Monday, October 1, 2007

Sarah Palin and Mark Warner and A NEW NATIONAL HOLIDAY


Many years ago, Tom Hritz wrote a sometimes acerbic and often humorous column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Hritz and his (equally acerbic) wife loved to smoke cigarettes.

One year, a colleague at the P-G asked Tom if he was going to participate in The Great American Smokeout.

Hritz harumphed and said, "I'm going to spend the day lobbying for a new holiday called "National Mind Your Own Business Day."

Shortly before Tom made that comment, I discovered the value of minding my own business -- especially when it came to issues like gay marriage. What consenting do is their own business. And they have a right, as Senator McCain reminded us recently, to be free from discrimination. If gay and lesbian couple want to engage in civil unions or marriages, I invite them to "be my guest." Actually, it's none of my business. However, making sure that people get equal treatment under the law is very much my business -- and yours.

This week I'm doing one of my "business book summaries" for an Illinois-based company that I've worked for on-and-off (mostly on) since 1991. The book is David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly. The book is outstanding, and it should be of value to anyone interested in selling anything from ideas and political causes to products and services. Over the next seven days or so, I mention points that Scott makes about creating grass-roots marketing.

I'll be combining information from the books and my own experience to talk about political coalition-building. Prior to Adam Brickley's Draft Sarah Palin effort -- one that shows signs of being fabulously successful -- the most important online "draft" effort was one focusing on former Virginia Govenor Mark Warner, who apparently is going to run for John Warner's (no relationship) Senate seat and is currently a heavy favorite to win.

The individual who ran the Warner effort was someone you've never heard of: Eddie Ratliff. In several years of blogging and building support for Warner, Ratliff met the Governor only briefly on a few occasions. As is true with the Palin effort, the Governor had no direct influence on the blog effort to get him drafted as the Democratic nominee for President. (Late in 2006, Warner announced he would not be running for President -- an announcement he never would never have had to make if it hadn't been for the efforts of Eddie Ratliff and a few friends)

The Draft Warner movement came to an end on October 12, 2006, and the main web site has been silent since then. However, anyone who wants to learn about how to leverage his or her political clout should go to that blog. If you look to the left on the site, you'll notice the various elements of the campaign as it unfolded, including the use of Yahoo! groups and Meetups. The link is at:

Fom 2004 until 2006, as Ratliff conducted his effort, mentions of Warner occurred in 10,000 blogs. As has happened with Sarah Palin, support for Warner emerged in several nationally prominent media outlets.

Adam Brickley, the founder of the Draft Palin effort, is an extremely savvy Internet coalition-builder. Through his effort -- and the efforts of many people reading this post -- Gov. Palin has become a figure with a committed national following. Significant bloggers who support her come from AK, CA, CO, DE, FL, HI, PA, , MI, MN, MA, NM, HI, WA, TX, NY, WI, and many other states. The backers include liberals (and at least one Democrat), moderates, and conservatives.

Significant pro-Palin pieces have appeared in The Weekly Standard (Fred Barnes), Townhall (Patrick Ruffini), WorldNetDaily (Pulitzer Prize nominee Les Kinsolving), The Columbian (Tom Koenigger), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Dimitri Vassilaros), Blog Critics (S. J. Reidhead of The Pink Flamingo), as well as several other places. The number of Google mentions of Sarah Palin and higher offices (V-P and President) now exceeds 100,000.

There is a chance Sarah Palin will get the V-P nod in 2008. There's a very good chance she will be a viable candidate for the presidency in either 2012 or 2016. These scenarios would not exist without the initial effort of Adam Brickley, whose blog is accessible at:

Is Mike Huckabee Really a Christian? One Wonders

Here's what Mike recently said in reaction to a (false) report that he believed in letting states set their own standards for what constitutes marriage: September 27, 2007 Little Rock, AR -- Former AR Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee today issued the following statement in response to a news story stating that he is "open to state-sponsored civil unions that would bestow the legal rights of marriage on gay and lesbian couples": "He said, This report is simply inaccurate. I do not support legal recognition of alternative unions. I strongly, firmly and unequivocally believe that the traditional definition of marriage is for 'one man, one woman, for life.' That is why I worked hard in Arkansas to enact legislation at the state level to protect traditional marriage, and why I have vowed to work hard for federal language as President. "While I believe that people have a right to decide how they live their personal lives, they have to respect not changing the definition of marriage."

This is little more than Mike pandering to his evangelical base -- and perhaps to homophobes like Dr. Laurence White, Rev. James Dobson and other know-nothings. Why on earth would any sane person become agitated by the thoughts of gays and lesbians marry? How on earth would that diminish anyone's marriage? The Mike Huckabees of a generation ago used to condemn gays for practicing fornication because they could not get married. Now, the argument seems to have gone in reverse. (More tomorrow)

I'll also be talking about Ciel and Han. They're a lesbian couple living in Austin, not all that far from Homophobe Central in Houston (where Laurence White and Larry Perrault reside with their dog-eared copies of the Book of Leviticus, the Mosaic Law that St. Paul said in Galatians is null and void for Christians.) Oh, I forgot to mention: Ciel and Han also are evangelical Christians -- much better ones than the two guys in Houston.

Ciel and Han have a web site you can link to at: Here's what the heading on their blog says about the documentary they created. A provocative, independent documentary film created in Austin, TX about the experiences of a lesbian couple who went undercover as a heterosexual couple inside an Evangelical Organization. The film is currently in post production.


Christopher said...

Sarah Palin is an excellent candidate, and the reaction around her is very positive. Will she be the VP nominee, possibly- will she be considered because of this movement, absolutely. And that's just the 08 possibilities. It's quite evident if she does not get picked in 08 her political career will be huge in the future.

matt said...

I too understand that the Old Law is null and void for us as believers. I don't go by Leviticus 18:22 for my saying it's a sin, I go by Romans ch.1, which says that "God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to dishonor their bodies... men with men committing what is shameful." Let's be clear, I do think that they should be allowed to live their lives the way they choose, I just think it is unnatural. My lesbian aunt understands where we are on this.

I do think that there is a difference between calling something a sin and calling it shameful to do. He called homosexuality shameful, and he said that if a man had long hair it was shameful, too. In both texts, he makes it self evident that doing these things isn't natural. 'The natural use of the woman,' and 1 Cor.11:14 says "Does not even nature itself teach you..." As believers, we should try to discourage it, as it is against nature, but we shouldn't kill them as some Reconstructionists wish to do. Steve, I can't say where a person is in their relationship with God, and maybe I am misunderstanding the nature of gays. I am coming from the perspective of sex, and maybe some have deeper friendships with men than is normal, and that makes them gay. Perhaps they don't even practice sexual relations.

I am always seeking for a better understanding, but for now I have to go by what Paul said in Corinthians when he said that those who practice sodomy will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. But since I am a Preterist, I believe Paul was meaning the kingdom that was ushered in after AD 70.

A quick word: I just posted "Practical Conservatism" on my blog. Check it out, it might spark a change.

matt said...

Sorry for not editing the above posting. For "he" I meant the Apostle Paul. I'll try to make myself more clear next time.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Christopher, statistics about gays and lesbians are always suspect. The CNN exit polls were about 4.5% of the elecorate with the votes for Bush (2004) being from one-in-four to one-in-five. The Gallup percentage is probably low since many GL are still hestiate to respond to surveyers accurately. Also, there are definitional problems: is a gay guy married to a woman gay -- or straight? (It happens a lot more often than people think.) Is a married guy (married to a woman) who has gay sex once in a blue moon straight?
In Britain, in the era of all-boy schools, there was a lot of adolescent "gay" sex that may not even qualify as such. In prisons, guys that have been straight all their lives and would deny they're gay have gay sex. Then they "turn straight" (a term I'm using tongue-in-cheek after they get out of prison. I had a guy friend in Virginia -- a pianist and an historian -- who was in fact gay but seemingly had sex with no one. He told me once, "I may marry (a woman)," but he didn't. All these stories are true by the way. Strange, but true. There's something about sex that brings out the strangeness in people. I read a memoir by a gay guy who was almost 90. He and his partner had been together for 55 years -- and they were still in the closet. It's not a subject that lends itself to a lot of precision.
One of the biggest homophobes at a company where I worked later turned out to be gay himself -- and became HIV-positive.

davidjac said...

Although the Draft Mark Warner site now redirects one to Gov. Warner's site for his 2008 U.S. Senate race now, I am now building support for U.S. Senator Barack Obama on a new site at

With the help of hundreds of other Virginia Obama supporters, Senator Obama was the first to meet the ballot requirements to be on the presidential ticket in the Virginia primary.

A simple press release annoucing the folding of the Draft Mark Warner PAC and the PAC leadership's endorsement of Barack Obama is already resulting in requests for media interviews which should help Obama in Virginia leading up to the February 12th primary.

Thanks for considering Draft Mark Warner a success story.

Eddie Ratliff