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The Backlash Begins


Lucky
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Its the goddam fags that cost Kerry the election. If they hadn't been wanting to go and get married, why Kerry and Edwards would be huggin' on the White House lawn as we speak!

 

Leading the charge is the closet Republican Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein. She's married to a guy almost as rich as Ms. Heinz, and a lot more "connected." The only reason she wasn't put out to pasture long ago is because Harvey Milk and the mayor got killed and she inherited the position...just like Rudy's rep was salvaged on the ashes of the WTC. (Has anyone individual made more money off of 9-11 than Rudy?)

 

Dianne is all over SF mayor Gavin Newsom for his opening the CIty Hall to gay marriage. As far as I am concerned, she has never been comfortable with gays and would prefer they kept a low profile. (How many gay federal judges did Dianne push for when Clinton might have appointed one?)

 

I realize that she isn't the only one trying to blame it on the gay marriage drive. There was a column in the Washington Post by a black woman doing the same...yet she didn't mention the low support for Kerry among blacks, or the strong abortion position that might have hurt Kerry.

 

And then there's barney Frank...

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Lucky:

 

You are correct. An older friend of mine, who is definitely sympathetic to gay causes, told me he thought the election was decided by the Massachusetts Supreme Court when it opened the issue of gay marriage. This guy is actually in favor of legalizing gay marriage, but feels the timing couldn't have been worse. On that score, he may be correct.

 

I was roaming the TV channels earlier this evening and came across a slick program about the founding fathers and the creation of the constitution. Nothing seemed amiss, until it began to move in the direction of saying that the nation was founded on biblical principles and "evil activist judges" have attempted to destroy what is essentially "a Christian nation".

 

Rest assured that the nutcases of the Religious Right will be working overtime to get legislation passed to state that America is a Christian nation. It horrifies me to think that the wall of separation that has protected people of all religious persuasions, and none, could fall prey to this kind of lunacy. These assholes would love nothing better than to make this nation a theocracy. And for the aficianados of all things right wing here at the Message Center, think Iran and Ayatollahs and everything that comes with that. Sounds really nifty, eh?

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Lucky,

 

Pick up today's New York Times and read David Brook's column. He, quite successfully, debunks this spin on the election and his take will quite soon become the conventional wisdom.

 

Later.

 

PS. And I feel your pain. It must be exactly how I felt at this time in November 1996.

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It's a good thing, Lucky. Check this out:

 

Ralph's Gift

by Tom Schaller

Fri Nov 5th, 2004

dailykos.com

 

Add mine to the voices calling for the serious, long-term work and investments needed to rebuild the Democratic Party. That will take time. In the interim, I'd like to suggest that we were handed a gift this week by the Republicans, and it came specifically from the Ralph Reed wing of the party.

 

Reed, you see, wanted to not merely deliver the social conservatives' "values" votes this year, but to ensure that their pivotal role be made noted and respected -- broadcast and trumpeted, loudly and quite publicly. They didn't want to just win; they want credit and plaudits for scoring the decisive touchdown.

 

Awesome. The fact that this election - the first post-9/11 election, with a war in Iraq abroad and a changing economic situation at home - will be remembered by the we-need-it-simplified media as the "values" election, is Reed's great gift to us.

 

Why? Because I suspect that right now the Wall Street wing, and the small business wing, and the defense industry wing, and the tax reform wing of the party are shuddering at the thought that Americans are being told that Bush got to 51 percent based on "values" voting. Would not the better "take-away" storyline from this election be that Bush won because the nation believes in Republicans' fiscal and defense policies, their steadfastness and leadership abilities? I'm meeting a lot Republicans (both conservatives and moderates) who do not want this election to be framed as the Ralph Reed Rout.

 

To understand their fears, flip the script for a moment, and imagine we had won and the emergent storyline right now was, say, how pro-choice single white women carried the day - that they were the newly-mobilized "swing voter" that proved decisive. That image would not merely oversimplify such a victory, but frame it in a way that would permit conservatives to demonize us through their usual tactics of villification and exaggeration. Indeed, have not the Hannitys and Coulters done just that to us, for years? (And we're the liars and haters, huh?) They love to claim, falsely but effectively, that our party is comprised solely of Hollywood elites, gays, the unmarried and childless, college professors, and minority welfare cheats.

 

Frankly, if we don't get angry enough about this depiction, and if we don't start raising our voices, pretty soon Sean and Bill and Ann will have the rest of America invoking as a referent, whenever they hear the words "Democrat Party," the image of a thirty-something, black, gay UCLA professor of postmodern studies who works a few hours a day indoctrinating his students with Che Guevara mantras, before knocking off early to go home for some hot gay sex with his unionized, Hispanic postal worker husband, as they watch pornography on the widescreen and their three adopted sons sit nearby taking notes. I exaggerate for effect, but you get the point.

 

And thus, the biggest silver lining of this election is how the GOP's victory is thus far being claimed, framed and explained. To that I say, "Let us join that chorus." And we should do so now, because there is immediacy in the post-election window of opportunity.

 

Marching order #1, therefore, is this: No matter whom you talk to outside our circles, begin to perpetuate the (false, exaggerated) notion that George Bush's victory was built not merely on values issues, but gay marriage specifically. If you feel a need to broaden it slightly, try depicting the GOP as a majority party synonymous with gay-haters, warmongers and country-clubbers. Because I, for one, am tired of hearing whiny complaints from conservatives that, not only do I not have values, but that I fail to properly respect the values of people who are all too happy to buy into, no less perpetuate, inaccurate caricatures of the 54+ million Americans who voted Tuesday for John Kerry.

 

Criticizing the GOP ain't gonna build us a new national majority. But the process is brick by brick, or perhaps, brickbat by brickbat. We didn't decide the rules of engagement, but that's what they are and so we may as well start firing away. Oh, and Ralph: Thanks for the help.

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It isn't only Feinstein. Newsweek's on article on the Kerry campaign contains a lot of surprising information -- including the astonishing assertion that Kerry was willing to trade away the presidential prerogative to make foreign policy to McCain in order to get him on the ticket.

 

On the issue at hand -- Bill Clinton himself is a prime instigator of "triangulation" against us. Not only was he pretty enthusiastic about the "Defense of Marriage Act", not only did more gays leave the military than ever before under "don't ask, don't tell", but he cynically urged Kerry to join the homophobes at the state level as well:

 

Clinton Advice Spurned.

Looking for a way to pick up swing voters in the Red States, former President Bill Clinton, in a phone call with Kerry, urged the Senator to back local bans on gay marriage. Kerry respectfully listened, then told his aides, "I'm not going to ever do that."

 

Of course Kerry has been variously quoted as opposing "gay marriage", whatever he means by that, so his refusal wasn't apparently made on grounds of principle. But IMHO this makes clear that the marriage agenda is going to get nowhere in a mainstream Democratic Party that has to face the facts of this election.

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I believe there will be a backlash against the cause of Gay Rights from this election. This country has very "gradually" adjusted its opinion of Gay people. But that is the thing "gradually". The attitudes about being Gay are much better now than when I was a teen, so much headway has been made. AIDS was a setback in the 80's to the cause. I know that many want more rights NOW and feel without those Rights we are second class citizens. But reality is patience is necessary and the "in your face" issue of Gay Marriage has hurt the cause and the Democrats need to blame someone. Even the Gay Hero Bill Clinton(never figured out why, remember who signed DOMA) was said to have counciled Kerry to come out strongly against Gay Marriage if he wanted to win.As always we are easy targets. Hopefuuly this setback will not be as great as the 80's.

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from many previous posts of mine, you can read how i felt the bill clinton was no friend of gays; his advice to kerry just comfirms my view. the man was/is a total political opportunist with no core values except to win an election. gays were a nice way for him to get votes and big dollars (especially from the rich california entertainment folks). if we were a deterent to winning an election then overboard we go.

 

the andrew sullivan website has good coverage of the "gays cost kerry the election" issue:

http://www.andrewsullivan.com

it is a question of the democrats taking a true look at themselves and working their way back to the center or blaming gays and going more to the left. kerry did much on his own to lose the election: wrong man, wrong place, wrong time. bush gained big percentages from 2000 among hispanics, jews, blacks, married women, etc.

 

my personal belief is that hillary will be the next president. watch for her to cover the middle ground; on the war she was fairly hawkish (reflecting NYC's direct hit on 9/11 and the feelings of the people there). watch her to be seen attending church regularly. she is a smart politician (along with bill) and she'll make the right moves. she will not fall for the gays cost us the election myth.

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>the andrew sullivan website has good coverage of the "gays

>cost kerry the election" issue:

>http://www.andrewsullivan.com

>it is a question of the democrats taking a true look at

>themselves and working their way back to the center or blaming

>gays and going more to the left. kerry did much on his own to

>lose the election: wrong man, wrong place, wrong time. bush

>gained big percentages from 2000 among hispanics, jews,

>blacks, married women, etc.

 

Read Sullivan's blog from yesterday afternoon after he has read David Brook's column that I cited above in yesterday's Times. He completely reverses himself and agrees with Brooks. It's only a matter of time before this latest liberal canard is completely discredited.

 

Maybe the reason that Kerry lost is that a majority of Americans prefer politicians who don't believe that anyone who doesn't completely agree with them is an idiot. Interesting thought. I would refer you to LargeMargeAtTheRoseBowl's rant on the thread entitled Well I Hope They Are Happy Now. I couldn't have scripted a better victory strategy for the President (and I just LOVE using that title).

 

Later.

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>>(and I just LOVE using that title).

>

>But not as much as you just LOVE using crystal meth and

>ketamine.

 

Dondo,

 

I had to wait nearly 24 hours for your response, and it's not remotely up to your usual post. The drugs are a good hook, but ya gotta be more creative in casting the line. When I throw out some bait, I expect more from the catch. Please try harder next time. Thanks so much.

 

Later.

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Sorry, but blaming gays for Bush's victory is like blaming the Jews for Hitler's victory.

 

The truth is that there's NEVER a good time for major social change. There's always someone (often a lot of someones) who will resist it tooth and nail. But if we'd fallen for this line of thinking Rosa Parks would still be waitig for a seat on the bus, MLKJr. would be preaching against riling up the white folks, and we'd all still be drinking out of white and colored water fountains. Get over yourselves!!!

 

Of course, SOME of the people who voted for Bush are anti-gay. After all, it's the official party of American bigots. This is also the party where it's perfectly fine to hate black and brown people (gussied up as opposition to affirmative action or promoting immigration reform or "English Only"). Why do you think so many bigoted former Southern Democrats became Republicans after the civil rights revolution? But there were a lot more voters who voted for Bush based on the abortion issue, or because they're afraid of terrorism, or because they bought the idea that we shouldn't change horses in mid-stream when we're in a misbegotten war, or because they want their taxes lowered even more, or they responded to another of the endless hooks of fear, greed and bigotry the Republicans offered.

 

Saying that it was ONLY anti-gay voters who gave Bush his victory is simple-minded thinking, at best. And it just feeds the self-hating Dougies and Merlins and others. . .

 

As for the other Republican constituencies mentioned in the postings above, they've screwed themselves for getting into bed with Ralph Reed's and Jerry Falwell's minions. After all, corporations don't vote! And there are a lot more evangelical voters than billionaire voters. Ralph and Jerry's troops turned out in droves, and they're demanding their pound of flesh. They were shafted before, but this time they're not going to roll over and play dead. They're too close to real power now to say "OK, we're just going to go away and leave the winnings to you Ivy League WASP CEOs." This time, they're on a holy crusade, and they're going to get a lot of what they want. And the ends-justify-the-means billionaire wing of the GOP is just going to have to lump it. It will be satisfying, in a Pyrrhic victory kind of way, to see them lumping it. Unfortunately, more than 50 million people who voted AGAINST this idiocy are going to have to suffer, too.

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"I realize that she isn't the only one trying to blame it on the gay marriage drive. There was a column in the Washington Post by a black woman doing the same...yet she didn't mention the low support for Kerry among blacks, or the strong abortion position that might have hurt Kerry."

 

You're referring to Donna Britt in the W. Post, who just happens to be my very favorite columnist in the Post. I read her column on this issue, but I didn't interpret it the way that you did.

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I don't think it's only the anti-gay marriage vote that lost the election. But I do think the timing of pushing gay marriage as an issue was poorly considered by gay activists. Had the made an issue of trying to get a law to prevent job and housing discrimation against gays, it would have had much more support, probably even been a plus for the Dems. Or even a push for civil unions. But the word "marriage" was loaded from the beginning. It was like putting a pistol to the Dems head and saying "if you don't give me this I'll pull the trigger." Bad political judgment.

David Brooks column made some very good points that those of us on the left need to consider. But he also fails, I think, to realize the ugly sentiments that the Republicans have joined cause with. The anti-secularism of the Christian right is a real and present danger to our Constitutional separation of church and state. And the xenophobic current in the Republican arguments both for the war in Iraq, and against immigrants is dangerous stuff.

The political alliance between the prosperous classes with religious zealots, along with nationalistic fearmongering suggests some of history's more repulsive spectors. There is a very definite parallel with the Weimar Republic, although I am NOT claiming that the situations, personalities involved, or the outcome are the same. Still, the appeals to a public fearful of terrorist attacks, that they must guard the fatherland from the infidels and protect their families against internal threats are classic fascist arguments. Patrie, Travail, Famille -- the slogan of Vichy France.

Again, I am NOT making the foolish claim the Bush equals Hitler, or that Republicans are Nazis. But I am saying that some of the undercurrents that have historically led to the rise of totalitarianism are in play, and those who think they can manipulate them should beware.

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"But I do think the timing of pushing gay marriage as an issue was poorly considered by gay activists."

 

For the Feinsteins of the world, there will never be a "right" time to push for advancement of gay rights. Sixty-two percent of those interviewed in exit polls either supported gay marriage or civil unions. Our time is now and one shouldn't let the Uncle Barneys and the furious Feinsteins hold us back, nor be an apologist for your own community.

A straight man, Gavin Newsom, showed more courage on this issue than many gays.

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Where Is The Frequency

 

>A straight man, Gavin Newsom, showed more courage on this

>issue than many gays.

 

Courage? You spend too much time in front of Dan Rather.

 

Gavin Newsom was appointed by Willie Brown to a Board of Supervisor's seat when he had absolutely no experience, not even the head of a book drive for his local public library branch. He became one of the favored monied, corporate, big business seats in San Francisco, supported by the power brokers more interested in power (including your anti-hero, Lucky, for DiFi is a big friend of your boy, Gavin) than in progressive politics, much less rights for gays or anyone else. When Willie Brown almost lost his re-election to a near socialist gay former school teacher who got into the run-off on a write-in, the powers that be wanted to ensure that someone they could control was elected: again, your boy, Lucky. Unfortunately, the green party and some other progressives split the vote and ran against the gay candidate and Gavin is now Mayor.

 

Courage had nothing to do with it. Gavin Newsom has ensured his re-election, and in the future, when he runs for state senator or govenor, he has certainly helped his election in this state. By the time he is ready to run for President, in some twenty years or so, the fact that he was in favor of gay marriage in 2004 will make him seem visionary. It was simply a win-win situation.

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You missed the part of the exit polls that said that only 25% of voters supported gay marriage.

It might make us feel better to get our feelings off our chest and go for the full monty right away, but it's a poor political strategy. Political goals are won by choosing battles that you can win, when you can when them, not giving the enemy ammunition to assassinate you with.

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A major part of the backlash against gay marriage is the fact the courts have begun imposing gay marriage against the will of the majority of the people, and with no regard to the wishes of the people. In a Democracy, the laws are to be made by the people or their elected representatives. But the liberals have realized that by packing the courts with liberal activist judges, they can impose the liberal agenda on the people against their will. Abortion, late term abortion, affirmative action, etc, and now gay marriage. If these major changes in society were arrived at through the democratic process there would be less heartburn and resistence. As it is, I now believe that Congress will approve the Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as a man and a woman. And, I believe that 75% of the states will approve it. The amendment which I have seen, however does no prohibit civil unions etc., although there are several forms in existence with different wording.

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> There was a column in the Washington

>Post by a black woman doing the same...yet she didn't mention

>the low support for Kerry among blacks,

 

Perhaps because it didn't exist.

 

Here is an interesting story from the Associated Press -- notice the misleading headline.

 

President picks up black voters in S.C.

More nonwhites appear to have voted for Bush than in 2000 balloting

 

JIM DAVENPORT

Associated Press

 

COLUMBIA - More S.C. blacks voted for President Bush in his re-election bid Tuesday than did four years ago, according to information from the state Election Commission.

 

Nonwhite voters accounted for more than 95 percent of the registered voters in 36 S.C. precincts. Precinct-level results from the S.C. Election Commission show Bush picked up more votes in 29 of those precincts.

 

The actual ballot box gains weren't that significant. In those precincts, Bush gained just 317 votes over his 2000 results while Sen. John Kerry gained 4,470 more votes there than former vice President Al Gore in 2000.

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The "liberal agenda" as you call it is not what is being advanced, but the constitutional rights of individuals who may not be in the majority are being protected. One of the principal reasons for having a Constitution is so that the majority does not take advantage of its power to deny basic rights to minorities.

Of course there has always been tension in this area, as with slavery, women's rights, etc., and there always will be as long as the courts are willing to stand up for individuals.

The tyranny of the majority is not the American way, and I don't think you'd want to live in a country without a legal system that could protect you from that tyranny.

The courts rule in favor of the majority as often as they do minorities, and where no constitutional issue as at question, statutory law (i.e. legislation presumably passed by a majority) is the only rule.

By the way, of the issues you mention, polls show a majority Americans favor a woman's right to choose on abortion, not the contrary. So in that case the courts were upholding a majority's opinion, but only because they saw it as a constitutional question.

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So now gay marriage is a basic right? Since when? Where does it say that in the Constitution? You cannot seriously believe that the drafters of the Constitution or the people of the states when it was adopted, intended it to have the effect of requiring the states to provided for same sex marriage. They would have been appalled at the idea. Ten years ago, even gays would have laughed at the idea. It may be part of the purpose of the Constitution to protect minorities, but it is not the function of it to give minorities everything they want without regard to the wishes of the majority. Gay marriage is not now a right, never has been. and many not ever be if gays force a Constitutional amendment now.

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I did not say that same sex marriages are a right. But the Constitution is not written to cover every specific case of rights. Rather it establishes general principles that are meant to apply to everyone. There is and always has been much evolution of what those principles mean. For instance, the founding fathers clearly did not mean that basic liberties should apply to slaves, an amendment was necessary to resolve that. Nor did they mean for the right to vote to apply to everyone -- not even all white males. Some states had property requirements for voting.

I'm not sure which of the constitutional principles lawyers would chose to argue that all Americans have the right to marry who they wish. But there clearly are some good possibilities, otherwise the need for an amendment to prevent such arguments would not be necessary.

I would guess that legally it has less to do with marriage being a "right" (I don't think heterosexual marriage is spelled out as a right), as that it is not specifically proscribed anywhere. And if there were to be a law restricting marriage for one group as opposed to another, that would be seen as an enfringement on equal protection under the law.

But in all honesty, this gets into complicated legal arguments that I am not qualified to expound upon. Nevertheless your supposition that I was claiming same sex marriage as a "right" is not correct, though it is typical of the oversimplification that Republicans practiced throughout the campaign to blur issues.

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>So now gay marriage is a basic right? Since when? Where does

>it say that in the Constitution? You cannot seriously believe

>that the drafters of the Constitution or the people of the

>states when it was adopted, intended it to have the effect of

>requiring the states to provided for same sex marriage. They

>would have been appalled at the idea. Ten years ago, even gays

>would have laughed at the idea. It may be part of the purpose

>of the Constitution to protect minorities, but it is not the

>function of it to give minorities everything they want without

>regard to the wishes of the majority. Gay marriage is not now

>a right, never has been. and many not ever be if gays force a

>Constitutional amendment now.

 

Merlin, I tried to explain this to you in another thread. Civil Rights are NOT subject to the vote of the majority. That is why we have the Constitution and the court system. (Remember the courts are a co-equal branch of our great government.)

 

Pierrot has answered very well on this thread.

 

You don't think that the drafters had any concept of gay marriage. Probably not, because of the time they lived in. However they also never concieved of an end to slavery, that blacks would vote and get civil rights, that women would vote, and that handicapped would be entitled to equal access to public buildings. But thanks to our Constitution and our court system, all of those things have come about. I am sure that the framers never envisioned air travel, but that doesn't mean we don't have to deal with those issues today. That is why they wrote the document the way that they did. They knew that they could not cast in stone a set of laws that would never change over years.

 

Pierrot raises an interesting point about the need for a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. They would only need a specific amendment if the Constitution allowed it today. Hmmm. That is why the conservatives are so hot on legislating against gay marriage, they know that the courts will eventually uphold our rights.

 

And please try to remember, that civil rights for minorities are NOT subject to majority vote. I get my rights, whether the majority likes it or not. Think about the right of free speech. Should we only be allowed to say things that the majority approves? Let's hope that is not where we are going in this country.

 

Maybe some folks feel uncomfortable with the concept of gay marriage, but those same folks felt uncomfortable with blacks eating at the same lunch counter. Holding fast for our rights, and educating others will help us prevail in the end. I am posistve of this.

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>You cannot seriously believe

>that the drafters of the Constitution or the people of the

>states when it was adopted, intended it to have the effect of

>requiring the states to provided for same sex marriage. They

>would have been appalled at the idea.

 

Using your very own convoluted logic, I could argue that the drafters of the Constitution or the people of the states when it was adopted, intended it to have the effect of requiring the rights of women to vote, or the recognition of black slaves as ever being free human beings and their subsequent right to vote. They would have been APPALLED at the idea of either of those.

 

> Ten years ago, even gays

>would have laughed at the idea. It may be part of the purpose

>of the Constitution to protect minorities, but it is not the

>function of it to give minorities everything they want without

>regard to the wishes of the majority. Gay marriage is not now

>a right, never has been. and many not ever be if gays force a

>Constitutional amendment now.

 

Wow, you really don't get it do you? It is NOT THE FUNCTION of the Constitution to DENY rights to any group of citizens of the United States via amendments that explicity deny their rights. You only have to look at the 13th and 19th amendments to find precedent for the granting of rights to oppressed, minority American citizens.

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Never mind. When the operatives of God's Own Party come to take FFF and Dougie and Merlin and all their self-hating/self-oppressing kind to the re-orientation centers to become "ex-gays," I'll be standing on the dock (so to speak) here in gay-friendly Brazil, waving the fondest of farewells. Enjoy sunny Guantanamo! And remember who you voted for, as they march you onto the plane!

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