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NEWS: Andrew Sullivan, Audra McDonald, And Clay Aiken Vs. Tony Perkins Vs. Rand Paul (VIDEO)


Road The aforementioned Andrew Sullivan story is out now, and it really is rather like that Toni Morrison essay:

... The core gay experience throughout history has been displacement, a sense of belonging and yet not belonging. Gays are born mostly into heterosexual families and discover as they grow up that, for some reason, they will never be able to have a marriage like their parents’ or their siblings’. They know this before they can tell anyone else, even their parents. This sense of subtle alienation—of loving your own family while feeling excluded from it—is something all gay children learn. They sense something inchoate, a separateness from their peers, a subtle estrangement from their families, the first sharp pangs of shame. And then, at some point, they find out what it all means. In the past, they often would retreat and withdraw, holding a secret they couldn’t even share with their parents—living as an insider outsider.

And this, in a different way, is Obama’s life story as well. He was a black kid brought up by white grandparents and a white single mother in Hawaii and Indonesia, where his color really made no difference. He discovered his otherness when reading an old issue of Life magazine, which had a feature on African-Americans who had undergone an irreversible bleaching treatment to make them look white—because they believed being white was the only way to be happy. He wrote:

I felt my face and neck get hot. My stomach knotted; the type began to blur on the page ... I had a desperate urge to jump out of my seat, to show [others] what I had learned, to demand some explanation or assurance. But something held me back. As in a dream, I had no voice for my newfound fear. By the time my mother came to take me home, my face wore a smile and the magazines were back in their proper place. The room, the air, was quiet as before.

Barack Obama had to come out of a different closet. He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family. The America he grew up in had no space for a boy like him: black yet enveloped by loving whiteness, estranged from a father he longed for (another common gay experience), hurtling between being a Barry and a Barack, needing an American racial identity as he grew older but chafing also against it and over-embracing it at times ...

AudraMcdonald Road GOProud wroth with Romney for pandering to "big government theocrats." (They plan to vote for him anyway.)

Road A very cool experiment with slime mold.

Road What's Audra McDonald up to?

Road Why is The Avengers making so much damned money?

Road Mayor Bloomberg delivers commencement address at University of North Carolina; blasts Amendment One.

Road Daily Mail: Colombian drug apparently turns people into mindless zombies. (Story neglects to mention that the same claim has been made of weed, LSD, ecstasy, PCP ...)

Road Gawker didn't get Rand Paul's joke either.

Road The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins might or mightn't have got it; either way, he thinks Paul should be nicer.

Road Face The Nation: Clay Aiken vs. Tony Perkins, AFTER THE JUMP ...


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  1. Alright!
    Well said, Clay!

    Posted by: Gary | May 13, 2012 11:23:34 PM

  2. re: Sullivan, oh, you mean the essay that virtually no one will read, after seeing the President labeled gay with a cute rainbow halo? F*ck you, Sully and Tina B.

    Posted by: carl | May 13, 2012 11:24:05 PM

  3. First, contrary to those defending the absurd “Newsweek” cover as just a benign extrapolation of African-American author Toni Morrison metaphorically once calling Bill Clinton “the first black president,” she never added a halo to his head. As for Sullivan, in addition to regurgitating much of the disingenuousness, distortions, and outright nonsense of his January “Newsweek” Ode to Obama, now he pulls out of his ass a fantasy of Obama having to fight to come out of the closet AS BLACK.

    I have proven how appreciative I am, how huge I think Obama's affirmation was, by praising it all over the Net and making a contribution to his reelection I can ill afford. But if, as Sullivan mews, "he intuitively understands gays and our predicament," then the following can only be seen as conscious betrayals of his "brother people":

    The some 800 gay troops he needlessly shitcanned; the tens of thousands of gay troops who can now serve openly but without the same protections against harassment and discrimination nongay blacks, women, et al., have because Obama caved to Pentagon bigots who didn’t want to give the fags TOO much; the gay military couples and their children who are banned from military family housing not because of DOMA but because of arbitrary Pentagon policy Obama refuses to order stopped; the hundreds of thousands of LGBTs working for federal contractors who COULD have employment protection had Obama not reversed himself on that, too; the binational gay couples who keep having to fight one partner's deportation because Obama refuses to use the green card system to protect them. And, oh yes, the glaring caveat in Obama’s reborn support for marriage equality that Sullivan ignores. This morning on the Chris Matthews’ show, a misty-eyed Sullivan interpreted what “in some ways a father figure” Obama actually said into, “I’m with you. I get it. You’re like me. I am like you. There is nothing between us.” Well, in addition to those catalogued above, nothing but laws banning/not recognizing marriage equality in 44 states whose CONSTITUTIONALITY Obama effectively embraced Wednesday.

    Again, what he did this past week was GREAT! HISTORY-CHANGING! But it wasn't Jesus rising from the dead, and at the same time we’re grateful we should be issuing our community Reality Checks not writing him a blank check. I don’t know if it’s limited to Catholics, but since Obama’s still breathing, Sullivan can’t nominate him for actual sainthood—yet. But what's next—superimposing his face on the rainbow flag? Changing June to "Obama Pride Month"? Replacing the bust of Harvey Milk in San Francisco City Hall with one of Barack?

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 13, 2012 11:25:31 PM

  4. I think Andrew Sullivan has gone off the deep end. I doubt he had any input into that ridiculous cover but the article is almost as equally absurd. I say this as someone who has been pretty supportive of the president despite his needless pussyfooting around gay issues. I'm grateful for what Obama actually has achieved with ending DADT, stopping the defense of DOMA in court, and now taking a clear stand on the right side on marriage equality, and I'm really hoping he gets reelected. But this Sullivan article seems delusional. Obama has not shown the courage that Truman did when he integrated the military, nor when Johnson pushed through his civil rights legislation. Obama is demonstrating his political savvy and I'm happy it's benefiting me, but "the first gay president"? Good God give me a break.

    Posted by: ozu | May 13, 2012 11:51:43 PM

  5. I've been gay since age 5 or 6. I never felt left out that I couldn't "Marry" because I found out that everything I found attractive in men, I could have when I was in my late teens and beyond. I didn't want to be a Mommy or a Daddy. That was my parents life, that was the life I said goodbye to. I have a large family and can always see children, and I like children. Sullivan's theory sounds like an far fetched analogy-- but really, that cover will do more damage than hundreds of negative adds. I pity Obama for being latched on to and manipulated -- because some gays are relentless. Everyone is not for their agenda. A few reality checks will temper that. And Sullivan is a conservative - the enemy within.

    Posted by: Edward | May 14, 2012 12:10:45 AM

  6. People really need to stop giving Obama the credit for ending DADT. He was FORCED into it by Pelosi and Congress when he quite clearly wanted to wait. All Obama did was to sign a bill that he didn't want to have passed when it was.

    Posted by: Tim NC | May 14, 2012 12:13:49 AM

  7. When will we have someone on to debate Tony Perkins who actually has the facts at their disposal so they can take him apart? Almost everything Perkins said was factually incorrect. But, it wasn't challenged. Perkins started by saying he wanted there to be a respectful debate. He then went on to make his very disrespectful and totally false claim that children are better off raised by a mother and father than by a same-sex couple. He relies on stats from a discredited study to make that claim. That's a total lack of respect for the debate. In fact, during the Prop 8 trial it was proved in court that children raised by same sex couples do just as well and sometimes better than those raised by a mother and father. The witnesses for the Perkins view had to admit that under oath when they couldn't prove otherwise with actual data under cross examination.

    Interviewers should b prepared enough prior to talking to Perkins to be able to call him out. He's been using the same lies for long enough now that it really is nothing less than unprofessional for any interviewer to let him get away with it unchallenged. If the interviewer doesn't know the subject matter, they should be having the discussion.

    Posted by: Tim NC | May 14, 2012 12:25:36 AM

  8. obviously that should say "shouldn't be having the discussion"

    Posted by: Tim NC | May 14, 2012 12:26:51 AM

  9. @Michael,

    I voiced pretty much the same sentiments over at my blog.


    Posted by: Phoenix Justice | May 14, 2012 12:54:09 AM

  10. At one time Sullivan was an interesting writer, if somewhat baffling. This is drivel designed to get attention for him and the magazine.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 14, 2012 1:04:50 AM

  11. Andrew Sullivan strikes me as someone who has fallen in so love with the sound of his own voice that he is completely incapable of realizing how absurd his writing reads. And I honestly cannot understand why the media gives him such a huge platform to yammer on about his overwrought views.

    Posted by: atomic | May 14, 2012 1:17:25 AM

  12. On one thread, EDWARD is all about putting gays back in a sound-proof closet. On this one, he appears to be a libertine/anarchist. If you click on his hyperlink, you get CBS news. EDWARD confuses me.

    Posted by: TJ | May 14, 2012 1:19:26 AM

  13. I really REALLY dislike the title, "The First Gay President" and the cover image with the rainbow halo. Both are silly and inaccurate, the cover by implying that gays see Obama as a saint or messiah when that simply isn't true. It can't be denied that great strides have been made for gay rights in the last 4 years but I have yet to meet any gay person with the sort of worshipful attitude toward Obama that image implies. Appreciative, sure, but not without reserve and maybe even some suspicion, especially since even his recent announcement came with a substantial caveat, that he (for now at least) "supports" the practice of states putting the rights of LGBT Americans to a popular vote. (Compare that to Cory Booker's PASSIONATE words about why that is completely and utterly wrong-headed.) And Obama's "my position is 'evolving' on this issue' non-position has been both wearing and frustrating.

    But so far as the title and cover image goes, I guess Newsweek thought they needed something to compete with a 4 year old standing on a chair latched onto his mothers boob like a lamprey. It's hard out here for a print-news pimp! Personally I think it's only going to add to the poisonous Right Wing rhetoric out there so that by November GOP rallies will be filled with frightened grannies warbling about Obama being a GAY Kenyan Muslim Socialist instead of just saying "he's Black!" And the usual GOP media cr*phounds will be calling him gay then when called on it will say, "Hey, I was just quoting Newsweek!" Plus ça change.

    But Andrew Sullivan's article itself doesn't bother me that much, in fact there are parts of it I liked. There, I said it! ;-) I mean sure, the whole "Obama had to come out as black" thing is a little hokey, a too-deliberate echo of Toni Morrison, but there is also probably a kernel of truth in there somewhere too. Having been raised by his white mother and grandparents Obama probably did have to struggle some with questions of identity and authenticity.

    Have you already forgotten that during the 2008 primaries there WAS some criticism of Obama because he wasn't "black enough," that having grown up in foreign countries and Hawaii he had never had the "real" mainland US black experience of racism, profiling, and ghettoization, that he was "too white"? Well I remember it.

    Maybe this wasn't the *best* time to float that theory, as a response to Obama's historic announcement, but I thought Sullivan had a point and, believe me, those aren't words I've said very often. In fact I could count the # of times I've agreed with him on one hand and STILL be able to flip someone the "bird," most likely Andrew Sullivan. The rest of the article was fairly straight-forward and factual.

    Posted by: Caliban | May 14, 2012 2:07:05 AM

  14. Caliban wrote: "I guess Newsweek thought they needed something to compete with a 4 year old standing on a chair latched onto his mothers boob like a lamprey."

    ROFLMAO. So true and oh so funny!

    Posted by: atomic | May 14, 2012 2:29:26 AM

  15. "Conservative" Andrew Sullivan supported John Kerry in 2004, the Democratic Party in 2006, and Barack Obama in 2008. He gained fame in the 2008 elections for claiming that Sarah Palin was not Trig Palin's mother, rather a second child of Bristol. No one truly considers him conservative. Like other things he says/write, he enjoys creating drama above party affiliation.

    Posted by: ScottNYC | May 14, 2012 7:41:16 AM

  16. I have been asking Andrew for years now whether the "W" Bush administration paid him some walking around money to support the war in Iraq in his publications the way the Bush administration was paying off other journalists to support the Bush legislative/and war agendas in print. His over-the-top support of the Iraq war which was so lacking in intellect and credibility just smacked -to me-- of taking walking around money. His very-late-to-the-party reversal of his support for the war in Iraq in 2007/8 sounded to me more like the real Andrew.
    Although I've asked him several times if he ever took money, he never responded to those emails, but did respond to others.
    He may just have dismissed them, or he may have never seen those emails, or... maybe he prefers not to answer the question.

    Posted by: Dan COBB | May 14, 2012 8:03:13 AM

  17. ScottNYC, a gay person deciding to vote for Kerry or Obama doesn't necessarily mean they aren't "conservative" on many issues. Most gay people find it difficult to vote for a candidate or party which proudly trumpets their intent to limit our rights and strip away those we already have.

    Even the lowest life forms have a natural drive for self-preservation, though that instinct seems to have skipped the Log Cabinettes and GOProuders.

    Posted by: Caliban | May 14, 2012 8:10:44 AM

  18. The Newsweek cover is inappropriate and Sullivan is embarrassing.

    Posted by: UFFDA | May 14, 2012 8:52:29 AM

  19. We have to remember that Mr. Sullivan is in the mold of a British conservative, not an American conservative. British conservatives are moderate on so many issues.

    Posted by: Phoenix Justice | May 14, 2012 10:00:28 AM

  20. @caliban, Andrew Sullivan is inconsistent in his views, choosing his position on any given topic by the drama and firestorm he can create, not by his personal convictions. To call him liberal or conservative is inaccurate. His philosophy is that of self-promotion.

    Posted by: ScottNYC | May 14, 2012 10:02:10 AM

  21. Just federalize it! Sign an executive order and be done with it!!!

    Posted by: Jeffrey Dunivant | May 14, 2012 10:53:00 AM

  22. I just love how GOProud will criticize Obama for "not doing enough for gays" and then continue to support Romney, who wants to ban us from marrying at a federal level.

    I understand that Gay republicans need to cut off their own balls in order for their families to tolerate them, but please don't project your lack of testes onto the rest of us.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 14, 2012 11:03:52 AM

  23. If you want to put a cork in all of this.you know who to vote for . I can't stand the guy, but this is worse.

    Posted by: Edward | May 14, 2012 1:24:52 PM

  24. Let me get this correct - One of Mitt Romney's Grandfathers had FIVE wives at the same time. The only reason Romney does not have more than one wife is because the Mormons had to give up multiple wives in order for their "State" to be admitted to the United States. So where is he justifying saying that God decrees that man have only one wife at a time. What chapter and verse in the Bible did his own religion use to justify multiple wives in the first place? (Maybe it is because that the Mormon "Bible" is not the same "Bible" Christians use.)

    Posted by: Jerry6 | May 14, 2012 3:47:11 PM

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