Posts Tagged ‘2004 Election’

Howard Dean Decides Not to Seek Second Term as DNC Chair

November 10, 2008

howard-dean1Word has just come in that Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will  not seek another term as chairman.

Although I disagree with his politics, I have admired Howard Dean for his charisma and (partially) his leadership of the Democratic Party.  But before I get into that, I’ll give you his quote regarding the November elections, released November 4th:

This has been a truly historic, transformational election. Tonight, our country chose hope over fear, the future over the past, unity over division. This election also reflects the passing of the torch to a new generation. Barack Obama inspired young voters across this country to answer the call and get involved. They responded to his promise to put partisanship and divisiveness aside and come together as one nation to find solutions. They turned out. They made calls. They knocked on doors. And they helped change our country.

The American people have given all of us – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – a simple mandate: to work together find big solutions to the big challenges facing our country. We must work together to change the direction of our wonderful country and to restore America. With the help of strong Democratic majorities in Congress, President Barack Obama is going to set this nation on a course to provide the change we need.

Today I am humbled by what we have accomplished over the last four years. Together, we can build on this moment to bring our nation together and work as one to overcome the challenges we face. It is what we as Americans have always done. Under Barack Obama’s leadership, we’ll do it again.

Now, my opinion of Dean…

Back in 2004, when he ran for President, and had his “Dean Scream” (which I just had to post below), I didn’t criticize him.  I commended him for his charisma.

And when he stood up to Michigan and Florida and was planning on stripping them of their delegates, I commended him, for sticking to his guns and keeping his word.  Then, it became apparent that those delegates may be necessary to help end the primary race (or at least give Barack enough momentum for him to finish ahead before the actual floor vote), and he backed down and agreed to seat them with half votes.  I lost a lot of respect for Dean that day, because he gave in to pressure.

Still, he’ll remain one of the politicians that I admire, even though I staunchly disagree with his politics.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Focus On the Family’s James Dobson Will “Pull that Lever” for John McCain

September 3, 2008

Late last week (right after Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) gave her speech with John McCain), Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson went on Dennis Prager’s radio show, and told people that he was endorsing McCain.  I have the transcript below (thanks to Townhall.com for the transcript), with my analysis throughout the interview.  This is a change from what Dobson had said earlier in the year, but I predicted that he’d endorse and vote for McCain, and it looks like I was right:

Dennis Prager: I have a guest here who’s extremely significant in American life, whether you call it American political, certainly American religious life, one of the best known Christians in America— Dr. James Dobson who is president and founder of Focus on the Family….  The last time you were on was a very serious conversation about your feeling at the time that you just couldn’t vote for John McCain, and where do you stand now?

Dr. James Dobson: Well, Dennis, I shared with a colleague just a few minutes ago exactly what you said about the period of time when Ronald Reagan had broken onto the scene and I was in Washington D.C. the day he was inaugurated.  That was one of the most exciting days of my life, because everything that we had hoped for and been working for had come to pass.  I feel very much that way today.  Maybe that’s an overstatement.  Maybe time won’t validate it, but this is a very exciting and encouraging day for conservatives and pro-family activists.  I am just very, very pleased.

Well, you can tell that Dobson was really pleased with McCain picking Palin.  He was probably pretty surprised too – I know I sure was.  But I like Palin.  She seems like a good conservative, but not a politician who’s dedicated to the Republican party no matter what.  I know this is said a lot, but she IS a reformer.

Prager: In light of that, may I infer that when you enter the voting booth—and I am putting you on the spot.  I fully acknowledge, and you’re certainly free to say it’s a secret ballot you don’t want to say, but you’re too public to really get away with that, so what’s the story right now?

Dobson: Well, you know I did a radio program about a month ago with Dr. Albert Mohler, and we talked about what was at stake in this election and our concerns about the policies that Barack Obama would implement.  The more I hear the more I learn, the more concerned I am, and so on that program Dr. Mohler and I talked about the fact that John McCain is not the perfect candidate.  He’s certainly would not be my choice and, for over a year, I did not feel that I could vote for him.  But I said in that radio program that “I can’t say it now”—which was then, because I didn’t know who his vice presidential choice would be, and he if would come up with Lieberman or Tom Ridge or somebody like that, we’d be back in a hole again.  But I said for the first time “I might, I might.”  And some people call that a flip-flop.  If they do, so be it.  Campaigns are long.  You get information.  You find out what the choices are.  So I’ve been moving in John McCain’s direction.  I don’t know if anybody cares, but for me…

And that’s the radio program that I talked about earlier when I gave my prediction that Dobson would soon officially go over to the McCain camp.

Prager: Plenty, plenty of people care and that’s why I am having you on.  I care, many people care and you have a lot of followers.  You have earned the right to that respect.  So are you prepared to say, “Folks, look, given this pick and all I have learned about what would happen with a Democratic victory we have no choice, but to enthusiastically work for the McCain-Palin ticket?”

Boy is that statement true.  Dobson has a huge following, and he is looked to for advice and guidance during election years, and I think a lot of the Religious Right will look to him again come November.

Dobson: You know, I have only endorsed one presidential candidate in my life and that was George Bush in the second term after I had watched him for four years.  I did not do that in his first term.  So I’m very reluctant to do that.  You marry a politician you can be a widow pretty quickly.

And his support for Bush was one of the things that helped Bush win.

Prager: That’s right.

Dobson: But I can tell you that if I had to go into the studio, I mean the voting booth today, I would pull that lever.

Prager: Well this is a very big deal.

Dobson: And that’s a long way’s from where I told you a year ago.

Prager: No kidding.  No kidding.  I am honored that you used this show to make that statement.

Well, I called this one, so it’s not a huge surprise to me.  But it is a big deal.  I was just discussing this with my roommates, and I honestly think that Dobson probably has the most sway of anybody out there when it comes to endorsements (other than Lieberman this year).  Without him, a lot of the Religious Right would just stay home.

Dobson: You know, Dennis, the things that concern me about John McCain are still there.  I made those comments not just based on emotions, but based on his record and some of the things that took place—embryonic stem cell research, and other things, the campaign finance, and other things.  Those are still there.  So, there’s still concerns.  But I tell you, when I look at the choices that are ahead and what the implications are for this country, and now especially with this selection, with just an outstanding V.P. candidate as a running mate, I tell you what I am relieved and very excited.

And those are the things I don’t like about McCain as well, but I honestly see him as shying away from embryonic stem cells, since other stem cell breakthroughs are coming through now.

Prager: Well, if you’re very excited given your previous reservations then I have to believe, and certainly based on the handful of calls I’ve been able to take the first hour before my “Happiness Hour,” I took the calls and people were so excited, palpably excited.  Jim Dobson, and I got to tell you… if your base is energized then that is the biggest nightmare that the left has.

Dobson: I was just with about 300, maybe 400 people in a large auditorium, and they put Sarah Palin’s speech on the screen and we sat there and watched.  I’m telling you it was electric.  These were conservatives, you know.  They were mostly Christian, but not all of them were.  I mean to tell you, it set that crowd on fire.  If that’s any indication, I think we are going to see some things.

Prager: We sure are.  Well, you made my day.  I just want you to know that.

And that’s very true – the Religious Right love Palin.  And these were the people that McCain needed to shore up, and I think he has done that for most of the group.  With Dobson’s endorsement, there will be very few members of the Religious Right that won’t go out and vote for Obama.

Ultimately, we won’t know the effects of this until November, but this makes me a lot more confident in my prediction that McCain will be the victor.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Michigan Supreme Court : No More Health Benefits for Gays’ Partners

May 8, 2008

Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court decided a case dealing with whether or not public employers are allowed to provide health care benefits to partners of homosexuals.  The Court reached that decision in a 5-2 vote in the case of National Pride At Work v. Governor of Michigan.

Here’s an excerpt from the opinion, written by Justice Stephen Markman:

 We granted leave to appeal to consider whether the marriage amendment, Const 1963, art 1, § 25, which states that “the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose,” prohibits public employers from providing health-insurance benefits to their employees’ qualified same-sex domestic partners. Because we agree with the Court of Appeals that providing such benefits does violate the marriage amendment, we affirm its judgment.

CONCLUSION

The trial court held that providing health-insurance benefits to domestic partners does not violate the marriage amendment because public employers are not recognizing domestic partnerships as unions similar to marriage, given the significant distinctions between the legal effects accorded to these two unions.
However, given that the marriage amendment prohibits the recognition of unions similar to marriage “for any purpose,” the pertinent question is not whether these unions give rise to all of the same legal effects; rather, it is whether these unions are being recognized as unions similar to marriage “for any purpose.”
Recognizing this and concluding that these unions are indeed being recognized as similar unions “for any purpose,” the Court of Appeals reversed. We affirm its judgment. That is, we conclude that the marriage amendment, Const 1963, art 1, § 25, which states that “the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose,” prohibits public employers from providing health-insurance benefits to their employees’ qualified same-sex domestic partners.

Stephen J. Markman
Clifford W. Taylor
Elizabeth A. Weaver
Maura D. Corrigan
Robert P. Young, Jr.

Justice Marilyn J. Kelly wrote the following in her dissent:

The issue we decide is whether the so-called “marriage amendment” of the Michigan Constitution prevents public employers from voluntarily providing health benefits to their employees’ same-sex domestic partners. The majority has determined that it does. I disagree.

First, the language of the amendment itself prohibits nothing more than the recognition of same-sex marriages or similar unions. It is a perversion of the amendment’s language to conclude that, by voluntarily offering the benefits at issue, a public employer recognizes a union similar to marriage. Second, the circumstances surrounding the adoption of the amendment strongly suggest that Michigan voters did not intend to prohibit public employers from offering healthcare benefits to their employees’ same-sex partners. The majority decision does not represent “the law which the people have made, [but rather] some other law which the words of the constitution may possibly be made to express.”
Accordingly, I dissent.

CONCLUSION

The majority decides that the “marriage amendment” prevents public employers from voluntarily entering into contractual agreements to provide health benefits to their employees’ same-sex domestic partners. Its decision is contrary to the people’s intent as demonstrated by the circumstances surrounding the adoption of the amendment and as expressed in the amendment’s language. For
those reasons, I must dissent.

Furthermore, by proceeding as it does, the majority condones and even encourages the use of misleading tactics in ballot campaigns by ignoring the extrinsic evidence available to it. CPM petitioned to place the “marriage amendment” on the ballot, telling the public that the amendment would not prohibit public employers from offering health benefits to their employees’ samesex domestic partners. Yet CPM argued to this Court that the “plain language of Michigan’s Marriage Amendment” prohibits public employers from granting the benefits at issue. Either CPM misrepresented the meaning of the amendment to the State Board of Canvassers and to the people before the election or it misrepresents the meaning to us now. Whichever is true, this Court should not allow CPM to succeed using such antics. The result of the majority’s disregard of CPM’s preelection statements is that, in the future, organizations may be encouraged to use lies and deception to win over voters or the Court. This should be a discomforting thought for us all.

Marilyn Kelly
Michael F. Cavanagh

Here’s the copy of Proposal 2 of 2004:

PROPOSAL 04-2

 

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO SPECIFY WHAT CAN

BE RECOGNIZED AS A “MARRIAGE OR SIMILAR UNION” FOR ANY PURPOSE

 

The proposal would amend the state constitution to provide that “the union of one man and one

woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any

purpose.

And here’s an excerpt from the the Constitution (Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 1, Constitution of Michigan of 1963, Constitution-I, Article I, § 25):

§ 25 Marriage.

Sec. 25.

To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.

Many people who disagree with the ruling cite sources from the Michigan Christian Citizens Alliance’s committee, Citizens for the Protection of Marriage (CPM), when they said that the amendment was simply about marriage.  One source was a CPM brochure:

Proposal 2 is Only about Marriage

Marriage is a union between a husband and wife. Proposal 2 will keep it that way. This is not about rights or benefits or how people choose to live their life. This has to do with family, children and the way people are. It merely settles the question once and for all what marriage is—for families today and future generations.

Well, honestly, brochures aren’t legal documents.  That was a brochure to get more people to vote for the amendment.  It may have been unethical, but it wasn’t illegal, and the Supreme Court’s job is not to interpret a brochure, but the Constitution, and the constitution clearly states, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose” (emphasis mine), and determining health care benefits is one of those purposes.  I agree with the Court’s ruling.

I just don’t think that the government should be rewarding people for sinning.  I don’t support gay marriage or civil unions as they’ve been proposed so far.  What I WOULD support is the government to remove itself from marriages and give civil unions to any 2 people who wanted it (brother and sister, mother and daughter, husband and wife, a man and his neighbor, etc).  That would make it so that those 2 people could have whatever benefits they want, and it removes “love” completely from the picture and makes it purely objective.  But that will never happen.  Why?  Because gays want their time to shine, and if they are given rights with a bunch of other people, it won’t be something new and exclusive to them.

So, again, I fully support the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision in this case.  It doesn’t matter what the “intentions” of the amendment were, wording is wording, and it seems pretty clear to me what that wording means.

(I will now list the other plaintiffs in this case: Becky Allen, Dorthea Agnostopoulos, Adnan Ayoub, Meghan Bellanger, Judith Block, Mary M. Brisbois, Wade Carlson, Courtney D. Chapin, Michael Chapman, Michelle Corwin, Lori Curry, Joseph Darby, Scott Dennis, Jim Etzkorn, Jill Fuller, Susan Halsey-Ceragh, Peter Hammer, Debra Harrah, Ty Hiither, Jolinda Jach, Terry Korreck, Craig Kukuk, Gary Lindsay, Kevin McMann, A.T. Miller, Kitty O’Neil, Dennis Patrick, Tom Patrick, Gregg Pizzi, Kathleen Poelker, Jerome Post, Barbara Ramber, Paul Renwick, Dahlia Schwartz, Alexandra Stern, Gwen Stokes, Ken Cyberski, Joanne Beemon, Carol Borgeson, Michael Falk, and Matt Scott. “Plaintiff National Pride at Work, Inc., is a nonprofit organization of the American Federation of Labor–Council of Industrial Organizations. The remaining plaintiffs are employees of the city of Kalamazoo, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, the Clinton/Eaton/Ingham County Community Mental Health Board, or the state of Michigan and those employees’ same-sex partners. Because the benefit plans of Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, and the Eaton/Clinton/Ingham Community Mental Health Board are not part of the record, they are not discussed. Likewise, this opinion does not address whether private employers can provide health-insurance benefits to their employees’ same-sex domestic partners.”)

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::

Lawyer Geoffrey Fieger Said that Jurors Don’t Like Him; He Finally Said Something True

April 10, 2008

So, Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger and his law partner Vernon “Ven” Johnson, have been charged with giving $127,000 in illegal contributions to John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign.  But Fieger isn’t happy with the looks of his jury selection, which will start on Monday.

Fieger’s lawyer, Gerry Spence, wrote in to U.S. District Judge Paul Borman, in a request that the location of the trial be moved, that “Scores of jurors expressed extreme dislike, animus and bias toward Mr. Fieger, his political activities, and his past representation of Dr. Kevorkian.”  He said that on pre-selection questionnaires potential jurors indicated that Fieger irritates them, can’t be trusted to be truthful all of the time (he’s a defense attorney – no wonder!), and that he is most likely guilty (those are some smart jurors).  He quoted one of the jurors as saying, “It’s difficult to listen to him — arrogant, very abrasive, a pit bull probably guilty.”  Spence later went on to write, “Given the wealth of prejudicial comments, bias, and feelings toward Mr. Fieger among the jurors actually summoned, Fieger requests that the court transfer the proeceedings [sic] to another distirct [sic] … to guarantee Mr. Fieger his constitutional right to due process and a fair trial.” (Free Press)

Judge Borman responded in a court hearing yesterday by saying that the request was “premature.”  He also said that Fieger can’t tell jurors that he was a victim of a Republican witch hunt carried out by the current administration’s prosecutors.  Fieger is a known Democrat, and even ran as a Democrat for Governor in 1998.  Honestly, even if he was the victim of Republicans going after Democrats, he still did something wrong.

So, Mr. Fieger, it looks like the court room may not be the best place for you after all.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::


%d bloggers like this: