Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama's Big Gay Speech? Uh, Not So Much

So hate crimes legislation will be signed when it reaches Obama's desk. Great. Yet, this speech is feeling like rhetoric. I am not hearing anything related to dates that things will begin to take place, or specific pieces of legislation that are in the congressional hopper right now. These ideas remain lost in a fog of inaction.

He has mentioned his disdain for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and Obama has even said that he is committed to ending it, but, again, I am still waiting to hear something substantive. When will that happen? Why not offer to do a stop-loss order and freeze the processing out of those who are being forced out under this horrible policy? That would have been a great announcement.

He is now on about DOMA, but again who is writing this "Domestic Benefits and Obligations Act" that he mentioned? Which members are going to be responsible for shepherding this legislation?

Obama has fallen on boilerplate statements regarding the GLBT community, and it's disappointing. Simply re-stating your hopes is not sufficient any longer Mr. President. I am also sure that P-Flag appreciates the shout out, and it is a shout out that is well deserved. Yet, the GLBT community needs a genuine fierce advocate, like the woman you profiled.

I just don't think that that fierce advocate is Barack Obama. Hell, his own speech should be enough to make him change his mind about civil marriage equality. But, it hasn't. And so, Obama is leaving the stage having said nothing new. That, to me, is the real shame, a lost opportunity.

Mr. President, might I suggest that you hold off from addressing the GLBT community until the time comes when you really have something revelatory to say or something groundbreaking to report. Otherwise, it's a waste of your time and our time. Mr. President, you cannot afford that, nor can we. Too much is at stake. A fierce advocate would know that.


Anonymous said...

Why are liberals so intent on imposing their values on others and destroying the military, one of the few government organizations that works as it is suppose to?

Anonymous said...

You want him to do what you want him to do regardless of the political cost? That is the position of an academic, not a policymaker.

Anonymous said...


hscfree said...

Four things. Define exactly how the military is working as it is supposed to, and then explain how Truman was able to do his bit of radicalism by integrating the military. Explain how other military organizations, including Israel's manages to function with the gays in their midsts. Explain the political costs of supporting the gay rights movement.

@Anonymous #3: Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians.

Micheal Sisco said...

A few points:

1) The military -- by that I mean the old brass -- should get over itself and move on. Those "morale and unit discipline" arguments are stupid. I am a former military man.

2) The gay community -- every letter in the acronym -- should also back off. To think that our particular issues are more important than our economy, two wars, and repairing the holes to the U.S. ship inflicted by George W. Bush will take a while. Change will come. I absolutely believe that. But we've waited decades. A few more months won't kill us.

Anonymous said...

Get a grip!

It would not take all that much time for our commander and chief to state equality will happen, and sooner is better than later. This is a pressing domestic issue, it needs to be meaningfully addressed and resolved.

It would not take a true leader more than a few speeches to set the tone that what is happening for federal employees, and gay people in a few states, will be happening in all states before long, and that he is demonstrating his support unwaiveringly through legislature which crosses his desk.

No more nebulous double-speak (how can you be for gay equality, but be on record as against gay marriage, as most of the inequities are perpetuated by denial of marriage), of which we're tiring of in the bright light of the pre-election promises and post-election realities.

President Obama made it to Europe on behalf of Chicago for the Olympics, yet we don't see him visiting nearby Maine to stump for gay equality, I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

1) Define exactly how the military is working as it is supposed to.

The U.S. military is widely acknowledged to be the best equipped, best trained, most effective fighting force in the world today. The military is not an instrument for the left's social experiments.

2) Explain how Truman was able to do his bit of radicalism by integrating the military.

This is a bit of a fallacy. Racial integration worked, so all kinds of integration must work. The experiment of putting women in combat roles is still a work in progress and the results are not yet in. Arguably sexuality is more central to one's identity than race. This also races accommodations issues. To be in favor of putting openly gay men in the same accommodations as straight men you must support unisex accommodations in the military. Otherwise, what is the basis for giving separate accommodations to men and women?

3) Explain how other military organizations, including Israel's manages to function with the gays in their midst's.

No other military in the world has our scope of responsibility, so I'm not sure that it is fair to make comparisons. Israel does not have nuclear submarines that stay submerged for months at a time.

4) Explain the political costs of supporting the gay rights movement.

Really? This is politics 101. Clinton took a huge hit for trying to force this on the military in 1993. Obama ran as a moderate. If he is seen to be using the military to further the radical left's social agenda he, and moderate Ds in Congress, will loose support in swing states.

Anonymous said...

Too much is at stake for what? Are you worried about the effectiveness of the military, or the gay rights lobby?

hscfree said...

And our military should never change progress or learn from the successful examples of others. Institutions should always evolve. Actually, institutions always do.

Sounds like you should have been pissed at Harry Truman for his left wing social experiments. Thurmond and his ilk most certainly were.

I actually would be fine with unisex bathrooms. Oh, and I managed to survive same sex shower situations, as millions of gay folks do, without sexually assaulting a defenseless straight person.

Oh, because we do more, we cannot look to any of the innovations that other military organizations use. That makes no sense.

And the only reason that gay rights issues are remotely controversial (and I am talking about those issues even before marriage came into the discussion) is because of religious bigotry, plain and simple. What is controversial about not being allowed to fire someone because he/she is gay? What is controversial about not maintaining a ban on travelers with hiv? And even though I am no fan of hate crimes legislation personally, what is controversial about not expanding the definition of that legislation?

For some, each of these things that I've mentioned is a step to far. How dare gay folks think that they should be able to keep a job when his/her boss doesn't like gay folks. How churlish of them.

hscfree said...

And as to that last comment, I am concerned about both.

Anonymous said...

On unisex bathrooms at least you are intellectually consistent and I think you will make a lot of 18 year old guys and girls in high school really happy. Though I think it will be hard for President Obama to support unisex showers in all public high schools.

I am surprised though to hear your sweeping accusation that people who disagree with the gay rights industry's political agenda must be bigots. People can't disagree with you without being a bigot. Wow.