Barack Obama won the Iowa Caucuses last night with 37.57 percent, with John Edwards coming in second at 29.75 percent. Clinton followed with a very close third at 29.47 percent.
A conservative blogger in Greensboro says Hillary is in trouble (Conservative Alternative):
This poses a big problem for Hillary as the anti-Hillary vote coalesces behind Obama. Hillary has benefited from the anti-Hillary vote being divided between Obama and Edwards, but soon she will no longer have that luxury. Further, the supporters of the other candidates who will all certainly drop out tonight will also likely go to Obama. Clinton’s high negatives will soon be apparent, showing up in support for Obama. Not to mention the fact that many black Americans who previously aligned themselves with Clinton may shift to Obama believing he could make history and actually win the nomination after his strong win in Iowa.
He also “predicts” that Edwards will drop out after New Hampshire.
Although it is likely that Clinton could go on to win in other states, particularly on Super Tuesday — and win the nomination in that way — it is also likely that Obama could now win, as well.
President Barack Obama? Could it really happen? If so, the LGBT community should be worried. While many may applaud the junior senator from Illinois’ “big tent” approach to his campaign, it is also a strategy that has left the LGBT community standing at odds with forces from the religious right and rabidly anti-gay “ex-gay” movement.
In South Carolina, Obama’s “big tent” campaign strategy coalesced in the form of gospel concerts attracting huge numbers of African-American voters and featuring a “respected leader” in the “ex-gay” movement.
From New Hampshire state Rep. Mo Baxley (Bay Windows):
Obama lost the support of many in the LGBT community when he featured [anti-gay entertainer Donnie McClurking (pictured right)] at campaign events in South Carolina and then went ahead with the events even after being personally informed of the entertainers’ very public and virulently anti-gay remarks – making him the only Democratic candidate to be protested by members of our community. While Obama certainly has a pro-LGBT platform, in this circumstance, his actions speak louder than his well-intentioned words and we can not support a candidate that harmed the LGBT community in South Carolina in his quest to become president.
Baxley, who is chair of the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition (which endorsed Edwards), couldn’t be more right. While Obama sought votes, he quickly pushed away the concerns of the LGBT community and caved into his “big tent” mentality, allowing him to give “ex-gay” singer and evangelical minister Donnie McClurkin a platform for his hate (while audience members lapped it up).
If Obama wins the presidency the LGBT community is in for four (and possibly eight) years of being subjected to a dangerously employed “big tent” strategy that places an oppressed group of citizens at the same table as their oppressors. Obama’s presidency would see James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Donnie McClurkin and other anti-gay leaders sitting down with LGBT community leaders telling them how much they are evil and going to hell while Obama sits back and says, “We should work together and hope for change.”
The LGBT community doesn’t need a president who would place their very real needs for social and civil equality at the same level as those who seek to do nothing but strip them of every civil and social right. LGBT community members, under “President Obama,” would be subjected to daily reminders of their second-class citizenship, officially endorsed by the White House.
We had enough of that with George W. Bush. We need a leader who will stand up to the bullies. That is why I rooted for John Edwards last night. As a Southerner, Edwards knows the dangers of oppressor vs. oppressed. He saw it growing up as a child. Could you imagine Edwards ever telling black activists that they should sit down and listen to the concerns of the League of the South? I, for one, have hard time believing Edwards would ever subject the LGBT community to the vitriolic, dangerously anti-gay bigotry and rhetoric of its religious right and “ex-gay” oppressors.
Obama won’t have the power or the bravado to stand up to the right-wing bullies if he becomes president, just like he wasn’t able to stand up against them and say, “I’m sorry Donnie, but your views do not match my view of America. My campaign is about one of equality and that isn’t something you stand for. I’ll have to ask that you not perform. I can’t give you a platform for hate.”
All people deserve a place at the table, but when they come to dinner with a plate of hate and exclusion, somebody needs to stand up and issue a correction and rebuke their mis-guided “In the name of God” rhetoric. Obama won’t and can’t do it.
Going into New Hampshire, polls show us that Clinton is on the decline, with number two Obama catching up to his rival senator from New York. While Edwards remains in third, his poll numbers have been going up, as well.
At this point, the LGBT community has two options: Hope that Edwards pulls off a New Hampshire win and goes on to win the nomination, or start figuring out whether we should support Obama (“big tent” ex-gay support strategy guy) or Clinton (Washington stays the same and the country continues its decline gal). Either option isn’t very appealing.