A magical inaugural for the gays

As I’d noted earlier, President Obama made some rather larger mentions of gay rights in his inaugural address yesterday.

It wasn’t a terribly long speech. So it was all the more striking that the president went on along riff about gay civil rights, especially that he put the gay civil rights movement in the same category as the African-American civil rights struggle.

Stonewall, for those who might not be aware, is series of riots that took place outside a gay bar in New York city in 1969.  They’re considered the dawn of the modern gay rights movement.  For the President to mention Stonewall alongside Selma, is huge.  More on that in a moment.

Here’s what the President said in his inaugural address:

Pres. Obama giving his inaugural address in 2013.

Pres. Obama giving his inaugural address in 2013.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

The NYT’s Frank Bruni, who was seriously impressed with the gay-ness of the President’s speech, gives some historical context:

Seneca Falls is a New York town where, in 1848, the women’s suffrage movement gathered momentum. Selma is an Alabama city where, in 1965, marchers amassed, blood was shed and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood his ground against the unconscionable oppression of black Americans.

And Stonewall? This was the surprise inclusion, separating Obama’s oratory and presidency from his predecessors’ diction and deeds. It alludes to a gay bar in Manhattan that, in 1969, was raided by police, who subjected patrons to a bullying they knew too well. After the raid came riots, and after the riots came a more determined quest by L.G.B.T. Americans for the dignity they had long been denied.

Openly gay couples at the Commander in Chief's ball, one of the two official inaugural balls. The couples are: Navy Petty Officer Jen Johnston and Navy Petty Officer April Baker, Tracey Hepner and Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith, andAir Force Lt. Josh Seefried & date. This is the first time gay couples appear at the ball without endangering their careers.

Openly gay couples at the Commander in Chief’s ball, one of the two official inaugural balls. The couples are: Navy Petty Officer Jen Johnston and Navy Petty Officer April Baker, Tracey Hepner and Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith, and Air Force Lt. Josh Seefried & date. This is the first time gay couples appear at the ball without endangering their careers. (Photo courtesy of Lt. Seefried.)

It’s been an ongoing issue we’ve faced in the gay rights movement, as to whether our struggle is really “civil rights.”  And we’ve not only been fighting this battle against the religious right, but against some fellow Democrats and progressives over the years.  There was a time when other civil rights groups in Washington, DC considered the gay rights group of a bit of a lesser cousin.  And it’s a feeling that the religious right, with the help of the Republicans, likes to exploit in order to not just convince the public that ours are not civil rights, but also to try to push cleavages between blacks and gays in particular, in order to hurt not just gays, but the larger Democratic coalition as well.

So when the President of the United States, who is also an African-American, states unequivocally that the Stonewall riots are in the same category as the Selma March, he affirms and re-affirms that gay rights are civil rights (and he joins the proud company of Coretta Scott King, who affirmed it over a decade ago).  And that matters.

It also matters legally. As lawyer, and gay rights advocate, Richard Socarides points out in the New Yorker:

Supreme Court on the day they heard Bush v. Gore (photo by John Aravosis)

Supreme Court on the day they heard Bush v. Gore (photo by John Aravosis)

The Supreme Court will hear in March a number of cases dealing with same-sex marriage. The Justice Department is asking the Court to declare the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages valid under state law, as unconstitutional under the equal-protection clause.

In addition, opponents of California’s Proposition 8 are asking the Court to declare a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. That could conceivably spell the end of anti-gay-marriage state-constitutional amendments across the country. We are awaiting word as to whether the Justice Department will enter that case on behalf of gay-rights advocates. It is now almost hard to see a scenario in which it will not. But whatever happens, the President’s words today about the equality of love will be ringing in the ears of Chief Justice John Roberts, who administered the inaugural oath, and the other justices who watched Obama speak in front of the Capitol.

Richard has noted before that Supreme Court justices make decisions in a political context:

Now that the President has personally endorsed marriage equality, his own victory or loss in the election will be important to the outcome of these cases. (So will the marriage referenda on ballots in the fall—Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.) No matter what anyone says, Justices make decisions in a political context, and if he is defeated the Supreme Court will see it as an implied repudiation by the majority of Americans of his position on gay rights. On the other hand, if he is reëlected, especially by a comfortable margin, it will assure the Supreme Court Justices that being in favor of gay rights, and gay marriage in particular, is not institutionally toxic. (Amy Davidson posted about this after the recent court decisions.)

It also matters vitally that American cultural leaders continue to express public support for marriage equality. This is especially so for “unlikely suspects”—Republicans and independents who otherwise have more traditionally conservative views. Every time a Bush or a Cheney, or a sports figure or Wall Streeter, says they support the right to marry, others will give it new look, and many will come along. All of this helps to create a political environment where gay rights are seen as mainstream (because they are now).

So it matters, a lot, what the President said yesterday. It also matters at the ballot box.  A lot of people think that gay marriage, in Maryland especially this past November, passed in part because the President came out for gay marriage months earlier, making it easier for African-American to embrace, or at least not oppose as much as they have in the past, our cause.

Heckuva a turnaround from four years when the inaugural included that horrible homophobe Rick Warren.  It’s also a big turnaround from our concerns of only a few weeks ago, when another anti-gay preacher, Louie Giglio, was to give the benediction. As Kerry Eleveld noted, the President fixed that problem, and then some:

Rev. Giglio pulled his name from the inaugural program and the spokesperson for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Addie Whisenant, said, “We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural.”

In one fell swoop, that statement put to rest the history with both Warren and McClurkin, and asserted a new standard: Homophobia will no longer be absolved in the name of diversity and improper vetting is no excuse for an unwillingness to take a stand.

It’s a major affirmation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans across the country. For the first time, they will later this month be able to unreservedly revel in the induction of a president whom many of them admire and appreciate. And that has the makings of a far more magical inauguration.

Lt. Seefried and date at the CIC Inaugural ball, doing what every other couple does at such balls, but gay military couples never could - until now.

Lt. Seefried and date at the CIC Inaugural ball, doing what every other couple does at such balls, but gay military couples never could – until now. (Via Facebook.)

Team Obama took what was brewing into a gay rights disaster, and – oh let’s mix our metaphors, shall we – made pink lemonade. They took the gay community’s renewed disappointment about yet another inaugural apparently gone bad, turned it around, and hit a home run.

Socarides says that the President’s address yesterday could be America’s most important gay rights speech to date.  And I think he’s right.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Bill_Perdue

    Sorry if a dose of the real world distresses you. Docile, apathetic ‘liberals’ like you can ignore the plight of the poor and unemployed, the GIs and civilians that Obama’s policies murder. It’s what you do best.

    I prefer to help organize them and eventually make things very uncomfortable for liberals, conservatives and other promoters of the rule of the rich.

  • wmforr

    Oh Bile Perdue, y’all always bring such a bright and cheery note into the discussion.

  • wmforr

    Free Tracy Turnblatt!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003150051042 Connie Hudson

    Thank you. If you’re a parent, you’ll know heroism and parenting go hand-in-hand. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003150051042 Connie Hudson

    Yes…well said. Thanks!!!

  • JamesR

    I find it hard to celebrate ‘I got mine’ or ‘we got ours’ when a: we don’t, quite, and b: so many others also don’t. As in all Americans suffering loss of liberty and our Nation suffering loss of reputation due to direct actions (directly opposite of the sound of the words) of Obama.

    I for one find the analysis of Jonathan Turley most incisive http://jonathanturley.org/2013/01/21/the-obama-inauguration-a-case-of-hope-over-experience/ – his point that Obama’s main themes of program vs principle of Civil Rights, “equality,” over Civil Liberties, makes much of his rhetoric unintendedly ironic, and would mean that on the one hand equality is a good thing but on the other when we’re all equally violated and betrayed is that better or worse? It’s a thoughtful read.

  • JamesR

    Your bite is part of your charm! And you usually stay right on topic. We don’t always agree, but then that’s the point of discussion

    (And you’ve never called anyone a pedophile)

    Come out of the dog house soon.

  • caphillprof

    Words matter, particularly those in the inaugural address of a U.S. President.

    As pointed elsewhere in Americablog today, winning an election and giving a speech are not the end all and be all of political activism. The president may be on our side but we must still organize and push and agitate to give him the political cover to act in accordance with our wishes.

    Enough about being disappointed in the last four years. It’s time to get up and get going for the next four years and the four years after that.

    We need to continue the fight into the red states, red hamlets and red suburbs. The future of their gay children demand that we continue the fight.

  • ezpz

    Too bad. I found your comments to be more funny than nasty, but that’s me. In fact, they gave me some good chuckles, so for that, I thank you.

  • WarrenHart

    IS this an anti gay site? looks like it from the comments.

  • JamesR

    Here’s my surprise: I feel like Charlie brown still laying on my back after Lucy swiped the football away from me. I, we, here in NC, are all still stinging from his swoop and squat and SILENCE two weeks before a referendum that did nothing to gay folk who were already prohibited from marrying, but threw thousands of families and children in need – straight families and children – off assistance, off benefits, stripped them of legal protection, all because the parents were not heterosexually married. Like a retroactive class action attainder-plebiscite that was aimed carelessly at the wrong targets. This was apparent before the fact and just a little education and appeal to humanity from the same bully pulpit from which just issued such golden words – could have made a real difference.

    TIMING. IS. EVERYTHING.

    For me the better the words the greater the dissonance and my ears just can’t take it anymore. I remember the fancy, albeit less specific, words four years ago. Problem is I remember the intervening four years too.

    If Obama actually does something of his own volition that fulfills the fancy words of yesterday, and gives them in a State of the Union or somesuch in a year or so I might feel like most did yesterday, and that would be wonderful. I hope for it still but DO NOT feel it, yet. “Fool me once shame on you…”

  • JamesR

    Geez Cicada, a prophet without honor in your own country! Who is voting your comments down? – They are true! Unpleasant, but factual. Damn.

    I find this new Disqus anonymous vote up and down repugnant and a Junior High level of Crap. Yet ever since a Disqus burp about a year ago I, with this profile, can’t do either so I must type my manual like or dislike the old fashioned way LOL.

    “Like.”

    Keep ‘em honest!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I certainly hope so. The point I was trying to make, if only obliquely, is that inspite of what I perceive as the homophobic entrenchment of Black Baptists, who aided the Prop 8 debacle, I still uphold civil rights causes for all oppressed minorities, even though it seems to me that Black bigots are blind to their own extraordinary hypocrisy and blind to the legitimacy of Gay Civil Rights.

  • FunMe

    I will give President Obama a chance. Yes, he’s done more this time. Oh wait! He has SAID more this time. But like always, it’s about ACTIONS. I’m really hoping that this time, President Obama will LEAD in helping get rid of DOMA and do his part to ensure ENDA is the law of the land. Otherwise, his words will be just words like he had the last 4 years.

    It’s great that President Obama signed DADT off the books. But we all know it took a lot of pressure, especially from very wealthy GLBTs who were ready to stop writing checks and protests from great organizations like GetEqual.

    Anyway … fingers crossed that President Obama will help move GLBT equality FORWARD and not backwards the next four years.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    One of Americablog’s longtime and consistent commentators has sadly mentioned down thread that the tone lately has been so vitriolic and nasty that he/she must retreat for awhile I totally agree and apologize for my reactionary part in it. So I have gone back and deleted most of those comments I made that do not create a more positive contribution.

  • Guest

    Yes. But your point is? I’m part of your generation, bub. And I got arrested. What the President said has to be of consequence to those people.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Hope you are right.

  • JamesR

    Obama is not LBJ, nor JFK. But then was JFK really who we thought he was or would have been? What would LBJ have been with this congress and these wars? We will never know. And yes, history does forget the pressure on and the reluctance of politicians eclipsed by what history finds significant.

    [And what I learned from Paul Wellstone is not to travel in small planes if you start to truly threaten power.]

    It wouldn’t be so bad if Obama’s performance, his actual actions, many of which could have cost him nothing if he truly believed those words, are so at odds with the words. That’s why when I hear great words from him I cringe.

    Nobel Peace prize – he had the gall to accept whole snubbing the King of Norway who could have told him a thing or two – yet endless war. Not counting the “withdrawal” from Iraq that was negotiated and made ironclad by Bush. “Constitutional Law professor” yet signer of renewed Patriot Act and NDAA. Drone assassination – 168 children and counting so far – Guantanimo, no prosecution of war crimes and of the largest theft and fraud in US / World history. He’s done almost everything Bush and Cheney would have but shoot someone in the face and make him apologize …but that’s a real singular feat ya gotta give Cheney props for.

    Though speaking of Cheney – even he was and is consistently more gay friendly and socially ‘radical’ than Obama. WTF??

    And speaking of DADT and DOMA, he only acted after the courts shredded them. LIke pushing over a tree that has been sawn almost all the way through by others. Not courageous, not leadership. Not principled action. Not very encouraging to purported allies.

    But in the end I don’t give a rat’s ass who gets the credit, and if he, Barack Obama, initiates and does something of his own volition that matches his soaring rhetoric he will get that credit and he will deserve that credit, who cares? It’s the dissonance that gets me, and in the end all that matters is what he is able to DO. That’s all I want to hear about.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Actually I’m composed mostly of water. You do know who Divine is don’t you. If so you get the snark, poodle.

  • caphilldcne

    I believe in politics and carrying your own water. Something I learned from the late Paul Wellstone. Keep bitching but to deny that this president has managed to enact DADT and is on the verge of overturning DOMA is to deny the nose on your face. Sorry you don’t like that he’ll get the credit. Or perhaps you think JFK and Lyndon Johnson were huge supporters of civil rights. Oh wait, they were (with lots and lots of pushing).

  • caphilldcne

    as a piece of shit, you should know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Stevens/509892655 Jon Stevens

    yeah..Barack just told the Supreme Court that its OK to let DOMA stand
    Nice job barack

  • emjayay

    Some people seem to have way too much time on their hands. And axes to grind. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep noticing the names of commenters here and scroll by the pointless back and forths until maybe something interesting shows up.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The irony is that many of my generation were marching alongside the Black Church for civil rights in the sixties, only to find that the ‘Church’ thought it owned the concept. MLK and his wife, however, had the greater vision. King’s bigot daughter joined a black church run by a anti-gay closet case, who paid millions in out of court settlements for (you guessed it) homosexual harassment of several young male perishers. Ms Rev. King continues to deny her own lesbianism to this day. .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Stevens/509892655 Jon Stevens

    You did see today that carney said that Obama considers gay marriage a states issue and not a federal issue..right?
    You did see that? Correct?
    Just words, once again from Barack, and you guys just eat it up as long as you get your pat on the head.

    ” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney repeated Tuesday that while President Barack Obama is personally supportive of civil gay marriages, he doesn’t believe it should be a federal issue”.

    Federal law is what is preventing my gay fiancee from obtaining a marriage visa.
    Thanks barack..you did say the word “gay” so i guess I am supposed to be grateful for that

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Obama’s speech was brilliant and filled with the purest progressive idealism. Believing that Obama will even begin to fulfill his BS after watching him perform after the last four years is akin to Stockholm Disease.

  • Guest

    Maybe the most significant and poignant impact of the Seneca Falls-Selma-Stonewall apostrophe was its probable impact on one of the most resistant elements opposed to equality: the Black church. The established Black church has been a redoubt of homophobia. Some of its spokesmen (and they tend to be men) have been almost fanatical in their denunciation of any attempt to include gay rights as civil rights. On the other hand, its adherents adore Obama. He’s their vindication. Whether it was intended or not, this bit of rhetoric is an earthquake in that arena.

  • Don Chandler

    There are two cases.

    In California, the supreme court is ruling on a state matter. To ignore the political climate in CA would be wrong. None of the political players supported prop 8. None of them defended prop 8. And judges all the way to the 9th circuit court of appeals have determined that prop 8 violated civil rights of same-sex couples. And now Obama has strongly stated that he supports Equality as well as Marriage Equality and he won re-election on the pro-marriage equality stance.

    How can SCOTUS ignore the political climate in California? It’s part of the normal democratic process of a State. They are ruling on a California matter–states rights. I’m amazed that a bare majority can make a constitutional amendment in California…I wish legislators in California would do their job and fix this issue: there is something very wrong when a majority of people can deny a class of people basic civil rights…and to do so with Catholic and Mormon money is damning.

    Sure, Scalia will do what he wants to do: afterall, He’s pretty much said gays are no different than nudists as a class of people– “Never argue with an idiot; he will bring you down to his level and win from experience.”

    On Doma, the lower courts have spoken…very loudly.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You can post a coherent response? We’re waiting. Will it contain the words ‘pouty’, ‘infantile,’ personal attacks’? Do you have that written in ballpoint on your hand for all occasions?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Right on!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We so want it to be true John, But after the example of Bill Clinton and his ‘friendship’ resulted in two of the most anti gay and onerous bills imaginable, we, who have been around a while experience whistling in the dark. If Obama thinks his legacy will endure based on presidential speeches he will be treated much as was Daniel Webster or Woodrow Wilson, but minus the accomplishments.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Try starting with Latin America, moving on to Africa, and then checking
    out Asia in illustrating how leftist revolutions have never involved
    killing and have brought about perfect societies.” What nonsense. Let’s start with Reagan as a recent example and the backing of right wing death squads by the US for a century or more. And you are aware that America overthrew the Iranian democracy to install a tyrant regime? You simply do not know what you are talking about and your puffery is not flattering your self image as an amateur intellectual.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Response is not the issue…..the lack of critical thinking, complexity, trans bigotry and hyperbolic, immature snottiness is the issue. And, please spare us your typical pouting metaphors..

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “is beginning to crumble under the weight of their own bigotry” A good example should be your vicious comments on the trans community, but I don’t see you crumbling, just getting more hateful.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Typical false equivalency. Not buying your bS

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Let’s see. Obama has betrayed the essence of hope at every turn of his first four years. Why do folks believe anything will change in any integrated way.?Bill Clinton said virtually the same things and betrayed GLTBQ communities with two of the most onerous anti-gays laws in recent history.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yes. Obama is probably the most eloquent orator since Daniel Webster.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “and thus substitute infantile personal attacks.” Is this your idea of a rebuttal? It translates as neener, neener in insecteeze.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “making childish personal attacks” You make my case, thank you..

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “I’m so sick of listening to Baby Boomers on BOTH sides re-fight a goddamn Vietnam War that ended FOUR DECADES AGO!” Ah, that explains your limited and immature perspectives. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “I understand that you’re incapable of reasoned analysis” Well, perhaps he has a larger world view than has an insect.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Speaking intelligently to an insect does have its limitations.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “The gay groups capitulated to the transgender sabotage.” Bigotry

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “and gay rights groups who capitulated to transgender sabotage.” Your trans bigotry is getting old., and discredits any opinions you might excrete on issues concerning GLTBQ communities.Clearly, you have no shame. No wonder you use an insect nom de guerr.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Bill’s just not into you FLL. Move on.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Bradley is a soldier who obeyed rules in the code of conduct to expose murder and criminality. He is a hero and while probably a neophyte at politics, would certainly get my vote if running. To denigrate Manning is disrespectful and unpatriotic.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Poor, pouting karmanot. Lacking the capacity to say anything remotely intelligent, he just trolls the board making childish personal attacks. Sigh.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I take from your response that you have basically no understanding of
    any leftist revolution that occurred in the last half century. Further, dear, A revolutionary is not entirely defined as one committed to the armed overthrow of an existing regime except in your video games. Your limited and shallow dilettantism betrays an immaturity. Although your histrionics, as usual, betray your lack of historical complexity.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Wow. You need some serious mental health treatment.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I understand that you’re incapable of reasoned analysis and thus substitute infantile personal attacks.

    So how about it? Sales taxes, speeding, and solar power are gay issues too?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    BS

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It’s so exciting when you get charged, clicking your wings and rotating your ovipositor. You go Bill!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Don’t insects live supine lives? Except for Preying Mantis’ of course.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I know, eating s**t can be Divine, particularly the president’s propaganda.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “they help lay a political climate that will make it hard for the SCOTUS to vote against marriage equality-” I doubt it Don. The Supreme Court is entirely unaccountable to public opinion or political climates outside their own.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Remember some other “words, words, words.” OK, cheep, cheep, cheep.

  • Indigo

    He should have said that four years ago but at least he said it.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I understand that you and other shills like Leah Daughtry and quisling Frank share the same politics and that you’re not bright enough to understand the history of GLBT struggles.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Now you’re just lying because you got caught being not to bright. Good.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The right, like Obama and his shills cause violence. Leftists, workers and fighters for national independence defend themselves. That’s the history of all revolutions since 1775 not matter what J Edgar and McCarthy say.

  • JamesR

    I don’t believe in magic. I believe in the Obama who came to my state a week before our referendum on same sex marriage and talked about student loans and went on Jimmy Kimmel and said not one word when it really mattered, leaving an ignorant slim majority (18% of the electorate, a majority in that election) to vote for something that was not only redundant (same sex marriage already illegal in this state) but it threw thousands of straight families and children into legal limbo and Hell, literally taking food from them.

    I believe in the Obama who made such a bold statement afterward about his non-revulsion to the concept of our families and then went on to bleat ancient Southern shit about “States’ Rights,” an act so brazenly surreal the only reason nobody noticed (outside us) was because it involved The Gay.

    I believe in the Obama who only acted because he was pushed and pushed hard. The Obama who showed his true character not with legally meaningless gestures like a poet and some White House invites but the Obama whose Justice Department wrote the first two DOMA briefs and those in the Golinski case. To mention but a few. The Obama who saw the Civil Rights Light only after numerous court rulings and polling showing he wouldn’t lose more than he’d gain by offering us some verbal sympathy. Then the Obama who actually did some legally meaningful acts right before the election but because it meant his skin, not ours.

    Our gains are our gains and Obama’s shame. This window dressing, as nice as it is simply in and of itself, still can’t cover the stink of Obama’s craven actual record.

    Heckofa Goddamned job. Show me the money, not a unicorn.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    All that having been said, however, I also have never been reluctant to criticize bad decisions by gay-rights advocates. And I have repeatedly said that taking Prop. 8 to the Supreme Court was a colossally stupid idea. I would call this a mistake by the movement, but it wasn’t a decision made by the movement. Lambda etc. all opposed pursuing this case. That would be the people we’ve been funding for decades to build the expertise and develop a litigation strategy for victory. No, the people responsible for this stupid Prop. 8 case were gay-rights dilettantes in Hollywood, who ignored the advice that our expert groups gave.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well good John. I’m glad you are enthusiastic. Someone has to do that slog through our cynicism and see some bright at the end of the tunnel. Personally, I don’t believe a word Obama says and remember all too clearly how Clinton was our best friend in the White House and sold us out at every turn.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Thank you for the concession that your comment made no reference whatsoever to any gay issue.

    As for your earlier comment, I already responded to it.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    So I take from your response that you have basically no understanding of any leftist revolution that occurred in the last half century in Latin America, Africa, or Asia. Then why are you lecturing about leftist revolutions?

    It would appear that you are also no revolutionary but, rather, just call yourself a revolutionary because you think it makes you sound cool. A revolutionary, dear, is a person committed to the armed overthrow of an existing regime.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Look at my comment 5 hours ago. It’s the first comment in this thread.

    “Not so magical for those who’ve waited decades for the passage of ENDA or an inclusive Civil Rights Amendment guaranteeing equality on the job, in housing and in public services.

    Not so magical for those who’ve waited and waited for the repeal of Bill Clinton’s DOMA.”

    Reading is fundamental. Try it some time.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I’m sorry you’re too ill-informed about ENDA to post a coherent response.

    I take it you also believe that sales taxes, speeding, and solar power are gay issues. (rolls eyes)

  • Bill_Perdue

    Violence come from the right and the US government is far and away the worst offender.

    LBJ and Nixon organized a genocide in Vietnam. Carter attacked Iran and Reagan murdered 25,000 civilians in Panama. The Bushes and the Clinton’s organized a genocide in Iraq. And Obama has made the into a rogue terrorist state.

    Violence by the left is defensive. Why are you lying and saying that I regard any nation as perfect? Lying makes you look bad. Good.

    “How many guns have you amassed for your little revolution? ” Tell us, are you channeling, J. Edgar or Roy Cohn? The left leads with ideas not guns. It’s rightwingers like you who vote for wars of aggression by voting for Democrats and Republicans.

  • Bill_Perdue

    There are no excuses, except those of right wingers, for the gutting of ENDA in 2007 and the fact that it was ignored from then until 2010. None.

    Sorry that you think that wars, union busting and socialized medicine are not gay issues, but they are issues when dealing with right winger like the Bushes, the Clinton’s and Obama.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    LOL!!! Try starting with Latin America, moving on to Africa, and then checking out Asia in explaining how leftist revolutions have never involved killing and have brought about human perfection on earth.

    How many guns have you amassed for your little revolution?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Not one word in your comment referred to ENDA or DOMA. Do you have a problem reading your own comments? Here, let me quote it for you and you can highlight the parts about ENDA and DOMA:

    “A sad life is the one lived by supine people who celebrate Obama’s war crimes and mass murders, who claps when he busts unions and denies health care to immigrant and imported workers, who leaps with joy when he orders the murders of a 16 year old boy from Denver, who hates the idea of socialist medicine and holds the unemployed and poor in contempt.”

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I spend a good deal of time thinking about wars and unions, and climate change and immigration and gun control and health care and economic policy. But I don’t go to posts about gay issues and smugly shove my entire political slate down everyone’s throats in off-topic comments.

    Not once since 1974 did any version of ENDA include transgender protections, so there was no “gutting” in 2007. In 2009, the House leadership buried ENDA in a subcommittee and killed it there because it had become clear that no transgender-inclusive version could pass the Senate, so it was pointless to force vulnerable House members to vote on a bill that was going nowhere.

    The gay groups capitulated to the transgender sabotage. They said “ALL or NOTHING,” and since the votes did not exist for ALL, they very predictably got NOTHING. It was politically stupid.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Perhaps, but then it would signal to the religious right that an administration brief is imminent, wouldn’t it?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    You mean all those voters who were swayed by Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality to vote in favor of it in those ballot initiatives last November were all fools?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I’m quite in favor of pressuring the DOJ for that amicus brief during the next five weeks because this administration has had to be dragged absolutely kicking and screaming on gay rights, and I don’t trust that bigot Eric Holder for one second. But it’s just not correct to say the administration has “failed” to file an amicus brief when the deadline isn’t even remotely close. Neither Lambda nor anybody else has filed amicus briefs yet either. It’s not time. There may even be some tactical advantage in leaving the other side guessing as to whether the administration will file a brief in the case. Let’s be careful not to rhetorically assume that the administration has already decided not to file. They may not have made any decision yet. Carney sounds like he’s still just repeating the position they adopted months ago until he gets something new from DOJ or the White House.

    I agree with the thrust of your history, but not your details. I don’t believe for one second that Biden went rogue and forced anything. They decided they had to endorse marriage equality because, contrary to their characterizations of us, we are critical to their fundraising and were balking at going through another campaign and convention being shaken down for money and called second-class citizens. The gay money wasn’t flowing, and they were terrified of the amount of money the right was amassing.

    On DADT, I didn’t see Pelosi and Reid do anything heroic. Hell, she’s the one who ordered ENDA killed in a subcommittee to protect conservative Democrats from having to vote on it. Reid was useless from start to finish. It was the pressure from the community–particularly embarrassing the hell out of Obama with those fence-chainings–and some work by CAP and select members of Congress that made the difference.

    No I would not wait until the fourth week. I wouldn’t wait another day. But I would presume that they’ve already decided not to file.

  • FLL

    I’m convinced that the Supreme Court justices do pay attention to certain speeches, particularly the inauguration speech and the State of the Union speech. (The Supreme Court justices are in attendance for both.) However, that does not necessarily disprove your opinion that anyone who pays attention to speeches is a fool. Anything is possible in this world, and yes, it is possible the Supreme Court justices are fools, albeit fools with a great deal of influence over the course of history.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Trotsky referred to Stalinists as the syphilis of the workers movement. I agree 100%. Another personal alttack and another lie. Keep it up.

    I am not criticizing Wiki, I’m saying you ignorant of history.

  • Jafafa Hots

    Anyone who pays attention to speeches is a fool.
    Speeches are rhetoric meant to mislead, assuage and persuade.
    Speeches are advertising and sales pitches.

    Rate the product, not the product’s branding.

  • FLL

    I don’t think you mean that I’m wrong. I think you’re simply referring to the summary in Wikipedia that I noted. You’re talking about the editors of Wikipedia, not me. Get it straight if you’re going to post.

  • Bill_Perdue
  • Bill_Perdue

    What kind of shallow history ever led you to believe that Stalin was a leftist? Another clear example that your ignorance of history is vast.

    Your gusano friends couldn’t live in a decent country like Cuba so they fled to flock around you. Why am I not surprised.

    You personal attacks don’t bother me at all. They indicate you inability to refute the politics of the left. You unending personal attacks make you look politically and historically inept and ill educated. That’s a good thing. Keep it up.

  • FLL

    “Violence comes from the right, not the left”? Do you just assume that everyone accepts your grand pronouncements because you utter them? How about Joseph Stalin mass-murdering most of the population of Ukraine through starvation? This is one reason why Russia and Ukraine will never be one country, except, or course, through force. Pol Pot in Cambodia? North Korea? Have you talked to any of my elderly Cuban neighbors here in South Florida about the joys of summary execution or life imprisonment under Castro?
    You. Are. All. Mouth. Good luck with your dictatorship of the proletariat, you and the other ten members of your party. I’m sure you’re aware that you’ve become an Internet joke.

  • FLL

    When it comes to historical data, I’m sure you’ll reject any source other than the membership of your socialist, revolutionist party (which I’m sure disqualifies Wikipedia). For what it’s worth, Wikipedia’s summary of John L. Lewis shows him to be sympathetic to FDR and the goals of the New Deal (link here).

  • Don Chandler

    Michael made a good comment about Carney’s slipshod press conference where it concerned the filing of the brief. You make a good comment on how there is time to file the brief.

    I’ve never thought words are just words especially when the president utters them–I can only appreciate Obama’s words at the inaugural. And as John says, they help lay a political climate that will make it hard for the SCOTUS to vote against marriage equality–All good. Yeah, let’s keep the powder dry.

  • Bill_Perdue

    “but this is good stuff…” It won’t hurt but it doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, the repeal of DOMA or the passage of ENDA or a robust, inclusive ENDA.

    Obama courted the GLBT vote and although exit polls can be wildly inaccurate (like the CNN poll that blamed Blacks for the passage of Prop 8) all the exit polls I’ve seen put the LGBT vote for Obama from 75% to 90%. He owes us ENDA passage and DOMA repeal, at least in the Senate and a big fight for both in the House. I don’t think he or the Democrats will do either. Not because they can’t but because passage is a hole lot more expensive than a pat on the back.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Only a Democrat would say that Obama’s suppression of ENDA and Bill Clinton’s DOMA were not issues for the GLBT communities.

  • FLL

    Heroic comment.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Violence comes from the right, not the left. Clinton, the Bushes and Obama are mass murderers and war criminals, just Like their predecessors LBJ and Nixon.

    Do strikers attack, or get attacked. Were the Lowndes County Black Panthers terrorists, or was the it FBI, local police and southern Democrats who were the terrorists?

    Did the Vietnamese attack the US? What about the Iraqis? Were they Iraqi gunboats firing nuclear tipped missiles at New York?

    Who organized and committed the killings at Jackson State and Kent State?

    As for the rest of your comment you’re simply lying and making stuff up. It makes you look bad, which is a good thing.

  • FLL

    Agreed. Carney’s replies sound snide.

  • MichaelS

    Perhaps, but then Carney could at least say the Administration is looking at all options, and leave it at that – instead of appearing to duck the issue whenever he’s asked about it.

  • MichaelS

    Did you not read my second sentence? I AGREE that the words he spoke were very important – and unprecedented. And they help move the nation. So let us at least agree on that.

    So where is the shrieking to which you refer? I am just quite tired of being stonewalled by the Administration when it comes to action: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/01/08/still-no-white-house-comment-on-prop-8-lawsuit/ “On Prop 8, the administration is not a party to that case, and I have nothing for you on that.”

    Every advance we have had on the gay-rights front has come from dragging this administration, kicking and screaming, to the right place. Yes, Obama does get there, and I’m absolutely delighted he’s come as far as he has — but it hasn’t been because we have sat back and applauded. It’s because we have said “Where the hell are you?” and demanded he move. Gay marriage? Because Biden forced his hand. DADT? Because gay activists, together with Pelosi and Reid forced his hand before we lost the Congress. So you’re correct, we have five more weeks to file the amicus brief… I’m not inclined to wait until the fourth week to force his hand on that.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Cheers! Don’t worry. Your son is going to be fine because we’re going to win this fight, and it’s going to happen a lot faster than people imagine. The opposition is beginning to crumble under the weight of their own bigotry and contrived rationalizations.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The assault on DOMA is in the courts. It will never be repealed by the bigots and bigot panderers who run the Democrat and Republican parties. ENDA was gutted by quislings like Barney Frank in 2007 and then ignored, and ignored again in 2010 to save ‘embarrassing’ Obama during the 2012 election. That was an necessary betrayal given the change in support for equal rights.

    I’m sorry you don’t like to think about wars and union busting.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    LOL!!! A revolutionist complaining about war crimes? Seriously? Okay, so mass murder is okay if you’re doing it in the name of some revolution? How many people have you and your group of three other revolutionaries decided to spare when you move to overthrow the government and install yourselves as Marxist dictators?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Not a gay issue anywhere in that rant. Off-topic.

  • FLL

    I was wondering about a potential DOJ brief myself, but then I remember comments over the last few years to the effect that lawyers always take advantage of every bit of time that they have until a filing deadline. I suppose that makes sense. Why wouldn’t they take advantage of all their allotted time to do as much research as they can in the interest of strengthening their brief. There’s really no sense in filing before the deadline.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    The blame for the ENDA failure is shared equally by the Democratic Party, including this administration, and gay rights groups who capitulated to transgender sabotage. When it is nearly impossible to get transgender restroom regulations passed in the most liberal states in the union, the idea that the Congress of the United States is going to leap ahead and enact them has been politically idiotic from the start.

    It’s unclear to me how you don’t see that the assault on DOMA is well underway. Have you heard of the Supreme Court?

    The other matters are not gay issues and are thus off-topic.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Yes. The problem was never that words are bad or useless. Using the bully pulpit is just words, but it can be extremely helpful. Instead of words, the problem is “lip service,” which is what we were getting for the first two years of this administration: patronizing pledges that no one had any intention of doing anything to fulfill. The convention speeches and this inaugural address were not remotely the same as the patronizing lip service we were getting in 2009 and 2010. They were very effective uses of the bully pulpit, as was the endorsement of marriage equality itself. There are words that matter, and words that don’t. These did.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Lybia was an attack by the US (using drones) and it’s NATO sattelite that cost, according to ‘rebel’ sources, about 50 thousand lives. (1) It was clearly directed by the US and NATO as a warning to the Arab Spring but was largely ineffective as the attack on the consulate in Behghazi proved. Bush created thousands of enemies for the US in Iraq, and Obama and NATO are doing the same in Libya and Egypt.

    Yemen is the scene of US military and naval operations and the use of drones, one of which killed a 16 year old boy from Denver. (2) I think you could also add Bahrain and Sudan to the the list. Mali is different – it’s a French operation aided by the US.

    (1) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/rebel-leaders-put-libya-death-toll-at-50000-2346590.html
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_military_intervention_in_Libya
    (2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MwB2znBZ1g

  • Skeptical Cicada

    No one here has criticized this administration over gay rights more strongly than I have, but I don’t see the point of your comment.

    The administration has not “failed” to file anything in the Prop. 8 case. You’re shrieking about a briefing deadline that’s five weeks away? Do you have any idea how appellate litigators work? Hint: They don’t file briefs five weeks early.

    If there was some substantive issue to be addressed at the inaugural, and Obama failed to address it, I’d join your criticism. But there was no substantive issue to be addressed at the inaugural. It was the inaugural. The fact that you’re having to reach five weeks into the future to rant about “failure” that hasn’t even remotely happened yet tells me you’re grasping for something to complain about.

    Let me tell you about some more words, words, words. There were those handful of little words back in May that amounted to the first-ever presidential endorsement of marriage equality. And guess what those words produced? A SWEEP of ballot initiatives in November. The margins hovered in the 52 to 48 range. Without that presidential endorsement, we could never have won all four of them.

    And in the end, I couldn’t give a flying flip whether the administration supports us because Obama loves gays or feels pressure from us. If you need to be loved, politics isn’t the right avocation for you.

    Do you not even realize that, as Van Jones has noted, that single speech just ended the debate in progressive circles about whether gay rights are worthy of respect as “civil rights.” We have been fighting that dismissive attitude for decades!

  • jomicur

    I’ve never heard anyone deny that Obama is a brilliant, even inspiring speaker. I’m no big fan of his, but even I have found myself getting caught up in his rhetoric at times. I still remember the stirring speech at the Democratic convention years back that first brought him into the public awareness. But it’s hard to remember a time when he’s backed up his rhetoric with action. Time after time he’s made terrific speeches on important issues only to cave to the GOP on them almost at once (remember “I will not sign any healthcare bill that does not include a public option”?) While I can’t argue that THIS speech wasn’t likewise terrific, especially for us gays, I think I can be excused if I adopt a wait-and-see attitude before I get too excited.

    It all comes down to what he said in his interview on Univision just after the election: “I am a moderate Reagan Republican.” That pretty much tells the tale. Obama has mastered perfectly the Clinton/DLC model: talk like a Democrat, govern like a Republican. I’m waiting for him to demonstrate otherwise, but I suspect I’ll have a long (if not endless) wait.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I don’t approve of anyone’s plans—Obama’s or anyone else’s—to cut Medicare and Social Security…”

    Of course you do. You’re a Democrat. If you voted for Obama you voted for his his wars, his union busting, his attacks on the Bill of Rights and his attacks on the standard of living of American workers. You voted for it, we pay the price.

    You must be very proud.

    Republicans are not the sole problem and if you claim they are you’re not telling the truth. Democrats are the problem when it comes to wars and union busting, the refusal to pass ENDA and repeal DOMA and attacks on entitlements.

    Socialists, unions and the left were very critical of FDR. Only someone entirely clueless about American history would pretend otherwise. Read about John L. Lewis, head of the UMW and a key leader of the CIO. His remarks make mine pale by comparison, What a stunning revelation of your historical callowness.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Libya? I’m not so sure I’d add them in the “people we screwed over” category. Yemenis either (but for different reasons).

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    He’s getting there. This inaugural speech was gratuitously good, it was over the top helpful. He didn’t need to be this pro-gay in it, just like the convention speeches – they were over the top supportive. I was worried about just words before, because that’s all we had. Now the words are complementary to the actions, and they’re helping. We’ll still keep pushing him – as we did on that Giglio goof – but this is good stuff, i think.

  • FLL

    I don’t approve of anyone’s plans—Obama’s or anyone else’s—to cut Medicare and Social Security, and I’m sure I’ve said so. I’m just not as willing as you are to jump in the air and shout “Good for them!” concerning the Boehner-Ryan gang and their proposal to privatize Medicare and Social Security entirely. But in order to wrest power from Boehner and Ryan in 2014 or 2016, you’d have to do something more than vote for Bradley Manning for you Senator or congressman. By definition, that means not taking your advice, which I really don’t think anyone does.

  • Bill_Perdue

    A sad life is the one lived by supine people who celebrate Obama’s war crimes and mass murders, who claps when he busts unions and denies health care to immigrant and imported workers, who leaps with joy when he orders the murders of a 16 year old boy from Denver, who hates the idea of socialist medicine and holds the unemployed and poor in contempt.

  • Bill_Perdue

    FDR and the Democrats made a few concessions after wetting their pants contemplating the prospect of revolution. Now they’re taking them back: Obama put Social Security and Medicare on the table so Teabaggers and DLC types could butcher them.

    “President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue. snip

    As part of his pitch, Obama is proposing significant reductions in Medicare spending and for the first time is offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security, according to people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal. The move marks a major shift for the White House and could present a direct challenge to Democratic lawmakers who have vowed to protect health and retirement benefits from the assault on government spending “ http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-07-06/business/35267423_1_debt-talks-obama-plans-congressional-leaders

    No doubt a right centrist like you approves of Obama’s plans to but Medicare and Social Security.

  • nicho

    As I said earlier …..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003150051042 Connie Hudson

    I am grateful to Obama for validating gay rights within an inaugural speech. It WAS a big deal. Words are powerful; especially those coming from a U.S. President, in his inaugural speech. I can’t think of a larger platform, or ‘soapbox’, to proclaim Uncle Sam’s position on something to both Americans and the rest of the world.
    Even though I am heterosexual, I have one child, actually now 28, and he’s gay. I am SO HAPPY as a parent that my country has his back, because one day I’ll be gone and it’s important I know that he will be treated with respect and equality. I view these conservative anti-gay Americans as direct threats to me and my son. I hate them as viscerally as they seem to hate gays. It’s very personal, for me.
    I had tears in my eyes yesterday, listening to that speech. Happy, grateful tears.

  • Bill_Perdue

    A sad life is the one lived by supine people who celebrate Obama’s war crimes and mass murders, who claps when he busts unions and denies health care to immigrant and imported workers, who leaps with joy when he orders the murders of a 16 year old boy from Denver, who hates the idea of socialist medicine and holds the unemployed and poor in contempt.

  • FLL

    From your comment:

    “It won’t make any difference just as it doesn’t make any difference which party controls Congress or the WH.”

    Just like it didn’t make any difference which party controlled Congress and the White House in the 1930s (which resulted in the New Deal). But I forgot—you’ve lecture us that no elections have made any difference since the “Great Betrayal of 1877” (from another one of your priceless comments), so we may as well all cast a write-in vote for Bradley Manning in the congressional elections of 2014. [Yawn.]

  • Bill_Perdue

    I’m not any kind of liberal. Liberals like yourself are right wingers and so are your Republican cousins. I’m a socialist and a revolutionist. I’m not surprise that you think that the left’s opposition to Obama’s mad dog wars of aggression and his policies that lead to mass murder, his union busting and his shredding of the Bill of Rights is ‘sanctimonious’. It’s nothing or the sort – it’s opposition to mass murder and union busting, thing that liberal lemmings are incapable of.

    I don’t care how often you lie and pretend that I’m a Republican. I’t won’t make any difference just as it doesn’t make any difference which party controls Congress of the WH.

    The fact is that DOMA remains on the books while ENDA and socialized medicine are not and that is entirely and solely the fault of the Democrats who refused to pass them even when they had super majorities, i.e., before 2010. As a result of the betrayals of Democrats in Congress and the WH 30 million Obama voters deserted them.

    The simple truth is that Democrats are mirror images of their Republican cousins. Both parties are led by worthless right wingers and even more worthless shills. Honest leftists don’t expect liberals or conservatives to understand anything. They’re lemmings.

  • MichaelS

    Words, words, words. Yes, John, as I argued with my partner yesterday, I agree these words are very important and unprecedented. And they do help move the nation along. But what about those other important words — the ones that make an actionable difference, the ones that you yourself were railing about just one short month ago: this White House’s failure to file amicus briefs against Prop 8 and DOMA? The deadline for Prop 8 is Feb 28. http://americablog.com/2012/12/ted-olson-obama-amicus-brief-prop-8-doma.html

    To quote your own argument: “The impression [will be] that, in the end, the administration supported us because they were forced to, not because they wanted to.”

  • nicho

    What a sad life you live.

  • S1AMER

    I guess I was more appalled than surprised.

  • S1AMER

    I don’t cry often, and I don’t cry easily, but the wonderful “Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall” alliteration made me joyously weepy. I can’t imagine a rhetorically better way to join what too many see as separate battles into a simple and profound statement of “civil rights are human rights”.

  • FLL

    Just a quick observation about three of the items on your list: passage of ENDA, repeal of DOMA and passage of socialized medicine. Surely you understand that these are legislative actions, not executive actions. In that context, may I point you to your comment on a previous thread (link here):

    “The people who voted for Obama got disgusted in 2010 and kicked Democrats in the place where it hurts the most. Good for them.”

    Your “ultra-liberal, nihilist” mask is slipping in that comment, and people are getting a glimpse of what’s behind the mask… and it isn’t pretty. Let me spell this out l-e-t-t-e-r b-y l-e-t-t-e-r. I think the whole “Don’t bother voting, or vote for Bradley Manning” is an act. I don’t believe you for a minute. I think the truth lies in the portion of your comment, quoted above, where you can hardly contain your glee at the result of Boehner and the Tea Party Republicans taking over the House, and, of course, blocking the three items you mention in your sanctimonious comment: passage of ENDA, repeal of DOMA and passage of socialized medicine. But you think the liberal readers on this blog are so stupid that they won’t catch on. Uh huh.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Not so magical for the unemployed and the poor.

    Nor so magical for Libyans, Palestinians, Yemenis, Pakistanis and Afghans whose burnt, shredded, torn bodies litter a new killing field, vastly larger and more deadly than the Stalinist’s made in Cambodia or the US made in Vietnam.

    Not so magical for those who’ve waited decades for the passage of ENDA or an inclusive Civil Rights Amendment guaranteeing equality on the job, in housing and in public services.

    Not so magical for those who’ve waited and waited for the repeal of Bill Clinton’s DOMA.

    Not so happy for those who value what’s left of the Bill of Rights. Obama is leading the effort to gut it.

    Not so happy for trade unionists. Obama is the worst union buster since Reagan and Clinton.

    And not so happy for Americans who desperately need socialized medicine to avoid being murdered by HMO’s.

  • FLL

    Although speeches have no legal effect, any president’s inauguration speech changes the political and cultural climate. The Supreme Court justices don’t live in a vacuum, and the currents of national life affect their opinions just like they affect the opinions of everyone else. Obama’s second inauguration speech, a pro-equality outcome in Illinois and Rhode Island—all of these factors will influence the SC justices as they weigh the current civil rights cases. One argument that Scalia might have used is to claim that African-Americans are offended by framing marriage equality as a civil right, and thereby equating it with the civil rights struggles of the past. But African-American voters in Maryland robbed Scalia of that argument, didn’t they? I’m sure the other justices took note as well.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I agree with John completely and am disappointed by the complaining here yesterday.

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