Obama Interview On LGBT Issues

Barack Obama gave an interview to the Advocate about his positions on gay issues. This leapt out at me:

“So I actually have been much more vocal on gay issues to general audiences than any other presidential candidate probably in history.’’

That strikes me about as credible as his comment about his record on anti-semitism:

And nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti- Semitism than I have."

I'd call it hyperbole, except his exaggerations are not intentional. He seems to really believe it.

Also, over and over again, on issues that matter to progressives, Obama talks about how fighting for change must be viewed in terms of whether it's worth it to expend political capital to effect it: [More...]

To the Advocate:
“I reasonably can see “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” eliminated,’’ Obama told the magazine, though he wouldn’t make the issue “a litmus test’’ for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

....Obama, who favors repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, was pressed about why he supports civil unions for gay and lesbian couples but not marriage: "I’m the product of a mixed marriage that would have been illegal in 12 states when I was born. That doesn’t mean that had I been an adviser to Dr. King back then, I would have told him to lead with repealing an antimiscegenation law, because it just might not have been the best strategy in terms of moving broader equality forward. ‘’

On the crack cocaine sentencing disparity (from the Boston Globe):

"Even if we fix this, if it was a 1-to-1 ratio, it's still a problem that folks are selling crack. It's still a problem that our young men are in a situation where they believe the only recourse for them is the drug trade. So there is a balancing act that has to be done in terms of, do we want to spend all our political capital on a very difficult issue that doesn't get at some of the underlying issues; whether we want to spend more of that political capital getting early childhood education in place, getting after-school programs in place, getting summer school programs in place."

On medical marijuana:

On medical marijuana:I would not punish doctors if it’s prescribed in a way that is appropriate. That may require some changes in federal law. I will tell you that — I mean I want to be honest with you — whether I want to use a whole lot of political capital on that issue when we’re trying to get health care passed or end the war in Iraq, the likelihood of that being real high on my list is not likely…

Obama seems to tell us over and over that he'll talk the talk but we shouldn't expect him to walk the walk because It may not be worth the political capital. How does that differ from politics as usual? How is that change?

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, when will people get the stars out of their eyes?

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    But no Picture with the Mayor of SF (5.00 / 8) (#3)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:43:05 AM EST
    That is really standing up.

    THAT ESPECIALLY... (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by gmo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:11:34 AM EST
    ...burned my butt.   As someone who was living in SF at the time and remembers vividly how much flak Newsom took for gay marriage, to hear that Obama couldn't risk his own delicate image while running for his senate seat really ticked me off.  

    And the fact that Obama's now outright lying about the fact that it never happened is even more outrageous.  I'd believe Gavin Newsom over Obama ANY day.  

    Incidentaly, I'm proud of Newsom for all he's done for the LGBT community and for SF in general.  I hope I get to vote for him as governor of CA (and maybe even president) one day, because he truly DOES have the courage of his convictions, especially when it comes to tough issues like supporting gay marriage.


    Heh best part (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:13:27 AM EST
    Willie Brown told the story about Obama dissing Newsom.  

    The source for that Newsom avoidance (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by andrys on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:47:42 AM EST
    In this case, Obama voted "Not Present!"

    I agree... (4.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:27:07 AM EST
    ...that is a big deal.  But since the Democratic Party did not come out against the anti-gay marriage amendments that followed in Newsom's wake, I am not going to assignn blame to anyone who merely dissociated themselves from SF's mayor.  

     There were reports saying Senator Kerry indicated that President Clinton suggested he support some of those anti-gay amendments to make himself a more attractive canidate.  Those reports really pissed me off.  DOMA was bad enough, but those amendments were practically tiwsting a knife in a wound.  And Senator Kerry was one of fourteen senators to vote against DOMA.  As much as I despise his Iraq war vote, I have to give him some credit for that.  


    Not so... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by gmo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:42:01 AM EST
    ...the democratic party, including Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, etc, ) all came out against the marriage amendment votes in the senate because they were a) bigoted and prejudiced, and b) a divisive distraction tactic being used by republicans to avoid dealing with the real topics at hand (the economy, iraq, etc).  God, even MCCAIN was against it.   So I'm not buying your argument -- there was plenty of opportunity for Obama to show a spine here.  

    But the fact is, he knew that his image was too fragile at the time to sustain being anywhere near Newsom. Whereas Clinton's long support for the LGBT community created no such conflict for her.  


    Wrong again (none / 0) (#66)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:47:12 AM EST
    They may have come out against the federal marriage amendment.  Big deal.  The issue is the dozens of state amendments against gay marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and even (in some cases) basic contract rights.  You can blast the FMA all you want, but you don't get to rewrite history on that issue.  The Democrats remain culpable.

    Weren't a majority of those amendments.. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by gmo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:53:34 AM EST
    ...passed in some deeply RED (and purple) states?  That's like blaming Democrats for losing states like Mississippi in the GE.  

    Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah and Oregon all passed their state bans in Nov 2004 -- are you saying that it was the democrats faults that those pieces of legislation passed, that democrats are culpable? Really?  How do you explain that, exactly?


    Hmmmm... (none / 0) (#71)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:59:27 AM EST
    ....so MI and OR are red states?  Sorry my friend.  Also, different initiatives passed in CA, NV and HA before 2004.  

     Are Dems responsible? No, but did they do anything to speak against the passage of those amendments? Was it even (near) the top of their agenda? No.  So when they come looking for money should gay voters give it to them, since they are on their own? No.


    "RED (and purple)" (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by gmo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:16:25 AM EST
    I'd count MI & OR as "purple" states (which is why I said "RED (and purple)" in my post).

    Beyond that, these measures passed pretty soundly in all the states they were presented, often by measures of 2-1 or greater.  And for that, I credit Karl Rove, not any democrat.  

    Returning to the original point of this thread, the bottom line is that Obama chose to carefully preen his young political identity and improve his chances for a senate seat, and consciously avoided Newsom at a time when Newsom was considered political poison for ACTUALLY standing up for LGBT rights. Obama could have taken a risk and stood with Newsom to show what he really believed, but he hedged his bets and avoided him, betting that his short term avoidance would help him win his senate seat.  For all intents and purposes, it looks like that strategy worked in the short term.

        Unfortunately, the course of the past four years has shown that Obama made a short-term call on avoiding Newsom, with longer-term repercussions on his claims to be supportive of the LGBT community.   So frankly, he's got ground to make up with the LGBT community, and certainly cannot claim to be the "most progressive" when it comes to this issue.   And that's on nobody else's shoulders but his own.


    so the republicans are going to get (none / 0) (#155)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:55:37 AM EST
    gay marriage passed for you?

    Even though DOMA is awful (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by ahazydelirium on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:55:33 AM EST
    I think the historical moment should be considered. Many believe (myself included) that DOMA took a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage off the table. It likely would have passed in the 90s, and it would have been difficult to nullify it with another amendment. So, while DOMA is certainly an awful law, it is NOT an amendment.

    Also, I don't see how the Democratic Party position as a whole is relevant to whether Obama refused to have his picture taken with Gavin Newsom. He didn't show leadership, and he snubbed a man who followed in the great traditional of civil disobedience. However, the snub is just one thing. Considering his repeated association with anti-gay pastors (McClurkin and Meeks), this is just icing on the cake.


    blaming Clinton is so sleazy (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:47:45 AM EST
    Kerry also blamed Gore for having the election stolen and thought he could do better.

    "Some reports?" Can you (none / 0) (#151)
    by hairspray on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:50:36 AM EST
    elaborate?  Is it like "some say" or "it is reported"  I think these are rumors and unless there is evidence this kind of stuff poisons the well.

    Newsweek in 2004... (none / 0) (#201)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:28:11 PM EST
    ...reported (from an unnamed source) that President Clinton suggested Senator Kerry support the state amendments.  Bob Shrum, in his book No Excuses, stated that Senator Kerry recounted the following:

    "The most prominent new counselor, of course, was Bill Clinton. Less than a year after the 2004 election, Kerry would tell me, "The only thing the Clintons care about is themselves and power." But in that post-primary spring, and for months afterwards, he prized the calls from Clinton; they were a certification of his success and his coming presidency, even though most of the advice was boilerplate - for example, reach out to the middle. But not always: Clinton, Kerry reported at the time, did suggest blunting Bush's appeal to cultural conservatives with a reprise of Clinton's Sister Souljah moment in 1992 when he denounced her call for violence against whites - and done it conspicuously as possible in front of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. Kerry, Clinton ventured should consider defying Democratic interest groups by endorsing Bush proposal for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The notion was also a replay of a Clinton tactic in his second presidential race in 1996, when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, providing that no state had to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another. At the time, Kerry had been the only Democrat running for reelection in the Senate who'd voted against the bill; he'd denounced it as "gay-bashing on the floor of the United States Senate." Clinton,, Kerry told me, had advised him that maybe he could now disarm his opponent on an issue that Karl Rove was exploiting to mobilize the religious right."

     Believe what you will.


    The statement that Kerry made (none / 0) (#203)
    by hairspray on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 02:46:44 PM EST
    about Clintons only caring about themselves and power is not borne out with much evidence.   A review of the work that the Clintons have done on behalf of all Americans is simply too much to discount as "personal ambition"  The tactic of agreeing to a federal constitutional amendment to ban "gay marriage" was quite shrewd. Clinton knew  personally of the evil of the GOP and suggested a gutter tactic to call them on their game. A federal constitutional ammendment would never PASS so the issue was moot. Kerry didn't want to play the game which while principled was not not shared by most Americans.  I think the reason that the Democrats lose, is because they can't beat the GOP at their vicious game.  Bill Clinton did, however, and you can argue that "we shouldn't do things like this" if you want.

    The bigger the lie (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:51:47 AM EST
    the more people will believe it.  Simple.

    Hmmm... now where did we learn that? (none / 0) (#144)
    by blogtopus on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:34:07 AM EST
    "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it"

    There's an axiom that Obama really took to heart, just not in the way we wanted him to.


    Also in this article (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:00:02 AM EST
    Somebody else who influenced me, I actually had a professor at Occidental -- now, this is embarrassing because I might screw up his last name -- Lawrence Golden, I think it was. He was a wonderful guy. He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come in contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with. And he was just a terrific guy. He wasn't proselytizing all the time, but just his comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues.

    Ugh. He may well have just  said " He wasn't a Flamer" or even " He didn't grab my buttocks!"

    More at

    Ugh (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:04:10 AM EST
    I know I am suppose to link the article in a special way, but I can't seem to figure it out. Of course that should be expected because I am a low information voter who is to busy clinging to my guns and pouring over my bible to figure ANYTHING out. But there is more discussion of the specific quote at shakespearssister.blogspot if interested. It's on the next page over from main :-)

    Has anyone linked to your article yet? (none / 0) (#181)
    by jawbone on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:53:17 AM EST
    Can you give site and date, title, so we can google it?

    Sure (none / 0) (#184)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:58:36 AM EST
    Site: shakespearssister.blogspot.com

    Article title: What you don't know CAN hurt you

    Author: PortlyDyke

    Date: April 10, 2008


    Heh. (5.00 / 8) (#12)
    by lansing quaker on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:08:49 AM EST
    This is MY favorite part:

    "And I've said this before -- I'm the product of a mixed marriage that would have been illegal in 12 states when I was born. That doesn't mean that had I been an adviser to Dr. King back then, I would have told him to lead with repealing an antimiscegenation law, because it just might not have been the best strategy in terms of moving broader equality forward.

    That's a decision that the LGBT community has to make. That's not a decision for me to make."

    Of course.  Let the gay community - not municipalities, not states, not Congress, not the Supreme Court - make this case on their own, for they will not be voting for a true advocate in the White House.

    Intense double speak.


    MY Favorite Part... (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by AmyinSC on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:57:43 AM EST
    Was him claiming he has spoken out more on LGBT issues than ANY OTHER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE!!!  I rolled around on the floor laughing myself silly abt that one.  Really, Obama?  When you can't even take, or MAKE, the time to do interviews??  Gee, really?  You mean when you took Donnie McClurkin around with you?  That sure raised some conversation, I'll say.  Or when you go see your BFF, James Meeks??

    As for time Clinton is on the campaign trail, too, yet she seems to make time for a BUNCH of interviews, and goes on the Ellen Show saying she will give same sex couples all the same benefits ae heterosexuals enjoy.  And you think you are doing more for our community?!?!?  Hahahahaha!!

    As you said last night, there IS a reason why the gays love Hillary - she really IS our champion.  Obama?  Not so much...


    Exactly (4.50 / 2) (#23)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:31:03 AM EST
    You gay, glbt, lesbians, whomever you all are, fight your fight and when your done, we will talk.

    I have a friend in New Orleans who is a drag queen. Some of her "sisters" are Obama supporters and were going to take a trip to Texas to see him. I asked her to tell them to go as "sisters" and not brothers. She reported back to me that they wouldn't do that because they wanted to get close enough to touch him. I was like....uhhhhh...

    It did rather amuse me tho, the idea of a stager telling a group of "sisters" they would have to move for (insert random ethic group) . Weeeee wigs would fly!


    Really?? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by FlaDemFem on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:10:41 AM EST
    He wasn't proselytizing all the time,

    You mean there is a gay man out there who doesn't try to convert all the straight men to gayness??

    Who knew??!!!

    (Total Snark!!)


    your other comment (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:22:13 AM EST
    was deleted twice as being a personal insult to Obama.

    Another answer (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by standingup on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:29:35 AM EST
    that was less than satisfactory:

    Just draw that thought out a little bit in terms of comparing it to the African-American civil rights movement.

    You always want to be careful comparing groups that have been discriminated against because each group's experiences are different. I think that the transition toward fuller acceptance of the LGBT community has happened without some of the tumult and violence that accompanied the civil rights movement. But we still have a long ways to go, and I think that it also obviously varies geographically. I think in urban communities, you can't say there's full equality, but in terms of the LGBT community daily round they're not as likely to experience certainly the discrimination that they experienced 25 years ago.

    Whereas, in the African-American community, you can still see some fairly overt racism. On the other hand, in rural communities, I think attitudes are slower to change.

    I get the feeling that Obama does not view or place LGBT's on an equal footing with African Americans.  And the more he speaks about LGBT issues, it becomes more apparent he is not that knowledgeable about LGBT history or the community.  At this point, I might suggest he would be better off being less vocal on gay issues.      


    Grrrr (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:40:25 AM EST
    That is such nonsense. The smallish town in Michigan in which I sprouted was DANGEROUS for GLBT's. No socializing places, just what my father refered to as the "licky dicky park" . And yeah, it was prime hunting grounds for red necks with bats and guns. Thank GAWD I moved before I "chose to be gay" cough.

    Michigan! (none / 0) (#31)
    by lansing quaker on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:47:40 AM EST
    What town?  I hail from Lansing, where the grass was much greener growing up.

    Bay "stinky town" City. (none / 0) (#33)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:49:07 AM EST
    I also dwelled in Ann Arbor for a few years.

    Me...... (none / 0) (#174)
    by michitucky on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:39:50 AM EST
    Traverse City......Where the good ole' boy network is alive and kicking...But I miss it, nonetheless......

    I heart (none / 0) (#192)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:15:03 PM EST
    Traverse City. My family used to drive across to there to see ther leaves changing every fall. So pretty!

    Meh. (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by lansing quaker on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:46:53 AM EST
    I feel as though to him that "gays" are just another plank to place on that parquet wood floor in that "ineviatable" White House win.

    Gay issues is just one of those other "Democrat" things someone "has" to support according to Obama, as he is Not Republican (tm).

    I mean, after all, even in that "Organized Community" known as South Side Chicago, you know where Barack Obama was a "Community Organizer" there was the whole gay house tragedy.

    It's not one of his key social issues, and I will bet my bottom dollar that nothing will be done on LGBT issues should he get the nomination and the White House, short of a miracle.

    And even then, Donna Brazile will probably clench her fists in protest.  Oh, those uppity gays, wanting a quota on delegates with the rest of us!


    Heh. (none / 0) (#39)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:54:58 AM EST
    That really is a funny picture. But I will say no more on the topic of Donna. LOL

    I suppose he thinks that (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:58:34 AM EST
    Stonewall is just a bunch of funny rocks in England.

    LOL (none / 0) (#121)
    by AmyinSC on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:40:15 AM EST
    Good one!  :-)

    Another gripe about what is said: (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:26:03 PM EST
       "Whereas, in the African-American community, you can still see some fairly overt racism. On the other hand, in rural communities, I think attitudes are slower to change."

    Well, that is a still another diss from someone who never knew a rural community.  Here I am in the Edwards county of SC.  You know what my ex-pat NY friends said?  "We have never seen a place where there are so many interracial families."  When I moved here, there were segregated schools and movies and all the rest.  For years now, blacks and whites and hispanics and asians (and purple people for all I know) have been dating and marrying and raising kids.  Not so slow to change, maybe because in small towns and rural areas everyone pretty much has to live and get along together.  The racist whites were exactly right: once the black people and the white people and the purple ones were thrown together and became friends, all the barriers dropped.  Slow to change?  Try the enclaves of wealthy for that.


    Obama isn't great on LGBT issues; (none / 0) (#126)
    by ahazydelirium on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:02:19 AM EST
    however, I will give him credit here. The fight for equal rights, in general, is a similar movement for African-Americans and the LGBT community: they both deserve the same protections and inclusion in a civil government and society.

    But each community has a very different historical and social context, and there are many ways in which they do not parallel one another. I would suggest reading the introduction to Fear of a Queer Planet, edited by Michael Warner. He discusses the tendency to align the two movements and why that isn't always a feasible option.


    But the problem (none / 0) (#159)
    by standingup on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:00:28 AM EST
    I have with Obama is not getting a strong sense that he is concerned with LGBT having the same protections or with our civil rights particularly when compared with African Americans.  I would like him to speak out as forcefully as he did with Imus and John Tanner but instead he gave Donnie McClurkin a stage and microphone because all sides need to be heard?  

    I agree that the paths of each movement do not parallel each other.  Yet I hear Obama downplaying, past and present, violence and bigotry that LGBT's experience in his statement.  I suppose he could simply be very uninformed on LGBT history and issues but that does not give me any additional comfort.  


    You're absolutely right. [nt] (none / 0) (#176)
    by ahazydelirium on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:42:54 AM EST
    Proselytize (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by stillife on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 06:58:00 AM EST
    1. To induce someone to convert to one's religious faith.
    2. To induce someone to join one's institution, cause, or political party.

    Interesting choice of words.  It reminds me of the anti-gay bigots who don't want gays teaching their children b/c you know, those evil gays are all out to "convert" them!  

    Not all the time, like the others do ... (none / 0) (#36)
    by andrys on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:52:54 AM EST
    That seemed the inference of his 'not proselytizing all the time' ...

    No way... (5.00 / 17) (#8)
    by gmo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:03:42 AM EST
    ...does Obama get to claim he is most progressive on gay rights, especially over Clinton's long history of support for the LGBT community.

    There's no comparing between the significance of Clinton's role as first lady in publicly supporting the LGBT community to Obama's state senate support, even if Clinton's was admittedly at first only in appearance. There's a reason the Advocate put Clinton on the cover:  when you remember what a stark contrast she presented at the time from the previous twelve years of first ladies, especially through the darkest years of the AIDS crisis, I'm proud of her, WJC and Al & Tipper Gore for standing with the LGBT community at such a critical moment. I mean -- could you have imagined Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush doing anything remotely similar in their years? For God's sake, even the Pope went to San Francisco in the height of the spread of the AIDS epidemic, but Nancy and Barbara? Too busy, I suppose.   Yet there was Clinton, acknowledging our community, walking with the LGBT community, and even in the NYC pride parade in 2000, running for her senate seat.  Hell, even the "Don't Ask" policy was still a huge step up from the military witch-hunts going on at the time.

    IMHO, what Clinton's support as first lady meant at the time is far more fixed as an important moment in LGBT history than Illinois state senate votes over the last several years, or even Clinton's own work in the Senate against the FMA (though she deserves credit for deftly using DOMA as a shield to protect against instilling hatred into the Constitution at a time when a republican president, congress, and supreme court would have gleefully done so).

    Now it's true that the magnitude of their records are probably mostly a matter of the stage that was available to the two, and the time in which they made their cases. But relatively speaking, I think Clinton's far longer history of support on the national stage for the LGBT community outweighs Obama's here by far, whatever Obama's few state senate votes and gay magazine interviews may have been.    

    THAT'S why it matters.  Because just like nearly every other issue, Clinton's stands are backed by proof of history, and record of action, not simply white papers on what they -might- do as President.

    Fantastic comment. (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by lansing quaker on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:13:01 AM EST
    Especially on DOMA.

    Any time a straight Obama supporter wants to lecture me on how awful DOMA was as a policy in the Pre Will and Grace World, all I want to do is just cock my head, smile, and then smack them across the face.

    1. DOMA is not Hillary's brainchild.
    2. DOMA was a far different idea/policy in '96 as it is in '08.

    it is like stella said earlier this evening (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by TheRefugee on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:23:42 AM EST
    Obama supporters are not mindful of what has come before.

    Dismissing baby boomers, dismissing Reagan Democrats, dismissing any non-black members of the civil rights movement.  If it doesn't help them they refuse to acknowledge the thing.


    Please... (none / 0) (#63)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:37:37 AM EST
    ...get over this meme.  

     Look, it is not DOMA in '96 that is the problem.  It is DOMA in '08 parsing (Senator Clinton says she supports repealing the portion that denies giving rights to gay couples but supports the "Full Faith and Credit" clause portion).  Her poisition on the Senate Armed Services Committee amplifies the problem because as far as I know she has not pushed for repeal of DODT.  I care less about Senator Clinton here than I do about her supporters, who seem willing to believe that she is a pro-gay messiah without a shred of evidence to the contrary (apart from her participation in a LGBT pride march, which would be regarded at best as symbolic if Obama was involved).  

     Dismissing Reagan Democrats???? At the risk of being OT, I thought that a big criticism of Senator Obama was that he (purportedly) praised Reagan for having "ideas."  Then again, the grounds for attacking him shift daily.  Maybe I should not be surprised.


    no see (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by TheRefugee on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:15:37 AM EST
    Hillary has deeds that back up her claims.  She doesn't just talk about gay issues in speeches.  She meets with the gay community.  She marches alongside gays.  She walks the walk.

    Hillary didn't create DADT.  She didn't create DOMA.  But DADT was a beginning not an end as is DOMA....nothing changes until there is a starting point whether the starting pt is positive or negative is immaterial--the pt is that the debate gets started and Clinton is willing to take the debate along the lines of advancing equal rights and not restricting personal freedom.  

    Obama refuses to meet with the gay community.  Refused to have his picture taken with a pro-gay mayor.  Granted an interview with one gay publication and then proceeded to lecture them on how he is pro-gay rights.

    I might not be gay but I can see who the better candidate for glbt issues would be.

    Last, you guys continually conflate arguments.  Criticizing Obama for admiring Reagan is not the same as dismissing Reagan Democrats as being the DLC establishment type.  Reagan democrats may be moderate liberals but they are a part of our party and have voted with us since learning from their past errors.  Reagan was a horrible president, both fiscally and socially.  Reaganomics enriched the wealthy, marginalized the poor and further indebted the nation.  Reagans social beliefs laid the groundwork for social conservatism becoming a major staple of the neo-con platform. I find nothing admirable about Reagan but I do find moderate democrats admirable as they generally share my view on most issues and most have decided that their votes for Reagan were a mistake.


    BTW, Hillary has said that she intends to (none / 0) (#124)
    by allimom99 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:58:51 AM EST
    REPEAL DADT. Let's start with that. DOMA may be harder, but IMHO the courts will have to address it in view of the states' movement (which is also her point). Remember, it is the states which have the jurisdiction over marriage last time I checked.

    Once again Obama goes out of his way to have no opinion at all. This is not the type of spine I want in the WH at this jucncture. He will not fight for anyone's rights unless there's something in it for him.


    outrageous (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by mscristine on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:13:15 AM EST
    It seems that in addition to his decision to refuse to apologize for calling poor pennsylvanians gun-toting, racist jesus freaks (only to comfort themselves though over the bad things the Clintons and Bushes did to them), he is now pretending to be Harvey Milk and Elie Weisel as well. I am starting to think this guy is the Roger Clemens of politicians and will ultimately be seen as outrageous in his outrage when the shine wears off.

    Clemens - that's funny analogy (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by shoephone on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:27:10 AM EST
    Because Obama's backhanded comments to blue-collar Pennsylvanians do sort of remind me of the day that I was working at Fenway and saw Clemens give the finger to the hometown crowd.

    You have an interesting opinion on (none / 0) (#79)
    by voterin2008 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:29:31 AM EST
    what Obama statements meant?  He in no way said anyone was a "pennsylvanians gun-toting, racist jesus freaks (only to comfort themselves though over the bad things the Clintons and Bushes did to them)" he said people are bitter because the economic policies for the last 25 years have not alleviated their concerns.  And with little hope on a candidate that is honest in delivering an alternative they make decisions based gun rights, religion and I don't believe any racist remarks where mentioned.  Nice attempt on a spin, maybe your bitter as well about Clinton since are most likely drinking her KoolAid heavy these days.  Lets not forget your KoolAid seems to be changing flavors each day to try and scratch it's way into the nomination. I believe Clinton promised New Yorkers 20,000 new jobs when elected to senate and delivered a higher unemployment rate.  I believe she has ran a campaign against Free Trade as well.  But as it turns out that helping to pass NAFTA was one of her major accomplishments as first lady (experience I guess). She wrote about it being a huge accomplishment if you question my facts.  Also turns out that in her campaign the two most recognizable figures are actively seeking to increase Free Trade not limit it or negotiate better Free Trade deals for Americans.  Now I strongly believe Obama's message has staid consistent while Clinton's change like the wind.  The test of a leader is telling the people it leads the truth regardless of whether it makes us comfortable or not.  That's what Obama has done told the truth on the feelings of American people.  Maybe your not one of them maybe your happy with the Iraq war, Economy, Healthcare, housing crisis, supreme court selections and education.  Well I'm not I lost my job from my job going over seas and I currently make 55% of what I made and my bills are just going up and up.  I do turn to my faith and familly to support and I'm refreshed that someone finally is willing to stand up and say No things are not going well, no the American people are not happy, no we will not let you divide us so that you can then run the country in a way that is outside our self interests.  And I have a feeling that the other 13+ million voters who have voted with me feel the same.  And yes 10 more states to go with almost no statistical probability that Clinton will overcome Obama in delegates. And Obama has made strides with two campaigns and an entire party and network FAUX attacking him on a daily basis.  Yes we can!

    You realize (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:21:53 PM EST
    that while Obama rails against free trade in Ohio and Pennsylvania, he comes here to San Francisco and touts it:

    And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

    He's telling Gordon Getty and other billinaires that don't worry this why I am saying what I am saying because I really am pro free-trade. Now I personally think free trade is fabulous as I am sure Gordon Getty does too and free trade is not what causing the drain of manufacturng jobs to China, corporate greed and tax loopholes are, but Obama has been caught in a bind. Not only did he attack small town America painting them as gun-loving Jesus freaks, he did it here in San Francisco, the place many Americans especially those in rural areas think as some modern day Sodom and Gamorrah but he made his comments in front of Gordon Getty, a registered Republican (though he has fundraised for Democrat before), and his friends in this mansion on Pacific Heights in an area called "Billionaire's Row" on Broadway & Divisadero here in SF.

    Photos from the event:


    Obama consistent message? Really? Against driver lisences for undocumented migrants in Iowa but for them in Los Angeles. Voted for a border fence in the Senate but against it in Texas. Up in Boise, Obama told them that "he wasn't going to take their guns away" but here in San Francisco he tells those billionaires that while serious gun control isn't political feasible right now that he, Obama, would work to close loopholes and ban certain types of guns. On gay rights, he tells us that he is for full equality but not for transgendered because again it's not politically feasible but then he goes around South Carolina with Donnie McClurkin preaching to Churches that homosexuality is immoral and can be cured. Or he spends time with his good friend the Reverend Wright who thinks HIV is a government plot or the Reverend Meeks a strident homophobe. The problem for Obama is that Rev. James Meeks, like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, preaches a message that appears to be directly at odds with the promise of hope, unity and bridging social, racial and political divisions upon which his campaign is built. That will turn off both progressives and conservatives and many moderates.

    On Iraq he gave a speech in 2002. Well done! In the Senate he has voted to fund the war every single time. His mentor in the Senate is Joe Lieberman. His voting record in the Senate is nearly identical to Clinton's on Iraq. 84 out of 85. The sole difference is that Clinton did not vote to confirm General Casey who turned out to be well a disaster. And while Obama is saying he wants out of Iraq, his advisors are saying something else. And to be frank, we are not going to leave Iraq until we get a consensus from the DC and NY foreign policy estalishment in which they are satisfied that Iraq is not going to be left in a vacuum. That is going to require getting a regional agreement and perhaps a partition of Iraq. The foreign policy establishment trusts Clinton or McCain though they would take different tacts and approaches both would be something that the foreign policy establishment could likely support. Obama is a crap shoot. He's inexperienced and while he may have gotten the big picture right in 2002, during his tenure in the Senate he has failed to call a sub-committee meeting on Afghanistan, where the war really is to begin with and where it is going rather badly. His comments on Pakistan were appalling. He lacks not only gravitas but judgment in the details.

    NAFTA has not been a disaster. The problem is China, not Mexico or Canada. Wages in Mexico are much higher than in China. Job growth in Mexico has been neglible why do you think there is an illegal immigration problem in the US? If there were jobs in Mexico, there would be fewer migrants here.

    Healthcare? His healthcare proposals run $4,200 per new insured person and doesn't cover everyone. Clinton's plan runs $2,300 per new insured and does approach universality. It's not a single-payer system but it's more affordable and casts a wider net. Obama is hard to take seriously on healthcare because for 60 years the Democratic Party has had but one goal: universal health care and so for many of us we see his proposals as a sell-out of core Democratic values. A frequent complaint.

    Energy is another issue with Obama. He's Cheney-light. Bigger on ethanol than the others and ethanol has a horrible ROI, about 14%. It takes 7 BOEs to make 8 BOEs of ethanol. He's a huge fan of coal and nuclear both of which have major problems. He says he doesn't take money from oil companies. True. No one does. It is illegal. He does however take money from oil company employees.

    Ditto lobbyists. He claims that he doesn't take any money from registered lobbyists. True. But take his wife's former law firm Sidley-Austin LLP. It is the sixth largest law firm in the world with over a billion dollars in revenues with clients that are mostly Fortune 500. Guess what? It is a registered lobbyist. But Obama doesn't collect contriutions from the lawyers in the firm who registered lobbyist only from those who are not. It is a partnership. Compensation is pooled so the work of one benefits all. He is mincing the truth. And like Sidley-Austin he has 18 other law firms who are registered lobbyists that bundle cash for him.

    He likes to make believe that his prodigious amount of cash comes from small donors over the Internet. Less than 50% does. Small donation being defined as $200 or less.

    Should Obama win the nomination, he would lose the general election by a wide margin. I won't vote for him. He's inexperienced, dangerous, hypocritical, a fraud and he's not a Democrat. I'll sit it out and hope for Edwards in 2012.

    But Obama supporters don't have a problem with any of the above because they take him at his word. He touts his own messanic qualities with his "we are the ones we have been waiting for." You realize that to some that sounds like a cult of personality. And the fact that you can't see obvious flaws only reinforces that assertion.

    I prefer Clinton. She has flaws, no doubt and there is much I overlook, but I think she is a fighter and not an appeaser or someone who is afraid to expend political capital on tough issues like gay rights, healthcare or gun control. She's the only Democrat in the race and if given the chance she will be the best President and the most transformative since FDR.



    A speech ref doesn't equal a remedy for injustice (5.00 / 7) (#18)
    by Ellie on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:16:24 AM EST
    This conceit that since Obama gives good speeches, it makes him the second coming of MLK, just doesn't pass muster.

    MLK was at the forefront of demanding change, creating strategies to keep issues on the front burner, and -- here's the important part -- being the FIRST one to take the hits for doing so.

    He LED. He was OUT FRONT. He locked arms against the purveyors of injustice.

    He didn't hide nor run from his words and actions. He didn't cozy up to the same people he called out when it was opportune for his political needs of the moment.

    As another TL poster stillife pointed out, this notion of Obama's that all he has to do is give a speech and Presto Change-O all will be solved is simply ludicrous.

    Even Obama's speeches aren't his own. They're cobbled bits and bites from much greater people, and much braver and smarter activists.

    It's often said that pols are all talk no action. Obama is this in the extreme.

    and don't forget (5.00 / 6) (#25)
    by angie on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:33:52 AM EST
    MLK wasn't doing these things to garner glory for himself, or to get himself elected to public office.  

    Just because Obama says it's so (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Mark Woods on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:17:30 AM EST
    Doesn't make it real.  Isn't this exactly what we've been saying about Bush for 8 years? I place no confidence in Obama at all to stand up for the rights of my me and my gay family.  

    He's merely making nice with GLBT community after the PR debacle with the Philadelphia gay newspaper, that's all -- damage control.

    I will work to elect Hillary because she has the proven track record for our issues, not Mr. Johnny-come-lately-Obama.

    In my estimation, either we elect Hillary or move to Canada, if we want hope of equal rights in my lifetime.

    And let's see whether Obama ever will take a stand on the new Florida gay marriage ban bill -- oh that's right -- we bad, so we don't exist.

    I am seriously (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:40:54 AM EST
    tryig to talk my partner in moving as well. I am tired of this nonsense.

    Does Canada (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by MKS on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:02:22 AM EST
    have gay marriage?

    Here in California, there was a recent poll that showed people favoring gay marriage by three points....The California Legislature passed a gay marriage bill that was vetoed by Arnold....

    They key is having more Democrats elected to public office.


    Yes, Canada does (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by badger on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:23:00 AM EST
    And the key is electing the right kind of Democrats to public office, not those who are afraid to lead on any issue, much less gay rights.

    It makes almost no difference what the polling is on gay marriage - hardly anybody lists it among the top 5 or 10 issues they care about most or the issues that decide their vote. The few who do aren't voting Democratic anyway.

    But if you don't lead strongly on any major issue, then the GOP (which doesn't either) gets to frame the debate in terms of things like flag burning, the Pledge of Allegiance, abortion or gay rights. By centering your campaign around nebulous concepts like hope, change and unity, you allow the GOP to define the issues and the terms of the debate.


    Would that include (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 07:06:48 AM EST
    people like the 48 Blue Dog Democrats in the House that do everything they can to obstruct any progressive agenda?

    Electing Democrats isn't enough. Electing "Progressive" Democrats is what's needed.


    Media control (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:23:57 AM EST
    not just damage control IMHO. He wanted to pick a more established place to give his interview. I am guessing (GUESSING) he was able to control the questioning better. More canned responses, less real thinking.

    I'd say (none / 0) (#73)
    by hlr on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:05:22 AM EST
    pick a more established place

    he had Philly's black vote in mind. They are less likely to bump into The Advocate.


    Exactly right. (none / 0) (#138)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:26:10 AM EST
    This is what kills me. . . (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by hellskitchen on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:12:48 AM EST
    Isn't this exactly what we've been saying about Bush for 8 years?

    Having voted for Gore and for Kerry, having watched otherwise intelligent people vote for Bush and then, finally six year later, I watch them give themselves a V8 smack on the head for not understanding what a deceiver Bush was, and now people are making the same mistake about Obama.

    Hey, what's that I hear about learning the lessons of history?


    What kills me... (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:28:59 AM EST
    is seeing the people who voted for Gore and Kerry make the same mistake as those who voted for GWB, unable to recognize the syndrome when it applies to them!



    Unity = no courage to change (5.00 / 6) (#21)
    by Prabhata on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:29:25 AM EST
    That's the problem I see with BO's unity schtik, but people buy it.  I wish I could support him, but I don't see any possibility of that happening.  The more he talks, the less I trust him and the less I like him.

    The timing is suspect (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:32:29 AM EST
    because he was vilified in the Philadelphia Gay News for not giving interviews with the gay media. So now one with the Advocate. He was asked about the lack of interviews with the gay media and his response:

    Obviously, when you've got limited amount of time, you've got so many outlets. We tend not to do a whole bunch of specialized press. We try to do general press for a general readership.

    Pathetic on that score. He is always a day late and a dollar short. Same contempt for Hispanics. Could be because we are not his number one fans.

    And why aren't we fans?

    Oh Donnie McClurkin, the Reverend Meeks, not wanting to get his picture taken with Gavin Newsom, his instance that gay marriage is a state's rights issue which means gays in Utah get that all too familiar shaft.

    Then he gets to EDNA which is bone of contention because it leaves out the transgendered. As a point of reference let's take the Spanish situation where the Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero enacted a law protecting the 13,000 transgendered people in Spain against the most unbelieveable opposition by the Catholic Church and the opposition Partido Popular. Why did Zapatero do this? Because it was the morally right thing to do.

    And so the Advocate asked: You think it's transgender-inclusive?

    Obama's answer:

    I think that's going to be tough, and I've said this before. I have been clear about my interest in including gender identity in legislation, but I've also been honest with the groups that I've met with that it is a heavy lift through Congress. We've got some Democrats who are willing to vote for a non-inclusive bill but we lose them on an inclusive bill, and we just may not be able to generate the votes. I don't know. And obviously, my goal would be to get the strongest possible bill -- that's what I'll be working for.

    Again just like the credit card rate cap, the best deal I can get. Like Jeralyn stated in the introduction, no political capital will be expended. So every proposal begins as a sell-out?

    But what really gets me mad his premise that gays should be talking to those who want to kill us. He said it in the Febrary letter to the Human Rights Council and he repeats here in slightly different form:

    The flip side of it is, you never create the opportunity for people to have a conversation and to lift some of these issues up and to talk about them and to struggle with them, and our campaign is built around the idea that we should all be talking.

    The idea that I am going to have something to say to James Dobson, the FRC, or whomever else he thinks I should negotiate my human rights is simply absurd. James Dobson has no say in whether I can marry my partner or not. No one does.

    To close what does a President have if not political capital?

    How is Obama's position (3.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MKS on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:40:05 AM EST
    really different than Hillary's?

    They both:

       1.  Are in favor of civil unions
       2   Oppose gay marrieage
       3.  Want to abolish don't ask, don't tell in the military.

     They are indistinguishable on the actual issues....


    Same but different (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:46:49 AM EST
    It really comes down to trust. And frankly I don't trust Obama on any issue. I believe has come with a set of "positions" that he will "support". But has nothing that he will fight for. Except his nomination of course.

    What this tells me (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:13:00 AM EST
    is that Obama sees the gay community as fighting for special rights, not human rights.  He's looking at protecting our transgendered brothers and sisters as a luxury.  And of course, GLBTs choose their sexuality, so why not?

    "Yeah, I'll get to it, you know, when I have time.  But vote for me anyway."

    Here is a great clip from an HRC banquet wherein her leadership role in defeating anti-gay legislation is highlighted:



    Hillary as fighter (3.00 / 1) (#40)
    by MKS on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:58:07 AM EST
    and Obama as seeker of common ground....That is really a difference that cuts across many issues....I am not big fan of Hillary the fighter....I saw a video of her in the very early days circa 1980 saying about Bill's opponent that she "would bash his brains out."  This was before any of her travails....

    The reason I think her negatives are so high is because she is so combative....I am just not a believer in that being effective....

    Seeking common ground does not mean compromising on principle....


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:04:37 AM EST
    We wouldn't want to reduce a 20 year career down to one soundbite would we?

    I don't think people change (3.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MKS on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:06:25 AM EST
    that much.

    I think McCain was shortfused hothead before the Hanoi Hilton....


    Fighter (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:15:00 AM EST
    may mean different things to different people. Most GLBT persons that I know (including myself) don't expect ANYONE to charge into congress, sword drawn chanting " they're here, they're queer, get used to it!"

    But rather, to have a solid ideology that will not be compromised. Of course negotiations must occur. Of course reasonable discourse is desirable. But when failure occurs (and it will) I expect my candidate to try again and again and again. Not say " well, we tried". That is one of the differences I see.


    actually that is what you should expect (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by TheRefugee on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:54:34 AM EST
    I'm for Hillary to be sure and I think her willingness to meet with and march with the GLBT community shows her the more unbiased candidate but I go off a purely constitutional, declaration of independence interpretation.

    I've always had a problem with blacks being left as a fraction.  The same could be said in modern times about gays.  The government doesn't see your community as being of 5/5 a person.

    What should be expected of a true patriot, a true friend to the citizenry of the US is that that person would march into Congress demanding that "If all men are created equal...then all have the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  If one person is excluded from the full freedoms of this country then this Constitution isn't worth the ink with which it was penned.  We have had over 200 years to right the wrongs of our forefathers.  It took us 80 years to demand that all people be free from forced servitude.  It took us several more decades before blacks and women were created equally enough to earn the right to vote.  It took several more decades to realize that a man was a man was a man and a woman was a woman was a woman regardless of the color of their skin; that a black student could learn alongside a white student, that a white couple could share a restaurant with a black couple, that a white man could legally love a black woman and vice versa.  You would think that we would have learned to work faster in cases concerning equality for all--but we haven't.  How many decades must a man who loves a man, or a woman who loves a woman wait before they too are included as fully protected equal beings in the eyes of this country?  We proclaim ourselves as beacons of light in a world full of darkness, yet we trailed behind the civilized world in ending slavery, trailed again in granting suffrage, trailed again ending segregation and allowing lawful mixed race marriage.  Once again this country, the beacon of light, is shrouded in the darkness we claim to abhor as we lag behind other nations in granting equal rights to our GLBT citizens.  I call on this country to act, to finally enforce the words, that all persons are created equal regardless of creed; regardless of race; regardless of color; regardless of heritage; regardless of gender; regardless of sexual orientation."

    Or something like that.


    What you said (none / 0) (#128)
    by allimom99 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:06:13 AM EST
    ERA....still waiting (none / 0) (#149)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:48:02 AM EST
    for that one to pass.  Good luck with ... well, you know.

    It's rare to make progress in leaps and bounds...usually we get there one day, one legislator, one law at a time.  And for that to happen, our neighbors have to change their attitudes and their willingness to vote for GBLT advocates or issues.

    It's slow and incremental but in my adult politically active lifetime it has...to my great surprise...changed almost totally.  There are now 4 openly gay members in my state legislature.  We began with one in the 90s.


    If she is a fighter tell me what (none / 0) (#80)
    by voterin2008 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:33:52 AM EST
    she has actually won?  Besides NAFTA of course.

    She has won (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by LoisInCo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:36:40 AM EST
    my respect, my admiration, and my trust. Anything other than that is just a bonus!

    Well I do admire honesty, and if Clinton is the (none / 0) (#83)
    by voterin2008 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:42:05 AM EST
    nominee I will vote for her as well she would be a great president.  I just like you believe my candidate would be better.

    So...... (none / 0) (#188)
    by michitucky on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:07:20 PM EST
    You're ok with Michelle Obama stating she'd like to claw Bill Clinton's eyes???

    The difference is... (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by gmo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:53:21 AM EST
    ...that the proof is in the pudding.

    As a first lady supporting LGBT issues, Clinton was a pioneer.  Like much of the democratic party's plank, she helped set the course for the future development of LGBT issues, and made it possible in many ways for the community to advance as far as it has.  And when the FMA was being walked around the Senate, Clinton's direction and history with the LGBT community as first lady made a difference in batting it down.

    Obama's history on LGBT issues, like the rest of his resume, is short.  And given his attitude of appeasement on most issues, I fear what he'd do if marriage rights became a front-and-center issue again.


    And... (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by lansing quaker on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:54:03 AM EST
    Rhetoric and willingness are two different things.

    I don't think Obama will advocate LGBT rights at all.  If, by the grace of Congress, something passes I think he will sign it.

    But I doubt Obama would ever offer an opinion on EDNA, much less DOMA.  Don't Ask Don't Tell is a different story, as I think most any Dem would catapault that out the window in a time of war, but EDNA and DOMA are much more far reaching.

    If we can't even get LGBT representation in delegates, how do you expect Obama to lead on DOMA?

    Again... as if.


    Well she didn't (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:06:20 AM EST
    run around South Carolina with Donnie McClurkin nor does she hang around with the Reverend Meeks.

    It's the fact that in Beaumont, Tx Obama starts talking about LGBT equality to an African-American audience but they go cold on him. They listen in silence and so he panics and switches over to Jesus and they roar again.


    So that kind of leaves me a little unsettled which is why the Advocate asked this question:

    I think the underlying fear of the gay community is that if you get into office, will LGBT folks be last on the priority list?

    His answer was:

    I guess my point would be that the fact that I'm raising issues accordant to the LGBT community in a general audience rather than just treating you like a special interest that is sort of off in its own little box - that, I think, is more indicative of my commitment. Because ultimately what that shows is that I'm not afraid to advocate on your behalf outside of church, so to speak. It's easy to preach to the choir; what I think is harder is to speak to a broader audience about why these issues are important to all Americans.

    You mean like in Beaumont, Texas?

    Please nothing he says to me as a gay man is believable. Actions speak louder than words.

    Here he is on guns:

    From a DailyKos diary I plucked this gem by a supporter who attended one of the fundraisers in San Francisco on April 6 2008:

    He also talked about gun violence, and reminded the crowd that he had just come from Montana, where "everyone has guns." He said as a practical matter we will not be able to outlaw gun ownership in the foreseeable future, and that trying to do so at this time is not politically feasible. That being said, however, he indicated that we can and should work to address the loopholes in gun show sales and the types of guns that are available. His stance on this reminds me of the work he has done on capital punishment. Recognizing that it was not possible as a practical matter to eliminate it, he worked very effectively to minimize its application.


    How does the above jive with this?

    Obama in Boise on Feb 2 2008:

    "And then there are people who say, `Well, he doesn't believe in the Second Amendment,' even though I come from a state _ we've got a lot of hunters in downstate Illinois. And I have no intention of taking away folks' guns."


    So which one is it?


    He is not going to try to (2.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MKS on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:09:58 AM EST
    take away anyone's guns.....

    Both statements say that....Same result....


    No (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:46:02 AM EST
    In San Francisco he is talking gun control, closing loopholes and restrictions on types of guns but in Boise he was admanant that he was not going to take their gun control.

    He is telling each audience what they want to hear and he does this all the time. In Iowa he was against driver licenses for undocumented migrants but by the time he got to California he was lo and behold for them. In the Senate he voted for funds for a border fence but when he got to Texas he was lo and behold against a border fence. And now guns.

    Obama should apply for a job at the IHOP, he is getting pretty good atr flip flopping.


    Does he know that we can hear him, (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:09:52 AM EST
    no matter which group he's talking to?

    He's like the guy who has three or four girlfriends going at the same time, and he's telling each one that she's "the one."  

    We're onto you, Barack...


    I love your comment (none / 0) (#196)
    by facta non verba on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:39:11 PM EST
    It had me rolling in laughter. Yes, you're right. He's like a serial dater, the complete narcissist, yes baby you're the one when it is really all about him.

    Michelle did have to convince him to propose. He just wanted to live together. How funny.

    You nailed him to a tee.


    PS- I am none to happy to see the use of both (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:50:23 AM EST
    gay rights issues and race as a props,but that's this cycle

    Email to Sullivan (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by nellre on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:17:43 AM EST
    I was responding to a pro-Obama email that Andrew posted.

    I doubt your reader has a grasp of the real support HRC has in the gay and lesbian community. HRC is outspoken in her support, while Obama hedges.
    The reader has drunk the right wing koolaid... HRC hate needs no factual justification.

    Exit polls now count gays, who choose Clinton

    and this is rather weak IMHO:
    " guess my point would be that the fact that I'm raising issues accordant to the LGBT community in a general audience rather than just treating you like a special interest that is sort of off in its own little box - that, I think, is more indicative of my commitment. Because ultimately what that shows is that I'm not afraid to advocate on your behalf outside of church, so to speak. It's easy to preach to the choir; what I think is harder is to speak to a broader audience about why these issues are important to all Americans. "

    But honestly guys, I think the gloves are off and Obama needs to be the straight arrow he claims to be right down to each word and phrase. Otherwise the glamour will wear off and HRC will be our next president (my preference by the way).

    Therein lies the disconnect I guess (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:27:40 AM EST
    For those who find themselves offended by Wright's sermons, it's not just because he takes a controversial view on an issue.  It's not just someone taking a position, it's the personality of the thing that comes through with a whole pattern of statements, starting with GD america, humping the pulpit, and continuing on through "garlic noses."

    Preachers tend to have outsized (3.50 / 2) (#61)
    by MKS on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:31:07 AM EST
    personalities....at least while on stage....It is a show.....

    In my opinion... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:11:58 AM EST
    ...as a gay man, neither of these candidates can take the high road.  Senator Clinton has had eight years to fight for LGBT rights in the senate.  Senator Obama has done nothing in this period, nor has Senator Clinton.  What does that mean as a practical matter?  There is no justification for voting for either candiate on this issue.

    While I agree with you on this point (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:05:18 AM EST
    and feel the same way about the issue of the Iraq War, I do trust Clinton as President to get more done.  I trust her to end the war and I trust her more with my LGBT friends and family.

    Here's a nice alternative (5.00 / 5) (#117)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:21:54 AM EST
    pov from Clinton on LGBT teens:

    First number one, we've got to do everything we can to send a clear message that we value you. We value you as a person, you as a total person. And we want you to feel accepted and respected in your community. And you'll certainly have a president who feels that way.


    This is part of an "Ask Hillary" segment.  The remarks on gay teen suicide and LGBT issues are at 3:24


    The Clintons were the first (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by caseyOR on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:15:29 AM EST
    I was in high school when Stonewall happened. I have lived through  this country's transitions on LGBT issues. And the thing about the Clintons is that they were the first. They were the first to openly campaign for gay votes. They were the first to make AIDS a priority. They were the first to spend political capital on an LGBT issue. They were the first to appoint openly LGBT people to administration posts.

    On election night in November 1992, I stood in the midst of a huge crowd at the intersection of 18th and Castro in San Francisco. Everyone went nuts when Clinton won. We knew Bill and Hillary were on our side. We knew it then, and we know it now.

    DODT is flawed, but it is better than what went before. And Clinton would have gotten a better gays in the military policy if Colin Powell and Sam NUnn hadn't stabbed him in the back on this.

    I hate DOMA, but not as much as I would hate having an anti gay marriage amendment in the constitution.

    I know Hillary will continue the fight with us. The Clintons have shown that they will fight for our issues, even if we don't always win.

    Obama's remarks reinforce my belief that he does think LGBT issues are worth fighting for. I don't think he will expend one dime of political capital for us.

    On this he is just words.

    It's interesting that Clintons is an ok (none / 0) (#82)
    by voterin2008 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:38:38 AM EST
    term to use when you saying something positive.  Can you point me to the documentation of Hillary's role in these firsts or was it Bill? If we are combining the two as one political agent then I would like to know?

    Because Obama said so (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Edgar08 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 04:24:10 AM EST
    Michelle will not have a role in the Obama white house.

    She will be focussed on taking care of the kids.

    From that interview with The Advocate (5.00 / 6) (#104)
    by Grey on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:44:18 AM EST
    What struck me in that interview with The Advocate was this exchange:

    What event or person has most affected your perceptions of or relationship to the LGBT community?

    Well, it starts with my mom, who just always instilled in me a belief that everybody's of equal worth and a strong sense of empathy -- that you try to see people through their eyes, stand in their shoes. So I think that applies to how I see all people.  

    Somebody else who influenced me, I actually had a professor at Occidental -- now, this is embarrassing because I might screw up his last name -- Lawrence Golden, I think it was. He was a wonderful guy. He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come in contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with. And he was just a terrific guy. He wasn't proselytizing all the time, but just his comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues.  

    "Proselytizing."  That's what struck me.  I assume the Senator knows what the word means; To indoctrinate.  To convert.

    So this "terrific guy," who had such influence on Sen. Obama, but not enough for him to actually remember his name, was terrific enough not to try and convert him, because of course we gay people are all about that.

    "Unease" and "discomfort" are the words that popped into my head when I read the interview.  I already felt Sen. Obama didn't get LGBT issues, and his use of that dastardly word nailed that impression (as did the tour in S.C. with McClurking, but that's another issue).

    "Proselytizing" is one of those red flag words for us, a very "Danger!  Danger, Will Robinson!" thing.  And he used it with the gay press!

    And it tells me what he really thinks.

    Another delightful interpretation (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by ahazydelirium on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:29:59 AM EST
    of his proselytizing remark is this:

    A gay man who didn't whine about how he should be treated as a human being!


    Precisely. (none / 0) (#154)
    by Grey on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:55:33 AM EST
    I'm glad I've finally been able to get to (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:54:54 AM EST
    know Obama better.  I didn't have much to go on before outside of his voting record and his flowery speeches.  I discover that I have known him since my childhood but he was first introduced to me as the cowardly lion.

    Words, Words, Words, Words... (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by JoeCHI on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:56:23 AM EST
    For the first time in my adult life, this gay, bitter, clingy, typical white person wishes that the Obama's would just go away!

    My main complain with Obama is (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:14:19 AM EST
    that he measures everything with that political stick first and foremost.  Then he and his followers claim that his opponents will do anything to win.   If he is the nominee I will vote for him in the GE but I don't think will be much better off than we are right now, I just have this bad feeling about him.

    Getting traction in MSM (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by ruffian on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:24:53 AM EST
    This difference between Obama's and Clinton's relationships with the LGBT community was actually a feature story on CNN yesterday afternoon.

    Their analysis was essentially that Obama does not want to alienate the Republicans in the red states he has been courting.

    It was nice to see someone say it out loud, on the air.  

    Imagine that his negative numbers... (none / 0) (#122)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:52:59 AM EST
    are over 50% while seeking to equivocate every single controversial issue.

    Can you image what his negative numbers would be if he actually stood for something?


    Here is a quote (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Andre on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:17:51 AM EST
    from the Advocate interview:

    "Somebody else who influenced me, I actually had a professor at Occidental -- now, this is embarrassing because I might screw up his last name -- Lawrence Golden, I think it was. He was a wonderful guy. He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come in contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with. And he was just a terrific guy. He wasn't proselytizing all the time, but just his comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues."

    As a Gay man I know I always have to reassure straight guys that I'm not proselytizing them.  That's just my duty!!!!!   What does that sound like?  Well, I know what I see and I see we're well beyond racism and well into homophobia, and we haven't even begun to recognize the depts of Misogyny in this country. I think it's really obvious, in Obama and in the rest of the country!.  

    I saw that prof (none / 0) (#175)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:42:00 AM EST
    quote several days ago.  Obametoo does not have a clue.  So the guy did not proselytize.  For what?  It was years ago that he met that prof--who would not have been campaigning for gay marriage, for example, at that time.  Was BO contrasting this to another imaginary case of  'you can be one too' recruiting?  Well, sorry, but you can't.  It kinda helps to be born that way.

    I think this may be a lot worse (none / 0) (#200)
    by Andre on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:47:26 PM EST
    than it first appears.  It's the refrain of the Gay basher.  Until a few years ago it was condoned in the Mormon Church to use violence against Gays if one felt like the Gay person was trying to convert the Mormon to the "lifestyle".  It would have been interesting to hear what his reply would be if someone had asked him if he had ever been the recipient of an attempted 'proselytizing'.  Even further, what makes him think any Gay guy would want his pretty black ass, considering his attitude that 'Gays are always trying to pick him up'.  IMO, he's bad news and he's got some problems upstairs!

    ok, after wading through (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by cpinva on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:11:34 PM EST
    all this, the real question that comes to my mind is this:

    is there any issue that sen. obama feels is worthy enough for him to be willing to expend scarce "political capital" on?

    the answer to me, based on his various and sundry speeches, interviews, etc. is no, there is not. because, we wouldn't want to offend anyone or hurt their feelings or perhaps violate any of their closely held personal convictions.

    so, basically, he'll do, well, um........................nothing.

    doing nothing is always a viable option. the problem with doing nothing is that nothing gets done; no change, no difference from the status quo.

    it's nice that he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, i can certainly appreciate that. again, that gets nothing done in the way of constructive change, someone's feelings are always going to be hurt, it's the human dynamic.

    you are exactly right (none / 0) (#191)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:13:50 PM EST
    Do we really want to go from a president who listens to nobody and does whatever he wants to a president who listens to everyone and acts on nothing?

    Of course, I think that as more of this comes out, his chances of getting the nom become slimmer.  Go, Hillary, go!


    A Matter Of Judgment (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by tdraicer on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:23:06 PM EST
    Not everyone who supports Obama is a progressive (I know at least two who were big Bush fans before Katrina) but many are. I consider myself well to the left of center (in American terms; in Europe I'd be more mainstream) and I most certainly don't support Obama.

    I think he is in fact everything that the Obama supporters accuse the Clintons of being: a narcissist who sees the world entirely in how it relates to his own exalted sense of self and someone for whom other people are ultimately mere abstractions. And so the questions of gay rights, or feminism, or civil rights, or anti-Semitism, are really all about him, and we should all acknowledge what a "leader" he has been on these issues simply because he agrees to notice them from time to time. Which is pretty much how many Obama supporters view Bill and Hillary.

    My point being that (mostly) the differences between Obama and Hillary supporters aren't over policies-they are over our respective judgments of their characters. Which is what helps make the differences so bitter: no one likes being told their judgment sucks and that they have been duped.

    Of course as someone who was for Gore,Clark, and Edwards before Hillary, I'm not going to say that all doubts about the Clintons are unfounded. But the person Obama has always reminded me of is W. (an intellectual W. if you will). So yes, I think Obama supporters have been duped. And if he gets to the White House I'll have to hope that I'm the one who is mistaken. But he hasn't got the Dem nomination yet, and I'll do what little I can to see he doesn't get it.

    "In matters of opinion our adversaries are insane."-Mark Twain

    He went to a black church.... (4.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jor on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:39:04 AM EST
    ... and told them being bigoted against gays is not right. Its one of his most you-tubed videos. He might not have "done the most", but obviously he's done more than you think.

    As if. (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by lansing quaker on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:50:19 AM EST
    My mother tried to give me this line.  Ironically, I'm that young, college aged voter, and she's the middle aged bread winner working woman.

    "But Barack spoke out in a church about gays!"

    As if.  It was a throwaway in a much larger speech.

    Obama is and never has been on the forefront of gay rights.  He claims that his methodology on gay rights is about not "isolating" us as a "special interest" and even points to McClurkin as an example of bringing people together!

    Excuse me, but LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

    Next up, he'll bring Frist and Kevorkian into a room and make them see eye to eye on euthenasia.

    The Human Rights Campaign and even John Aravosis (before he jumped the shark into HillaryHate Land) said McClurkin was a FUBAR.

    Hillary was there with Bill.  DOMA was a necessary evil, and DADT was a flawed policy.

    Obama has given me NO reason to think he's strong on LGBT issues, and "I brought the gay up in speeches!" is not enough to dazzle me.

    Check please.


    Some of Obama's claims remind (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by FlaDemFem on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:05:55 AM EST
    me of Reagan and the alleged AIDS funding. The thing was that if money was allocated to anything an AIDS patient might get because of a compromised immune system, such as a common cold, it was counted as money for AIDS research. So the Reagan administration was able to claim billions in AIDS research appropriations while actually only a few million actually went to researchers working on AIDS itself.

    Obama's claims of fighting for gays, fighting anti-Semitism, etc. seem to mean that "fighting for" covers just about anything he has ever mentioned, if only in passing. Must be the "new math" he is using. The same one that has him winning.


    That... (3.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:20:09 AM EST
    ...is completely unfair and you know it.

     Look, it is one thing to criticize Senator Obama for tolerating anti-gay Christian preachers.  It is another thing to accuse him of being anti-gay because, inter alia, he is somehow avoiding the issue of homosexuality altogether.  He clearly isn't.  If he was there would be no mention of gay rights.  He is not looking to appoint a gay guy as AIDS czar and call that "good enough" as Bush did (twice).  I am critical about both candidates on this issue, but you cannot call Senator Obama the political equivalent of President Reagan and expect me to take you seriously.

     Just another example of the incredible bias of Clinton partisans on this site.  That comment would have been attacked thoroughly if it was Senator Clinton, and perhaps deleted.


    I meant that Obama's claims of (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by FlaDemFem on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:57:59 AM EST
    "fighting for" gay issues, and against anti-Semitism are like the claims of Reagan's AIDS appropriation, in which a little is claimed to be a lot. It was a comparison of overstatement. Which Obama is very good at, by the way.

    so obama can praise reagan (4.00 / 4) (#59)
    by english teacher on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:27:19 AM EST
    as an idea guy, but comparing the two is off limits?  

    So.... (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by Alec82 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:51:27 AM EST
    ...you wish to provide a link where Senator Obama says gays have only themselves to blame for AIDS?  I am trying to understand your position, because as far as I know Senator Obama never congradulated the GOP for its actual positions on any of these issues.

    why was this comment, a complete non sequitur, (none / 0) (#72)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:03:18 AM EST
    rated a 5?

    i think Alec was saying (none / 0) (#167)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:21:14 AM EST
    your comparison was silly and didn't make sense.  was questioning the actual comparison rather than your right to compare...

    As an Atlantan (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:05:49 AM EST
    let me set the record straight for y'all.  Atlanta is the third gayest city in America, right behind SF and NY.  The audience he was speaking to is "tolerant" of gays in the city.  One of our major interstates circling the city is openly referred to as the "Fruit Loop," because the city is so gay (as an aside, I love the use of "Hotlanta" in hip hop because us old timers know that was coined by the gay community for an orgiastic, bacchanaliac, river float down the Chattahoochee...)  Shirley Franklin, our mayor, relied heavily on the gay vote her first election against an opponent backed by the King Machine.

    Obama took absolutely no risk in saying what he said to that audience.  The people in that church are well aware of their surroundings and the lip service that has to be paid to the gay community inside the "Fruit Loop."


    Which are the gayest cities? (none / 0) (#182)
    by shoephone on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:55:52 AM EST
    A few months ago a UCLA study was released  designating Seattle as the U.S. city with the second highest gay population (S.F. was first).

    self-reported studies (none / 0) (#190)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:11:48 PM EST
    tend to vary.  Do you deny that Atlanta is an incredibly gay city?  Or that what I said about Atlanta is true: Obama was taking absolutely no risks given the crowd to whom he was speaking?

    Google 'Shirley Franklin gay' and see what you pull up.  Franklin is, of course, the person who spoke at Ebenezer on MLK's birthday and berated Bill Clinton from the podium.  She also told our state legislature to basically go Cheney itself when it suggested outlawing domestic partnership laws.  She mentioned the gay community in her first inaugural address and thanked them for helping her win.  She spoke at a gay pride parade and backed a gay tourism initiative.

    She is, in case you did not know, an aa black woman who attends the same church in which Obama spoke.


    Not sure why your response was so defensive (none / 0) (#199)
    by shoephone on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:46:58 PM EST
    I asked a simple question and offered a link to a recent study. I wasn't accusing you of anything, I wasn't sticking up for Obama's record on LGBT issues, and I wasn't claiming that Atlanta doesn't have a large gay population. But studies do vary, and it's not as if it's common knowledge or accepted as fact that Atlanta is the third gayest city in America.

    Sheesh. Time for me get outside and enjoy the sunshine. The air of self-righteousness is getting a little thick in here.


    "a" black church...? (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Anne on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:18:17 AM EST
    What did he do within his own church for the last 20 years?  Anything?

    Did he try to get any community outreach going?  Did he sit on any committees?  Did he use his position in the community to bring his fellow parishioners to a more tolerant place?

    Was the unity and the change and the magic just supposed to happen by virtue of his presence?

    'Cause I'm starting to think that this is his plan for the presidency.


    Yes, it's hyperbole (4.00 / 1) (#2)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:42:19 AM EST
    Now, why does it matter? I am gay. None of these candidates are particularly where I am on the issues that affect my life such as gay marriage (which as I point out is a multi jurisdictional issue rather than religous one), etc. Democrats are closer. I will vote for either Clinton or Obama. Clinton's record on this isn't particularly stellar either. But, I will vote for her if she's our nominee. I just don't think either candidate can claim any particularly strong creds on progressively fighting for gay rights. They've been followers, at best, not leaders. But, at least they follow in the right direction versus McCain who would not only throw us under the bus, but maybe the guy driving the bus.

    i basically agree with you... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jor on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:08:03 AM EST
    ... but do you think either obama or clinton could feasibly lead on this issue and still win the general? I think both are some-what constrained. One thing I think it would be intresting to hear from LGBT people, is how they prioritize (1) Healthcare (2) LGBT Rights (3) War In Iraq (4) Economy.  I.e., do LGBT people think LGBT rights are a bigger issue for them to vote on than the other things, or are the other things bigger issues?

    If other things are bigger issues, than ultimately you wind up making the same compromises both democratic candidates have on LGBT rights to get elected and effect change on those other issues.


    For me... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by gmo on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 02:02:58 AM EST
    ..the question isn't about what they say they'll do during the election cycle, it's proof of their history with the community.  Clinton's got TONS.   Obama's got very little.  

    And frankly, my impression of him is that he just doesn't get it.  He's made some wisecrack jokes (one of them during the debates) that are the sort of gay-baiting garbage that sitcoms use for gay punchlines.  Plus, there's Donnie McClurkin, etc.  

    So I just can't jump on board with someone who claims to support our community just because he says so.   I need history and proof.  The longer, the better.


    By the way (none / 0) (#74)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 03:06:12 AM EST
    you really shouldn't be tauting clinton's history on gay rights. Its not been that good. Especially if she is going to use what her husband did in office. As of 2004, Bill Clinton, the husband, was out telling Kerry to support the ban on gay marriage acts sweeping the country.  The idea that she's anymore in allignment with issues that pertain to gay rights is just not credible to anyone who is objective, the gay community not with standing, those are the realities.

    The President of the Human Rights Campaign (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Grey on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:58:52 AM EST
    would take issue with what you just said.  Listen to the story Joe Solmonese tells of how Sen. Clinton fought against the Federal Marriage Amendment.  You can watch the video here.  What she did was brilliant and extraordinary, and she was the one who called the HRC to strategize: they didn't have to call her.

    She can't have it both ways. She can not (none / 0) (#187)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 12:07:04 PM EST
    both claim the experience of his presidency as a part of her resume,a nd then say its not when a negative comes up. That's basic logic.

    Well, but that's the argument on every issue (none / 0) (#34)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:49:11 AM EST
    They can't lead because people won't vote for them. Maybe people won't vote for them because they won't lead. Who knows. I am just pointing out what they are doing. Not what consequences are of what they aren't doing.

    The fact that you don't respond to (none / 0) (#91)
    by debrazza on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 05:02:55 AM EST
    anything I wrote in sincerity means that you're just a sexist ass.  You furthermore decline to provide any support for you comments that Barack wants to keep Michelle "in the kitchen...where she belongs".

    I am sure you fancy yourself a "progressive" but you have truly just exposed yourself and quite frankly, I think we would be better off supporting Hillary without people like you on our side.

    If you cannot respect all women, then you don't respect any women.  I'm done with you.  You're a troll.

    its in his stump, (none / 0) (#96)
    by TruthMatters on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 06:50:34 AM EST
    which means he talks about it every time he gives a stump speech

    has anyone other president put this issue in teir stump speech thus talking about it every time they give a stump speech?

    Obama talks the talk. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Fabian on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 07:53:15 AM EST
    Obama gives good speech.  


    Someone I know has the perfect catch-all response:
    "That's wonderful!  You must be so proud!".

    It's a positive response which is entirely noncommittal.  That's what Obama is to me.  He's an entire blueprint for Camelot - only he refuses to actually commit any of his resources to build it.  We are supposed to do that, while he stands by and takes the credit.  If it goes wrong, we'll get the blame.

    Just my opinion.


    so NO other (none / 0) (#102)
    by TruthMatters on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:10:50 AM EST
    candidate that I can think of has ever put the gay rights issues in their stump speech so that NO matter where he is, NO matter the audience he is talking about the need to get over the homophobia and THIS doesn't make democrats happy?

    what about his voting Record is that ALSO not enough for you? I mean besides speaking about it everywhere, besides having a great voting record on the issue.

    what more did you want? what did Hillary Clinton (NOT BILL!) what did Hillary Clinton do on this issue that gets her so much points, but apparently t you Obama STILL hasn't done enough.

    is it in her stump speech? some of you have seen her live you tell me, did she bring up the gay rights issue at your stump speech you saw?

    or just let me know which it was and I will get a transcript.


    Since speeches (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:49:52 AM EST
     are the only metric we have to measure his achievements, then that is special.  That I guess trumps everyone else.  

    what about (none / 0) (#106)
    by TruthMatters on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 08:54:37 AM EST
    his voting record? are you saying is voting record on this issue is bad?

    or are we ignoring the voing record because that doesn't help with he is only speeches

    oh I know I know lets ignore the votes and just say what about the 130 presents, because you are right he has only voted 130 times, in the state senate yep. he has no other voting record we should talk about.


    Voting record...yes... (none / 0) (#120)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:29:59 AM EST
    do share.  Which one, the fabricated legislative record created by the Obama camp?  Or, where is it?   I guess he has stuck his head out, took risks.   I am sure he voted on things, how many years was he in the State Senate?  

    fabricated... really? (none / 0) (#164)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:12:56 AM EST
    in illinois he gained a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood for his support of family planning and abortion rights legislation.  he supported gay rights during his Illinois Senate tenure. He sponsored legislation in Illinois that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. he co-sponsored legislation to expand federal hate crimes laws to include crimes perpetrated because of sexual orientation and gender identity. he supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and believes it should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. he believes we need to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. he believes gays and lesbians should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexuals.  

    he differs on specifics of gay marriage but is supported by almost every major gay rights organization in the country.  i'm sure they fell for all his fabrication, right?


    You might want to (none / 0) (#131)
    by americanincanada on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:13:22 AM EST
    check her record on gay rights in NYC before you start talking about what she has or has not done. she walks the walk. I would rather have a president who actually does something than one who just talks about it to gain votes or points.

    You also might want to watch the video Kathy linked to upthread. it is simply one of the best gay rights speeches ever given by a candidate in history. Moves me to tears every time I watch it, eppecially the ending.

    We gays know who is real and who is not when it comes to our issues. We know who our friends are.


    d*amn right (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:18:29 AM EST
    We know who our friends are.

    hint: it's not the one making compromises about our lives, our freedoms, before the true debate even gets started.

    Same thing he did with mandates on healthcare.  Same thing he did with the "moral struggle" of abortion.  I suppose that's why he likes Reagan so much--the great compromiser.  Only, Obama's started making compromises before he even gets the job.


    Point (none / 0) (#114)
    by Claw on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:07:13 AM EST
    Rev. Wright is not running.  The commenter above referred to a candidate.  You countered with a crazy, non-campaign associate.  Unpersuasive.

    what we know (none / 0) (#118)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 09:23:59 AM EST
    is that whatever job Michelle takes, she'll have to get Obama's approval first.

    This is from his own webpage: she could not take a job until Obama met with her potential employer and gave her permission.

    Please help me (none / 0) (#129)
    by IndiDemGirl on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:09:21 AM EST
    sleep better at night by assuring me that at some point you will be doing this same thing to John McCain. And why not now?  We will be running against him no matter who the voters pick as the dem nominee.  Where is the scrutiny of his every speech, every interview?  

    We already know that McCain (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:15:14 AM EST
    is a lying jerk and a pro-war, anti-choice a-hole.  Why would we need to discuss that?  There is no question in our mind that he is the one to defeat in the ge.  The question is, which dem candidate is better equipped to do that?  Which dem candidate holds the dem ideals and believes in the dem party?

    You have to build the rocket booster before you can launch the missile.


    Yet while reading comments (none / 0) (#141)
    by IndiDemGirl on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:29:00 AM EST
    on this site which are so vitriolic and extremee against Obama and diaries on another site which are so hateful and extreme against Hillary I wonder if the missile will ever be able to be a launched.  Honestly, if I just read the comments on this site I'd swear I was at a right-wing web site.

    Certainly both candidates hold the dem ideas and believe in the dem party.  Yes?  Isn't there a way to discuss their differences, strengths, weaknesses and the nomination fight without casting one or the other as evil personified?


    Very hard (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:38:57 AM EST
    to defend his Democratic credentials when he shows such a disdain for the core party values.  Yes, we recognize that he has to straddle the divide, but you can straddle, but each time you do not have to slap the tenets of the Democratic value.  Funny thing about language and words, just as they can be used to inspire, they can anger and they can make you distrust someone.   In his struggle to get them, he has attacked the Clintons and a large swath of the Democratic party.  

    I think many of us here, feel it was time to mend the divide, but not by slapping our side each chance he gets.  What is the end result?  When you work to unite, you add you don't subtract.  He had a chance to educate, but his language as you can see from our feelings, is not working.  

    Frankly, your charecterization of our comments being right wing is banal and a cheap shot.  Cause if people knew anything about politics, you would recognize our positions, most of the time ,are to the left of the standard blogs and Obama.  

    I in my core, do not believe Obama when he talks the party line.
    He is a political construct designed by a committee.  That is why written speeches are so comfortable for him and he gets in trouble when he has to speak.  


    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Iphie on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:02:38 AM EST
    Honestly, if I just read the comments on this site I'd swear I was at a right-wing web site.
    Which right-wing website has commenters comparing the relative merits of the words and deeds of candidates on LGBT issues, or on any civil rights issues for that matter?

    Please cite examples to support your hyperbole.


    i think the point was that... (none / 0) (#163)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:06:44 AM EST
    in many of these threads, the comments directed at Obama are juvenile and often focused on his comments rather than his documented policies.  there are many sites of the other party that do sound similar when looking at stand alone comments.  don't think he was saying anything specifically about your comments... just a "general" comment.  i got it.

    not like the comments directed at (none / 0) (#165)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:13:33 AM EST
    Clinton by the Obama supporters.  If anyone has used right wing tactics and republican talking points during this primary season it has been the Obama campaign and its supporters.  Blame the Clintons for everything and tell people how they will do anything to win.  Please, don't feed this oh your so mean to the my candidate bull to someone else.

    i know there are plenty of silly people and comments to go around... doesn't take away from the factual nature of my last post.

    Factual it was not! (none / 0) (#180)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:49:30 AM EST
    "the comments directed at Obama are juvenile...."

    His documented policies (none / 0) (#172)
    by Iphie on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:36:18 AM EST
    are just words. He has very little to go on other than the comments he makes or his campaign's written policy papers. As his own campaign has acknowledged, Barack's campaign isn't about policies, it's about politics. I'm not sure why you would criticize focusing on his comments, as there's not a whole lot else to go on.

    No! No! (none / 0) (#179)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:46:56 AM EST
    The comments here are not juvenile for the most part.  It is one candidate who seems juvenile to many of us.

    my reply (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:45:07 AM EST
    "Certainly both candidates hold the dem ideas and believe in the dem party."

    Well, as a matter of fact, I do not believe that is true.  One of them has adopted the dem cloak so he can run with backing.  There is no duck under them there feathers.


    I wouldn't worry too much (none / 0) (#157)
    by blogtopus on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:56:55 AM EST
    The internet is just another variation of the freeway; people feel free to vent their deepest thoughts / frustrations in the same way people feel they can vent themselves in their cars. The trouble is / are the road ragers like the Anti-idiotarian Rottweiler or John Aravosis.

    The real world, people are probably more likely to settle for either candidate. I'll have to down a lot of koolaid, but what the hell.


    You're right (none / 0) (#161)
    by IndiDemGirl on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:03:36 AM EST
    and maybe I should just stop reading the blogs until the primary is over.  I'll feel better when the anger is directed at the correct target -- republicans.

    Just sometimes I see some comments that are SO over the top it is difficult not to correct. . .


    over the top, off topic and insulting (none / 0) (#173)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:36:40 AM EST
    comments do get deleted when I see them. Just ignore them until them. If I miss them (as I don't read every thread) send me an email..

    Preferring one candidate to another is not being right-wing. Name calling, personal insults and character attacks are unwelcome here as to either candidate. I cleaned this thread of several.


    Obama's comments crack me up (none / 0) (#143)
    by bjorn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:32:36 AM EST
    As a gay person I don't feel like he has done or said anything helpful, NOTHING.  The Clintons have their faults but they have been fighting side by side for two decades now.  Bill didn't want "don't ask don't tell."  He had to compromise because his efforts to let gays in the military were met with hysteria by military leaders.  Obama keeps taking credit for fighting for gays, Jews, white workers, Blacks, Latinos, but I don't see any evidence yet.  I am deeply discouraged today. We are on the brink of nominating another man with an over-sized ego and the inability to be accountable based on his actions rather than his words. It is deja vu all over again!

    seems if you look at his legislation (none / 0) (#156)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:55:43 AM EST
    support, then he has done something.  i don't like the obvious brushoff w/o really having done any research at all.  furthermore, he has the support of almost every major gay rights organization.  do you think they researched him?

    Heh.... (none / 0) (#168)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:22:08 AM EST
    you left out women on your list...and so does he.

    Obama on Gay rights... (none / 0) (#150)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 10:49:38 AM EST
    I know there are risks (none / 0) (#170)
    by standingup on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:24:41 AM EST
    in making assumptions but I am going to assume that you are straight, correct?  Honestly, some of the statements that are included in the piece that you link to are not helpful to your argument with many of us.  

    Although Barack Obama has said that he supports civil unions, he is against gay marriage. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Obama said, "I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."


    "Giving them a set of basic rights would allow them to experience their relationship and live their lives in a way that doesn't cause discrimination," Obama said. "I think it is the right balance to strike in this society."

    Honestly, these remarks are insulting and infuriate me.  


    out of context statements would be appropriate. apologize. second, don't assume. moreover, disagree with his religious views/stance, but it shouldn't infuriate you that he has the backing of every major gay rights organization.  if Obama is you're biggest enemy, then we're in pretty good shape.  his stance on marriage is what it is - but he is for equal "rights" which, in all honesty, is what I care about rights.  rights that everyone else gets.  can't really see how his past legislative work and his intended policies could be anything but positive.  do explain.

    could you please find me one piece (none / 0) (#185)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:59:52 AM EST
    of legislation where Obama took a chance and voted against what was politically expedient?  And I don't mean the bills he co-opted his last year in the state senate.  I mean something he crafted on his own that had real teeth that lost him a lot of points politically but that he felt was morally right and took a stand on.

    And I don't care about his position papers or his pretty speeches.  I care that he has surrounded himself with anti-gay supporters.  I care that he snubs gay supporters while he takes their money.  I care that he laughed uncomfortably during an earlier debate and assured everyone that he only got tested for HIV because he had to, not because he was, you know, one of THOSE people.  I care that the way he frames gay rights in every interview I've read on the subject (a laughably small number) is to make them seem like a luxury rather than a basic human necessity.  I am not a dog--I don't want crumbs from his unity table.  I want a seat at the table.  I want to be at the head of the table.

    Have people forgotten that back during WJC's first term, one of Hillary's top advisors was "outed" by rightwing nuts, and when he submitted his resignation, Hillary refused to accept it.  That's courage.  That's taking political punches for what is morally right.  That's my next president.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#198)
    by standingup on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:08:50 PM EST
    I am not taking any of his statements out of context.  I did not comment on his legislative history, do not consider him an enemy or an ally and could really care less about the support that he has from gay organizations.  I am offended by the way Obama speaks on matters of gay and lesbian rights.  There is no room for giving us anything or striking a balance.  I could also care less what his religious beliefs about the institution of marriage.  

    Off topic sub threads (none / 0) (#169)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:23:54 AM EST
    have been deleted. Edgar08, please stay on topic.

    Change = honesty? (none / 0) (#178)
    by Korha on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:45:48 AM EST
    Jeralyn: "Obama seems to tell us over and over that he'll talk the talk but we shouldn't expect him to walk the walk because It may not be worth the political capital. How does that differ from politics as usual? How is that change?"

    What should he say? He has unlimited political capital and is going to fight for all the injustices in the world simultaneously? That would be naive, idealistic, dishonest, and everything else Obama is often accused of being. To me Obama sounds aware, pragmatic, and honest. I wonder if Obama had instead said he was going to make it a priority to fight for all those things you would have just made a post calling him out for lying and making promises he can't keep. The guy can't win, it seems.

    hmm... (none / 0) (#183)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 11:57:59 AM EST
    I'd call it hyperbole, except his exaggerations are not unintentional. He seems to really believe it.

    The official definition of hyperbole:

    1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.

    2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as "to wait an eternity."

    So while I struggle with the double negative in not unintentional, it seems evident that hyperbole is exactly what it was.

    It would seem that hyperbole is part and parcel of any political campaign but the art of hyperbole is not seeming to be disingenuous. That of course is subjective and heavily influenced by things like blogs or main stream media calling these things out and ridiculing them, OR, as Practically Lactating is suggesting, engaging it to a level that appears authentic.

    Jeralyn is suggesting that her BS detector is on full alert here and she isn't buying the authenticity argument at all and I would presume that is probably true of most of the TL readers.

    It's a good thing that the main stream media is concentrating on the really pertinent issues of the campaign such as bowling skills, lying about smoking, haircuts, pantsuits and cleavage because otherwise, they might actually start examining some of the candidates ridiculous claims.

    you are right (none / 0) (#202)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 13, 2008 at 01:51:39 AM EST
    I have one negative too many in there. The funny thing is I too looked it up in the dictionary before I wrote the post -- saw the same definition that you did -- and in trying to be precise, got it wrong. I'm going to change it to "not intentional."

    After THe Election (none / 0) (#197)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 12, 2008 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    when will people get the stars out of their eyes?

    Voters will be once again, forced to notice that their star, can do no wrong, candidate was just telling them what they wanted to hear, IOW campaign promises are rarely fulfilled.