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Old 03-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
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A conservative's 'change of heart'

Sen. Rob Portman decides that gays after all deserve a chance at being treated equally after finding out he has a gay son.

And therefore his enlightenment that gays are humans too, like everyone else.

Does it take a gay next-of-kin for these douches to adopt equal and fair measures for the people they serve? If so, he and others with his erstwhile views to be sent home for doing the people that elected them a disservice for decades.

While the honesty is refreshing, the bigotry is astounding.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/15/politi...html?hpt=hp_c1

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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Reality overcomes Idealogy every time. Its easy to preach against something until it comes to your front door.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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Reality overcomes Idealogy every time. Its easy to preach against something until it comes to your front door.
Unless they're a sociopath who doesn't know the meaning of cognitive dissonance. Which begs the question, how many of our politicians are sociopaths?
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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Unless they're a sociopath who doesn't know the meaning of cognitive dissonance. Which begs the question, how many of our politicians are sociopaths?
All of them.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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Unless they're a sociopath who doesn't know the meaning of cognitive dissonance. Which begs the question, how many of our politicians are sociopaths?
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All of them.
beat me to the punch.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Some of the response is depressingly petty. People should not be criticized for changing their minds because of a personal event. Our beliefs are formed entirely by our life experiences.

In any case, I hope the GOP changes their minds on this issue. It's hard to risk jeopardizing the support of an established voter bloc (the evangelical community) in favor of widening the tent, but that's exactly what the GOP needs to do in order to win elections.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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Some of the response is depressingly petty. People should not be criticized for changing their minds because of a personal event. Our beliefs are formed entirely by our life experiences.
Some politicians. Actually, let me stop there. Some people, since it's not exclusive to politics, would rather cut off their noses to spite their face than admit their previous stance was misguided, wrong, incorrect, inaccurate, etc.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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Some politicians. Actually, let me stop there. Some people, since it's not exclusive to politics, would rather cut off their noses to spite their face than admit their previous stance was misguided, wrong, incorrect, inaccurate, etc.
I think we're talking about two different things. The "Oh, so it took a gay son to get this guy to change his stance? What a self centered asshole" response I'm seeing is really grating.

The OP isn't praising Portman or even expressing a "at least he finally crossed the finish line" sentiment. It's all about making the moral high ground higher and then occupying it because he arrived at the correct conclusion first in a "better" way.

Edit: It's ideological hipsterism. I'm coining the term right now.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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I think we're talking about two different things. The "Oh, so it took a gay son to get this guy to change his stance? What a self centered asshole" response I'm seeing is really grating.

The OP isn't praising Portman or even expressing a "at least he finally crossed the finish line" sentiment. It's all about making the moral high ground higher and then occupying it because he arrived at the correct conclusion first in a "better" way.

Edit: It's ideological hipsterism. I'm coining the term right now.
Not true, I do like his honesty and I said so..! I sure like it that he 'crossed the finish line', but I'm not about to stand here and cheer him because he arrived there decades late and he screwed a whole section of the demographic along his pretty path to the finish line.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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I think we're talking about two different things. The "Oh, so it took a gay son to get this guy to change his stance? What a self centered asshole" response I'm seeing is really grating.

The OP isn't praising Portman or even expressing a "at least he finally crossed the finish line" sentiment. It's all about making the moral high ground higher and then occupying it because he arrived at the correct conclusion first in a "better" way.
While Sen. Rob Portman should receive praise for having the courage to openly express his change of heart, one cannot overlook that he used his position of authority to undermine civil liberties.

The fact that it took his son to convince him otherwise is a red flag. Unyielding and close-minded individuals who are not receptive to the voices of those outside of their own head an immediate family are not worthy of holding positions of power.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:31 PM   #11
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True, but don't you think as an elected official representing the people, one has to be have a much wider grasp on social topics like this.. This is a Senator, one of a small handful of people representing a large cross-section of the populace. I do believe that in subjects like this, elected officials need to be held to a higher standard than one would, a regular person.
He's a Senator of Ohio, whose electorate consists of a very large portion of socially conservative voters. And before that, he was a Representative in a very socially conservative district. He was representing their views.

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Not true, I do like his honesty and I said so..! I sure like it that he 'crossed the finish line', but I'm not about to stand here and cheer him because he arrived there decades late and he screwed a whole section of the demographic along his pretty path to the finish line.
You're not standing around and cheering him. You gave a token conciliatory gesture right before saying that his former bigotry was "astounding".

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Smart people learn from their own experience. Wise people learn from everyone's experience. Confining your views solely to what you've personally experienced in your life and dismissing other people's experiences is the very core of selfishness.

It is not unreasonable to expect elected officials to understand the tenets of freedom, and be able to comprehend the life experiences of people different from themselves.
So others are wise because they supported gay marriage without having gay siblings, progeny, or friends? To be honest, I think a lot of people arrive at their political ideology because they want to impress the right set of people and then find ways to justify their positions to minimize any cognitive dissonance or internal discomfort.

Any political survey sampling today's youth will show that they are more socially liberal and accepting of gays (once they get passed the initial middle/high school homophobia phase) and are, in general, much more "progressive" in their views than their parents or grandparents. Is it because that today's youth are "wiser" than their parents or is it simply because, for whatever reason, it's "cool" to be socially progressive? I'm much more inclined to believe the latter than the former.

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While Sen. Rob Portman should receive praise for having the courage to openly express his change of heart, one cannot overlook that he used his position of authority to undermine civil liberties.

The fact that it took his son to convince him otherwise is a red flag. Unyielding and close-minded individuals who are not receptive to the voices of those outside of their own head an immediate family are not worthy of holding positions of power.
Was Bill Clinton, Democratic rock star President, worthy of holding a position of power? After all, he signed DOMA into law.

You're painting Portman with too broad a brush. Everybody has selective empathy and "open-mindedness". Are you saying Portman is completely unable to consider other people's views outside of his immediate family? Are you saying he isn't worthy of holding a position of power? What are you saying?
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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Some of the response is depressingly petty. People should not be criticized for changing their minds because of a personal event. Our beliefs are formed entirely by our life experiences.
Smart people learn from their own experience. Wise people learn from everyone's experience. Confining your views solely to what you've personally experienced in your life and dismissing other people's experiences is the very core of selfishness.

It is not unreasonable to expect elected officials to understand the tenets of freedom, and be able to comprehend the life experiences of people different from themselves.

From the article:

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Though he is a staunch conservative, Portman was never outspoken against gay marriage. But he consistently voted against it.

While in Congress, he supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and voted for a bill prohibiting gay couples in Washington from adopting.

...

"But you know, what happened to me is really personal. I mean, I hadn't thought a lot about this issue. Again, my focus has been on other issues over my public policy career," said Portman.
Thats an awful lot of voting on an issue that he "hadn't thought a lot about". Not sure what he thought his job entailed if not for thinking hard about the issues he's voting on.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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Some of the response is depressingly petty. People should not be criticized for changing their minds because of a personal event. Our beliefs are formed entirely by our life experiences.

In any case, I hope the GOP changes their minds on this issue. It's hard to risk jeopardizing the support of an established voter bloc (the evangelical community) in favor of widening the tent, but that's exactly what the GOP needs to do in order to win elections.
If the GOP changed their view on a few social issues I think a lot more people would vote for them. For me at least, their stance on social issues is the biggest reason I could never support them. If they combined that with a reasonable approach to fiscal issues (smaller government without gutting the social safety net to buy more tanks) I think the GOP could win elections in a landslide.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:58 AM   #14
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Some of the response is depressingly petty. People should not be criticized for changing their minds because of a personal event. Our beliefs are formed entirely by our life experiences.
True, but don't you think as an elected official representing the people, one has to be have a much wider grasp on social topics like this.. This is a Senator, one of a small handful of people representing a large cross-section of the populace. I do believe that in subjects like this, elected officials need to be held to a higher standard than one would, a regular person.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:23 AM   #15
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Rand Paul's stance on all of this is pretty good; why is government even allowed to have a say in this?
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #16
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Rand Paul's stance on all of this is pretty good; why is government even allowed to have a say in this?
Exactly, that's my question.. And why even mix it up with religion and muddy the waters?

If people want to make social and deeply personal choices impacting their lives, the government shouldn't play cock-block.. No pun..
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:32 PM   #17
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Exactly, that's my question.. And why even mix it up with religion and muddy the waters?

If people want to make social and deeply personal choices impacting their lives, the government shouldn't play cock-block.. No pun..
Like it or not, the govt is in the marriage debate. Tax codes, insurance regs, probate and family courts, medical rights, housing and family benefits for military and govt employees and so on are all impacted by the govt's definitions of interpersonal and familial relationships.

So, while I agree that it would be nice for the govt to stay out of it, it's just not practical for so many functions to be able to operate without the govt having clear definitions for what it shall consider "a married couple" for these various purposes.

The govt is also charged with protecting the rights of all citizens, and in order to do so, it has to be able to define those rights.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:09 PM   #18
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Rand Paul's stance on all of this is pretty good; why is government even allowed to have a say in this?
I've never quite understoon this, some, well most to be honest, Republicans who on the one hand espouse freedom, individualism and escaping from under some oppressive government yet in the next breath have no compunction about interjecting, by dint of law and punishment, the heavy hand of government to arbitrate and dictate our most personal and private aspects of our lives. Many of these are basically trying to interject and interpose a veiled or not so veiled theocracy into our national civil life (DOMA), never mind the First Amendment of the Constitution they declare such stringent fealty to.

I wish more GOP/TPers would espouse the same sanctity of the private bedroom as they do the sanctity of the corporate boardroom.

While I dont' agree with Rand Paul on a whole lot, I think he's basically right here in that government should have little say in this realm and what say it does have should be unbiased with regard to gender.

I think the French have it right in that the government officiates over a civil union, say over at the local courthouse that morning, while couples are then free to sanctify their union however they see fit by whatever faith institution they subscribe to, say at the local church that afternoon. Call the civil union just that and the faith based sanctification a marriage just to keep it clear.

As for Portman's announcement, good, I'm glad he did, I think it was the right thing to do, if belatedly. We should actually congratulate, not chide, Portman for publicly supporting his son and subsequently gay marriage rather than trying to distance himself or sweep the situation under the rug.
But hey, better late than never.

I guess my one dismay is that it is only after a deeply personal involvement that too many GOP/TPers come around to a more caring and less judgemental, and prejudgiced, position. When its "them," a harsh, cold judgementalism. When its suddenly one of their own, their own family, sudden conversion to warm empathy, caring and understanding. I guess when your beliefs are centered narrowly around self and individual achievement, empathy is often hard to find. It never means anything to too many republicans until it affects them personally...from unemployment to healthcare to gay rights. We're trying to have a society here...can you people please think of others BEFORE you are directly impacted.

I do think Portman's position regarding leaving the question of marriage equality to the states is wrong. Human rights are human rights--not states' rights. The state's rights approach was tried with slavery and that ended badly (Civil War). DOMA denies protections and benefits to people who share their lives with the same intentions as my wife and partner of 15 years and I do and is clearly unconstitutional as now even many conservatives are arguing, even to the Supreme Court.

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:17 PM   #19
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I do think Portman's position regarding leaving the question of marriage equality to the states is wrong. Human rights are human rights--not states' rights. The state's rights approach was tried with slavery and that ended badly (Civil War). DOMA denies protections and benefits to people who share their lives with the same intentions as my wife and partner of 15 years and I do and is clearly unconstitutional as now even many conservatives are arguing, even to the Supreme Court.
For those that believe marriage is just a state's rights issue, they should read Loving vs. Virginia.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:14 PM   #20
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I had this discussion last night with a couple at a bar. The day we can move forward and recognize people are people no matter what their differences is the day I will have hope for humanity. Until then we'll have to let the ignorance be weeded out of society over time.
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