The Sally Kern Video

She’s saying what other Republicans are thinking.

My friend Kelly emailed this to me.  Then I saw it pop up and up on Pandagon, and on C&L.  And of course its accompanied by commentary like “is this person bat-shit crazy, or is this nutjob bat-shit crazy?”.  That this is somehow outrageous.  It isn’t.  Let’s look at her statements piece by piece.  As written down by Pam:

Studies show, no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades. . .

This is a familiar line.  I’ve forgotten exactly which Republican candidate echoed it (bonus points if anyone can point out who).  But it feeds into a standard, paranoid extremist narrative.  The same one that surfaces when some creepy ass to the right of George Bush starts using words and phrases like “birth-rate”, “europeans” and “white pride” together.  This idea that civilization is somehow doomed because two people of the same sex are in love is directly tied to stock racist fodder like the decline of the white Christian european race.

…They are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle.

Democrats and liberals criticize the education system because they want to fix it.  Republicans and conservatives do so to prevent, literally, progress.  They want to keep people stupid and bigoted, and this ties neatly into that seething fear.  Children’s books, k-12 curriculums, anything that teaches equality and understanding is an old and practiced target for the right.

One of my colleagues said We don’t have a gay problem in our community…well you know what, that is so dumb. If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I’m going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.

And top it all off with some eliminationism.

Folks, none of this is new, none of this extraordinary.  It is merely an extension of a single line of reasoning into our mainstream discourse. Expect the media to cover this video, as it is quite the fascinating little instigator.  But don’t expect any of them to link this to the rising tide of extremist discourse, or to explore the significance of combining anti-gay fear and the politics of race, supremacy, and hate.  Above all, don’t expect an intrepid paper reporter or news anchor to state the unspeakable discourse: That for every Sally Kern who says this stuff out loud, there are a hundred Delays, Bushes, Hasterts, McCains, and Huckabees who are thinking it, and basing the platforms and their policies on it.


Obama and Clinton: Share Goals Not the Ticket

More discussion about a Clinton Obama ticket.  For a little perspective, this is coming from one of three sources:  Hillary, Bill, the same media experts who still consider McCain a maverick.  The Obama camp is throwing out some strong “and…. no” signals in response.

“I know that she has always been open to it, because she believes that if you can unite the energy and the new people that he’s brought in and the people in these vast swaths of small town and rural America that she’s carried overwhelmingly, if you had those two things together she thinks it’d be hard to beat.”

He added that, in his view, Obama would win the “urban areas and the upscale voters” while Clinton claims “the traditional rural areas that we lost when President Reagan was president. If you put those two things together, you’d have an almost unstoppable force.”

Obama won Wyoming.  How does Clinton have a clinch on “small town and rural America”?  Bill’s comments are less analysis and more an active shaping.  It doesn’t reflect the reality of the campaign.  That’s just one problem.

The big problem is this idea that a Clinton/Obama ticket would be “unstoppable”.  A shared ticket would not be unstoppable.  It would be a terrible mistake (August, emphasis mine):

Ezra’s post on why Jim Webb shouldn’t (and won’t) be a VP pick is a must-read for anyone who’s still suggesting that a “unity” ticket between Clinton and Obama should/will solve all our problems.

Both Clinton and Obama are very popular Senators with the potential to have very powerful careers in Congress. As vice-president to the other, they would both be completely and utterly useless politically and have no political future save the chance of being elected president in eight years. The same goes for any offer of a cabinet spot- usually, those are positions for people at the end of their career, not the beginning.

Basically, everything Ezra says about Webb applies to Obama, and applies to Hillary with only a slight change. If Obama loses the primaries, there’s no reason for him to give up a chance to wait and be the presumptive candidate in four or eight years. If Hillary loses them, there’s no reason for her to not hold tight in the Senate and work to eventually replace Harry Reid as Majority Leader.

Once again: whoever you’re rooting for to be the candidate, go right ahead. Just give up the idea there’s going to be a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket. Neither of them is stupid enough to give up their future to get the other elected.

Neither of them.  So August’s words here ring especially true (emphasis mine):

This is, ultimately, one of the major problems I have with a lot of the pro-Hillary arguments. People keep saying Obama is a candidate of empty promises, and yet the entire case for Clinton is based on an agenda and campaign strategy that is not based in reality. Be it “we’ll totally win Florida, because I’m super popular” or “I’ll pass a universal health care plan because there’s, like, no way the Republicans would even consider filibustering something like that” or “oh, of course we’ll put Barack Obama on the ticket so you should totally vote for me because it’ll be like voting for both of us, I promise I have pretty much no faith in a Clinton victory. And maybe that’s why the whole “hope” and “change” angle is working so well.

The frequent calls for a unity ticket sound more like a ploy and less like an honest plan of action with every repetition.

Going back to the CNN PT post, the comments thread makes a whole lot of sense:

v.ananthan March 8th, 2008 5:39 pm ET
I don^t think that Obama is ready for the vice president post
I think that Hillary should select Edwards as her running mate….

Hillary/Edwards, Obama/Richardson (with Edwards as AG).  Either combination would yield a strong ticket.  And both combinations would avoid potentially losing a Democratic Senator needlessly.  If anything, the two should pledge to work closely together to achieve the common goals of their campaigns.  One candidate from the White House, the other from the Senate floor.  At the end of the day Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama need to share the greater Democratic vision for America.  They just need to avoid sharing a ticket.