Dear Mr. President
June 15, 2009 7:48 PM   Subscribe

Dear Mr. President: ... I realized that although I and other LGBT leaders have introduced ourselves to you as policy makers, we clearly have not been heard, and seen, as what we also are: human beings whose lives, loves, and families are equal to yours. I know this because this brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you.

John Aravois comments:

... more important than its content is its existence. In politics, sending a letter chastising a friend is a far more significant act than what the letter actually says. It's just not done unless something very big and very bad happens. Usually things happen quietly, behind closed doors (especially with friends). When they go public like this, it means serious trouble is brewing.
posted by Joe Beese (157 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think the Justice Department does have an obligation to defend the constitutionality of the law, otherwise the President might have the power to strike down any of his predecessor's laws simply by failing to defend them. But this goes way over what is required, and it is deeply offensive.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:06 PM on June 15, 2009


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "I think the Justice Department does have an obligation to defend the constitutionality of the law..."

Richard Socarides: not in all cases, certainly not in this case – and not in this way
posted by Joe Beese at 8:11 PM on June 15, 2009


I remember being so pissed at California for ruining the day after the election for me. How naive.
posted by thankyoujohnnyfever at 8:12 PM on June 15, 2009


Ah, Obama. Leading us bravely into a new world of exactly the same shit as ever.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:19 PM on June 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


The brief is simply out-freaking-rageous. It's as bad or worse than his predecessors.

I supported Obama, but if he is on board with what this brief is saying, it's just horrible. If he doesn't repudiate this in some major way, I swear to god, I'll be doing everything I can to campaign against him.
posted by darkstar at 8:22 PM on June 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait, so the bloke who's become President at the head of the Other Status Quo party supports the status quo? Wow. This is all so complicated....
posted by pompomtom at 8:22 PM on June 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Seriously... I fucking dare someone to bring up the 7-dimension chess argument.

This is just insane. Saturday I'll be going up to MA to be in one of my best friend's weddings which, under this bigoted shit, just wouldn't be possible.
posted by odinsdream at 8:30 PM on June 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


As I've said before, I don't trust Obama on GLBT issues, and this just solidifies that impression. The arguments that are being made to justify the act make some sense. But this is feeling like Bill Clinton all over again, complete with treating DOMA as though it were some sort of untouchable third rail and clear and displays of obvious discomfort and dismissiveness in public when pressed on issues that matter to anybody who's gay or lesbian.

It's extremely disheartening to have the sense that the only thing that would have been worse would have been McCain's Department of Justice defending DOMA. But then I realize, as Dale Carpenter has pointed out, that "there's little in this brief that could not have been endorsed by the Bush DOJ. A couple of rhetorical flourishes here and there might have been different. Perhaps a turn of phrase. But, minus some references to procreation and slippery slopes, the substance is there." (Emphasis mine.)

And I want to scream at how two-faced the Obama Administration appears at this point in time, "defending the constitutionality of the law" be damned.
posted by blucevalo at 8:35 PM on June 15, 2009


Whoops:

"But this is feeling like Bill Clinton all over again, complete with treating DOMA as though it were some sort of untouchable third rail and clear and displays of obvious discomfort and dismissiveness in public when pressed on issues that matter to anybody who's gay or lesbian."
posted by blucevalo at 8:36 PM on June 15, 2009


I've hardly been able to stand to read the coverage of this, let alone the brief itself.
posted by rtha at 8:47 PM on June 15, 2009


pee pee doo doo he is a bad president
posted by boo_radley at 8:48 PM on June 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Sigh.

Again.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:51 PM on June 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems like Obama is going to make slapping the LGBT community in the face a yearly ritual. (2007, 2008)
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:51 PM on June 15, 2009


Jebus. I mean...come ON, already. Make with the equality, America!

Dammit.
posted by darkstar at 9:01 PM on June 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Joe Solmonese's letter is excellent and OTM (if we allow it to be tacitly understood that some people -- gay, straight, or whatever -- aren't interested in the marriage paradigm); that second link is crazypantsed and seems to deliberately read the brief as saying far, far worse things that are actually there.
posted by Casuistry at 9:01 PM on June 15, 2009


What is the second link saying is in the brief that isn't in it? I'm all ears.
posted by blucevalo at 9:10 PM on June 15, 2009


Socarides makes this comment in the article that Joe Beese links to:
"From my experience, in a case where, as here, there are important political and social issues at stake, the president’s relationship with the Justice Department should work like this: The president makes a policy decision first and then the very talented DOJ lawyers figure out how to apply it to actual cases. If the lawyers cannot figure out how to defend a statute and stay consistent with the president’s policy decision, the policy decision should always win out."

Given the inherent relativism in determing what an "important" issue is, Socarides is essentially giving carte blanche to every administration to force the DOJ to bend to its political and social agenda. This kind of thinking, in the service of unscrupulous and dogmatic regimes, would lead to horrific damage to the country.

Real and good social change ought not to come at such cost.
posted by oddman at 9:16 PM on June 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


oddman: " the inherent relativism in determing what an "important" issue is"

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

posted by Joe Beese at 9:20 PM on June 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


If he doesn't repudiate this in some major way, I swear to god, I'll be doing everything I can to campaign against him.
posted by darkstar


I'm sure Sarah Palin would love to talk to you at length about this since her position would be so much different.
posted by Balisong at 9:26 PM on June 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


... except blacks and women ...
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:30 PM on June 15, 2009


Obama is becoming a disappointment. On civil liberties, on civil rights, on torture, on the banks, on the war. Better than McCain, sure, but not what I got excited about, and donated and volunteered and voted for.
posted by orthogonality at 9:30 PM on June 15, 2009 [10 favorites]


Real and good social change ought not to come at such cost.

So then what is an acceptable cost?
posted by blucevalo at 9:30 PM on June 15, 2009


He's too smart to not know. He's too smart to not understand. He either doesn't care, or he thinks this serves some other more worthwhile purpose.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:30 PM on June 15, 2009


Welcome to America, where the politicians are so far right that the fascists call the center-right socialist.
posted by kldickson at 9:31 PM on June 15, 2009 [22 favorites]


I have to ask, because maybe I'm missing something in the "this brief" link...

"Obama defends DOMA ... Obama[...]argued that DOMA is reasonable ... Obama claims ... Obama could have ... Obama ... Obama ... Obama ... Obama ..."

But in the document itself, nowhere is "Obama" even mentioned. He didn't write, present, or sign it.

Now, don't get me wrong, this doesn't give him a free pass -- he did appoint the person who wrote it, after all, and doesn't seem to have responded yet. But could we maybe give Tony West a little credit for this?
posted by CrayDrygu at 9:38 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I never figured this out during the campaign. Where did people get the idea that Obama would be some progressive savior? He ran with fairly standard moderate policies but somehow the left got whipped into a fervor for him. He never did anything to discourage those supporters, but this stuff shouldn't be surprising.
posted by stopgap at 9:45 PM on June 15, 2009 [14 favorites]


orthogonality: "Obama is ... not what I got excited about, and donated and volunteered and voted for."

That's why, although I was excited about him, I didn't donate or volunteer. I tried that once, and I got burned.
posted by CrayDrygu at 9:46 PM on June 15, 2009


Obama is becoming a disappointment.

What did you think he was going to do? Did he become one of the establishment's top two options by being a radical? Seems damn unlikely to me.
posted by pompomtom at 9:53 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


One of my happiest memories of our struggle for civil rights was watching the simulcast of the New Jersey Supreme Court oral arguments, while I was a New Jersey resident. I realized that the attorney for the state was just not trying. He had to be there. They had to make the arguments. And so he did: quietly, without fire and brimstone, without judgment or passion. He was sent in there to lose, and he knew it. It almost seemed that he was proud to be sent in there to lose.

And that made me proud of my state.

This? Not so much.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:54 PM on June 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


he did appoint the person who wrote it, after all

Actually, Obama didn't appoint the person who wrote it. The person who wrote it was a Bush DOJ holdover, W. Scott Simpson. But someone higher up, undoubtedly an Obama appointee, signed off on the brief, maybe Eric Holder himself.

Howard Dean is saying that he doubts Obama ever saw this brief, which is probably true. But somebody in the Administration saw it, and signed off on it, and I think that is the sense of the word "Obama" used in the link that refers to Obama defending DOMA, etc., not the sense that Obama himself personally is doing these things.
posted by blucevalo at 10:00 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


If Obama really believes any of these things, then I want -- nay, deserve -- to hear him say them out loud. If he doesn't believe them, then I need to hear him say that out loud. The time for winks and half-steps and inferences is over -- it's your move, Mr. President.
posted by hermitosis at 10:02 PM on June 15, 2009 [30 favorites]


Real and good social change ought not to come at such cost.

So then what is an acceptable cost?


Good question, and one that I don't have a ready answer to. However I do think that achieving this goal while making it easier for future presidents to reverse gains for the LGBT community and many other minorities is a bad idea.

Again, all I wanted to point out is that it's a bad idea to push the Obama DOJ to weaken governmental policies that help make ours a country of laws. Weakening the system in this way would help ensure that successive administrations can simply ignore established laws whenever it suits them.

It's shameful that Clinton signed DOMA. It's shameful that good governmental policy is forcing Obama to defend DOMA. It's unfortunate that sometimes good policy forces us into bad decisions. But this does not mean that we should hurriedly abandon the policy. It would be an even greater shame if this issue allowed the next Republican president to set back civil rights for all minorities, racial, religious, gendered, et al., without regard to laws and standards established in more progressive administrations.

I'm not arguing that marriage equality isn't an issue worth pushing for in general. I'm not defending Obama's implied moral position. I simply think that the legal ramifications of this particular battle could have disatrous (if unintended) consequences.
posted by oddman at 10:04 PM on June 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


blucevalo: "...I think that is the sense of the word "Obama" used in the link that refers to Obama defending DOMA, etc., not the sense that Obama himself personally is doing these things."

Really?

"Obama ... argued that DOMA is reasonable. He argued that DOMA doesn't discriminate against us.... He actually argued that the courts shouldn't consider Loving v. Virginia.... He told the court.... Obama is quite literally destroying our civil rights...."

'Cause I don't see it.
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:07 PM on June 15, 2009


I didn't believe you were arguing any of those things, oddman, nor did I think you were defending the brief's arguments. I was kind of being a pain-in-the-ass gadfly, but I wasn't trying to snark. I appreciate your thoughtful response.
posted by blucevalo at 10:07 PM on June 15, 2009


If Obama really believes any of these things, then I want -- nay, deserve -- to hear him say them out loud. If he doesn't believe them, then I need to hear him say that out loud. The time for winks and half-steps and inferences is over -- it's your move, Mr. President.

Exactly. No more "strategizing" — no more "laying the foundation" — no more bullshit. Just say where you stand on civil rights.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:09 PM on June 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


CrayDrygu: It's synecdoche, I believe, but I could be wrong. I'm not in the bloggers' heads.
posted by blucevalo at 10:09 PM on June 15, 2009


Obama made this an Obama issue by remaining silent. So far, he is letting this brief do the talking for him. And it ain't pretty.
posted by greekphilosophy at 10:09 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


No worries blucevalo, I guess that might have come across as a tad more defensive then I meant it.

Blazecock Pileon, I think that's a strong point. Moral issues like this ought to be discussed without dissembling.
posted by oddman at 10:19 PM on June 15, 2009


This just supports my position that the US has 2 parties: the wacko right wing one, and the extreme wacko right wing one.
posted by signal at 10:25 PM on June 15, 2009


Paraphrasing an earlier comment: In a world where gay men are being put to death by their government expressly and only because they are gay, I just can't get too worked up about lack of government recognition for marriage. Make me a world where horrific images like this and horrific news articles like this never happen and I'll move same sex marriage up the list of priorities. I support same sex marriage. I support homosexuals not being murdered by the state more. If there is a "gay community" it needs to get its priorities straight.
posted by eccnineten at 10:26 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's too smart to not know. He's too smart to not understand. He either doesn't care, or he thinks this serves some other more worthwhile purpose.

This is scary, this "Fearless Leader Has His Reasons" attitude. At least Bush had an opposition. And frankly, I have never gotten where this "he's so smart" attitude came from. i'm sorry, but I never got it, even when i was supporting the guy. A president doesn't have to be an intellectual genius, but if that's the criteria you vote on, choosing Obama over Hillary Clinton was not the correct choice. I'm sorry, I saw the debates.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:33 PM on June 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


In a world where gay men are being put to death by their government expressly and only because they are gay, I just can't get too worked up about lack of government recognition for marriage.

Wait, but how do you feel about the sexual abuse of teenage models??
posted by hermitosis at 10:33 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


eccnineten: So US can do unsavory things as long as someone, somewhere has it worse? We shouldn't fight to improve our own situation until we've fought everyone else's battle first?

This is a false dilemma -- you can find the lack of support for gays in the US to be offensive and find the situation in Iran offensive at the same time.

"I support same sex marriage. I support homosexuals not being murdered by the state more. If there is a "gay community" it needs to get its priorities straight."

Gays aren't murdered by a state I can influence. Part of getting one's priorities straight is determining where one can actually have an effect.
posted by CrayDrygu at 10:48 PM on June 15, 2009 [14 favorites]


I just can't get too worked up about lack of government recognition for marriage.

Consider marriage more of a side result from defending Equal Protection, than the one end goal of civil rights cause.

It's more about avoiding situations like this, which is itself was a heinous act of violence against all gays and lesbians as much as it was a specific act of violence against the children of Lisa Pond, whose only crime was to be a lesbian who required medical attention in the State of Florida.

On that point, we also would like to avoid this and this and this and all the other acts of violence against members of the GLBT community. Marriage is just one part of the larger goal of being treated like equal human beings.

I support homosexuals not being murdered by the state more.

Then you should consider supporting Equal Protection statutes. It's all part and parcel of being treated your fellow human beings with dignity and respect.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:51 PM on June 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


The best part of this? The HRC trying to call out Obama, as if they haven't already made an art form about fucking over part of the group they claim to represent whenever it suits them, and whether or not it will even result in anything positive coming out of it.

Not that I'm not upset about this whole Obama Justice Dept. defending DOMA thing, but HRC doesn't have a fucking leg to stand on, as the only reason they claim to represent the T part of GLBT is so there are people to throw under the bus whenever it's needed, convenient, or jut fun for them. They're more harmful to the community on a regular basis than the brief they're criticizing.
posted by evilangela at 10:51 PM on June 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


Erm. I don't think that "take responsibility for all lawyers employed by the federal government" is in the job description for President. So I don't get all the vitriol for Obama permitting some - *checks brief* - Attorneys in the Department of Justice to write this thing.

Shit sucks, but if you're going to blame somebody, it would make sense to blame the person who did it.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:52 PM on June 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is a false dilemma -- you can find the lack of support for gays in the US to be offensive and find the situation in Iran offensive at the same time.
More than that, I'd say full civil rights in the US would go some way to aiding activists elsewhere, as they would be able to point to a non-discriminatory regime where teh gayness has not caused social collapse and the rending of the veil of the temple asunder.
posted by Abiezer at 10:55 PM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


:(
posted by voltairemodern at 10:57 PM on June 15, 2009


If he doesn't repudiate this in some major way, I swear to god, I'll be doing everything I can to campaign against him.
posted by darkstar

I'm sure Sarah Palin would love to talk to you at length about this since her position would be so much different.


Yeah, well fuck her and the moose she rode in on, too. In fact, while we're at it, fuck everybody that wants to play chess with my civil rights.

I am so goddamn tired of this crap. I've lost two jobs because I'm gay, not to mention a full college scholarship. Systematized discrimination has cost me literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in earning potential, not to mention the emotional toll. And my government is still equating me to an incestuous pedophile and saying that if I were afforded equal rights, it would be a drain on the public coffers?

You bigoted bastards! I pay my taxes, I follow the laws; it's long past time I was treated like I was created equal.
posted by darkstar at 11:15 PM on June 15, 2009 [80 favorites]


it's long past time I was treated like I was created equal.

Yes it is.
posted by sundri at 12:06 AM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I want to see equality of marriage but its not my biggest concern. It doesn't even make top 5.

That's why Obama is super smart. This issue is just not hot enough for him to deal with at the moment and he knows that every single person who is angered at him for this decision is with him on several others. Just imagine if he gets climate change on the right track, gets health care, gets card check union organizing, ends Iraq, fixes Afghanistan, and repairs diplomacy around the world. Actually for reality's sake lets say he gets 3/6 on those. The economy has to fix itself but he has to look like hes the one doing it and that might be working.

So for 2010 congressional elections, which is what he's thinking about, the economy is not worse, Iraq is closing out, cap and trade is passed, and healthcare is passed. Other countries are at least talking to us again, Afghanistan is not worse, and card check could happen with some help from a few more Senators. Is DOMA going to hurt him or the party?

Two things have to happen for marriage equality to occur at the federal level. First, there cannot be crisis issues hanging like bad storm clouds on the horizon. Climate change, the economy, and the war are taking up too much time and attention for it to break through to people like me who care but who aren't going to sacrifice the crisis issues for it. Then, LGBT advocates need to have the same organizational infrastructure as unions and healthcareNOW.

Obama needs the support of congressmen and women from districts where marriage equality is not popular to pass his legislation and to get it he will promise them he will reelect them in 2010. They aren't Republicans, they are Democrats in conservative districts.
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:26 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's why Obama is super smart. This issue is just not hot enough for him to deal with at the moment and he knows that every single person who is angered at him for this decision is with him on several others.

I don't think it's super smart or anything, it's just standard political calculus. If his stance on gay unions is the one thing that infuriates you about Obama, seriously, whaddya gonna do, vote for Jeb Bush?

You got conned, plain and simple. Sorry.
posted by codswallop at 12:41 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously... I fucking dare someone to bring up the 7-dimension chess argument.

Dude it's 11 dimensional chess!

Obama doesn't really seem to be paying much attention to this stuff at all. I guess he probably just doesn't care that much. I would be better if he didn't run around talking about he's a "fierce" advocate and all that, though.
posted by delmoi at 12:43 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This "prioritizing" thing and the chess game is a false dilemma. We're not talking about asking Obama to make repeal of DOMA his top priority or to drop everything that he's doing on health care to ram DOMA-repeal legislation through or whatever. But is it too much to ask that his administration not be ACTIVELY penning briefs that slander gay people or proactively make constitutional, social and fiscal arguments against us?

If Obama's administration has other things to do, couldn't they have simply not written this vile brief? There was no requirement that they do so.

It's just ridiculous to think that we have to get Iraq and health care hammered out before we can expect his administration to cease filing odious legal statements that actively subvert his campaign promises.
posted by darkstar at 12:47 AM on June 16, 2009 [15 favorites]


Move, darkstar. I know, it sucks to abandon one's motherland — but on the other hand, there's little reason why you should have to put up with that shit. You need to decide if you're more important than your nationality, I guess. Your ancestors probably made that choice at one time.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:54 AM on June 16, 2009


Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 2:15 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Yes, because there's not one shred of difference between Obama and McCain/Palin. I'm sure McCain would have given a brilliant speech to an audience at Cairo university, complete with quoting from the Koran.
posted by Justinian at 3:10 AM on June 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


Obama is becoming a disappointment. On civil liberties, on civil rights, on torture, on the banks, on the war. Better than McCain, sure, but not what I got excited about, and donated and volunteered and voted for

One day my prince will come.
posted by flabdablet at 3:11 AM on June 16, 2009


Dear President Obama:

You won. The Democratic Party controls Congress. Please act like it.


Thanks,

The Voters
posted by paddbear at 4:03 AM on June 16, 2009 [29 favorites]


Weakening the system in this way would help ensure that successive administrations can simply ignore established laws whenever it suits them.

This handwringing over trashing the DOJ is too little, too late.

The administration already ignores established laws whenever it suits them.

Torturing prisoners is in violation of 18 USC 2340.
The orchestrated lying to get Congress to authorize the invasion and occupation of Iraq is in violation of 18 USC 371.

And I've not seen one person who was ordered to torture prisoners arrested, arraigned, and prosecuted -- have you? I've not seen one person who ordered the torture of prisoners arrested, arraigned and prosecuted -- have you? I've not seen one person who lied to me, you, Congress and The World about Iraq being an unique and immediate threat arrested, arraigned and prosecuted -- have you?
posted by mikelieman at 4:12 AM on June 16, 2009 [13 favorites]


America: "We're not a nation of law, but we play one on TV!"

After the Bush regime, and Obama's thus far failure to begin open, public investigations into the sundry crimes of that regime, I think it's perfectly reasonable and fair to give no free passes to this administration, based on some vaporous notion of "more important issues".

The Constitution is the foundation of the United States. We either adhere to the principles stated therein, or we brush them aside in the expediency of the moment. If the later, we prove our national character that of a sociopath.

If the foundation is allowed to go unsupported, the other issues don't matter, the whole will fall with the foundation. Instead of tending the foundation, this brief undermines that foundation further.

Now excuse me, my brother and I have a hot date to screw My Pet Goat.
posted by Goofyy at 4:40 AM on June 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Dear President Obama:

You won. The Democratic Party controls Congress. Please act like it.


Thanks,

The Voters


He is. They are. Obama, his administration, and congress are articulating the beliefs of the modern Democratic party, and surprise surprise, they're really only progressive when contrasted with the stone age philosophy of the Republicans. Is it good enough?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:44 AM on June 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is not surprising, but it is despicable. Obama relies on support from GLBT people but does not support their causes – that was true on the campaign trail as well as in office.

Is this political calculus? Sure. Obama's not committed to gay rights, not to the point where he is willing to put up any kind of a fight against enforcing DOMA. (He is on the record as against marriage equality, after all.) But he needs at least some level of distance, which means it was quite smart of his administration to give the actual hatchet work to a Bush holdover. It was certainly a choice the admnistration made – anyone arguing that this would have happened if Obama or his advisors didn't want it to is either being naive or disingenuous.

This is a lesson in priorities. It's worth learning from.
posted by graymouser at 4:47 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


At least we get to see the craptastic anti-gay arguments have their day in court and lose. That will settle these issues for future lower courts on related cases, which is a good thing. They're legal arguments which have been advanced in similar cases in state courts. If the US doesn't defend the law and make them, someone will file an amicus brief and make them. If these arguments are persuasive, then we will have to pursue legislative change. I'd rather legislative change anyway.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:28 AM on June 16, 2009


HRC doesn't have a fucking leg to stand on, as the only reason they claim to represent the T part of GLBT is so there are people to throw under the bus whenever it's needed, convenient, or jut fun for them.

Huh? This is the second time I've seen this claimed, and I never see a reason presented.
posted by mkb at 6:51 AM on June 16, 2009


(2nd time today, in fact)
posted by mkb at 6:57 AM on June 16, 2009


If I told you there was some Southern Republican politician who explained his public opposition to gay marriage by referencing his Christian faith - and who lent his imprimatur to a legal filing comparing gay marriage to incest - I think you would naturally assume that he was your garden-variety unreconstructed bigot.

So I ask in all sincerity: On what evidence should we make a different assumption about Obama? [I'm not implying there is no such evidence. I'm only saying that I can't think of any offhand.] Please note that his membership in the Democratic Party does not count.

Like most people, I think, I've taken it for granted that Obama would like to see equality for gays - but for various reasons must practice craft and circumspection in working towards that end. After this filing, I am no longer taking that for granted.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:01 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Joe Beese, if you made this post to complain about Obama and make points about your dislike for him instead of sharing something that you found interesting with the MeFi community, that's sort of tiresome.

I'm not at all happy wiht that brief, but it deserved a better treatment than a link to a sneery post on Americblog.
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


After this filing, I am no longer taking that for granted.

That's the whole point, isn't it? WE ARE THE CHANGE WE'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR.

So many on the Left thought that all they had to do was elect Obama and then they could retreat to their iPods and other distractions and let him do all the work. That's not what is supposed to happen. You don't like it, you are outraged... then let them know!!

I've never heard such useless and lazy simpering in all my life as I have been hearing in the past three months, from my own damn side, no less. It's as though everyone has collectively forgotten 6th grade civics and thinks we elected an enlightened despot who's going to solve everything and make the Republican meanies go away. Well, that's not how it works. That's not how it's ever worked.

Between this and Bill Maher comparing why Bush can take the country to war but Obama cannot singularly solve health care, it's enough to make me lose it. Are we so accustomed to being wet nursed by the Federal Government that when it comes to taking civic action, we don't know what to do even to get started.

/vent

Obama is doing a helluva job in taking on more in his first 5 months than Bush did in eight years, and when you're taking on that much, you have to prioritize. He's been pretty clear where the priorities are, and mostly he's making decent incremental progress on several fronts - apparently, to the dissatisfaction of nearly everyone on the left -- but if you feel like he needs to shift some things around, then its incumbent upon you to make this known, either working with congresscritters, writing letters, forming grass roots orgs and so on.
posted by psmealey at 7:19 AM on June 16, 2009 [11 favorites]


The Democratic Party controls Congress. Please act like it.

They're halfway there: acting on Democratic Party principles by handing out trillions of dollars, while pretending that they have to compromise with the Republicans and ignore human rights.

Could you imagine how awful it would be if we'd elected McCain instead? He'd probably act on Republican Party principles by ignoring human rights, while pretending that he had to compromise with the Democrats and hand out trillions of dollars.
posted by roystgnr at 7:40 AM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


acting on Democratic Party principles by handing out trillions of dollars

After the last thirty years I have no fucking idea how anyone has the dishonesty to suggest that big spending is somehow particular to or inherent to the Democrats; that the GOP likes to talk big about "small government" and "limited spending" doesn't make it so, and to buy into the rhetoric is stupid as hell and does a disservice to the discourse.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:52 AM on June 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


mkb: Huh? This is the second time I've seen this claimed, and I never see a reason presented.

Last year the HRC supported a version of ENDA which pointedly did not protect transgender people. This Google search is probably as good a starting point as any.
posted by brett at 8:05 AM on June 16, 2009


HRC doesn't have a fucking leg to stand on, as the only reason they claim to represent the T part of GLBT is so there are people to throw under the bus whenever it's needed, convenient, or jut fun for them.

Huh? This is the second time I've seen this claimed, and I never see a reason presented.


Some info I found when searching for clear details...

http://transgriot.blogspot.com/2007/10/why-transgender-community-hates-hrc.html

In general, they have a history of supporting revised legislation regarding anti-discriminiation, hate crimes, etc, that exclude transgender and gender expression as part of them. At times they've even pushed for the revised version instead of the inclusive one. They've claimed it's being "realistic", that there's a better chance of getting just GLB support instead of GLBT, but it's been harmful. It's turned the community against itself, and protection of gender identity and expression is also helpful to the GLB community - after all, gays and lesbians aren't just discriminated against because of their sexuality, but because of their gender expression.

The high-profile situation with HRC and ENDA that happened back at the end of 2007 was just the final straw in many ways, after the HRC seemed willing to make attempts put their history behind them, then discarded that the very second their promise of being inclusive was put to the test, for a bill that wasn't going to pass anyway.

I refuse to support an organization that has repeatedly demonstrated no interest in the rights of the trans members of our community and look forward to the day when inclusive organizations are the most visible in the fight for GLBT rights.
posted by evilangela at 8:13 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of everything in this thread, the brief is the least wrong. The brief is emphatically right, in every respect. Further, DOMA is an immensely progressive and correct statute. I don't have time to go into further detail right now. Maybe dios or Ironmouth will. If they haven't spoken up by the time I check back I'll write something a little more articulate. In the meantime, holy cow, chill out a little.
posted by jock@law at 8:22 AM on June 16, 2009


Of everything in this thread, the brief is the least wrong. The brief is emphatically right, in every respect.

Why the fuck do you come here?
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:33 AM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Pope Guilty:

Why the fuck do you come here?
"

I thought he made that abundantly clear: to troll.
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:39 AM on June 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


"I don't have time to go into further detail right now. Maybe dios or Ironmouth will."

I don't see any point. The brief itself is little more than a collection of the usual arguments about why it's proper to be bigoted about GLBT folks. So making the case you suggest would be rather redundant.

Chill out? Why is it so hard for DOMA supporters to chill out? All they (GLBT couples) want to do is get married, raise a family (or not, just like hetero marriages), and grow old together. Why is it so hard to chill out about that? The great idiocy in this for me is the dogged and determined effort to keep people from having a loving marriage where they can live happily ever after.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:01 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rachel Maddow and Howard Dean on Obama's DOMA controversy
posted by homunculus at 9:09 AM on June 16, 2009


jock@law, please refrain from smoking crack while posting. Or at least bring enough for everyone.
posted by rtha at 9:11 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


As much as I despise HRC, I have to admit I'm a tiny bit proud of them for finally sprouting some huevos and calling out Obama on this DOJ filing. Does that mean that we'll finally hear more from them than "now is not the time" or "this good thing that just happened was all our idea" or "No on Prop 8 was some other guy's fault"? Probably not, but I'm still a little happy.
posted by crataegus at 9:14 AM on June 16, 2009


Yes, a statute and a brief defending that statute stating that in the eyes of the law, as a homosexual, I am not discriminated against by marriage laws, because I am free to marry someone of the opposite sex-- eminently correct, emphatically right, and immensely progressive.
posted by blucevalo at 9:23 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


jock@law, I understand the fact that the administration needs to cover its bases with respect to federalism issues and with respect to separation of power issues. I think a great example of how to do that with some finesse was the recent California decision regarding Prop 8. This brief either does a stunningly inelegant job of making those arguments (sorry, we're preserving the financial integrity of state benefit plans? oh noes the domestic partnership benefits will break the bank! that's laughable it is so bad.), or is purposely hostile to gay rights. At the absolute very best, the selection of cases was politically tone deaf.

This brief is written as if it is defending the neutrality of the federal government, when it is doing exactly the opposite. It's making all the old arguments about the magic of the states as laboratories for policy, while casually ignoring the fact that DOMA impedes the development of such policy. But worse than that - and what is most offensive about the brief - is that same-sex marriage is treated as a social ill, lumped in with consanguinity and the exploitation of children. You can write a wonderful Issue-Rule-and-Application section and fuck it all up by coming to the wrong Conclusion because you have an agenda. And it looks like that's what happened here.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:29 AM on June 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Even the cautious, doddering Gray Lady is not hesitating to "complain about Obama" on this one:

Busy calendars and political expediency are no excuse for making one group of Americans wait any longer for equal rights.
posted by blucevalo at 9:48 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


blucevalo: "I am not discriminated against by marriage laws, because I am free to marry someone of the opposite sex"

That's not the position of DOMA. The position of DOMA is that you are not discriminated against by DOMA because DOMA is what allows individual states -- like Massachusetts, or New Hampshire, or Vermont, or Maine, or Iowa, or even like California -- to define marriage for themselves. DOMA is what de-federalized the gay marriage question and even allowed for the one-by-one strategy.

If it weren't for DOMA's FF&C clause, there's a good chance Texas might have been forced to recognize Massachusetts gay marriages. Do you have any clue how fast the Federal Marriage Amendment would have passed if that had happened? Is a Federal, Constitutional ban really where you want gay marriage to go in this country?

And don't think it wouldn't. California - a relatively liberal state - showed us exactly what happens when judges force gay marriage before the voting population is ready for it. Slow and steady wins the race. The way to win this is just the way we have been going. State by state. DOMA is the lifeblood of people who want gay marriage in this country.

I have a meeting with a senior partner in a little bit. I will try to post a more complete explanation of the brief later today.

Oh, and anti-jock@law trolls: get a life.
posted by jock@law at 9:51 AM on June 16, 2009


Okay, jock@law, argue that DOMA is actually doing me good because it preserves incrementality and holds back a tidal surge of popular rage over states being forced to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. I disagree, but let's assume you're right. While you're at it, could you explain why Section 3 of DOMA, which defines "marriage" and "spouse" in such a way that bars any union that is not between "one man and one woman" from being extended federal marriage benefits and privileges, is also an extremely wonderful thing for me?
posted by blucevalo at 10:07 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


If it weren't for DOMA's FF&C clause, there's a good chance Texas might have been forced to recognize Massachusetts gay marriages. Do you have any clue how fast the Federal Marriage Amendment would have passed if that had happened? Is a Federal, Constitutional ban really where you want gay marriage to go in this country?

So what you're saying is that it's progressive to deny rights because part of the country is not ready for it and would react badly. This is a mind-warpingly opportunistic argument, which to be honest probably fits well with how a number of Democratic legislators think. But, to be clear, it's reactionary legislation and not progressive in one iota, for reasons detailed upthread (i.e. denial of visitation rights in non-gay marriage states).

By your logic, the Voting Rights Act shouldn't have been passed at the federal level. This is a special brand of Kool-Aid, and I can't get on board that train.
posted by graymouser at 10:09 AM on June 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


"Do you have any clue how fast the Federal Marriage Amendment would have passed if that had happened?"

Never? There is no real support for amending the Constitution just to define one word.

And cherry-picked items from the DOMA are not the issue here. The problem is the ham-handed brief that reads more like a Pat Robeertson pamphlet than something we'd expect from the Obama administration. The problem is that if this is the direction the current administration is going in, we have some major reevaluation to do. I suspect most Obama supporters assumed he was just going to take a non-position on the same sex marriage issue. This is more of an overt attack.

And it doesn't matter how many times you repeat it - The DOMA is not the best thing ever in terms of same sex marriage support. We left that sort of tortured double think in the trash bin alone with GWB.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:10 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


DOMA is what de-federalized the gay marriage question and even allowed for the one-by-one strategy.

This is absolute fucking garbage. DOMA is what is keeping the government from even recognizing legal civil unions. It was never meant to protect civil rights, and in fact it does the exact opposite. Jesus.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Exactly, bluecevalo, while it is possible to argue that DOMA is good with respect to what it allows states to do (regardless of whether it's a good argument or not, it's a possible argument), there is no sensible way to argue that prohibiting federal agencies from recognizing gay marriages is good for LGBT's.
posted by oddman at 10:14 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


We left that sort of tortured double think in the trash bin alone with GWB.

Well, y6y6y6, I hate to say it, but if Bush DOJ holdover W. Scott Simpson, Esq., is in charge of writing the Obama DOJ's DOMA briefs, and he evidently is, then no, we've left neither the tortured doublethink nor GWB in the trash bin.
posted by blucevalo at 10:17 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have discovered an awesome proof of the assertions put forward in the brief but unfortunately it is too large to fit in this margin.
posted by Justinian at 10:19 AM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


If it weren't for DOMA's FF&C clause, there's a good chance Texas might have been forced to recognize Massachusetts gay marriages. Do you have any clue how fast the Federal Marriage Amendment would have passed if that had happened? Is a Federal, Constitutional ban really where you want gay marriage to go in this country?

And don't think it wouldn't. California - a relatively liberal state - showed us exactly what happens when judges force gay marriage before the voting population is ready for it.


No, California showed us what happens is a simple majority can amend the constitution. As that can't happen at the federal level, and the polling numbers on this issue don't support a Federal Marriage Amendment, then I can't see DOMA's selective ignorance of ff&c as a "positive," no.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:30 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


This Solmonese guy is doing his job, and gay marriage -- just like gay adoption, etc -- is awesome. I'm 100% for it. But still, let's not pretend we all suffer from amnesia. Because I for one don't.

O.K., back to 1993: Bill Clinton gets 100% behind the gays-in-the-military thing (the gay rights issue of the day, back then, it was what gay marriage is today). He gets his head chopped off and loses Congress the following year, badly. Newt Gingrich -- a famous ally of all gay rights activists, clearly -- becomes de facto co-President for the following four years (until he overreaches and gets shafted but that's another story). The 1994 Republican takeover of Congress is not only the killer of any reasonably progressive policy for the rest of Clinton's presidency -- Clinton's record, for any rational observer, is a Eisenhower Republican one, moderate conservative, certainly not progressive) and that takeover is also the driving force behind the Clinton impeachment crap, by the way.

Obama knows his history, and knows that he needs to get one thing right -- saving America from literal bankruptcy and widespread poverty. Gay marriage obviously is not as high on his list of priorities, nor did he ever indicate that it was during the campaign (and by the way, I wish my LGBT activist friends good luck in convincing America at large, or even a majority of Democratic voters, that gay marriage trumps saving the economy, because I think it will be very difficult).

FDR, who saved America from poverty and the world from Hitler, sat on his paralyzed ass as black people were not only victims of apartheid in half the country but also as they were happily lynched by mobs in the then-solidly Democratic Confederacy South.
Civil rights became Kennedy's, then Johnson's problem -- until LBJ, God bless his corrupt soul, fixed it and kicked much of the South out of his party (the Republicans were happy to take all them Southerners -- they're mostly still there, by the way).

We still consider FDR a savior, of America and the world. The same way we are in awe of that fantastic Constitution drafted by slaveholders (oh, and Jefferson fucked his slaves, too -- by today's standards that makes him a rapist).

To sum it up: Obama is no Barney Frank, he's no Bernie Sanders. He never said he was, frankly.

All data indicates that the younger the sample of voters, the more favorable they are to gay rights. It'll suck ass to have to wait until those older voters die or get Alzheimer's, but it's realistic to think that the President who'll give 100% full citizenship to gays is not Obama.

One-issue gay rights voters are free to challenge him in the 2012 primaries. Or, you know, vote for Palin. A rigidly two-party system is awesome but it also kind of sucks that way.
posted by matteo at 10:31 AM on June 16, 2009 [16 favorites]


(and by the way, I wish my LGBT activist friends good luck in convincing America at large, or even a majority of Democratic voters, that gay marriage trumps saving the economy, because I think it will be very difficult).

I get what you're saying but let's nip this false dichotomy in the bud right the fuck now. The one has literally nothing to do with the other, except as this phantom political-capital issue, which is just a cover for not getting progress made.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:54 AM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the false dilemma seems to be repeatedly proffered in this thread. But as has been stated repeatedly, no one is making the argument that you have to drop fixing thr economy, etc., in order to not be a douchebag about civil rights. If you have bigger fish to fry, fine, go fry them. Just don't actively attack gay people - using the worst kinds of verbiage - while you're oh so busy in the kitchen.

I suspect most Obama supporters assumed he was just going to take a non-position on the same sex marriage issue. This is more of an overt attack.

This is exactly what I was expecting. I never viewed Obama as a gay rights messiah, someone who would be taking major proactive steps to end discrimination during his tenure. Nor do I expect him to drop everything and waste all his political capital on the gay rights issue, leaving everything else to moulder the way some folks seem to be suggesting. But I did expect that he (or his administration) would at least not be actively attacking gay people in the courts, using the most odious arguments and tropes of the extreme right wing.

I figured that, in the absence of an actively inimical White House, it would at least let the Awakening take place throughout the country without the President's folks working to impede it. To see quite the opposite happen - in view of Obama's campaign rhetoric - is exceedingly frustrating.

There is a reason many religions fulminate especially against "apostates" even more than they do against "infidels". It's because, human nature being what it is, the betrayal and treachery of a friend hurts much deeper than the simple and expected enmity of a known opponent. I would expect Sarah Palin to be a moronic bigot spouting discriminatory garbage. From Obama - and his administration - it comes as a deep wound.

And the comment above that DOMA is good for gay people is, my god, such a painfully apt example of doublethink that it has to be a caricature.
posted by darkstar at 11:01 AM on June 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


matteo, I'm not a "one-issue gay rights voter," by any stretch of the imagination, and I can't speak for anybody else, but I'd be hard-pressed to believe that anyone else in this thread is a "one-issue gay rights voter" either -- if such a creature indeed exists. In fact, my vote for Obama in November was in direct contradiction to my discomfort with his stances on same-sex marriage and a host of other issues that impact me as a gay citizen.
posted by blucevalo at 11:07 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


[comment removed - you know where metatalk is, feel free to take up your concerns there, thank you]
posted by jessamyn at 11:07 AM on June 16, 2009


It almost seemed that he was proud to be sent in there to lose.

And that made me proud of my state.

This? Not so much.


Really? You think these are winning arguments?
posted by The World Famous at 11:10 AM on June 16, 2009


Perhaps I should explain: Babies = perpetuation of the species, a good thing. People have an inherent interest in seeing the species perpetuated, therefore Government has an inherent duty to favor the perpetuation of the species. Babies = good. Man and woman + babies = family. Family = ideal environment for the raising of babies, thereby perpetuating the species, therefore family = good. Teh gay = no babies, no family. Tab A, Slot B, etc. Now I realize that it is an unfortunate thing to be personally all confused about Tab A, Slot B and stuff, but that's something you gotta work out yourself. The Government is under no obligation whatsoever to favor or support something which is not in the best interests of mankind, in fact, it has a duty to oppose such. Welcome to reality. Sorry about your problem. It sucks, but so do a lot of things. You'll survive, unlike your genes.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 11:13 AM on June 16, 2009


Thanks for your contempt, Hovercraft Eel. It's ever so welcoming.
posted by blucevalo at 11:15 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Perhaps I should explain: Babies = perpetuation of the species, a good thing. People have an inherent interest in seeing the species perpetuated, therefore Government has an inherent duty to favor the perpetuation of the species. Babies = good. Man and woman + babies = family. Family = ideal environment for the raising of babies, thereby perpetuating the species, therefore family = good. Teh gay = no babies, no family. Tab A, Slot B, etc. Now I realize that it is an unfortunate thing to be personally all confused about Tab A, Slot B and stuff, but that's something you gotta work out yourself. The Government is under no obligation whatsoever to favor or support something which is not in the best interests of mankind, in fact, it has a duty to oppose such. Welcome to reality. Sorry about your problem. It sucks, but so do a lot of things. You'll survive, unlike your genes. Won't someone please think of the children!?

FTFY.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Another thing: the debate is open between historians if FDR could have really deployed military airpower to destroy the tracks and stop the trains that were taking Jews over to the death camps (cue George W Bush's famous gaffe about "bombing Auschwitz" -- to take those poor souls out of their misery, one fears). But whether or not it was militarily feasibile for FDR to slow down the Holocaust once the camps were doing their obscene work (and it very possibly was feasible), a sad, undeniable fact of FDR's otherwise glorious Presidency is that the US -- via a nakedly antisemitical State Dept -- turned her back on many Jews who were trying to escape Europe before the war, and FDR couldn't really fight that fight. Statesmen are not only politicians who got themselves elected; they're also statesmen who worked every day of their mandate in a political environment. Politics is about cutting deals, and it's an ugly, ugly business. There's no evidence of real antisemitism or racism in FDR's background -- well, not anything relevant for the culture of his times (on a sidenote: Truman used the word "nigger". Still, he desegregated the Armed Forces that FDR kept rigidly segregated). FDR dumped Southern blacks and European Jews because politics is not domino -- it's chess, and there are pieces you sacrifice to win. That's why most people, myself included, couldn't stomach being politicians. Because we lack, literally, the stomach for it. We couldn't sleep at night.

And re: history, I forgot to add:
"He was big enough to be inconsistent -- cruel, merciful; peace-loving, a fighter; despising Negroes and letting them fight and vote; protecting slavery and freeing slaves. He was a man -- a big, inconsistent, brave man."
W.E.B. DuBois on Abraham Lincoln
posted by matteo at 11:23 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Are we so accustomed to being wet nursed by the Federal Government that when it comes to taking civic action, we don't know what to do even to get started."

Yeah, lots of work to be done. The difference between Obama and, well anyone from the current GOP, is that it's not a constant obstruction on all fronts at all times on everything.
He's certainly open to criticism on this. But it's an entirely different ball game all around.
(And there's always, y'know, third parties (oh, but Smed that never works))
I'd take issue with calling it Obama's DOJ as well. Sure, the buck stops with him, but I think this is more symptomatic than endemic.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:23 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Perhaps I should explain: Babies = perpetuation of the species, a good thing."
Debatable.
Especially on a case by case basis.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:25 AM on June 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


This thread is really interesting, because it shows some of the big chunks of cognitive dissonance going on about the Obama administration – both on the side that thinks that this really is a betrayal of part of Obama's base, and the side that thinks this is mostly political gamesmanship and gay rights aren't as important as a host of other things.

I think there's a great deal of truth in this:

I suspect most Obama supporters assumed he was just going to take a non-position on the same sex marriage issue. This is more of an overt attack.

Obama's stance on gay marriage was well crafted: it ameliorated the opponents of gay marriage while it allowed his pro-marriage supporters to think that he would be more or less neutral, if not guardedly positive, on the issue, leaving it to the states as it were. When his DoJ comes out as markedly hostile, it's a surprise. Some people feel that they've been betrayed. Others find refuge in realpolitik.

I don't think the Obama defenders here really understand what they're saying to those who are committed to the gay marriage issue. It's not my #1 with a bullet priority; I'm a straight male who has marched for gay marriage on a few occasions. It makes me angry that people with as much right as me to full benefits can't get them. But you have to realize that, for all intents and purposes, you're telling people for whom it is a real and deeply personal matter that their rights aren't that important. That it can wait – even until 2017 at the earliest. If I were in a long-term gay relationship, I can't imagine taking that sitting down.
posted by graymouser at 11:27 AM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm don't think anyone here has argued that politics is not an ugly business, matteo.
posted by blucevalo at 11:28 AM on June 16, 2009


Hovercraft Eel, that's just bizarre and I don't believe you believe it yourself.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:30 AM on June 16, 2009


Hovercraft Eel, your naive explanation does not take into account current thinking on the value of kin selection (and, to a lesser extent, altruism) in selection. It also makes a few large assumptions about optimal child-rearing environments, the desirability of large populations, and the interests of governments.

You did a great job of elucidating your own ugly bias though!
posted by Fraxas at 11:32 AM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Perhaps I should explain: Babies = perpetuation of the species, a good thing."

Your explanation is simplistic and not at all relevant to how legal decisions are made in this country. Your understanding of real world situations involving real life people (i.e. the preponderance of gay families to just name one) is poor. Your willingness to be a contributing member of MeFi in any way besides shitting in threads (on topics about which you seem to have little or no understanding much less empathy) seems pretty well absent. I used to defend your right to comment here as someone who was irreverent but principled and who (I thought) believed in something and deserved some understanding. Now you just seem to preach hatred and scorn and want to kick people who are down, perpetuating a cycle of nastiness. No thanks. I'm in favor of more love and commitment, not more fear and hatred.
posted by jessamyn at 11:32 AM on June 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


Obama: "We will not be prosecuting anyone who tortured on the orders of a supervisor."
Liberals: "Hey! Shut up! You don't get to tell the DOJ what to do!"

DOJ: "We support interpretations of DOMA consistent with its constitutionality."
Liberals: "Hey, Obama! WTF! Tell the DOJ what to do!"

Me (liberal Obama supporter): "My brain hurts."
posted by The Bellman at 11:34 AM on June 16, 2009


I knew when I campaigned for him that Obama was, at best, a center-right pro-establishment tool of the highest order. He was better than Crazy and Cranky, and we really couldn't have either of them appointing yet more SCOTUS justices. Sotomayor is far from my ideal pick, she's way too conservative, but you know Crazy and Cranky would have dug up an Alito clone from Liberty University.

Which does not, of course, mean that we shouldn't be doing our best to push Obama to a better position. It does mean that we cannot, and should not, simply expect that he will ever do the right thing by our standards. He is a devoted worshiper of the mythic center, of compromise for its own sake, and of the status quo. Obama is not, and never has been a progressive, a liberal, or even really an ally. He was, and is, is simply the lesser enemy of any of the other choices available. I think its possible that we can force him in the direction we'd like to, but it's not going to be easy.

The diffrence, and the important bit, is that with Crazy and Cranky it would have been impossible. I'll take not easy over impossible any day.

Hovercraft Eel I know I shouldn't even try, but I can't resist trollbait I suppose.

There are two main problems with your argument:

1) Gay people can, and do, have and raise children. I realize this is something that many people making your argument like to try and dismiss, but reality is what it is and gays do have kids. Its easiest for lesbians, of course, by gay men manage as well.

2) Heterosexual couples who are either infertile or simply choose to use contraception to avoid pregnancy are afforded the status of marriage.

I realize, of course, that you aren't interested in rational discussion (thus your obvious trolling about confusion regarding slot A and tab B), but really, try harder. The "argument" you've made fails on two obvious fronts on even a casual examination.
posted by sotonohito at 11:34 AM on June 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


What's hilarious about Hovercraft Eel's comment (to me) is that I know far more gay couples with kids than straight couples. What, you think our reproductive organs break when we come out? They don't. And fortunately, gay people are around to adopt the kids that straight people don't want.

Why am I bothering? This being an alternate on a jury is clearly making me crazy.
posted by rtha at 11:34 AM on June 16, 2009


As Andrew Sullivan wrote on Friday, "I suspect that this [brief] was a function not of malevolence but of negligence. The truth is: this administration is not hostile to gay equality; it just doesn't give a damn about it."
posted by blucevalo at 11:44 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maddow's segment and Howard Dean's comments in it are pertinent here.
posted by darkstar at 11:55 AM on June 16, 2009


"Babies = perpetuation of the species"

I am fairly certain there's a big check and the word "DONE" by the line in the Biblical checklist which says "Be fruitful and multiply."

You're essentially reaching for the categorical imperative on this and it will not help you. You know, "If everyone did this, that action could no longer occur." Sure, if everyone was gay (and did not adopt, and did not go for turkey basters, and and and) that might be true. Nobody's suggesting an all-gay future.

Furthermore, the categorical imperative kinda sucks. Nobody should be an accountant. If we were all accountants, we'd never get any farming done, and the whole species would die. If we all worked in Hollywood, we'd never get any medical attention, and the whole species would die.

If "The Government is under no obligation whatsoever to favor or support something which is not in the best interests of mankind, in fact, it has a duty to oppose such," I would thereby suggest we stop any funding for anything besides farming, housing, and medicine. Maybe a little transportation to get the produce to our megacities.
posted by adipocere at 11:56 AM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I'm going to blame somebody, I'm going to blame the person at the top. The buck stops where?

"Oh it's the DOJ lawyer(s)" nonsense didn't fly during the Bush administration and it damn sure ain't flying now.

Ever more glad I voted Green.
posted by ambient2 at 12:00 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


In fact, I think I pretty much agree with everything Dr. Dean says in that segment. It makes me recall afresh how much I appreciate his voice in the public discourse.
posted by darkstar at 12:04 PM on June 16, 2009


Dean (excerpts): "And the language in this brief is really offensive and it really is a terrible mistake. I doubt very much the president knew this was coming. I don‘t think for a minute this represents the president‘s position. But he is now going to have to dig himself out of this because people are really upset about this .... I‘m sure there is tension, and the tension is to be expected. The same kind of tension happened during the civil rights with African-Americans. Martin Luther King pushing, if not now, when? And Lyndon Johnson saying the time is not right and it got done.
It doesn‘t get done unless the community pushes harder than the community at-large is willing to go, and that‘s the job of the leadership. And so that‘s always the dynamic when people are struggling for rights, for equal rights under the law. So sure, there is tension. I don‘t think that tension is bad.
But I do think it‘s bad that this kind of language is used in a Justice Department brief, presumably without the president‘s knowledge. That is really - you just can‘t do that. You can‘t - it is true that the attorney general has the obligation to defend the law of the land, whether the law of the land they agree with or not."

(Sorry, I can't call him Dr. Dean. Just makes him sound like a school principal to me)

Also re: Cheney: "If given the choice of being anti-gay and loving my children, I‘ll pick loving my children."

That seems to be the big gulf between the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement.
I don't get how folks can be ok with desegregation, all that (and, ok, maybe many anti-gay rights folks aren't) but against equal treatment in the eyes of the law on this matter.
Completely f'ing bizarre to me. Because it's not like your kid is going to be a different ethnicity. But your kid could be gay.
So the choice is, to my mind, even closer to home which makes it even more poignant and unimaginably heartless to cast homosexuals as such an 'other' when it could easily be your sibling or child or other family member.
Clearly, while some people are choosing to perpetuate the species and thinking of it as a good end in and of itself, they're also choosing not to love their children.
I can't imagine any circumstances under which that could ever be considered good.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:22 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This memo is an assault. As Joe Beese and others said, the administration has never appeared to be truly supportive of LGBTQ rights, but seemed to present itself as moderate-right, "We won't help you, but we won't stand in your way as you're fighting either." The administraion easily could have declined to file a brief (it would be far from precedent-setting in that choice) or to file a brief supporting DOMA from a purely Constitutional/interstate standpoint.

The choice by the administration -- and it is naive to believe that this is not an official Obama administration position being represented -- is actively hostile to me, to my family, to many thousands of other Americans who are, are partnered with, or are the children or dependents of lesbian, gay, transsexed, transgendered, and queer individuals.

The LGTQ one-issue voter is a strawman, and the false dichotomies ("We can't has cheezburgrz AND equal ritez!") are distractions. There is no justification for this.

You'll survive, unlike your genes.

Got that covered, thanks. Even managed to produce one hetero kid out of two, despite the insurmountable odds Focus On The Family and similar groups would have you believe exist against queers raising straight kids.

Enjoy your trolling.
posted by notashroom at 12:23 PM on June 16, 2009


But doesn‘t it push the Democratic Party to a certain extent to have Dick Cheney to the left of the Democratic president on this issue, to have Steve Schmidt, John McCain‘s campaign manager, significantly to the left of this.

We even had John McCain come out in an interview last week with Ana Marie Cox and say - yes, he would have started reviewing "Don‘t-Ask, Don‘t-Tell" on day one. I mean, it‘s almost impossible to believe that the party of Karl Rove would outflank Democrats on gay rights issues right now. But the gay community has been left empty-handed by the Democrats now over and over again.


It does hurt, doesn't it?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:24 PM on June 16, 2009


Really? You think these are winning arguments?"

Actually, and sadly, some of the arguments are very shrewd considering the very low level of legal protection that gays receive. As much as I mock the financial argument about domestic partner benefits, it's a very clever argument because courts are loathe to step in and interfere with decisions affecting the financial integrity of government.

It was the total lack of venom in the New Jersey arguments that was so remarkable. Sadly, that cannot be said of the arguments made in this brief.

I am, however, willing to admit that some of the drafters might just be morons. I had a criminal law professor who was just totally clueless. He taught an entire unit on "Crimes Against Nature" - which was the term of art used to describe sodomy. I did take him aside at one point and mention that the text had clearly not been updated to modern language or legal standards. And that, especially in a post-Lawrence v. Texas era, using the term "Crimes Against Nature" to describe sodomy, or even to use sodomy as a reasonable example of a crime, was at best outdated and at worst highly offensive.
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:33 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obama: "We will not be prosecuting anyone who tortured on the orders of a supervisor."
Liberals: "Hey! Shut up! You don't get to tell the DOJ what to do!"

DOJ: "We support interpretations of DOMA consistent with its constitutionality."
Liberals: "Hey, Obama! WTF! Tell the DOJ what to do!"


Well, one can argue that how Obama dealt with the first issue set a precedent...which makes the second that much more disappointing.
posted by elfgirl at 12:45 PM on June 16, 2009


Hovercraft Eel, I won't respond to you like to a troll. In exchange, are you willing to consider other views? Like:

The Government is under no obligation whatsoever to favor or support something which is not in the best interests of mankind, in fact, it has a duty to oppose such. Welcome to reality.

Agreed. Which is why the Government should support gay marriage. Because gays are good for society and good for the future of mankind.

You made an argument from biology. Good to know what biology actually shows. Biology shows that that sexual expression is a continuum. That is a biological fact. Homosexuality persists and is expressed in so many species and for so long not because it is deleterious, but because it is advantageous to the species. There are multiple axis along which this happens, and I can't go into all the details in this format, so do some reading, but it ranges from lessening of sexual competition in large population dynamics, to specialization (think of bees - there's the fertile male, fertile female, and non-fertile males etc.), to care-giver advantage. Species which have greater complexity of roles for their members are more able to meet environmental challenges. Care-giver role is the same reason old people hang around long after menopause - they are available to care for children and have other functions in society. Those homosexual penguins at the German zoo, which adopted an abandoned egg and hatched it, and took care of the young - that is gay care-giver advantage in action. Doesn't it make sense for the Government to support gay people getting married so they can provide a good home for adopted children - or indeed their own children from artificial insemination etc.? Sounds like biology strongly supports Government supporting equal marriage rights for gay people - to the benefit of the society at large.

Nature is wise. It would be a stupid farmer who decided that only fertile males and females among his bees should live. He'd go bankrupt. Don't make the same mistake on a societal scale. Gay people exist, because they are an advantage to society.

That is if we even want to make arguments from biology. I don't - I think it is a matter of rights and freedom. Even if homosexuality were a matter of choice (an absurd idea) - that would be quite fine for Government to support. However, even if one is to make an argument from biology - then biology suggests Government support homosexuality on equal grounds.

So now that I've made a good faith effort to present arguments, next time you post on this topic, you'll take those into account and address them, right? You won't simply hit and run with your old arguments, right? Right? Thanks!
posted by VikingSword at 1:12 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


We need more equality and more love in this world, Eel, not less. You should give it a try some day.

There's about a 20% true unemployment rate these days. Maybe it's about time for the unemployed to do something different — like march on Washington, demanding the Change and Hope that Obama had promised.

If American MeFi members are representative of the US then there is absolutely no reason why the USA can not perform revolutionary changes when it comes to equality rights, healthcare, financial reform, and all that jazz.

If Washington were to see demonstrations the size that we're seeing in Iran, there would be huge change in very short order.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:05 PM on June 16, 2009


As much as I want to love and trust my fellow countrymen, somehow I think that if there were demonstrations the size of what we're seeing in Iran, martial law would quickly be established under the PATRIOT Act. There are too many gunshy politicians and (literally) trigger-happy right-wingers for The Man to tolerate large groups marching and chanting in favor of marriage equality.
posted by hippybear at 2:21 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


We even had John McCain come out in an interview last week with Ana Marie Cox and say - yes, he would have started reviewing "Don‘t-Ask, Don‘t-Tell" on day one.

This is, on McCain's part, what is technically called a "lie." When the chips were down, he had already shown a complete willingness to be led around by the nose by the Crazy Fundy branch of the Republicans and there's no reason whatsoever to think he would have stopped if doing so had gotten him elected.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:25 PM on June 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


True enough, hippybear. But there was the inauguration, which was huge, and years ago there was that "Million Man March." That was probably pre-9/11, though, when things weren't so batshitinsane.

Still, if the general population is in support of change, there must be some way to get that change going.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:17 PM on June 16, 2009


It just seems so surreally and hopelessly ironic that on a day when we're having this discussion about gay marriage rights, yet another Republican lawmaker, Sen. John Ensign is outed as having an affair with a married staffer, the wife of one of his friends. Ensign is the Chairman of the Republican Policy Comittee in the Senate.

I mean, anymore, it's like we're living in the Theatre of the Absurd.
posted by darkstar at 5:45 PM on June 16, 2009


Ensign is also -- or was, before he besmirched the sanctity of his own marriage, which is of course so unlike Republican politicians to do -- a frontrunner for the 2012 presidential nomination. Maybe he can trade war stories with Newt Gingrich.
posted by blucevalo at 5:56 PM on June 16, 2009


Obama Intends to Extend Federal Benefits to Unmarried Partners
posted by homunculus at 6:11 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's surely a positive step, homunculus, even if it is a limited one.

I think, as Dean said, probably Obama didn't specifically know what was in this brief and it's caught him wrong-footed, so he's going to have to deal with it somehow. Maybe tomorrow's announcement is a way to make some small step forward without opening the whole can of legislative worms on gay rights, right now.
posted by darkstar at 6:18 PM on June 16, 2009


Okay, gotta hand it to Obama and give credit where due. A definite step in the right direction. Thank you, Mr. President.
posted by blucevalo at 6:19 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obama knows his history, and knows that he needs to get one thing right -- saving America from literal bankruptcy and widespread poverty.

Yes, it's a crying shame he's failing to do that, either. Giving away a trillion from the Treasury to the same people who destroyed the economy and ensuring that nothing changes in this obviously broken system is simply making things worse.

I have to say that I continued to be astonished by how very different Obama was from our expectations - and I frankly didn't expect much from him, but clearly more than we got.

I'm also shocked by his weakness - how he seems incapable of acting, where even the clown Bush with a tiny majority and lesser support legislative support managed to make dramatic changes.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:31 PM on June 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Land of the free, home of the brave.
posted by stinkycheese at 6:42 PM on June 16, 2009


...California - a relatively liberal state - showed us exactly what happens when judges force gay marriage before the voting population is ready for it.

Prop 8 passed with 52.1% of the vote, which, while decisive, is not a landslide. It's not so much that the voting population wasn't ready for marriage equality, but that the anti-Prop-8 campaign was a mostly inept effort, marred by abstract messaging and lack of organization.
posted by univac at 6:48 PM on June 16, 2009


And that's to say nothing of the massive out-of-state influence brought to bear to get Prop 8 passed.
posted by darkstar at 6:56 PM on June 16, 2009


And a ballot initiative that was written to be as confusing as possible to the voter.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:01 PM on June 16, 2009


I just posted some related stories to the main page here about tomorrow's extension of federal employee benefits to same-sex partners.
posted by gerryblog at 7:14 PM on June 16, 2009


five fresh fish: True enough, hippybear. But there was the inauguration, which was huge, and years ago there was that "Million Man March." That was probably pre-9/11, though, when things weren't so batshitinsane.

Two points: 1) Neither the inaguration nor the million man march were people marching in the streets angrily demanding change to marriage laws. Both were organized, peaceful events, not spontaneous non-permitted gatherings. 2) The comparison was made to the protests in Iran, and if we were to have similar percentages of the population thronging the streets, yes, change might happen. Or we might just find our cities swarming with tear gas.

I'm not against public action to try to create change. But I'm not sure using the model provided by the Iranians over the past weekend is a good one.
posted by hippybear at 8:01 PM on June 16, 2009


gerryblog: and while the discussion will continue under that thread, I will note here, he cannot extend much, thanks to DOMA's forbidding of such things. No health coverage, no SS benefits...
posted by hippybear at 8:14 PM on June 16, 2009


I'm not suggesting that gay rights supporters engage in an angry march! Good god, no. The more peaceful and non-threatening, the better.

I think the visual impact of a million people united peacefully in demonstrating their desire for change would be a huge, positive image that would make a lot of fence-sitters realize that the haters are a minority, and sway them toward voting "yes" the next time it comes 'round on a ballot.

Or in other words, bodies count more than words in the Blue.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:28 PM on June 16, 2009


fff: you and I are in agreement here, although I would think that we would do better with ~25 million marching. That would approximate the numbers on the streets in Iran.

Care to fill out the permit paperwork? I'll make the flyers...
posted by hippybear at 8:45 PM on June 16, 2009


bodies count more than words in the Blue

Amen.
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:02 PM on June 16, 2009


Oh, looks like we won't have to do permits or flyers. Others are already doing it.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 PM on June 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hah! Hot damn! :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 10:05 PM on June 16, 2009


Nice one... could some American Mefite march for me? (preferably a homophobe who wouldn't have been there otherwise...)
posted by pompomtom at 10:15 PM on June 16, 2009


Oh, but FFF, you fail to appreciate the depth of the devious nature of our Public Masters in the USA. Any attempt to organize mass protest, however peaceful, will be quickly filled with folks working for the darkside, determined to create an appearance of an un-peaceful demonstration, so the Oberseers can come down with their batons and other, nastier weapons (remember the microwave thing) to beat down the plebes.

This whole thing about being busy with "more important" issues is itself a load of nonsense. They would have us believe we're involved in a game of pick-up sticks, where if you grab the wrong stick, you loose. I say, kick the damn table over and to hell with their sticks! We the People own the table!

Pick up sticks? Okay. I see a huge log on top of that pile of sticks, and it's all about campaign donations. "More important" issues? Oh really? There is only one issue that is important, that issue is simply "We the People". All the rest follows from that.

If these other issues are so much more important, then let the crazies that think it's important to prevent gay marriage, give up! Other issues are more important, so we'll just have to break down and accept Equal Protection under the Law. Thanks for playing, on to More Important issues. And bye-bye DADT, can't afford that nonsense, either. Roe v Wade? Been there, decided that, sit down and shut up already, there are More Important issues to be dealt with.

Oh, and yes, indeedy. Sucks that these politicians have to work so hard and waste so much time drumming up campaign contributions. They don't have time for that crap, so lets just fix that shit right up, and provide free time on the Public Airwaves, and get back to issue-based campaigns. We don't have time for nonsensical posturing and pandering to narrow corporate interests, we have More Important issues.
posted by Goofyy at 6:39 AM on June 17, 2009


CrayDrygu: I support both, you quote me supporting both, then you chide me for not supporting both. Silly goose. "Gays aren't murdered by a state I can influence." The people who (in the best and worst ways) created Israel show one way this could happen. What if we in the West all saved our pennies from our pride parades and instead every year sponsored a gay man moving to the West from the Muslim world? Or is "community" something that stops at the borders?

Blazecock Pileon: "Consider marriage more of a side result from defending Equal Protection, than the one end goal of civil rights cause." I do, said so in my post, but others don't - see my words to all below. "It's all part and parcel of being treated your fellow human beings with dignity and respect." All things are related, all things are not equally related. Being alive is a pre-requisite for access to marriage, the reverse is not true. Men liberated by a 'homo airlift' as I describe above would be sad they couldn't get a legal marriage - but they'd be alive. Which is more important: marriage or a man's life?

Darkstar: "This "prioritizing" thing and the chess game is a false dilemma." You support some things more than others, I know you do. When someone else has other priorities, don't call it a false dilemma. I support not being murdered more than access to marriage and I support both. If you say you think they're about the same, I won't believe you. I suggest you know they aren't the same. One can support both with life being more important than marriage. Or the reverse, if marriage to a mutilated corpse is okay.

All: I've posted and seen other posts on the murder of gay men in the Muslim world. They get a few comments. Here's a post on access to marriage. It has nearly 150 comments. If (if) comments are a metric of interest, the readers of metafilter are on average more fired up about access to marriage than being alive. I am more fired up about gay men not being murdered than access to marriage.
posted by eccnineten at 7:19 AM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


What if we in the West all saved our pennies from our pride parades and instead every year sponsored a gay man moving to the West from the Muslim world? Or is "community" something that stops at the borders?

So, you'd be just dandy with the idea of sponsoring one gay man at a time moving to the West (where, presumably, you believe he'll be safe from anti-gay violence), while leaving DOMA and DADT in place, ENDA (or a trans-inclusive version of same) unpassed, and thousands of women (including lesbians) subject to the same violence you want to rescue that one gay man from? How very progressive of you.
posted by notashroom at 8:21 AM on June 17, 2009


I am more fired up about gay men not being murdered than access to marriage.

I'll point out, as others have, that you're issuing what's called the fallacy of False Choice, or the False Dilemma. Since you keep doing it, I don't think you're discussing the matter in good faith. Good luck with your cause.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:20 AM on June 17, 2009


Pope Guilty: in other words, you wholly agree with my "pretending" comment, but chose to curse at me anyway about hurting the discourse. Noted; I'll get that mote out of my eye ASAP.
posted by roystgnr at 11:07 AM on June 17, 2009


Darkstar: "This "prioritizing" thing and the chess game is a false dilemma." You support some things more than others, I know you do. When someone else has other priorities, don't call it a false dilemma. I support not being murdered more than access to marriage and I support both. If you say you think they're about the same, I won't believe you. I suggest you know they aren't the same. One can support both with life being more important than marriage. Or the reverse, if marriage to a mutilated corpse is okay.

What BP said. A false dilemma means you are artificially imposing an "either-or" choice. You don't seem to understand the basic terminology in use, because that's exactly what you're doing. Essentially you are saying that "Either Obama's administration can focus on not getting us murdered, OR it can focus on not actively insulting gay people with right-wing rhetoric. But, really, the latter requires no effort or intention whatsoever, so how in the world should it conflict with the former!?

Again: I'm not pissed because Obama didn't come out with some major gay rights initiative that would have drained his political capital and taken his attention away from "More Important Things". I'm pissed because part of his administration evidently dropped what they were doing on More Important Things to proactively pen an incredibly odious statement affirming the worst tropes of the rabid right-wing on gay rights issues.

If you don't see how the "prioritizing" argument is a non sequitur under these circumstances, then there's not much else that can be said.
posted by darkstar at 11:44 AM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Further to my "march on Washington" hopes, and the scepticism and "oh noes, the police will beats us up!" response: this.

If a million Iranians can peacefully demonstrate for change and not get slaughtered by the Revolutionary Guard, sure as heck Americans can do the same for what they believe. Hell, if the police start being pricks, mass-hug them. There is massive power in peaceful crowds.

Protest with love and change will come.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:50 PM on June 18, 2009


Protest with love and change will come.

[citation needed]
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:02 PM on June 18, 2009


I cite Ghandi.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:05 PM on June 18, 2009


I'm sure it was Gandhi that drove out the British, and not shifting economic and political circumstances making old-school imperialism less and less profitable, nor the armed insurrection that was constantly killing British soldiers. No, no, it was assuredly love and peace, because brutal occupiers and invaders respect that above all else and don't interpret it as weakness.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:20 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not pissed at Obama. I voted for him, and I voted in CA to give the gay community the right to marry. (Damn you, Prop 8!) Yet I'm not surprised Obama does not seem to be pushing this harder. He can't be - he made a point that he was going to be the guy who "brought everyone to the table." What that meant to me is that even though his party might be in power he was going to listen to the other parties (Republicans and the rest) and take their perspective into consideration, whether he shared all their beliefs or not. Not a job I'd want.

Obama's still a politician. He's going to do things some of us aren't going to agree with. Not a surprise. He's a lawyer - they tend to do things slowly in the legal world, remember?

Voting for him wasn't an automatic in for anyone's agenda. No matter what the right seems to believe.

As a pessimist I'm rather afraid that we'll have to wait until all the old rich dudes in politics who are too old to change with the times either die off OR get over their fear of homosexuality/attitide that people of other belief systems don't deserve the right to a legal marriage. But then I was also sure that we'd never vote in a black president and was amazed/gleeful over that.

But as others have said - the economy is really the major worry of the moment.
posted by batgrlHG at 6:07 PM on June 18, 2009


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