Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Senator Clinton on Iraq, February 2003

I always opposed the invasion of Iraq.

Like many -- because of the "information," if we want to call it that, that was provided by the Bush administration -- I believed that Saddam Hussein possessed a WMD arsenal in 2003. Still, I opposed invasion and occupation, because I absolutely thought it was the wrong solution. I did not believe that simply removing Saddam Hussein was going to result in the formation of a model democracy in the heart of the Middle East; instead, I feared it would create an opening for the sectarian and ethnic divisions of the country to explode into civil war, and I greatly feared what would happen to the weapons I believed were there in the ensuing destabilization of the country. I did not believe that the inevitable deaths of innocent Iraqis and American soldiers were going to be worth the head of Saddam Hussein. I did not believe we were going to be in and out in six months or year, and I was not convinced we had a plan to put Iraq back together again.

I knew enough about Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's geostrategic goals to know there was no possibility of collaboration with Saddam Hussein.

Okay, so I was wrong. Iraq didn't have any WMD's, at all. But other than that, I was right on the money.

As the Bush Administration continued to attempt to make its case for war, I wrote to Hillary Clinton, who was my senator, to urge her to oppose military action in Iraq. This was her response to me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Analyze This

When I look at the crowds of supporters in shots of Obama, Clinton and McCain, it's the McCain crowd in which I find all the hotties.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Boy, just when you thought you couldn't possibly manufacture a political dust-up dumber than the Obama "plagiarism" thing, someone on Hillary Clinton's staff goes and provides The Drudge Report (!!!!!) with an old photo of Obama on a diplomatic visit to Kenya in which he is seen donning some local garb, including a turban-like head-thingy. Sub-text: "See, he really is a secret Muslim!"

The Obama campaign responded by saying, "Hey, can we get back to what matters to the American public, please?" (that may be a paraphrase) and then the Clintonites accused Obama of using the photo to create a distraction from the issues.


People, it is perfectly normal for Americans visiting foreign lands to try on local costume as a diplomatic gesture. To wit:

Ogaki, Japan, 1990.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Photo Blogging: Andy & Glenn Do Yachats: Fin

On our last morning down at the coast, instead of walking on the beach behind the hotel, I decided to walk into town. It was so quiet and peaceful, and there are some really cute little cottage-y places in the little "neighborhood" between 101 and the sea.

Here's a shot of the cabins where we stayed.

Check out these gulls hanging out at the Yachats State Recreation Area.

The Green Salmon is closed on Mondays, so we went back to the place where we'd had dinner the night before; I had french toast with marionberry compote. Love those marionberries! Then it was back to the hotel to check out and head down the road.

Glenn was on his way back to San Francisco and was planning on getting as far down 101 as Eureka, so we needed to get moving. We decided we'd stop at the Sea Lion Caves just north of Florence and then say our goodbyes.

Check out this weather! Hard to believe this is mid-February.

The cave itself is pretty spectacular. The echoes of the sea lion bellows are so loud it sounds like the den of some horrible beast. Some horrible, foul-smelling beast. Phew, what a stench! But still, fascinating.

Back up top, we wandered down a small path to view the rocky outcrop where the sea lions go to sun themselves.

We made one last stop together at the Fred Meyer in Florence (had to show Glenn the pride of the Northwest!) for snacks, diet Coke and discount gas. Then with a hug and a wave, Glenn headed south and I turned east toward Eugene. No meandering country excursions for me this time; I was eager to get home and see the cats, so I booked it to I-5 and sailed back to Portland.

All in all, an amazing, much-needed weekend. Glenn's pics are here.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Best Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage

Isaac Davis: I got a kid, he's being raised by two women at the moment.

Mary Wilke: Oh, y'know, I mean I think that works. Uh, they made some studies, I read in one of the psychoanalytic quarterlies. You don't need a male, I mean. Two mothers are absolutely fine.

Isaac Davis: Really? Because I always feel very few people survive one mother.

-- from Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979)

Andy & Glenn Do Yachats, Day Two

After a restful night's sleep in our cozy cabin, the first order of the day was the obligatory quiet, solitary walk by the sea behind the hotel.

For breakfast we went to the Green Salmon Cafe, where in addition to a fantastic cup of rich, strong coffee I had an amazing marionberry and blueberry bear claw. The clientele is an odd mix of eccentric locals, cruchy-granola Portland liberals on vacation and slightly concerned-looking mainstream Americans just passing through.

Then it was off to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, one of my favorite places. It's small, but very pleasant and always fascinating; it's comprised entirely of local animals.

For lunch we headed into "downtown" Newport and walked up and down the main street, but didn't really shop for anything. It's mostly kitschy tourist crap.

Glenn wanted to see a lighthouse, so I took him up to Yaquina Head. We waited in line for probably 20 minutes at least, and were then told it was going to be another half-hour yet, so Glenn decided the lighthouse looked just fine from the outside. Having seen all kinds of neat animals behind glass this morning, I was eager to show him the real deal, so we went down to the tidepools at Smelt Sands State Park, just north of Yachats. The tide was extremely low and the ocean fairly calm, so the waves weren't spraying up into the air as they usually do, but this allowed us to go pretty far out and see live animals like sea stars, anemones, crabs, chitons and tons of mussels.

As it was late in the day, we decided to stay and sit on a park bench and watch the sun disappear over the horizon. Glenn was really missing his boyfriend.

We went to dinner at a local place and then Glenn went to hang out in the hotel's hot tub. (I forgot my suit, and it's not that kind of hotel, so I stayed in by the fire and had evening prayer and finished the pinot noir.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not a Fluke

Starbuck is doing that yoga-pose in front of the fire again, so apparently that works for her. Too lazy to take a picture and upload it for proof. Sue me.

* * * * *

I enjoyed the Texas debate tonight. We all know I'm no huge fan of Senator Clinton, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: we could do worse. What a relief to know the days of the Bush era are truly numbered and regardless of how the nomination process turns out, the next president is going to be confident, articulate and on the right side of the issues. (No, I don't think McCain has a prayer, and for the record, based on its content so far, I think this New York Times story is about the most ridiculous and transparent thing I have ever seen and I am tremendously disappointed in their decision to run with it. If they have more, they'd better show their hand right quick.)

I remain impressed with Obama. He could have made an attempt to seal the deal tonight, to put nails in the coffin Clinton's campaign has built for her, but he wouldn't kick her when she was down. When she tried to play hardball and go negative, you could feel the audience cringing. After he neatly dispatched her accusations of plagiarism by reminding her that Deval Patrick is his national campaign co-chair and that Patrick encouraged him to use the phrase in question, she doubled down and said, "I just think if you're going to give speeches, your words ought to be your own." At which point she was hissed by the audience.

She also dug herself a hole with her spin that Obama's healthcare plan leaves 15 million people uninsured. That actually taps in to my own dissatisfaction with his plan: studies show that even if healthcare insurance is "affordable," people who live paycheck to paycheck and are generally healthy aren't likely to pay for what they don't perceive that they need. Making healthcare "affordable" won't really address the big problem, but neither will Clinton's plan to assess fines on poor people for not having insurance. The answer is genuine universal healthcare. Free healthcare. For everyone. But neither of them are ready to go there so we have to pick from what we've got, and while neither plan is perfect, at least Obama isn't going to penalize poor people.

I don't understand how people can see the two of them up there side by side and come away with the impression that Obama is somehow substantially vaguer on policy and specific solutions. They seem equally competent to me in this regard; the question, then, is who is best equipped to implement the changes needed? And I'm sorry, but I think unfortunately for her, Hillary comes laden with baggage -- not all of it her fault, but some, for sure -- that Obama doesn't have. I think he will have superior success with identical proposals because he hasn't been engaged in partisan trench warfare for the last sixteen years; he has spent that time making change while she made enemies.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Andy & Glenn Do Yachats, Day One

I love road trips.

I have been dying to get out to the Oregon Coast for a weekend for months, but the winter weather makes the mountain passes tricky and I wasn't feeling inclined to spend money just to sit in a hotel room in the rain, even though storm-watching on the Coast can be spectacular. So when Glenn called and said he was pondering taking a detour up to Oregon following a business trip to California and proposed meeting in Yachats, I jumped at the chance, even as I warned him it was likely to be cold, dark and wet.

I needn't have bothered, apparently: our weather was freakishly awesome.

Because I had plenty of time and love to tool around in the boonies, I opted for possibly the least-direct route to the coast I could have chosen. I never once got on the freeway, and instead took the main road right behind my house far out into the country until it connected with Highway 99W, and then took that south all the way to Junction City, just north of Eugene, where I headed off on Oregon 126 to Florence, passing through the megalopoli of Blachly, Swisshome and Triangle Lake. (And right now I am counting my lucky stars that the starter didn't conk out and the timing belt didn't snap until after I got back home.) In Florence I had a quick stop for a snack and then lazily headed north on 101 the 26 miles to Yachats, stopping for a stretch and some photos at Washburne State Park.

I was eagerly anticipating a hot cup of excellent coffee at the Green Salmon Cafe in Yachats, which unfortunately closed at 2:00, just a couple of minutes before I rolled into town. I spent the next hour or so wandering around until meeting up with Glenn at our rental cabin.

If DJ ever tires of his bohemian Manhattan lifestyle, he can settle into this ready-made gift shop and massage parlor on the Oregon Coast.

As it was low tide, we hurried quickly down to the beach behind the hotel, but it wasn't super spectacular. After splashing around there and introducing ourselves to an older gay couple there for Valentine's Day weekend, I took Glenn a few miles south to Cape Perpetua for some more dramatic views in the twilight.

After that we went back into town for dinner and retired to the cabin to sit and read and talk next to the fire. I gave myself special dispensation to break my Lenten fast and enjoyed a bottle of Eola Hills 2006 Special Reserve Oregon Pinot Noir. Mmmmmm.

Following deep conversation (e.g., did "time" exist before the big bang? and mutually lamenting growing up with "pre-trib" fathers) we settled into our respective beds for deep, peaceful sleep.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What Do Hillary and My Car* Have in Common?

Remember the last time I drove to Yachats and the car broke down?

This time Mabel the Sable waited until I got back to Portland to die. Wasn't that thoughtful of her? A weekend at the beach with a good friend and great weather? Priceless. Trip to the mechanic? $464.

On the plus side, we continue to edge closer to that bright future when someone randomly puts down their martini and says, "Hey, what the hell ever happened to Hillary Clinton?"

Today basically sucked up one side and back down the other, and not in a good way, so I'm retiring to bed early with some gentle music, a candle and a nice escapist book and two cuddly cats. In the meantime, here's a couple of photos to "tide" you over. (Ah, beach puns.)

(* Though, to be fair, I doubt Hillary has an "Obama '08" bumpersticker on her ass.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Home Again

We had a great time. The weather was unseasonably fabulous, and we kept very busy. More photos to come! But now it's time for bed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beach Slap

Okay, I'm outtie for the weekend. Heading down to Yachats to rendezvous with old New York pal Glenn of Glennalicious, who with this trip to Oregon completes his goal of visiting all 50 states.

See ya Monday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You Can't Think Like That

Something bothered me while I watched Katie Couric’s interview with Senator Clinton on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, until suddenly today my concerns coalesced: her approach to problem solving is to convince herself she couldn’t possibly be wrong.

Listen to the senator’s response to Couric’s inquiry as to whether she ever wonders if Obama might win.

"Even in your deepest darkest moments, when you're exhausted, you don't think 'Oh my gosh, I'm going through this, I'm spending so much money, I'm so tired and this could be all for naught?' What if that happens?" Couric asked. "You have to, once in a while, think that. No?"

"No, Katie," Clinton said. "You can't think like that. You have to believe you're going to win."

First, that has to be a lie. It’s scary to think that she has never pondered the possibility she might not win the nomination. A better answer might have been, “Well, of course, but I don’t dwell on those thoughts because I believe I can do this.” It’s one thing to say, “Yes, but…” and quite another to say, “I don’t allow myself to consider the alternative.”

I mean, hurray for positive thinking and affirmations, but look where that got our current President. As Iraq spiraled long ago into bloody chaos, Bush angrily insisted that we had to remain optimistic. But being optimistic isn’t just crossing your fingers and hoping for rainbows when there’s no rain in the forecast. Hoping for the best is an admirable quality in a president – indeed, Obamites have adopted “hope” as one of their mantras – but optimism, when it transcends the boundaries of the possible or even the likely, is delusion. While hoping for the best, a president should be ready for the worst.

A president who refuses even to consider the worst is not going to be, in Clinton’s words, “ready on day one.” Or on any other day.

Clinton’s reluctance to consider potentially adverse outcomes is the clearest explanation for the tanking of her campaign; presently, Obama – who was down in the polls by double digits about two weeks prior to Super Tuesday – leads Clinton in delegates and has won 22 states to her 10. Of Obama’s last 8 wins, Clinton’s narrowest loss was 19 points. She’s now short on cash and firing (okay, “accepting the resignations of,” to go with the media euphemism) her campaign manager and deputy campaign manager. She has offered a litany of lame excuses for why Obama is besting her, including the fantabulous claim that the caucus system favors him. No, Hillary, the system doesn’t favor Obama, the voters do.

If you focus exclusively on a best-of-all-possible-worlds outcome, you find yourself disengaged from reality. Do we want four more years of this kind of governance?

Sure, she says it with a smile instead of a smirk, and the grammar's not all screwy, but she has exactly the same mindset as President Bush.

Hillary, if you want to govern, you can’t think like that.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Opera Review: Roadkill Linda

I have to preface this post by telling you that on my way to the performance I was ticketed for jaywalking.

I was running a little bit late and was about three blocks from the theater; there were no cars coming -- indeed, I would have been in as much danger of being run over had I been on the moon -- but just at that instant a cop came out of the Starbucks on the corner and stopped me. "You know it's illegal to cross against the light?" she asked. "Umm...yeah, I guess," I said, lamely. "You guess?" she replied, tartly. "ID, please." Then she wrote me up.

Ninety-seven dollars for NOTHING. Now I know how Mitt Romney's donor feels.

* * * * * *

I hesitate to write this review because I'm sure now that my mother, who has tickets for the final performance, will decide not to go. Which is probably okay; no one really needs to be subjected to Portland Opera's monumentally ill-advised production of Handel's Rodelinda. Like Attorney General Mukasey, I am unable to say whether this qualifies as torture or not, but it certainly was an ordeal. I give up! I'll tell you where the bomb is: on stage.

I also once promised myself that I would never write awful things about a singer's performance unless they really deserved it; so I will only use the names of the two singers who were absolutely wonderful. Otherwise I will refer to the performers by the names of the characters.

Baroque opera is for connoisseurs; you might think of Handel like sushi. Good sushi is amazing; mediocre sushi is distressing. Tonight was a frozen fish stick.

Thanks to Officer Krupkette, I would have been late had it not been for the cancellation of the evening's star attraction, soprano Jennifer Aylmer in the title role. When I got to my seat at 7:35, General Director Christopher Mattaliano was still making the announcement; I didn't even get to hear why Ms. Aylmer had bowed out, only that she was being replaced by Sharin Apostolou, who made favorable impressions earlier this season in smaller roles in Carmen and La Cenerentola.

She had a total triumph. Though certain passages -- a few high notes and the cadenzas [would it be pretentious to write cadenze?] -- would have benefited from the confidence that would have come from, oh, being able to rehearse, overall it was an astonishing accomplishment. How many arias did she sing? I lost count. 5? 6? 7? If she made any mistakes, I didn't hear them. You can't fake Handel; especially the recitatives. She nailed it.

Alas, rehearsal couldn't have helped most of her colleagues. The singing was ghastly. Every time Apostolou came back on stage it was just so refreshing to hear a voice that didn't have something wrong with it.

Because I was late, I didn't get a chance to look at the program and go over the cast until the lights went up for the first intermission, at which point, due to the hooty hollowness of the singer protraying Bertarido, I was apalled to discover that it was not a countertenor. She sang like she'd had her vocal cords for lunch, an incredibly manufactured, over-darkened sound with utterly unintelligible diction. Because her voice had no ping or sparkle or color, the spectacular aria "Vivi, tiranno" was anti-climactic.

Tenor Grimoaldo displayed some impressive sustained high notes, but...why? Everything else was a mess. The voice is so poorly supported that the coloratura is slushy and the tonality in the passaggio completely leaves the reservation. Though Handelian recitatives need to be sung with passion, they still need to be sung. Sprechstimme is a 20th century idea. Shouting is not the same as acting. He almost redeemed himself with some sensitive tones in the last aria, but it was marred by so much affectation. If he'd just SUNG it it would have been a million times better.

When bass Garibaldo had his first few bars of recitative I thought, "Aha! here's a voice." It was resonant and full and deep and beautiful and clear. But then it all fell apart. Mostly I think he was just miscast and the high tessitura of the arias didn't suit him, but ultimately he was undone by the fact that he doesn't know how to breathe. The passaggio was flat and he ha-ha'd his coloratura so hard he was literally having spasms on stage. His top is so tight that his big voice becomes almost inaudible. Mercifully they cut the "B" and da capo portions of his "Di Cupido impiego i vanni," but we had to endure all of "Tirannia gli diede il regno," where again it was as if shouting was supposed to count as acting. Did I mention he couldn't breathe? He ended the aria, "Cruuuuu- [gasp] -delta!" He also went authentic on us and opted for baroque pitch for the final note. Too bad the orchestra didn't go with him.

Contralto Eduige, though young, sounded like a dramatic mezzo who was ready to be put out to Klytaemnestra pasture. Her chest voice, seemingly bottomless, had nothing to do with her upper register; they were utterly distinct sounds, both of them unfocused and ugly. She seems to think that if she distorts her voice into a grating caterwaul she gets points for interpretation.

So, thank God for countertenor Gerald Thompson as Unulfo. His arias got the biggest ovations of the evening. He sang with great ease and was musical and stylish and positively radiated joy to be up there. Everybody else (except Apostolou) looked like they were trying to give themselves hernias with their effortful bluster, and he sang circles around them.

Handel operas are hard to stage; this plot is particularly idiotic, and it doesn't help when the synopsis in the program contains gibberish like, "Against her wishes, Bertarido declares himself outraged by this reveals his identity to save his insult to his wife's honor." Huh?

A successful Handel production requires ravishing singing; a brilliant production requires a genius director, but I'm not sure God Himself could do anything with some of the appallingly lame "twists" this show throws at you. A nice set helps; I realize that Portland Opera has limited funds, but a designer's job is to make it look like this was exactly the set s/he'd always had in mind, rather than basically putting a disclaimer on the stage that says, "Sorry, we still have to pay for Aida in March." Minimalism works great for Handel, but the difference between "cheap" and "minimal" is "talent."

I can't believe I stayed for the whole thing.

* * * * * *

So my court date for the jaywalking ticket is March 7. The time marked on the ticket is 7:22 p.m., and I have my ticket stub for the opera starting at 7:30. I was in a hurry! I mean, I make no claim that I didn't break the law, I just think NINETY-SEVEN DOLLARS is insane. Should I try to challenge it?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Oops, She Did It Again

I swear I took these photos tonight.

Honestly, I thought this pose was a fluke, and never expected to see it again. I guess she must find it comfortable, after all.

The flash woke up Rocky. Sorry.


Last night during the Ash Wednesday service, we were doing the traditional recitation of Psalm 51.

It's a perfectly nice psalm; my favorite verse is, "Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow," largely because it reminds me of that wonderful scene in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, when Minnie reads the miners a portion of this psalm and explains, "Cio vuol dire, ragazzi, che non v'e, al mondo, peccatore cui non s'apra una via di redenzione."*

I am afraid, however, that when we got to verse 5 ("Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me"), my mouth just clamped shut. I couldn't say that part, because I don't believe it.

*That means, boys, there isn't a sinner in the entire world to whom a path of redemption will not open.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Told Ya

I knew Mike Huckabee was not a flash in the pan. And I knew that Rudy was.

Okay, Huckabee's not well-poised to take the nomination, but he's won six states. And is it just me, or does it seem that he and McCain are unusually buddy-buddy? They look like a ticket, to me.

Why not? Their respective strengths among Republicans balance each other. As Chris Matthews kept pointing out on MSNBC last night, McCain won the primaries in all the states Republicans usually lose in the general; Huckabee took the Bible belt. And what was that little dance they pulled off in West Virginia, with McCain throwing support (and the win) to Huckabee to keep Romney down? Hmmm.

I would also like, if I may, to be unmagnanimous for just a moment and dredge up this December comment.

RB wrote, "I am a political scientist. Let me assure you that Huckabee is a temporary sideshow. The GOP nominee will obviously be Giuliani, short of some remarkable and unpredictable development. Giuliana [sic] will knock out the other GOP candidates in the first round of the major primaries."

Some "unpredictable" development, huh? Yes, no one could have foreseen that America would figure out in time that Giuliani was a creepy one-note vindictive megalomaniac with a lengthy track-record of incompetence, shady connections and vendettas, a candidate who in fact had a weaker grasp of foreign policy and economics than...Mike Huckabee.

PS...well played, Barack! My vote in the Oregon primary might be worth something, after all.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday Photo Blogging

So, as I mentioned in the footnote of the previous post, some silly person (that would be the senior warden) nominated me to run for the parish vestry (that's the elected body that conducts the secular business of the church, such as finances, etc.) and a bunch of other silly people voted for me, so...yeah, now I'm a vestryman. Errm, vestryperson.

This weekend the vestry went on retreat to bond and discuss the BHAGs (Big Holy Audacious Goals) of the coming year at a beautiful conference center in the Columbia Gorge. It was dark when my contingent finally arrived (hey, some of us have jobs...) but the rector promised us that at daybreak we'd have a beautiful view across the Columbia toward Washington.

At daybreak there was no Washington to be seen.

But who's complaining?

Okay, I am. I didn't have the greatest night's rest. Believe it or not, this was the first night since I've moved to Oregon that I was away from my cats. Starbuck always sleeps under the covers with me. In fact, if I go to bed before she's ready, she smacks me on the face with her paw until I lift up the quilt so she can go under and cuddle next to me. (Rocky...well, he's usually somewhere close by. He's kind of all over, depending on his mood.) I felt their absence keenly.

Alas, there wouldn't have been any room for tiny Starbuck in this bed. I likened it to sleeping on a coffee table. It was the smallest bed I've ever seen, and while I like them firm, goodness gracious! My roommate called it a good Christian mattress* (he was being cynical, like all proper Episcopalians). Oh, my roommate was 80. Yes, he snored.

Still, it was a beautiful morning.

Our retreat was cut short because the conference center kicked us out; apparently they checked with the weather service and said, "If you don't leave now, you won't be able to leave for two days." Basically we got as far as agreeing we need a third service, but we didn't decide when or what it should be. (I vote for evensong!!!!) Our carpool also ratified a decision to stop in Troutdale for lattes.

* * * * * * * * *
Here's Starbuck in front of the fire while I watch my TiVo'd Keith Olbermann. Honestly...does this look comfortable?

Here's another view. She looks like she fell off a cliff, right? Maybe it's yoga.

* So small that missionary is the only position that could possibly work and so hard that it wouldn't be much fun.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Inevitability of Gay Marriage

It's official: Oregon's statewide domestic partnership law goes into effect on Monday.

Last year, both houses of the Oregon legislature passed a bill establishing domestic partnerships for same-sex couples, granting them all the rights, responsibilities and protections of civil marriage. The governor signed the bill. Opponents began a petition drive to remand the bill to the voters, but failed to gather enough signatures. They then sued the state, claiming that some signatures were improperly invalidated and on December 28, just five days before the law was scheduled to go into effect, US District Judge Michael Mosman suspended the law pending a hearing on the alleged irregularities.

At the hearing on Friday, Judge Mosman ruled that the petition had failed and that same-sex couples could begin registering on February 4.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a right-wing activist organization based in Arizona, is considering an appeal. “In America, every citizen’s voice counts. Government bureaucrats cannot decide what is best for the people of Oregon. We are considering all options for appeal of today’s decision on behalf of disenfranchised Oregonians,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks in a press release.

This is why gay marriage in the United States is inevitable: the opponents have no case.

Let's deconstruct ADF's statement a bit. Government bureaucrats? You mean, the legislature? Let's review our gay marriage battle history: first there were the court victories, when the bigots argued that "unelected, unaccountable activist judges" had no business meddling in marriage, which was rightfully regulated by the legislature. Now that the legislature -- elected by and accountable to the people -- has enacted a new law, they're no longer representatives, they're "government bureaucrats"? Then you guys utilized your right to challenge the law by putting it up for popular vote. Every citizen's voice counts? Dude, you couldn't find anyone to sign your petition.

This law has been reviewed and approved by the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state government, and now the voters (by means of a petition) have rejected an attempt to overturn the law. Yet you respond, "Our country is founded on the basic principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It should stay that way in Oregon," as blathered by Nimocks.

Yes. And you lost, every step of the way. I think the people have spoken, honey.

* * * * * * *

Post-script for legal nerds: Judge Mosman, a Mormon, Republican Bush-appointee, cited Bush v. Gore as part of the basis of his ruling.

* * * * * * *
I would have blogged on this yesterday, except this anti-war, pro-universal-healthcare, gay, Barack-Obama-endorsing liberal got himself elected to the parish vestry and was on a church retreat until late this afternoon. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, you silly conservatives.

Friday, February 01, 2008

An Open Letter to Tsunami Tuesday Voters

Oregon's primary, May 20, is the last in the nation. There is a good possibility that my vote will have no effect on the nominating process for the presidential candidates. Therefore, I urge you to cast your vote this Tuesday for Senator Barack Obama.

I think Senator Clinton would make a fine president; we could certainly do worse! But I also think we could do much better. In terms of policy proposals, there isn't much difference between the two candidates, so making the case for one over the other means evaluating candidates on the basis of their integrity and their judgment. It is difficult to go into detail without this devolving into an attack on Hillary Clinton, which is not my intent. I think she's capable. But she's the wrong choice, nonetheless.

Senator Obama represents a clean break from the vicious, simplistic partisan hackery of the last twenty years. It is not true that he is substantially less qualified than Senator Clinton, and even if that were the case, experience is worth nothing if it's not coupled with sound judgment. Senator Clinton has a demonstrable history and ongoing practice of choosing politics over principle. Her continued defense of the irresponsible, illegal and immoral decision to invade Iraq disqualifies her from the highest office.

Please vote this Tuesday; democracy is nothing without our participation. And when you vote, choose change. Choose Obama.