Though I was surprised to find that Solmonese is far from the biggest suck-up in the article. That’s quite possibly a first.
The story by the Blade’s Chris Johnson is about how the President has fared on gay issues to date. And save Evan Wolfson and Carl Schmid, the article is filled with gay organizations that still think it’s in our best interest to kiss the proverbial presidential ass. After a year and a half of disappointments – two and a half really, if you count Donnie McClurkin – you’d think our leaders would have learned that playing nice with this President gets your absolutely nowhere. The Obama White House respects its enemies. It respects people who beat them up, who take them on, who threaten to throw a wrench in their agenda, who try to kick them out of office. They neither respect, nor much care for, anyone willing to call themselves “friend.” It’s a sad truth far too many allies, foreign and domestic, have learned.
I’ll be writing much more over the next month about how much Pride we should have in President Obama, but for now, let’s discuss Solmonese’s point about Obama being the most pro-gay president ever.
Well duh. The only real comparison is to Bill Clinton. And I would hope that twenty years later a Democratic president might just be a tad more pro-gay than the guy we elected in 1992. This “best ever” game that HRC, and other apologists, keep playing is offensive, and it’s meant to deceive. We live in a world where gays and lesbians (and bis and trans) are more accepted than they were ten years ago, or fifty years ago. So of course our president is more likely to be more pro-gay today than two decades ago. What matters is not whether Obama is better than Clinton – and it’s not terribly clear that he is – rather, whether Obama is as pro-gay as he should be for the times. And that is not clear at all.
70% to 80% of the public, in poll after poll, support the full and immediate repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The President, however, is fighting for piecemeal legislation that won’t guarantee repeal ever. And note how the White House has never said, even once, when they plan to actually repeal DADT, to actually lift the ban entirely. It’s hardly a profile in courage to play this fearful with something so popular with the American public.
It’s a lot easier for Barack Obama to be pro-gay today than it was for Bill Clinton twenty years ago. Has Barack Obama really caught up with the times? I don’t think so. I think he’s still living in 1992. And so is the Democratic party. So he, and they, think that whatever would have placated us in 1992 – OMG he spoke at our dinner! – will make us happy in 2010. It won’t, and it shouldn’t. When I was a kid all I wanted out of life was a Major Matt Mason doll. Now I’m a bit older and I expect a bit more. We all do.
(NB I didn’t touch on the other false comparison that HRC, the DNC and others like to raise. Namely, that Obama is better than McCain or Palin or any other possible Republican president. Yes, and I’m better husband material than the guy who beats you. Just because he beats you, and I don’t, that hardly makes me a keeper. Democrats need to stop striving to be marginally better than truly awful human beings. We voted for better, they promised better, and we expect better.)