“It’s often said that what our leaders need is common sense, not fancy theories. But common-sense ideas that work in individuals’ everyday lives are often useless for dealing with complex problems of society as a whole. For example, it’s common sense that government payments to the unemployed will lead to more jobs because those receiving the payments will spend the money, thereby increasing demand, which will lead businesses to hire more workers. But it’s also common sense that if people are paid for not working, they will have less incentive to work, which will increase unemployment. The trick is to find the amount of unemployment benefits that will strike the most effective balance between stimulating demand and discouraging employment. This is where our leaders need to talk to economists.”—
It is so powerful, in fact, that it undermines the arguments Obama has put forward for opposing gay marriage.
For example, Clinton says:
progress comes from being willing to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. We need to ask ourselves, “How would it feel if it were a crime to love the person I love? How would it feel to be discriminated against for something about myself that I cannot change?”
Right. Gay marriage may not currently be a crime in the US, but many states have gone out of their way to proclaim it unconstitutional. And it surely is a form of discrimination against LGBT individuals.
Later, Clinton notes:
To the leaders of those countries where people are jailed, beaten, or executed for being gay, I ask you to consider this: Leadership, by definition, means being out in front of your people when it is called for. It means standing up for the dignity of all your citizens and persuading your people to do the same. It also means ensuring that all citizens are treated as equals under your laws…
Ah yes, leadership. An act of leadership by the Administration would mean being “out in front of your people when it is called for” and “persuading your people.” How can that NOT apply to gay marriage? I could be wrong, but in my heart i feel certain that the Obamas (and most other senior administration officials) support gay marriage. They are simply unwilling to bear the political costs of supporting it. They are, to be blunt, unwilling to lead.
That having been said, perhaps this speech signals that a new road has been taken, that we will soon seen (in a second term most likely) some true leadership on a human rights issue here at home: LGBT marriage equality.
The President’s speech today in Osawatomie, Kansas — where Teddy Roosevelt gave his “New Nationalism” speech in 1910 — is the most important economic speech of his presidency in terms of connecting the dots, laying out the reasons behind our economic and political crises, and asserting a…
“Yesterday, a “Jewish call to action” was released, to “occupy the occupiers” in the Jewish community, “the powerful institutions that support Israel’s corporate-backed military control of the Palestinian people.”… It’s not to say these institutions couldn’t be reformed; the case against Birthright, for example, is real, even if it’s far more complex than the “99 percent” rhetoric allows. But tethering this cause to OWS drowns out the economic message, significantly decreases the size of the OWS tent, and maybe most importantly of all discredits the entire movement in the minds not just of the right but of plenty ordinary decent folk—members of the actual 99 percent.”—Marc Tracy in Tablet.
The conservative media, now relying on the new anti-Occupy Wall Street smear campaign created by William Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel, keeps pointing to this bigoted asshole with his “Zionists control Wall St.” sign as evidence that OWS is a purely antisemitic movement.
* What do you do when all the newspapers endorse one of your opponents? If you’re Assembly candidate Rafael Espinal, you start another newspaper. Residents of the 54th Assembly District got campaign mailings from the newly created “Prime Time News,” featuring articles about Espinal’s work in the community and how he won a recent debate. The crown jewel is the newspaper’s editorial evaluation of the three candidates for Tuesday’s special election. “We wanted to believe that her family name would allay our board’s fears of voting for an unproven entity,” the editorial board says about Deidra Towns. “But upon sending our investigative staff to Camp Towns, we were sadly disappointed.” The paper similarly finds Jesus Gonzalez unworthy, concluding that he “should seek to expand his horizons beyond that of political nonprofits and invisible political benefactors.” Shockingly, Prime Time News enthusiastically endorsed Espinal.
I actually picked up a copy of the literature in question while walking around Bushwick over the weekend. I transcribed the editorial below: