An Inconvenient Truth (Updated with video)

by: HappyinVT

Mon May 07, 2012 at 12:37:09 PM EDT



UPDATE: During an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts on Thursday President Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage:

In an interview with ABC News, Obama said, "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

snip

   "I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." http://2012.talkingpointsmemo....

This wasn't easy at least politically-speaking.  And we can debate whether or not it was smart or whether or not VP Biden's remarks on Sunday were pre-planned or not.  At this point, today, all I want to say is, "Thank you, Mr. President."

HappyinVT :: An Inconvenient Truth (Updated with video)
Vice President Biden made a bit of news on Sunday on Meet the Press when he expressed support for same-sex marriage:

"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties," Biden said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50...

Oops!  Almost immediately the Administration began to walk those comments back saying that, like the president, Biden's position is "evolving" on the issue and that his comments represent no change in the Administration's current policy.  David Axelrod took to Twitter:

David Axelrod ‏ @davidaxelrod
@chucktodd @meetthepress What VP said-that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights-is precisely POTUS's position.

Unfortunately for Axe, that's not what the Vice President said.  And I do not understand why this is so difficult.

The President has said that his personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman; the official stance now is that his position is "evolving" whatever that means.  But while I disagree with the President's personal position I am much more interested in his public policy and in that case there is no room for doubt which is why I cannot fathom why the Administration, and the campaign, seems so flat-footed on this.

There is a move to put same-sex marriage on the Democratic platform at the convention.  Obviously, as the head of the party the President's position is an issue.  But he obviously feels that all couples deserve equal protection so I am unclear as to why this cannot be included as a positive for the Democrats and the campaign.

Republicans have their own issues with the LGBT community that have been highlighted by the recent resignation of Richard Grenell, the openly gay foreign policy spokesman, from the Romney campaign.  Grenell was John Bolton's spokesman at the UN and as such was qualified for the position.  Of course, Grenell made a splash after his appointment became public by tweeting sarcastic bits about being a gay Republican and then he went after Rachel Maddow by tweeting that she looked like a man and needed to put on a necklace.  That is, of course, not the first time he displayed misogynistic language.  He had gone after Hillary Clinton and Callista Gingrich as well.  Apparently, assuming the Romney campaign did any homework on Grenell, they were not bothered by those tweets.  Nor were they bothered by reports that Grenell was less than honest while at the UN:

Reuters veteran Irwin Arieff told The Huffington Post that he's "appalled to hear that the Romney campaign has hired Mr. Grenell in any capacity." In an email response, Arieff, who worked over two decades at Reuters, including seven years covering the U.N, said he found Grenell "to be the most dishonest and deceptive press person I ever worked with."

"He often lied, even more frequently offered half answers or withheld information that would weaken his case or reflect poorly on his ideological point of view," Arieff said. "He was always argumentative with the press, castigating reporters for asking questions he did not like, and calling them to criticize them for writing articles he did not like." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...  

What did get Grenell in trouble, however, was the Religious Right, in the person of Bryan Fischer, howling about how the Romney campaign had hired a guy who openly advocated for same-sex marriage.  Never mind that Grenell had apparently said he would not address that issue during the campaign.  

The Romney campaign's response was to muzzle Grenell even on a foreign policy conference call he had set up which seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back for Grenell.  Well, that and the campaign's unwillingness to say anything publicly backing Grenell.  Because the Romney campaign knows they need the Right.  Unfortunately for them Romney can't win for losing because now that Grenell is gone (and apparently working on Mary Bono Mack's re-election campaign) even Fischer is mocking Romney:

Says Fischer:

... if Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, coopted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me?

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2012/...

Frankly I don't get why someone would support a party, or its nominee, who holds them in such disdain because of who they are.  Grenell was, and is, willing to overlook the part of the GOP that would  deny him a fundamental civil liberty ... for what?  Extra tax cuts?  For the notion of "small government" which ignores the government's intrusion into his bedroom?

Anyway, the Grenell situation highlights a distinct difference between the two parties.  No matter what the President's personal position on same-sex marriage his Administration's actions are clear and I cannot understand why someone who speaks so eloquently on a whole host of other issues cannot lay this out so people can understand.

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Pretty sure this whole maneuver is an orchestrated trial balloon (2.00 / 8)
Seems clear that the administration, like the majority of the party, would like to explicitly fight for marriage equality.  But they need to proceed cautiously.  Elected officials representing a range of interests and policy goals cannot operate like activists or even as individual voters.  The VPs comments are out there.  The attempted retractions and restriction are in place as well.  Now the administration can sit back and gauge reactions.

The future is unwritten

Sorry, this shouldn't be something that needs a trial balloon. (2.00 / 5)
Either POTUS supports civil rights or he doesn't.  Again, I don't so much care what his personal beliefs are; it is what his policies are.  But don't come out (!) with some lame "he's evolving" bullshit and expect folks to wait and wait and wait.  Either piss or get off the pot.  Or explain yourself better than the Administration has been doing.

Bill Richardson while he was governor signed the bill that ended the death penalty in his state even though he personally supported capital punishment.  And I believe he was respected for it.  The President by not defending DOMA has put himself in sort of the same position but then he turns around and refuses to sign an executive order barring same sex discrimination by federal contractors preferring to go the legislative route.  Riiiiight, like that's going to pass anytime soon.  And LGBT donors are withholding money for the time being.  It seems like an unnecessary self-inflicted wound.  And, quite frankly, buys into the notion that POTUS is risk-adverse on some issues.

And then the Administration is supporting It Gets Better.  Well, imagine how much better it could be if the Democratic platform enthusiastically embraced equality for everyone no matter who they love?

This isn't an issue like the public option or privatizing social security or vouchering medicare.  It shouldn't need to be poll-tested or have trial balloons sent up.  It has been poorly handled by the Administration from the beginning and three years on they show little sign of getting it right.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Politics and policy is about (2.00 / 5)
the timing of priorities.  If it were clear to me that the Pres. could speed marriage equality and keep the White House out of the hands of someone whose economic policies are as regressive as they come by declaring himself, then I agree he should do so.  But frankly, if clearly supporting marriage equality now means increasing the chance that he loses NC in Nov., then I think he should wait.  It's not pretty.  It's not activism.  It's not moral clarity.  But this is the guy who successfully and smoothly repealed DADT and did so without handing it as a significant weapon to his enemies.  I vehemently disagree with those who look at demographics and argue we shouldn't expend political capital on marriage equality as it will be a foregone concluded done deal in 15 years.  15 years is an enormous chunk of peoples' lives.  But I don't think hedging for 6 months in the interest of trying to win reelection is an affront to civil rights or weak leadership or callow moral equivocation.  

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
According to your comments and my Twitter timeline I'm on the (2.00 / 4)
wrong side of this issue.  So be it because I think it does show some moral cowardice.  If we were talking women's issues or race issues I think we'd be having a different conversation but apparently it is okay for LGBT folks to wait a little longer ... until the politics is better suited for the President to make a firmer vocal stand and to have a more coherent message on his actual record.  I guess they've waited this long a few more months (or years) won't matter.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Oh for freaks sake (2.00 / 5)
I mean really.

No. You are not on the wrong side of this issue.  Nor am I.  Nor is the VP.  It's not about sides.  It's about how to get it done as quickly and effectively as possible.  It's our job to keep pushing.  It's the President's to maneuver within the electorate and its representatives, to be able to pursue this issue and lead from a position of strength.  I think we achieve marriage equality more quickly by getting Obama reelected.  I think that civil rights of all kinds suffer if Romney is elected and the legislature swings right.

But do me a really big FREAKING favor and don't hurl this strawman accusation that I see less urgency in LGBT civil rights than any other.  You've got no place and no basis, and in the context of this community I consider it a cheap shot and an insult.

If you want to accuse Obama of moral cowardice on this issue, that's your prerogative.  But don't bait and switch tactical and strategic considerations with moral principles.  The moral principles structure the ends.  The tactical and strategic analyses have to do with the means of achieving those ends.  There are means that cannot be justified by the ends.  But equivocating on this issue 6 months before a tough election seems eminently justified.

So fine.  Let's go ahead and demand that Obama pull out immediately from Afghanistan, try to push a single payer health system, propose a massive stimulus, start stumping for immediate marriage equality and for amnesty for the undocumented.  Then we can sit back and drink pretty drinks with umbrellas in them as we watch Romney sworn in, McConnell take the Senate leadership gavel, and Boehner increase his GOP majority.  And we can gather again to celebrate whomever they confirm as Ruth Bader Ginsburg's successor.  As we do this, we can applaud Obama for his "leadership" that led to the repeal of Roe v. Wade, outlawed public sector unions, and undermined public education.  What moral courage!!!  

The future is unwritten


[ Parent ]
How is the president leading from a position of strength? (1.80 / 5)
He for some reason cannot clearly define his position on the subject of same-sex marriage beyond "evolving".  Him, not a member of his administration or campaign.  All I am asking is that the president clearly state that while his personal views are  [fill in the blank] his clear policy positions are [fill in the blank.]

And since you want to accuse me of making specious arguments I'll say what I said elsewhere: there is a huge difference between being disappointed that the President isn't clearer in his message and voting (wishing) for Romney.  I've also not indicated anywhere that I thought we should push for all those lovely progressive demands you've listed and in fact, I've largely defended the President for not doing many of those same things but I guess you figure you'd jump in with both feet.

Lastly, can you please tell me when it would be a good time to demand the President take a firmer stand on LGBT issues because in two years we'll have mid-terms and then in two more years we'll have another presidential election.  It seems like there's never a "good" time.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
He's not in a position of strength on this issue at this moment (2.00 / 5)
Just like he wasn't able to effectively repeal DADT with the sweep of a pen on his second day in office.  The point is that he has to be in a position of strength to lead.  You want him to throw himself into the breach without any consideration of how effective that would be.

I didn't accuse you of making specious arguments.  I rejected your implication that I consider civil rights somehow less urgent when it comes to the LGBT community.  I think that's a crappy thing to suggest about anyone around here, especially within a conversation that is about how to achieve progress with regard to these issues most swiftly and effectively.

I never suggested that anyone was voting or wishing for Romney.  I argued quite clearly that reelection has to be a top priority because the alternative sets us back on just about every issue we care about.  That's why I listed all of those lovely demands.  My point is that the only reasons NOT to push for them are tactical and political.  If we are going to flush tactical and political considerations down the toilet in favor of "moral clarity" with regard to this issue, why not with regard to those?  Why should the President push for marriage equality and not push for a single payer health system?  Why should he push for marriage equality and not for the repeal of the death penalty?  

And to answer your question, I think he should begin to push for marriage equality in an explicit manner about 2 months after he is reelected.  It won't have any bearing on the midterms, nominations to SCOTUS, or 2016.  

Make any claims you want about Obama.  But please do not ever suggest again that I don't understand the urgency of civil rights.

And if you can explain to me how making Obama's reelection tougher (and I think calling for marriage equality will do so in pivotal swing states and thus in the electoral college) will achieve marriage equality in a swifter manner then I'm on board.  But it seems pretty darned clear to me that the most efficient path towards progress on civil rights and equality of opportunity currently runs through a victory in Nov.

The future is unwritten


[ Parent ]
I will apologize for suggesting you don't have a sense of urgency on this (2.00 / 4)
matter, however, you did (and do) advocate he wait until after this election when LGBT have waited and waited and I think we all agree they've waited enough.  I also have zero belief that it will be easier for POTUS in March 2013 than it is now.  And I think I share some of the belief that something else will take precedence, like a double-dip recession or some military action.  I am willing to be proven wrong.

I think what has gotten lost is that people on the Right already have POTUS pegged as a big ol' friend of teh gays.   Correctly, I might add which is why I hate the official "he's evolving" crap.  I guess the unknown is whether the morale boost given to the LGBT community by POTUS's vocal support overcomes the Right.   I am also reminded that instead of pushing for the right thing we are conceding to the Right again in this issue if only for the time being.

Lastly again,  POTUS when he was in Vermont and at both rallies over the weekend said he'd always tell us where he stood.  "Evolving" seems like a pretty lame stand.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
If he's re-elected in Nov. then (2.00 / 5)
in March 2013 he will have secured a second term.  He will be in a position to nominate the next justices to SCOTUS.  That's a huge difference from his current position.

The point is that he isn't appealing to people on the right.  They will not vote for him no matter what.  He needs those in the center.  These are exactly the people who may be persuadable on some issues, but for whom the right's demagoging about some campaign to undermine marriage might scare.  At the beginning of his second term, he won't need them.  At the end of his first, he does.

And I'm not advocating that he wait.  I am arguing that it makes sense for him to proceed strategically and that's what I THINK he's doing.  He doesn't call me up and consult with me.  And I'm not privy to the data upon which his team is making these decisions.  For all I know, he's wrong.  But I don't think he's wrong in trying to navigate the political currents.  And that's what I think he's doing and that's how I view his vagueness and equivocations on this and other issues at present.

The future is unwritten


[ Parent ]
Happy and Strumm (2.00 / 5)
What an effing great debate: best that I've seen on this issue by far. You both - passionately - showed all sides of a really complex argument, and a hard intersection between urgency, morality, rights and realpolitik.

You persuaded me on both sides of the argument - which either makes me a real ninny, or you both powerful advocates

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Ah... (2.00 / 5)
So this is where all the cool kids are.

[ Parent ]
Frank Bruni essentially agrees with us both (2.00 / 5)

But right now, Obama could stir up a lot of counterproductive noise and passion with an emphatic position in favor of marriage equality. And while it's the job of advocates to focus on one issue and amass their armies on a single front, it's the job of those who govern to promote an array of concerns and serve multiple constituencies. To do any good in office, you have to be in office.

Obama has exhibited more concern for the equal rights of gays and lesbians than his predecessors did. He ended the military policy of "don't ask, don't tell." He instructed the Justice Department not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

He brags about this progress, and has a right to. But he shouldn't expect those of us who support marriage equality to find the sound of that trumpeting so very musical. It's a tentative, incremental bleat. And it's especially unsatisfying from a president who's such a moving, hopeful symbol of this country's imperfect and incomplete journey toward full respect for all its citizens, no matter their gender, race, creed or sexual orientation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05...



The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
There was a time (2.00 / 5)
when women's issues and race issues had to wait too. FDR couldn't fight for civil rights because it would blow up the New Deal coalition. In the 1960s and 1970s, Democrats like Ted Kennedy ran like cheetahs away from the abortion.

60%+ of black voters in North Carolina support Amendment One. That's the reason, period. They stay home, Obama has no chance in NC, a state he won in 2008. Same holds true for states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. It's an unfortunate political reality.

In Jamaica, Queens, just about every black voter over the age of 40 was disgusted with Andrew Cuomo over gay marriage. Look what it did with Orthodox Jews in New York, it flat out turned them Republican.


[ Parent ]
Waiting 5 minutes for recognition of civil rights is by definition 5 minutes too long (2.00 / 4)
This is what distinguishes rights from privileges.  Privileges are granted and/or earned.  Rights are possessed regardless and lack of recognition represents an unjust denial.  So in ANY question of civil rights, delay in their recognition and impediment to their exercise is by definition unjust and intolerable.  But that only means that it's that much more crucial that we think strategically about the quickest and most effective way to gain recognition and remove impediments.  The question is whether Obama declaring for marriage equality will more likely speed or impede that process.  I think the risk is very real that it's the latter.  I don't think it's simple to accept any delay.  But in my view, this tactical delay has a greater chance to speed accomplishment of justice.  Or, it seems reasonable to me for Obama to take that position at this juncture.

If Obama could sign marriage equality into law with the stroke of his left-handed pen, then we'd have a greater dilemma.  Is the immediate achievement of marriage equality worth the potential hit to his reelection prospects?  Maybe for some.  But that's not even the situation we're dealing with.  Declaring accomplishes little in terms of policy.  Equivocating may help pave the way.

The future is unwritten


[ Parent ]
We've only had two Presidents (2.00 / 5)
who openly supported abortion rights; Clinton and Obama.

Sure Nixon, Ford, Bush41 may have personally supported abortion rights, but they didn't say so, simple because it was a toxic point of view through the 1980s.

We look for leaders in the wrong places. They don't come from elected office because elected leaders are incapable of "leading," they're polarizing lighting rods. I've seen people change their long-held opinions on issues just so they're not in sync with the politician they hate.


[ Parent ]
We see the 'evolving' thing differently, you and I. (2.00 / 7)
It's a political position, not a personal one.  For the record: there's no doubt in my mind he supports full equality privately -- it's almost impossible to believe otherwise given what we know to be true about the guy.

To me, when the POTUS describes his position on gay marriage as 'evolving' it's a leader's way of indicating to the nation (large swaths of which find him very likable) that Hey, you know what? it's time we think about this.  

"My feelings about this are constantly evolving," he said. "I struggle with this. I have friends, I have people who work for me who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people. And this is something that means a lot to them and they care deeply about."

He continued: "At this point, what I've said is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have, and I think that's the right thing to do. But I recognize that from their perspective it is not enough, and I think this is something that we're going to continue to debate, and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward."

Have you noticed that as obama 'evolves' the nation does too?  How much is the President responsible for in that regard?  Any?  I dunno, approval has been trending upward since at least 2004 or so, at least.    

According to the March 2012 Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll (the most WSJ/NBC News poll recent to include a question on gay marriage) currently 49% of Americans favor gay marriage, with 40% opposed. That represents a flip from October 2009, when 49% were opposed and 41% were in favor.

So who knows if his actions are contributing to that upward trend, or to what degree?  Again I dunno, but as POTUS evolves, other things happen (dominoes, i'm thinking):

Extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees?  Check. Signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law?  Double check.  Ending gender identity discrimination in the federal government?  Recording an It Gets Better video?  Declaring DOMA unconstitutional?  Repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell?  Hosting anti-bullying Conference at the White House?  Restoring sexual orientation to the United Nations protected human rights?

Check, check, check, check, check, and check.

No, the waiting isn't cool, but who hasn't had to wait? Shit, if Trayvon teaches us anything, it's that black folks are still waiting for the right to walk around after dark with a bag of candy.  True equality is something that will be struggled after for ages, probably forever.

Or hey, maybe they plan to add marriage equality as an official plank at the convention, with a shit heap of fanfare, and crazy uncle joe just ruined the surprise?  Heh.  I don't know, but I'm 99.999% sure gay marriage is happening, and sooner rather than later.  Meh, I'm tired and I forgot what my point was.

Cool diary Haps, got me thinking.  :)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Love this one liner (2.00 / 4)
No, the waiting isn't cool, but who hasn't had to wait? Shit, if Trayvon teaches us anything, it's that black folks are still waiting for the right to walk around after dark with a bag of candy.  True equality is something that will be struggled after for ages, probably forever.


The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Festina lente, baby (2.00 / 4)
If there ever was a President who understood that principle, it's the one we've got now in the Oval Office.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
The thing is, even if Obama came out tomorrow in favor (2.00 / 8)
there would still be waiting.  

[ Parent ]
mos def (2.00 / 5)


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
And my last comment on this. (2.00 / 6)
The campaign/administration is desperately trying to fit President's position in with Biden's comments on Sunday.  As someone once said if you're explaining, you're losing.  This has become muddled when it needed not to have and now the narrative has shifted from Grenell's resignation/Rmoney's cowardice to POTUS's oddly-phrased position on SSM.

But it's an election year.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Tomasky's take (2.00 / 4)
Gay Marriage: Obama Still Should Stay in the Closet

by Michael Tomasky  | May 7, 2012 4:57 PM EDT

No one I've read on this gay marriage question seems to be making the obvious (to me) point that if the administration is going to send a pre-election signal in favor of gay marriage, it's far better for Joe Biden to do it than for Barack Obama to do it.

Biden is Catholic. He has that working-class, Pennsylvania-style cred. It's far, far better for Americans to hear that kind of talk from him than from Obama, the black urban liberal cosmopolite. So I'm not so sure this was a gaffe. Or if it was a gaffe, it may have been a happy one.
I wrote a column about six weeks ago arguing that Obama should not endorse gay marriage before the election, for various political reasons, mostly because the majority that supports same-sex marriage seems a little fragile to me as yet. Liberals like to say, "But it's the majority view, and it's what he believes, so what's the problem?"

But that's really simplistic politically. I'd want to know a lot about how that position sits with various voting blocs in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, and Florida. I'd want to know what voting blocs a pre-election public embrace would be more likely to motivate in all those states (and some others). For example, the fact that there is simple majority support in America (and it's not a huge majority by any means--53, 54 percent) might mean that quite large majorities in a handful of already-blue states support gay marriage. But that would have nothing to do with how independents in Virginia feel. And this is the important point: Wanting to know such things before acting isn't political cowardice. It's pollitical horse sense.

Win the election first. If it appears in September that Obama can win while supporting same-sex marriage, then maybe he should pull the trigger. There are upsides. But if it appears that it will motivate chiefly voters on the other side, it can and should wait. It would be something he could take on early in a second term, and while the wingers would howl, most of America wouldn't bat an eye.

Right now, Obama has the advantage over Romney on this issue. Slate's Dave Weigel picked up today on how RNC Chair Reince Preibus is trying to say there's no difference between Obama's and Romney's positions, an argument that Weigel shredded: Romney has signed the National Organization for Marriage's five-point reactionary pledge, and virtually each point stakes a position the opposite of Obama's.

So the Republicans are on the defensive today, aware that their candidate's posture is out of the mainstream. There's no pressing reason for Obama to upset that balance.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/a...



The future is unwritten

The other thing to think about (2.00 / 7)
coming from someone in the media.

This is entirely the media's attempt to whip up another divisive issue to have endless shouting matches about now that gas prices are dropping and the economy is stable.


Well they got a fine assist from Biden and the Admin's awkward (2.00 / 4)
response to same which is what annoyed me in the first place.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
He was asked by David Gregory (2.00 / 5)
Gregory knew what he was doing. "Journalists" and I use the term lightly have a preconceived plans for these things.

Obama comes out in support, North Carolina votes for Amendment 1- "Obama will lose because this state he won in 2008 voted against gay marriage, also too, black voters. Here's a black preacher who will not support Obama" (don't worry, they'll find one)

Obama doesn't support- "Obama will lose because LGBT voters won't show up or donate to his campaign!"

Obama hedges- "Obama is weak, indecisive"

It's a no win scenario and David Gregory knew that when he asked the question.

Trust me on this. I see it every damn day.  


[ Parent ]
Oh, it was Gregory who kicked this off? (2.00 / 3)
Say no more.  That rat bastard never misses an opportunity to stick it to Obama.  "Journalist" so typical of the Beltway buffoons, he is.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

[ Parent ]
Gregory asked the question but Biden kicked off the "mess" (2.00 / 3)
by giving an unequivocal answer.  I love Joe as much as the next person and I appreciate his honesty but, given what's going on in NC today and that there has been a push to get marriage equality on the Democratic platform one would think there would have been a more coherent response.

And now Arne Duncan has apparently come out in favor of marriage equality so maybe whomever said it is correct: the Administration is going drip, drip on the support.  But it doesn't take away completely from the notion that the President is being deliberately squishy on the issue in order to have it both ways.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter (2.00 / 4)
if Biden had avoided the question, they would've made a big deal about him avoiding the question.

So the administration doesn't have unity or clarity on what position they take on gay marriage, neither does the country they govern as witnesses by the fact a swing state that supports civil unions is voting to ban them today.  


[ Parent ]
Look at Tomasky's article above (2.00 / 3)
I think this is a shrewd maneuver that's being played like a mess.  I could be wrong.  But I think the administration is kicking into high strategy mode.  And remember, Obama plays the long game.

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
We'll see and I hope so. (2.00 / 6)
Sullivan has a good piece on this, too, summed up thusly:

I'm disappointed in Obama, but his leading from behind is not exactly a surprise at this point. And after the end of DADT and withdrawing from a legal defense of DOMA, he's done a huge amount. But the idea that there is some kind of equivalence between his cynical waffling and Romney's rank hostility to gay people's equality is preposterous.

I guess in the grand scheme of things I'll let the "evolving" thing slide for awhile given that POTUS truly has been remarkable on LGBT issues.


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
hugz. (2.00 / 5)


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
North Carolina will likely end this discussion (2.00 / 2)
Gregory was hoping to use the question to create a media narrative in the wake of the expected vote in North Carolina "How can Obama possibly win if he's not with swing state voters on this issue?"


[ Parent ]
Maybe not. (2.00 / 3)
Rumors flying today that POTUS clarifies his position on SSM and those wanting him to come out in favor of same will be happy.  And press briefing has been cancelled.

I certainly do not want him to do anything to hurt his re-election chances that but it is almost like he has no choice but to clarify now ... if my timeline is any indication of popular sentiment.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Halperin on msnbc today (2.00 / 1)
...every expectation that we will within the next hour be in a different world where we have a president of the united states who supports the legalization of gay marriage . he's doing an interview with robin roberts at abc, someone he's done many interviews with in the past. the vice president i think forced his hand. but even before the vice president spoke on "meet the press" in favor of gay marriage , the president i think was headed in this direction before the election. there was a lot of speculation he'd wait until after he was re-elected or lost, but i think the people around him all felt that there was going to come a time when he needed to do this. it's where everyone, almost everyone who works for him is, i think, and a lot of people who have observed him over the years think that's where his heart is. and i believe when he does it, although there will be a lot of speculation with political implications, it's just as likely to help him win re-election than hurt him.

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/mit...

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Boom! (2.00 / 7)
President Obama made history Wednesday, becoming the first sitting president to come out in support of legal same-sex marriage.

In an interview with ABC News, Obama said, "I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married." http://2012.talkingpointsmemo....  

Off to donate a bit more 'cause I've got the President's back.  And I know that is politically dangerous.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
beat me to it! (2.00 / 6)
w00t!

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
AWWWWEEESSSSSOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! n/t (2.00 / 7)


The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
Eleventy-dimensional... (2.00 / 3)
Chess mastery or a Biden gaffe gone haywire?  They report, you decide.

[ Parent ]
teh Atlantic sez: (2.00 / 3)
The question many in Washington are now asking is "Why did Obama do this?" "What's the political driver here?" "Why now?"

Perhaps Joe Biden's comments on the Sunday show were a fumble that the president decided to pick up in a magnificent display of conscience kicking in.  

Or perhaps more likely, the president in one of his regular private lunch meetings with the vice president encouraged Biden to stir things up by expressing his support for gays and gay marriage.

[snip]

By supporting gay marriage, Obama is giving his crowd, his base, something to go to the streets to fight for. And to the cynics on the political right who think that Obama loses in a head on culture war, he is saying "Bring it On" -- not only because he thinks that supporting gay marriage is the right thing to do, but because it may now be very smart politics.



Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Heh (2.00 / 5)
I'm with Pierce on this one:


I think he made a precise political calculation, that being ahead on this issue will be more beneficial to him going forward than the prolonged exercise in subtlety that had begun to look like dithering. I think both the Biden and Duncan interviews were long-range reconnaissance, and I think he got the information he wanted. I have my differences with this president, god knows, but this is one thing of which I am certain: He does absolutely nothing by accident. He has spent his entire life learning how to take cautious, considered steps. He's damned good at it by now.

Charles P Pierce - Obama, Gay Marriage, and the American Equality Quilt Esquire 9 May 12

And why not?  Most of the people who oppose this position already assume Obama supports it anyway.


[ Parent ]
This. (2.00 / 4)
Most of the people who oppose this position already assume Obama supports it anyway.

I wonder how many folks are going, "Huh?  I thought he already did."

Of course, Rmoney's slide to the center seems a bit harder to make.  He cannot come out for ssm or civil unions and he's refused today to say he'd support hospital visits and other benefits for federal workers.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Romney... (2.00 / 5)
Is a rudderless Titanic on this issue (emphasis added with a wry chuckle):


Romney said on the campaign trail Monday that he continues to oppose gay marriage.

"My view is that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman," Romney said. "That's the position I've had for some time, and I don't intend to make any adjustments at this point. ... Or ever, by the way."

Rick Klein - President Obama Affirms His Support for Same Sex Marriage ABC 9 May 12

That was Monday, to be sure, but he's got absolutely no wriggle room or cares.


[ Parent ]
brilliant, or happy unintended consequence? (2.00 / 4)
After the clownfest that was the GOP primary season, Romney has long journey to the center to make in an effort to win indies(and he MUST get them to even stand a chance)...

Now, he's forced to go full dinosaur on the issue to shore up his skaky ass base.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
And that's the big difference between the 2008 Dems and the 2012 (2.00 / 6)
GOP.  Obama and Hillary were really quite close in their policies but Santorum and Gingrich and Perry et al drove Rmoney to the right; now his base is gonna keep him there.  Who the Hell is he going to get to be VP who helps him with the center?

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Exactly... (2.00 / 5)
Pierce on Santorum's half-hearted endorsement:


The man represents everything standing between Romney and the presidency that Romney hasn't placed there himself. Rick Santorum is the walking embodiment of all the ungainly gymnastics Romney has had to do to get the nomination. He's a theocrat and an extremist. He wants his religion in your bedroom and soldiers in Iran. That's what the first 12 paragraphs of his e-mail were all about - making sure that Romney knows the eye of Sauron is still on him as he attempts to "tack toward the middle." It is a clear statement that The Base will make sure that Romney is chained to all the unpopular positions he felt obliged to take to win the Crazee Party primaries. Jesus is my button man. The endorsement comes with an implicit threat: shake the Etch-A-Sketch too vigorously, and the flying monkeys will come out.

Charles P Pierce - We're Still Living in Rick Santorum's America, Somehow 10 May 12

As I said upthread it is like someone chartered the Titanic to go iceberg hunting.


[ Parent ]
Rmoney's willing to sell his soul to be President. (2.00 / 6)
I want sooo badly to ask him how being a lying soulless bastard sits within the LDS community.  And I mean that as a serious question.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
for realz (2.00 / 5)
if supporting gay marriage would secure the presidency for romney, he'd have already married that guy they ran off his campaign.

oh well, opportunity lost.  my guess is that Romney's master stroke will be to steal Obama's thunder by taking credit for his own defeat in November.

Obama's victory was my idea, and I'm glad this President has follwed my advice.


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
This was the guy who said that he would do more to advance gay rights (2.00 / 4)
than Ted Kennedy.



[ Parent ]
Funny... (2.00 / 5)
I had the same thought but took Romney's behaviour as the definitive answer; the truth turns to ashes in his mouth.  Frankly, given that he was Boston Stake president and lay pastor they have to be a bit worried about the brand.

If judging history's verdict was possible I would say Romney will long be preserved in our popular culture as a bold and shameless liar.  


[ Parent ]
Rob Portman? (2.00 / 2)
...but I hear the AP is on the hunt...

lulz

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
/snort (2.00 / 3)
I thought it was your friend.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Yeah (1.25 / 4)
I heard from my friend. Sheesh. I should fail you for CT.

;)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
What if I fail you first? (1.25 / 4)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
flame warz!!!!!!!1!! (1.00 / 3)


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Fox News sez: (2.00 / 3)
OBAMA FLIP FLOPS, DECLARES WAR ON MARRIAGE  /spittle

No, really.  That was their headline.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
And that's what I told BuzzfeedAndrew before I unfollowed him. (2.00 / 2)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Every day (2.00 / 6)
In so many ways, I cherish the vote I gave this extraordinary man, and look forward to voting for him again in November.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

Sully ... (2.00 / 4)
The interview changes no laws; it has no tangible effect. But it reaffirms for me the integrity of this man we are immensely lucky to have in the White House. Obama's journey on this has been like that of many other Americans, when faced with the actual reality of gay lives and gay relationships. Yes, there was politics in a lot of it. But not all of it. I was in the room long before the 2008 primaries when Obama spoke to the mother of a gay son about marriage equality. He said he was for equality, but not marriage. Five years later, he sees - as we all see - that you cannot have one without the other. Bu even then, you knew he saw that woman's son as his equal as a citizen. It was a moment - way off the record at the time - that clinched my support for him.

Today Obama did more than make a logical step. He let go of fear. He is clearly prepared to let the political chips fall as they may. That's why we elected him. That's the change we believed in. The contrast with a candidate who wants to abolish all rights for gay couples by amending the federal constitution, and who has donated to organizations that seek to "cure" gays, who bowed to pressure from bigots who demanded the head of a spokesman on foreign policy solely because he was gay: how much starker can it get?

http://andrewsullivan.thedaily...

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Reading the Blogs... (2.00 / 2)
This morning makes it all seem worthwhile; clattering keyboards and tears of joy and relief.

[ Parent ]
FWIW (2.00 / 4)
Tweet from Chuck Todd:


WH aides tell me it's almost a given gay marriage will be new plank in the Democratic Party platform that's passed at this year's convention


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

asdf (2.00 / 4)
Senator Jack Reed

@SenJackReed

I support same sex marriage and will cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act. #MarriageEquality #LGBT

Don't know why I assumed he already did but Rhode Island Senator follows the lead of POTUS.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


I ain't getting any work done (2.00 / 4)
Tweet from marabout40:

Please take a moment to thank President Obama for his act of courage today. And if you don't think what he did was courageous, then fuck you


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

According to Zeke Miller at BuzzFeed ... (2.00 / 3)
In the first 90 minutes after the news broke today, the Obama campaign received $1 million in spontaneous contributions

I believe $25 of that was mine.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Say... (2.00 / 2)
Why isn't this diary front-paged?

Ain't got no picture. (2.00 / 1)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Post a Link... (2.00 / 1)
To an image you want and it shall be done.

[ Parent ]
There is some ugly shit on photobucket. :( (2.00 / 3)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I've got to find a better bit of video. :( (2.00 / 2)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

I've Promoted This... (2.00 / 2)
And adjusted the video to the top.  If you want to change the video you can just substitute a different YouTube identifier in the HTML wherever it appears.

[ Parent ]
Thanks. (2.00 / 1)
I am so not coordinated with this stuff.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I think I'll move the whole update to the top (2.00 / 3)
Makes more sense, I think.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Sigh (2.00 / 4)
Can't tell you how much I enjoy participating in co-operative, collectivist anarchy.  Your diary is a marvellous time capsule of the last few days and the comments a thorough discussion of the issue; one for the "way-back machine" in years to come.

[ Parent ]
I'm just sorry I offended Strummerson. (2.00 / 7)
I've been called high-strung (correctly) and sometimes I read into things when my emotions are a bit involved.  But I think in all it was a good airing of opinions.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Awww, Strum's fine (2.00 / 8)
You wrote something I didn't like.  I pushed back and explained why I didn't like it and why it got under my skin.  You apologized for that part and we refined where the actual disagreement lay.  Moved on.  It's all unicorns and rainbows in the meadow now.  Lots of rainbows in fact.  Bent along the long arc of history toward justice!

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
Well, POTUS lost the Ellen demographic (2.00 / 3)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Nothing to Do... (2.00 / 2)
With marriage and unions, specifically, but reading about the North Carolina amendment leaves me with the nagging doubt that the Christian Republicans are headed straight for Fort Sumter.

[ Parent ]
David Frum has a good take on that today (2.00 / 4)
The statement changes everything because it locks in place for another generation the Brand ID of Democrats as the party of cultural modernity. This Brand ID fits uneasily upon the Democrats, for they are also the party of ethnic minorities and recent immigrants. With the president's statement, however, the modernists have gained the clear upper hand. Meanwhile on the Republican side of aisle, the cultural modernists keep losing. http://www.thedailybeast.com/d...


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (2.00 / 4)
I'm not just talking about brand identification, I think these people have worked themselves up into Whiskey Rebellion re-enactors:


The Republican Party of Greene County in Virginia published their monthly newsletter in March and in it, the editor suggested an "armed revolution" will be necessary if President Obama is reelected in November.

Adam Peck - Local Republican Party Newsletter Suggests 'Armed Revolution' If President Obama Is Reelected Think Progress 9 May 12

Seriously.  How come Right-wing domestic terrorism isn't a "meme?"  Because it's our drunken uncle, that's why...  Anyway, they are wearing the wrong hats.


[ Parent ]
Which is why I don't have a ton of sympathy for Dick Lugar (2.00 / 3)
although I applaud his sternly worded letter to the GOP in his concession.

Now, when it doesn't matter politically to him anymore Lugar decides to take on the more extreme notions of his party.  Way to show courage there, Dick.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Noam Schrieber on how POTUS announcement may hurt ... (2.00 / 4)
Rmoney:

... while swing voters may be ambivalent about gay marriage itself, they're much less comfortable with displays of intolerance. Many of the same voters who profess squeamishness over the idea would punish a politician for crusading against it. If you don't believe me, just consider that, prior to this week, the White House was perfectly comfortable opposing bans on gay marriage even though it stopped conspicuously short of embracing gay marriage.

Unfortunately for Romney, the one thing Obama's announcement deprives him of is opportunities to duck the issue. Given the way it's energized conservatives-Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was quick to thunder that "today's announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election"-Romney now faces enormous pressure to amplify his position. Conservatives will ask about it constantly. They will insist on highlighting it in the party platform and at this summer's convention. Rote box-checking of the sort he's practiced so far will no longer suffice.

Whole thing is worth a read.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Good Point... (2.00 / 2)
First ladyparts and now this; bad luck for Romney.  And another news cycle crushed.  As wise generals note most of the battle is fought in your opponent's head.

[ Parent ]
Luck? Obama set them up both times. (2.00 / 3)
What an awesome politician. Wow.  

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

[ Parent ]
Heh (2.00 / 2)
He's interdicting Romney's media line-of-supply.  Find 'em, fix 'em and fox 'em.

[ Parent ]
I call it (2.00 / 2)
...'give-em enough ropadope'.

Photobucket

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Masterful. Not the governing part but the politician part. Heh. (2.00 / 2)
What was the last media cycle that Romney won?  

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

[ Parent ]
Romney's Reaction (2.00 / 3)
"I deplore President Obama's statement.  I continue to believe, as I always have and always will, that marriage is a Divinely ordained institution, a sacred covenant involving one man and seven or eight women."  

[ Parent ]
If He Keeps Talking... (2.00 / 2)
About "Divinely ordained" and "covenants" he's going to have concerned voters checking the Wikipedia page on Mormonism.

[ Parent ]
Email from the President (2.00 / 4)
James --

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I hope you'll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:

http://my.barackobama.com/Marr...

I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

If you agree, you can stand up with me here.

Thank you,

Barack

"These are hard times, not end times." - Jon Stewart


In for a Penny... (2.00 / 5)
In for a pound.  So...  We're going to win the culture wars this cycle?  Not before time.  Bring it on.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but I'm not real wild about overtly fundraising off of this. (2.00 / 3)
And apparently they don't have to if reports of the money coming in spontaneously are correct.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
So a reporter asks Rmoney questions, including one from a CO (2.00 / 3)
viewer, and Mitt's not happy:  http://livewire.talkingpointsm...

Embed doesn't work but check out the video about 2:00 minutes in.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Pot is a gateway drug, Mittens says. (2.00 / 2)
What about tobacco?  That's the real gateway drug.  Should tobacco be legal?

And he's opposed to civil unions if they are the equivalent of marriage.

Mittens is such a stiff.


[ Parent ]
And SSM is a gateway institution (2.00 / 5)
First, they undermine our heterosexual marriages by increasing legal options for others.

Second, our heterosexual marriages unravel as a result.

Third, our children are so traumatized by our divorces that they decide to become homosexual.

Fourth, they marry members of the same sex.

Fifth, they call Jesus on the telephone to tell them that they reject his love, mercy, and grace.  And they recommend a half decent stylist to update his look.

Sixth, the seas boil and the mountains tumble.

Seventh: Single payer healthcare system.

The future is unwritten


[ Parent ]
at what point (2.00 / 3)
does obama take away all the guns?

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
He won't need to (2.00 / 4)
All the guns will go soft once we are all gay married.  It's part of the plan.


The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
A few random thoughts that came to me today while reading about this. (2.00 / 5)
Setting aside the political expediency of the decision to come out of the closet, so to speak, on SSM, this was the right thing to do morally and ethically.

As to the timing, I think it was fortuitous. Without the President's statement today, the news would have been all about the strong win by anti-SSM backers in NC last night. I believe that vote was a setback for the cause of SSM. It buoyed up the ranks of the bigots. By speaking today, POTUS took all of the wind out of their sails (love a good mixed metaphor). Now they are reacting to liberals instead of the other way around.

It's actually a good thing the Prez didn't come out with this statement before the vote. The vote totals show that his statement of support for SSM wouldn't have been enough to swing the vote. If he'd come out before the vote and then the amendment had still passed it would have been a setback for the good guys.

Politically, I think it's pretty  much a wash. I doubt it will affect vote counts at all. What it will do, and already has to some extent, is help with fundraising. Small donors, like most of us, will be even more committed. Big donors and bundlers, those who are gay, will be more apt to work harder for the campaign.

Most importantly, though, what does this mean for the cause? My first thoughts on that question were, "Not much." Now that I've thought about it a bit more, I think that's wrong. I think having POTUS make this statement adds some additional legitimacy to the cause. I think there are people out there who have come around to the idea that this is a civil rights issue and that it needs to happen, but who are still reluctant to voice their support in public. I think they will now be move willing to state their support. There may even be an upswing in the next few months in poll numbers for those in support of SSM.

I'd really like to hear from those who are actually working for the cause. I support SSM as part of a broader civil rights issue for the LGBT community in this country. But, I'm not really involved in the fight. My involvement is pretty much limited to vocal support and occasional written pieces. What does this mean to those in the trenches? What does this mean to a gay teenager in Bozeman, MT? Does it give them hope for a better future? Or is it no more than a minor news story that will be forgotten in a few days?



This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


In practical terms, other than firing folks up on both sides of the (2.00 / 4)
issue the President's words today may not mean that much to ssm.  The DOJ's decision not to defend DOMA is far more likely to have the effect of possibly overturning the issue at the state level but I'm going to let Chris Geidner explain it:


With some level of heightened scrutiny applied to sexual orientation classifications, as Obama and Holder decided was appropriate based on their analysis of several factors considered when determining the level of scrutiny to apply, the decision that DOMA's definition of marriage was unconstitutional was relatively straightforward. Department of Justice lawyers have since argued in federal cases from California to Massachusetts that heightened scrutiny should apply to sexual orientation classifications and that, accordingly, DOMA's federal definition of marriage should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Although being argued in the context of DOMA, however, the level of scrutiny to be applied to sexual orientation classifications would apply across the board -- to federal, state and local laws, ordinances and practices.

snip

... lawyers working on and judges considering these cases already have acknowledged the importance of the DOJ position on DOMA in state-law cases. The day that the DOJ decision was announced in February 2011, lawyers for the plaintiffs challenging Proposition 8 told the judge that the DOJ's decision represented a "material," or significant, development.

I hope I didn't snip too much; don't want to run afoul of Internet etiquette.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Barney Franks talks about this a bit with Rachel (2.00 / 4)
toward the end of the segment:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bar...

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
I LOL'd (2.00 / 5)
RT @peeweeherman: Thank you, Mr. President, for standing up for equality. Yours Truly, Pee-wee Herman-Clooney.


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Real comment on Facebook (2.00 / 1)
"that's great, but if Obama was serious, why isn't he repealing DOMA?"

yeah, so, whatever.  


Heh that's tame. (2.00 / 1)
And lame ... and uninformed.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
He pointed me to this Huffington Post article (2.00 / 1)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

At a press conference about his new "America's Got Talent" judging duties, the radio host told reporters that his "feelings are very clear on this."

"I wish the president actually had gone further. I wish he said he was going to back some legislation on the national level," Stern said.

Some are taking issue with the timing and content of Obama's announcement, noting that it took the president well into the third year of his term to concede that he believed same-sex couples should be able to marry. Obama also did not endorse any federal legislation on the matter.

Flat out untrue.  


[ Parent ]
another example of people (2.00 / 1)
not understanding how government works

"These are hard times, not end times." - Jon Stewart

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but none of this excuses why (2.00 / 4)
he hasn't brought peace to the middle east yet.  Guess he's too busy playing golf.  And last I checked, there are still people with cancer and my hair hasn't begun to grow back yet.

The future is unwritten

[ Parent ]
Damn him!!!! (2.00 / 1)
Oobaaammaaaa!!!!!

"These are hard times, not end times." - Jon Stewart

[ Parent ]
According to some reports (2.00 / 2)
Biden apologized to the President.  Seems like it really may have been a mistake.  And given the President's subsequent moves and the attendant responses, Happy's perspective seems pretty vindicated.  Hat tip.  Forward to the next hurdle.

The future is unwritten

"according to some" (2.00 / 2)
Pretty weak sauce,  I think this was orchestrated.  If it ends up on the platform, I will consider my opinion confirmed.

Howard Dean is my guy. (in a strictly nonsexual fashion)

[ Parent ]
I think it does. (2.00 / 1)
There's no reason for it not to at this point; might be worse to leave it off.

Obviously, I don't have the polling information the campaign does but from what I've seen this has actually gone better than could be expected.  Doesn't hurt that Rmoney is a bumbling fool who cannot articulate a consistent message.  He said Thursday that gay adoption was "a right" and Friday he said he was misunderstood and only meant that most states already allow it.

He also doesn't plan to use POTUS's position on ssm against him.  I wishhave him good luck with that 'cause others will which puts Rmoney in a crappy place.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Seems to Me... (2.00 / 1)
It tends to highlight the distance between the Right and the actual country.  And the coincidence of the Washington Post story is the kind of luck that seems unlikely at face value.  

[ Parent ]
Yeah, and that makes me uncomfortable ... (2.00 / 2)
the coincidence of the Washington Post story is the kind of luck that seems unlikely at face value.

Obviously, the reporter was already working on the story but was a decision made to publish on the day after the President's announcement?  Hard to think that it wasn't but, if so, I'd prefer WaPo admit whatever their rationale.  I guess, though, it is more likely they'll stick to the coincidence story.  

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
I read that the story was supposed to come out the day before (2.00 / 3)
but they held it back because of the President's SSM statement.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
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