Wednesday :: Jan 16, 2008

Leading GLBT News Source of the Carolinas Endorses Edwards


by Turkana

Q-Notes, the leading GLBT news source of the Carolinas, has endorsed John Edwards for President.

Our method for arriving at this decision began late last summer with a simple question: who’s best on LGBT issues. In years past, this alone often narrowed the field to a single contender. This election cycle, however, has been decidedly different from years past.

Each of the Democrats vying for the nomination passed muster on our suitability test. They all support the Matthew Shepard Act and a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. They all oppose “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act. They all back legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

That's great news, up front, and from reading the editorial it sounds like Q-Notes then made its decision based on a process of elimination. They say that in previous years Dennis Kucinich's support for full marriage rights might have won him the endorsement, but after the continuing disaster that is the Bush Administration, viability became a necessary factor. After Iowa, Kucinich was not viable.

Obama is out because he stepped on our necks to gain a political advantage. His campaign organized “Embrace the Change,” a gospel tour in South Carolina to shore up support among the state’s black evangelicals. Over a profusion of objections, “ex-gay” singer Rev. Donnie McClurkin — who claims that homosexuality is a “curse” and that gays “are trying to kill our children” — was booked to perform in Columbia.

To quell the uproar, Obama issued a tepid statement that “gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens.” McClurkin wasn’t swayed and neither was the audience, who cheered loudly when the singer reiterated his anti-gay beliefs on-stage the night of the show.

Obama never apologized for facilitating this debacle. He simply moved on.

No surprise, there. Some Obama supporters insist that McClurkin is old news, but just because they want to move on doesn't mean the story has. It festers.

Hillary Clinton was also ruled out for obvious reasons: Kyl-Lieberman, her fundraising from traditionally Republican big business sources, and her high negative poll ratings. Q-Notes is worried about her viability. I don't think that will actually be a problem, but many do. The polls I've seen indicate that all three of the leading Democratic contenders can defeat any of the leading Republicans. Still, she is seen as a polarizing figure, and as with their ruling out Kucinich, Q-Notes is putting a high value on electability.

In contrast, John Edwards has stumped on a bona fide progressive platform. His core issues include ending poverty and rebuilding the middle class, reversing global warming, ending the Iraq War, restoring civil liberties and establishing universal healthcare. Also central to his campaign is his pledge to reclaim the government from the control of lobbyists and multinational corporations.

And here, too, they come back to viability. Populist themes resonate with Q-Notes, and they see those themes resonating with working-class Americans. They also see Edwards running strongest in polling match-ups against the different Republicans, putting more red states into play, nationwide, and helping more down-ballot Democrats. On the latter, I think Obama would also be a particular help, as he is likely to bring so many new people to the polls, which would help everyone.

Overall, it's a very reasonable editorial, and it emphasizes the overall strength of the Democratic field, and the necessity of ensuring that our next president is a Democrat.

Turkana :: 10:43 AM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!