Mixner on Obama: “I don’t think anyone expected too much. He created those expectations”

Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin at Politico take a look at the frustrations progressives have with the Obama administration. And, they correctly note that the gay community was the first of the progressive coalition to express frustration:

Perhaps the first to complain were gays and lesbians, who found an administration living in the shadow of Bill Clinton’s disastrous attempt early in his first term to end a ban on gays in the military. Obama had promised on the campaign trail to be a fierce advocate” on behalf of gay rights and to fight to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. But as a series of states legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, he offered minor gestures, such as naming a gay ambassador to New Zealand.

“I don’t think anyone expected too much. He created those expectations,” said David Mixner, a gay activist who said the Obama letdown was worse than that of the early Clinton years, when Mixner, a major Clinton fundraiser, was arrested outside the White House in protest. Mixner said he’s even more disappointed by Obama.

“He really came to the American people and said, ‘I’m going to represent powerful change — and I think people believed him,’” Mixner said.

We did believe him. I did anyway. Asking Rick Warren to speak at the inauguration was an early indicator. But, it was the heinous brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and invoking incest and pedophilia, that really exposed the rift. It seems like a long time ago, but back in June, it was rare for anyone on the left to criticize Obama. People were still in full suck-up mode. But, when we read that brief, John and I started fighting back. Most of the gay community pitched in — except for the apologists who either wanted a job or an appointment in the administration and those with clients who needed something from the administration.

And, Mixner is, as usual, absolutely spot-on. We’re only asking Obama to do what Obama said he would do.

The professional Democrats in DC (politicians, staffers, political consultants) practice what I call political homophobia. They want our votes and our money, but don’t want to push our agenda. They actually think we hurt them politically. That’s why we started Don’t Ask, Don’t Give. We’ve got to stop enabling them.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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