Worse than Rove (updated) or: The Gay After Tomorrow
Andrew Sullivan writes:
“And, yes, Bush, despite being personally compassionate and understanding of gay men and women and hiring them from the very bottom to the very top of his administration (on the condition that they remain closeted at all times), went along. He endorsed marginalizing gays as second class citizens in the very federal constitution “in deference to the need to press every advantage.” And in so doing, he never even acknowledged in any way our existence or dignity or humanity. He never met with a single one of us or our representatives in eight years in office. He never used the word itself in a formal speech. He never even referred in public to the pain and suffering that his policy would entail, to the immense hurt a tiny minority would feel if they were singled out in their own constitution as sub-human. This “uniter-not-a-divider” was indifferent to a policy that would have written a beleaguered and tiny minority out of their own country. But he had to do this “in deference to the need to press every advantage.” To my mind, this makes him worse than Rove: at least Rove was a proud cynic; Bush couldn’t take even that responsibility. I know all this pains Reihan and I know his heart and brilliant mind are in the right place. But he’s being far too generous to the GOP elites.”
So where does this place Obama? Is he worse than both Bush and Rove? His constituency is largely in favor of gay rights, and yet still he refuses to do everything in his power to afford that portion of the population equality under the law. This strikes me as quite a lot more disingenuous than anything the past administration did. After all, Obama doesn’t have to answer to the Christian Coalition, or any conservative religious organization or base. What could possibly compel him to drag his feet?
Scott may be right and there may be some prioritizing going on. I mean, it was far more important for the President to push Chicago’s bid for the Olympics than it is for him to sign the executive order required to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. And hey, it’s one thing to juggle health care reform, stimulus, and climate change schemes – it would be awfully difficult to do that and support gay rights all at the same time. I mean, a guy’s gotta rest. And it’s not like DOMA or DADT actually effect anyone’s real lives, do they?
No. I’m with Sully on this one. With all the nonsense on the right at this point, Obama’s betrayal of many progressive priorities won’t do him much harm for now. But as the wars rage on, as gay servicemen and women continue to be kicked out of the military, and as the public option collapses into a million little pieces, one wonders how long Obama will really maintain his approval ratings. He’s no Bill Clinton, and I doubt he has the skill to wriggle out of total collapse the way Clinton could.
Now, if only Republicans could get their act together and find themselves a damn leader whose name isn’t Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or Michael Steele….
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|The Gay After Tomorrow|