Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dean overshadows Obama on rights

Howard Dean is showing what he's made of -- again. He has apparently pulled out of an upcoming GLBT fundraiser for Obama. Dean wasn't just some name advertised as coming to the fundraiser, but was one of the four people listed as hosting it. He claims a scheduling issue. I will say that I wouldn't be surprised if Dean pulled out because of Obama's dismal record on GLBT rights, given the fact that Dean was the first statewide politician to risk his future on that issue by bringing the first civil unions into law.

A quick note. As I've said on BMG, Obama's hesitancy to risk his political capital by confirming the rights of an unpopular minority doesn't surprise me one bit. For all their frustrations, GLBT activists enjoy much more influence and acceptance in national politics than atheists. Enough influence that no prominent Democratic candidate is going to openly go fully against their priorities. However, Obama was willing to go after a more vulnerable group -- atheists. That's why I didn't vote for him. From public polling to national representation, atheists are far more vulnerable to attacks than are GLBT Americans. He already one-upped Bush's assault on religious freedom by opening the federal spigot to everything-but-atheism religious pressure groups.

No surprise then that after Obama learned he could go after atheists' rights with impunity, and as such has moved up the ladder to the next group. I'm sorry this was unexpected for anyone, but if you really want to know how serious a politician is about rights, don't ask him about LGBT issues, ask him/her about freedom of religion ones.

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