Even-Keeled Progressive

This Dan Savage interview in Salon is worth a read. His take on the mixed Obama record on gay rights is, well, mixed — as well as nuanced. And this is the opposite of “primary Obama now”:

You see the polls on marriage equality moving in our favor. Unfortunately, you know, some people say therefore the president should come out in favor of marriage equality. Fifty-one, 52 percent of Americans aren’t for marriage equality in every state. And the overwhelming support for marriage equality in California and New York, and blue states, isn’t going to add up to a victory. I’ve actually written and think that if the president came out for marriage equality now, I don’t think Republicans who are for marriage equality are going to vote for him on that basis, but I do think Democrats who oppose it will vote against him, for that reason. So politically, I don’t think it’s unwise for the president to evolve at the pace he’s evolving right now. But I don’t believe him.

What’s refreshing about the interview is the lack of black-and-white thinking and resentment/betrayal emotions. Instead, there’s dissatisfaction where Obama hasn’t gone far enough, satisfaction and pride about the victories, and a sharp pragmatic recognition of what’s possible, politically.

75 replies
  1. 1
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    It’s notable because it’s a thoughtful analysis of the political reality he faces regarding marriage equality. Every time someone points out that a majority of the population is for it, I want to scream at them that the population as a whole is not representative of the feasibility of immediate passage in all 50 states. Our political system is structured in such a fractured way that change is going to be slow on controversial issues.

    It’s a fact and it’s better to face that and continue to push for what you want, knowing it’s going to be a long, slow slog to drag the country along.

    That’s reality.

  2. 2
    Cat Lady says:

    But pragmatism doesn’t make everything all about meeeeee! Waaaahhhhhh!

  3. 3

    Hershey factory in PA exploits foreign student workers & takes American jobs. This is what happens when you destroy unions, America.

  4. 4
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    This is (slightly) off-topic, but still relevant… watch Christine O’Donnell immolate herself on Larry King’s replacement’s show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

    Absolutely awesome.

  5. 5
    kay says:

    Fifty-one, 52 percent of Americans aren’t for marriage equality in every state. And the overwhelming support for marriage equality in California and New York, and blue states, isn’t going to add up to a victory.

    I think that’s a really important point. Advocates use polls all the time as a tool, and that’s absolutely fair game. It makes sense to push politicians by saying “my position is a majority position”.

    But I don’t think they should kid themselves, or their readers, and imply or announce that a national poll is determinative on issues in Presidential politics, because it’s not, and supporters of that position should know how much actual support there is. I don’t think advocates can buy their own bullshit. Use it, absolutely, but know, yourself, the true extent of support. Know what you’re up against.

  6. 6
    Yossarian says:

    Interesting interview. He’s a sharp guy.

    Kay is absolutely right about polls — and it’s something to also keep in mind whenever we see liberals touting those poll results that show Americans would rather tax the rich and focus on job growth than cut spending and reduce the deficit. It’s a very misleading number for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is salience (i.e., the anti-tax people are WAY more ginned up about this than the “soak the rich” crowd). So be wary of national polls that seem to conform beautifully to your favored solutions.

  7. 7
    OzoneR says:

    It’s entirely possible Democrats could lose Anthony Weiner’s Congressional seat because of marriage equality. Democrat David Weprin’s support of it seems to be exciting his opponents, but not his supporters.

  8. 8
    Brian R. says:

    Weird.

    It’s almost like Dan Savage cares more about how politics affects large numbers of people than about how it validates his own precious fee-fees.

  9. 9
    kay says:

    @Yossarian:

    There are a lot of rich Democrats, and they are donors. There are a lot of rich people who voted for Obama, if rich is north of 250k. He covered his ass there, because he actually told them he’d be raising their taxes, but these are facts, and they have to be taken into account.
    I hope they’ll all be voting against their best (money) interests, but I’m not 100% sure they’re all that big-hearted :)
    I’m fine with it, as long as we’re taking all these realities into account.

  10. 10
    OzoneR says:

    @Yossarian: Also, what some need to keep in mind is just because people want to focus on “jobs” doesn’t necessarily mean what they want is billion-dollar jobs programs. There are a lot of people out there who reflexively point to the deficit/debt as the reason there are no jobs.

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    @Yossarian:
    yup.

    and… many people in high income/wealth percentiles don’t consider themselves ‘rich’, because in almost every case, there are people who make orders of magnitude more money than they do; and those people are the rich people. a guy making $200K (roughly 94th %ile) does not feel rich, as long as there are people who make $200M.

    so, yeah, “tax the rich!” will poll well because few people consider themselves ‘rich’. the guy with the nicer house/car/boat, he’s rich; not me.

  12. 12
    Mark S. says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    Wow, that was pretty surreal. I’m baffled why she couldn’t answer a generalized question about gay marriage. Was she afraid of alienating all of her gay supporters?

  13. 13
    Yossarian says:

    Thanks to Kay, Cleek, and OzoneR for their thoughtful replies. I agree with all of you.

    I’d make one other point, too — on the tax issue, “taxing the rich” is seen as instrumentally useful to a more important larger goal by one side (progressives) and an ideological line-in-the-sand and the foundational belief of a major political party by the other side (conservatives). You can probably guess which one will have more influence on the debate.

  14. 14
    Mark S. says:

    Howard Dean obviously reads Balloon Juice:

    “He is now in competition with Bachmann and not with Romney. That’s a losing strategy for Perry, because they are going to split the right with the far-right vote, and I think this is great news for Mitt Romney.

  15. 15
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Yossarian: So there should be three poll questions, the first two should be asked in random order:
    1. Would you be willing to accept a tax increase right now?
    2. Do you consider yourself rich?
    3. What is your household income?

    That would more reflect the willingness for people to have their taxes raised.

  16. 16
    TK421 says:

    @Yossarian:

    What I’m getting from this thread is: if polls show people don’t support a liberal position, then we shouldn’t advocate that position. But if polls show people DO support a liberal position, then we shouldn’t advocate that position. Strangely, I’m unconvinced.

    @OzoneR:

    There are a lot of people out there who reflexively point to the deficit/debt as the reason there are no jobs.

    So let’s listen to people who are wrong, rather than people who are right. And if large numbers of Americans believe something that is not true, after years of elected officials repeating that something over and over, that’s just a coincidence.

  17. 17
    TK421 says:

    @cleek:

    Just out of curiousity, how many people do you believe there are in your category of “have a lot of money but don’t think they are rich”?

    Hint: the median American income is $25,000.

  18. 18
    Yossarian says:

    Belafon,

    That would get you part of the way there. But really sophisticated polling (the kind done by social scientists) also measure intensity of feeling on an issue. For example:

    “Please rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the most strongly in favor, and 1 being most strongly opposed, your reaction to increasing tax rates by XXX percent on those making more than XXX dollars per year in order to finance a federal government program that experts say could create up to XXX jobs.”

    And then you’d use that same method in a bunch of other questions about defense spending, environmental regulations, foreign policy–basically the whole continuum of major national issues–to actually get a real sense of what pushes people’s buttons and what might make them act (or not act).

  19. 19
    Yossarian says:

    “What I’m getting from this thread is: if polls show people don’t support a liberal position, then we shouldn’t advocate that position. But if polls show people DO support a liberal position, then we shouldn’t advocate that position. Strangely, I’m unconvinced.”

    That’s because you have a reading comprehension problem.

  20. 20
    Blue Neponset says:

    @TK421: That was my take as well. It seems as if the only consistent position is that Obama is correct.

  21. 21
    mk3872 says:

    What!? Savage is a pragmatist? Sacrilege! Burn him at the stake, he must be a witch!

  22. 22
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @TK421: Is Dan Savage, or mistermix, being too subtle for you? Did you miss the word “nuance” because it sure seems you did. Do you have trouble holding the ideas of wanting something and being aware of the political realities of getting it in your head at the same time? If so, this post, and for that matter this blog, ain’t right for you.

  23. 23
    Jewish Steel says:

    His podcast is tremendously entertaining if you’ve never heard it. That someone who gives such superb relationship advice is able to perceive shades of gray is no surprise.

    Where are all the “He’s anti-fat!/anti-trans!/anti-trans-fat!” comments that he traditionally elicits?

  24. 24
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @mk3872: Only if he floats.

  25. 25
    shortstop says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Is that some kind of Seattle liberal gay perversion thing? I don’t want my children reading that, even if I don’t understand it.

    ETA: I was surprised to read that Savage Love has only been around since 1991. I guess I have been reading it the whole time. The years, they swiftly fly.

  26. 26
    cleek says:

    @TK421:

    how many people do you believe there are in your category of “have a lot of money but don’t think they are rich”?

    10, 11 ? maybe as high as 14.

    Hint: the median American income is $25,000.

    i’m well aware.

    i’m not sure why that matters. my point is that ‘rich’ is a relative term, and studies prove this pretty conclusively. so, if you ask people if they want to tax the rich, odds are good that they’re using a different definition of ‘rich’ than you are.

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @shortstop: I think I totally blew my Monty Python reference. Oh well.

  28. 28
    TK421 says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    It seems as if the only consistent position is that Obama is correct.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who suspects that.

  29. 29
    aimai says:

    I really like Dan Savage’s approach to stuff in general–if anyone has a chance to listen to his NPR/This American Life piece on his reconciliation with his family, his mother’s death, and his first trip to Paris with his new son I highly recommend it.

    I hate to join in the usual attack chorus here against people who are struggling with Obama’s insistence on triangulating but I also want to point a finger of blame and contrast to Americablog’s permanent campaign against the President for being political. Americablog just had a long post up excoriating Obama for the fact that *political observers* and *unnamed democratic assistants* have discussed the process style issues surrounding Obama’s political campaigning. E.g. things like “The president needs to appear more agressive” are used to demonstrate that Obama, unlike any other politicians, has to telegraph his stance to the voters. I guess its evidence of insincerity or something and god knows we need more sincerity and less strategy in our politicians. (That was a joke. I’m all for insincerity, and for political machiavellianism as long as it gets where its going.)

    aimai

  30. 30
    shortstop says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I got it. I was just going in a different, albeit lame, direction. It always seems like the religious right is highly suspicious that terms they don’t understand are really cover for orgiastic revelry if a gay person — hell, a liberal person — is using them. They seem to spend a lot of time imagining that everyone else is having hugely un-vanilla sex all the time. Well, compared to them, I guess we are.

  31. 31
    Blue Neponset says:

    “We have just lost the South for a generation.” -Lyndon B. Johnson.

    Doing the right thing is easy when there are no negative consequences.

  32. 32
    TK421 says:

    Poll: Raise Taxes on Millionaires!

    Forget $250,000 as a tax-cut decision point: Why not raise taxes on millionaires? That’s what most people support, according to a new poll from Crossroads GPS, the Republican group that played a major role in 2010 campaign spending.

    Looking at Google, polls are a lot more specific on this issue than many people here think (or seem to want to think).

  33. 33
    TK421 says:

    @aimai:

    I guess its evidence of insincerity or something

    You’ve got it. When someone says “we need to seem like leaders” rather than “we need to be leaders” it’s clear their priorities are misplaced.

  34. 34
    Jager says:

    Definition of progress:
    Going to a football game with an old hockey (homophobic)teamate and two of my neighbors. Tailgating, drinking beer having a great goddamed time. After the game,hockey buddy said ‘I really liked those guys, that one guy really new football and he’s the kind of guy you’d like to have around in a bar fight”. (Some hockey players never grow up!) I told him Matt was gay,married and he and his wife had a 14 year old son and a 9 year old daughter and the son was turning out to be a great Jr High football player.
    He was silent for about 5 minutes and said “Well, he’s still a helluva guy”!

  35. 35
    shortstop says:

    @Blue Neponset: Do you not get that he said that after the act passed, and that it didn’t pass by presidential fiat? Do you even understand the role of Congress in all this?

  36. 36
    OzoneR says:

    @TK421:

    So let’s listen to people who are wrong, rather than people who are right.

    That’s so not the point, it’s not even funny. My point was these people are likely to vote for candidates who will focus on the deficit as a way to solve the job crisis, despite what Obama and progressives may say, and that could explain the 2010 election results and why Republicans are still strong in parts of the country even with their wrongness.

  37. 37
    OzoneR says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Doing the right thing is easy when there are no negative consequences.

    yes, and it’s hard when there is.

  38. 38
    wonkie says:

    That was tried i Washington state and failed, due to floods of money and lies. Also the propoenets didn’t present a clear simple explaation of who the taxes would be on. So muddled positive message, lies from the right, defeat. I think that hadled right a tax o millioaires could pass. A awful lot of Americas have a peasant mentality ad thik that paderig to the rich will cause some crumbs to fall their way but, others are smarter than than.

    I thik Democrats need to learn this from Republicas: just because a meme or idea is rejected thefirst time it is presnted doesn’t mean give up. Keep repeating and evetually people will get used to it ad will believe it. So we eed to pushig a “Rich people eed to pay their fair share” theme over ad over and over.

  39. 39
    mark says:

    I found his comment about gay people voting republican interesting. Sounds like revisionist history to blame it on obama’s opinions on gay issues. How is voting for sarah palin a protest vote?

  40. 40
    shortstop says:

    @mark: He’s talking about 2010, not 2008.

  41. 41

    […] mistermix at Balloon Juice points out, the entire Dan Savage Salon interview is worth reading, but I would encourage readers […]

  42. 42
    OzoneR says:

    @shortstop: if he was, he’s sorta wrong, almost 30 percent of LGBT voters voted for McCain, highest ever for a Republican.

    Clearly a lot of gay voters had reservations about Obama even before he was president.

  43. 43
    mark says:

    @shortstop

    Look at the exit polls for president in 2008:

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/20.....al=USP00p3

    “Are You Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual?

    Obama 70%, McCain 27%”

    And then for the national house races in 2008:

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/20.....al=USH00p3

    “Are You Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual?

    Democrat 80%, Republican 19%”

    I think the 2010 mid-term vote mirrored how gay people always felt about Obama. Or you can blame it on sampling error.

  44. 44
    Gex says:

    @shortstop: I’m not so sure that they are really having that vanilla sex. I mean, it wasn’t a vocal pro-equality person caught dead in two wetsuits with a dildo in his ass, or caught with a meth/male hooker habit, or caught soliciting airport bathroom sex…

    They just feel like shit about it because of their religious beliefs and they want everyone else to feel like shit too.

  45. 45
    aimai says:

    Do “gay people” feel any way at all about Obama as opposed to some people, who are also gay, voting their pocketbooks? If any gay people were worried that Obama might not be a fierce advocate (as Aravoisis never ceases to howl) that still wouldn’t produce a pro-Republican vote. A pro-Republican vote happens because (some) gay people are also anti tax libertarians, or religious bigots, or highly enough placed economically and socially that they assume that the anti gay bigotry of the average Republican politician simply won’t affect their lives but the tax policies will.

    There’s no way that Obama’s various compromises on the image issues surrounding gay marriage could ever be half as dangerous or destructive as the Republican party’s real policy goals. Anyone who thinks that is simply nuts.

    aimai

  46. 46
    Paul in KY says:

    @cleek: Few people are ‘rich’.

  47. 47
    DZ says:

    @TK241:

    Point of fact: Median household income in the US is about $45,000. Median income for men is about $40,000. Median inconme for women is about $33,000. Google ‘Median income in US’. Not all data for post-meltdown median is availabl;e, but the median is well over $25,000

  48. 48
    OzoneR says:

    @aimai: .

    A pro-Republican vote happens because (some) gay people are also anti tax libertarians, or religious bigots, or highly enough placed economically and socially that they assume that the anti gay bigotry of the average Republican politician simply won’t affect their lives but the tax policies will.

    There are a lot of LGBT people in New York who are very libertarian.

    I had always said if Republicans endorsed gay marriage, they’d get 50 percent of the gay vote. A good friend of mine, heavily involved in LGBT community in Queens, constantly posts stuff on his Facebook about how gays need to come to the aid in other progressive causes like labor and many of the responses from his LGBT friends sound like something out of a tea party handbook “taxes” “union thugs” etc.

    Besides that, there’s a lot of LGBT mistrust of the African-American community because of the community’s perceived anti-gay positions. Obama comes from that community, so it’s not a surprise if they see him as maybe secretly a homophobe because they feel a lot of African-Americans are.

  49. 49
    Gex says:

    @aimai: Thank you! It’s very nice to not be spoken of as a block and told that this or that is how “we” think.

  50. 50
    Paul in KY says:

    @wonkie: I don’t know why they didn’t say ‘If the amount on line 43 (or whatever the line number is for taxable income) of your tax form is > $999,999.99, then the new tax will apply to you’.

    Pretty simple explanation there.

  51. 51
    Paul in KY says:

    @mark: Lot of out-of-the-closet gays seem to be doing OK financially (that’s the impression I get) & thus may be voting Repub for self-interested economic reasons.

  52. 52
    shortstop says:

    @mark: I’m not agreeing with Savage’s selected use of exit polling. I’m just saying that in this interview, he’s claiming that there was a sharp drop in gay support for Democratic candidates between 2008 and 2010. I took your comment to mean that you thought he was talking only about 2008; looks like I read it wrong.

    @Gex: No argument about the self-hatred. But I think there’s probably a difference between the general sense of sexual entitlement and freedom that seems to happen to many people in positions of power (i.e., the dildo, airport sex, rent boy cases we hear about) and the sex lives of the average religious right Joe and Jane. I could be wrong about that. To think too deeply about it might make me need to purge my breakfast, though.

    @aimai:

    A pro-Republican vote happens because (some) gay people are also anti tax libertarians, or religious bigots, or highly enough placed economically and socially that they assume that the anti gay bigotry of the average Republican politician simply won’t affect their lives but the tax policies will.

    This. I’ve always assumed that Republican-voting gays are overwhelmingly high-income (and thus possess a real or perceived buffer against some of the worst manifestations of GOP anti-gay policy), but no one ever seems to probe that in the crosstabs.

  53. 53
    mark says:

    @Gex

    I don’t think anyone’s making a blanket statement, just trying to explain why some gay people aren’t democrats. I’d appreciate hearing your opinions on the issue.

  54. 54
    Mike M says:

    You know what else this article highlights? How the gay vote flipped to Republican in order to put pressure on the administration, and it worked. Rather than piss their pants talking about ponies or smugly shouting firebagger at everyone not waving their pom-poms we let it be known we weren’t happy. And we got something in return. Crazy right? I guess the idea that the president is the weakest office in the country behold to a Republican controlled Congress (and 60 vote minimum in the Senate) didn’t hold water here.

    Are your heads exploding or are we just going to gloss over this aspect of the Savage article? Because God knows you’re not going to admit that we need to speak up at this point about how weakly led we’ve been these past three years.

  55. 55
    Gex says:

    @Paul in KY: You all need to read more Savage then. The “gay people are well to do” meme is just not true.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @DZ:

    Yet, amazingly, $45,000 is a whole lot less than $250,000. Like more than five times less.

  57. 57
    aimai says:

    @Gex:

    Since my remark specifically *disaggregated* the gay vote and noted that gay people, like EVERYONE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY have a number of other interests that they are serving when they vote I am certainly not arguing that gays/LGBTs vote as a bloc or think the same way about everything. Get off your high horse. On a political blog everyone’s political actions, choices, votes are going to be up for discussion. I don’t have to be gay to talk about the political choices of gay voters anymore than I have to be a teabagger to talk about their votes.

    Also, it is obviously not the case that all, or even a majority, of LGBT people are well off–but it remains a fact that the Republican party has always had a very large number of closeted gay white men whose interests align with the Republican party because white male privilige and economic interests are best served there. Needless to say LGBT people who are not wealthy, not white, or not socially presenting as white males have always had different interests.

    aimai

  58. 58
    aimai says:

    @Mike M:

    “How weakly we’ve been led?” Look, under Obama we got full DADT repeal–something that a few years ago looked impossible. We also got full buy in from the military, something that the more agressive strategies proposed by some activists would simply not have produced. A strategic vote for Republicans to put pressure on Obama and the Dems makes sense if that vote didn’t result in a Republican landslide in 2010** leading to the castration of the Democratic House and the resulting war to the knife with the intransigent tea baggers.

    **–oops! we lost the House! l I personally don’t believe that gay voters withholding their productivity resulted in the 2010 wave election. Its more accurate to say that college voters, new voters, minority voters were unenthusiastic about going to the polls in an off season election while fat old angry white racists (who are also generally speaking homophobic) were excited to go out and kick the black guy in the nads for stealing their medicare. Does anyone in the real world think that the gay vote sank the Dems in 2010?

    aimai

  59. 59
    Mark says:

    @aimai: We also got health care reform and a not-insignificant (but still insufficient) stimulus plan, among many other things. So you’d have to have a pretty narrow set of interests – or be opposed to those things – to think that voting R was the answer.

  60. 60
    gex says:

    @aimai: Not sure where the anger is coming from, but whatever. I was just appreciating you disaggregating gays and talking about us as being motivated by a variety of issues, not just our gayness.

  61. 61
    Mark says:

    @gex: I thought the same thing as aimai. With so much snark here, I would never have guessed your comment was sincere.

  62. 62
    Kane says:

    It appears that Savage and others who have been fighting for LGBT issues for decades are much more based in reality in their thinking than those who sit on the sidelines and complain and who consider themselves to be LGBT activists because they once wrote a blog post or a tweet about LGBT issues.

  63. 63
    aimai says:

    @gex:

    Oops, my apologies! I thought you were mad at me. Guess I need to cut back on my caffeine intake.

    aimai

  64. 64
    Paul in KY says:

    @Gex: Just an impression I’d gotten. Probably not valid at all.

  65. 65
    kindness says:

    Mistermix is Balloon Juice’s antifirebagger now. Really there has to be a better term though. Ideas?

  66. 66
    kay says:

    @TK421:

    What I’m getting from this thread is: if polls show people don’t support a liberal position, then we shouldn’t advocate that position. But if polls show people DO support a liberal position, then we shouldn’t advocate that position. Strangely, I’m unconvinced.

    No, no, no. I would definitely use the 52% poll he cites and bring that up to the Obama Admin. It’s too tempting not to: such a perfect number, over 50, ect.
    What I wouldn’t do is kid myself that it’s evenly distributed over the US, because then I have to believe Obama (or any politician) has some sort of animus towards my issue “why won’t he promote my clear majority position? must be because he hates me/my issue!”
    So. To recap. Use polls as an advocate, if they go in our favor. Absolutely. Great tool. But don’t then believe the poll with your whole heart and soul, because you will be misled, and mislead others, and draw faulty conclusions about motive and intent.

  67. 67
    Jennifer says:

    Yeah, when DAN SAVAGE says it, it’s big news.

    When I say it, months ago…YAWN.

    Seriously, I wrote that Dan Savage article within a week of marriage equality passing in New York. Some of you may even recall how I stirred up the shit over at TBogg’s when he piled on to the “a majority supports it so why won’t the president say he does too?” bandwagon. I took swipes at both Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher for making variations of the same dumb argument. These are people who I know damn well KNOW BETTER than to think that a bare 51 or 52% majority declaring support in some poll = electoral winner. Then there’s the contigent TBogg belongs to, who think it’s “cowardly” for the president not to simply disregard political reality to show “leadership.” I would agree with them – if there was any potential payoff for doing so. There isn’t. A statement of support by Obama won’t win him – or gay rights – anything, though it very well could cost him the election, and along with it, set gay marriage equality back by a decade or more in every less enlightened state. Yet we continue to be told that there’s some kind of symbolic value in that. My response? Fuck symbolic value if it means my gay friends will have to wait another decade or more for equality. It’s really easy to pop off about the importance of symbolic value if you yourself don’t have anything of tangible value on the line.

  68. 68
    Darkrose says:

    @OzoneR:

    Besides that, there’s a lot of LGBT mistrust of the African-American community because of the community’s perceived anti-gay positions. Obama comes from that community, so it’s not a surprise if they see him as maybe secretly a homophobe because they feel a lot of African-Americans are.

    Right, because LGBT and African-American are mutually exclusive. Certainly, Dan Savage seems to think so, given his rant about how Prop 8 was All Black People’s Fault.

  69. 69
    Sly says:

    $250,000 is not some arbitrary dividing line of who is and is not rich. It is the point at which the average earner begins making sufficient income from capital gains that the lower, flat 15% capital gains rate begins dragging their effective Federal rate beneath their income tax rate. It’s the reason why marginal rates begin to lose their progressivity, and looks like this. See where the black curve (overall rate) begins to deviate from the green curve (income rate)? That’s in the $250,000 range.

  70. 70

    @OzoneR:

    Besides that, there’s a lot of LGBT mistrust of the African-American community because of the community’s perceived anti-gay positions. Obama comes from that community, so it’s not a surprise if they see him as maybe secretly a homophobe because they feel a lot of African-Americans are.

    I have to go off on a tangent here…But didn’t Obama grow up in Honolulu, with his European-American mom & grandparents? Yeah, I get the perception of him, and maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine him going to an AME church in Hawaii, or hanging out with his African-American cousins (which, of course, he doesn’t have) in that state’s version of either the Robert Taylor Homes or Sugar Hill.

  71. 71
    Rihilism says:

    I’ve heard and read about these polls that say 50-52% favor gay marriage. I think this represents extraordinary progress. However, I always felt that the numbers had to be between 60-75% before we’d see any significant movement on a national scale towards marriage equality (rather than state by state). At this point, I think it’ll take a SC decision to achieve marriage equality nationally in the near term (I’m not holding my breath).

    You know what else this article highlights? How the gay vote flipped to Republican in order to put pressure on the administration, and it worked. Rather than piss their pants talking about ponies or smugly shouting firebagger at everyone not waving their pom-poms we let it be known we weren’t happy. And we got something in return…

    Thanks! I’ve had a long tedious day and that nonsense gave me a good chuckle…

  72. 72
    Splitting Image says:

    @Mike M:

    You know what else this article highlights? How the gay vote flipped to Republican in order to put pressure on the administration, and it worked. Rather than piss their pants talking about ponies or smugly shouting firebagger at everyone not waving their pom-poms we let it be known we weren’t happy. And we got something in return. Crazy right? I guess the idea that the president is the weakest office in the country behold to a Republican controlled Congress (and 60 vote minimum in the Senate) didn’t hold water here.
    __
    Are your heads exploding or are we just going to gloss over this aspect of the Savage article? Because God knows you’re not going to admit that we need to speak up at this point about how weakly led we’ve been these past three years.

    As far as I’m concerned, any gays who voted Republican last year to “put pressure on the administration” can fuck themselves. If Dan the Noble Savage wants to take credit for the DADT repeal on this account, he also has to take part of the blame for the 1000+ laws against abortion that have been passed in the US since last November, thanks to the party these gays helped elect. But hey, “we got something in return”, right?

    Gay males should count themselves lucky that the G.O.P. decided to go medieval on women (gay and straight) instead of them, but they shouldn’t crow about their political acumen. Savage sounds as lunkheaded on this as the average straight male (clueless about his own entitlement).

  73. 73
    FuzzyWuzzy says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Voting rights act? Civil Rights act? Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? Women’s suffrage? Selective Service? Most of the New Deal? Reconstruction? The Square Deal?

    Gosh I guess presidents can’t do anything ever to impose unpopular policies.

  74. 74
    William Hurley says:

    The one and only reason to “primary” the President is this: he cannot win re-election.

    The President’s electoral fate will look like that of 2010 Senate incumbent Blanche Lincoln, formerly the junior Senator from Arkansas. Those in or affiliated with the Democratic Party who stand-fast in their unwavering support of the President’s unchallenged re-election campaign are mimicking the myopic and self-defeating behavior that this very President, his advisors, his political strategists and the funders they influence when they backed Blanche over populist/union favorite Bill Halter in the “unexpected” run-off forced by the broad state-wide support Halter earned on the campaign trail. When the run-off was confirmed to be the result of the initial primary test, state-wide polls showed that Halter had a far better chance than did Lincoln of beating the GOP’s nominee.

    Since some here may not be familiar with this loss of a Democratically held Senate seat, here’s how the story played out.

    In the “unexpected” run-off between Lincoln & Halter, the White House went “all in” backing Lincoln. Lincoln won the Democratic primary run-off over Halter. Lincoln’s win was the result of a flood of out-of-state monies, bus-loads of out-of-state organizers and aids and puff-pieces lauding Lincoln’s DLC-brand of conservativism.

    In the general, Lincoln lost to the GOP’s Boozman – by more than 20 percentage points. BTW, 20% points was the closest Lincoln polled in all of the pre-election surveys forecasting the that race. Yet, despite the “off-the-board” long-shot reality that faced Lincoln, the President chose to put his entire weight behind her doomed campaign.

    The person cut-out of the electoral picture, Bill Halter, had broad, deep and cash-rich support from local and national unions and true liberals (a.k.a. the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party). He also polled within 5 percentage points of Boozman in poll after poll right up to the primary run-off.

    Obama 2012 – Blanche Lincoln “lite”

  75. 75

    @FuzzyWuzzy:

    Are you fucking kidding? Nearly every one of those things you mention had to pass through Congress, and they all did so quite easily. The Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts were a bit tougher to push past the Southern filibuster.

    Selective Service- I’m assuming you mean the end of the draft- was the only of these that didn’t involve Congress, and it was pretty goddamned popular.

    And Women’s Suffrage? Are you fucking nuts? The first time the Senate considered giving women the vote was in 1878. It wasn’t until 1919 that the 19th Amendment passed through Congress, and it took 14 months to get the approval of 36 states to ratify it. That’s 42 years that it lingered, and when it passed, it wasn’t passed by presidential decree.

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