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Andrew Sullivan: Kerry: the right choice for conservatives (VOMIT TILL YOU DIE ALERT)
The Sunday Times ^ | July 25, 2004 | Andrew Sullivan

Posted on 07/24/2004 4:32:41 PM PDT by MadIvan

If you are a conservative, whom should you be rooting for in the American elections? I am not being entirely facetious here. The conservative “movement” in the United States is still firmly behind the re- election of President George W Bush. He uses conservative rhetoric — taking the war to the enemy, upholding conservative social values, respecting religious faith, protecting the family and so on.

He is widely regarded as one of the most conservative presidents in recent history — rivalling Reagan, eclipsing his own father in right-wing bona fides. And yet if you decouple the notion of being a conservative from being a Republican, nobody can doubt that the Bush administration has been pursuing some highly unconservative policies.

Start with the war. Almost overnight after 9/11 Bush junked decades of American policy in the Middle East, abandoning attempts to manage Arab autocracies for the sake of the oil supply and instead forging a policy of radical democratisation. He invaded two countries and is trying to convert them to modern democracies.

Nothing so liberal has been attempted in a long time. In the 2000 campaign, Bush mocked the idea of “nation building” as liberal claptrap. Now it’s the centrepiece of his administration. The fact that anti-American lefties despise the attempt to democratise foreign countries should not disguise the fact that Bush is, in this respect, indisputably a foreign policy liberal. He has shown none of his father’s caution, no interest in old-style realpolitik.

At home Bush has been just as radical. He has junked decades of conservative attempts to restrain government and pushed federal spending to record levels, dismissing the idea that this will have damaging consequences. He has poured money into agricultural subsidies, he famously put tariffs on foreign steel, he has expanded the healthcare programme and increased the role of central government in education.

He has little or no concern for the separation of church and state, funnelling public money to religious charities, and he has appointed some of the most radical jurists to the federal bench. Just try finding a coherent theme in Bush Republicanism. It is in fact one of the most ramshackle distillations of political expediency ever tarted up as an “ism”.

There has also been, it’s safe to say, a remarkable recklessness in Bush’s approach. Was it really necessary to insist that the Geneva conventions do not apply to detainees in the war on terror?

When so many people warned that the hardest task in Iraq would be what happened after the fall of Baghdad, was it sensible to junk all the carefully written government reports for reconstruction and wing it? Was it wise to brag in the days after the first military victory in Iraq that it was “mission accomplished”? When the insurgency was growing, was it sensible to apply the methods of Guantanamo Bay to the hundreds of petty criminals and innocents hauled into Abu Ghraib?

At almost every juncture where prudence might have been called for, Bush opted for winging it. This approach can scarcely be called conservative.

So where is conservatism to be found? Maybe you should cast a glance at Boston, where this week the Democratic convention will anoint one John Forbes Kerry, a northeastern patrician who is fast becoming the eastern establishment’s favourite son.

Yes, Kerry’s record on spending, defence and social policy has been liberal. But that is not the theme of his campaign. Kerry says he is as dedicated to seeing through nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan as Bush. But where Bush has scrapped America’s long-standing military doctrine of attacking only when attacked, Kerry prefers the old, strictly defensive doctrine.

Where Bush has clearly placed American national interest above international concerns, Kerry demands that the old alliances — even with old Europe — need to be strengthened. Kerry insists that he is a fiscal conservative, aiming to reduce the deficit by tax increases. He has argued that stability in some parts of the world should take precedence over democracy or human rights.

He opposes amending the constitution and supports legal abortion, the status quo that Bush wants to reverse. He has spent decades in the Senate building an undistinguished but nuanced record. He is a war veteran who plays up his record of public service. He’s a church-going Catholic who finds discussion of religious faith unseemly in public. In the primaries he was the safe establishment bore compared with radicals such as Howard Dean and the populist charmer John Edwards.

His basic message: let’s return to “normalcy”. The radicalism of the past four years needs tempering. We need to consolidate nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan before any new adventures in, say, Iran. We need to return to the diplomatic obeisance to the United Nations. We should stop referring to a “war” on terror and return to pre-9/11 notions of terrorism, best dealt with by police work in co-ordination with our democratic allies.

At home we need to restrain the unruly religious right. We must balance the budget again. We need to redress some of the social and economic inequality that has so intensified during these past few years. Kerry’s biggest proposal — one sure to be modified by Congress — is a large increase in the number of people with health insurance. It’s far more modest than that proposed by Bill and Hillary Clinton a decade ago.

Does that make Kerry right and Bush wrong? On the most fundamental matter, ie the war, I think Bush has been basically right: right to see the danger posed by Saddam Hussein and the nexus of weapons of mass destruction and Islamist terror; right to realise that the French would never have acquiesced to ridding the world of Saddam; right to endorse the notion of pre-emption in a world of new and grave dangers.

Much of the hard work has now been done. Nobody seriously believes that Bush will start another war. And in some ways Kerry may be better suited to the difficult task of nation building than Bush.

At home Bush has done much to destroy the coherence of a conservative philosophy of American government and he has been almost criminally reckless in his conduct of the war. He and America will never live down the intelligence debacle of the missing WMDs. He and America will be hard put to regain the moral high ground after Abu Ghraib.

The argument that Kerry must make is that he can continue the war but without Bush’s polarising recklessness. And at home he must reassure Americans that he is the centrist candidate, controlled neither by the foaming Michael Moore left nor by the vitriolic religious right.

Put all that together and I may not find myself the only conservative moving slowly and reluctantly towards the notion that Kerry may be the right man — and the conservative choice — for a difficult and perilous time.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: allgayallthetime; barebackrider; conservative; delusionalhomo; gayvote; hivpositivecatcher; homosexualagenda; homosforkerry; jizswallower; kerry; liberal; syphillisdamagedas
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Andrew is merely upset that Bush tried to push through the new constitutional amendment defending marriage. Andrew, really, there are more important things in life than you wanting to get married to another man - this is blinding you to Kerry's deficiencies and exaggerating Bush's defects. Terrorists do not respect anything less than total resolve - and President Bush has that in abundance. You ought to be bloody ashamed.

Regards, Ivan


1 posted on 07/24/2004 4:32:44 PM PDT by MadIvan
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To: agrace; lightingguy; EggsAckley; dinasour; AngloSaxon; Dont Mention the War; KangarooJacqui; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 07/24/2004 4:33:38 PM PDT by MadIvan (Gothic. Freaky. Conservative. - http://www.rightgoths.com/)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: MadIvan

Boycott his blog! I stopped visiting his site earlier this year when he started to become anti-Bush over gay marriage issue. He is a well known homosexual with AIDS.


4 posted on 07/24/2004 4:36:08 PM PDT by Cableguy
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To: MadIvan
Very nicely put, Ivan. I used to read Sullivan because of his well thought-out and well-stated content. Once it became gay-marriage all the time, the thought seemed to go out the window and it was no longer an enjoyable read.

What is interesting is this attacks Bush's foreign policy, something which Sullivan cheered on until only recently.

Gum

5 posted on 07/24/2004 4:37:29 PM PDT by ChewedGum (aka King of Fools)
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To: MadIvan

I stopped reading Princess Andrew a long while ago, when I found out just how much of a perv he truly is.


6 posted on 07/24/2004 4:37:49 PM PDT by Old Sarge ("There may be some talking, but Soldiers aren’t walking" - Army Retention at 100%)
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To: MadIvan

Yep, it's all about fudge.


7 posted on 07/24/2004 4:37:51 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Do Chernobyl restaurants serve Curied chicken?)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: MadIvan

I like Sullivan, but even more than Hitchens, I never have ANY certainty that I know how he would think on any particular issue. He ALWAYS surprises me. Not a bad thing. Just means he's an individual.


9 posted on 07/24/2004 4:39:00 PM PDT by willyboyishere (ua)
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To: MadIvan

I like Sullivan, but even more than Hitchens, I never have ANY certainty that I know how he would think on any particular issue. He ALWAYS surprises me. Not a bad thing. Just means he's an individual.


10 posted on 07/24/2004 4:39:08 PM PDT by willyboyishere (ua)
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To: MadIvan

I'm hoping this is mostly tongue-in-cheek.


11 posted on 07/24/2004 4:40:23 PM PDT by nuconvert (Had this been an actual emergency, we would have fled in terror and you wouldn't have been notified.)
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To: MadIvan

His title should be

Kerry: the right choice for homosexuals


12 posted on 07/24/2004 4:40:57 PM PDT by Cableguy
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To: nwrep
He is thinking with the wrong head. Again.

If the left, homoesexuals, etc. are so passionate about their right to marry, then why not ask it to be put to a national vote? Let the American public decide.

13 posted on 07/24/2004 4:43:08 PM PDT by rintense (Free the Soxdox!)
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To: MadIvan
If John Kerry's the right choice for conservatives then the Liberals are all voting, financing, and campaigning for the wrong choice.
14 posted on 07/24/2004 4:43:42 PM PDT by Dave Burns
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To: nuconvert

Maybe that wasn't a good phrase to use here..........


15 posted on 07/24/2004 4:43:42 PM PDT by nuconvert ( Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.)
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To: MadIvan
If John Kerry's the right choice for conservatives then the Liberals are all voting, financing, and campaigning for the wrong choice.
16 posted on 07/24/2004 4:44:04 PM PDT by Dave Burns
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To: MadIvan
A thoroughly disingenuous piece. Sullivan hasn't bitched about Bush being reckless before. Now suddenly he does. What he bitched about was that Bush was too craven to the religious right when it came to gays. Why doesn't Sullivan just admit that he gives that one issue huge weight, and since he doesn't see much difference between Bush and Kerry on other issues, he is just free to vote based on the gay issue? Wouldn't that be a tad more honest, than all the tendentious bridgework about "recklessness?"

Andrew, I hate it that you have become something of a liar. I thought better of you. I don't mind it much when you annoy "conservatives," I annoy them often myself, but I do mind when you just become another contributor to the tangled web, intending to deceive.

17 posted on 07/24/2004 4:44:24 PM PDT by Torie
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To: MadIvan

Wonder if the old barebacker is dating David Brock?


18 posted on 07/24/2004 4:46:43 PM PDT by hang 'em (THIS JUST IN: Kerry/Edwards get the long awaited, crucial NAMBLA endorsement!!!!!!!)
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To: MadIvan

You see, folks, it is all about gay marriage. When Bush went against gay marriage, Sullivan went against Bush.


19 posted on 07/24/2004 4:47:57 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: MadIvan

There are some valid criticisms of Bush but deciding that the correct response is to support Kerry is like choosing amputation to treat a hangnail.


20 posted on 07/24/2004 4:48:17 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Ronald Reagan - Greatest President of the 20th Century.)
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To: MadIvan

Yes, Andrew has truly gone over to the dark side.


21 posted on 07/24/2004 4:49:38 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: MadIvan
What does this Sullivan guy think his readers are? A bunch of Florida voters?

Come on, Andy. Give your readers at least a little credit. They didn't all have their brains violently sucked out moments before birth. Maybe some of them, but not all.

22 posted on 07/24/2004 4:52:09 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: MadIvan
Yeah, well, this is horsecrap, Andrew. The war in Iraq was about national security, and the need for stabilization ("nation building" as you call it) is an integral part of that security.

The spending side is, I believe, a wraparound attempt to put emphasis on a private solution with government aid.

A second GWB term will likely focus on more privatization--welfare programs, social security, et al. Hopefully, an emphasis on fixing the "reform" McLame & Co. foisted upon America, too.

Bush hasn't done everything the way I thought he should, but he is definitely getting my vote. Kerry is not a conservative. No way, no how.

23 posted on 07/24/2004 4:52:57 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Tall_Texan

How can liberals say they are concerned about federal spending - with a straight face?


24 posted on 07/24/2004 4:53:42 PM PDT by Pete98
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To: Torie

He has become a liar. He has been slowly pushing in this direction for months and months now. He has already said in an Advocate interview that there is no way he can support Bush, yet in no-Gay publications, he pretends as though he is slowly arriving at some decision to support Kerry.

He is certainly entitled to his opinion, but stop the deceptive games.

p.s.

I think we can do without some of the other comments I am reading here, don't you?


25 posted on 07/24/2004 4:53:52 PM PDT by ambrose (Kerry is endorsed by the Communist Party USA)
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To: MadIvan

Kerry is the most leftwing candidate to ever win a major party nomination in the United States. He has admitted to committing war crimes. He actively seeks to return the nation to Clinton's failed security polices which led directly to 9/11. He wants to raise taxes. He has promised to increase spending significantly.

Bush has governed as a center-right president. Not as conservative as any of us hoped, but at least as conservative as we expected. He has pulled off two major successes in the war on terror - and so far has prevented any more major attacks against the domestic US. He has cut taxes. He has not cut spending and he has folded on a number of issues to the Left.

Any conservative looking at the two has no real decision to make. Bush is their man. Is he perfect? No. But frankly even beyond the certain damage Kerry would do to the US economy and our precious freedom and soverignty, electing Kerry is the only thing we could do right now to lose the war on terror. A vote for Kerry is a vote to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


26 posted on 07/24/2004 4:55:18 PM PDT by swilhelm73 (We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France. -Duke Wellington)
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To: gilliam
I have long been a fan of Sullivan, because I thought he was able to see behind his own special interest. Obviously, I was wrong.

I am a foe of special interest voting, whether it be immigration, abortion, or, in this case, homosexual rights.

It is my belief that one should vote based on the best interest of the nation. Sullivan shows us that he cares not about national security, nor the economy. He only cares about his personal life.

I am disappointed in him and am sorry to see that I was terribly wrong about his character.

27 posted on 07/24/2004 4:55:44 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: ambrose

Of course. But many lower middle class males simply have a thing about male homosexuals. They can't help their visceral reaction, and just emote. Sorry to be so blunt, but I call them as I see them.


28 posted on 07/24/2004 4:57:20 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Torie

I, too, feel he is being dishonest. He should start out his article saying he could never vote for Bush because of the marriage amendment. What he does here is exactly what he chides other journalists for doing-being biased about something and not revealing that bias upfront.

I have lost a lot of respect for him. While I have found him thoughful, he became opposed to Bush about marriage and since then has let that color his writings.


29 posted on 07/24/2004 4:57:24 PM PDT by hansel
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To: Unam Sanctam
Yes, Andrew has truly gone over to the dark side.

He "goes up" the darkside and that's all homos care about...doin' the bone dance with mr. sphincter...all else is nothing to them.

FMCDH(BITS)

30 posted on 07/24/2004 4:58:50 PM PDT by nothingnew (KERRY: "If at first you don't deceive, lie, lie again!")
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To: nuconvert
I'm hoping this is mostly tongue-in-cheek."""

Please, don't cause us to have any mental pictures of this particular fellow's tongue or his cheeks. Yuck.

31 posted on 07/24/2004 5:00:30 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: MadIvan

The queer agenda trumps all else.


32 posted on 07/24/2004 5:02:08 PM PDT by clintonh8r ("Just because I could.......")
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To: MadIvan

I think Andrew is being completely disingenuous. He was way out front, with Chris Hitchens I might add, in his support for the Iraqi war.

God, it's so maddening. We have the attention span of gnats in this world today. It's not been wrapped up neatly in 1 whole YEAR, so throw Bush over, and bring in Kerry, who will promptly turn it over to the vaunted UN. That's rich.

Shame on you Andrew. Do what you want with your personal life, but our whole civilization is at stake here. There are bigger worries in this world than whether gay "marriage" or gay "unions" is the law of the land.


33 posted on 07/24/2004 5:02:59 PM PDT by baseballmom (Michael Moore - An un-American Hatriot)
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To: ambrose
He is certainly entitled to his opinion, but stop the deceptive games.

Probably in his lifestyle, it is all about games, not sincerety.

Sullivan and the two Johns are made for each other.

34 posted on 07/24/2004 5:03:35 PM PDT by Dane (Trial lawyers are the tapeworms to wealth creating society)
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To: MadIvan

Like Howard Stern, Sullivan is the quintessential non-election year conservative. If people are worried about Sullivan's wobbliness, don't worry, he'll be conservative again Nov. 3rd.


35 posted on 07/24/2004 5:09:34 PM PDT by garbanzo (Free people will set the course of history)
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To: ChewedGum
… I used to read Sullivan because of his well thought-out and well-stated content. Once it became gay-marriage all the time, the thought seemed to go out the window and it was no longer an enjoyable read.

What is interesting is this attacks Bush's foreign policy, something which Sullivan cheered on until only recently.

Agreed! I stopped visiting & removed the bookmark earlier this year. Yeah, he was pretty articulate in defending the war against Iraq last year. But this gay marriage thing has obsessively possessed him. He’s seem to become another nut case for Kerry.

Regarding his being gay, frankly I couldn’t care less. Unfortunately, for those people, their “condition” is an obsession. Obviously, a symptom of their mental illness.

36 posted on 07/24/2004 5:11:15 PM PDT by Lurking in Kansas (--waiting for something witty--)
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To: All
The argument that Kerry must make is that he can continue the war but without Bush’s polarising recklessness.

Our former enemies certainly could help Kerry prove his worth in this regard. He certainly helped to overcome an eariler president's "polarising recklessness" and helped the enemy win. He still has a position of honor in our former enemy's society.

37 posted on 07/24/2004 5:12:51 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (Benedict Arnold was a hero for both sides in the same war, too!)
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To: MadIvan
I've never thought that Sullivan was anything special. He's gotten where he is because some people think it's important to say "hey look! queer conservative!".

Never trust those that like fudgecicles. They are not well in the head.

38 posted on 07/24/2004 5:18:39 PM PDT by isthisnickcool (Strategery - "W" plays poker with one hand and chess with the other.)
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To: MadIvan; MeekOneGOP; potlatch; devolve; Happy2BMe; Grampa Dave; PhilDragoo; Boazo; OXENinFLA



39 posted on 07/24/2004 5:19:16 PM PDT by Smartass ( BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004 - Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió.)
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To: Miss Marple
I have long been a fan of Sullivan, because I thought he was able to see behind his own special interest. Obviously, I was wrong.

Cut him a bit of slack. Realize he lives in a gay world full of gay friends who have been harping on him as a conservative. Now Bush comes out against something he and his friends really want: societal acknowledgement that their activities and desires are OK. They see gay marriage as a hurtle to cross to achieve that much desired goal. That a homosexual/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/transvestite family is just as normal as a heterosexual family. That kids raised in such an enviornment is just as normal as in a heterosexual environment. Another hurtle is all churhes, social institutions (like Scouting) and public institutions recognition that homosexual behavior is a reasonable alternative to homosexual/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/transvestite behavior.

He has made this an identity issue.

40 posted on 07/24/2004 5:19:30 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: MadIvan

More and more the difference between right and left is begining to be the choice between religious tolerance and anti-christianity. People like Hitchens and Sullivan can agree with Bush on the major issues but because of their distrust and even hatred of Christanity will support the opposition.


41 posted on 07/24/2004 5:22:41 PM PDT by Dr Snide (vis pacem, para bellum - Prepare for war if you want peace)
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To: MadIvan

I recommend a new butt-plug for Andrew. He's suffering from too much brain-drain.


42 posted on 07/24/2004 5:23:51 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY ((((Kerry for President of Transylvania))))
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To: MadIvan
At home we need to restrain the unruly religious right.

He's into restraining people, isn't he?

43 posted on 07/24/2004 5:24:38 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: MadIvan
Hmm... I have a few thoughts on the gay marriage deal that I have been wanting to share with my fellow FREEPERS.

What's really at the root of this gay marriage deal? A truly-conservative solution.

My thought about why this is such an issue...simple: the nanny state, once again, is the root cause.

I think that most of us think/feel:

Even though I think being gay is immoral and don't agree with it, I really don't care what someone does in their bedroom. I don't approve of it, but it isn't my business. However, I don't think that gay people should be getting married, in the traditional sense. That's for a man and a woman.
Most gays will call this homophobic. A straight person's statement along that line (or similar) isn't homophobic and it's only slightly ignorant. In fact, the above sentiment is the majority of people's "gut reaction", right, wrong, or indifferent. Most people think that gays are pushing their agenda and, to some degree, they're right.

Anyone can draw up a "contract" that binds two individuals together financially, economically, shared property, etc. Anyone can organize and hold an "elegant" ceremony and a reception afterwards. In fact, many gay people had marriage ceremonies --complete with wedding rings, vows, etc-- well before this issue became so heated. Many gay people have been living together for years (decades in some cases) with no need to get married. When a gay person dies, they can bequeath my belongings to anyone they want.

So, why do gays want to get "married"? Why are gays pushing the gay marriage agenda? Why do they need the marriage certificate, signed by their county, authorized by their state?

Answer: survivor (Social Security and other governmentally-provided) benefits.

If a gay person dies, their partner can't collect social security or any other type of governmental death benefit. WhY? You see, these benefits are not tranferrable.

Interestingly and quite ironically, the solution to this "problem" lies in the extremely conservative notion of privatizing social security. A topic that most gays would line up square against. Not because it couldn't solve the very reason why they "need" to be "married" (it would). Not because, as individuals, gay people couldn't look at the numbers and conclude that they would be much better off with having a private retirement account (they would). Mostly because of the factions that gay people associated themselves with: anti-Bush/anti-conservative special interest groups.

So, in large part, it is a gay person's own political pride that is preventing them from spearheading a program that would completely solve their issues about "survivor benefits".

44 posted on 07/24/2004 5:24:41 PM PDT by mattdono ([mattdono to John Kerry]: I voted for you...right before I voted against you.)
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To: MadIvan
Unfortunately, Sullivan's homosexuality trumps his politics, his Christianity, his common sense and his logic.

He's damned.
45 posted on 07/24/2004 5:27:31 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg
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To: MadIvan

"Was it really necessary to insist that the Geneva conventions do not apply to detainees in the war on terror?"

This article is so full of misstatements that all cannot be addressed. I just offer this one to show how disconnected Sullivan has become from reality.


46 posted on 07/24/2004 5:28:18 PM PDT by Bahbah
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To: gilliam
No, I will not cut him slack, any more than I will cut slack to those who oppose Bush because of immigration.

Kerry will be bad for national security. In fact, given his voting record, he will be dangerous.

What you are saying is that I should give him understanding because of his peer group.

Nope. Won't do it. I also am aggravated at those who oppose Bush because they are nit-pickers on abortion, or who oppose Bush because he hasn't been a rabid pro-Second Amendment type.

Presidential elections are for choosing who is the best leader for the country. One should look at all issues, and the candidate, and say to oneself, "Who best will lead the nation?"

Sullivan is not doing this. He is saying "Who will grant me my wish?" He fails the test of a serious thinker.

47 posted on 07/24/2004 5:28:51 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: mattdono

The guy was caught advertising for unsafe sex (i.e., let's spread this stuff around) on the internet. His judgment's not all that great. In fact, it's downright poor.


48 posted on 07/24/2004 5:29:56 PM PDT by Steve_Stifler
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

The human male sexual craving is a very powerful thing. Many an intellectual has succumbed to its power.


49 posted on 07/24/2004 5:34:58 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: MadIvan
At home we need to restrain the unruly religious right.

He's kidding, right? I'm hardly a Bible-thumper, came late to Christianity, even tinkered with Atheism for a while, and they sure don't scare me at all. If anything, Christians believe more in your freedom than the pagan liberal (communist) Democrats. They just don't believe you have the right to kill for your own convenience someone who's not old enough or strong enough to fight back, i.e. unborn. Think the abortionists wouldn't think twice if a fetus could hold a .45?

50 posted on 07/24/2004 5:36:01 PM PDT by Hardastarboard
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