Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Go Away till 2012: a cynical liberal leader.

Kerry Eldveld of the Advocate alooks at the Obama Administration's recent pushback against the left. (Emphasis mine)
....marriage equality — a subject the administration would clearly harpoon if it could.

I get the distinct feeling that the White House hopes it can simply duck the marriage question straight through 2012, and I’d also bet dollars to doughnuts it won’t be able to. What became clear to me while interviewing attendees of the August 6 meeting was that while the friendly audience may have cut the administration some slack on legislative items like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Defense of Marriage Act, the one place advocates unapologetically stood their ground was on marriage equality.....

Make no mistake, this is an issue that the president’s chief advisers have misjudged from day one. They underestimated how angry people were that candidate Barack Obama wasn’t more vocal in his opposition to Proposition 8; they dismissed the devastation felt by millions of queers who poured their hearts into electing Obama only to watch Prop. 8 proponent Rick Warren give the invocation at the inauguration; they remained silent in 2009 as gay Mainers fought to preserve their right to love, marry, and build a life with their partner; and then David Axelrod reassured the nation two weeks ago that the president still opposes granting the freedom to marry to all Americans.....
Read the whole thing.

Then, in a New Republic Op/Ed on the CBS news site, Richard Just draws an unflattering comparison:
In the fall of 1912, as his campaign for president entered its final stage, Woodrow Wilson was speaking in Brooklyn when he was asked for his opinion on women’s suffrage. ... he responded by insisting that it was "not a question that is dealt with by the national government at all." The woman who had asked the question was apparently displeased by this blatant dodge. "I am speaking to you as an American, Mr. Wilson," she retorted......

An evasive stance on a controversial civil rights issue from a liberal president; an insistence that the issue is primarily local, rather than national, in character; a complete failure of sincerity, nerve, and will: If these things sound familiar in 2010, it is because Barack Obama is taking exactly the same approach on gay marriage.

Obama has said that he wants to restore American moral leadership in the world. But how can he claim the mantle of moral leadership when we are being outpaced by so many countries and so many foreign leaders on one of the central civil rights issues of our time?

....Obama's stance seems to be a way of conveying to the country that he knows a lot of people still aren’t completely comfortable admitting gays and lesbians as full participants in American life, and that this is OK because he isn’t either. It is about the most cynical gesture you can imagine from an allegedly liberal leader-and we deserve better. I am speaking to you as an American, Mr. Obama.
Be sure to read that one too.

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