Hobbs’ Hump Day Hot Topics: President Obama wrong on Gay Marriage/Obama is right on Afghan troop withdrawal/Obama impersonator just plain wrongChuck Hobbs, Commentary PRESIDENT WRONG ON GAY CIVIL UNIONS/MARRIAGE
Amid almost daily attacks from Republicans about economic and foreign policy issues, as President Obama and his campaign team gears up for 2012, a far deeper concern is how to keep certain core Democrat constituencies, in this instance Gay and Lesbian voters, in tow and ready to turn out at the polls.
In 2008, Obama fared better than John Kerry did in 2004 among every identifiable Democrat group except Gays and Lesbians—to the tune of 77 percent in favor of Kerry, with only 73 percent in favor of Obama.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week reported that Obama, when running for the state legislature in Illinois in 1996, indicated that he favored gay marriage. Fast forward to 2008, where Obama intimated time and again his opposition to Federal laws on the subject while expressing his personal opposition.
Why the difference?
One of the more trite aspects of modern politics is the constant wrangling over “flip-flops.” True enough, sometimes it is clear that a politician is simply being politically expedient in a given position. And perhaps this holds true for Obama on gay marriage.
But one could counter that the president has evolved over time on the issue, in part, because of religion.
While it receives little national fanfare, in states where the issue of gay marriage has appeared on the ballot, black voters have overwhelmingly disapproved of the same—to the tune of 70 percent and higher in some states.
The cause? The Black Church, where for years, pastors have railed against homosexuality as if it is a modern Crusade. Some churches have ostracized Gay and Lesbian members, while others ignored the AIDS epidemic that quickly shifted from being a “gay” disease in the early 80′s to the scourge it is today in black communities across the country.
Theology in black churches has often held that homosexuality is a “sinful condition” that can be cured, as opposed to a biological preference.
African-Americans are not alone on this matter; consider today’s New York Times headline where Nigeria’s women’s soccer coach has stated that the presence of lesbians on the team is “spiritually, morally very wrong.”
I agree with Gay and Lesbian rights advocates that there is an inevitability to the concept of civil unions and gay marriage. My own thoughts on the matter have morphed from lock-step agreement with conservatives and black pastors that homosexuality is a choice to knowing that not only is this untrue in most instances, but also by observing that with respect to adoption, particularly the adoption of thousands of black orphans, that there are a number of homosexuals that are providing or are willing to provide loving and stable homes for these children.
As for the president, if he has had similar vexations, he had better address them quickly because his taking a conservative position on this one issue is not going to endear him to the vast majority of Republicans who oppose him on other issues.
PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLS FOR TROOP REDUCTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN
Dear President Obama:
Today, you will call for 10,000 U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by year’s end. That is a good start—but only a start.
There is nothing really left to fight for in that area of the world. Osama Bin Laden is dead. The British were unsuccessful in establishing Democracy there in any form in the 19th and 20th Centuries. The Soviets were unable to establish a Marxist state there in the 1980′s. We are only fooling ourselves into believing that there will ever be anything resembling a Democracy—the Afghan people heretofore have seemed content to allow religious despots and the opium traders to control their lives—so be it.
I am all for self determination, and now that the direct threat to U.S. security has abated, it is time to stand down.
Not to mention for the umpteenth time that we simply cannot afford to waste billions of dollars on nation building among the unwilling. To paraphrase what Tom Hagen told his pugnacious foster brother Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather”, “Mr. President, you are earning quite a reputation.”
No one doubts your toughness—it is your judgment that is at issue. Not only have you been slow to fulfill your campaign promise to bring the troops home, the nearly 1 billion dollars that has been spent since March to “assist” NATO forces in Libya could have been better spent on deficit reduction or research and development to spur job creation. Bring ‘em home Mr. Obama—your opponents are salivating at the thought of hanging these wars and their expenses around your neck like a millstone.
OBAMA IMPERSONATOR NOT FUNNY
In case you didn’t know, Reggie Brown, who bears an uncanny resemblance to President Obama, appeared before the Republican Leadership conference this past weekend ion New Orleans.
While on stage, Brown cracked several racially insensitive jokes, including that the president, who is biracial, only celebrates half of Black History Month, and that Obama’s mother, who was white, preferred black men but was not “a Kardashian”, in reference to so-called star Kim Kardashian who has dated several prominent black athletes and singers over the past few years.
In addition to not being funny, Brown’s minstrel antics bring me to my point; Republican efforts to gain significant in-roads with Blacks and Latinos will suffer as long as conservatives laugh at such tomfoolery.
It isn’t the conservative message that offends conservative leaning blacks who remain Democrats, it is people who play fast and loose with race.
Some comedians deal with racial issues with biting wit: Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, and the late great Richard Pryor, to name a few.
But Reggie Brown? His “cooning” act, which he proudly discussed on Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday, reminds me of C.J. Memphis in “A Soldier’s Story” as he too ignorant to understand his folly.
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