What the Dayton Daily News Editorial board does on a Saturday afternoon

I went to see “Milk” at the Neon movies for the 5pm show.

I highly recommend it as a primer for grassroots activism, and a brief history of the insane anti-gay/protection of marriage movement. From IMDB:

The story of California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

via Milk (2008).

After we took our seats, we listened as a woman was saving 4 seats behind us- and was a little rude about it. Soon, Martin Gottlieb walks in with a cherry red Kangol cap, and then soon after, Ellen Belcher.  I said hi to Martin before the show and Ellen gave me holiday wishes on her way out.

While Ohio jumped on the “protection of marriage” train in 2004- which helped propel GWB to his second term, this kind of stupidity traces back to the early 70’s with former orange juice “spokeswoman” Anita Bryant. Looking back forty years, and we still are struggling with having the State try to make rules about what goes on between consenting adults behind closed doors.

Harvey Milk wasn’t afraid to be gay, risk his life, or sit quietly by while his civil rights were being taken away. However, as Dan White says in the movie- “You have an issue” to Milk- and White couldn’t find an issue to own. When Milk needed a second issue- he went after dog poop- a stunt and a distraction- just to play politics.

That part scared me. Looking at the Presidential election- we still see a “single theme” can trump all kinds of rhetoric. Obama used “Change” and stuck with it- only to be elected and bring in a cabinet of people who have lived inside the system so long they think change is only measured by number of seats the ruling party holds.

Are we such shallow people that single issues are all that matters?

I also started reconsidering my feelings about Commissioner Joey Williams- who I consider a friend and the only member of the Dayton City Commission who has any real credibility on the commission. His abstention on the gay rights ordinance last year was reprehensible. Is that issue enough to vote him off the Commission?

Joey and I had a long talk after his vote- he explained his position to me, off the record, however, once elected, should you really be afraid to explain publicly your reasoning?

I’ve never been impressed with the Dayton Daily News editorial boards questions- or their reasoning behind endorsements. I’ve also never seen them admit they were wrong. I’ll be interested to see what they write about “Milk” and if they will hold Williams or Lovelace accountable for their non-votes/votes against the gay rights ordinance.

I’m also wondering if the editorial board understand that the Internet has changed the political landscape yet. In today’s DDN Belcher was amazed at her recent discovery of podcasts on the iPod. (for the record Ellen- American Public Radio’s Marketplace is my top choice). There is no longer an excuse for a candidate to NOT have answers to all positions on a site- where there can be no confusion about why they did what they did.

I’ve got at least a 4 year jump on any local politician/candidate with ideas and positions on issues- in print, by my own hand. When it comes to the next editorial board Q&A there isn’t anything they could ask that I haven’t covered here- making seeing them pretty pointless.

Their typical endorsement is never about ideas- but of supposed “qualifications” based on some kind of system they believe breeds leadership. Most of the time, that means being a pawn of a local political party. Maybe after seeing “Milk” they will understand that it’s time to examine issues- maybe even more than one- and make their choices based on ideas- instead of some sort of checklist.

Harvey Milk wouldn’t have gotten their endorsement- and maybe they should be thinking about why not?

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