Gay activists flip off Reagan's picture

Fine, but please give me this: These two are still a couple of douchebags. Are they or are they not a couple of douchebags? Forget about poilitics, are these guys douchebags or not?

Right there you just trampled on your own “gosh why on earth would anyone think this might be disrespectful to Obama?” faux-naivete that you’d been working so hard to maintain.

  1. Obama adopts a strongly liberal position on a very controversial issue in a dignified and statesmanlike manner.

  2. Obama formally hosts a reception for the LGBT Pride movement at the White House: “a political event, planned for the cameras and calculated for the benefit of the place’s residents and to achieve political aims”, as you so astutely put it.

  3. A couple of drooling dickheads spontaneously decide to use this event as an opportunity to highlight their own in-your-face style of political shock theater by making obscene gestures at the portrait of a widely admired conservative ex-President who’s been out of office for twenty-four years and dead for eight of them.

It apparently has never crossed these cretins’ microbrains that there might be voters out there who now, a quarter-century later, are more supportive than Reagan was towards equal rights for gays but still dislike obscene insults directed towards him.
With friends like these two douchebags and you, Obama hardly needs enemies. Kind of wasteful, really, when one considers how many of them he’s got.

But there will be outrage over this. And Obama is going to have to either take the heat for it or denounce these people. Either way, how do you think that will effect future relations between gay activists and the Obama administration? You think there’s going to be a lot of other LBGT receptions in the White House this year?

And for what? To flip off a painting of a dead President? That gesture will really seem small if it causes a couple of states to add anti-gay marriage referendums to their ballots this November. Or if it pushes anti-gay voters to support Romney more and costs Obama the election. And if two years from now, Romney repays that support by appointing a conservative justice to the Supreme Court where he’ll be part of a right-wing majority that’ll be ruling on gay rights cases for the next twenty years.

But, hey, the important thing is we really showed Reagan what we think of his AIDS policy.

. . . I did? It seems you’re accusing me of verging on being untruthful about my own feelings on this matter and I don’t think I have been. I don’t think I’m naïve in the slightest and I’ve never felt any reason to fake like I was.

It’s hard for me to view it as “strongly liberal” but he certainly was dignified and statesmanly. As he generally is. On balance, I’m happy he publicly took that position, although not without reservations.

Thanks, I’m always preening about my political astuteness.

A couple people took photos of themselves flipping off a portrait of a president who certainly deserves far worse treatment from gay people, given what he did.

Yeah, somehow I doubt the simultaneously gay-loving and Reagan-hagiographying crowd is about to sway any elections a whole ton, but okay?

Okay but I’m still not seeing why I should be outraged by some people posting photos on Facebook of themselves flipping off a painting of Reagan. If they’d flipped off an actual person, sure. If they’d disrupted some event, sure. If they took some goofy photos while waiting for some event to happen, I just don’t care. And I don’t understand why anyone else would. Sorry.

And I’m still honestly unclear on your overall point. Is the central issue here that this was counterproductive to these activists’ own gay-rights agenda – because I felt like you were taking that tack at some points – or that it was unforgivably rude and thus worthy of condemnation on that point?

I, personally, am not “outraged” either. But, c’mon, can’t you at least admit these two assholes are douchebags?

I hadn’t been aware of this one until now, so I guess I’m not stressing out that much over how many more there will be. Since, again, I doubt it’s going to change the president’s agenda on LGBT issues, I’m not that concerned.

The idea that this is going to cause states to ban marriage equality that wouldn’t have done so otherwise is sort of touchingly naïve. It embodies this idea that if gay people were just nice enough, it would all work out. When, of course, in reality, there are hardly any states left that don’t either have marriage equality or constitutional amendments outlawing it (the heyday of those was several years back) and in the remaining states, it’s a bit too late to gather signatures to get something on the ballot in November anyway. And even aside from all that, I still can’t make myself imagine this being the tipping point anywhere.

Anti-gay voters are already supporting Romney. Hell, it’s the one issue he never did flip-flop on. And this is one of those three-day-long political bits that will seem like a hazy memory come November. None of this day-in-day-out horserace stuff makes a difference months later when people are actually voting.

If this actually does have the impact you’re imagining, which would take several miracles, it might actually be positive in the end, because what Reagan did was unconscionable and the worst of the far righties at least try to pretend not to be like that nowadays. But of course it won’t, because a week from now no one will remember such a completely insignificant matter. It probably won’t ever get a foothold in the news cycle in the first place, what with the Sandusky verdict.

These minor kerfuffles don’t decide presidential races. This one doesn’t even involve a gaffe on the president’s part, and even the ones that do aren’t what make people vote the way they decide to months later. The idea that this is going to significantly impact the presidential race is ludicrous.

Will you please just admit that they are douchebags?

I just can’t seem to make myself feel any bit of outrage at them. I’d have to feel some twinge of anger to call them douchebags.

I can see that a lot of people do care. But I don’t. If you had proposed this to me as a hypothetical yesterday, I would have probably told you that there would be a bunch of faux-outrage from the Drudge Report fan club but no one would really, honestly care about the incident. I would clearly have been wrong, since a lot of people who obviously aren’t looking for invented reasons to hate on the president or on gay activists genuinely do care, and not just out of a desire to find a reason to condemn gay activists or the president.

I just can’t understand why.

Not every pit thread is about “outrage”, ya idiot. Sometimes it’s just about people being assholes.

And for somebody who keeps claiming not to care, you are posting a lot in this thread.

Hell, it’s past 3:00 am, and I probably should be in bed. But I really am seriously interested in this thread because I’m not used to having this much difficulty understanding other people’s perspectives, and I just really can’t understand why this would actually piss people off the way it obviously has. Like I said, I could have predicted faux outrage, and I bet there will be some of that. But you and other people are legit pissed off and I’m honestly curious just because I can’t imagine actually being bothered by this and so I really am mystified that people are. It just seems like such a non-issue to me, but it’s clearly an issue to some people. I don’t care about what they did, but I am very genuinely curious about why so many people do care.

Jesus, maybe I’m turning into Diamonds02 here.

Okay, we get it. Some gay people did something stupid and disrespectful and you can’t bothered to care because then you may have to admit they were douchebags.

btw, if they were going to flick off a president, why Reagan? He wasn’t as anti-GLBT as Bush I or II. In fact, Reagan was pretty mild. In re: the AIDS epidemic, I think the world dropped the ball in the beginning.

Pretty willing to bet I’ve called a lot more gay people douchebags than anyone else in this thread has (although prior experience with you suggests you may well be my sharpest competition on this point).

Still not seeing the outrage.

Since I’m taking your word for it that you’re not faking naivete on this issue, I have to conclude that you really are this naive.

You don’t understand why anyone would care that a couple of gay-rights activists used an official White House gay-rights-related event to draw public attention to their making obscene gestures at the portrait of a widely respected conservative President who’s been out of office nearly a quarter-century and dead nearly a decade.

You don’t understand why that would be considered very offensive by many people, and why that gratuitous causing of offense would be considered very undesirable and very ill-bred even by many people who are not themselves personally offended by it, and thus why all these people would be thoroughly disgusted by these activists’ behavior.

You don’t understand that. You just don’t understand it.


It’s both counterproductive and rude, as I said back in post #12 when I noted that these uncouth boors were lacking both in elementary manners (hence they’re rude) and in elementary PR savvy (hence they’re counterproductive).

Well, based on the (I’m still taking your word on this) honest naivete you’re showing on this issue, maybe you just don’t realize how much you don’t understand other people’s perspectives.

Hmm. Are you young, perhaps? Like, under 35 or thereabouts? You may still be young enough to consider it a virtue, or a sign of ethical sincerity and independence, to not care whether or not other people get offended by something, as long as they’re people whose views you disapprove of on an issue that’s important to you.

Part of your confusion might also stem from the fact that you seem to keep mixing up outrage (or being “pissed off”) with disgust and contempt. As other posters have been trying to explain to you, nobody here is claiming to be outraged by this behavior, just deeply contemptuous of it.

The two activists in question aren’t being accused of evil or vicious immorality or anything truly, literally outrageous: they’re just being called douchebags and uncouth boors because of their dickish behavior. Not the same thing.

Who’s outraged?

Yeah, I’d give Reagan the double-flip off and I curse his corpse (he was a terrible president and a horrible asshole), but not in the White House as an invited guest. That’s just idiotically rude.

Meh, I’m with nyx here. It’s just the White House. It’s not like they interfering with others while there. If they were, then boo on them. A picture out of the way just isn’t a big deal.

If you’re going to take silly pictures, why not go for more juvenile humor and hump a statue?

Those people are fucking asshole tools. Anyone who thinks that Reagan was homophobic is ignorant of history. Lots of people ignored AIDS in those days including many in the gay community.

Let me tell you a story about Mr. Reagan. Back in 1978 the was a measure on the California ballot called Proposition 6 aka The Briggs Initiative. It would have banned any gay person or any person who spoke out for gay rights from being a school teacher in California. This was in between the time of Reagan being Governor of California and President. At that time he was gearing up for what was to be his successful campaign for President.

The measure was looking like it was going to pass. Five weeks before the election, Reagan was asked what he thought of the initiative. He said, “Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual’s sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child’s teachers do not really influence this.” The measure failed 58%-42% and it is the consensus opinion that Reagan’s statement was instrumental in getting it overturned.

Let’s recap: In 1978 when he was about to run for President, he was willing to take a huge political hit to support gay people. He acknowledged then that sexuality was innate and not a choice. Reagan was not a homophobe.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the White House or your next door neighbor. You behave with decorum and civility. Someone else’s house is not your platform.

In principle, yes, but the amount of bother I’d feel if I found out afterward that someone had taken a rude picture in my house is zero. And if that house is a building that others were just letting me live in temporarily, and if said picture-taking took place in the non-home part of the building that I used for political events, I’d feel even less bother. The idea that this could cause twisting in the undies of unrelated third parties is just comical and little bit sad.

Fuck Reagan. His Alzheimer’s ass sat on his hands and kept silent for nearly a friggin’ decade while millions of Americans were dying of HIV. Cowardice incarnate. That’s worse than the Bush-Katrina debacle. Consider yourself lucky that his portrait got the bird - the portrait could’ve used a splash of ejaculate, far as I’m concerned.

  • Honesty