Friday, January 11, 2008


I turned the radio off in disgust today while listening to a popular liberal radio talk show while the pompous host waxed philosophical about the next wave of predictions in the 2008 presidential primaries. Republication Mitt Romney is apparently betting the store on a win in the great state of Michigan - his birthplace and the state where his father was once Governor. They played a campaign stump speech sound bite, in which the Mitt-ster can be heard saying, "I know the difference between a Ford, a Chevy and a Dodge, and this place (apparently Michigan) feels like home. I know I can count on the voters in Michigan to vault my presidential bid towards success." As Mitty-McMittsie wraps up, the crowd erupts into cheers.

This wasn't what led me to vehemently turn the radio off.

Nope, the radio pundit's next espousal of great truth is what led to the Public Radio Free Gretchen. At least for about 45 seconds until I was sure the stupidity was over.

This is what he said (and I paraphrase liberally), with a tone in inquiring surprise. "Well, it sounds like Romney is putting all his eggs in a Michigan basket. But, it looks like John McCain is also gearing up to win in the state. Let's hear from his campaign today." And they fade to a clip where McCain says HE is going to win in Michigan, and his supporters erupt into eerily familiar cheers.

Well DUH! Did the radio personality expect to hear this from the John McCain's Straight Talk Express?

"I'd really like to think I can win in Michigan, but my competitor, Mr. Romney, has bet the farm on this great state, so I'm going to back off. Thanks for your support, but I suggest you vote for Mr. Romney."

Are Americans so stupid that we need to have public radio explain to us that there is a high stakes competition between the Republican and Democratic candidates?

Maybe they are.

Consider this story reported in The Boston Globe today:

A man who filed a lawsuit contending that he failed the Massachusetts bar exam because he refused to answer a "morally repugnant" question about same-sex marriage says he has since changed his views on gay rights.

"After speaking with numerous members of the gay community, including my own friends, I began to empathize with their denial of basic human rights and how they feel discriminated against," Stephen Dunne said in a phone interview yesterday with the Associated Press.

Dunne, an Irish immigrant who first came to the United States in 1998, said the change also was prompted in part by racism the Irish once faced in the United States, his six-year stint in the US Army, and the war in Iraq.

"Members of the gay community are in combat and dying for their country, and yet they're being denied the basic human rights they are fighting for," he said.

Dunne first apologized for being an "instrument of bigotry and prejudice" in an e-mail published in the Jan. 3 edition of Bay Windows, a weekly Boston newspaper.

In the letter, he said his "misguided" lawsuit "regrettably perpetuated intolerance and animosity towards my fellow Americans."

Dunne, 31, was denied a license to practice law in May after scoring 268.866 on the exam, just short of the passing mark of 270. He sought $9.75 million in the federal lawsuit filed in June against the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Dunne said his score was hurt because he refused to answer an exam question addressing the rights of two married lesbians, their children, and their property during a divorce. He said the question legitimized same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting, contrary to his moral beliefs.

He called the question a "disguised mechanism to screen applicants according to their political ideology" and said it "has the discriminatory impact of persecuting and oppressing sincere religious practices and beliefs" protected by the First Amendment.

The suit also challenged the constitutionality of the Supreme Judicial Court's 2003 decision that made same-sex marriage legal in Massachusetts.

But in October, Dunne, who represented himself in the case, asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying in a motion that "defendants have removed the patently offensive and morally repugnant question" from the exam.

It was unclear whether the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners removed the question because of the lawsuit, and the board did not return messages left yesterday for comment.

Dunne, who is Roman Catholic, said yesterday that he no longer found the question objectionable and still considers himself deeply religious.

"Christ said: 'Love all. Serve all,' " he said. "It was a message of inclusion, rather than exclusion."

Lee Swislow, executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, said she believed that Dunne's apology was honest.

"I think it is genuine, because I have seen so many other people make similar journeys," she said. "He just made his publicly."

Dunne dismissed critics who think he is just changing his view to avoid appearing bigoted when applying for jobs. He said he plans to work for himself.

Dunne, who has been studying 60 hours per week while working at a Boston law firm, said he expects to pass when he takes the bar exam again next month.

What is THIS all about? Why was this not thrown out of court? Can I sue Denny's for hiring homophobes who I may have to come in contact with when I share a Grand Slam with BMG late at night? Can I sue KFC because they use the color red in their corporate logo and I'm colorblind so I am not as able to enjoy the delightful visage of the Colonel beckoning me to enjoy their tasty chicken? How entitled is the person who chooses not to answer an exam question for moral reasons and then fails said exam and then decides to sue on grounds of discrimination? This person should be sent to good citizen boot camp.

That's a good idea, good citizen boot camp. I think I'll work on that. Or maybe I'll just pour myself a drink.

1 comment:

Clownface said...

Mitt did win in Michigan. I don't find it too disheartening, as it barely matters because the national Republican Party stripped the state of 1/2 of its convention delegates for moving its primary ahead of Super Tuesday. The Democratic Party stripped the state of ALL convention delegates, so the Democratic contest in Michigan is irrelevant to the contest. Next step, Nevada!