There’s so much to write about this week.
Should I give you my take on the Mets’ unseemly firing of Willie Randolph? Should I shift my focus to November when we must go into the Presidential election without the late, great Tim Russert and his white board? And when the legality of all those new same-sex marriages in California will be up for grabs because of a ballot initiative to amend us out of a currently inclusive state constitution?
Well, since I know a lot more about LGBT issues and politics than I do about baseball permit me to say that I’m disappointed that the Mets let Randolph go. His calm elegance in the face of recent baseball hysteria set a good example for players and managers alike. I was happy that at least one of New York’s two Major League teams finally had an African-American manager. And, let’s face it, the Mets did better with him as manager than they had in quite a while.
Unfortunately the old adage of sportsman-like conduct, “it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game” just isn’t cutting it anymore. As goes baseball, so does our other national pastime—politics. It’s no longer about statesmanship and bipartisan honor—we’re far from that these days. Now, politics is just about winning at all costs.
What we’re about to see in the upcoming presidential election will make all other races pale in comparison—that’s why it would have been so good to have Tim Russert around. He had a way of getting to the heart of matters at hand and in the last few years, didn’t shy from asking presidential contenders their views on LGBT issues, most specifically same-sex marriage.
The difference between Barack Obama and John McCain on LGBT concerns is stark. Obama is supportive on all our issues except for same-sex marriage. He does support civil unions and providing us with the same rights and responsibilities as straight, married couples. I think he understands the “rose by any other name” dilemma he’s in but the bottom line is he wants to get elected and same-sex marriage isn’t the issue to run on.
McCain on the other hand is not supportive of our issues despite what the Log Cabin Republicans say. For those of you who don’t know, Log Cabin Republicans are Gay Republicans—yes, Virginia, there are Gay Republicans and they mainly vote their pocketbook not their personal well being. While they haven’t endorsed him yet, Log Cabin features McCain prominently on their website and talks about how the Senator has a long, friendly relationship with the organization and that he’s even met gay and lesbian Republicans.
We all know that in the rough and tumble world of politics, warm and fuzzy does not cut it. McCain is no friend to the LGBT community. He’s against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Matthew Shephard Act also known as the national hate crimes bill. He’s for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and supports the ballot initiative in his own state this November to ban same-sex marriage. He does not support civil unions or repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. With friends like John McCain, we know who our enemies really are.
But, that’s not all. McCain is also bad for our health. He has flip-flopped so many times on Roe v. Wade that we have to go with his February 2007 Associated Press quote when he said the right to reproductive freedom should be overturned. He also supports S. Dakota’s law that outlaws all abortions, even for those pregnancies that are a result of rape or incest.
Like most anti-choice politicians, he’d rather see women barefoot and pregnant. Perhaps that’s why he opposed spending $100 million to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies and opposes legislation that would mandate abstinence-only programs to be medically accurate and scientifically based. He opposes requiring insurance companies to cover prescription birth control and supports the “global gag rule” that bars foreign non-governmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning assistance if the organization uses its own money to provide abortion services, information or advocacy on behalf of pro-choice laws and policies in its own country.
The Mets may not have Willie Randolph’s calm competency and Meet the Press will never be the same without the passion and diligence of Tim Russert, but one thing is for sure—winning IS everything in this presidential election because we all have a lot to lose if John McCain gives Bush a third term.