse but Kaplan seems to think BC04 is spinning judging by this weeks post...

http://slate.msn.com/id/2096127/

So I have a hard time buying the argument that Bush is better on National Security which usually is a Republican strong point.

Judging by your inclination to vote for Bush based on security you seem to think he is better. So I would like to hear your reasoning behind this argument. I assume you probably have blogged it at some point but I don't know if you flat out made a case for Bush on security. Can you expound on this or point me to somewhere where you have written on it? I'd really like to understand because I just don't see it and I want to know what if anything I'm missing. Because if it's a tie on Security between Bush and his opponent (which it currently is for me), then all the other Bush negatives take priority in swaying my mind.

"So what do I do? Make the choice that 's right for you? Isn't knowing that I support your cause enough to keep a friendship going, or do I have to actually march in your footsteps and do all the things you do in order to regain your acceptance?"

Welcome to the new meaning of "tolerance" ... and the inherent selfishness of the Left.

Michele,

Great blog, and my sympathies for your angst. You are a good person with a brain and a heart. Its sad that so many left-liberals today act as if they have neither, but then, perhaps it shows how they are simply fascists when it comes to thought patterns other than their own.

Sorry to generalize, but thats the way it is.

Skeej

Michele,

Great blog, and my sympathies for your angst. You are a good person with a brain and a heart. Its sad that so many left-liberals today act as if they have neither, but then, perhaps it shows how they are simply fascists when it comes to thought patterns other than their own.

Sorry to generalize, but thats the way it is.

Skeej

"What country has ever been able to successfully stop terrorism. There isn't one. Isreal has been going at it for decades ...."

You weren't around when the US sent warplanes to bomb Libya, were you? Up until then, Kadafi was a major actor & supporter in the terrorism business. After we nailed a half-dozen of the places where he hung out, he got the message and STOPPED COLD. No more terrorism from Libya after that point. At least, none against US interests.

As far as Israel, the only reason they haven't stopped the terrorism against them is that the US has been forbidding them to. I guaranteee that the IDF could stop the terrorist in short order. As you will see if a nuke goes off anywhere in Israel territory.

Perhaps you should consider the example exemplified in the movie "Yojimbo": "Not only do dead men tell no tales, they also make no trouble."

"...So if Terrorism can't be stopped, the best that can be hoped for is to be aware and do what we can..." Here's one thing we "can" do. One Trident class submarine (ONE!!) has enough firepower to exterminate all life in the Arabian peninsula in one afternoon. Do you want it to come to that? If a dirty nuke goes off in Boston harbor in 2006, do you think that the US citizens will demand that President Kerry immediately start an investigation into "Why They Hate Us"? Or is it more likely that they would they demand that Congress impeach Kerry and all subsequent presidents until we finally get one who'll mash the red button?

For the record, I too am an atheist.
While I am not a single-issue voter, I can find many, many, many, reasons to vote against Shrub. Setting aside his various forms of pandering to the religious right, they include his mishandling of the war on terror, i.e. but not limited to the invasion of Iraq; his mishandling of the economy with gargantuan, potentially crippling tax cuts, the intellectual dishonesty (I consider myself a good, critical-thinking, scientificially minded atheist) on countless scientific issues.
Any atheist who claims to have critical thinking and votes for Shrub is an oxymoron.
You don't have to vote for Kerry. Vote Nader. Write in Perot. Write in yourself if you're at least 35 and native-born. Don't vote.
But, I repeat, any atheist who claims to have critical thinking and votes for Shrub is an oxymoron.

Sympathies Michelle, but if it wasn't over this it would be over something else. People who include and exclude people who are already in their personal circle of friends just based on 'right thinking' are not worth fooling with, as they never developed beyond the "Little Rascals" level of relationships. "You can't play with us because you talked to THEM!"

I'm conservative, and my oldest and dearest friend is a staunch SF liberal. Our friendship is based on arguing with each other for the past 20 years, while trusting each other with our lives without even a thought. I don't think Chris could do that.

And Steve Snyder, since you're such a good, critical-thinking, scientificially minded atheist, let me note that this critical-thinking atheist thinks Marxism is both stupid and a religion, and I dock you five atheist points.

"But, I repeat, any atheist who claims to have critical thinking and votes for Shrub is an oxymoron."

Yep. Telling us how to think, and already has Leninist 'answer' ready.

Good for you, Michelle.

I happen to detest Bush and everything he stands for, but your support of him says nothing to me about you as a person or potential friend.

I recently lost a friendship I thought I had over my political beliefs, too. Stunned is the perfect word to describe the feeling. To realize that someone who knows you as a person will suddenly do an about-face over something as subjective as politics is hard to comprehend.

I suggest you say to Chris the same thing I said to my "friend". Which was: "Un-kay.... Buh-bye little boy."

Life's too short for such petty B.S.

The obvious question is this: if you know you have different political views as your friends, why do you try to have political discussions with them? Jesus, everyone who loses a friend because of politics gets what they deserve...

The cultural left is not interested in tolerance. I've seen propaganda from the gay rights movement that specifically calls "tolerance" a form of "homophobia" because it means that someone is tolerating something with which they disagree. Disagreement with the agenda of the cultural left is prohibited.

A wag once said that the most successful public relations campaign in history was getting people to believe that Beethovan was a German and Hitler an Austrian. Similarly, getting people to believe that the National Socialist Party was a bunch of right wingers has done much to demonize conservatives. The only reason why fascism, a form of socialism, has been considered a creature of the right is that when it has been convenient or in their interests (WWII after the collapse of the Hitler/Stalin pact and Spain in the 1930s) the left has waged war on it.

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