Sara Whitman

Obama: Where's the Leadership?

Filed By Sara Whitman | June 16, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
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So the Obama administration thinks supporting DOMA is a good thing...

I am not sure what to say.

The Obama administration is not asking and not telling about the Nazis and skinheads, not to mention rapists and arsonists, who are being recruited to join the armed forces and yet decent men and women are being dismissed daily because they are gay.

I really have something to say about that. But I've said it all before. It is simply the single most disrespectful way to treat "the troops" that I can imagine.

What the hell are they thinking in the White House? Do they think this is 1996 and the House and Senate have been commandeered by the Republicans led by Newt? Get a grip already. This is 2009. Marriage equality is creeping across the nation, state by state. Nondiscrimination clauses have been embraced by most of the Fortune 500. Over half of all Americans - religious right included - believe that LGBT people should be able to serve in the armed forces openly.

Hello? Mr. President? You made a lot of promises, as all politicians do. But to defend DOMA? To not sign an executive order stopping the dismissals of gay and lesbian troops while the Congress figures it out?

Oh, yeah. The Congress. A bunch of real progressive folks in the Senate all hid when it came to sponsoring the repeal of DADT. Not one of them would.

Not one.

Why?

Because there is no leadership. We have a President who is allowing for DOMA to be defended with language that comes from the 1950's - incest, pedophilia... I am horrified.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is running shop with full equality, speaking out against violence against LGBT folks in other countries and saying it is wrong and must be stopped.

Yup, I'm going to say it. Maybe we would have been better off with Clinton as President. She's walking the talk which is a lot more than I can say for Obama.

Obama needs to show some leadership and show it now. Stonewall Anniversary is coming up and it would be nice to see some leadership on such an important date for our community.

And as for those chicken shit Senators? No action? No money.

We have a unique opportunity here- just like the Republicans did in 1996. Let's get to it.

Now.

If you need to follow an example? Check out how the State Department is being run.


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Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 16, 2009 4:00 PM

There is no leadership. There never was.

Obama is the lesser bigot, the lesser warlord and the lesser enabler of the looter class.

Those who thought otherwise and voted for him or McCain bungled and wasted their vote.

Wait, so Eric Holder's Department of Justice makes a decision we don't like, and Obama gets blamed. Hillary Clinton's Department of State makes several decisions we do like, and Obama gets no credit.

I didn't support Obama in the primary, but I'd like to think that the primaries are over and that we've come to a place, a year later, where we're ready to move on. Guess not.

I also have a post I'm working on about that Iraqi gay deaths statement the State Department put out, but I was one of the few gays who didn't think that was anything to celebrate. The US government has always had an easier time telling other governments to behave a certain way than it did actually following those same rules, but that statement from the State Department sounded more like a cruel joke than a moral proclamation.

America's upset people are being killed in Iraq? That's fresh! Or maybe it's because they're killing people because they're gay instead of just killing them to plunder their resources, because that's a much more moral reason to kill Iraqis.

Mario Democrat | June 17, 2009 1:37 PM

There is no question that on civil rights for gays, especially, Hillary Clinton would have been a far superior president. And aside from the catty sense of self-satisfaction of saying "I told you so" it serves an important purpose and bears repeating because sexism and homophobia are inextricably linked. Gays that did not support Hillary in the primary need to be made aware of thier poor and uninformed choice. The women's rights movement and the fight for civil rights for gays go hand-in-hand. Gays that do not join forces with women and feminists do so at their own detriment. And yes, we told them so. Hopefully next time we won't have to.

The Department of Justice did what it is supposed to do; argue in favor of existing law. The President is still free to alter policy after the Court has made its decision. This isn't new. The DOJ has often argued for laws that previous presidents didn't support.

Obama didn't make the argument or write the brief. The government's lawyers did.

Mario Democrat | June 17, 2009 1:40 PM

I would hide behind the legalese too, as the language in the brief is indefensible. The White House was made aware of the lawsuit in advance, and while you can definitely argue that defense of DOMA was the correct course of action (though not the only alternative for the White House), you cannot say the same about the way in which it was done.

Stop apologizing. There is no excuse.

Why are we surprised? When he was running for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama courted the LGBT vote in the close primary states of Texas and Ohio, courting us, taking out ads in local gay publications. But he ignored a request for an interview with the Philadelphia Gay News -- Why? Because Pennsylvania was heavily predicted to go for Hillary Clinton.He had no use for us there.

Alex, if President Obama gets credit for the State Department policy change, then he has to take responsibility for what his Justice Department is doing, too. On the other hand, if he can't be held responsible for what's happening in either Department, what does that say for his leadership?

you make perfect sense to me.