Congress is in recess, so Rep. Polis was in his district today, not at the White House party. For those who don’t know him yet, Polis is an openly gay, first-term Democrat from Colorado. He’s the first openly gay man to run and win a US House seat as an openly gay man right from the start (as opposed to coming out after being elected.) It only took til 2008 for that to happen.
Chuck Todd interviewed Polis on Hardball tonight about Obama and gay issues. I found the DOMA segment particularly interesting. Polis made it quite clear that the problem was the DOMA brief. Polis explained, as we and many others have explained, that the Obama administration didn’t have to defend the law and certainly didn’t have to respond in the way they did:
Polis is a new generation of gay leader. We need a new generation of gay leaders. We also do need to build the political will to repeal DOMA — at the White House and on the Hill, starting with our Democratic allies.
Polis was pretty clear. But, this is what confuses me about the Obama administration: Shortly before the President gave another great speech today, his press secretary couldn’t seem to give clear information on action being taken by the administration. As Pam put it:
While the VIP LGBTs were waiting for the President to meet and greet, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was taking a pummeling today at the daily presser about the inaction of the administration regarding several LGBT issues on the back burner. Clearly it’s more than just the “whining homos” wondering why the President talks a good game but seems quite passive about doing anything concrete. Gibbs does his usual song and dance saying the Pentagon and Congress have to be involved, but that the President hasn’t met with the people in the Pentagon or Congress. Sounds like a circular reference to me.
Read the transcript in Pam’s post. Confusing, at best. What we’ve seen over the past few months is that when the Obama administration wants something, everyone knows they want it — from the traditional media to the Hill to the Cabinet Departments involved.