Obama’s new pick for Marine Commandant opposes repealing DADT

What idiot chose a guy who vocally opposes one of the President’s top policy priorities? The fact is, the White House didn’t care enough about DADT to pick a nominee who was on our side, and who supported the President. I doubt a Republican president would ever choose someone who vocally disagreed with him, and who would publicly try to discredit him.

Yet again, this isn’t fierce advocacy. It’s yet another missed opportunity by the Obama administration. And it’s further proof that our civil rights just aren’t that important over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


—  admin

Obama’s First Sit-Down With Bloggers

This afternoon President Obama had his first sit-down with five progressive bloggers, one of whom was Joe Sudbay (far left) from the LGBT-rights focused AmericaBlog. Sudbay has posted a transcript of his exchanges with the president, in which Obama indicated he’d be personally involved in the DADT lame duck strategy.

But perhaps more interestingly, the president revealed that his position on marriage equality was “evolving” and he hinted that a formal change may be coming.

“As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about.”

Cynics will, of course, deride today’s meeting as a last-minute stunt to pull the wavering LGBT vote out of the fire. That’s probably at least partly true. And the president did express some obvious resentment at LGBT activists for doubting his sincerity. Still, I felt somewhat more encouraged. Hit the link and read Joe Sudbay’s entire report.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

UPDATE: Obama’s Secret Plan: Getting Republican Votes

Crossposted on ZackFord Blogs

Earlier today I wrote about yesterday's anything-but-secret secret meeting at the White House about Don't Ask Don't Tell. With no details forthcoming, I speculated on what really happened there, suspicious that Obama did try to score some political points but without clear answers as to what he might be getting them for.

barack_obamaThis evening, we have our first details of the meeting, and they come from President Obama himself. For the first time ever, a member of the LGBT media/blogosphere got to ask the President some direct questions, and Joe Sudbay has shared his results with us.

Overall, the President did not have much new to say. He still refuses to address whether DADT is unconstitutional. He is eager to toot his own horn for how much his administration has done for the LGBT community, including being “systematic and methodical” (note: not proactive and assertive) on the agenda to repeal DADT. In fact, he doesn't think  the community's “disillusionment is justified,” because his administration has been a “stalwart ally.” In terms of marriage equality, all he had to say was a reiteration of his support for civil unions but traditional marriage. After all, did anyone expect him to reverse his opinion at 3:30 in the afternoon in the Roosevelt Room? We wouldn't want him to suddenly switch back to the support of full marriage equality he had in 1996, would we?

I'm being snide, I admit, but it's only because the President's responses are so condescending. It's like any suggestion that he's not as great the ally as he thinks he is just bounces off. Again, I ask, where does he get the idea that he's this wonderful ally who's done right by us? He's a constitutional scholar who won't answer a constitutional question and he expects credit for regurgitating talking points the religious right uses against us. If the theme of his campaign was “umbrage,” the theme of his Presidency is turning out to be “hubris.”

Then, Obama shared a little bit of the strategy from yesterday's meeting. It involves him, the lame-duck session, and getting the Log Cabin Republicans to flip a few votes.

You’re financing a very successful, very effective legal strategy, and yet the only really thing you need to do is make sure that we get two to five Republican votes in the Senate.

And I said directly to the Log Cabin Republican who was here yesterday, I said, that can’t be that hard. Get me those votes.

Because what I do anticipate is that John McCain and maybe some others will filibuster this issue, and we’re going to have to have a cloture vote. If we can get through that cloture vote, this is done.

Yeah, why are we wasting all that time and money in the courts? It's not like the courts are the one place we've had almost every big precedent-setting victory in the past 10 years. We just have to flip a few votes in the Senate!

It would have been nice if the effort had been made the first time the vote came up.

Mr. Obama was reluctant to “tip his hand,” but I surely hope there is more to this strategy than just actually trying to get the votes this time around.

We don't have much choice but to wait and find out. Come on, then, stalwart ally, show us what you got.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Dan Savage discusses Obama’s ‘It Gets Better’ video

Dan Savage was on CNN this morning to talk about Obama’s video. Dan was, as always, spot on.

“Here you have the President of the United States saying that you didn’t choose it — to be gay — and you will get through this…that said, the President of the United States has the power to do more than assure LGBT kids that it will get better; the President of the United States has the power to make it better for LGBT adults and children.”


—  admin

Watch: Dan Savage Responds to Obama’s ‘It Gets Better’ Message


CNN's American Morning spoke with Dan Savage, who started the 'It Gets Better' project, about President Obama's message to bullied gay youth.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Rep. Lamar Smith Is Afraid Obama’s DoJ Isn’t Defending DOMA Enough. So He Wants In

Rep. Lamar Smith has The Sads about the Defense of Marriage Act. He sees you radical homosexuals attacking a perfectly reasonable law, and now the the Texas Republican wants to do something about it. Like protect it!


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—  John Wright

Breaking: Obama’s DOJ responds to LCR DADT case: limit scope only to LCRs affected

In other words, the discharges can continue, since the admin wants to limit the scope to members of the LCR affected by DADT. From The Advocate:

The Department of Justice issued a request Thursday to a U.S. district court judge asking to keep enforcing the military’s ban on gay and lesbian service members, challenging a request to stop its enforcement.

In a 14-page brief, Justice Department attorneys argued a permanent injunction against enforcing the 17-year-old law – one supported by Log Cabin Republicans, which challenged DADT in federal court – would be “untenable.”

“[A]ny injunction in this case must be limited to plaintiff LCR and the claims it asserts on behalf of its members – and cannot extend to non-parties – plaintiff’s requested world-wide injunction of the statute fails as a threshold matter,” assistant U.S. attorney Paul Freeborne wrote.

Cribbing from my pal Joe Sudbay, here’s the Scribd doc. He also had this to say:

Yes, DOJ wants to keep arguing that DADT is constitutional. And, DOJ wants to be able to move for a stay.

This is not the brief of a party that wants to find a way out of this mess. The Obama administration is aggressively defending DADT when the Obama administration doesn’t have to do this. See here, here and here.

Are you feeling peachy keen about this administration yet? I love the taste of Goodyear.

Another story that broke that screams “don’t hold your breath” sounds like a bucket of BS, given the long list of promises, fibs, and foot-dragging, particularly because it comes from “ally” in the WH, Jim Messina and his super-sized ego.

Public Leadership Seminar- Political Science 391-is the only course in Missoula currently taught by Mayor John Engen, and yesterday his friend Jim Messina, White House deputy chief, stopped by to talk about his job.

Messina graduated from The University of Montana in 1993 and got his start in politics running campaigns in Montana.

After working on Sen. Max Baucus’ campaign, Messina got the attention of then-Senator Barack Obama. He now works 41 feet from the Oval Office. “I’ve measured it,” he said. “That’s what you do when you’re a kid from Montana who gets his dream job.”

Political science major John Blake asked Messina about the failure to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the military policy that prevents gays from being open about their sexuality while serving in the military. The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday against repealing DADT “for largely partisan reasons,” Messina said, but he’s confident DADT will be struck down.

We’re going to get that done this year,” he said.

Honest to god, are we supposed to take this seriously when no one at the WH House, including his boss, lifted a finger while the Senate floundered?

I guess Messina and Joe Solmonese are going to do a tango to ring in the new year over their fantasized predictions of success.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

DNC drops Obama’s promise to repeal DOMA, fails to mention marriage, then gets all weasel-y on DADT repeal

The DNC has a new Web site up. Included is a page devoted to “civil rights.” Here are the gay civil rights promises the party is now making us:

– Enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which includes measures prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
– Ensuring full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples;
– Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security

First off, what happened to repealing DOMA? I do believe our fierce advocate mentioned it repeatedly during the campaign. Why is it gone now? Are there no gay people advising the DNC, or did they just throw out one of the President’s top three promises to our community?

Second, “civli unions”? How very 1999 of you.

Third, there’s that ending DADT in a “sensible way” language again. What the hell does that mean? You either end it or you don’t. And were the Democrats ever thinking of ending it in a non-sensible way? It sounds like a weasel word, and it’s one the White House got caught using a year ago. Why do the party leaders keep using this language that implies something short of an outright and full repeal of DADT?


—  John Wright

Newsweek on Obama’s ‘moral cowardice’; NYT on House Dems running scared

The headline of Jacob Weisberg’s column continues: “The president needs to find his principles.”

It is one of the more scathic indictments of the Obama administration — and the President himself that I’ve seen in a while. It touches on many issues, including immigration and marriage equality.

Obama has had numerous chances to assert leadership on values questions this summer: Arizona’s crude anti-immigrant law, the battle over Prop 8 and gay marriage, and the backlash against what Fox News persists in calling the “Ground Zero mosque.” These battles raise fundamental questions of national identity, liberty, and individual rights. When Lindsey Graham argues for rewriting the Constitution to eliminate the birthright-citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, or Newt Gingrich proposes a Saudi standard for the free exercise of religion, they’re taking positions at odds with America’s basic ideals. But Obama’s instinctive caution has steered him away from casting these questions as moral or civil-rights issues. On none of them has he shown anything resembling courage.

With the Proposition 8 fight, Obama has fallen short in a different way, by his reluctance to join an emerging social consensus. Obama had previously criticized California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage, as “divisive.” But his official position-which no one believes he actually holds-is that he is against legalizing gay marriage. Americans are changing their views on this issue with inspiring rapidity. Judge Vaughn Walker’s moving opinion provided an occasion for Obama to embrace the extension of equal rights to gay people. Instead, he slunk mumbling in the other direction. How dismal that America’s first black president will be remembered as shirking the last great civil-rights struggle.

Few would argue that defending liberal principle serves Obama’s short-term interests. Americans oppose the mosque 61 percent to 26 percent, according to one recent poll, and support the Arizona law by an even wider margin. But even if some people don’t like Islam, or illegal immigrants, or gay weddings, they may respond to admonitions that our society is built around freedom of conscience and equal treatment under law. If he applied his oratorical gifts to these principles, Obama could remind a grumbling nation what it liked about him in the first place.

Weisberg may be overly optimistic about how responsive some Americans to logic or appeal to equal treatment under the law. It didn’t help with Prop 8. And I really doubt that appeal with work for immigration. The nativism awakened with that and the “9/11 Mosque” shows just how much our nation is in moral distress.

He also takes the position is that the President’s inability to weigh in with sufficient fervor has allowed the right wing noise machine to flourish – and put the WH on the defensive. After all, look at how it drops everything (including political common sense) to respond to Glenn Beck when he opens his mouth. The response is to ensure America that the President prays every day and is a good Christian.

This is a WH that chooses to be weak and respond with political pablum to challenges. That was not the Barack Obama that was on the campaign trail, and certainly not the same man who asked to be challenged if he was dropping the ball. There in lies the problem when you have a WH and President beholden to the charges of the likes of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the “papers, please” supporters, rather than the people who put in money, time and votes to get him into office.


Meanwhile, take a look at this NYT article – Democrats Plan Political Triage to Retain House. The meat of the story here is the begging for $$$ — watch for more ploys to tap the gAyTM touting that long list of padded “accomplishments” as the desperation mounts. What it boils down to is “it’s the economy, stupid.” The jobs have no materialized in some of the hardest-hit areas of the nation. People are angry, and sadly, only a couple of years after over a decade or GOP economics, some are ready to revisit that disaster again.

“We are going to have to win these races one by one,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, conceding that the party would ultimately cut loose members who had not gained ground.

… A sputtering economy and discontent with Washington have created a high sense of voter unease that has also put control of the Senate in question.

To hold the line against Republicans, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, issued an urgent plea for members in safe districts to help their endangered colleagues by contributing money. She called out Democrats who were delinquent on paying their party dues and instructed members with no re-election worries to tap into a combined 8 million from their campaign accounts to help save their majority.

“We need to know your commitment,” Ms. Pelosi wrote to lawmakers last week in a private letter, demanding that they call her within 72 hours to explain how they plan to help. She added, “The day after the election, we do not want to have any regrets.”

As always, give time, effort and money to the individual pols who support issues important to you. No DINOs. No homophobes. No self-loathing closet cases. No more.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Gay Designer Michael Smith Taints Obama’s Oval Office With Stolen MLK Quote

While fancypants interior decorator Michael Smith won't say how much he spent redesigning (or anything else about) Barack Obama's Oval Office makeover, maybe he should reveal where he looked for historical facts. Because that quote he's got laid in the carpet? The one attributed to Martin Luther King Jr.? It's kinda doesn't belong to MLK.


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—  John Wright