Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In Which "Well, Rachel, We Are Fighting Hard, Rachel"

Ok, I must be honest and admit that I didn't watch all of the clip I have embedded above. But the interviewee was overusing Rachel's name, and that always makes me flame with embarrassment. You think I'm exaggerating? Here's a brief bit of the transcript:
"JESSE CONNOLLY, NO ON 1/PROTECT MAINE EQUALITY: Hey, thank you, Rachel, for having me on.

MADDOW: Is it right to characterize the anti-gay marriage campaign in Maine as a tactical rerun of Prop 8 in California?

CONNOLLY: Yes, Rachel. I think that we are seeing here in Maine some very similar tactics that were put out in California by the same P.R. firm that you mentioned. But I think Maine people are fair-minded people that will hopefully see through these attacks and we feel really confident about where the campaign is headed as we head into the last two weeks.

MADDOW: What are you doing differently in Maine from the folks how lost on Proposition 8 in California? I know that you‘ve studied some of that campaign and the strategies on both sides.

CONNOLLY: Yes, Rachel, this is something that we haven‘t gone to overnight. This has been a multiyear effort by advocates that knew this was a two-pronged approach. They knew that there would need to be successful both on the state legislature and have the governor sign it, and then also simultaneously build for this people the referendum clause that we have in our campaign."
I get the same feeling from this sort of thing that I get from watching the Price is Right. But I understand the gist of the segment: gay equality=good; right wing wingnuts=bad. We have a battle going on here in my own city. Pam's House Blend had an article on it a couple of days ago. The basics: our city commission voted unanimously for a gay rights ordinance, protecting against discrimination particularly in housing and employment. Of course, this got the religious right's knickers in a twist, and with a petition, they had a referendum added to the ballot. More detail can be found on the One Kalamazoo website. We've had a lot of outside help on this one; cross your fingers.


  1. He invited her to Maine, too, at the end of the interview, and she just ignored it, lol. I find it interesting how a lot gay marriage rights peeps get upset with Maddow for not doing/saying more about the issue. Rachel could get married herself if she wanted to, she lives in MA. I think as an equal rights thing, she's on board, but people overestimate her willingness to be a champion, per se, of this one issue.

    I do, however, think she learned from the negativity she received by not speaking out more or sooner about prop 8, and so is at least addressing this one in Maine a little earlier to draw attention to it. But to me, it feels almost obligatory, for "the community"...I don't think her heart's in it.

    There's some part of me that is secretly thrilled Rachel won't get I can tell/delude myself she's still technically single. Or something.

  2. Yeah, CEP, I am a great supporter of gay rights, as you know, but the guy just seemed, I dunno, kinda smarmy to me...the "Rachel" as often as he said it, the faux familiarity thing, it just wasn't workin' for the Politico household.

    Really glad to see that Maine is being proactive early. Here in CA, it seemed like the No on 8 efforts got off to a weak start. The ads were terrific, but the education effort came too late to have an effect. Polls after the election showed that up to 50% of the people who voted yes felt they'd been misinformed by the ads. So I am delighted that they're getting out there in front of this thing.

    As to Rachel not being activist enough for some folks taste, well, she's said many times that she is no longer an activist - she's a commentator. Imagine being asked to endorse or use your influence for so many causes, even those near and dear to your heart. The minute you say you'll help one, then the criticism comes ten-fold for not helping all the others. Must be tough.

    I'm straight, so I cannot speak for gay women; but as a woman, I do know that not everyone is comfortable speaking out against the injustices done to women. Not everyone, at every time in their life, is in a position in which they can be an activist. I have a bunch of sisters in our big, Catholic-raised family. While I am comfortable at a rally for Planned Parenthood, some of my less politically-minded, less outspoken, less lapsed-Catholic sisters would not be comfortable there. So I respect Rachel's choice not to be in the front lines. To me, just the fact that she is a out, butch lesbian on mainstream television news, normally dominated by weather bimbos and Barbie-esque talking heads is a great step forward for gay rights and for the underrepresented prejudice against nerds, geesk and wonks eveerywhere! Go, Rache!

    CEP, sorry for the long-windedness. You know how I can get! But, honestly? You are right on- the guy was a little too familiar. And just kinda smarmy. You hit the nail on the head, Girlfriend! Loved the post - read our minds!

  3. I know what you mean about overusing rachel.

  4. Rachel is a commentator, who just happens to be gay. Shes done alot to highlight gay rights in the past year but I think the bottom line is that she doesnt want to be labled as the 'gay' commentator. Perhaps thats why shes not as forceful but again shes not an activist anymore, so its not like she can become the leader of the movement anyway.