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« Nerd news | Main | Lamont Williams calling »

Apr 30, 2008

Comments

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Spag

If a Republican dares to point out Clinton or Obama's quotes on this issue, they will be accused of injecting wedge issues into the campaign. You see, it is okay for Clinton and Obama to take a position on this issue, it's just not okay for Republican's to highlight that position and offer an opposing one. That would be playing wedge issue politics.

A "wedge issue" is any unpopular position taken by a Democrat that they don't want to be held accountable for.

I know how that works.

Roch101

Say what? That's a lame ass comment. Equal rights for all or not. It's not that complicated.

spag

Roch, I'm merely commenting on the politics, not the substance.

Matt Comer

Wedge Issue: "A wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which splits apart or creates a "wedge" in the support base of one political group." (Wikipedia)

Spag, the difference between Dems and Reps is that GOPers use these social issues do divide. Democrats use these issues to unite people, to offer equality and to level all playing fields. These issue only become "wedge issues" when politicians or others (usually GOPers, sorry) use them to divide people on an "us" vs. "them" basis. Example: Preserve the military for us (the straights), save it from them (the gays).

When Dems speak on these issues, they speak like in uniting terms. Example: We (gays and straights) are all Americans (gay and straight, alike) and all of us (gay and straight) deserve the right to serve our country on a fair and equal basis.

spag

Matt, you are essentially saying that anyone who doesn't agree with you on a matter of policy is dividing people, and unless someone accepts your position, you are right and they are wrong.

If a Democrat takes a position on any given position to appeal to a certain group of voters, it is not divisive for Republicans to take a contrary view to appeal to a certain group of voters, or to point out the difference between their view and the stated view of the Democrat.

The Republican's get accused of playing "wedge" politics simply for having a contrary view and for pointing out an unpopular position held by Democrats. If the majority of people don't support the Democrat position, I find it difficult to see how that position is "uniting" people. Your definition of "uniting" people seems to be "getting them to agree with me".

Matt Comer

Spag, you missed the point and didn't see the clear differences. So, for your benefit, here they are again:

GOP: Preserve the military for us (the straights), save it from them (the gays).

DEM: We (gays and straights) are all Americans (gay and straight, alike) and all of us (gay and straight) deserve the right to serve our country on a fair and equal basis.

There is a clear difference between "us vs. them" language (dividing) and "we" and "all of us" language (uniting). On LGBT issues, the Dems are clearly not playing wedge politics.

Spag

No Matt, you are the one missing the point.

DEM: We believe in A
GOP: We don't believe in A, they do.
DEM: You are playing wedge politics because you don't agree with us on an unpopular stand that we have taken on an issue.

You can play the "we" vs. "them" on any number of issues, including the war, taxes, immigration, etc. There is nothing special about gay rights as an issue that should single out some detractors as playing wedge politics. It could just as easily be said that "we believe that gays should serve in the military, they do not".

"They believe gays should be allowed to get married, we do not" isn't a "wedge" issue, it's a policy disagreement. Under your analysis, those who favor gay marriage have a right to make that position known, but can't be criticized for it. That's basically political correctness. Dissenters have no legitimate policy disagreements, they are just bad people out to divide with their wedge politics.

Matt Comer

Ok, Spag. Whatever.

However, the next time a U.S. soldier rapes an innocent woman, let's just be sure not to forget that the Armed Forces could've kept out the more than 700 felons, by keeping the more than 700 gay soldiers they dismissed.

Ed Cone

There is something different about civil rights versus policy issues.

On taxes, war, etc, people (including gay people, for whatever that's worth) differ on the choices our country should make.

On gay rights, the question is the degree to which people are allowed to enjoy the rights and responsibilities of the country in which they live.

The self-evident truth of equality is not a question of policy. At least it shouldn't be.

Dave Ribar

Sam:

You're free to comment on what you want. However, it's interesting that you are not discussing the substance of the candidate's remarks. Would you care to comment specifically on what you agree or disagree with?

Spag

Ed, I still stand by my definition of a wedge issue as an unpopular position taken by a Democrat that they don't want to be accountable for. Your distinction vis-a-vis rights vs. policy is really not applicable. Serving in the military is not a "right" anymore than being able to drive at age 10 is. We are simply talking about whether a disagreement on an issue is the "fault" of one party or another. Your position requires that we accept it or else be blamed for being divisive.

Dave, no I don't. Been there, done that before on this blog and elsewhere. Like many of the issues in the past week or so, my observations have been largely devoted to the politics involved. I don't believe anyone here has ever accused me of not having an opinion on substance. That isn't what I'm doing at the moment.

Spag

Matt, that is a false logic because 1) it assumes the military knew these men were felons but made the calculation that having felons was better than gays; and 2) that these men would not have gotten in the military if gays were allowed to serve openly.

Timbo

Spag,
We get it. Everybody hates the GOP. Nobody lets them say nuthin' 'bout nobody without getting their panties in a wad. The Lib-Dem-pink-fellow traveler-fifth columnist-blue staters are just so unfair. Mommmmmmy!!!! Make him stop touching me.

How's this for restating your thesis:
DEM: We believe in A
GOP: We don't believe in A, they do and (unstated but implied third clause): that is un-American and/or immoral, possibly ooky as well. And if you have the code explained to you, well, you're no Republican. Well, there are those weird Log Cabin guys. Anyway, the Liberal America-haters aren't 'spose to notice.
DEM: You are playing wedge politics because you demonizing us on a stand on which we have taken on an issue that resonates with many of our core constituencies, and seek to ostracize those constituencies from the greater polity.

As an aside, I know for a fact that Ed Cone, Barack Obama, Bev Perdue, Richard Moore, David Duke, Jeremiah Wright and Matt Comer have all eaten Rice Crispy Treats. Rice Crispy Treats: too extreme for North Carolina. John McCain asked me not to point this out, but intellectual honesty won out.

Matt Comer

Spag said: "Matt, that is a false logic because 1) it assumes the military knew these men were felons but made the calculation that having felons was better than gays; and 2) that these men would not have gotten in the military if gays were allowed to serve openly."

WRONG. The more than 700 felons were let in on felon/"morals waivers." Yes. The military knew they were felons.

http://www.sldn.org/templates/press/record.html?section=2&record=4777

Bill Cunningham

You can't believe anything Obama says. He is a posturing,
lying Chicago style politician. Can you say Daley ?

" Is this guy a lightweight ? A walking lie,in a deep way and on multiple levels "

The Messiah..Not

Fec

Congrats, Matt. Sorry about the wrestling fan.

Spag

Did all 700 commit rapes in the military? That still doesn't deal with the second logical flaw.

Timbo, I understand. All Republicans are evil, and you don't believe that issues you believe strongly in are open to debate. It obviously never occurred to you that the opposite opinion "resonates" with many Republican core constituents, and they could just as easily claim your side is playing wedge politics.

There is no counter argument to liberalism, only evil. I get it.

Roch101

Thanks for the link, Bill Cunningham. I think I'll have to disregard the opinions of someone who states "Belief is a verb, not a noun." But please, continue to post stuff against Obama that relies on stupidity. It helps.

Roch101

I have to agree with Sam here. When a party attempts to advance inequality and repression based on identity groupings, I'd call that a wedge issue -- a lot of people would.

Sam's point is that there are people who are against extending equality and civil rights to groups thus-far denied them and they find attempts to do so alienating. From their perspective, fulfilling the promise of the Constitution is a wedge issue. I can't argue.

Spag

"fulfilling the promise of the Constitution is a wedge issue".

As you interpret that promise to be. Nobody could possibly see it differently, now could they?

You again are missing the point which is that pointing out that candidate A supports issue X isn't being divisive- it is drawing a distinction in policy positions, one that A might not care for because A's position hurts A politically. Candidate A could just as easily say "candidate B doesn't support gay marriage". Would Candidate A be engaging in "wedge" politics?

The premise underlying your point is that the only way people can be united and not divisive is to agree with you on a particularly unpopular position. That's narrow minded and arrogant.

Spag

Roch, not sure if you were being sarcastic or not. I can read your comment several ways. If I'm wrong in my interpretation, set me straight.

Roch101

Geez, Sam, I'm agreeing with you. Forget your abstract A and B and stick to the topic of this thread. Some people see attempts to deny equal rights as a wedge issue. Some people see attempts to stand up for equal rights as a wedge issue. I'm not arguing with you.

Spag

I don't know that I would couch it in terms of "equal rights" but, you at least understand the argument and that it can go both ways.

Ed Cone

"I don't believe anyone here has ever accused me of not having an opinion on substance."

After hundreds of comments, I actually have very little idea what you are for, Sam.

I'm not even entirely sure what you're against.

You spend a lot of time talking about who you are against, or who you perceive to be against you, and your ideas about their motivations...

...but I really don't know what you believe about a lot of issues.

Let's take this one: how do you feel about gay rights?

There have been some specifics raised by this thread, including civil unions, marriage, and military service. What are your views on those things?

Spag

Ed, do a Google search of your own site. We went over that subject over a year ago if memory serves me correctly.

Perhaps you should have read more of what I wrote on my own site (especially the old one) if you are confused about my stands.

Ed Cone

I honestly find your views on issues opaque, Sam, even after the thousands of words you've written here. There's every chance that this is a failing on my part.

There have been some specifics raised by this thread, including civil unions, marriage, and military service. What are your views on those things?

spag

I did the Google search, and I have discussed all of those issues on this blog in the past. I'm not going to get into another avalanche thread argument with those who disagree with me on those issues. Suffice it to say "no, no and no" and not because of Jesus.

Ed Cone

That is to say: you oppose civil unions and gays in the military?

spag

Ed, see discussion here and also comment here.


Timbo

Spag,
Republicans aren't evil. If they were, that would make my mom evil. Mom's not evil. She uses her powers for good. Well, there was that one time in Reno... My point, and I have one, is that Ed graciously provides us with this forum, and you often hijack threads to pontificate about how the world's not fair to the GOP, or at least the Liberal/Democratic/pro-Sodomite Axis of Unwholesomeness won't let Goopers spout off without saying something back, and we don't get all as twisted up inside if someone from within the Axis of Unwholesomeness spouts off the same way. What do you expect in this kiddy pool? We splash. We call names. Sometimes we'll dunk you. And the pool is full of mud.
Why do you want to play with us? Because it's fun, that's why. So no whining. My six year daughter sez that on the bus whining rates a threat by the older kids to call the "Hwaaaaa-mbulance", which will come and take you away. Don't make me call.

Let's start anew. Ed sez Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton are down with with my LGBT brothers and sisters, and that sits well with him. Spag, do you have something to say about that? How do you personally feel? Why? Please be complete and support your arguments with specifics. Points will be deducted for speculations about some real or imagined world where Republicans own almost everything but just can't get a fair shake in blogs. Feel free to cite personal prejudice, the Bible, Koran, Faux News, the back panel of a Wheaties box or any book authored by any dead white male or Ayn Rand (A lot of 'em are rilly, rilly good. Try to work in a Federalist Papers reference, mebbe Adam Smith. I know: von Clauswitz.)

PS: Ed has a question on the table for you. I know you disdain simply answering them, but your links seem to be broken, so I'm all up in the air.

spag

Here and here

spag

Oh yeah, and I can't hijack a thread without help you know.

spag

And here.

Ed Cone

Sam, it's hard to dig through all that verbiage to find the particular comments you want us to read -- why not just cut and past here if you want to share your views? Thnx.

spag

Because there are so many...I've made my views known already on this subject.

Roch101

Sam is opposed to civil unions and gays in the military -- don't know why he wouldn't just say it when asked.

Spag

Because that would just lead to an avalanche of other questions that have already been discussed in the threads I linked to.

Ed Cone

I'm not sure that's the case, Sam. The question was not about the reasoning behind your positions, but about your actual positions.

To me, civil unions are a civil rights issue, not a policy issue. If you oppose the rights, you oppose them. That's your business. I see them as fundamental and self-evident.

I'm guess I'm interested in a sociological sense in knowing why people might oppose basic civil rights, but it's just not that relevant to the issue at hand. Nor, in my view, is the attempt to steer the conversation away from the rights issue and toward some hypothetical discussion of wedge issues.

You are welcome to comment as you wish on all of this stuff. I'm focused on the interviews with the candidates, and the positions they discuss.

Of course, once a post goes up, I'm just another commenter in the mix.

Spag

I think civil unions are a policy decision. The only reason they would be necessary is because of the government benefits/regulations gravy train which is about policy as opposed to "rights". As I wrote in the threads I linked to, there are a number of reasons why I think this is a bad idea. It isn't because of gay people.

Roch101

"It isn't because of gay people."

Are you sure? Because I missed the part where you call for cutting straight people off from the government benefits/regulation gravy train.

Ed Cone

Hospital visitation, insurance benefits, child custody -- not part of any gravy train. Neither is the simple dignity of equal rights under the law.

In any case, denying civil unions to one group under an existing system because you oppose the system doesn't fly. If you change the system completely, or deny its benefits to all groups, then at least the ground is level. Until that happens, shifting discussion to the system itself is a non-starter.

Spag

"Are you sure? Because I missed the part where you call for cutting straight people off from the government benefits/regulation gravy train"

Nobody is granted access to the "gravy train" on the basis of sexuality.

Ed, none of the items you mentioned are "rights". They are government or private industry creations. Custody is not predicated on sexuality, either.

I see this as a policy question, you don't. I'm not getting back into it beyond this and what I previously wrote in the links.

Doug H

It occurs to me that the Declaration of Independence recognizes that people are given unalienable rights by their Creator, and that one of the functions of government is to protect these rights.

If the government or private industry is abridging my right to visit a loved one in a hospital (among other rights), then that's a problem.

mick

Ah,.... there's the rub now aint it. "right"

However, in reality, I have no problem with civil unions, hospital visits, etc. I shall draw my line at "marriage".

Odd I guess. But that's just me.

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