Friday, August 17, 2012

In Case You Were Wondering, Ben Gibbard Will Be Voting For Obama In 2012

The cocktail politics and obscure details.

Our weeklong coverage of Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard continues with a lengthy announcement at how Ben would like you to consider Barack Obama for re-election this November.

The funny thing is, other than slowly placing Mr. Gibbard into a category of “irritating indie rock hipster,” I don’t think that I gave two shits about the political leanings of the frontman for Death Cab For Cutie. For me, it ranks right up there in the eye-rolling category as Dave Mustaine blaming Obama for the shootings in Aurora, Colorado or Ted Nugent whenever he opens his big fucking mouth.

Ok, maybe he’s not on the same irritant level as the Nuge, but you get the idea.

And to be fair, the idea that we even have Ben Gibbard spouting about the merits of another 4-years of Obama isn’t even his idea, even if he could have easily said no to the contribution.

No, it’s the brainchild of two Chicagoans who looked around and noticed that their peers weren’t impressed with the first four years of the Obama presidency and, as a result, weren’t opening up their pocketbooks as much as they did in ’08. To which I say, “You’re damn right, Cutie!” as the only check that Obama will get from me is the one on the absentee voter ballot that I just ordered last week. And the only reason he’s getting that from me is because there’s the very good possibility that the victor this November will have a say in shaping the direction of the Supreme Court.

But enough about my political bent; you undoubtedly want to hear more about “90 Days, 90 Reasons” and how their first day is devoted to why Ben Gibbard is supporting Barack Obama this election year.

Never mind a simple Tweet from Ben stating, “I’m voting for Barack Obama this year because he supports gay marriage” would be enough.

Ooops! Spoiler alert!

"90 Days, 90 Reasons is an independent initiative unaffiliated with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. 90 Days, 90 Reasons was conceived by two guys originally from Chicago, Dave Eggers and Jordan Kurland. In late July, they looked around and saw that many of Obama’s voters and donors from 2008 needed to be reminded of all he has accomplished, and all he will do if given another term. They asked a wide range of cultural figures to explain why they’re voting for Obama in 2012, in the hopes that this might re-inspire the grassroots army that got Obama elected in the first place. Every day, a new reason will be posted — in short, Twitter form, with a longer essay available here. Please spread the word."


My sister Megan is married to one of the most wonderful women I have ever met. Her name is Amber. They courted for years before tying the knot here in Seattle 3 years ago. They have two dogs named JoJo and Franco. They will undoubtedly grow very old and very wrinkled together.

When they are very old and very wrinkled they will tell their grandchildren what life was like at the turn of the century. It will be difficult for these kids to comprehend a time before people could view the Internet on the inside of their eyelids. Or that people once used GAS to power their flying cars. Or how when their Grandmas got married, the Government wouldn't recognize them as wife and wife. All of this will sound very strange.

Their grandkids will be too young for the details on how gay marriage was eventually legalized across the country but this is how it unfolded:

In Washington State, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage passed the Legislature and was signed by Governor Christine Gregoire in February 2012. Same-sex marriages were to be performed starting in June 2012 but that was delayed as opponents gathered enough signatures to force a voter referendum on the legislation. This was known as Referendum 74. A number of bigoted organizations tried their best to squash Ref. 74 but the voters of Washington State decided it was time to afford equal rights to all. It passed! Washington became the first state to approve marriage equality by a popular vote after 32 others had tried and failed. The rest of the country saw what Washington had done and decided they wanted to get some of that equality, too. Gay marriage started getting legalized all over the place. It was great. It was the right thing to do.

A lot of credit also had to go to our President, Barack Obama. In May of 2012, he went on national TV and expressed his support for gay marriage. It may be hard to believe but at the time, this was quite a controversial position to some people. He said he had "gone through an evolution" on the matter and felt it was time to share this view with the country (Vice President Biden also kind of forced his hand on the timing of this announcement but hey, who cares now?). He was the first U.S. president to voice support for marriage equality. His support continued through his second term and helped us get to where we are today: Gay couples that choose to get married receive the same rights and recognitions as straight ones.

I am voting for Barack Obama this fall because I want a president who recognizes that gay or straight, the rights of married couples should be equal. Marriage equality is undoubtedly the most important civil rights issue of our generation. We must elect a leader committed to being on the correct side of history. Please vote for Barack Obama this November.

Benjamin Gibbard
 Seattle, Washington

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