May 28 2008

There are some situations so obvious that you almost feel you don't have to comment upon them. Then you wake up one morning and realize not only should you have expressed your opinion but you should have done it loudly and resoundedly and repeatedly. The odious concept of former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn serving on a ticket with Senator Obama is one of those situations.160pxsam_nunn_3

Over the last week or two, we all have seen his name mentioned by some very progressive activists as an ideal running mate for the Illinois Senator. The conventional logic is that he is very conservative, could help us take some Southern states (especially Georgia) and would provide needed balance to the ticket. On the superficial face of that evaluation, I suppose they might be correct. However, upon closer consideration, this is a classic case of decision-making based on crass politics without regard to reality. Sam Nunn might bring us Georgia and maybe even another Southern state but, in my opinion, at an unacceptable cost to our principles and to the concept of change that has stirred millions to rise and work for Barack Obama.

Sam Nunn would be a disaster as a running mate and a total anathema to millions of Americans. His presence would totally diminish the power of the Obama campaign notion of change. Nunn on the ticket would show that 'Politics As Usual' has supplanted the 'Change In Politics' mantra. More importantly for some of us, it would place a man on the ticket who has an execrable record on civil rights - especially LGBT rights.

Over the years, categorically, Nunn has made all the wrong decisions when it comes to equal rights. He was a strong supporter of Lester Maddox for Governor, a rabid segregationist who handed out axe handles to highlight his 'whites only' policy. In addition, Nunn was a supporter of George Wallace in his ill-fated campaign for President. The former Senator has opposed every advancement for the LGBT community and vigorously took the lead in the opposition to gays and lesbians in the military. Along with former President Bill Clinton, we have Sam Nunn to thank for the sorry debacle of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Can you imagine anyone who opposed equal rights for blacks, Jews or women being granted such a place of honor? Clearly former Senator Nunn's positions on equal rights for the LGBT community should be reason enough to keep him off the ticket. No to Nunn.