The Sunday Political Brunch – Aug. 5

ABC 6 Political Reporter and East Greenwich resident Mark Curtis shares his weekly political observations!

Last week I wrote that we were in one of the quietest political times of the year. People were on summer vacation or watching the Olympics and not much was happening until the political conventions later this month. Yikes, was I wrong!

242 Comments and Counting – Aside from my website, this column is published every week via EastGreenwich.Patch.com and on my TV station’s website ABC6.com. Usually I get a handful of comments each week, plus a few “likes” when it is posted on Facebook. I was stunned at the response, mostly from mentioning the “Chick-fil-A” gay marriage controversy. We’ve had 242 comments so far – some of them reasoned and thoughtful; some of them highly emotional and volatile; and, lots of them straying way off topic. In short, they run the spectrum. Whether I agree with them or not, the vocal outpouring has been fascinating.

The Chicken, or the Egg – So who won this week? On Wednesday, it was “National Appreciation Day” for Chick-fil-A, with tens of thousands turning out to defend the company and its owner’s support of traditional marriage (and buying lots of chicken, too). On Friday, tens of thousands turned out for a same-sex “Kiss-In” for those who support gay marriage and oppose the Chick-fil-A owner. The winner was the First Amendment. People on both sides were able to freely assemble and express their views. Yes, it got emotional at times (and even downright nasty in some places), but people on all sides got to vent. One Chick-fil-A opponent even videotaped himself berating a fast food clerk at the drive-thru. The video went viral and the anti Chick-fil-A guy was fired from his job. Whoops! Here’s the link: http://tsminteractive.com/man-fired-berating-chick-fil-a-employee/

Kentucky Fried November – I laughed the other day when House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) weighed in on the controversy saying, “I’m a Kentucky Fried Chicken fan.” Of course the real underlying question is will this matter in November. My prediction: No, this election will be decided on the economy. It’s hard to buy any brand of fried chicken if you don’t have a job.

Profits and Prayers – Some believe that Chick-fil-A is unique in having a religious influence in its business practices, but it is not. Some very prominent and popular companies operate with a faith-based philosophy. Read on: http://www.businessinsider.com/17-big-companies-that-are-intensely-religious-2012-1?op=1

Follow the Bouncing Ball – Remember the old Mitch Miller TV show, where you sang along by following the bouncing ball? This year the “bouncing ball” is the national unemployment rate. Friday it pushed back up to 8.3 percent after three months at 8.2 percent. This is not good news for the Obama White House which must be in absolute panic. They need the rate to drop – even slightly, or to start trending downward – for the President to be re-elected. In modern times no President has been re-elected with unemployment over 8 percent. There are just three more monthly unemployment reports before we vote.

Haters, Racists, Nazis, et al. – The tone of modern political discourse worries me, and from both sides. Take the Chick-fil-A debate where those who oppose gay marriage on legal or religious grounds are called “haters” or prejudiced. If that’s true, then President Obama “hated” gay people up until about two months again when he changed his stance on this issue. Bill and Hillary Clinton both campaigned in favor of traditional marriage, but no one ever said they “hated” gay people. My point is that it’s possible to oppose gay marriage for a variety of reasons, without hating anyone. For example, I know many people who have gay friends and co-workers and support their right to non-discrimination in the workplace, housing, etc. They just disagree on marriage, but that doesn’t mean they hate anyone. So why the name calling? From the other side of the aisle, I questioned a recent Facebook post calling President Obama a Fascist. So he’s equal to Mussolini and Hitler? Come on! Let’s debate issues and principles; not play to angry and exaggerated emotions.

What if the Election is a Tie? – Maybe it’s too early to talk about this, but the possibility fascinates me. It is possible this election could end in an Electoral College tie with each candidate receiving 269 Electoral votes. Normally, when a candidate won a state, he won all the Electoral votes from that state. But now, two states – Nebraska and Maine – have opted to divide their Electoral votes, based on who won in each of the state’s Congressional Districts. In the last election, John McCain won Nebraska, but only took four of the state’s five Electoral votes. That’s because Barack Obama won the urban Congressional District that includes Omaha, so he received one Electoral vote. With this election likely to have a razor-thin margin, this state-splitting phenomenon increases the chance of a 269 to 269 tie. That would throw the election into the House of Representatives, but would also likely send it to the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutional challenge over a state splitting its Electoral votes. Can you say, “Election 2000 rerun?”

Let’s hear from you? Click on the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

(c) 2012, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.


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Jonathan Keith August 10, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Fear nor Ego drives me to post under the name I am know by. I fear none and take no credit for posting the truth, the truth how I see it to be. The expressions of ideas in their purest form are only to show opposition to the beliefs of the many. However what is an idea, except a self projected view of the truth? We should be open to ideas and life in every form on every argument. The fact that one would post under a name means simply that they want to be held accountable for what they post. If I am to fear expression then I have accepted the fact that my god given rights have been taken away by my government. This is becoming more of a reality, but until the task of destroying our constitution has completed I shall use my name.
Nard Glimrod August 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM
>> What is an idea, except a self projected view of the truth? Boy, for a couple of French philosophers, your English is pretty good. Très bien, Le Manifold! Bon travail, Monsieur Jean Keith! Enjoy your croissants. :-)
Dan D August 10, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Jonathan, I do accept that my inalienable (not god given) rights have been usurped. But not by the government. They have been usurped by extremist elements which seek to control the government and people with fear. And they do. when members of certain political groups proudly state that they carry guns for "safety" and routinely target people and harass them, anonymity of those opposed to them is a result. atheists and gay people hide themselves behind this cloak for fear of reprisal, not just against them, but their children. the Prayer Banner issue in Cranston is a prime example. Grown men sending death threats to a 16 year old girl. Flower shops refusing to deliver flowers to her. Police officers escorting her to school and 24 hour protection of her house. But those are just the FACTS in Rhode Island.
Jonathan Keith August 10, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Dan D, I can accept that the facts are pointing to groups of extremist taking away our rights, however the government allows this. We are the governed and the governing. We have the power to change the course of this country yet most of us sit by while these actions occur. This has caused such hostility among men of likeness, and the government through media outlets magnifies these hostilities and causes them to gain unprecedented attention. As far as the Cranston Prayer Banner is concerned this is the right of the people as it is the right of the girl to either enjoy or despise such a public expression of religious sided vales. However for the governing body to allow this to be removed empowers the extremist few to continue such actions moving the bar higher, and higher. This in turn causes more hostility and ends with man hating man. We are living in a de-evolution of our society. This is why we strongly need to heed the further control our government has adopted through moves such as the Patriot Act, the NDAA, the TSA, and Cyber attacks of personal privacy. Through this the government has its hand involved. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin
Dan D August 10, 2012 at 04:11 PM
There is a big difference between "I do not like what you did" and the furor which cause her to require police protection. Laws were broken and nothing was done. Why? Because the majority agrees with the extreme element and is therefore loath to punish them. It really is no different than the Taliban. the majority is silent as long as they are not the ones being persecuted, yet will scream bloody murder when someone appears to infringe on their rights. That is why the person who filed a complaint about the Woonsocket cross chose to remain anonymous. and that is also why the mayor of that town is demanding the revelation of this person's identity. They want to harass and shame this person. And the people are all for it! We are in the midst of a culture war. The majority, led by extremists, and ignored by the unaffected, is working to push their way of life and their values on others. They are removing all of our freedom of thought and life in the process. Those of us on the fringe must stay on the fringe and hide ourselves because those that may agree we have a right to our beliefs and thoughts stay silent because they do not want to get involved. After all, they are not the threatened. All it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.


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