Exile on 08 Part Deux

Putting the column up early due to the timeliness of it:

Deal with it

The question is no long whether the state can deal with a gay candidate running for high federal office. Jim Neal, who announced his run for Senate last month, spent an hour last weekend on BlueNC, answering questions about policy, politics and the Senate race. He also plainly and directly answered the question about whether he was gay. His reply went like this:

Subject line: Gay
Text: I am indeed. No secret and no big deal to me -- I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise.

So, now the question is how will this state deal with an openly gay individual running for high federal office. Neal, obviously, is not going to dwell on it and intends to focus on what he would do if elected and on Elizabeth Dole’s record as a defender of an administration with an approval rating that rivals Nixon’s during the last days of Watergate.
Besides, it’s apparent that he’s already “dealt” with the fact that he’s gay. And, unlike other figures in the state’s history, he’s candid and comfortable. Now, it’s everyone else’s turn and what remains to be seen is how the rest of the Democratic Party responds, how the press treats the news and how the mudslingers on the right deal with someone who is not trying to dodge things.
Conventional wisdom has GOP strategists licking their chops. Vernon Robinson, who had his lunch consumed regularly in the last election, kept trying to link Rep. Brad Miller to some kind of Bay Area left-wing gay conspiracy (I’m still trying to follow the dude’s logic on that). And in the twilight of his years, even Jesse Helms, who made any contribution or endorsement of his opponent from the gay community political kryptonite, has acknowledged the damage of his demonizations. Nevertheless, look for prominent Republicans to offer Democrats friendly advice on the subject for the next year.
On the Democratic side, there are stories of some campaigns panicked about the effect on the rest of the ticket in eastern NC. There’s also a long-running split among the African-American clergy over gay issues that has been exploited in the past and is likely to be again. Meanwhile, Neal’s straightforward acknowledgement has been a breath of fresh air for many Democrats in and out of North Carolina. For some, it’s an example of much-needed courage. And the netroots, as one might guess, are a bit blown away that such a story would emanate from the South.

So a conversation has started — one that we all ought to have had years ago. There’s also a higher level of transparency and candor in a business ruled for too long by sleight of hand and coded linguistics.
Deal with it.


For me, the story here is that an established businessman who is

actually from the State of North Carolina and has an excellent background in fundraising for Democratic candidates is courageous enough to take on the public scrutiny and political shelling of the wingnut wurlitzer that comes with candidacy for US Senate in this time of political madness. Mr. Neal has impressed me at this point with his background and candid straight forward discussion of the issues that are important to the people of the State of North Carolina and in turn to our entire country.

I hope most every voter will be intelligent and insightful enough to look to the substance of this candidate as opposed to any non pertinent issues regarding the experience needed to be a valuable asset to our State and this country.

It's time for many changes to be made in the direction this country is going. Let us be the agents of that change.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

A chunk in the armor for Neal maybe?

There’s also a long-running split among the African-American clergy over gay issues that has been exploited in the past and is likely to be again.* Kmr

Big time! The repubs will beat that to death,,,,it is the weakest link in the campaign for the Democrats The Black community with it's massive churches and it's Preachers will stay at home on the senate ballot and move on to the National race......In order to off set the repubs in the race, the Black community must turn out in mass with a 95 % vote for the Democrat candiate in a State race. Two things that one does not do in Black churches is never cuss nor discuss gay issues..

the black church and homophobia

People interested in how this issue can be tackled in NC should come to the Equality NC Conference and Gala on November 3. I'm moderating a panel, "Still Crossing Those Bridges: Facing Racial and Ethnic Barriers," featuring Mandy Carter, Co-Founder, Southerners on New Ground, Durham, Reverend Roger E. Hayes, Pastor, Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship, Inc., Winston-Salem, Alba Onofrio, Executive Director, El Centro Hispano, Durham, and Allan Taziri, Member, Fayetteville Bayard Rustin Commemorative Alliance.

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

This is the conversation as it should be

it's about a man, he's a Democrat, he lives in North Carolina and understands and hears our concerns. PERIOD!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

oh, as for STD prevention, hayes-style

I recall my dad talking about brothels back in the 40s where men would pour gasoline on their genitals to prevent STDs. I think we can agree that penicillin was probably the greatest incentive to casual sex in history, although some have said the Model T.

oops - wrong diary!

I meant to post this on the diary about Hayes and abstinence ed. I guess I need a nap. Sorry.

I'm not sure Eastern NC is that big a worry on this issue

I live in Wilmington, and New Hanover County is represented in the state senate by its only openly lesbian member. Oddly, that is what got her elected in the first place. She was running behind when the local repug committee took out ads attacking her on that basis the weekend before the election. The paper withdrew its endorsement of her incumbent opponent, and he was widely denounced for pulling that stunt. She did an excellent job in her first term and has since been re-elected handily. That said, I suspect lesbians are slightly less deprecated than gays, and much of the revulsion against the repug was for bringing up something it isn't considered polite to talk about in certain quarters.

Good insights.

I expect the hatefulness from Liddy's Losers to be beyond anything we've seen since the Jesse Helms nadir.