Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the bread and bread endorsements

Have you had enough of the talking heads on NPR and CNN? Are you thinking, I’d like to hear the opinions of someone who can parrot the talking heads on NPR but not CNN because she doesn’t have cable? Someone who writes as much about tasty treats at Starbucks as she does about world affairs.

Look no further: The first-ever Bread and Bread Election Guide has arrived. Below are B&B’s suggestions on how you should vote if you want to toe the Bread and Bread party line. B&B will to try to refrain from the most most obvious arguments because you’ve probably already heard them, and because, as a partially informed voter, B&B may not have. What you’re going to read about is all gut feelings and pet causes (but hopefully not in a Sarah Palin-y way). Also, if you leave a really good comment explaining why B&B should vote the opposite, maybe B&B will. B&B is gullible like that.

President: Barack Obama. Besides the now oft-quoted “chicken or shit with bits of broken glass in it” argument—besides wars and health care and banking regulations and civil rights—here’s what B&B likes about Barack Obama: He is a 21st century president. Based on his comments in the first debate, he knows that having a big fat military won’t get you nearly as far as good economic policy—that the best way to stop terrorists is to make sure that people have jobs and schools to go to, that the only place they can find food and a little intellectual stimulation is not the local Al Qaeda recruitment drive. He’s lived in a lot of different places, and he knows that national boundaries are less and less relevant.

McCain, on the other hand, seems like a noble old soldier (unless you believe Rolling Stone) who thinks everyone should wear red or blue uniforms and stand in formation on opposite sides of an Official Battlefield, muskets poised. He’s done a lot for this country and B&B wishes him a lovely retirement.

U.S. Representative: Xavier Becerra. He’s the only one running in B&B’s district, but B&B’s friend Alberto met him the other day and said he was really nice.

Prop. 2: Yes. The language of this proposition says something like, “Farm animals will have sufficient room to fully extend their legs or wings.” It is seriously fucked up that we need to vote on whether any living thing should be allowed to extend its legs or wings. Talk about a fundamental right. If you want to deny anyone this, B&B believes that you are as evil Fred Phelps thinks B&B is. Farm animals are the most oppressed group in the country, and B&B doesn’t say that to belittle human suffering. It’s just that most humans in the U.S. can extend their legs. So before you bite into your next chicken sandwich with chipotle aioli, imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t.

Prop. 4: No. Prop. 4 requires a waiting period and parental notification in order for any minor to get an abortion. B&B feels about abortion the way B&B feels about drugs and prostitution: They’re not what B&B wishes for B&B’s self or kids, but they’re not going anywhere, so we might as well make them legal and therefore as safe as possible. Wealthy girls will always be able to find a discreet doctor who can get the job done for a price, so laws like Prop. 4 are just another way of making life a little suckier for the poor and uneducated.

Prop. 8: No. B&B is going to let you in on a little secret. While Prop. 8—which would take away the right of same-sex couples to marry in California—has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT KIDS ARE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS from an official standpoint, what the Yes On 8 crew is implying with its various shady advertisements is not entirely incorrect. Allowing same-sex couples to marry is part of that “slippery slope” by which LGBT people become fully accepted members of society. Which means not being some scary cave-dwelling creature that you only tell kids about when they’re “old enough to handle it.”

But we’ve been figure-skating down that slope for a long time (thank you, Stonewall drag queens and ‘70s feminists), so Prop. 8 is just a last gasp from the losing side (and by “losing,” B&B doesn’t mean straight people, who have nothing to lose if No On 8 wins, but bigots, who always lose in the end).

Part of why B&B is a passionate No-On-8-er—besides the fact that B&B might like to get gay-married—is because gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone or cost anyone anything. It’s not like nationalized health care, which B&B is also for, but which would take zillions of dollars and years of planning to implement. This one’s easy.

Note to all those “I’m just a reasonable centrist” folks who are for civil unions but against gay marriage:

1) You were against civil unions when you first heard about them, so what, your thing is to always be one step behind the times? Should we rule that people can, in fact, marry goats—that thing you’re always claiming is at the bottom of the aforementioned slope—so that you’ll be like, “Look, it’s fine for two humans of the same gender to marry each other, but I draw the line at goats”? Think about what’s right instead of what sounds scary because you haven’t already had years to get used to it.

2) Admit that you think God Hates Fags. Because if you acknowledge that, then fine, at least you’re owning your opinion. But there’s not a way to claim, a la Sarah “I have diverse friends” Palin, that you’re all for gay rights but somehow against, well, the gays having the same rights as you. There’s this little thing called separate-but-equal and we gave it the thumbs down a couple of decades ago.

Prop. 9: No. B&B doesn’t know too much about this one, but it seems to fall in the three-strikes camp: one of those laws that locks up more people for longer periods of time, as if that helps crime victims in anything but the most eye-for-an-eye way. Look, we’re already broke and we already have tons of overcrowded prisons, and stiffer penalties have been proven not to work as deterrents.

B&B doesn’t think the average angry gangbanger is like, “You know, I’d like to avenge the untimely death of my homie, which was caused by the generations of poverty and hopelessness that I too am a victim of, but the long prison sentence that potentially awaits me really gives me pause. I was planning to go to med school and retire early, and doing 25 to life could seriously derail that.”

We should fight crime the way we should fight terrorism: with jobs and after-school programs. Plus good mental health care. B&B is not saying any of those things are simple to implement, just that a bigger prison system isn’t either.

L.A. County Measure R: Yes. The radio ads in favor of this measure, which would extend the light rail lines, among other improvements, are “Paid for by People from Across California Tired of Being Stuck in Traffic.” Nuff said.


Claire said...

re: Prop 8

My POV is stated so well in this bit from the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling:

"Although we acknowledge that many legislators and many of their constituents hold strong personal convictions with respect to preserving the traditional concept of marriage as a heterosexual institution, such beliefs, no matter how deeply held, do not constitute the exceedingly persuasive justification required to sustain a statute that discriminates on the basis of a quasi-suspect classification."

Or more simply: not liking something doesn't give some people the right to discriminate against others.

Don Cummings said...

Thanks for taking so much time to do this.
Also: No on 7 & 10 Though they sound like they are for the environment, one is a self-interest thing sponsored by a big ol businessman, the other one, well, it's a big mess--and will not help things. We need something better.

Your NO on 8 IS BRILLIANT and really sets everyone straight. Not straight, but, well, you know what I mean.

Tracy Lynn said...

I am for civil unions and against marriage. But for everyone. I think marriage is a religious ceremony and government should have nothing to do with it.
Of course, you can have both, if you want. But no matter what, Prop 8 is a total piece of bigoted crap masquerading as legislation.

Prince Gomolvilas said...

More endorsements--I don't know how to vote on the other ones!

Cheryl said...

C: Yeah, people are basically saying, "If you were allowed rights, it might force me to have an awkward conversation with my kid, so sorry, I'm going to decide that I have the right to majorly fuck up your life instead."

DC: I don't know too much about 7 and 10, but I've heard similar things. I think the only thing we disagree on is Wicked. I loved it!

TL: Me too, actually. But removing marriage from the legal code altogether is probably the only thing less popular than gay marriage.

PV: Me neither.

Peter Varvel said...

Cheryl, thank you. These are the exact layman's terms that I needed.
And I loved Wicked, too, both the book and the stage musical - natch'!
(and I am honored to be confused with PG ... or he should be, anyway)

Cheryl said...

Oops, I did mix up some initials, didn't I? Thank god I don't have a Florida butterfly ballot to figure out. Sorry Prince and Peter!

Someday I'll post my musical theater endorsements. In the "Yes" camp, you'll find Wicked, Rent, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Chicago, Cabaret, Once on This Island and Spring Awakening. On the "No" side: Phantom of the Opera, Titanic, Hairspray and revivals that have been revived one too many times.

Misty Harris said...

"It is seriously fucked up that we need to vote on whether any living thing should be allowed to extend its legs or wings. Talk about a fundamental right."

Here here! Great blog post.

Cheryl said...

Good to have a newbie veggie on board!

Misty Harris said...

Aw, you remembered :)

The veggie thing is going very, very well. I finally brought myself to watch Meet Your Meat on YouTube today and was brought to tears. Made me wish I had crossed over sooner. Anyway, thanks once again for the great post. Here's hoping the animals win in California tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Big Sis for letting me cheat off of your ballot. PS- I'm pretty sure you have seen a brilliant performance of "Music of the Night" so I don't know why you are against Phantom.

Cheryl said...

Lil Sis: You make a good point. You may be the first one to sway my vote on any issue!