Among the many conservative responses to President Obama’s second inaugural address was commentator Pat Buchanan, who appeared on Fox News to decry the President’s inclusion of various social issues. He described the speech as “not uplifting,” “not really poetry,” “pedestrian,” and “deeply partisan” but specifically attacked the reference to the Stonewall Riots:
BUCHANAN: This is a cross between a State of the Union speech with an agenda and a partisan rally given to the DNC. And so, I think, the president lost a real opportunity. Look, they usually talk about what? When I was a kid, Lexington and Concord and Bunker Hill. What was he talking about? Stonewall. That’s a barroom brawl in Greenwich Village in 1969, when cops were hassling gays in their bar, and the gays fought back and threw them all out. Does that belong in a presidential inaugural?
Jon Stewart took Buchanan to task on Tuesday night’s The Daily Show, retorting, “For the losing side of history, I’m Pat Buchanan.” Watch it:
Diminishing Stonewall to a “barroom brawl” is the equivalent of referring to Selma as a “street fight” or Seneca Falls as a “spa retreat.” It fails to recognize the historic turning point that Stonewall symbolized, including the launch of forthright activism through groups like the Gay Liberation Front and the first pride march. Given Buchanan’s penchant for attacking any kind of social justice, perhaps he resented the mere suggestion that gays and lesbians have had any kind of struggle for equality whatsoever.