So I've read Cathy's letter to Chuck Bowen of Georgia Equality. I suppose she intended it as a conciliatory gesture, one of those non-apologies that common politicians specialize in - “I'm sorry you missed the implied subtext of my statement, which demonstrates, depending on your definition of 'demonstrate', that I am in fact not a duplicitous pandering swine like your average politician." We, the loyal Georgia Democrats who put our confidence in Cathy, deserved a lot more after the two-faced betrayal we got slapped in the face with on Wednesday. Cathy, if that's your apology, if that's your pathetic attempt to “clarify" your vicious comments from Wednesday, we are through.
There's been considerable discussion on Atlanta Public Affairs and BfD about the supposed narrowness of the focus on this one issue as a reason for severing ties with a beloved campaign. I maintain that it is one issue, and it's a lot more important than gay marriage. It's trust, and frankly I don't trust Cathy any more. It's one thing to be opposed to gay marriage, and even to support the constitutional amendment banning it. It's quite another to issue a statement that both directly contradicted a statement only two years ago, for no discernible reason other than naked political pandering, and gratuitously used words like “sacred" directly out of the rabid right's political playbook. That's the most vile kind of flip flop – I didn't tolerate it from John Kerry, and I sure as hell am not going to tolerate it from Cathy Cox. All those words in her apology sounded fine enough, except for the fact that in no way were those sentiments implied or even permitted by the language of her public statement. That's not a clarification, that's a frantic, desperate, and utterly transparent backpedal attempt. That bullshit won't wash with this former Cathy supporter.
I'm feeling particularly angry at this juncture, so allow me to annotate Cathy's letter to Chuck. My comments are interspersed in red.
Dear Chuck: What, is this just another business letter for you?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me I bet that was a fun conversation on the recent court decision that struck down Georgia's constitutional amendment defining marriage. Please know that I understand how emotional and personal an issue this is for gays and lesbians throughout our state. Your recent actions tell a different story. I don't believe you.
I have always believed that marriage should be defined as the union of one man and one woman. Fine. As you know, the leaders at the Capitol engaged in a campaign two years ago to write this definition into our state constitution, a process I thought unnecessary because Georgia law already set forth this definition. Yeah, that's what you said two years ago. Too bad you said something TOTALLY DIFFERENT on Wednesday. The tenor of that debate was, in many instances, divisive and counterproductive. Way to fan the flames! Just as with so many of the important challenges facing our state in recent years, rhetoric took the place of a reasonable and respectful discussion.
Now that this debate over a constitutional amendment has resurfaced, I felt it best to have the debate confined to this year – and this year alone. Yeah, and the fact that you apparently thought it would be politically expedient to shamelessly pander to the bigots in this state rather than remembering who your friends are (or used to be) is just an added side benefit, right? For that reason and God knows what others, I support Attorney General Baker's expedited appeal. And, if the state Supreme Court upholds Judge Russell's decision like it matters anyway, I would prefer that the legislature deal immediately with the issue in a special session thereby dooming you and all your Democratic colleagues who matter in Georgia to the same humiliating defeat we suffered in 2004 – smart! rather than have this matter overshadow all other important issues for the next two-and-one-half years which might not happen if you gave us a chance to take back the House or the Senate, which you seem not to be interested in, which is the next time a constitutional amendment could be voted upon.
I know we don't agree on the legal definition of marriage Really!, but I am committed to achieving equality for every Georgian Psst – You already contradicted yourself. Maybe that political claptrap would have flown before you opened your mouth, but that time is passed., regardless of where they're from or what they believe as long as they aren't gay. During this campaign, I will not tolerate rhetoric that divides us. Apparently unless you use the divisive rhetoric yourself... As Governor, not likely, I will work every day in months beginning with 'R' to change the tone and tune of government So is that why you issued a statement that could have come directly from the mouth of Sonny Perdue, or even Ralph Reed? Please. so that the interests of all Georgians are considered and dismissed in the process of writing, debating, and passing our laws.
I hope you still support changing the way government does business here in Georgia. I do. That's why I won't vote for you in the primary, not anymore. Together no, we will lead Georgia forward. We may not always agree on the issues, but I hope we can all agree that we must face the challenges of this state together Sounds great, so why did you turn Benedict Arnold on us?, with humility, mutual respect, and in a spirit that is reflective of our shared purpose.
Very Truly Yours, Spare us.