Charles Krauthammer and the Chick-fil-A wars!


We’re forced to give Charles a prize: Tribal fervor rots the mind. This rather obvious pattern dates back into prehistory.

This week, our dumbness has us fighting about the owner of a chicken sandwich chain. Yesterday, “conservatives” flocked to Chick-fil-A.

Today, we “liberals” respond!

We humans have to be very dense to take the bait over matters like this. Last night, though, we found ourselves forced to award a prize.

Our prize went to Charles Krauthammer. We had wondered when someone was going to say it. On Special Report, Charles did.

Brett Baier played tape of Rahm Emanuel’s original fiery statement. Then, he threw to Charles:
EMANUEL (videotape): Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values. They are not respectful of our residents, neighbors, and our family members. And if you are going to part of the Chicago community you should reflect the Chicago values.


KRAUTHAMMER: I think it simply is astonishing to hear Rahm Emanuel defining, according to his political ideas, who is welcome and who is not welcome in Chicago...

And think about this. What is Dan Cathy saying, in his opposition to gay marriage, that is different, that is incongruent, with the position that president of the United States Barack Obama held six months ago on the same issue? He was opposed to gay marriage. Does that mean for the first three months [sic] of the Obama presidency he was a bigot who was deserivig of ostracism and social punishment? Remember, Rahm Emanuel was his chief of chief of staff at the beginning of that, was also the position, supported the position being against gay marriage.
Oof. We don’t know if Emanuel ever said that he himself opposed gay marriage. But during the whole time he was chief of staff, President Obama did!

In 2010, this view was OK. By 2012, the view is so vile that Chick-fil-A shouldn’t come to Chicago! Was Obama allowed to visit his home in Chicago when he held that view?

(Shades of Keith Olbermann’s misogynist attacks on Carrie Prejean, who also agreed with Obama!)

We wondered when someone would note this point about Emanuel’s fiery stand. Maybe someone else did it first.

But last night, Charles took charge. We were forced to award him our prize.


  1. Bob, are you seriously suggesting along with Krauthammer that Barack Obama and Dan Cathy held the exact same view on gay marriage six months ago?

    Let me help you here. While Obama wouldn't endorse gay marriage, he has long endorsed "civil unions" that he thought at the time would give gay couples the same benefits as marriage.

    Did Dan Cathy?

    1. No, Dan Cathy did not. Moreover, Obama never said that gay marriage was "inviting God's judgment on our nation."

      Bob has reached an impressive new low.

  2. Cathy gives money to Focus on the Family. Thst's all I need to know for me to never patronize his businesses. They are a hate group, pure and simple.

  3. By the way, instead of merely taking Somerby's or Krauthammer's word for it, let's look at what Cathy actually said and see how it lines up with Obama's position "six months ago":

    CATHY: “We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

    1. So Obama didn't invoke GOD as his basis for the position -- but the position was the same:

      Obama agreed that we shouldn't "redefine what marriage is all about.”

    2. In his pre evolutionary days, Obama spoke of the moral case for opposing same sex marriage. Obama has also said he prays every day.

      But maybe Obama and God talked about issues other than marriage.

  4. I think there is a big difference between opposing gay marriage, and claiming that allowing gay marriage will invite judgment upon America and donating millions of dollars to organizations who claim that homosexuals recruit children through pedophilia. I think Bob is really stretching here.

    Having said that, how sad is it that the most important thing in sexual politics right now is a goddamn chicken sandwich? What a world we live in...

  5. Also, I have to add: Dan Cathy has made statements like the ones quoted above and donate money to Christian Right organizations for years, so I don't understand why this issue got so much traction all of the sudden. Did people suddenly wake up and realize all this? If this was so important, where were people all these years?

    1. Just a guess here. I'm guessing that the right wing echo chamber, led by Huckabee, is trying hard to gin up the Christian fundamentalist base for the benefit of a Mormon candidate they really don't like.

    2. Then you can credit the mayors of Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago, for their invaluable assistance...

    3. The Presidential race is so boring they had to latch onto something.

  6. Bob you're often right about things like this, but in this case you've completely misfired. There is little about the two men's positions that is similar other than not being for same sex marriage. I'm sure Obama didn't believe same sex marriage was going to bring the wrath of God down on the U.S., or have other anti-gay opinions like Cathy has.

  7. Angry, Bitter Leftist (Or do I repeat myself)August 2, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Even though Obama pretended to be against gay marriage until a couple of months ago, we knew he was just playing to the retards that still believe in traditional marriage. Now that he has ceased pretending, it no longer acceptable in this country for anyone to continue to believe in traditional marriage, for those are now just signs of rank bigotry. We have to identify everyone who still holds such despicable views and hold them accountable.

    1. The Unknown CrybabyAugust 3, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Translated: You are correct, but I don't like your tone.

  8. Oh, come now, folks!

    The president specifically linked his opposition to redefining marriage to his Christian beliefs.

    How logical is it for you argue that Cathy contributing to groups who work to keep that public policy is different from a Democrat, in the HIGHEST office, doing nothing to advance what you consider to be a civil right?

    What a disingenuous distinction to make in light of rhetoric that blasts as "haters" non-Dems who wish to keep centuries old Judeo-Christian tradition in place.

    Emmanuel and company need to tone down the rhetoric or at least be honest about the fact that it little more than Machiavellian maneuvering.

    1. Yes, Cecelia and at the same time he was saying that marriage was a sacred union between a man and a woman, he carefully stressed that those were his personal views as a Christian, and should NOT be translated into public policy.

      And in the same famous interview with Rick Warren, Obama again stressed his support for "civil unions," and in favor of spousal rights such as hospital visitation and survivor's benefits for gay couples as well as straight, married couples.

      Since you seem to know so very little about the history and evolution of Obama's thinking on this subject, here is a pretty good, objective link:

      Now please read that carefully, and tell me again whether or not you agree with Krauthammer and Somerby that there was really no air between the position of Barack Obama and Dan Cathy on this issue six months ago.

    2. "a Democrat, in the HIGHEST office, doing nothing to advance what you consider to be a civil right?"

      Oh, good grief, Cecelia. You just waking up from a four-year nap?

      In 2009, Obama ordered that the same rights given to married heterosexual spouses of federal workers would be given to gay partners of federal workers.

      The same year, he ordered that any hospital receiving federal funds through Medicaid and Medicare must allow visitation rights to gay partners.

      In February 2011, he ordered the Justice Department to cease defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

      In July 2011, he announced his support for the Respect Marriage Act which would require all states to recognize marriages, gay or straight, performed in other states.

      And then, of course, was the repeal of, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

    3. Anonymous 2:31, I know THIS: It's dissembling nonsense to argue that preventing gays from having the same right to marriage as straights is predicated on religious bigotry and hate, AND then to quibble that there is a distinction to make in whether or not you support civil unions and/or politically act on your beliefs.

      THAT is utter HOGWASH in particular when you are talking about making that distinction for the POLITICIAN who holds the ultimate bully pulpit!

      You need to get some principles that match your rhetoric, or just admit that you'll make allowances for friends when convenient.

      I must differ with Mr. Somerby. "Tribal fever" doesn't just rot the mind, but the soul, as well.

    4. Anonymous at 2:44pm, how exactly is it that being for domestic partnerships or civil unions was quite enough for the Democratic uber-holder, but not enough for those hateful bigots who would compromise in granting individuals what is their civil right?

      Perhaps, you folks can send Mayor Emmanuel an outline on just what sort denial of human rights is okey dokey and what's not.

    5. Cecelia, I know what a shock it would be to your sensitive system to admit that Somerby is totally off base here, which is why you are so desperately trying to link Obama's previous support for "civil unions" to Cathy's clearly expressed bigotry.

      But the simple fact remains: There was quite a bit of difference between the positions of Barack Obama and Dan Cathy six months ago, and there is even a bigger spread today.

      Now please, go back and read the post under question where your hero, your mentor, and the guy who does your thinking for you awards Krauthammer a "prize" for saying that six months ago, there was no difference between Cathy and Obama.

    6. Six months ago there was no difference between Cathy and Obama on the subject of gay marriage.

      That's a fact. Just as it's a fact that though he did not expressly mention judgment, by invoking Christianity as reason for denying gays the right to marriage, Pres. Obama implied that there is a deity, whose will society should not thwart.

      You either live with the logic of your own rhetoric, or you tone it down.

    7. No, it is not a fact, and your believing that Somerby is incapable of error does not make that a fact either.

      Here's a little exercise for you. Below is a link to the speech Obama gave before the Human Rights Campaign in October 2009.

      Read it carefully. Then try to imagine those words coming out of Dan Cathy's mouth, or the mouth of anyone else from the Christian right who pretend to know the mind of God on this issue:

    8. There's irony.

      There probably aren't three political positions that Somerby and I have in common.

      However, I do admire honesty and consistency over all else.

    9. Obama may have had the same POSITION, but he said some words that let us know he was just faking it, and anyway he was really nuanced and deep about it, even when, TECHNICALLY, he was against gay marriage, and he's way cooler that that primate Cathy could ever dream of being!

    10. "There probably aren't three political positions that Somerby and I have in common."

      Oh, my goodness. And I previously thought you couldn't possibly be more dishonest. You proved me wrong.

      Cecelia, every single time ANYBODY in these comment boxes has risen to challenge anything Somerby says, you come rushing to his defense.

      Every. Single. Time.

      For a person who can't think of three political positions that you had Somerby have in common, you certainly spend much of your time defending him here.

      You have finished the job, Cecelia. You have now made a complete fool of yourself.

    11. Oh, Anonymous 4:27, if only you were smart enough to realize what it says about YOU in your labeling criticism of Mayor Emmanuel and the media as being POLITICAL positions!

    12. There you go again! Exactly where in the post of 4:27 or anywhere else is Emmanuel or the media mentioned?

      Cecilia, does it say anything at all about YOU that you can broach absolutely no criticism of Somerby whatsoever, even on those occasions when he has gone completely off the rails like he has done here?

  9. Yes, Bob, this is a huge stretch. This would be like comparing Obama to Wayne LaPierre because they both think people should be able to have hunting rifles.

    1. So you believe that gay marriage is not a civil right per se?

      Civil unions and domestic partnerships are natural limitations to make upon gays?

    2. Please Cecelia. You are making a fool of yourself.

    3. Anonymous 2:38 made the analogy of Obama to LaPierre, not me.

      For that analogy to work with the actual facts at the time, it must be argued that the president thought that marriage is not an across the board civil right.
      That there are limitations on it, just as there should be with gun ownership.

      Don't blame me that so much rhetoric from the Left has linked such thinking with compromises such as "separate but equal".

  10. tl;dr

    When Obama was opposed to gay marriage, that wasn't the kind of opposition that Rahm Emmanuel was railing about recently, even though there is nothing in what Emmanuel said that indicates this.

    It's just a thing we know in our liberal bones.

  11. I guess this is what happens when you stop reading a site regularly. Somerby's pushing the "being anti-gay is OK because Obama was for a while" line?

    Yes, there's a lot of dumbness about some of these mayors trying to kick out Chick-fil-a based on the political statements of its president, but the difference between Obama's statements about not being evolved on the issue while almost fully supporting LGBT rights and Cathy's opposition to my existence is as clear to me as night and day.

    I didn't particularly like Obama's former position (and lots of people complained about it! And it wasn't the anti-gay folks!), but he wasn't actively trying to turn gay rights back to 1968.

    And, yes, I see the larger point about how these people are abusing gay rights for culture war positioning, and, yes, it's stupid and offensive, but, seriously, Barack Obama's position (civil unions, end to anti-gay employment discrimination, etc.) was not the same as Dan Cathy's (get back into the closet! I want to control my workers' sex lives!). Krauthammer is still a hack.

    1. "being anti-gay is OK because Obama was for a while"

      Appears nowhere but in you fertile imagination.

      The point was not that anti-gay is OK.

      The point is that Obama was once, and while President of the US, expressly opposed to gay marriage. Now that he's changed his tune, we are supposed to think Rahm Emmanuel's rhetoric about the subject isn't over the top. But what Emmanuel said could have applied word-for-word to Obama's previous anti gay marriage stance.

      To the extent we join Rahm in that, we are hypocrites.

      It's very simple. Pointing out that someone else is MORE anti-gay doesn't contradict it.

    2. Show me anything, a sentence, a word, an action, anything at all that indicates that Barack Obama did anything at all to "oppose gay marriage."

      Obama said, at one time, that he as a Christian would define marriage as between a man and a woman. Meanwhile, fully supporting civil unions. And he was open-minded enough to continue thinking and change his mind.

      As bad as Somerby's herd wants to dissemble along with their Grand Poobah and turn that into the same position of Dan Cathy -- who has donated MILLIONS to efforts to pass anti-gay marriage laws and state constitutional amendments -- Obama's former personal definition of marriage is not the same as "opposing" gay marriage.

  12. Obama said at one time...

    "What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman." (October 2004)

    "The president does oppose same-sex marriage," said White House adviser David Axelrod (8/5/10)

    “The president has been against it." White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, explaining in June 2011 that a 1996 survey saying "“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages" was actually not Obama's position and that the survey was completed by "someone else."

    So, yeah Obama changed his mind somewhat over time. And Dan Cathy is hardcore anti-gay.

    But the point is not that Obama is THE SAME AS Cathy. Unless you are as stupid as you want to pretend everyone else is.

    Obama did OPPOSE gay marriage, vocally. And said it wasn't a civil right. And said "partnerships" with rights should suffice. He was called on the carpet about this by gay rights groups. That all really happened.

    And that Obama wouldn't have measured up to the fighting words from Rahm Emmanuel against Dan Cathy.

    Because Emmanuel is being a hypocrite.

    Dan Cathy being reprehensible doesn't really change that at all.

  13. Obama said at one time...

    "What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman." (October 2004)

    "The president does oppose same-sex marriage," said White House adviser David Axelrod (8/5/10)

    “The president has been against it." White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, explaining in June 2011 that a 1996 survey saying "“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages" was actually not Obama's position and that the survey was completed by "someone else."

    So Obama has evolved, somewhat.

    But this was the history. Gay marriage to him "wasn't a civil right." "Partnerships" with some rights should be enough for gays. States should decide it individually.

    That's the Obama who was called on the carpet by gay rights groups. That's the Obama who himself would not have measured up to the fighting words delivered by Rahm Emmanuel to Dan Cathy.

    The fact that Cathy is reprehensible doesn't change the fact that Emmanuel is a hypocrite.

    Are you as stupid as you're trying to pretend the rest of us are -- do you really not get this?

    1. almost-double post as the software here is crap. sorry.

    2. Context, man, context.

      When Obama "opposed" gay marriage (which is really stretching the word "opposed") he was saying that as a Christian, he defined marriage as between a man and a woman, while he still consistently supported "civil unions" that would drive guys like Cathy batty.

      When Cathy "opposes" gay marriage, he pumps millions into organizations and campaigns to deny gay couples the government an civil benefits of marriage, whether you call it marriage, civil unions, or two partridges in a pear tree.

      It is utterly disingenous and dishonest for Krauthammer to say, and for Somerby to agree with, that Obama's and Cathy's views on gay marriage were once exactly the same as Obama's.

      That is simplistic, black-and-white, George Bush "with us or against us" thinking that ignores the technicolor world we live in.

      But of course, that's easier than doing real thinking.

    3. "the fact that Emmanuel is a hypocrite."

      Why? Because he worked for a boss who once said that his personal view was that marriage was between a man and a woman, but civil unions could be between same-sex couples?

      I have no idea what Emmanuel's personal position on gay marriage has been. Bob seems to have failed to tell us. Perhaps he was always in favor of it, and the robust discussions he had with his former boss was part of Obama's evolution.

      Or perhaps not. I do know that I do not share the same political positions as my boss on every issue, but by Somerby's logic, because I work for him, then I must.

      What Bob is doing here is calling Obama's previous position exactly the same as the extreme, right-wing Christian fundamentalist position, then condemns Emmanuel for working for him.

      There is plenty to discuss and disagree with about Emmanuel's statement regarding Cathy and Chik-fil-A, but hypocrisy isn't among them.

      It is possible, you know, that Emmanuel sincerely holds the belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, even if his own thinking has evolved on the issue.

  14. Ok, how about this? If I stipulate that Rahm Emmanuel is and has always been an asshole, will you admit that you know perfectly well there's a huge difference between someone saying "I don't personally believe in it but my personal beliefs shouldn't be public policy" and someone who donates MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to groups who are fighting very hard to make their bigotry into public policy? Is that simple enough for you?

  15. Hey, Bob, Dan Cathy didn't just say, "I personally oppose gay marriage?" He said, "I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.'”

    Now, unless you can find a quote of Obama saying something like that, you should apologize to your few remaining readers and admit that you're JUST AS BAD AS CHRIS MATTHEWS.

  16. Bob says, "Tribal fervor rots the mind."

    So, apparently, does anti-MSNBC fervor.

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