It Got Better

The President surprised me yesterday. Not about what was in his heart. I was confident about that. But in a reelection year, I did not expect the President to say what he said. Yesterday, I commented "I'm not at all sure this was the smart political play. I'm pretty sure I think it isn't. I can not imagine how we can not give him tremendous credit for this." I know I do.

It reminded me also of this:

Yesterday, no laws were passed. But it got better.

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    I agree. (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Dr Molly on Thu May 10, 2012 at 06:56:13 AM EST
    I thought what he said yesterday was incredible; imagine that a president can come out and say this now, it's just a wonderful day in history. He's entered the debate and, by doing so, has shifted it.

    And, although at first I winced when he started bringing jesus and christianity into it, I think that was really smart upon reflection. He took the hatin' christians to school in those few sentences about the Golden Rule.

    I winced (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by lentinel on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:59:12 AM EST
    also - about pastor O. talking about Jesus' sacrifice for us.

    And I still am wincing.

    We have to trade apparently.

    We get a little respect for civil rights, and served with it is a nice helping of dreck laid on the Constitution.


    I actually (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:03:07 AM EST
    really like the fact that he DID bring religion into because he helped put forth the fact that NOT ALL Christians are these freakish homophobic bigots.

    True, but then it elicits the question (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:44:08 AM EST
    that keeps the issue raging: who's right?

    Little anecdote:

    Years ago, a co-worker told me that her 6-yr old daughter had come home from school and asked why they didn't have a Christmas tree and why Santa didn't come to their house.  Her mom explained that Christmas was a Christian holiday in celebration of Jesus being born, and because they were Jewish, and didn't believe that Jesus was the son of God, they didn't celebrate Christmas.  Her daughter took all of this in and then asked her mom, "But what if they're right?"  That was one of those okay-now-what-do-I-say? moments, and my friend simply said that there was no "right" or "wrong," but that this was what they, as a family, believed.  And then I think she changed the subject!

    So, for me, bringing religion into it helps keep it in the forefront of being a religious issue - which is not the arena where I think the argument should play out.  The religious entity does not confer the rights in question, the government does - and that's the issue.

    Those whose faiths are opposed to same-sex marriage seem to believe that only religious entities can use the word "marriage," and for some reason I just don't understand, don't want any of "those people" to be able to claim they are "married" if a religious ceremony hasn't been part of the equation.  

    Same sex couples want to be able to say they are "married" even if they do not have a religious ceremony - and why shouldn't they?  "Marriage" should be able to mean whatever the people using the term want it to mean - and I just do not understand why there is such a vehement objection to it on the part of religious people.  

    It all just gives me a headache.


    I don't think it elicits the question (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by lilburro on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    I think it weighs in on it.  Self identifying Christians, especially Protestants, are THE hurdle to getting gay marriage passed in most states.  They are the ones that are propelling anti-gay amendments to the forefront.  IMO, you have to undermine their moral authority and point out flaws in their thinking.  Unfortunately, I don't think Americans value separation of church and state to just support gay marriage on those grounds.

    mostly protestants? (none / 0) (#139)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:33:44 AM EST
    I think you are confused.  It would be a combination of fundamentalists and Catholics.  Protestants come in many varieties and most I know are moderate to liberal.

    Recent polling from Gallup (none / 0) (#151)
    by lilburro on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    from this Daily Beast article

    The most recent Gallup polling data backs up Maguire. When asked this month whether they think same-sex marriage should be legalized, 51 percent of Catholics said they think it should be, placing Catholics one percentage point higher than the national average. Forty-seven percent of Catholics said they think same-sex marriage should not be legal, compared with 59 percent of Protestants, and 12 percent of people who claimed no religious affiliation. [emphasis supplied]

    I know there is great variation among Protestants but on the whole they are more opposed than Catholics and atheists.


    I understand (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 10, 2012 at 01:28:30 PM EST
    but since people tend to use religion to be against it I think it's kind of smart that Obama used religion to be FOR it. As a matter of fact, all the people who are against it seem to be heavily reliant on the bible to back up what they believe.

    That was my favorite part too n/t (none / 0) (#64)
    by lilburro on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:18:08 AM EST
    yeah, that's what i was saying (none / 0) (#122)
    by Dr Molly on Thu May 10, 2012 at 06:40:45 PM EST
    No, he hasn't ended the debate (none / 0) (#2)
    by rickroberts on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:07:27 AM EST
    He had to say this because he couldn't fine a way to walk it back. For a more critical view, read Robert Scheer's column over at Truthdig.

    Barack's statement was a very careful one.


    find ... not fine (none / 0) (#3)
    by rickroberts on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:07:57 AM EST
    While I respect the aggravation (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:33:27 AM EST
    on the topic, I disagree with Sheer.  From a Sociology perspective this is exactly the approach we take.  On this road we all travel, the only thing that seems to have brought the haters any natural shame at all has been the damage they are doing to children.  This is a key area to focus on and strongly and confidently win this through.  It's a strong beginning.

    Then, we should be thanking (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:41:34 AM EST
    Biden... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Addison on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:56:09 AM EST
    ...said what he said not out of any special bravery, but because he went off-message. In the end it amounts to the same thing, and so it barely matters But the idea that Biden was a purposeful hero here, well. He's much more Jar-Jar Binks (for those who could stomach the Star Wars prequels, the silly careless rube that sets in motion grander things by accident.

    Not that gay rights has any similarities with the Sith, mind you. And I was glad to see Obama's evolution accelerated -- if only because politically it gets this issue out of the way going forward. Waiting until much later in the campaign season seemed like a bad idea.


    Do you think (none / 0) (#134)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:57:54 PM EST
    That Biden's comment was really just "Biden being Biden," and that he went "off message" in blurting out his feelings spontaneously?

    Maybe the cynic in me should take a break but the way in which Biden's "blabbermouth" provided a convenient gateway for Obama to go public with his pro gay marriage stance doesn't seem to have hurt The President, and may have helped him to a degree. And, all that "the White House was aghast" at Biden's indiscretion was just so much Kabuki.

    Who knows, but I'm surprise everyone just accepts the story as its been told.


    Wrong link (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:47:09 AM EST
    From the link (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:50:48 AM EST
    Senior administration officials admit that Biden's comment was, indeed, the catalyst for Obama to make his historic announcement weeks earlier than planned.

    But Biden's remarks on "Meet the Press" deeply annoyed Obama's team, people close to the situation tell POLITICO, because it aggrandized his role at the expense of Obama's yeoman efforts on behalf of the community and pushed up the timing of a sensitive announcement they had hoped to break - at a time and place of their own choosing -in the weeks leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this fall.

    Nor did it tickle anyone, from Obama on down, that Biden - who backed the Defense of Marriage Act while serving in the Senate in the 1990s - seemed to be getting more credit in the LGBT community than a president who has actually taken steps to repeal the Clinton-era law that defined marriage as something that could only take place between a man and a woman.

    And it chafed Obama's team that Biden had, at times, privately argued for the president to hold off on his support of marriage equality to avoid a backlash among Catholic voters in battleground states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to two officials familiar with those discussions.

    It was the President's decision to (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:55:49 AM EST
    double down on this.  He's in the middle of reelection.  I'm sure there was a Jesus Christ Joe moment, this is considered risky.

    Overall gimmee a break though, I suppose you are another one of those people who thinks that General McRaven really got Bin Laden and Obama had nothing to do with it.


    Sorry, Adm McRaven (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:58:04 AM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:07:24 AM EST
    Obama and his advisors realized the way the winds were blowing and decided to ride it out, rather than fight it and look foolish.  Especially as it will not really big that big of a campaign issue.

    This has been debunked (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:08:26 AM EST
    It was supposed to be announced at the convention.

    Right - at the convention (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:46:32 AM EST
    Because he didn't want to do it now so as not to frighten off those swing voters, but he was ok to announce it in September, because it presumably wouldn't scare them off then?

    His hand was forced. He did it and now it's done.  Good for him.


    no (none / 0) (#146)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 09:52:52 AM EST
    it was supposed to be announced on "The View".

    This seems to be debunked on (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:06:49 AM EST
    the morning news now. It was to be announced at the convention, Joe just blurted it out ahead of schedule.

    Yes (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:08:06 AM EST
    Obama was forced to tell his "personal feelings" early.

    You really must dwell on this being (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:09:10 AM EST
    a forced thing huh?

    It was (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:10:31 AM EST
    No greek temple columns this time around.

    Still doesn't matter. The election will not hinge on it.  It will still come down to jobs.  Those who deeply care about this were going to vote for Obama anyway - those who are opposed, probably won't change their minds about him.


    We aren't supposed to bring up past comments (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:55:16 AM EST
    but I'm just saying, this:

    "Those who deeply care about this were going to vote for Obama anyway"

    Are you sure that's how you've always felt about it?  What about staying home?

    I know a few people who have already said that now they finally have a reason to vote because of this.

    This is a great thing.  And it appears he was going to do it pre-election anyway, so I don't see the point on bringing up the Biden thing.  He ruined the timing not the sentiment, and it's the sentiment that counts.


    Good thing to know (4.00 / 6) (#46)
    by me only on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:28:06 AM EST
    If the sentiment is what counts, then I don't want to hear anymore complaining about tax cuts for the rich hurting the poor as long as the cutters have sentiments for the poor.

    New Hallmark greeting card

    I care enough to send the very least (or nothing at all), but hey I care!!!!!


    Please show me where I said (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:34:59 AM EST
    sentiment counts more than action.  I said it counts more than the timing of expressing the sentiment.  Nice stretch.

    Yes (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:49:51 AM EST
    I don't see me voting for him anyway - this certainly isn't going to
    change my vote. And yes - those who are inclined to vote for Obama anyway will now have another reason to do so.  Those who weren't going to in the first place - well, this isn't probably going to sway many of them.

    Are you saying this is a game changer for the election??  My guess is that when polls are taken a few weeks out on this topic, this will not change many people's minds. Asmuch as it gets discussed on liberal blogs, it really hasn't been a huge issue for most people in the country so far - with a bad economy, I don't see that changing.

    This is a great statement for those LGBT folks for whom this is a deeply personal issue.  But it really doesn't mean much until those words are accompanied by action.  And since neither party wants to really talk much more about this in this election year, and instead will be focusing on the economy, it doesn't make much difference.


    I'm saying (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:02:08 AM EST
    There are some people who might have stayed home that won't anymore.  On both sides of this issue.  And these words have already been accompanied by action on LGBT issues.  So they aren't "just words" at this point.

    Is it a game changer for the election?  Probably not.  But it matters.  And I take a little issue with the idea that it's only important for those who find this 'deeply personal'.  How do you define that?  I am very much straight, and this is very important to me.  Because I care about my cousin and my friends and the people in my life who this will affect.

    Human rights issues, and I firmly believe that's what this is, will always be important.  I find your dismissiveness on this issue a bit grating.


    I'm saying (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:14:31 AM EST
    That while it's a great statement coming from the Oval Office, it doesn't mean much unless something gets done about it.  Every poll shows a majority of Americans now favor allowing sme sex couples to marry (albeit by small margins), yet, every state that has put the issue to a referendum has seen it go down in flames - 38 states. Why? He wants to leave it to the states - how does that work?  If they never allow it in West Virginia, how does that work for federal benefits?  And how does he reconcile this with his signing statement last week?

    I'm not dismissing anything, except a political ploy to get money and win votes.  And if you find that grating, well, then I'm just going to have to learn to live with your disappointment.


    Albeit, by margins within the margin (none / 0) (#57)
    by me only on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:47:38 AM EST
    of error.  Besides, the vote on Tuesday was further outside of any poll margin.  Noticeably.  And I think the fairly obvious reason is that, what you tell a pollster and what you vote for aren't always the same thing when it comes to these kinds of issues.

    See (none / 0) (#59)
    by me only on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:00:40 AM EST
    It could well be a game changer here. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:19:42 AM EST
    The GOP is getting totally lambasted for the games they played to keep the civil union bill from being voted on.  Just getting killed over it. It has even gone national as I'm seeing it covered on several national sites.  

    Its making them look like cowards and spineless losers and making the Governlooper look heroric. I don't imagine that will change at all during the upcoming special session (called by a very emotional Gov. specifically to consider the bill).

    It is definitely not going to help them keep their one vote majority in the House next year.  

    /this issue?


    It won't be a game changer (2.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:33:52 AM EST
    The Republicans aren't going to focus on it in national races, and he isn't going to either.

    Osama was supposed to be a game changer too....


    Riiiiiiiight. (4.00 / 3) (#117)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:01:54 PM EST

    Senior Romney Adviser Ed Gillespie
    Ed Gillespie, senior adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, told Chuck Todd on MSNBC's Daily Rundown that the campaign would make President Obama's support for marriage equality an issue this November and that Romney will actively push for a constitutional amendment to take away the right of states to voluntarily extend marriage equality to same-sex couples.

    Gillespie told Todd that same-sex marriage "will be another bright-line difference in this campaign." He added that the GOP intends to campaign on the issue

    Duh (none / 0) (#118)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:08:34 PM EST
    Of COURSE he's going to say that  - TODAY.

    And yet, John Boehner, et al are talking about JOBS.


    Correction.... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:29:18 PM EST
    John Boehner is talking about talking about jobs.

    Please wake me up when he, or they, actually propose a realistic proposal leading to increased jobs.


    Sure (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:29:46 AM EST
    But it 's better than talking about talking about "evolving" on an issue where a majority of the country has already been and where you are just catching up.

    just thought I'd leave (none / 0) (#150)
    by CST on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:47:32 AM EST
    this here.

    How's your evolution coming?


    I'm evolved fine (none / 0) (#153)
    by jbindc on Fri May 11, 2012 at 01:29:41 PM EST
    I say legalize it and tax the hell out of it.

    But I choose not to destroy my brain cells and do potential harm to my mouth, gums, teeth, respiratory system, and reproductive system jsut to get a temporary, but fleeting good feeling, and I think that makes me evolved pretty far, thanks.


    What I don't get, CST, is that even (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:20:51 AM EST
    as he's making a statement in support of marriage equality, he's refusing to sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination by federal contractos on the basis of sexual orientation - the very issue that prompted LGBT activists to shut off the money spigot in the first place.  

    Does it make sense to you?  Because I can't figure out how he can be for the right of same sex couples to marry, and not use the power of the office to eliminate discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation.

    And it may even be a little worse than that; here's Sam Stein at HuffPo:

    The senior administration officials declined to say whether the president would now push for gay marriage to be part of the Democratic Party's platform at the convention. They also said they were not changing positions on an Executive Order that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against federal contractors. The president has said he would not sign that order.

    This is making it seem - to me, anyway - that Obama is not speaking as the president, he's speaking as a private citizen, just expressing an opinion, no different than you or I expressing ours.

    So, Citizen Obama supports marriage equality, but President Obama won't commit to that as part of the Dem Party platform, and won't sign an executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Talk about a mixed message.


    It's the same bi-partisan work together (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:32:41 AM EST
    nonsense, and I agree it's infuriating.

    For what it's worth, he didn't say he had a problem with the order, he wants a comprehensive bill banning it for federal and private business through congress.  I disagree with that strategy (although it's the same thing he did with DADT), since it's better to have what you can have done now, done now.  But it certainly fits in his political pattern to date.  So no, I don't agree with it, but sure it "makes sense" the way any of his political moves "make sense" (not much, but it's a consistent pattern).  No, I don't think this is just private citizen Obama though.


    One way that Obama PROVES (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:05:48 PM EST
    He supports gay marriage is having the military recognize gay marriage if you are married in a state that it is legal in.  Thusfar that is how the military recognizes everything else that exists in family law.

    That for me is a Giant litmus test of his sincerity or the tripping of the B.S. meter.  Do I think he is going to do that before the election though.  Uhhhhh, No

    But hey, the legacy thing like you pointed out previously.


    DADT and yesterday's announcement (none / 0) (#126)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:29:23 PM EST
    Were all just BS?

    To be honest ABG (none / 0) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:01:29 PM EST
    It was within his jurisdiction to say that same sex marriages in states where it was legal would be observed in the military after DADT was repealed, and he chickened out on that.  Same sex marriage is not recognized in the military even when those marriages took place in states where it is legal, and uhh........he is the CIC.

    You are right that he could have gone further (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:47:18 PM EST
    But on the eve of the election this was a huge step.  Do we really think it was realistic to take that first step and simultaneously change everything at once.

    Since his term began, about every 8 or so months there is a substantive development for the better. You can fairly argue that more could be done but the record has to be viewed in light of the fact that he's done more than anyone on this issue ever.

    Does history criticize Johnson for not closing every racist loophole or does it recognize his bold move as a material step forward on a long path.  

    I am just begging for people to retain a big picture perspective.


    I am (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:55:00 PM EST
    I have defended the man in this thread.  He has the means to bring the goods though after the election.  What if he doesn't?  He didn't bring many of the promised goods after he won his first Presidential election.  It is very much within his power to make same sex marriages preformed in states where it is legal observed within the military with full benefits to dependent spouses though.  This is not some GIANT stretch.  Will he do it?  I dunno but you can't blame some of the folks on here for doubting him.

    well considering Johnson took (none / 0) (#147)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:12:32 AM EST
    a step and didn't just talk about his feelings......

    Which matters more? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:31:10 AM EST
    That he made an affirmative, vocal, on-the-record declaration in support of marriage equality, or why he made it?  

    It may be true that his declaration will not make much of a difference in how fast the issue moves to the actual right result - marriage equality - but I don't know that we can say that he made it less likely for the issue to move toward that goal.  And if that's all he did, it's still better than (1) declaring his opposition to it, or (2) continuing to hedge on it.

    Elections are about a lot of things, and while this may not make any difference for some people, it will for others - in both directions; I guess that's where the risk is.  Will those who are directly affected by his position ultimately be disappointed in where he goes with it next?  Quite possibly they will.  But I think when you are fighting for something like this, any progress is still progress.  One more mind has been changed (and while I was one to point out that he's really come full circle from his original, 1996 support for same-sex marriage, I think that as president, his making that statement of support now carries more meaning than it did as a candidate for the Illinois Senate), and his "evolution" to this position may change more minds - hopefully more to reach the same position than more who turn away.

    Saying that those who care deeply about this issue were going to vote for him anyway is as dismissive as the comment (not yours) that said the LGBT community was too miniscule to matter - and I can say that because, as someone who believes deeply in equality and civil/human rights, I wasn't going to vote for him anyway - and I may still not vote for him, but I think you underestimate the number of people who will.

    Did events force this upon him?  It sure looks like it, but really - so what?  Doesn't that just prove that he can be pushed and that we should take note so we can push on other issues that matter?

    Yesterday, I was as skeptical as you seem to be - I'm still skeptical that it's going to matter to the degree some are saying it will - but I can't deny that it really doesn't matter why he did it, it matters that he did it, it's on the record, and he's not going to be able to equivocate to the degree he might be more comfortable doing.

    Only time will tell where this all goes from here, but I can tell you from personal experience that it won't kill you to have something good to say about this declaration.  :-)


    An election is a battle (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:56:23 AM EST
    And sadly I understand a little bit about the planning to win a battle now in a war.  I understand aspects of strategy I never planned on understanding, and it serves me well in other areas of my life if regretfully learned.  I would rather have had better political strategy though in order to avoid having to grapple with real battlefield strategies.

    But a functioning democracy is what prevents us from going to war against each other in our streets.  And in that light, Joe Biden has been Leeroy Jenkins :)  And thankfully because the rest of the team is nothing if not prepared it didn't go full Leeroy Jenkins.


    I have seen Joe Biden blurt (none / 0) (#140)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 07:40:30 AM EST
    there was nothing blurtish about his statement on gay marriage.

    huh? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Dr Molly on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:18:03 AM EST
    Where did I say he 'ended the debate'?

    I think he may have read "ended" where (none / 0) (#43)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:22:47 AM EST
    you wrote "entered."

    At least that's my best guess.


    Whatever his reasons, whether (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:20:13 AM EST
    political or personal, the end result is that he has taken the right position - how can that be a bad thing?  It can't.

    From a political standpoint, if he wants to draw a distinction between the sanity of a pro-marriage equality position, and the insanity of whatever garbled, right wing position comes from the likes of Mitt Romney, he should keep it simple, and not get drawn into the quagmire; that alone might persuade others who have been sitting on the fence.

    But he can't keep doing his own fence-sitting by invoking states' rights whenever the heat gets turned up; this really should not be a country that puts people's rights up for popular vote.  We should be a country united around that principle, not accepting of being Balkanized into islands of bigotry.

    this was about richard lugar, scott brown, (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by seabos84 on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:49:31 AM EST
    0bama couldn't fill an arena of 20,000 last week.

    ALL the smarty-ier-than-me-pants can point to ALL the pre-2008 proof they want that 0bama was NOT and is NOT progressive - well, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands didn't clamor to see this guy 4 years ago cuz they wanted AHIP-Care, AIG-Care, Lieberman-Care, Baucus-Care, Geithner-Care and Wall Street-Care ...

    I think 0bama's bubble was finally pierced that the drooling clapping louder 0bots aren't enough to protect him from that 70% of the population, slightly left of center, who are the REAL middle,

    and who deal with traitors by watching American Idol, NASCAR, MLB, ... instead of remembering to vote for Sell-0ut-Care.

    OR - if the bubble wasn't pierced, he just saw THE BEST opportunity to f'king lie to us all again.

    When my driver's license / state i.d. is my medicare card, I'll consider providing support beyond a Big F.U.



    No, he didn't take the right position (2.00 / 1) (#6)
    by rickroberts on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:23:39 AM EST
    He said this basic human right is a matter for each state to decide. Let's go ahead and turn all rights back to the states. Shall we?

    This is the typical Barack two-step. Nothing new here.


    The first step is making an affirmative (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:48:07 AM EST
    declaration that he supports marriage equality; that's the right place to be, and he's done that.  The ideal second step would be to become an advocate for marriage equality as a civil/human rights issue, reaching into communities around the country, but his decision to continue to take shelter in the states' rights position is a pretty clear signal that he probably won't be going that far.  In fact, I'd be surprised if there is ever anything much more than his declarative statement of support.  But it's also clear that he can be pushed, and ought to be an object lesson to everyone who wants more from him than they think they're getting.

    Now, playing devil's advocate here for a minute, how many times have we on the left complained about conservatives in power elevating their personal beliefs into the public arena and attempting to legislate those beliefs?  Too many to count.  And yet, here we are, wanting Obama to do just that - use his bully pulpit and whatever influence he has to advocate for the country based on his personal belief.

    The difference, as I see it, is that we aren't in favor of forcing anyone to do, or not to do, anything; we're saying that if people do or don't want to do a particular thing, they should have that choice - with no affect on anyone else.  Get married, don't get married.  Have an abortion, don't have an abortion, take birth control, don't take birth control: make the decision that's right for you.  Period.  As opposed to, "don't even ask, the answer is no; if we don't believe in it, you can't have it."

    From time to time, I think Obama has been pushed into going on the record with respect to these kinds of things, but I think his passive approach to them is a signal that he's not comfortable using his office to keep moving in the right direction.

    I think it's going to get very uncomfortable for him on a number of fronts, as he is excoriated by conservatives and Mitt Romney and religious leaders - and we know he isn't comfortable with disapproval - so it's going to be interesting to see how he handles it.  And how he handles it will signal how much of a difference his support on this issue will make.


    He's already (none / 0) (#33)
    by lentinel on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:55:17 AM EST
    announced that he will not be discussing this much. He's going to "focus on the economy."

    Obama has now "evolved" (none / 0) (#73)
    by itscookin on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:57:29 AM EST
    to where Dick Cheney was over a year ago. Hallelujah! Pass the collection plate. I got my request for a donation, did you?

    Actually (none / 0) (#80)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:42:49 PM EST
    (and I mis-wrote on this yesterday), Dick Cheney actually took this position in 2004 - 8 years ago.

    Ultimately, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lentinel on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:21:09 AM EST
    I don't think that the government should be granting extra rights and privileges to people who get married.

    Citizens who choose to be in a partnership without the sanction of a particular religion or a particular State should be granted the same rights and privileges as those who choose to get married.

    In my view, the government should not be in the marriage business.

    If people choose to get married because it is meaningful to them, they can do so in many ways. But rights and privileges offered by the government should not be a motivating factor.

    If I'm not mistaken, people in a partnership are accorded the same rights and privileges in France whether or not they are married.

    In any case, inducements offered to people to get married are yet another intrusion upon our lives and yet another example of the imposition of a moral code dictated to our government by various religions.

    It is of course incumbent to offer to all citizens the rights and privileges now offered to some. And it is good that Obama, finally said it after "evolving" for at least four years.

    His previous position, "Personally, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman", was obviously intellectually untenable. He ascribed it to his religious upbringing and tradition. But his record of vacillation on this issue indicates that it was politics that dictated that he take a regressive stand at that time.

    Which brings me to this new statement.
    I believe that tremendous pressure was brought to bear upon Obama to get him to verbalize this enlightened stance. Especially after Biden's unequivocal declaration in favor of marriage rights for all.

    People who believe in other agendas described as "liberal" should learn from this that Obama can be pressured from the liberal-left and not just from the conservative-right.

    Saying that we will vote for him no matter what is not the way to apply this pressure.

    Legacy (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:04:17 AM EST
    To some extent, he's got to be thinking about it.  I think it's a big part of the reason he went for healthcare, he would love to be "that" president.  But looking back, this will probably be one of the brighter spots on his legacy.  Because he is choosing the right side, and he has already effectively changed the government for the better - DADT alone was a huge deal.  Is he a year or two behind public sentiment?  Sure.  But not that far, and frankly, public sentiment hasn't been voting that way, which makes this a bit risky politically.

    At the end of the day though, I think this issue will be one of the bright spots on his legacy.  And in terms of actual substantive change, it's deservedly so.

    He might as well go there too (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:47:18 AM EST
    Because he already is.  He got DADT repealed, and in our particular area we have our first case of gay harassment.  I don't know any of the particulars or people accused.  All I know is that comments or jokes were made at a Hail and Farewell.  I don't even know which Hail and Farewell.  It has gone to the I.G. though and all the commands were notified to get your people policed up on the existing reality of our social rules NOW!

    I'm sure we aren't the first instance, there are probably several converging on the scene at once, as always happens in the military when we have commanded social change.

    Personhood for gays will be more clearly defined in the military though now, and it will be legally defined.  It is a considerable social evolution taking place in the now!

    I don't see any of this as all that forced for the President.  Once Obama repealed DADT, the sanctity of gay personhood was about to dramatically change in at least one sector of our society.  He opened the door, all he had to do was decide when to step through.


    BTD (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:02:18 AM EST
    Your video of Obama on "It Gets Better" was incredibly relevant given this story in the WaPo today:

    ""Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn't having it.

    " `He can't look like that. That's wrong. Just look at him!' an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann's recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber's look, Friedemann recalled. A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school's collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber's hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another."


    If the Obama campaign was smart, they will take this story of Mitt bullying a possibly gay kid and draw a direct comparison to Obama's strong statement in the video you posted and the statement yesterday.

    Those three bits of data alone were enough to make me send an extra $50 today.

    Really powerful moment and the GOP is (as is becoming cliche) on the wrong side of history and fundamentally what is good and right.

    As I said on a comment yesterday, that was a very, very proud moment for democrats everywhere. Hell it was a good moment for our nation period.

    I wonder whatever happened (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:28:32 AM EST
    to John Lauber?  

    That is a very good question (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:35:26 AM EST
    I wonder if he is walking around unaware of the fact that he has the ability to go on Rachel Maddow and deliver one of the most satisfying paybacks in the history of a bullied kid.

    Please oh please let that happen.


    Some days, I've just got to marvel at (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:50:42 AM EST
    the blinders you have on, ABG...

    KeysDan can certainly correct me if I'm wrong, but I read his comment as being a comment on your political tunnel vision, one that keeps you from seeing Lauber's experience as anything other than an opportunity for Obama make political hay and score points on Romney.

    I, too, wonder how John Lauber is - not because he's a potential PR coup for the Obama campaign, but because I'd like to hope that he was able to overcome that torment and live a good and happy life.

    For some reason, your whole approach to the story gives me the uncomfortably icky feeling that you'd not be disappointed to find out it ruined his life so that your guy could use it against Romney.


    Anne (none / 0) (#77)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    Before I knew he was dead of course I wanted him to show up for political AND personal reasons.

    Every comment you make is tainted by your inexplicable need to see him fail.

    My position is every bit as supportable as yours so how about we both stop making such assertions?


    Funny coming from you (none / 0) (#86)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:06:06 PM EST
    Every comment you make is tainted by your inexplicable need to see him fail
    When every comment* you make is tainted by your inexplicable need to view it almost exclusively as to how it supports your contention of the Inevitability of Obama's Reelection.  The human impact is never part of your perspective until you are reminded of it.  And sometimes not even then.

    Like now.  If the poor man was alive you would want him to parade one of the most humiliating (and undoubtedly painful) experiences of his younger self so that Obama could benefit politically.

    That's some sick stuff right there.

    *The GZ threads being an exception


    sj (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:52:44 PM EST

    How about this concept: I don't comment about things negative about Obama in this forum because there are plenty of Anne's to do that for me.  No need to find the bad news in Obama supporting gay marriage because someone already did that.  Unemployment drops by half a percent? No fear. Anne is here to tell you exactly how that really sucks.  Select an unmarried hispanic female supreme court justice? NO worries, I am sure that is horrible news, and I know I can tune into the comments for someone to explain why.

    No need for me to say anything bad about Obama in this forum ever really.  It's more than covered.

    So I don't. I don't really care what motivations people think I have for saying anything though.  Once they start analyzing why an anonymous person on the internet is making a particular point, I understand that they don't see the stupidity of trying to delve into the motivations of an anonymous person on the internet instead of just addressing the point and I've probably proven the point just by that anyway.

    Newsflash: dude is dead. But I was basically saying that it would be fantastic if he were here to give his view and blow romney away.

    I am supposed to be ashamed of that? Please.


    "Dude is dead." (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by Anne on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:53:28 PM EST
    Well, that really says it all, doesn't it?  The prospect of a man baring his soul to describe a horrible case of bullying would be "fantastic."  And he's dead, damn him; "dude" was probably a Republican, anyway.

    That's just so utterly, breathtakingly craven it makes my skin crawl.

    And it's undoubtedly escaped your notice that I have written more than a couple comments on Obama's announcement that not only gave him credit, but opined that his reasons for doing it should take a back seat to the fact of his doing it.  That any support for marriage equality is a good thing.  

    I apologize for noticing some disconnect in his approach, for noticing that he's come full circle from his original 1996 support for marriage equality; I keep forgetting I'm not supposed to actually think about these things.  What's that thing you always fall back on?  Oh, yeah..."haters gonna hate."


    I also (none / 0) (#128)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:33:23 PM EST
    Made a number of posts on the serious and fantastic nature of the statement that were completely non-political. You ignored those too so I guess we are even.

    The problem with you, ABG (none / 0) (#137)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:39:01 PM EST
    is that you can't seem to get your head around the fact that pronouncements are not policy, and headline quotes are not always what they seem.

    Here's the difference between you, and Anne, me, and many others here:

    You state: "Unemployment drops by half a percent? No fear. Anne is here to tell you exactly how that really sucks."

    If unemployment dropped by half a percent because the workforce has shrunk, fewer people are looking for jobs, and millions have, after years of fruitless looking, simply given up, Yeah, that sucks. And, you know who else knows it sucks? The markets, which plunged 6 days in a row because of your "good news." Anne realizes what that number really represents,  while your only concern is how that (phony) number will help Obama's chances for re-election.

    But, you know what really sucks? You, being an intelligent Wall Street, business lawyer know that. And, yet you feel you can come on here and (like they do on Fox News)  spout deceptive figures, and play the lonely hero defending the maligned and misunderstood Obama.

    Get it through your head; the shiny penny?  It doesn't work here.


    How about this concept: (none / 0) (#119)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:23:05 PM EST
    You don't say anything "negative" about O because you don't say anything "negative" about O.  That has always been your POV.  You may want to pretend that every day is a new day where YOUR comments are concerned, while you have decided that Anne's carry baggage, but that pretension will have to stay with you.

    I'm not going to participate in your fantasy.  And this is no newsflash:

    Newsflash: dude is dead. But I was basically saying that it would be fantastic if he were here to give his view and blow romney away.
    You'll use and misrepresent anybody if you think it will get one. more. person. to. vote. for. obama.

    You should be glad he's not here to debase himself for Obama's sake.  It would be counter your stated purpose.


    Or (none / 0) (#127)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:32:12 PM EST
    It's what I said.

    It is funny to me that in the contest between what I think my motivations are and what you think my motivations are, you think you have the better quality information.


    Self delusion (none / 0) (#135)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:15:55 PM EST
    can be quite amusing.  Everything you write (again, excepting GZ) is with an eye to O's re-election.  But if you say it's not your motivation in wishing that poor man was alive so that he could relive that humiliation -- all for O's benefit and His Inevitable Re-election -- then maybe you should read your own comments.

    He died a few years ago (none / 0) (#52)
    by Slado on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:37:58 AM EST
    The article you linked to states (none / 0) (#53)
    by dk on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:40:09 AM EST
    that Lauber died in 2004.

    as gross as this is (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:43:24 AM EST
    I'm dis-inclined to make Romney's actions as a 17/18 year old campaign fodder.

    This being a criminal defense blog that often sites such things as brains not being fully developed at that age, etc... I'd rather focus on what he's done as an actual adult.


    Yeah, really (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:23:48 AM EST
    I would think there's enough stuff that he's done as an ADULT that you don't need to go back to when he's 17.

    I agree (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:38:49 AM EST
    And really - if we start digging on Mitt Romney, do we really want open season on Obama and other Democrats of stupid things they did as a teenager?

    I'm not excusing this behavior at all - it's deplorable.   But really? Do we know he picked on this kid just because he was allegedly gay?


    I agree to a point... (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by kdog on Thu May 10, 2012 at 01:09:47 PM EST
    I don't care what a politician did as a stupid teenager nor what grades got at their Ivy league school...but otoh if this is all true, leading a gang of bullies to assault a longhair is a window into somebody's character, we're not talking about shoplifting or a DUI here.

    Maybe he's changed and it was a youthful indiscretion, but if his stance on the issues are any indication the dude is still all about preying on the weak.


    Bingo (5.00 / 5) (#112)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:09:23 PM EST
    There are "youthful indiscretions" and then there's repeated bullying and tormenting of other people just because they're different.  There are youthful indiscretions, and then there's leading a gang to physically overwhelm a guy while he's weeping and pleading for help.

    And then there's strapping your dog crate on the roof of your car for 8 hours of highway driving so you can put your expensive luggage inside the car.


    The prep school narrative (none / 0) (#107)
    by christinep on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:37:52 PM EST
    ...called to mind the dog incident aka The Story of Seamus on the Roof.  A few more of these  recollections & we wii officially crown him Mitt the Compassionless...which only reinforces Mitt the Bain Job Terminator.

    Picture the fall debates where Romney (in response to direct questioning) details his approach to marriage & equality...


    Right after (2.00 / 1) (#108)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:44:31 PM EST
    Direct questioning to Obama about his youthful cocaine use.

    This is not going to have legs.


    I understand what a delightful picture (none / 0) (#136)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:19:32 PM EST
    that is, but I've found that almost invariably the reality of a debate falls short of the fantasy.  However, the you've got time to hold on to the picture.  It will be a while before debates. :)

    Credit? In the year 2012? (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Dadler on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:05:53 AM EST
    No.  You get a little atta-boy, but nothing more, and even then it comes with an exasperated sigh.  

    Our expectations are so low now, it seems the phuckers have been undergrounded.

    But I applaud our follower President. Maybe he'll even do a bit of leading in the future. One can hope.

    I'm with you bro.... (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by kdog on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:23:01 AM EST
    it's a sad state of affairs when taking a common decency basic human rights position is controversial, but I guess that's where we're at...unfortunately.

    Lets hope the pres takes more common decency human rights positions...and more importantly, follows through in action to see those positions achieved.  Ane we the people can help him...instead of fawning over something he shoulda said 4 years ago, we should say "'bout damn time, now what about these other basic human rights you're sh*ttin' on? Now that you've seen the light and all."


    Yeah.... but...... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Dr Molly on Thu May 10, 2012 at 06:34:08 PM EST
    There is historical context to consider, no?

    I mean half the population is currently against gay marriage. At some time in the past, most of the population was against interracial marriage, women voting, blacks voting, etc.  It took years and it took leaders and citizens moving things along before real changes took place.

    The fact remains that, at a time when the country is moving surely but slowly towards total gay rights, Obama entered the debate yesterday and positively influenced it.


    Wow. This is a tough crowd! (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by oculus on Thu May 10, 2012 at 10:27:54 AM EST
    Good for you, Mr. President.

    Why is that surprising? (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 01:23:58 PM EST
    O has a history.  He did this right.  So far.

    Having said that, it's not unrealistic to continue to pay attention to see how this plays out.  It's not bold enough for a "dancing in the street" moment.

    It's a good thing.  What else do you think people should be doing for a statement that -- again, so far --  has no action behind it?


    Did I say it's a surprising response? No. (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:13:25 PM EST
    Okay, so hard to get tone (none / 0) (#90)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:21:07 PM EST
    when reading.  So the "wow" signifies what then?  Incredulity? It's not usually used for emphasis. Without the "wow" it's just an observation.   Help me out here :)

    By the bye, I'm just trying to figure out how to read your comments in general. I find you often confuse me as to your intended meaning.


    Snark, I suppose. (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:35:29 PM EST
    Not to mention, my origin is Midwestern. (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by oculus on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:39:39 PM EST
    When I've lost my HOPE in Obama (none / 0) (#103)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:08:46 PM EST
    I go here to remember that we might actually have some influence over our government. Obama may be a tool of the superrich, but I think he really WANTS to be an American hero. Around minute 5 of the video makes me think we could push him to support fiscal policies that save our middle class. For instance, we pool our money to build roads, why not give people low interest government mortgage loans through credit unions?

    Of course, commitment to policy before the election, not just empty rhetoric, is what I'm looking for if he wants to secure my vote.


    Oh, that's so sad. (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:45:21 PM EST
    LBJ says: (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 08:26:39 AM EST
    I believe all little African American children deserve to go to the same good schools as little white children.  However I believe it is a states rights issue, so all you southern states, you go right ahead and continue to amend your constitutions to keep those little black kids out of your better schools.  I won't be doing any more talking about it.

    But when LBJ did bring up the subject of integration he attacked the problem and he didn't make it all about him and his personal feelings and his personal evolution or his feeeeeeeeeeelings about Jesus.  He made it about the people involved and he was compelling on the topic as he made a case for equal rights for the oppressed in his bull in a china shop sort of way.

    I miss presidents with real courage, who take real risks and fight real battles.  I miss presidents who can fight off impeachment and still keep constitutional bans on gay marriage and bans on gays in the military off the table, while dealing with majorities of republicans in the congress and senate.

    This president has taken the practice of saying something and doing nothing to an art form.


    For real (none / 0) (#66)
    by vicndabx on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:24:28 AM EST
    This is a tough crowd!

    and yeah, good for your Mr. President.


    Whether this is (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:12:22 AM EST
    smart political play or not I'm not sure but I would think it helps him on the margins at best and at worst is a wash. Just going from my unscientific poll of facebook and neighbors, this doesn't seem to change anyone's vote and actually might help motivate some of his depressed base.

    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by dk on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:25:01 AM EST
    I think the meme that it's politically risky is more of the beltway view than a planet earth view.  Kind of surprised to see BTD promoting it, to be honest.

    depends on where you sit (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:07:10 PM EST
    Will this help Obama get out the vote in MA?  Probably, but that's really not going to affect much.  I think that where this is "risky" (may help, may hurt) is in swing states.

    I don't think it depends on where you sit. (none / 0) (#76)
    by dk on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:18:00 PM EST
    That's my point.  I don't think it matters in the swing states as far as the election is concerned(which, of course, are the only states in which it could matter by definition).

    As Ga pointed out in the comment I was responding to, it's not likely to change just about anyone's vote, or make non-voters come out to vote, and any slight rise in Republican votes will either be outweighed or evened out by increased enthusiasm among the Democratic base.  


    I hope (none / 0) (#78)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:29:48 PM EST
    you are right.

    it may hurt (none / 0) (#142)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 08:45:25 AM EST
    in his support among African American voters in southern states and other swing states where they tend to be socially conservative.  I am not saying they are going to vote Romney.  I do think some may stay home or leave the the presidential vote blank.

    Remember he sponsored the Donnie McKlukin Homophobic Gospel tour in 2008 to get them to vote for him.  He also had that yutzy anti gay anti choice fundamentalist preacher at his inauguration.  There was good reason for that.  His black supporters in certain parts of the country ARE more conservative.  There is no doubt about that and he has never taken that for granted.  I expect his people to quietly talk to preachers all over the south and assure them there will be no action on gay rights and that they can continue to believe that gay rights and their civil rights are two different things and that gay right are NOT a priority for this administration.


    I doubt it. (none / 0) (#154)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon May 14, 2012 at 04:36:28 PM EST
    Obama will take some flack from black pastors, and that portion of his base (AAs) may be slightly less motivated to get off their butts and vote, but I can't see very many blacks leaving the presidential vote blank if they're already out there voting. After all, Obama made it clear that his feelings on this wouldn't affect policy or inspire any political action on his part.

    Perhaps Obama's disclosure of his "personal feelings" will help other African Americans to start accepting gays and lesbians, especially those in their families and local communities. The best case scenario would be that he follow it up with some other statements helping people to separate holy matrimony versus government regulated civil marital contracts.


    President Obama did (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:33:48 AM EST
    the right thing, providing a democratic and inclusive guidepost for the country in what, hopefully, is its ongoing quest for equity for all its citizens.  Indeed, it provides a global model for the dignity of life and lives.  

    The process may not have been ideal, but the outcome is both idealistic and realistic.  The president and the vice president of the United States have registered their views, and, in so doing, have brought their influence to an American principle of civil equality.

    While it is no longer an issue of where the president stands, it does not relieve the need to provide reasons for why he has formed his opinion.  It will be tempting for the campaign to think it can move on so as to focus on other issues, such as the economy, but that is neither feasible nor reasonable.

    The president is aware of the political risks, but even he and his advisors may not have grasped the extent of the diatribes likely to come his way-- from the "moral" clamor from the contaminated Catholic bishops, from Romney and his supporters, and, of course, from the "Deliverance" wing of the Republican party.   It will be critical, therefore, for the president to stress  that his position is not just hapchance but also American values.  

    Thanks for the responses (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:52:38 AM EST
    I'm not going to respond to any particular comment as I think the post expresses my views pretty clearly.

    Call Me Cynical (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 12:32:10 PM EST
    But I just saw this as completely political.  Fundraising is down with the far left.  So he threw them a bone. Plus, they're doing some attacks on Romney on Gay Rights, especially via direct mail and the Internet.  But Obama doesn't have strong record either.  So this is a little CYA to help those appeals.

    I care about this issue. A lot. But I wasn't voting for Obama before he said this. And I'm not now.  Nor am I giving any money. But I know people who will be convinced by this to support him. Under the argument that even if it's a craven act it's important to support people who say this. It's a logic I understand. But one I don't share in this instance.

    I don't believe Jeralyn about "his heart". I frankly don't really care about Pol's hearts.  But I've seen evidence of Obama's homophobia since before he ran for President, throughout that campaign and after.

    And, finally, this will have no programmatic impact.  Obama will be re-elected. He will happily and rapidly become a lame duck. And spend most of his term performing ceremonial duties ... often overseas. This will be his last major statement about gay rights while he's president.

    Marriage equality and gay rights aren't part of (none / 0) (#84)
    by Farmboy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 01:32:57 PM EST
    the marginalized "far left" agenda; they're mainstream issues.

    As for Obama's record on gay rights, well, he

    opposes DOMA, repealed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, expanded federal benefits for the same-sex partners of executive-branch employees, signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, cleared the way for hospital-visitation rights for same-sex couples, lifted the travel/immigration ban on those with HIV/AIDS, ordered the Federal Housing Authority to no longer consider the sexual orientation of applicants on loans, expanded the Census to include the number of people who report being in a same-sex relationship, and directed U.S. agencies abroad to ensure our humanitarian and diplomatic efforts "promote and protect" the rights of gays and lesbians.
    (maddow blog)
    Romney's record on equality for gays? That's where you should look for your alleged homophobia.

    I don't know who you're ... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:06:04 PM EST
    talking to.  But it ain't me.  

    When Obama ran in '08, he made no speeches to any gay organizations during the primaries.  His entire outreach to the gay community was an interview in The Advocate and a letter to the LGBT community.  One interview and a letter. A letter?!?  And, of course, he was against gay marriage. Plus, there were a series of questionable statements, such as his awkward reaction to a question about why he'd taken an AIDs test during the Tavis Smiley hosted debate.

    Obama is no friend to the gay community.  Nor the civil liberties community in general.  And this cynical 11th hour "conversion" is more evidence of that than the opposite.

    He's just another right wing pol.  And like Giuliani and Romney or whomever, he's pro gay rights when it serves him and not when it doesn't.


    Donnie McClurkin (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:27:33 PM EST
    Right, that too! (none / 0) (#97)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:37:17 PM EST
    How could I have forgotten that one?  I think I've unconsciously blocked out a lot about that campaign.

    And refusing (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:42:56 PM EST
    to pose for a picture with Gavin Newsome.

    The hits just keep ... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:45:33 PM EST
    on coming!

    And that singer who tries to reform. (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:37:43 PM EST
    Donnie McClurkin (none / 0) (#105)
    by oculus on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:20:08 PM EST
    If you click "parent" you'll see I was (none / 0) (#104)
    by Farmboy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:11:18 PM EST
    replying to your comment discussing gay rights, the "far left", and Obama's record on the issue. Oh, and yesterday's announcement.

    If you weren't discussing any of those things, my apologies for replying to your post in error.


    wouldn't have his picture taken with (none / 0) (#144)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 09:34:08 AM EST
    Gavin Newsome, not because the guy is gay, he's not, but because he is too gay friendly.
     Yeh,  I don't know if he is homophobic anymore than I think he gives a damn if a woman has an abortion.  I just think he cares about his next election.  Hence the constant "present" votes or non votes on women's reproductive rights.  < Sigh >

    That some gay people now feel like "it got better" I am truly glad.  If this feels like real change to them, then it is real change, something to hang on to.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#89)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:19:47 PM EST
    If he's throwing us a bone, then he might just toss some more. He's already calling out Mitt Romney for being backwards on the gay marriage issue.

    Dems need to fix this issue. If Obama leads on it, all the better because the black churches are so homophobic and his "evolution" provides a role model. Now he needs to distinguish between civil rights and faith-based marital beliefs, which gives an out for others who might "evolve" as well.


    He's trying to raise $1 Billion ... (2.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:25:45 PM EST
    and he's not hitting the targets.  End of.

    Money's great (none / 0) (#106)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:37:05 PM EST
    And gay bundlers will deliver for Obama. But in swing states, as we saw in 2010, enthusiasm matters.

    Nah, that was '08 ... (none / 0) (#110)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:52:44 PM EST
    this is all about payback and cashola!

    Because the outcome is hardly in doubt.


    Or is that ... (none / 0) (#111)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:02:16 PM EST
    cash back and payola?

    Either way, people are getting paid.


    Enthusiasm gap (none / 0) (#113)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:12:02 PM EST
    Big O win in 2008 versus painful Dem losses in 2010.

    Obama and Romney have drawn their lines in the sand. Gays and lesbians who would have happily considered third party candidates who support equal rights will now feel pressured to vote for Obama to ensure Mitt doesn't win. Mitt has flat out said he'd roll back gay marriages in states that allow them and write discrimination into the US Constitution for the first time. Obama has now taken a public stance that we've always HOPED he believed. Obama will win the gay vote, and has reconnected with youth who overwhelmingly believe in equality. But the ENTHUSIASM is what he really needs. It's going to take another bone toss for him to win that.

    His potential options:

    1. Throw another bone to the gays. Put some pressure on to repeal DOMA so the federal government stops discriminating. Once citizens receive tax status for legal same-sex marriages, it'll be a nightmare to "unwind" those benefits. Kind of like gays in the military. Repealing DADT means everyone who just came out would have to be fired if the Rethugs reinstated the policy. Never happen.
    2. Convince the middle class he's on our side against Wall Street and the Banksters. Push for real mortgage relief, not lame banster bailouts.
    3. Take more steps to resolve our unending military conflicts.

    Obama as our middle class hero would carry the Party to victory again in the fall. Or not, if he caves between now and November. He's gotta do something or the swing states will sink him.

    Number 2 (none / 0) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:37:11 PM EST
    and 3 are going to be hard. He's already promised to stay in Af/Pak for quite a while and he has a real credibility problem w/r/t the banks. He could do a kabuki theater thing here but nothing is going to get passed and then we always get back to the fact that he wasted over a year on this crap-tastic HCR when he could have acutally been doing somethign about banks.

    That assumes there is ... (none / 0) (#120)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 10, 2012 at 05:28:55 PM EST
    more than one possible outcome.  

    There isn't.


    This is Obama's FDR moment. (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:07:03 PM EST
    "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it ..."

    Obama made be simply pandering, not just for votes and money, but for goodwill among his base. Now that a big chunk of the left has figured out that he's either incredibly ineffective or just tool of the plutocrats who have stolen our government, he's clearly lacking the momentum he needs to be reelected. His worst nightmare would be frenzied right wingers flocking to the polls over social issues, moderates voting for the rich businessman who gives them economic wet dreams (or Ron Paul if they trust him more), and the left sitting out the election in disgust or maybe voting for one of the true liberals running. What's a president to do?

    Let's face it: Republicans and Democrats now work together to create social discord over abortion, contraception and marriage in order to divide Americans into two herds of sheeple flocking to the polls to vote against each other on social issues while hopefully ignoring the ongoing ruthless economic exploitation from corporate greed, perpetual war, massive wealth redistribution from tax inequality to ObamaCare, and in denial regarding the existential threat of climate change.

    Two days ago, North Carolina enshrined bigotry in their Constitution, expanding their preexisting ban on gay marriage to prevent equality even via civil unions. The anto-gay amendment brought the bigots to the polls in droves as usual, with forty percent of SC's Democrats voted to grind "teh gays" under their heels. This is the state where Obama squeaked by in the last election with a half a percent. If his base sits out the election, he'll lose the state in November.

    So Obama took a stand. A minor step, but with at least the appearance of being principled, and purportedly framed in his own deeply held faith. Good on him. He's earned my respect, if not my vote yet. My god, he just took on the Roman Catholic Church and right wing evangelical Protestantism! Not that many of them were going to vote for him anyway, but now they're really go on the attack. The black churches might give him a pass, especially since he's tiptoeing so carefully around their bigotry, but the evolution that was necessary to reclaim some of his base now puts him at risk elsewhere.

    Obama probably hoped to go down in history as the Prez who finally gave us universal healthcare, but those expectations are being dashed. The gay issue could be a defining moment for the Change he promised. To do so, he need to take this issue up a notch, and it's up to us to push him. The Democratic Party has screwed up the gay issue for fifteen years. Bill Clinton's "compromise" put our party in the position of continually fighting throngs of angry fundamentalists. Without DOMA, the state by state oppression of gays wouldn't have been as successful. We have a chance here to finally get what we want from big O on at least one issue.

    We're letting the right wing frame the discussion on this issue instead of taking the lead. They're training their leaders and followers to not say anything negative about gays, but instead, to express their motivation in terms of "supporting marriage." That's an absolute lie, as none of their political activities support heterosexual marriages other than to prevent gays and lesbians from having marital equality.

    Is there some way we can reframe the discussion that would give our President the opportunity to, well, actually lead on this issue? He's opened the door. Can we find a way to help push him through it? Instead of allowing wingers to pretend religious marriage is the same as the civil contract our governments regulate, how about trying to establish the line between civil marriage and "holy matrimony" between a man, a woman and God? Instead of pushing for gay marriage, allowing gays into the institution, can we push religious marriage out of it?

    You're a bunch of smart people. Why not take this issue on and solve some headaches for our Party? Any ideas for how we can support our president to move forward between now and November in order to reframe the discussion and reinvigorate our Party?

    Very funny (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:25:09 PM EST
    Although I don't think intentionally so:
    Is there some way we can reframe the discussion that would give our President the opportunity to, well, actually lead on this issue?
    He has the opportunity to lead regardless of what we do.  "We" can't "reframe" the issue in order to prop him up in front of it or it isn't really leading.  It's figureheading.

    Minor point (none / 0) (#94)
    by jbindc on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:30:08 PM EST
    My god, he just took on the Roman Catholic Church and right wing evangelical Protestantism! Not that many of them were going to vote for him anyway, but now they're really go on the attack.

    Uh, in 2008, he captured 54% of the Catholic vote (although only 47% of white Catholics), 45% of the Protestant vote, and a total of 53% of all the "religious" vote. It's not like his base only included atheists.


    Trying to envision a candidate (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by oculus on Thu May 10, 2012 at 02:36:50 PM EST
    attractive only to atheist voters.  

    The gay marriage issue is huge (none / 0) (#102)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu May 10, 2012 at 03:01:41 PM EST
    What do you think brought all those loonies to the polls in North Carolina this week? The chance to vote for Mitt over Rick, Newt or Ron Paul?

    Homophobia is a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party. Are we going to pluck it out, or let it fester through another national election?

    You can't deny that the millions raised by anti-gay marriage groups don't screw up democratic candidates in other (non-presidential) elections.

    C'mon, how about some ideas here. Think of your friends and colleagues who are against gay marriage and figure out what would make them accept/tolerate the concept of equal rights.


    My friends who are against same-sex marriage (none / 0) (#125)
    by itscookin on Thu May 10, 2012 at 07:58:44 PM EST
    could be persuaded if there was a written guarantee in any laws that no church could be forced to perform same-sex marriages if it was against their church doctrine. A couple of them supported same-sex marriage tepidly until the debacle over making the Catholic church pay for birth control for its employees in their schools and hospitals. They believe that there are gay activists out there who would sue if a church refused to marry them. They thought the government would side with the church, but now they don't believe it will.

    Let me ask you: (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by sj on Fri May 11, 2012 at 12:06:26 AM EST
    Is there a law now that mandates that churches perform a male/female marriage?  If so, the Catholic Church violates that all the time.  But the answer is "no".  "Gay activists" can have a religious ceremony right now if they want that. They may have to look a little harder, but thousands of gay couple have already done so.  A religious "marriage" isn't the issue.  It's a legal marriage that is the issue.

    But people have all sorts of beliefs that seem irrational to me.  I'm sure some of mine would seem irrational to others.  But this?  This is a non-issue.


    It may be useful to (none / 0) (#152)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:49:30 AM EST
    consider marriage as a civil and legal union. While we hear about the  tradition of marriage from guys like Tony Perkins, they do not mention the historic and traditional civil nature of that legal union (cf. Napoleon, Bismarck).

     As for most European countries, there is a civil ceremony requirement.  Following the civil ceremony couples are free to marry in a religious ceremony--such religious ceremonies serve to provide religious recognition or to receive the sacrament of matrimony.

    There is no civil marriage in most Arab countries, Iran and Israel--all are conducted by religious authorities.  In the US, there are civil and religious ceremonies. Religious officials have the authority to conduct marriage by the state, thus unifying the civil and religious. This to start a marriage, to legally end a marriage ( for a divorce)--one does not go to a Church court, but rather,  to a civil divorce court.  


    DOMA (none / 0) (#145)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 09:46:31 AM EST
    was not a compromise, it was a win. It was what kept a majority of republicans in the congress and senate from amending the constitution to ban gay marriage.  Ugly or not, it was much better than the alternative.  
    And no, we can't run down the street until Obama figures out where we are going so as to get ahead of us and pretend to lead.

    Surprise (4.25 / 4) (#31)
    by lentinel on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:49:07 AM EST
    The President surprised me yesterday. Not about what was in his heart. I was confident about that.

    How anyone can be "confident" about what is in Obama's heart escapes me.

    Site Violator. (none / 0) (#20)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:46:40 AM EST

    Sorry, that was supposed to be a response... (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:48:18 AM EST
    to Toprak33's comment above.

    Not enough coffee yet.


    For it - against it - almost for it - FOR IT ! (none / 0) (#28)
    by star on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:14:40 AM EST
    " I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages" - 1996

    "Undecided" - in a questionnaire on the same question in 1998 for re election to state senate

    "I am a fierce supporter of domestic-partnership and civil-union laws. I am NOT a supporter of gay marriage as it has been thrown about primarily just as a strategic issue" - 2004 running for US senate.

    "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian ... it is also a sacred union" - 2008 running for president.

    "It is important for me personally to go ahead and affirm that same-sex couples should be able to get married" - 2012 running for re election for president.

    So i guess his positions devolved before it evolved ;) if a republican or a Kerry did it , he would have been called 'flip flopper' and rightly so... but with the tingly press and adoring crowds, this president does not even have to DO anything, just say the right words suitable to the right climate ...am a bit fed up with all these games.. Nothing really is going to change for the gay and lesbian community from yesterday to today.. states will still vote overwhelmingly to ban gay marriages , untill the older generation moves on and a new gen of voters grow up with a broader world view.

    I disagree with your last point (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by CST on Thu May 10, 2012 at 09:28:28 AM EST
    "Nothing really is going to change for the gay and lesbian community from yesterday to today"

    Things are changing.  Rapidly.  From DADT, to the new hate crime legislation, and the current cases making their way through the federal court system - not to mention all the states where they are implementing gay marriage.

    Things have changed and they are still changing.  10 years ago you couldn't get legally married in any state.  Now you can in 6 + DC.  Change isn't just a buzz word.  It's happening.


    CNN reports that some are saying that the (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:13:02 AM EST
    President is pandering to me.  It is horrible too, this feeling that I get when what I want matters to a leader :)

    This is a good thing (none / 0) (#63)
    by lilburro on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    I don't expect a sitting President to be the first person in the world to support gay marriage.  Does anyone here think politics works that way?  But the President is lending his voice at an important time and I think his moral leadership will affect people.  I think it will lead to more people accepting gay marriage and get more of those people organized to fight for it.  Hopefully it's a tipping point, for politicians anyway.

    oh Lilburro (none / 0) (#149)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri May 11, 2012 at 10:33:12 AM EST
    you expect so little.  Not only is he not first, he is about half the way down the list to being last.  In terms of democrats that puts him way behind.  It's kind of pitiful.  And he said he personally believes gay people should have the right to get married, but the states have the right to continue to discriminate.
    I don't how that translates to his "not being first".  It's more like him trying to seem not to be last.

    SITE VOILATOR here, too (none / 0) (#71)
    by sj on Thu May 10, 2012 at 11:51:52 AM EST

    Great title, BTD (none / 0) (#115)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 10, 2012 at 04:46:55 PM EST
    for this post.

    Pander bear (none / 0) (#129)
    by diogenes on Thu May 10, 2012 at 08:43:53 PM EST
    The president can push for tax legislation allowing currently married gay couples to file as MARRIED and not as single.  That is a federal and not a state matter.  Of course, that assumes he is doing anything besides pandering.