Planet Claire

So, Claire McCaskill announced her support for marriage equality this weekend. Brave move from a Senator in a red state? Craven bandwagon-jumping?

McCaskill can be exasperatingly Blue Doggy, but I think she deserves credit for openly supporting marriage equality, even if she’s hardly the first Dem out of the gate. Consider that she would have almost surely lost in 2012 to dead-eyed loon Todd Akin if he hadn’t been stricken with that peculiar strain of Rape Commentary Tourette’s that plagued last year’s crop of GOP candidates.

Even if the announcement is less than a profile in courage, it’s still a victory. Good for McCaskill.

[X-posted at Rumproast]

32 replies
  1. 1
    Randy P says:

    Good news either way. If supporting marriage equality is seen as an easy, cowardly, go the way the wind is blowing move, then we’ve won the culture wars on this issue.

    Only a couple hundred more to go. Excelsior!

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    If nothing else, a calculation that by the time she comes up for reelection in 2018, gay marriage will be a non-issue even in a reddish state like MO.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    That first of the six years, must seem pretty “freeing.”

    Even Red Dogs (I calls ’em that, ’cause thar ain’t ‘nuthin’ “blue” ’bout ’em!) end up on the right side of an issue if they just got elected/reelected.

  4. 4
    deep says:

    As Southern Beale said the other day on her blog: “I’d say the culture war is over and the gays have won. Show us how you did it, please. We pro-choicers could use some tips.”

    I’m sure there are some wingnuts in her district that are going ape-shit over this news, but most people there are probably ready for this.

  5. 5
    Bob says:

    Claire, like Rand Paul, gets it right once and awhile. No big deal.

  6. 6

    McCaskill leaves a lot to be desired; McCaskill is light years better than Todd Akin; the constant struggle for people who like America and want it to be successful and moral is for McCaskill to do more things like this. A small piece of good news.

  7. 7
    Alex S. says:

    I think she’s ok. She could be much, much worse.

  8. 8
    GregB says:

    Eff Todd Akin and his retro caveman shtick. Good on Claire even it is a cheesy political calculation it is still way ahead of the curve for most blue-dogs.

    OT. In regards to the asset seizures in Cyprus. Is it me or is that a fantastic way to destroy capitalism by totally destroying the confidence in the confidence game that is capitalism?

  9. 9
    quannlace says:

    Saw a headline where Karl Rove states that the 2016 Rep. candidate will probably be for marriage equality. That should be fun.

  10. 10
    lol says:

    @deep:

    The pro-choice crowd got complacent at the national level and focused on defending the court decision. Thankfully, this has changed the past decade but they’ve got a lot of ground to make up.

    The other side kept working at the local and judicial level and banked wins wherever and whenever they could. They didn’t scream at people on their side for “only” passing parental notification or some other incremental measure. They passed the law and immediately started working on taking another bite at the apple. The cumulative effect is that abortion is pretty much banned in several states even if it’s still technically legal.

    Incrementalism works so we’ve got to do the same. Undo pieces of anti-choice legislation whenever possible.

  11. 11
    amk says:

    what a way to welcome a convert to your cause.

  12. 12
    amk says:

    @lol: This.

    The other side kept working at the local and judicial level and banked wins wherever and whenever they could. They didn’t scream at people on their side for “only” passing parental notification or some other incremental measure.

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    @quannlace: It would certainly help neutralize the (correct) idea that the Republicans are the party of bigots, and it’s something that’s going to happen no matter what side of the question they’re on.

    Besides, they can still hate women and black people.

  14. 14
    Cluttered Mind says:

    I actually think that the most recent election may have been a wakeup call for McCaskill. She beat Akin by showing how scary and insane right-wing ideology is when it’s taken to its natural conclusions, and maybe now she realizes that if she wants to repeat that in her next campaign, she may be better off if she can point to some actual liberal positions she’s taken to draw a more stark contrast between her and the teabagger whom she is likely to face in 2018.

  15. 15
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Claire Blanche has spent six years pissing all over what remains of a Dem base here in Misery so in some ways this move surprises me. She’s the most scared Dem senator in the Senate so never takes a stance on anything remotely controversial (as Charlie Pierce characterizes her “I feel strongly both ways about that”.).

    But, what is left of her base consists of, in part, the LGBT communities in STL and KC, thus, this might be a rare instance of her sticking to core Demo principles and constituencies rather than sticking it to them.

    That being said, I’m sure she’ll revert to form at some point down the line. Oh well, you go to Capitol Hill with the Senators you have, not the Senators you wish you had.

    And yes, she’s light years better than Akin or the other two freaks who were in the Republican primary. I might bemoan Blanche’s fecklessness but I’m no firebagger: I voted for her.

  16. 16
    Cluttered Mind says:

    Put another way, I’d rather have a cynical opportunist in office supporting good policy than someone with the best of intentions supporting awful policy. Road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that.

  17. 17
    Dan says:

    @Cluttered Mind:

    I think I agree with you on this one. Remember, McCaskill’s commercials about Akin didn’t just talk about Akin’s rape comments; instead they used his rape comments as an entry point in to the wacky positions he held on a variety of topics.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    McCaskill leaves a lot to be desired

    I had high hopes for her when first I voted for her. She has been such a disappointment on so many issues that now I vote for her only because she is light years ahead of the alternative.

    Which is a pretty damning indictment of the state of MO politics.

  19. 19
    gnomedad says:

    Rape Commentary Tourette’s

    Perfect.

  20. 20
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Amazed at the over the top reaction to marriage equity in France. You would think that issue was a slam dunk, over there.

  21. 21
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Dan: Yup, that’s exactly what I was talking about. That tactic will work a lot better for her if she can draw a more stark contrast between those extreme views and policies that she’s supported. Her next opponent will likely be at least marginally more intelligent than Akin and better prepared to fight back, and if she hasn’t taken more of a stand on the left by then, she’ll be more vulnerable instead of less. I have always said that given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, most swing voters are going to go for the actual Republican. McCaskill can presumably read polls just as well as anyone else in Washington but I think now she realizes just how toxic far-right ideology is, even in Misery (My brother lives in St. Louis so I feel okay with calling it that even though I don’t live there)

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    Good for Claire. She didn’t have to do it and she did.

  23. 23
    deep says:

    Good point @lol

  24. 24
    Jay C says:

    Not to piss rain on anyone’s parade or anything – when a national politician comes out on the right side of an issue, it’s always a good thing – but I’m wondering just what Sen. McCaskill’s recent conversion to the cause of marriage equality might mean on a practical level? Unless there is something that the Senate might be taking up? If the SC upholds the DOMA, might there be a repeal effort which would involve Congress?

  25. 25
    the lost puppy says:

    Brave move from a Senator in a red state? Craven bandwagon-jumping?

    According to Rove, the republicans aren’t far behind so I will have to say the latter.

  26. 26
    Deb T says:

    Betty – you are dead on about McCaskill. I was so mortified that Akin was even on the ballot. Makes you wonder how many voters think as he does. Hey, I think Law and Order SUV is going to have an episode with the “real rape” theme in it. Maybe next week? Hope they hit it hard.

  27. 27
    Gretchen says:

    I live in Kansas City, and I love Claire. You folks out in the blue areas have no idea how radical normal progressive ideas seem here. I was horrified at the idea of the NRA running gun-safety classes in the grade schools here, and was tartly informed that that is the way it’s always been done, what’s wrong with me? And this by a flaming progressive! You have to realize that Claire was favored to lose to TODD AKIN! Seriously. Everybody knew what he was before he spelled it out, and he was winning! And everyone criticizes her for not being Elizabeth Warren! I’m reading Bailout now, about the oversight inspector general over TARP, and the very first congressperson he reached out to was Claire, because of her auditor bona fides, and she was a big help to him. She’s not a chicken-shit BlueDog, she is a good Senator and absolutely the most progressive we can hope for from this place in this time.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay C:

    If the SC upholds the DOMA, might there be a repeal effort which would involve Congress?

    If there is, McCaskill is a helluva lot likelier to vote in favor of a repeal than Coleman, who will probably manage to come up with some bullshit reason why he just can’t manage to vote in favor of legislation that helps his own flesh and blood.

  29. 29
    Jay C says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    McCaskill is a helluva lot likelier to vote in favor of a repeal than Coleman, who will probably manage to come up with some bullshit reason why he just can’t manage to vote in favor of legislation that helps his own flesh and blood.

    Heh. We wouldn’t want to be thought in favor of nepotism/family favoritism, now would we….???

  30. 30
    James E. Powell says:

    McCaskill (or any other red-state Democrat) announcing support for marriage equality.

    First, it’s a sign of what’s happening, more of an effect than a cause. But since it’s a good thing, I don’t care why.

    Second, it’s a sign that she has decided that this is her last term as senator and she figures, with all the compromises & sell-outs she’s had to do to stay in office, why not do some good?

  31. 31
    sdhays says:

    At least she didn’t have to give birth to a gay kid to come around to this decision.

  32. 32
    Bruce S says:

    McCaskill has positioned herself as the best Senator who is likely to have a shot at winning statewide in Missouri. What more can you ask?

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