Monday, November 13, 2006

To Hell With Interest Groups - Or Can They Learn?

This was going to be my blog for today:
If there's one thing that's become clear over at BMG this weekend, it's that interest groups - for the most part - cannot be trusted. I've been attacked left and right for my support of gay marriage by members of an interest group trying to pass the health care amendment. Now, many readers would say, what does health care have to do with marriage equality? I've been asking myself the same question over and over again. Perhaps I'm just not enlightened enough, but I can't see anything other than minute, peripherary connections. For example, they're both constitutional amendments and they're both probably going to die horrible procedural deaths. The fact that the health care amendment comes after the marriage amendment doth not mean suddenly people opposed to the marriage amendment banning marriage equality should come under attack.

I'm a huge proponent of affordable healthcare for all. I called my state legislators as early as the summer about the first Health Care Amendment. I was outraged Congress wasn't going to pass it, so it would come for a vote. However, I accepted the fact it was killed. I accepted the fact that the legislature was within its rights to do so. If one of my elected officials voted the wrong way on Health Care, I'd have supported someone else during a primary if he or she had the right view. Luckily, my two elected officials voted the right way and didn't get my wrath.

Sadly, the health care amendment lobby seems more interested in tearing down the progressive movement instead of working together. Together we can, but interest groups have a way of only being interested in themselves. So their amendment will probably fail - and I, for one, will be slightly less upset than I would have otherwise been when that happens. It's hard to get behind a cause when the leaders of the cause make me want to vomit. And this is coming from someone about to finish college and terrified about being insured or having to pay through the teeth through the new state system - with no knowledge of the quality of care that will provide.

I'm getting tired of the divisiveness. I almost just don't even care anymore. I feel like a beaten P O W who succumbs to the conditions they're stuck in, tortured this time by the disappointment of my so-called allies in the greater progressive movement. Just a week or so removed from a profound, watershed victory - the ugly side of the Democratic Party rears itself once again. It's as if all that has proven to be a failure in the party feels renewed, as if it was them that won all the elections. As if it was them that got Deval elected and won us the US House and Senate. Here's news for the issue groups: it wasn't. It was the broader progressive movement and a fed up electorate. The interest groups fought for Lieberman and Chafee, the progressive movement fought for change and won more battles than it lost. It was strong Democratic candidates and a weak field of corrupt, vile Republicans that turned off people left and right, NARAL be damned.

Interest groups can try to kill what we've built. Sadly, just weeks away from our victory, they could be successful. Divided we fall and I'm just feeling too tired to try to unite. I want to give up, but know I can't. However, after months of caring, my energy level is down. Other people need to pick up the slack or we'll lose. We'll lose not because of our political opponents, but because the cancer in the Democratic Party hasn't been fully purged.

Today, I feel a little differently. At least there's dialogue in trying to find a mutually beneficial solution. Perhaps, some people are realizing that tearing apart the movement isn't exactly the best way to win. People comprising the movement aren't always going to agree, but there needs to be a certain amount of loyalty: mainly, that we aren't going to back stab each other. We need to focus on the real problems: the people who would kill the health care amendment outright, not the people who want to save marriage equality.


Anonymous said...

David at BlueMassGroup has become almost indistinguishable from Peter Porcupine on the subject of gay marriage. BMG is not the future of anything.

Anonymous said...

I dunno Ryan. It seems that Republican State Committee members are more welcome than gays on the BMG bus.

Maybe David would like us more if MFI came out against Cape Wind?

Likes Bikes 2 said...

I take my hat off to you Ryan for responding repeatedly to the ooze eminating from BMG these days. Have those posters ever heard of parliamentary proceedure? Jeez. I thought they went to fancy law schools.

I've seen the weeping and the wailing, and I expect the breath holding and foot stomping to begin any moment now.

Isn't it interesting that people who have very little threat of having their rights taken or with held have an easy time to telling everyone else how to go about being treated equally.

"Please, Sir, can I have some more?"

Anonymous said...

likes bikes 2,

You're exactly right. To David, gay marriage is just an obstacle to his beloved health care bill. Watching him twist logic to justify his position is almost funny. Almost.


At the end the day, BMG is a blog run by straight white guys. They have more in common with Peter Porcupine than they ever will with gay people.

Anonymous said...

No freaking kidding, I always thought the bigger blogs skew right but now I swear I'm beginning to think if BMG had been around in 1850, they'd be gnashing their teeth about the Underground Railroad as a bunch of agitators.

Oh, I'm against slavery, but the Fugative Slave Act is the LAW. You can't just disregard the law like that. Unless we vote the 13 Amendment up or down you're just pieces of property, any other perspective is flagrantly undemocratic.

Anonymous said...

You are surprised by the twisting logic?

Remember when the exact same forces that instituted the 15% rule at the convention suddenly realized it was a heinous violation of democratic principles--but only after they realized it could actually keep one of their own off the ballot?

What they don't yet understand is that not standing up for legal equality is a dealbreaker far beyond the gay community. This is the heart of the progressive movement.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm even more surprised by the degree of censorship on BMG.

Conversations and points of view David doesn't like just disappear from the site.

HubPolitics will occasionally not publish a post, but I've never seen them delete threads.

That said, David is acting like he has a mandate. What he doesn't get is DEVAL has a mandate. David just has a moment of attention and good will.

He's well on his way towards a Hilaryesque health care debacle.

Ryan Adams said...

To be fair, David has written some of the best blogs we've seen over the past few months. So, I have a hard time getting angry with him over this - and so I've decided I'm not. Frustrated? Yes.

Because he's wrong. He's not wrong to be a proponent of following procedure. What he's wrong about is causing this to be a big fuss - a fuss so large that I've spent a few hours writing and reading over the past 3 days. These are hours that could have been spent on more important things, for example like something on the health care bill. I probably would have focused at least 1 or 2 blogs on the health care bill between now and the next ConCon anyway; it's just harder to do that now when the so-called leaders of their movement have decided to take on the marriage equality amendment - instead of the people who are tossing the health care amendment under the bus.

All this energy is being directed toward the wrong force - and in the meantime it's created a lot of divisions within the greater movement. You can sense those divisions just reading the comments on THIS blog.

That's my whole point. It's sad how things worked out, with the health care bill behind the gay marriage bill - but we could be working on constructive ways to reverse the order. For example, I'm sure a lot of legislators could be convinced to put the gay marriage ban LAST on the agenda.

Instead of tearing each other apart, we could be calling our state reps and sens to be using tactics that could be mutually beneficial. But, no. That would be too easy.

Likes Bikes 2 said...

As to that most recent 'proposal'- everyone say 'aye' to the hate amendment this time so we can get to the HCA -

Um, just exactly how far to the back of the bus did you want me to go, Sir?

You know you need to step back from the table when you start to think that ideas of John Howard's have merit.

Ryan, it is the big fuss that is the problem. It is so out of proportion that it seems irresponsible to cause this much conflict and hard feelings between people who should be working together. Trust is very hard to build up, and even harder to regain once lost.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, you kind of have a pet special interest, the UMASS educational system, you've mentioned it many times. Just wondering what you thought about Billy Bulger getting his extra $17,000 in his pension, over and above the $196,000 he already gets. That could have gone to fix up your school.

Ryan Adams said...

I agree, likes 2 bikes, when you find yourself agreeing with John Howard it should be an opportunity to reexamine yourself. It isn't right to ask us to put at risk our rights.


That's out of scope of the current discussion. Either way, Billy Bulger's contract was negotiated years ago through a different era - with different Gov/House/Senate leadership.

Joe said...

Anon, the UMASS Education system is more of a major campaign issue rather than a special pet interest. Considering how important they are to towns like Dartmouth and New Bedford, I wish more people took a more vehement stance on these schools. (Plus, I don't think Billy Bulger was all that bad a guy)

Ryan, question: How did it come to be that the gay marriage amendment was put before the healthcare amendment? It seems counterintuitive to how our state legislature would normally act.

Laurel said...

Ryan, thank you for doing such an excellent job fielding the crap from the HC proponents. When David allows us to take a vote on whether he moderated BMG any longer, then perhaps I'll even consider his arguement that it's ok to put my civil rights up for a vote. He has no clue. No clue! what he's talking about. I like what Anonymous 11:47 PM said about upholding the Fugitive Slave Law. That is exactly the false arguement David and others are using, and it sadens me to hear it come from people on "our" side. No, we can never allow anyone to advocate playing craps with our civil rights.

Anonymous said...

Even worse is the whack job pushing the health care amendment lecturing us on "or gay brothers and sisters."

It's bad enough that they want us to move to the back of the bus. Why do they have to be patronizing about it as well?

And yes, it's going to be a LONG time before I trust the BMG scumbags.

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