Prepare for the Primal Scream

Elections have consequences:

The drive in Congress to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy appears all but lost for the foreseeable future, with action unlikely this year and even less likely once Republicans take charge of the House in January.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly said he wants to overturn the policy, which bans gays from serving openly in the armed forces. Advocates on both sides believed the issue had a chance of coming up in this month’s post-election session of Congress. Now that looks unlikely.

Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and John McCain of Arizona, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, are in talks on stripping the proposed repeal and other controversial provisions from a broader defense bill, leaving the repeal with no legislative vehicle to carry it. With a repeal attached, and amid Republican complaints over the terms of the debate, the defense bill had failed to win the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle in the Senate in September.

I had hoped the Democrats would stick to their guns on DADT in the lame duck, and Obama even hinted that he had a strategy, but that appears to have not materialized as of yet.

And before this thread devolves into the same bullshit argument, with the same commenters saying the same thing, let me lay this out to you how it looks from this end.

The Republicans engage in an eight year campaign of terrorizing gay people. The LGBT community is targeted in election after election, with the White House political crew strategically placing gay-bashing ballot initiatives in close states, in order to use gay-bashing to win re-election. They go so far as attempting to enshrine gay-bashing in the Constitution, and Bush openly supports the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Obama is elected on a platform that included support for a wide number of gay issues. He is openly opposed to DADT, DOMA, and favors ENDA. He appoints a record number of LGBT officials to his administration, more than ever before.

The Matthew Shepard Act passes the House with 175 votes against, predominantly Republican. It passes the Senate with Republicans voting against. Obama signs it into law in a very public ceremony.

Obama delivers address to HRC dinner. By contrast, Clinton, who signed DADT and DOMA, only showed AFTER he had won his second term.

Obama ends the 22 year old odious HIV travel ban while extending the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program.

Obama issues memorandum to expand the rights of LGBT people in regards to medical rights.

Obama extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Obama works with the Pentagon to create a smooth path forward on DADT. He has the support of Mike Mullen, Sec. Def. Gates, and numerous other high-ranking military officials. DADT is included in the Defense Bill, and all but two Democrats vote to end DADT, at the President’s urging. Every single Republican votes against. DADT falls a little short.

Now here is where I start to wonder what some in the gay community are thinking. Despite going from an administration that actively attempted to put bigotry in the constitution to an administration that has slowly but steadily expanded and recognized gay rights, I have heard nothing but screaming about “shutting down the GAYTM to let them know we are serious!” Gays vote in larger than usual numbers for REPUBLICANS in the election. At every opportunity, gay rights groups are attacking and protesting… the President and the Democrats.

Can you understand why this makes no sense to me? Can you understand why this strategy seems insane? And I’m not trying to start a fight, but someone please explain how this makes any sense whatsoever. How does rewarding the party who openly attacks you make any sense? In what political environment does not supporting a candidate make them more likely to pay attention to you? How does leaving the party who votes with you hanging out to dry make any sense? Why should I take anyone seriously when they watch Republicans vote as a block to repeal or hold back any LGBT friendly legislation, and the act like history’s greatest monsters are Barack Obama and Joe Solomnese at the Human Rights Campaign? Can anyone name one time in history in which people sat out an election or voted for the opposition, and it made your ally more receptive to your concerns?

I can’t begin to understand the rage that LGBT citizens experience on a daily basis, in many regards being treated as second class citizens. Is it just blind rage that leads to this? It isn’t logical or rational, but just anger from the decades of mistreatment?

The worst part of this is that I’d bet about only half the Republican caucus is outright bigots and homophobes. The rest are just voting against these things to keep the Democrats from achieving things, demoralizing their base, and hoping for the political benefit that may come from a demoralized Democratic base. And guess what? It worked! Again!

*** Update ***

And I’m serious. I don’t want this turning into another flame war. I thought I was respectful and reserved throughout the entire post, and I am honestly just trying to understand why people think the way they do. I didn’t attack anyone. I didn’t call anyone any names. I’m just telling you how it looks from my end and trying to figure out why people are acting the way they are.

411 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    400 comment flame war discussion coming up in …3…2…1

    dms

  2. 2
    jon says:

    Many gays want to be hated. It’s as much part of their identity as their sexuality. They’re loners, Dottie. Rebels.

  3. 3
    gene108 says:

    Here’s some gas on the fire….makes about as much sense as voting for Nader in 2000…

  4. 4
    burnspbesq says:

    Asbestos utilities are the uniform of the day. This is going to get crazee.

    That said, thanks for writing this, John. It needed to be said.

  5. 5
    Hawes says:

    I bet it helps the Professional Left… Um Professional Gays with their fundraising.

    I honestly think we’ve reached a point politically where we’re happier with our precious umbrage than we are with progress.

    The problem with HCR is that it prevents the case for a universal single payer by changing the existing system rather than overthrowing it. So we’ve lost a source of umbrage and outrage (Why can’t we be more Canadian?!)

    Left…Right.. It doesn’t matter. Activists are gonna hate.

    We have to deal with Firebaggers and Sullivans.

    Speaker Boner has to deal with Teabaggers and Bachmanns.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    As Jim Morrison once sang:

    We Want The World And We Want It…. Now? Nonnnnnoooooowwwwwww!

  7. 7
    Hawes says:

    Sorry to multi-post, but it will be interesting to see if the teatards revolt like the LGBT activists when Speaker Boner fails to provide their magical sparkle ponies (destroying the Federal Reserve, impeaching Obama, repealing HCR).

    The theocons never wavered despite the GOP’s never really doing anything about abortion. I wonder if – having won the election – they will fall in line like the theocons.

    I’m guessing “no”, but I realize that’s naive of me.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Is there any data that (a lack of) gay voters or gay money swung an election? I suppose it could have made a difference in PA or IL, or FL, or a few individual House races, but is there a large enough gay vote in, say, AZ to change McCain’s blithering idiocy? To frighten Lindsey Graham or Olympia Snowe into doing the right thing? Sorry to be one of those commenters always saying the same thing, but this election was decided by the same thing almost all elections are: the economy, low-information voters who in every election and Dem-friendly voters who don’t vote in mid-terms. Change that third category enough to balance the second, and you’ve got a real and permanent change in our politics. DADT, like the public option and the environment, are issues people say they care about, but not enough to trump a shitty economy.

  9. 9
    Ash Can says:

    If only Obama had used the bully pulpit issued an executive order.

  10. 10
    Fred X. Quimby says:

    I comprehend JC’s position. I respect it. It’s just that I’m so left of the ruling elite that Republicans and Democrats are merely small blotches on a distant horizon.

  11. 11
    Hawes says:

    @Ash Can:

    It will be interesting to see if he goes that way, since a legislative change is now out of the question.

    He has consistently said he wants a legislative solution. He can’t have that. But he could go the executive order route now.

  12. 12
    toujoursdan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    There was a swing, but I’m not sure it how much it influenced any races.

    Almost 1 in 3 gays voted Republican

    Stockholm syndrome isn’t just found in the heterosexual community, sadly.

  13. 13
    ornery curmudgeon says:

    “…The worst part of this is that I’d bet about only half the Republican caucus is outright bigots and homophobes.”

    How much would you bet … ? I mean, as a careful observer of the political scene. Odd post, but you did manage to punch straw-hippies while defending the indefensible (I bet only 1/2 Republicans are outright bigots LOL). Kinda cool pretzel thing. Maybe you’ll get the flame war you want, eh.

    Seen this from you before, Cole. Surely there is a positive way forward to attempt effective change that doesn’t involve inciting (yet another) circular firing squad to attack your insufficient allies.

    I’m not trying to start a fight, but someone please explain how this makes any sense whatsoever.

  14. 14
    burnspbesq says:

    @Fred X. Quimby:

    It’s just that I’m so left of the ruling elite that Republicans and Democrats are merely small blotches on a distant horizon.

    Accomplishing anything concrete to improve people’s lives out there?

    It’s an old cliche, but still true: if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    Obama works with the Pentagon to create a smooth path forward on DADT. He has the support of Mike Mullen, Sec. Def. Gates, and numerous other high-ranking military officials. DADT is included in the Defense Bill, and all but two Democrats vote to end DADT, at the President’s urging. Every single Republican votes against. DADT falls a little short.

    yes, but but but but, Obaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaama let us down again.

  16. 16
    BrklynLibrul says:

    I don’t disagree with anything you say here, John, but the polling on this issue consistently shows that a majority of Americans — hell, even a majority of Republicans — favor repeal of DADT. For that reason it’s become a bipartisan cause celebre. And you can’t really blame the LGBT community for going all nutsy because they see the White House dragging its heels on a high-profile issue that’s potentially a political win, largely because it’s terrified to act, conforming to the administration’s larger pattern of fear of, and capitulation to, the GOP.

    That said, I can’t fathom why any gay or lesbian American would willingly vote for Republicans — but the GOP won a higher percentage this cycle.

  17. 17
    Hawes says:

    @ornery curmudgeon:

    The “half of the GOP in Congress are outright homophobes” is because – as we know – the half that aren’t are actually closeted homosexuals themselves.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    For that reason it’s become a bipartisan cause celebre.

    IIANM, Olly Snowe and her Sidekick Senator are record favoring repeal, but both voted to filibuster (a point that should not be left out–repeal was filibustered, not voted down). Will either pay any price, will protesters interrupt Olly’s speeches over the next year? Cause if they do, and if the ‘Baggers make good on their threat to primary her, things could get interesting.

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    @BrklynLibrul:

    dragging its heels

    Say what, now? Since when did moving carefully to make sure that this change has the broadest possible support both within and without the military, and actually won’t interfere with discipline and order, become dragging of heels. We’re really sorry that you can’t have your unicorn until next week, but they breed slowly, and we’re on back-order.

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    Repealing DADTDATDTAD will balloon the deficit, so shut up, that’s why.

  21. 21
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Is there any data that (a lack of) gay voters or gay money swung an election?

    Does it matter?

  22. 22
    Jay C says:

    Well, John, JMHO, what you say is pretty much right; but the “rage” from the gay community (or at least that part of it which is politically motivated enough to care) is probably just a reflection of the irritation – to put it mildly – which a LOT of folks are feeling towards this Administration: i.e., that it has proven naive, bumbling, over-trusting and incompetent in dealing with the monomaniacal Republican obstructionism it has had to face, and blown the chance for truly advancing the rights of the LGBT citizenry. Though certainly, the utter dysfunction of the Senate and its purported “leaders” hasn’t helped, much either.

    Whatever President Obama’s personal feelings towards gays and “gay issues”, and however many changes to minor regulations he issues, laudable as they are, DADT Repeal was/is a much more serious affair: a policy change national in scope, affecting a pan-national institution (the military), and officially putting the principle of non-discrimination against Americans on grounds of their sexual orientation into action on an unprecedented scale. Hence its perceived dashing hurts just all the more.

    For me, I think the Administration ought to have made DADT Repeal a much higher priority: gotten the military “blue-ribbon commission” or whoever is “studying” the issue ginned up right away: and gotten their behind-covering “report” in by February of this year, say. And Repealed it while Obama and the Dems had at least some chance of ramming it through Congress; rather than in December ’10, after a disastrous election.

    The homophobes and the Holy Haters aren’t going to go away, or quiet down just yet (especially not just yet); but a non-discrimination policy in place would, I think, be several degrees harder to undo; rather than just weaselling the issue and letting DADT remain in place.
    Too late now…..

  23. 23
    Guster says:

    That was respectful and reserved, and I’ll give the same answer I’ve given a dozen times before, about why “gay rights groups are attacking and protesting… the President and the Democrats.” (Note: I think that _supporting_ Republicans, or not voting for Democrats, is beyond stupid; but I certainly understand attacking and protesting Dems.)

    Because when your team fumbles in a spectacularly stupid fashion and the other team picks up the ball and gets a touchdown, are you mad at the other team? Sure, you hate them, you’d never cheer them, all of that. But are you angry at them for grabbing the ball and getting the touchdown? No.

    Are you angry at your own team for the unforced error? Do you yell at the coach? Do you bitch to all your friends?

    How hard is this to understand?

  24. 24
    Todd Dugdale says:

    They’re “sending a message” – that they make lousy allies.

    It reminds me of the PUMAs, who were so outraged that the Democrats didn’t nominate a woman that they were going to vote for the Party that was opposed to women’s interests.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that there is a Republican strategist in back of these kinds of political self-immolation tactics.

  25. 25
    alwhite says:

    would this be more helpful John? Prevent the flame war & make interesting discussion:

    How do you discipline your party when they consistently fail to support your personal goals? If you were anti-abortion how would you ‘correct’ the failure of the Rs to end it? If you were pro-gay rights how do you guide the Ds to make the big steps?

    Labor abandoned the Ds back in the 80’s because they bought St. Ronnies bullshit and now the Ds pretty much ignore labor concerns. Given that the choice for workers in this country is the pro-slavery Rs and the compromised Ds how should labor correct the Ds?

  26. 26
    A Duck says:

    Isn’t it funny, John, that after a couple years of hostile argumentative posts from you, mocking the legitimate and accurate concerns of a group of people, now you want every one to play nice and not to be mean to you for being an unrepentant asshole. It almost makes one feel that you aren’t completely honest in owning your own previous bad acts.

    Anyway, why don’t you put up another post attacking the left for making the independents vote for Republicans? It would be about as useful.

  27. 27
    John Cole says:

    @A Duck: Maybe I was trying a new strategy? You don’t have to play along, and if you just want to troll, go for it.

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): It does to me, as part of the larger question of how we change our politics and political culture over the mid- to long-term. From gay rights activists to PO champions to any other center-left to progressive issue you want to name. We are too focused on the presidency– Obama needs to do this, Obama should have done that, if Obama had just….! — when, I think, we should focus more on Congress, the Senate specifically, and we need to do this by making mid-terms more Dem friendly, IMHO.
    Also, getting it through some particularly thick heads that compromise and incrementalism are how things happen in this country. People here love to screech about “strawmen”. One historical strawman we need to burn is the idea that LBJ passed Civil Rights and the Great Society in one big vote the day after he took office by grabbing Congress by the collective lapels and slammed them up against the wall.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    What else did anyone expect? The gay community made it clear from inauguration day onwards that they had no intention of supporting Obama no matter what he did; they’re just getting back the treatment they’ve dished out to him.

    Enjoy the next decade with DADT, DOMA, and all the other gay-hating legislation more firmly in place than ever. Reap what you sow and all that.

  30. 30
    Blue Neponset says:

    How does rewarding the party who openly attacks you make any sense? In what political environment does not supporting a candidate make them more likely to pay attention to you?

    It makes perfect sense. If Obama and the Dems can’t get rid of DADT when they control all three branches of elected government then they don’t deserve to be supported. The next batch of Dems with this much power will do better.

    Also, if the Republicans overreach on these issues when they win back power that might speed things along as well.

    You are looking at this as a zero sum game and it isn’t.

  31. 31
    ornery curmudgeon says:

    Cole writes a post entitled, “Prepare for the Primal Scream” … but assures us several times he doesn’t want this turning into another flame war.

    If I don’t care enough to flame you, will that suffice?

  32. 32
    DanF says:

    Harry Truman integrated the military in 1948 via an executive order. That worked out pretty well. I understand that Obama wants to get the ducks all lined up in a row and do this via legislation, but with DADT, there is strong support everywhere but the Senate for it’s repeal. Poll after poll show large majorities of people – in and out of the military – want it repealed. There is virtually no price to be paid by issuing an EO then work on the legislation once everyone could see that the sky was not – in fact – falling. I think you’re underestimating how much Obama’s failure to issue this order stings the gay community. It’s always harder to stuff the genie back in the bottle than it is to keep it there. Reversing this executive order would be a tough sell once gay soldiers are serving openly.

  33. 33
    toujoursdan says:

    @A Duck: @The Moar You Know:

    For fuck’s sake, not all gay people see things the same way. Stop acting like we like-minded borg.

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    @DanF: ARGHHHHHHH not the EO stuff again.

  35. 35
    Tom says:

    The vast majority of gays who voted, voted Democrat. And the vast majority of gays who follow politics supported Obama. This post is nothing but a witch hunt disguised as concern trolling. The responses already confirm that.

  36. 36
    tomvox1 says:

    @Hawes:

    I don’t think being closeted and being a homophobe are mutually exclusive. In fact, there may be some sort of inverse relation between the amount of sexual confusion/suppression in an individual and the amount of vituperation they direct at homosexuals. I’m pretty sure, for example, that guys who beat up gays are sexually threatened by them, i.e. they are reacting violently to finding the idea of homosexual relations appealing. So the most outspoken anti-gay legislators are probably the ones either having secretive affairs with pages of the same sex or struggling to stop themselves from doing so.

  37. 37
    Deb T says:

    Well said John.

  38. 38
    John Cole says:

    @ornery curmudgeon: A.) Are you arguing there is not going to be a shitfit if it is not repealed in the Lame Duck? And because Obama said he had a strategy to do so, I’d think the shit fit would be deserved.

    B.) Did you just stop reading after the title of the post?

  39. 39
    stuckinred says:

    I can never help but remember how many people wanted to stay out of the fucking military when I was in. People pretended to be gay to get out of the draft. I personally find the argument that there are all these gay folks that just want to serve their country to be a little shaky.

    lock one round
    load

  40. 40
    Guster says:

    @John Cole: There’s a reason it keeps popping up. You can’t simply dismiss one of the major grievances and remain respectful.

  41. 41
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I agree with everything you wrote here. What’s interesting about using LBJ as an example is that he knew doing the right thing would cost the Democrats a lot of support for a long time, which is why I think Obama felt that passing HCR was the right thing to do.

  42. 42
    gbear says:

    @jon:

    Many gays want to be hated. It’s as much part of their identity as their sexuality.

    It was at this point that I realized this thread was going to suck suck suck and I should stop reading further.

  43. 43
    elmo says:

    Guster is close, and may be accurately describing the rage for some; but for me, it isn’t rage as much as betrayal.

    I voted straight Dem this cycle, and I expect to do so for every election for the rest of my life — but they’ve still betrayed me and my partner.

    Think of it this way. You’re a battered spouse. For eight years, the neighbors across the street have been promising that they will help you once your abuser is out of the house. They’ll help you get back on your feet, let you move in, etc.

    Finally, with your neighbors’ help, the police come and remove the abuser. You’re relieved, happy, and grateful.

    Then the neighbors stop taking your phone calls, and you see them standing in the street, talking with your ex, all friendly and bygones-be-bygones. When they do talk to you, it’s to lecture you about patience, and how they can’t actually help you without being nice to your abuser.

    Sure, they say, your ex hates you and wants you dead. But that isn’t important right now — what’s important is that your ex wants to be involved in what happens to you, and has to be consulted. For the good of everybody. Be patient.

    I’m a little incoherent about this, because it’s all visceral and difficult to describe, but can you imagine how hurt and betrayed you would feel?

    Still doesn’t excuse firebagging, tho. Because as awful as the neighbors are, they’re still better than your ex. I sure as hell don’t want that bastard back in my house.

  44. 44
    DanF says:

    @John Cole: Seriously John … Arrgh? Obama can do “X” and chooses not to. He gives an explanation for his actions and I do get to decide if it’s a good enough explanation. In this case, I think it was a poor decision to not issue this order a year ago when the polls were showing that it was a done deal socially – right after passing HCR. If I were gay, you can bet your ass I would be wondering why this wasn’t repealed via an EO. I’m not seeing a rational reason for it not to be at this point and I don’t think you’ve offered a compelling reason why it shouldn’t be done this way either.

  45. 45
    gbear says:

    @Tom: Ditto.

  46. 46

    The Administration probably won’t do anything until the military returns the feasibility study. The military is working on that, right? I think I read that it is due around the first part of December.

    If that study supports repeal of DADT, it would make an executive order easier to issue.

    From the civilian side, I really don’t see any need to get all worked up until that study is reported on.

  47. 47
    Moses2317 says:

    Well, if folks would like to do something about this, here are Senator Levin’s office phone numbers:

    (202) 224-6221 – (313) 226-6020 – (517) 377-1508 – (616) 456-2531 – (586) 573-9145 – (906) 789-0052 – (989) 754-2494 – (231) 947-9569

    Call him now and tell him not to strip DADT repeal from the defense authorization bill.


    Winning Progressive

  48. 48
    tomvox1 says:

    Rave on, John Cole. I like your style. We are a nation of whiners who have embraced our victimhood to advance our sense of special, subgroup by subgroup. Even 9/11 allowed us to pretend en masse that we were a vulnerable, besieged nation as opposed to the most powerful one in the history of the planet stomping all over the place like a big, dumb colossus. From rich white Teatards screaming about minorities trying to take what they’ve got; to Jews who will brook no criticism of Israel and throw accusations of antisemitism at the drop of a hat; to the outraged gay & lesbian community impatient for faster change in the face of truly remarkable progress–and the list goes on and on–no slight is to small to fail to provoke some sort of holy war of their own making to prove to the world that, once again, they are Victims who are being Oppressed. And therefore, special attention must be paid to their needs NOW and the rest of the country should just STFU and get behind them in line.

    And people actually want to be president…

  49. 49
    DCr says:

    JC:

    It’s the fierce urgency of whenever…

    I’m straight, but I care about this issue from a couple of standpoints. One, it’s the right thing to do. Two, last time I checked, we’re at war, and good/talented people are getting kicked out of the military for no reason other than their sexual orientation while we’ve lowered our recruiting standards to the point even Ross (“BT”) Douthat could get in.

    The Obama Administration has had almost two years to get this right. Did they really think it was going to get easier in the 2011/2012 timeframe? If so, that would be a prima facie case of political malpractice — another of many recent examples.

    I think those in the LGBT community who are getting militant are justified, but their frustration ultimately will be futile. Has Obama let them down? Absolutely. Can he fix it if he wanted to? Absolutely. Is it a good reason to abandon Dems for Nader or Bloomberg? Absolutely not, although I wouldn’t expect to see much cash or GOTV efforts from them in the near-term.

    Given our two-party system, Obama was the best choice in the 2008 election. He’ll probably be the best choice in 2012, too, though why he’d want to run for reelection is a mystery. But he’s not progressive and much too cautious when it comes to deciding on and implementing change ™. Meanwhile, what’s wrong with the LGBT community demonstrating their displeasure?

    Such is our lot in life. Can you imagine where we’d be with McCain/Palin in charge?

    When we complain about the way things are, things are this way because those in a position to do something about it want it this way. They’re not stupid, and they didn’t get where they are by being stupid.

    DCr

  50. 50
    hilzoy says:

    This is the key, I think:

    “How do you discipline your party when they consistently fail to support your personal goals?”

    It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, and your views about the impact of various different courses of action.

    If you’re focussed on deciding which party gets elected this cycle, and if your main issue is LGBT rights (so you’re not, say, a gay man who is also a total conservative, and cares more about other issues than this), then supporting Republicans makes no sense at all. None.

    But if you think that LGBT rights are more likely to be secured over the long run if the Democratic Party thinks that it cannot take LGBT support for granted, but has to work for it, then it makes sense to focus on getting the Party to think that way.

    This is not an insane thing to think. If the differences between the parties were small, and thus the cost (to LGBT rights) of having the wrong party win were also small, then disciplining one party might make sense. It might be exactly the right thing to do, if you were concerned with LGBT rights above everything and taking the long view.

    The problem, imho, is not so much the idea that this is a tactic that sometimes makes sense as the idea that this is that sometime.

  51. 51
    A Duck says:

    tojoursdan: I actually didn’t address gay people at all. I addressed John’s dishonest and self-serving approach to the issue. For which I was called a troll.

    But hey, John has already said gay issues don’t really affect him, his isn’t really invested in issues of objective morality, and his fat, white, hetero ass is fine, so kiss of emo Firebagger.

    Oops, there i go trolling Ballon Juice with its own ideas. What an asshole am I!

  52. 52
    General Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    The good news is, that after the pro left shitfit to come during the lame duck, the two year long shit fit we have endured, will run out of fresh fuel in the new congress. To keep it going, the whiners will have to remain in the past of this congress, to claim it was Obama’s fault. Because the wingers will be front and center as the obstructionists they are. No longer giggling in the nihilistic corner from forcing dems to turn on themselves over a handful of democrats obstructing democrats and Obama. And Obama getting the blame. They will still wail about how Obama lost the House, but it will become increasingly stale as time moves on toward 2012.

  53. 53
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @DanF:

    There is virtually no price to be paid by issuing an EO

    Well, there is the part that he’d have to break the law to do so.

  54. 54
    Lolis says:

    I have been someone who has said that we should be patient and allow the report to come out and give the military time to deal with it. Still, if Senate Dems don’t include this in the defense bill there are no more excuses. This needs to be done. If it cannot be done legislatively Obama needs to kill it however he can. The time for action is now. Republicans certainly do not stop trying to pass their agenda during lame duck sessions, it makes Democrats weak to do so.

  55. 55
    Moe says:

    Alongside all the campaign commitments and legislation, be sure to include the compromises like Rep. Levin are making. Be sure to include that the President “elected on a platform that included support for a wide number of gay issues” still is openly against gay marriage (doesn’t matter that 95% of the country thinks he’s lying, it still is a finger in the eye of LGBT community).

    Can you honestly say that the Democrats are as committed for gay rights as the Republicans are against? Or are you making a “lesser of two evils” argument? That works fine for economic issues, less so for civil rights.

    Cole, I’ll refer you to MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, where he states that most outrage in the Black community wasn’t reserved for those virulently against them (because they knew where they stood), but was for the white moderate, those that agreed with civil rights, but didn’t want to push too hard because of their third-party concerns. When Obama says he prefers legislation rather than judicial activism or executive fiat – remember that this isn’t regular policy, it’s about fundamental freedom and the Democrats have taken the role of ‘the squishy moderate’ rather than fierce advocates of change.

  56. 56
    Guster says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Stop loss orders are the law. If the president believes that firing qualified members of the military is negatively impacting national security, he’s got every legal right to issue an EO.

  57. 57
    amk says:

    Spot on, cole. Progressives and the LGBT people blew once-in-a-generation opportunity, big time.

  58. 58
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @hilzoy:

    But if you think that LGBT rights are more likely to be secured over the long run if the Democratic Party thinks that it cannot take LGBT support for granted, but has to work for it, then it makes sense to focus on getting the Party to think that way.

    When does this ever actually work in practice? The usual consequence is that you make that party more dependent upon some other group, which may be opposed to what you want.

  59. 59
    Guster says:

    @J. Michael Neal: That’s the basis of our entire political system: kowtowing to ‘swing voters’ who might go either way.

  60. 60
    Jay C says:

    @DanF:

    There is virtually no price to be paid by issuing an EO then work on the legislation once everyone could see that the sky was not – in fact – falling

    Do you seriously believe this? Not to start a flame-fest or anything, but where have you been for the past two years, dude?

    Do you seriously not think that a Republican-dominated House (and a Senate populated on one side, at least, by spineless weasels) wouldn’t just jump at the chance to demagogue a “social” issue – especially one which gets their Religious Right backers worked up into a frenzy? Even if only to distract the public’s attention from their [lack of an] economic “program”??

    Hate sells, man; and today’s GOP may be bereft of intelligent ideas, but they sure have the salesmanship part down to a science…

  61. 61
    suzanne says:

    I know plenty of social scientists who have studied prejudice have found that people will often voice support for minority groups, but then routinely seek to undermine them. That’s why I don’t trust the argument that “blah blah blah percentage of Americans support repealing DADT!” Bullshit. If they supported it genuinely, then they wouldn’t vote for people who straight-up support homophobia. The truth is that a minority of Americans really want a repeal, while a bunch of others don’t personally care, but care more about their pocketbooks than fairness. Latinos know this by now—I hope the LGBTs who have been deluded into thinking that a vote for Republicans is in their best interest figure it out.

  62. 62
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Guster: No, he does not. Read the damned thing. It says that the president must find that the individual is “essential to national security.” Not that we would be better off, but essential. At this point, there are a few specializations in the military of which that is true, but most of them are not. I feel for Victor Fehrenbach, but I can’t see that any particular fighter pilot is essential to national security.

  63. 63
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Speaking as a gay man, I think it’s entirely possible to be disappointed by this administration, regardless of the issue. Especially if you saw the 60 Minutes interview last night.

  64. 64
    Michael D. says:

    When there are thousands of straight people marching on Washington protesting DOMA and DADT, instead of a few straight people bitching on blogs about it, then I will take criticism of gay peoples’ attitudes towards Democrats more seriously. We sit around reading blogs all day and think we’re the opinion makers in this country – we’re not – we’re just a bunch of nobodies bitching and complaining on a blog.

    So let’s have an anti-DOMA/DADT rally on Capitol Hill why don’t we. Guess who will show up. Gay people.

    You’re all like typical Democrats here. You expect us to show up and check the box and take what you give us. And when we don’t get what we want and deserve, and when we say fuck it, we’re tired of this bullshit, you roll your eyes and put up a point-by-point list of the things you gave us today and tell us to wait.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Why does this not apply when it comes to the way we vote?

    We’re not one issue people, like so many of you think. We’re very multifaceted. But we’ve voted for Democrats forever now, and on the largest issues, we get next to nothing. I’m glad we got ENDA – absolutely. But guess what – the number of people fired for being gay in this country nowadays pales in comparison to the number of people living in fear of being outed in the military or who are scared shitless that they may never get to see their partner in the hospital or whatever. And Carl Levin thinks nothing of stripping us out of a bill because of politics. When the “politics” sucks, we’ll be ignored every time.

    I love Obama. I really do. But his “I was for gay marriage. Now I am against it. Now I’m moving back towards favoring it.” schtick is patronizing to real people.

    So, let’s play politics. We have two choices in each election – Republicans and Democrats. Yes, Democrats do more (when they do anything at all). But they always say they are going to do way more than they do. So when they make lofty promises and don’t deliver on them, we go to the other option. Is it “cutting off your nose to spite your face”? Yes. But it’s the only other choice. And if Democrats don’t see clear consequences to doing nothing, then they’ll continue to do nothing.

    If DOMA and DADT are repealed, I can guarantee you that you’ll never have to write a post like this again. Democrats will have GLBT people forever.

    I know that every single one of you supports gay people and repeal of DOMA and DADT. I know you do. Democratic politicians know you do too. But they don’t care – because even if they have to play politics with my life, they know you will vote for them anyway.

    There are no political consequences for keeping gay issues on the margins – unless you consider the effects of a blog post that is read by about the number of people who live in my neighborhood “consequences.”

  65. 65
    DanF says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Lord have mercy …

    He doesn’t have to enforce the damned law (I thought we all we’re up enough on this to not have to mention crap like this?). At this point the law has been deemed unconstitutional – not enforcing an unconstitutional law seems to make sense to most Americans. And yes, he can issue an EO if he thinks the law is adversely impacting the military.

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Oddly, Obama understands this and mentions it often. The LGBT community understands this as well. This is codified discrimination and should be attacked anyway it can. It is passed time to make it go away.

    Yes it would be nice if everyone prioritized issues the same way, but we don’t. That really isn’t so hard to understand is it??

  66. 66
    Tom says:

    “So let’s have an anti-DOMA/DADT rally on Capitol Hill why don’t we. Guess who will show up. Gay people.”

    NAILED IT.

  67. 67
    eemom says:

    And before this thread devolves into the same bullshit argument, with the same commenters saying the same thing,

    John Cole, you are so cute.

  68. 68
    John Cole says:

    @A Duck: And now you have completely and totally distorted a remark I made several weeks ago. There is a reason I called you a troll.

  69. 69
    DanF says:

    @Jay C: 70 to 78% of all Americans support the repeal of DADT. So yes, it would be awesome if the Republicans wanted to fight about it. No?

  70. 70
    eemom says:

    @stuckinred:

    uh oh……

  71. 71
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @suzanne: I also think that strength of preference plays a role here. I suspect that, on average, the people opposed to repeal of DADT care more about it, and are thus more likely to base their votes upon it. Just because something is supported by more than half of the country does not mean that it’s a political winner to back it. My guess is that something similar is true of the Bush tax cut issue.

    I will also admit: I’m one of those people for whom it is not that important. I care about it a lot, but there are a lot of things I care about more. Sorry, but it’s true. I can only have one Most Important Issue, and one Second Most Important Issue, and so on. The fact that I care deeply about DADT doesn’t mean that I’m prepared to make my vote about it. I can sympathize with people for whom it is that important, but that doesn’t change my priorities.

  72. 72
    hilzoy says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I don’t think it does work all that often. Both parties have to be sane. The difference between them has to be small enough to make the cost bearable. And if you happen to be me, you also have to overcome a whole lot of visceral distaste for this kind of strategic attitude towards voting, and for the cavalier attitude towards other people’s interests that it displays.

    When I try to imagine a situation in which I might actually vote this way, I come up with two scenarios. (a) One of the saner, smaller northern European countries at a time when xenophobic nationalism was not a threat, and both parties were earnestly debating, say, what approach to waste disposal made more sense. (b) Conversely, some time in the US when both parties were completely, totally dreadful in nearly equal measure.

    — The one time I got closest to strategic voting was in the MA gubernatorial race in which John Silber was running against William Weld. I spent weeks trying to decide who to vote for: both were awful in their different ways. (Silber: angry hateful person. Weld: had normal Republican callousness about the interests of the non-rich. He had proposed a housing program that seemed likely to end up with a whole lot of people losing their homes; when asked about it, he said; well, if homelessness does spike, we can always repeal it. As though that would help families who had already lost their homes and were living in a minivan with their kids.) I ended up voting for Weld simply because I thought he would never go national, whereas Silber might, so now was the time to nip him in the bud. That was the closest thing to a reason I could find. A desire to discipline my party could easily have played that role.

    I’m allergic to the idea of voting for people I think are bad to produce some hoped-for future benefit. I hate it when people talk about doing this because, say, they think the Democrats would benefit from spending a few years in the political wilderness. I also hate it when people talk about doing it to make some point or other. But I don’t think it’s insane. I can see the rationale.

    I can also see why someone might be really, really angry at Obama about this. I routinely get more angry at Democrats than at Republicans: I don’t expect much from Republicans, for the most part, but I do from Democrats. (This was not always true; it’s specific to the last 15 years or so.) I can feel betrayed by Democrats but not by Republicans. Etc.

    That said, when I get angry I normally try really, really hard to separate my anger from any judgments I might have to make that have significant effects, especially if those effects will be felt by people besides me. I also understand why someone might be frustrated by this: why should I always be the reasonable one? etc. But just because it’s frustrating doesn’t mean that it isn’t the right thing to do.

  73. 73
    Tom says:

    “I will also admit: I’m one of those people for whom it is not that important. I care about it a lot, but there are a lot of things I care about more. Sorry, but it’s true. I can only have one Most Important Issue, and one Second Most Important Issue, and so on. The fact that I care deeply about DADT doesn’t mean that I’m prepared to make my vote about it. I can sympathize with people for whom it is that important, but that doesn’t change my priorities. ”

    This is pretty much a perfect summation of the Democratic response to gay rights issues and subsequently a perfect illustration of just why some gays don’t feel motivated to support it.

  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @DanF: And what percentage of that 70 to 80% actually give a damn about the issue? How many of them don’t vote because “it doesn’t make any difference”?
    Same questions for that 20 to 30%? They care. A lot, about Obama using OUR MILITARY to advance the GAY AGENDA! And probably 95% vote, in every damn election.

  75. 75
    General Stuck says:

    The thing is, that legally over the course of history in this country, the military has not been included always with equal status in our experiment with democracy, tied directly to the promises found in the constitution. It has been, only after unique concerns relative to it’s purpose have been satisfied.

    Primarily, unit cohesion while performing it’s singular purpose, of when activated, getting shot at and shooting at other peoples, to put it simply. The military is not a democratic institution, but more like a dictatorship, with the purpose of defending democracy, while largely, not practicing it.

    The reason it is time to repeal DADT, isn’t really a stark case of equality per the constitution requirements, it is because the evidence is overwhelming, that not only is unit cohesion in accomplishing it’s mission of war frighting not substantially affected by allowing gays to serve openly, it’s overall mission is actively harmed by disqualifying a segment of the population with needed skills and manpower.

    Gay marriage is a clear case of discrimination and denial of civil liberals. DADT is not, and there is a giant body of legal determinations over the decades that support that status.

  76. 76
    cleek says:

    the time for these squabbles is during the primaries.

    during the general election, your choice is really about which party controls the houses of Congress (or the WH). specific issues are secondary, since without the majority, none of your issues will be addressed at all.

  77. 77
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @DanF:

    He doesn’t have to enforce the damned law (I thought we all we’re up enough on this to not have to mention crap like this?). At this point the law has been deemed unconstitutional – not enforcing an unconstitutional law seems to make sense to most Americans. And yes, he can issue an EO if he thinks the law is adversely impacting the military.

    Have you considered the possibility that Obama (like myself, actually) thinks that DADT may be very bad policy, but is not actually unconstitutional? If that’s the case, he *is* obligated to enforce it. That’s what that oath he took on Inauguration Day means.

    That’s setting aside the likelihood that he had to cut a deal with the military to allow them to have some control over implementation of repeal in order to get their support. If he were suddenly to stop enforcing the law, he’d alienate the brass, and, like it or not, their support is essential both to getting legislation passed and to make the transition work.

  78. 78
    Murc says:

    I’m going to take a stab at this, God help me.

    Suppose gay rights are your A-number-one issue. Maybe because you’re gay yourself, maybe because you have a gay relative who got the shit kicked out of them, maybe because you’re a decent human being who decided that this is the defining moral issue of our time, akin to the Civil Rights era. It’s not your ONLY issue, but its the primary one.

    The Republicans are adamantly against what you want; its a core part of their platform, they are never going to vote the right way on your issue and in fact use their opposition to it as a selling point. So there’s not a lot of room for movement there; you have zero influence.

    That leaves the Democrats, who have generally, despite repeated failures, some egregious, been the guys who represent the vehicle for your legislative needs. With THEM, you have influence; your needs resonate ideologically with a large portion of the Democratic base and Democratic representative are willing to take your money and support and stand together with you publicly.

    Only it often seems like when it comes to the big things, that’s ALL the Democrats are willing to do. The Republicans are willing to FIGHT. Republican Congresspeople will stand up and read virulent hatred against you into the Congressional record, will filibuster any and all bills related to making you more than a second-class citizen into oblivion, and more to the point, will be PROUD to do this. They’ll go back home and RUN on doing that. They’ll go on news shows and proclaim its a matter of principle. And Democrats back down. They don’t fight back.

    Let’s take DOMA and DADT as concrete examples. DOMA was signed into law by a Democrat. Regardless of whether or not a veto could have been overridden, they expected Clinton to at least try to block, and to be proud of that work, the same way that a hypothetical Republican equivalent would veto, say, ENDA and then run on that accomplishment. DADT is the same way. The Republicans are willing to FIGHT. They’re willing to say ‘we will not pass a defense authorization bill with this provision in it; it is repugnant to us; defy us at your peril.’ And instead of ‘bring it. We’re not afraid. We will not pass a defense authorization bill WITHOUT this provision in it. We are on the right side of history and of the country on this’ you get ‘well gosh, I guess we’d better strip this out, then.’

    So at that point, you start looking for points of leverage. You have none with Republicans; your leverage there is ‘oppose them every election cycle.’ With Democrats? You got leverage there. You fund-raise for them. You do GOTV efforts for them. A substantial portion of their base is ideologically on YOUR side. So that’s where you go to apply leverage.

    Let me flip the questions your asking around back to you. If denying Democrats your support and speaking out against their failures in order to make them do what you want isn’t kosher, how do you get them to? In what different manner do you apply leverage to get to your desired political outcome?

    I will note that you ask “Can anyone name one time in history in which people sat out an election or voted for the opposition, and it made your ally more receptive to your concerns?” Yes. I can. 2008. The Republican base was extremely depressed that election and sat home. (The Democratic base was also extremely excited and fired up; but that’s a separate thing.) Result? Republicans double down both politically and policywise on the issues that were important to their base and benefactors.

    Going back further, and in more general terms, the Republican strategy since the 1980s has been to get out people who are otherwise more than willing to sit home. Remember the old Moral Majority? A lot of those ‘values voters’ were people who were perfectly content to sit home in election after election, because the sinful nature of politics was such they couldn’t sully themselves with it.

    I think this is how you get people screaming themselves hoarse at Obama and the Democrats; this is the thought process and the justifications thereof. OF COURSE the Republicans are worse, and you’re absolutely right that gay votes going to Republicans are batshit insane. But being angry at Democrats… well, they’re suppose to fight the Republicans. When they don’t, you get mad. (The unforced error football analogy made some posts back was entirely apt, I feel.)

    Having said all that (yeah, I write long posts. What of it?) it isn’t a position I personally subscribe to. I will call out the White House and democrats in general for fucking shit up whenever they fuck shit up; that’s the act of a friend. But going off on Sullivanesque rants about betrayal and acting like they’re Worse Than Republicans when they clearly aren’t? It’s both wrong and not smart. My personal view (and this is separate from the chain of logic that I describe above) is to be cold and calculating about this. ‘Listen, Dems. We aren’t getting the performance we want from you. Maybe our support isn’t worth whatever damage you feel you’d take from giving us the level of support we want. Let’s talk about that. Otherwise we walk.’ But that’s just me.

  79. 79
    suzanne says:

    @hilzoy:

    This is the key, I think:
    “How do you discipline your party when they consistently fail to support your personal goals?”

    My question is why do they have to be “disciplined” at all? The way marginalized groups have historically won advances is by getting enough support from members of dominant groups. Despite the statistic that everyone keeps throwing around about a majority of Americans supporting repeal, I don’t believe it; if they genuinely supported repealing it, there would be a political price to pay for opposing it. Instead, there were rewards given out for opposing it. Come on—we hear “I am not a racist!” all the time from racists. “Disciplining” those who agree with you, even if they aren’t as passionate as you are, is pretty much a waste of time. What you need to win battles are allies—try making some.

  80. 80
    Papa Tony says:

    If my crowd of middle-aged gay males doesn’t get traction from protesting in the old, obsolete ways, and lashes out blindly, then I can understand the desperation. I did MY civic duty in a way that makes logical sense, but I’m also a leader in the NON-political gay community.

    The gay men who are of the age to have some form of sense are CRUSHED by the aftermath of our brothers dying in massive numbers. I’ve lost over 140 crucial people in my life. For a year of so, I was attending several funerals in a typical weekend. This has warped our perspective – We have difficulty pulling together, because of mistrust in our ability to keep people around (they had a habit of dying on us). Those old habits are pretty entrenched and visceral.

    We’re NOT a delightfully coherent “community”. Not in any good, typical way. We have good intentions toward the concept, but middle-aged gay men as individuals (by and large, overly generalizing), are as gun-shy as any war veteran who has seen front-line action.

    If you think that I’m trolling for pity, or victim status, you can shove it. I’m trying to explain.

    I’m currently hosting several community-rebuilding events per month for gay middle-aged men, and it’s awesomely hard to find anybody. We don’t have gay bars as our social centers any more, and the gay newspapers are dying fast. Traditional-style affinity-groups (monthly meetings, by-laws, rules of order, boards of directors), have probably dropped below ten percent of what they were, ten years ago, due to the Internet.

    Where are we going to find our commonality?

    Certainly not from the online crotch-oriented gay sites, which discourage anything that isn’t a direct money-maker for the owners of that site. THERE IS NOTHING ELSE. Nada. No other way for gay men to gather together in common cause. Everybody wants to sell us something (or kick us while we’re down), but nobody wants to help us be unified. We’re surrounded by a culture that is manifestly hostile to our existence, much less our full participation as brothers standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

    I’m succeeding in my efforts to build up my local community, but I have to work hard for every new member added to my list. It’s slow, it’s difficult, but I’m doing it. My goal is to find out what techniques work best for gathering together a fragmented community in the 21st century (because the old methods don’t work), and then tell everybody else how to achieve successes as well.

    THEN, maybe, the crabby jerks who like rubbing poop on us in the comments here will see some unified, sensible behavior that they can finally approve of.

    I surely look forward to that, you betcha.

  81. 81
    Guster says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Gimme a break: ” … separation applicable to any member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the United States.”

    Having competent Arabic translators is essential to national security. Having thousands more qualified troops is essential to national security. At least that’s an entirely defensible belief. Essential to national security in whose opinion? His.

    You think stop-loss is only for members of the armed forces who are individual essential to the national security? Like if one guy is discharged, the whole country falls apart?

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:

    @cleek:

    very well, and succinctly put.

  83. 83
    Yui Ricdeau says:

    Jim, Foolish Literalist succinctly states the fundamental problem: “Also, getting it through some particularly thick heads that compromise and incrementalism are how things happen in this country.”

    How sad. In other words: That’s the way things are. It is what it is. Business as usual.

    Wow. As a very long term reader (and lurker) of Balloon Juice, I can’t understand this way of thinking.

    Shouldn’t we hold politicians responsible? Or do we simply accept all politicians lie? Obama himself asked to be held to account. Yet when on issue after issue the promises that were made are broken, we who object are called didn’t-get-my-pony, firebagging, unrealistic, thick-headed, (fill-in-the-blank pejorative) malcontents.

    how things happen? Whatever happened to “change” (as in Hope and Change)? And by change, I mean for the better.

  84. 84
    Larkspur says:

    @Tom:

    The vast majority of gays who voted, voted Democrat. And the vast majority of gays who follow politics supported Obama. This post is nothing but a witch hunt disguised as concern trolling. The responses already confirm that.

    I pretty much agree with the first half, Tom, but not so much on the second half.

    For one thing – one basic, elementary thing (and trust me, I am elementary level in terms of my knowledge about how government works) – I haven’t often seen a clear, incremental delineation of just what Obama has accomplished so far in regard to LGBT rights. In the post above, John Cole has done that, and when you look at that, you can see the framework, the solid foundation, the evidence that, regardless of Obama’s missteps or flat out mistakes, he has intended from the start to establish and protect LGBT rights, across the board.

    Repealing DADT is obviously long overdue, but it’s a total waste of whatever remaining brain cells I have left to fulminate against Obama’s treachery. I have to take this to the Senate’s doorstep, obviously the Republicans in particular, but the mealy-mouthed Dems as well. I think John McCain’s obstructionism, in particular, is the real deal-killer here. He could have been pivotal in getting this done. But I guess you need a soul before you can even try.

  85. 85
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    @toujoursdan: That’s 1 in 3 gays who showed up to vote cast a vote for republicans. Believe it or not, social issues aren’t the most important thing to some people, even if they are their own social issues.

    Turnout really is the thing that people keep leaving out of analysis of this election. Dems stayed home, that’s all.

  86. 86
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Tom:

    This is pretty much a perfect summation of the Democratic response to gay rights issues and subsequently a perfect illustration of just why some gays don’t feel motivated to support it.

    Quite possibly. However, the only way that I can make sense of putting DADT higher on the priority list than, say, health care reform is to recognize that there’s a strong element of self interest in it. There’s nothing wrong with voting self interest. Given my situation as someone with no job and multiple pre-existing conditions, it probably plays a role in my prioritizations, too.

    However, I’m not terribly interested in being lectured about the morality of not basing my vote on DADT. The same goes for the idea that, because Obama does not have DADT at the top of his priority list, that must mean that he’s really a homophobe who hates gay people. That last is not hyperbole; multiple commentrs at this site have made that argument with a straight face.

    If you really want to make DADT repeal your top priority, have at it. I find it a strange choice, but have at it. Understand, though, that any individual’s list of things that they can say that about must necessarily be very short. Not having DADT on that very short list doesn’t mean that someone hates you. It means that there are a lot of things to be upset about, and there can only be one Most Important Thing.

  87. 87
    Morbo says:

    Before getting to the meat of the post, just have to say how much the use of “procedure hurdle” for cloture makes me RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE.

  88. 88
    Joe Beese says:

    Don’t be a coward, Cole. Admit that you were completely wrong when you said “I still think DADT will be repealed during the lame duck session – so queers please STFU until after the electcion”.

    Admit that Obama played you for a sucker… yet again.

  89. 89
    DanF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That 30% isn’t going to vote for a Democrat. Ever. No matter what. And the Republicans lose the current group of 18 to 29 year olds forever because no one wants to be a dick. It’s flat-out smart politics on every level.

    Read what Murc wrote above. That’s +10 analysis.

  90. 90
    Tsulagi says:

    I had hoped the Democrats would stick to their guns on DADT in the lame duck

    And I bet you also hoped Santa was going to be extra nice this year because you’ve been good.

    Think we can pretty much file this one in the “No one could have predicted” cabinet.

  91. 91
    KDP says:

    Rather than calling Senator Levin directly, you might consider making your voice heard by calling the offices of the Senate Armed Services Committee at 202-224-3871.

    I just had a lovely conversation with a woman in that office, who said that no decision had been made about removing repeal language. I pointed out that I was calling now to voice my opposition to continuing DADT and my support for retaining any repeal language in the next Defense bill.

    If the decision on this language is being made by the committee, then the committee office seems to be the correct contact point through which to voice your preference on this matter.

  92. 92
    gbear says:

    @stuckinred:

    I personally find the argument that there are all these gay folks that just want to serve their country to be a little shaky.

    Well lets firm it up for you a little bit. The repeal of DADT is about trying to keep gay folks who are already serving in the frickin’ military from getting kicked out of the military for no reason other than being gay folk.

    I am gay and didn’t serve in the military and there’s no way in hell I would have ever enlisted, but if you’re trying to say that gay folk are arguing for something we don’t even want, your argument is full of it.

  93. 93
    nancydarling says:

    I think not enough people appreciate what a fine line our President is walking on this issue. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, believing that most of the shit occurs in full view right under our noses. However, if Mickey Weinstein and Jeff Sharlet are credible, the military brass is peppered with Christians(?) of the dominionist, lunatic variety. Remember Smedley Butler and the Business Plot against FDR?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot

    My sense is that most of the military brass is not happy with Obama as their CinC. One wants to think that something like the Business Plot could not happen again, but just looking at the numbers who voted for Angle and O”Donnell makes me sense that a lot of things are possible these days.
    The new republican majority leader of the Missouri State Senate is a full on birther. Also, there was that Arkansas school board member (since resigned) who posted ugly stuff regarding gay suicides on his face book page. The lunatics ARE trying to take over the country. If the economy continues to stall or gets worse, their odds of doing so get better.

    My daughter and I attended the Sanity Rally— at least the tail end of it. A normally fifteen minute trip to the Metro station in Fairfax took 2 hours due to Rally traffic, and then another two hour wait in line at the station. We arrived at the National Mall at 2:30. We walked around for quite a while after the Rally ended at 3:00 talking to everyone and sharing stories. I am convinced that there are more sane people than crazies. A 3 day side trip to NYC added to that belief (I tend to talk to strangers). We just can’t sit back and let the shit happen. All of us have to run interference while Obama carries the ball. We are legion!

    Cut President Obama some slack, please! What we are all longing for will happen. Obama is on our team on this issue.

  94. 94
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @DanF: the point is, that 30% is going to vote, they’re going to show up; those 18-29 year olds, not so much. And not voting is an indirect vote, in this case for Republicans.

  95. 95
    300baud says:

    John, at this point I don’t get why you don’t get this. I’ve tried explaining 3 or 4 different ways. Many others have, too.

    Your analysis makes sense if you’re thinking mainly about the next election cycle, care about other issues a fair bit, and don’t care about this one a ton. For people who identify as activists, none of these things are true.

    In this case, people are being denied their basic civil and human rights. Activists aren’t going to be carefully strategic about it, because that’s being complicit in a corrupt system. They certainly hate the homophobe Republicans, but protesting them won’t do any good. The homophobes don’t think the gays are human; why would they listen? So the activists keep their powder dry for their supposed allies that appear to eternally say: “Not yet! Another day!”

    If you want to get it, go read what MLK said about people calling his activism “unwise and untimely”:

    http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Ar.....ngham.html

    Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” […] There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

  96. 96
    suzanne says:

    I would just like to note that I still don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment and that my right to not have a parasite growing in my body is still somehow open for public debate.

    I vote Dem because it ain’t all about me. As soon as marginalized groups band together rather than taking on issues separately, our power will increase dramatically. Like, everyone’s still all butthurt about DADT, and for good reason. No one’s talking about how DREAM got equally fucked that day. So make a coalition.

  97. 97
    MBunge says:

    I think one issue in this fracas is going unexamined. Every single complaint gay rights supporters have against the Obama Administration, EVERY SINGLE ONE, is a thousand times more true of the Clintonites. Now, maybe I missed it, but where was the gay backlash against Bill Clinton after he signed DOMA about a month and a half before the 1996 Presidential election where he was far ahead in the polls? Where was the gay backlash against Clinton creating DADT in 1993 and then doing nothing about it for the next 7 years?

    Maybe the backlash was there and simply did not have the same sort of voice then as it does now in the blogosphere. Though that doesn’t really explain why Bill isn’t dogged by gay activists every time he shows his face in public or why there were gays who were such vocal supporters of Hillary.

    Mike

  98. 98
    Chyron HR says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Remember, kids, John McCain is really Obama’s loyal catspaw in the Senate.

  99. 99
    wilfred says:

    Why shouldn’t people rage and protest for what they believe to be right? The argument here is that it somehow weakens the position of an otherwise sympathetic politician, party or administration and strengthens their opponents who ipso facto are always already opposed to their position. Thus:

    How does rewarding the party who openly attacks you make any sense?

    It does if it strengthens your position with the other party. Your argument is that the pro-gay actions of the administration should add up to the one thing that gay people seem to want more than anything else. You’re trying to quantify what is essentially a qualitative question. You don’t understand it because you don’t feel it.

    If you did, you wouldn’t ask the question.

  100. 100
    Allan says:

    I have heard nothing but screaming about “shutting down the GAYTM to let them know we are serious!”

    Have you looked into hearing aids? Or is your deafness selective? Are the voices of gay people at a frequency that you are unable to hear?

  101. 101
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Guster:

    Having competent Arabic translators is essential to national security. Having thousands more qualified troops is essential to national security. At least that’s an entirely defensible belief. Essential to national security in whose opinion? His.

    It says nothing whatsoever about the president’s opinion. It says that he has determined that the servicemember is essential to national security, which is not the same thing. Determination involves study and fact checking and soliciting the opinion of people very familiar with the subject. Yes, having thousands of qualified troops (even hundreds of thousands) is essential for national security. Back when the services couldn’t meet their enlistment goals and we had to install a stop-loss order for those specialties in general, one could even argue that each one was essential.

    Yes, having competent Arabic translators is essential to national security. We don’t have enough of them. This specialization falls among the small number where I said that the argument is justified and the president can legitimately prevent separation.* The same just can’t be said of most of them, though. If it were, the military would have to prevent the separation of everyone in that job, not just the gay service members. The fact that they are letting everyone else out means that there is zero plausible argument that the gay troops are essential to national security. They just aren’t. We need to have a lot of them, but we don’t really need any particular ones.

    *Lt. Dan Choi is a different story. He deliberately picked the fight and pretty much forced his own separation. Civil disobedience and challenging rules are, in general, actions that can be laudable. For good reasons, the military doesn’t see it that way about its own members. Much like the generals that have to retire before they can openly speak their minds on policy issues, if a lieutenant really wants to make a public statement that he is opposed to, and will disobey, set armed services policies, he needs to do so from outside the military.

  102. 102
    Tom says:

    @J. Michael Neal

    “However, I’m not terribly interested in being lectured about the morality of not basing my vote on DADT.”

    I did absolutely nothing of the sort in my response to you. I can understand the feeling, however. I’m not terribly interested in being lectured about the appropriate way to accomplish certain political goals from people who admit that said goals aren’t particularly important to them.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    Michael D. says:

    Oh, and so your facts are straight:

    Obama ends the 22 year old odious HIV travel ban

    This was not Obama. This was Bush. It just went into effect on Obama’s watch.

  105. 105
    Larkspur says:

    @Papa Tony: This makes me want to weep from grief. I remember. So many, many people lost, and those were not easy deaths, and for a terrible long time, there were no fund-raisers, no races, no support structure except what you built by hand, on the spot.

    I know a few medical doctors who were students and interns at the time, and they are permanently shocked at how people suffered, and how little they, as doctors, could do, even though they were trying so hard.

    I don’t think you have to be middle-aged, like you and I are, to reflect on how hard it is to rebuild after such devastation, so believe me when I say I share the bitterness you express when you say “…maybe, the crabby jerks who like rubbing poop on us in the comments here will see some unified, sensible behavior that they can finally approve of.”

  106. 106
    4tehlulz says:

    @300baud: I doubt, at the time he said that, that one-third of voting African-Americans were voting for Dixiecrats (or Nixon, later).

    There also is no gay equivalent to Malcolm X.

  107. 107

    @Papa Tony:
    My sympathy for your losses. I am sure it has been devastating.

    Would you feel better if they had been killed in combat? They would still be dead.

  108. 108
    suzanne says:

    @300baud:

    Your analysis makes sense if you’re thinking mainly about the next election cycle, care about other issues a fair bit, and don’t care about this one a ton. For people who identify as activists, none of these things are true.

    I agree with you, but I also think this is the crux of the problem. Right now, we are in a situation where, because activists and other passionate people have one issue they care about more than another. So to get something done for one group, political capital has to be expended that makes it more difficult to accomplish something for another. By getting HCR for the poor, Obama has less power to do something for LGBTs. But none of us have only one identity, and a win for any shit-on group is a win for us all. I think a more holistic approach is necessary.

  109. 109
    My Name Here says:

    For all the people pushing for the executive order route and making comparisons to ending segregation in the military I have a question. Is there any concern at all that the president would be issuing an order to the military that it should break the law? As far as I recall there was no act of congress ordering segregation of the military, it was just the official policy, in this case DADT is a passed and signed law. This sets up a huge separation of powers problem, and if it passed muster I really worry about the precedent it sets. Now if I am wrong about the history on segregation someone please correct me, but I really do worry about a president telling the military to ignore the law, seems dangerous to start down that path.

  110. 110
    JITC says:

    @Hawes:

    The problem with HCR is that it prevents the case for a universal single payer by changing the existing system rather than overthrowing it. So we’ve lost a source of umbrage and outrage (Why can’t we be more Canadian?!)

    You are right, but I think only temporarily. I think in the long run (not coincidentally around 2014) it will HELP the argument for single payer. Even today it’s starting to.

    HCR got Americans some big benefits that are very popular – children on parents’ plans until age 26, no dumping kids with pre-existing conditions, no life-time maximum benefit, etc. More and more Americans are noticing these benefits. And the insurance industry response has been to jack up rates or offer fewer services (instead of having to cover sick kids, they have chosen to <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/20.....&quot; title="cover no kids at all!").

    So what is being laid bare and tangible is that the more we as patients/consumers gain, the more the insurers try to screw us. They literally have to be forced to do the right thing (cover sick kids) and when forced to do so, they charge us all unaffordable rates or cut benefits to all of us.

    As 2014 comes closer, it will be more and more clear that actually providing care and insurance profits are mutually exclusive. It bolsters the argument to getting the profit out of the health insurance scam.

  111. 111
    D-Chance. says:

    What else did anyone expect? The gay community made it clear from inauguration day onwards that they had no intention of supporting Obama no matter what he did…

    George Bush The gay community doesn’t care about black people.” — Kanye West

  112. 112
    daveNYC says:

    The problem with HCR is that it prevents the case for a universal single payer by changing the existing system rather than overthrowing it. So we’ve lost a source of umbrage and outrage (Why can’t we be more Canadian?!)

    I’d prefer single payer, basically medicare for all, as a national health care program, however there are other routes to bring about universal coverage. The Swiss system, for example. The choice between keeping the status quo or voting for the HCR bill that was passed is a no-brainer. The Republicans might be happy to keep abortion around as a perpetual issue to rile up their base, but I’m unwilling to keep people uninsured to do the same for the Democrats.

    If Obama and the Dems can’t get rid of DADT when they control all three branches of elected government then they don’t deserve to be supported.

    Only two of the branches are elected, and control of the Senate and SCOTUS dubious at best. Especially since sixty is the new fifty for getting anything done in the Senate.

    Can you honestly say that the Democrats are as committed for gay rights as the Republicans are against? Or are you making a “lesser of two evils” argument? That works fine for economic issues, less so for civil rights.

    The Democrats are not as committed as the Republicans, but I think that has less to do with the Democrats’ wishy-washiness (which there is a lot of) and more to do with the Republicans’ willingness to be anti-anything-Obama, and the fact that they’ll throw anyone under the bus in order to win power. I mean they filibustered a defense spending bill because of this. The fact that they managed to attach DADT repeal to the defense spending bill was a great move, and you’d think that there would have been at least some support from the Republican side to get that through, but as we saw, they all voted lockstep to stop it. Maybe Obama could have done more to get it to pass, but I seriously doubt it. I mean they voted against a defense spending bill for Christ’s sake.

    Sadly, with the House changing hands, I think we are stuck with DADT for the near future. If Obama wants to improve the lot of LGBT peeps in the military, the best he will be able to do is change military policy to focus on the DA aspect of the bill. And good luck even doing that, especially in the USAF (what with all the Christian crap coming out of Colorado Springs).

    OT: I’ve been hammering through the Stargate: SG1 series on Netflix. It’s mind boggling the difference between the USAF as on that show, and what we have in reality. Obviously it’s a scifi show and we’re the good guys and whatnot, but it’s depressing to consider what the real USAF would be getting up to if it had a stargate.

  113. 113
    ken says:

    @Michael D.:

    Not exactly, Nancy Pelosi put it in the PEPFAR bill in the summer of 2008, and Bush signed it.

    Spare me, Republicans are assholes.

  114. 114
    ken says:

    @Michael D.:

    Not exactly, Nancy Pelosi put it in the PEPFAR bill in the summer of 2008, and Bush signed it.

    Spare me, Republicans are assholes.

  115. 115
    4tehlulz says:

    @My Name Here: I suspect the opposite would be true; since EOs would have to be issued on an individual basis, this gives those in the military that like DADT more reason to enforce it much more rigorously.

  116. 116
    Allan says:

    @MBunge: Actually, the betrayals of the Clinton years have a lot to do with the distrust many members of the LGBT community have toward the Democratic Party in general, as well as informing our suspicions toward the current administration. Unfortunately, some among us are quick to throw themselves under the D bus.

  117. 117
    KDP says:

    Again, if you support the repeal of DADT, then make your voice heard with the people who are preparing legislation.

    Call the Senate Armed Services Committee today and every day to express your support for retaining the repeal language in the bill. Call your senator to express your support for repeal. Make those calls every day.

    The Senate Armed Services Committee office can be reached at:

    202-224-3871

    Its membership can be found here:

    http://armed-services.senate.gov/members.htm

    Legislative victories for progressive causes are gained incrementally in this country. If you want DADT to be repealed, call the people who can make the decision about what language is included in the next bill and make your voice heard.

    As interesting as these blog conversations are, if they do not provide us with the initiative to contact our legislators and the legislative committees to express our support or opposition for proposed legislative changes, it’s just a bunch of balloon juice!

    Call the committee, call the committee members, call your senators and representatives. Make your voice heard before the bill is finalized and comes to the floor!

    John, thanks for the post.

  118. 118
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Tom:

    I did absolutely nothing of the sort in my response to you.

    I did not mean to imply that you did. However, there have been plenty of others on here that have.

    I’m not terribly interested in being lectured about the appropriate way to accomplish certain political goals from people who admit that said goals aren’t particularly important to them.

    It would help, though, if you didn’t misrepresent what I said. I never said that it wasn’t particularly important to me. I said that it isn’t important enough to make my list of top 2-3 priorities, which is as many as (and maybe more than) one can have that truly determine one’s vote. Anything more than that, and you are including things that can not, by themselves, change your vote. If they could, then they need to replace something else.

    If you plan to be snotty to everyone who has a different set of top priorities, you’re going to find yourself pretty lonely.

  119. 119
    Michael D. says:

    @ken: Ken: Good point – oon both counts. Thanks for the clarification on the former (and for stating the obvious on the latter!)

  120. 120
    Allan says:

    Also too, John, the reason lots of LGBT people direct their anger and frustration at Obama instead of at specific members of congress or the Republicans is that LGBT people are not necessarily smarter or better informed about US politics than other Americans, who likewise write blog posts and comments all day long demanding that Obama do things that fall under the bailiwick of the Judicial and/or Legislative branches of government.

    Why does it bother you more when members of an oppressed minority make this common mistake?

  121. 121
    John Cole says:

    Why does it bother you more when members of an oppressed minority make this common mistake?

    Do you understand how obnoxious, hostile, and what a loaded question that is? You wonder why I often respond rudely and dismissively to you. This bullshit is why.

  122. 122
    Allan says:

    @John Cole: Of course I do, John. Why don’t you answer it?

  123. 123
    bcw says:

    The amount of condescension and animus towards gays in these comments is astounding. How dare those faggots fail to reward their protectors who will get around to doing something to bestow basic civil rights any day now as long as it doesn’t require any political capital.

    The Obama administration finds the legal flexibility to refuse to prosecute torturers and for presidential orders for the assassination of American citizens based or secret claims of terrorism but not the flexibility to decline to appeal the legal overturn of DADT. Then they said they would pass repeal after the election when even an idiot could tell the hopelessness of that claim.

    I think that other gays also saw that they needed to vote and support Democrats this election yet I think many of us will not vote for Obama again. If this blog wants to get Obama reelected it would better put its efforts towards pushing Obama to recognize the fundamental importance of civil rights by deeds instead of words.

  124. 124
    Corner Stone says:

    and Obama even hinted that he had a strategy, but that appears to have -not materialized as of yet- never been true.

    Fixed that for you.

  125. 125
    Damned at Random says:

    In a sense, this is more of the messaging “problem” dems have been talking about since the election. The whole “No Drama Obama” meme worked for me. My personal experience is that I get more and better work out of the guy who takes notes and asks good questions in meetings than I do from the guy who dominates and bloviates. Unfortunately, the media loves drama and the public at large only listens when you scream.

    SO the screamers are in charge now – lets see what actually gets done

  126. 126
    300baud says:

    @suzanne:

    By getting HCR for the poor, Obama has less power to do something for LGBTs. But none of us have only one identity, and a win for any shit-on group is a win for us all. I think a more holistic approach is necessary.

    I agree that makes sense from your perspective. But do you realize what that looks like from the perspective of the marginalized group? “Hey, I know you wanted to get married, and I know you’d like to stop being afraid to admit who you are, and I know you’d rather not have national figures saying you’re not fit to associate with decent folk. We won’t do that now (although maybe we suggested we would). We don’t know when we’ll do it. But good news! Some people, a lot of whom hate you, now have better lives!” You can see how that isn’t much of a consolation.

    Can you honestly say that if the issue were voting rights for women, or civil rights for African-Americans, you’d tell people they should be saying, “No, that other thing is more important. I’ll just wait until you guys say it’s my turn”? Because as far as I can tell, those things only got done because a lot of people raised a ruckus.

  127. 127
    Allan says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Would you feel better if they had been killed in combat? They would still be dead.

    Jews, I’m sorry millions of you were exterminated in camps. Would you feel better if they had died in combat fighting the Nazis? They would still be dead.

  128. 128
    Tom Hilton says:

    Obama works with the Pentagon to create a smooth path forward on DADT. He has the support of Mike Mullen, Sec. Def. Gates, and numerous other high-ranking military officials.

    Which, by the way, Clinton didn’t do…which is why we got stuck with DADT in the first place. But of course Obama is so much worse than Clinton.

  129. 129
    scarshapedstar says:

    Why should the Democrats back down, though?

    The public wants DADT gone. Even most Republicans want DADT gone.

    They have two choices:

    1) Don’t change the Defense bill. Let the Republicans say that they refuse to fund The Troops. Force them to state publicly that they’d rather let our soldiers die than let gays serve openly. Make this a fucking albatross around their necks and do not budge. Harp on it for the rest of the lame duck session, because there’s nothing else to do.

    Up or down vote.
    Up or down vote.
    Up or down vote.

    2) Raise the white flag, continue with bad policy and bad politics, and turn over the House with their tails tucked between their legs and urine all over their underbellies. And then they can attack their constituents for being ungrateful.

  130. 130
    Michael D. says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Would you feel better if they had been killed in combat? They would still be dead.

    And the “Moronic Statement of the Year Award” goes to….

  131. 131
    A Duck says:

    Allan: Please ignore Linda Featheringill, as she is the sort of moron who insists that ‘kids these days are just more darn dangerous and violent than the kids in my day’. And this is despite her obvious (theoretical) ability to access teh Google and find out just how uninformed and silly she is.

  132. 132
    Corner Stone says:

    @toujoursdan: Morzer and Omnes Omnibus, IIRC, shredded this bullshit exit poll. It is not statistically significant to determine any actual answer.
    Read the crosstabs.

  133. 133
    Stillwater says:

    Gays are proving America is a center-right nation!!

  134. 134
    John Cole says:

    @Allan: Because it is a bullshit question. It implies that I am somehow targeting “oppressed minorities” for scorn, and doesn’t deserve a response. Quit being a dick if you want an actual debate.

    This post was as even-keeled as you will ever get from me, yet you come in here with this tired crap. Why should I waste my time with a response?

  135. 135
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Wow, that was the dumbest comment I have read in a long time.

  136. 136
    NR says:

    @The Moar You Know: A very strange and disturbing thing that I’ve seen over the last couple of years is the incredible amount of anger and bullying demanding that Democratic constituencies accept the paradigm that they work for the Democratic party, not the other way around. Your comment is a perfect example of that.

    A group of voters says “We support X, and we’re supporting Democrats because they also support X.”

    Then when issue X is deferred, negotiated away, or ignored, and the group of voters complains about that, they are told that they are purity trolls. Told that they want to lose elections. Told that they want Sarah Palin to be president and won’t they be better off with her in office, har har har.

    This issue is a perfect example. Gays are told one thing, repeatedly, and then they are supposed to ignore everything they see that screams the total opposite of what they’re being told. And if they dare point out the difference between the words and the politics, they get ruthlessly shouted down.

    The same thing happens with pro-choice advocates (Democrats love to say that abortion rights aren’t negotiable, except they were more than happy to trade them away to Bart Stupak in order to get their health insurance reform bill), civil libertarians (where are those torture prosecutions? Oh, right, I’m sure they’re coming), people who want a sane foreign policy (What? Obama said that he was going to massively escalate the war in Afghanistan, so you can’t complain!)…. The list goes on.

    Well, you cannot bully and manipulate people into propping you up forever. There is a tipping point. You guys had better figure that out, and fast, or this last election is going to look like sunshine and roses compared to the world of hurt that’s ahead.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @scarshapedstar:

    Why should the Democrats back down, though?

    Because “the Democrats” as a group don’t all agree with sensible, decent positions on things, and some of “the Democrats” are very a-feard of people running commercials against them showing speedo-clad beefcake from Carl Paladino’s fantasies?

  138. 138
    suzanne says:

    @300baud:

    I agree that makes sense from your perspective. But do you realize what that looks like from the perspective of the marginalized group?

    As a woman with a disability, sure I do. Can you see how I might be pissed at the fact that some LGBTs voted for the party that expressly promises to repeal HCR, when women still make 75 cents to a man’s dollar in this country and I cannot afford my medication, merely to “discipline” their party?

    Ultimately, though, there’s no value in trying to figure out who’s fucked the most. Our interests intersect, and when we act together, we are stronger.

  139. 139
    DougMN says:

    John,

    Its very simple. The President either explicitly or implied made promises he did not keep. People do not like that, and therefore he lost support.

    You can say the President did many nice things, but those nice things are not what many folks wanted. You may like the nice things, but others do not value the nice things as much as you do and therefore the President loses support.

  140. 140
    Mark says:

    John – I’ve periodically posted about the incomprehensible number of gay people who vote republican; glad you’ve picked it up.

    I live in San Francisco. My city council district, my state house district and my state senate district have been represented only by gay jews for the last decade. The gay vote is all D here, but I did ask a number of gay guys I know why any of them would vote R. The answers (and I am writing out what I was told):

    1) Wealthy white men tend to vote very strongly R. Gay white men are a very wealthy group and are the power center in the gay community. The bigotry of the Rs is worth about +30 points for the Dems. That’s a big swing, and while we’d like to think that it would be bigger, all of your statements about white people ruining this country apply to aggrieved white minorities too. And if the Democrats succeeded in passing gay marriage and ending DOMA and DADT, then gay white men would be just as R as straight white men.

    2) There is an undercurrent of racism in the gay community. For a variety of reasons, gay white men don’t like or trust black people, Obama included. That’s worth 5-10 points to the Rs.

    3) There is a need to feel like a victim even if you’re not. Most DADT discharges are not of mythical male Arabic linguists; they’re of lesbians working in support jobs. Wealthy gay white men are not being victimized by DADT – it’s poorer women, often minorities. But after so many years of being victims, it’s hard to break the cycle.

    4) Just generally, gay guys were taunted as “pussies” for much of their lives. Well, Republicans aren’t “pussies”, are they? They stand for kicking ass and crushing people, and a vote for them is a vote against being a wimp.

    5) There is a streak of gay supremacy that fails to recognize that gay white men benefit from white male privilege. Many gay men knew their families would disown them when they came out, so they stayed in the closet, worked hard in school, and got themselves into a position where they didn’t need family support. This leads to a lot of glibertarian (my term) beliefs.

    6) The biggest health care issue for gay men is HIV. But Medicaid already pays for more than half the HIV treatment in the country, and in San Francisco, you can get your meds for free up to a much higher income level. So while HCR motivated me, it didn’t have the same impact in the gay male community – if you don’t have children, then eliminating pre-existing conditions for children isn’t going to get you out to vote.

    I thought those were some pretty insightful answers – those are from four different people, all men. I know nothing about whether lesbians vote R.

    I asked one friend of mine who’s a pediatrician if he had a choice between two laws passing – gay marriage or guaranteed health insurance for children – which one would he pick. He said gay marriage, no question.

    I think the key point you have to remember is that wealthy gay white men aren’t that different from wealthy straight white men. We should be surprised that they’re democrats, not surprised that they’re republicans.

  141. 141
    ruemara says:

    @Moses2317:
    This is what should be done, not the demands for Obama to do an EO, that has been debunked as a solution so endlessly, it’s like saying proclaiming that the earth is flat.

    Here’s what’s bothering me. Gates just called for Congress to repeal DADT. That’s the Secretary of Defense. An unnamed source says DADT repeal is dead. Why is the unnamed source given more credence?

    A small portion of the population is affected by DADT. A larger portion of the population is affected by DOMA. Why are we so emotionally tied up with DADT? Many of the bills passed and rights restored by President Obama affect more gays in their day to day lives than DADT will. And I say this as a person who mostly knows gay military men-most of whom aren’t as up in arms over the repeal as you’d think. If we wanted it repealed, why aren’t gays bombarding Snowe and Collins’ offices with mail and phone calls? Where’s the threat to primary them?

    @DCr:
    “The Obama administration has had almost 2 years to fix this.”
    Well, doesn’t that sum up the whole enthusiasm gap in a nutshell? Because 2 years is more than enough time to fix every ill of the past, what 30-100 years?

  142. 142
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Murc:

    I think this is how you get people screaming themselves hoarse at Obama and the Democrats

    I can understand screaming yourself hoarse about “the Democrats.” There are old Democratic hands who are squicked out by Teh Homosecks and are not reliable votes for progress on matters of sexual identity. But I don’t much understand the point of focusing the screaming on Obama.

    For that matter, I don’t much understand the point of not focusing _all_ the screaming on _Susan Collins_, who says she supports DADT repeal but wouldn’t vote for the Defense bill. Why not scream at her nonstop?

  143. 143
    KDP says:

    In other news, SCOTUS refuses to hear first HCR opposition case to reach it.

  144. 144
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Would you feel better if they had been killed in combat? They would still be dead.

    They were. It’s just that we didn’t fire a shot. Reagan died never having said the word ‘AIDS’. My kid’s uncles are still dead.

    Cole, you just don’t listen to the actual activist gay people who explain it to you, but maybe you need the traffic. This is the last time I’m going to say it: In measurable reality, Democrats coughed up the ball on turnout, and gay people voted a lot like 2006 and 2002 and 1996.

    In rhetoric, the GayTM is closed. Not for any of the reasonable reasons being cited, which are focused onthe gap between what this administration could do with a majority in Congress and what it DID do–but because it’s out of money.

    Like every other progressive interest group, we tapped out the cash for candidates in ’08 and now we’re broke. The fools who are screaming about WHY they aren’t giving serve a purpose–they provide cover to HRC and the state orgs, which are BROKE. Follow the money. Everything else is just self-expression.

    The real protests, Dan Choi nailing himself cuffing himself to the fence at the White House, provided a much needed face to the DADT ‘issue’ and are a separate thing entirely.

  145. 145
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    I’m gay and I think the EO is a terrible idea. People stupidly keep pushing it. Keep blaming Obama for not pursuing it, and that is a terrible argument. Law matters. It is a president’s JOB to enforce the law. I don’t EVER want the president to have the power to decide which laws he feels like enforcing. That is defacto the president unwriting law. What you are advocating destroys the balance of power. What you are advocating is unconstitutional. You are too short sighted and too incredibly stupid to see it. THAT is the terrible price: a precident that is very, very bad for this country in the long run.

    Voting is only part of the equation. Calling up the Republican office holders to complain every fricken day until their staff dread picking up the phone is the other part. Gay people DO only direct their venom to ONE side of the aisle. So why should the Democrats stick their neck on the line for us? They get stomped on by our opponents for every minor improvement they deliver. Instead of gratitude for every minor incremental improvement, we scream louder that it isn’t enough.

  146. 146
    Tractarian says:

    @alwhite:

    How do you discipline your party when they consistently fail to support your personal goals? If you were anti-abortion how would you ‘correct’ the failure of the Rs to end it? If you were pro-gay rights how do you guide the Ds to make the big steps?

    There are lots of ways to do this other than “voting for the bad guys” or sitting out the election. For example, you can:

    – write letters and make phone calls to your rep
    – protest at your rep’s public appearances
    – support and donate to a primary challenger who does support your pet issue

    If all these things don’t work, well, you just don’t have the rest of the public on your side. But at least you haven’t torpedoed the chances of the one party who has actually shown that they are sympathetic to your position.

    @Blue Neponset:

    It makes perfect sense. If Obama and the Dems can’t get rid of DADT when they control all three branches of elected government then they don’t deserve to be supported. The next batch of Dems with this much power will do better.

    I don’t know if this is a joke, but reading things like this make me slap my forehead. It’s like no one has been paying attention the last two years. Let me see if I can lay it out logically:

    Premise: All Dems vote for DADT repeal. All Repubs vote against.
    Premise: DADT repeal doesn’t pass.
    Logical Conclusion: Dems DON’T control all three branches of government!

    Your obvious solution to this problem, then, is not to abandon the party that voted unanimously in favor of repeal, but rather, to elect more Democrats!!!

  147. 147
    Allan says:

    @John Cole: There was actually some pretty good conversation and back and forth in your last LGBT post, AFTER you abandoned it in a huff.

    We talked about things like, this was a midterm election, Obama was not on the ballot, turnout was down across the D coalition compared to 08 but pretty similar to 06.

    You’ve never made your case that the delivery of two-thirds of the LGBT votes to Democrats was a disaster that cost any specific D politician the election.

    As we all know, house districts are gerrymandered and most of the urban areas where LGBT people are concentrated are solid D districts.

    If some gay people in San Francisco decided to “punish” the Ds by voting for Nancy Pelosi’s R opponent, it didn’t prevent her from winning with over 80% of the vote.

    Lawrence v. Texas changed the political landscape.

    We LGBT people are quite accustomed to second-class citizen status, but now that our private sexual expressions can no longer be criminalized, the Ds will have to do more than point at the evil R monster and tell us he wants to eat us.

    Anyway, that’s some of what you missed out on because you are so incredibly thin-skinned on this topic.

  148. 148
    Blue Neponset says:

    @ruemara: If Bush can find a way to “legally” torture prisoners and Obama can find a way to “legally” execute Americans why is it so hard to believe that Obama can find a way to “legally” end DADT? The law is a means not an end. Obama could hire John Yoo and get a memo that explains six ways from Sunday how DADT is no longer the law of the land. All it would take would be some effort.

  149. 149
    Joe Beese says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Note how Cole is still avoiding that subject.

    Though I guess it’s understandable. Admitting “When I manufactured those excuses for Obama, I had no fucking idea what I was talking about” might be bad for ad revenue.

  150. 150
    The Dangerman says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    If Obama and the Dems can’t get rid of DADT when they control all three branches of elected government then they don’t deserve to be supported.

    Except they never controlled all three branches of Government (google “Senate” and “Filibuster”). For a short while, they had 60 with Lieberman, but … I don’t call that control.

    The next batch of Dems with this much power will do better.

    Good luck with that purity purging.

  151. 151
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    All it would take would be some effort.

    Um, not if you want it to stand. This is kind of like saying that since you can get away with living in a squat, you never really need to worry about paying your mortgage.

  152. 152
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Tractarian:

    Your obvious solution to this problem, then, is not to abandon the party that voted unanimously in favor of repeal, but rather, to elect more different Democrats

    If this bunch can’t get the job done. The next bunch will.

  153. 153
    John Cole says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Note how Cole is still avoiding that subject.

    Though I guess it’s understandable. Admitting “When I manufactured those excuses for Obama, I had no fucking idea what I was talking about” might be bad for ad revenue.

    So I guess the new definition of “avoiding a subject” includes MENTIONING IT IN THE VERY FIRST SENTENCE OF A POST.

    And I never was making excuses for Obama, the most I ever said was that I continued to hope they would repeal it in the lame duck session.

    I do continue to blame the Republicans and the two Democrats who voted against the repeal, though, and not Obama. Crazy.

  154. 154
    Maude says:

    @Blue Neponset:
    You know what?
    You could put all that together in a big bowl, stir, and make a cake.

  155. 155
    Blue Neponset says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Once you give someone something it is really difficult to take it away. Once the gheys are openly serving in the military it will be very difficult to kick them all out. Therefore, the memo Obama uses to outlaw DADT would only need to keep the policy in place for a couple/few years.

  156. 156
    John Cole says:

    You’ve never made your case that the delivery of two-thirds of the LGBT votes to Democrats was a disaster that cost any specific D politician the election.

    What case is there to be made? Fewer gays, fewer youth, fewer, well, everyone voted for the Democrats. They lost seats. There is no argument or case to be made, it is simple math. What “case” do you want me to make?

    All I am asking is why people would vote for Republicans over Democrats if gay issues are their number one concern.

  157. 157
    Tractarian says:

    We LGBT people are quite accustomed to second-class citizen status, but now that our private sexual expressions can no longer be criminalized, the Ds will have to do more than point at the evil R monster and tell us he wants to eat us.

    Huh? Explain how that works. Mere words were OK pre-Lawrence, but now that it’s unconstitutional for states to ban sodomy, words aren’t enough and more action is needed?

  158. 158
    Tom says:

    @J. Michael Neal

    “If you plan to be snotty to everyone who has a different set of top priorities, you’re going to find yourself pretty lonely. ”

    I really don’t want to turn this into a personal thing but it’s pretty disingenuous to call my response snotty when it was almost a verbatim re-framing of your response to me.

    And I’m not snotty to everyone who has a different set of priorities than I do. I’m snotty to people who have a different set of priorities than I do lecturing me on the appropriate way to fight my battles. It’s the very definition of concern trolling.

  159. 159
    MTiffany says:

    Can you understand why this makes no sense to me? Can you understand why this strategy seems insane? And I’m not trying to start a fight, but someone please explain how this makes any sense whatsoever.

    Yes, I can understand why this makes no sense to you. But please understand that I am not especially impressed with being told that I should be grateful that if I am assaulted and murdered, the perpetrator might be punished more severely if he was screaming “faggot!” or “queer!” or “fudgepacker!” while killing me. Yes, my boyfriend and I still not being able to marry seems like such supercilious fluff now that if we’re murdered by bigots, society will scold the bigots extra hard.

    The Matthew Shepard Act is about my violent death, it does nothing to improve my LIFE.

    Pardon my indignant ingratitude. It must be a second-class citizen faggot-type thing.

  160. 160
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Blue Neponset: On the other hand, same-sex marriage seems to be rolled forward and back rather than staying in place de facto after first being permitted.

  161. 161
    bcw says:

    This is why they use WPITHW for commenters;
    jon : “Many gays want to be hated. It’s as much part of their identity as their sexuality. They’re loners, Dottie. Rebels. ”

    Hawes: “I bet it helps the Professional Left… Um Professional Gays with their fundraising.
    I honestly think we’ve reached a point politically where we’re happier with our precious umbrage than we are with progress.”

    General Stuck:”
    Obama works with the Pentagon to create a smooth path forward on DADT…..
    yes, but but but but, Obaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaama let us down again.

    Todd Dugdale:” They’re “sending a message” – that they make lousy allies.
    It reminds me of the PUMAs, who were so outraged that the Democrats didn’t nominate a woman that they were going to vote for the Party that was opposed to women’s interests.

    The Moar You Know: “What else did anyone expect? The gay community made it clear from inauguration day onwards that they had no intention of supporting Obama no matter what he did; they’re just getting back the treatment they’ve dished out to him.
    Enjoy the next decade with DADT, DOMA, and all the other gay-hating legislation more firmly in place than ever. Reap what you sow and all that.

    tomvox1:”Rave on, John Cole. I like your style. We are a nation of whiners who have embraced our victimhood to advance our sense of special, subgroup by subgroup. ….no slight is to small to fail to provoke some sort of holy war of their own making to prove to the world that, once again, they are Victims who are being Oppressed. And therefore, special attention must be paid to their needs NOW and the rest of the country should just STFU and get behind them in line.”

  162. 162
    Citizen Alan says:

    @MBunge:

    Now, maybe I missed it, but where was the gay backlash against Bill Clinton after he signed DOMA about a month and a half before the 1996 Presidential election where he was far ahead in the polls? Where was the gay backlash against Clinton creating DADT in 1993 and then doing nothing about it for the next 7 years?

    Looking back, I have plenty of reasons to be mad at Bill Clinton, but these two aren’t on the list. Those who condemn Bill for DOMA and DADT forget just how different a place America was vis a vis gay rights in the mid-Nineties, a time when laws against sodomy were fully constitutional and regularly enforced in much of the country. I don’t know if Bill was a closet homophobe or if he was just playing an early version of 11-dimensional chess, but I do believe that if he had vetoed DOMA and DADT at that point in time we probably would have ended up with an Amendment that would enshrine anti-gay bias in the Constitution.

  163. 163
    suzanne says:

    @300baud:

    Can you honestly say that if the issue were voting rights for women, or civil rights for African-Americans, you’d tell people they should be saying, “No, that other thing is more important. I’ll just wait until you guys say it’s my turn”? Because as far as I can tell, those things only got done because a lot of people raised a ruckus.

    And no, my point is that, looking at it from a strategic perspective, we are ALL more likely to get what we want, and SOONER, if we act as a bloc. The fact that second-wave feminism was *not* concerned with the needs of poor women and women of color was a big fucking problem.

    I will admit it: the fact that some LGBTs are willing to throw HCR under the bus in order to “express their discontent” pisses me off. Not because I don’t think LGBTs should fight for their rights, but because ultimately I think it’s harmful to our cause—and immoral—for any of us to fuck each other over. The Republicans are masters at turning us against each other in order to deflect the blame that they deserve; i.e., they’ve convinced a whole swath of poor white people that the reason they’re poor is because of… poor Mexican people. Which of course is complete BS; they’re poor because of rich white people. So I don’t like playing their stupid game. We need allies to get shit accomplished, so I’m going to make them.

  164. 164
    ruemara says:

    @Blue Neponset:
    Because Bush having his lawyers craft a new definition of torture-which abandoned torture as a term- is not going to happen under Obama. I know it would be best if we had our own unitary executive, someone to the left of Saunders, but when he leaves office after rewriting term limits to fit his desires, we may possible have someone we disagree with intensely. Stuff may happen then.

    Now, how about the other part of my post, the ones addressing unnamed sources vs the defense secretary? Or the one wondering why DADT is so focused on while DOMA is still there?

    @Blue Neponset:
    MY GOD MAN, CALIFORNIA TOOK AWAY THE RIGHT TO MARRY!

    Sweet jesus! They also tried to nullify thousands of marriages. Are you really unaware of that? Read some history, look up, Japanese internment camps.

  165. 165

    @Allan:

    Why does it bother you more when members of an oppressed minority make this common mistake?

    Does John complain about the militantly active Gay Community as much as he complains about Hamsher?

  166. 166
    NR says:

    If you guys had been around in the 1850s, I’m sure you would have told the abolitionists to keep voting for the Whigs. After all, they’re better than the other guys!

  167. 167
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Obama on HCR concluded that Clinton’s strategy hadn’t involved Congress enough and had gotten disrupted by insurance and pharmaceutical companies. So he let Congress do its work and sidelined the worst corporate malefactors. It got done. People complain about how.

    Obama on gays in the military probably concluded that Clinton’s strategy hadn’t involved the military enough. So he’s letting the military do its work. It’s on the verge of getting done. People complain about how.

  168. 168
    300baud says:

    @suzanne:

    Ultimately, though, there’s no value in trying to figure out who’s fucked the most. Our interests intersect, and when we act together, we are stronger.

    Oh, I agree that’s true. Although I’d point out that a bigger pie isn’t enough to guarantee a coalition; each slice has to be bigger as well. Were this my issue, I’m sure I’d struggle a lot with how I’d vote.

    My point here isn’t that you and Cole are wrong. It’s just that the gay activist perspectives are also sensible.

  169. 169
    Suck It Up! says:

    I will say that this crowd is much tamer than the ones over at Dkos. This same news garnered almost 2000 comments (probably more now) and it was filled with some really angry folks. Talks of a primary – they were serious this time. Plenty said they were done with Obama – also serious this time and the usual accusations that he’s a bigot and homophobic.

  170. 170
    Joe Beese says:

    @John Cole:

    I continued to hope they would repeal it in the lame duck session.

    Then I hope you see now how stupid that was of you. And why your commenters will continue to jeer at your lame apologetics.

    It didn’t require a genius to see that this was going to happen. It only required somone not blinded by having their head up the administration’s ass.

  171. 171
    Tractarian says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Are you saying that you think a “different group” of Dems would be willing to abolish the filibuster? Because, no matter how liberal they are, that’s the only way the Dems could break GOP obstructionism.

    (And that would come with dire consequences for the rest of the party’s platform…. i.e., the next time you’ve got a GOP president and congressional majorities, it’s bye-bye health care reform, bye-bye Social Security, etc.)

  172. 172
    Allan says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Sorry, I don’t argue with moral cripples. Go troll someone who gives a fuck.

  173. 173
    Suck It Up! says:

    Can you honestly say that if the issue were voting rights for women, or civil rights for African-Americans, you’d tell people they should be saying, “No, that other thing is more important. I’ll just wait until you guys say it’s my turn”? Because as far as I can tell, those things only got done because a lot of people raised a ruckus.

    except that’s what did happen when it came to civil rights for other minorities.

  174. 174
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Allan: Casual ableism is a nice way to express your zeal for civil rights.

  175. 175
    bcw says:

    Gays are such whiners over a few minor details like:
    1. Can’t marry to protect their families.
    2. Have to lie to be in the military and will lose their career if overheard or targeted by a hostile officer.
    3. Will have leave the country to be together if their partner is foreign born.
    4. Can be fired in most states because of who they are.

    Oh yes, but don’t dare compare it to Jim Crow because systematic oppression and violence only happens if there are two of them together or is they walk funny or say the wrong thing or display the wrong photograph and fag jokes are really funny.

    Any Democrat (any human actually) who thinks that civil rights shouldn’t make their top three agenda items has a moral problem.

  176. 176
    MTiffany says:

    @Suck It Up!: Suck my cock. And swallow. Tame enough for you?

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    @MTiffany:

    Pardon my indignant ingratitude. It must be a second-class citizen faggot-type thing.

    Ouch.

  178. 178
    John Cole says:

    @Joe Beese: Wait a minute! I thought I was avoiding the issue!

  179. 179
    suzanne says:

    @300baud:

    My point here isn’t that you and Cole are wrong. It’s just that the gay activist perspectives are also sensible.

    I agree that those perspectives are sensible, *if your primary and really only immediate goal is an expansion of LGBT rights*. And I have to confess that I can’t really get behind that. Fuck that noise.

    Once again, the Republicans are winning the fucking game because they defined the terms. Groups that are natural allies are instead squabbling amongst themselves rather than fighting the common enemy.

  180. 180
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruemara:

    Here’s what’s bothering me. Gates just called for Congress to repeal DADT. That’s the Secretary of Defense. An unnamed source says DADT repeal is dead. Why is the unnamed source given more credence?

    Gates doesn’t have a vote. The people with votes are saying it’s dead.

  181. 181
    Citizen Alan says:

    @suzanne:

    As a woman with a disability, sure I do. Can you see how I might be pissed at the fact that some LGBTs voted for the party that expressly promises to repeal HCR, when women still make 75 cents to a man’s dollar in this country and I cannot afford my medication, merely to “discipline” their party?

    As a woman with a disability, perhaps you should take comfort in the fact that you have protections against discrimination in employment and other areas under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Democrats declined the opportunity to push through a similar act (ENDA) that would have granted such protections to gays, and it is still legal in “right to work” states to fire gays and even straights who are thought to be gay.

  182. 182
    Tractarian says:

    @bcw:

    Gays are such whiners over a few minor details like:

    I think you’re missing the point. It’s not that gays are “whiners” for demanding civil rights. It’s that they’re “idiots” if they don’t vote for the only major party that has ever shown any sympathy for their concerns.

  183. 183
    Joe Beese says:

    @John Cole:

    Wait a minute! I thought I was avoiding the issue!

    You are. The issue is that you were completely wrong in your assessment of what the administration was going to do about DADT. Like, Friedman-on-Iraq wrong. Permanently-discrediting wrong.

  184. 184
    Corner Stone says:

    Finally! The lame duck Congress is going to, at long last, vote to give me my precious fuchsia pony!
    Or at least that was the hinted strategy.

  185. 185
    Allan says:

    @John Cole: This is the thing about you and LGBT issues, John. You never learn new facts and grow from post to post.

    Twice now, you’ve written posts expressing your confusion and anger at the gay community because ONLY 2/3 of them who turned out voted D, according to some data that everyone is taking to be gospel for some reason.

    Both times, I’ve pointed out that I don’t see how LGBT voters cost the Ds any elections, and both times you responded as today:

    Fewer gays, fewer youth, fewer, well, everyone voted for the Democrats

    To which I ask, why, then, is it the gays you keep harping on?

  186. 186
    300baud says:

    @suzanne:

    I will admit it: the fact that some LGBTs are willing to throw HCR under the bus in order to “express their discontent” pisses me off. Not because I don’t think LGBTs should fight for their rights, but because ultimately I think it’s harmful to our cause—and immoral—for any of us to fuck each other over.

    I get what you’re saying, and basically agree, with the caveat that that I think you’re being a little too utopian about “our cause”. As Mark at #140 points out, plenty of gay people don’t really identify with what you see as other parts of the same cause. And the poor, who are the ones for whom HCR matters the most, are one of the groups most likely to be against gay rights.

    In practice, with coalitions there are always arguments about how to divide the spoils. Whether it’s true or not, I think gay activists could reasonably think that they didn’t get their share this term, and whether that’s due to general Democratic incompetence or specific neglect of gay issues may not matter very much to them. In which case, being less enthusiastic in their support is certainly understandable, as is raising hell.

  187. 187
    Suck It Up! says:

    @MTiffany:

    what the fuck is your problem? suck your cock? fuck you!

  188. 188
    daveNYC says:

    A small portion of the population is affected by DADT. A larger portion of the population is affected by DOMA. Why are we so emotionally tied up with DADT?

    I suspect that while DOMA is pretty fucked up, it can be marginally worked around by action at the state level, depending on the state you’re in. DADT has no such workaround, and the impact of DADT on an individual (losing your job, having a career path taken away) is greater than that of DOMA.

    The symbolism of having our military be subject to legalized bigotry is pretty important too.

    The fact that less than twenty years ago we passed laws that had the specific purpose of enforcing discrimation is just fucked up.

  189. 189
    John Cole says:

    @Joe Beese: Joe- When the Defense Department report is issued and DADT does not get repealed, then I will be wrong. Until then, I’ll hope the President does have a plan for a lame duck repeal.

    Hell, I doubt you even give two hoots in hell about gay rights. This is just another opportunity for you to come in here and scream OBOT and tell us how much Obama has let you down.

  190. 190
    Allan says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Get back to me when there’s a push to repeal the ADA.

  191. 191
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    It is a president’s JOB to enforce the law. I don’t EVER want the president to have the power to decide which laws he feels like enforcing.

    /cough/War Crimes!/cough/

  192. 192

    @Allan:

    Jews, I’m sorry millions of you were exterminated in camps. Would you feel better if they had died in combat fighting the Nazis? They would still be dead.

    Okay.

    For this discussion, let us acknowledge and then ignore the many Jews who did die fighting the Nazis, both in various regular armies and in the underground resistance.

    In this discussion, I feel that you are saying that because you suffered these losses [presumably because of AIDS related problems], gay men and women should be allowed free access to the military.

    My position is:
    1. War is hell and there are many ways to die and many more to get totally messed up for life. [I should disclose here that I do some medical transcription for the VA.]
    2. I don’t understand why any sane person would volunteer to trot off to war and have these terrible things done to him/her unless his/her own land is under attack.
    3. I don’t understand why any sane person would think that volunteering for military duty in the US wouldn’t lead to combat duty.
    4. I don’t understand why anyone who is burdened by our society with problems would want to greatly exacerbate their misery by incurring the damages of combat.

    Now, if you said that because of losing friends to disease makes you militantly agitate for AIDS research, I would understand that. If you said that losing friends to anti-gay violence makes you militantly agitate for strict enforcement of hate laws, I would understand that.

    But losing loved ones through either of these methods seems to justify wanting to run off and be cannon fodder. And that is what I don’t understand.

  193. 193
    suzanne says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    As a woman with a disability, perhaps you should take comfort in the fact that you have protections against discrimination in employment and other areas under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Yes, that just absolutely thrills me. Because I can most certainly go to work with an uncontrolled disability. “Uncontrolled” because I can’t afford the fucking medical care that I need because I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my hand.

    I bet you find it insulting as fuck when other people tell you to be happy with table scraps. Guess how I feel about it.

  194. 194
    RalfW says:

    I’m gonna say this and leave it at this:

    1) I voted for Dems up and down the ticket.
    2) I made OFA virtual phone bank calls.
    3) I gave thru BJ’s Act Blue page.
    4) I gave directly to candidates such as WI’s Julie Lassa and MN’s Tarryl Clark
    5) I doorknocked in ’04 and ’06.
    6) I’m gay.

    I cannot explain the foolish behavior of other gay people.

    Can you explain the foolish behavior of straight working class people who just voted for high-finance robber barrons to continue to have their earnings taxed at 10%?

  195. 195
    eemom says:

    I’ve been out — how’s that no-flame-warry thing workin out for y’all?

  196. 196
    ruemara says:

    @Corner Stone:

    An unnamed source who may or may not have a vote, says it’s being stripped out of the Defense Bill-the committee to do said stripping says it’s not going to happen. There’s no follow up question being asked of that source. whatever. it looks like it’s always better to be on the attack, even if you may not be attacking the right person.

  197. 197
    MTiffany says:

    @Suck It Up!: “…and the usual accusations that he’s a bigot and homophobic.”

    Obama is a bigot and he is homophobic. I don’t give a flying fuck what his Bible happens to define marriage as, as that same Bible I can use to justify owning Obama (and even ABL) as a slave. Religiously justified bigotry is still bigotry. So yeah, Obama is a fucking bigot. And fuck you for your glib dismissal “the usual accusations…”

    Yeah, ’cause us faggots, we just complain and get all melo-fucking-dramatic over NOTHING.

  198. 198
    suzanne says:

    @300baud:

    As Mark at #140 points out, plenty of gay people don’t really identify with what you see as other parts of the same cause. And the poor, who are the ones for whom HCR matters the most, are one of the groups most likely to be against gay rights.

    You’re absolutely right—but I think that’s because we do a pretty shitty job of discussing intersectionality. And because we’re people and are therefore inherently somewhat selfish and tribal. And ’cause I think most people tend to see their own suffering as the most critical. But I do think this can be overcome.

  199. 199
    Elie says:

    @Todd Dugdale:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that there is a Republican strategist in back of these kinds of political self-immolation tactics

    .

    I absolutely believe that there are some operatives who are possibly getting paid to do this. No proof, but it keeps Obama and the progressives slowed down and encumbered by friendly fire. Add to that some for real not so bright voters on the left ( really, like what gay person in their right mind would actually vote for a republican), and you have this mess, John.

    This is purposeful, by design and meant to be exactly what it is — a means to demoralize and slow down the progressive agenda. Period.

  200. 200
    Tractarian says:

    @RalfW: Thanks for the blast of sanity.

    Some people will just behave in inexplicable ways, maybe irrationally, maybe for their own private reasons. All you can do is continue to speak the truth and hope that people listen.

  201. 201
    suzanne says:

    @Elie:

    This is purposeful, by design and meant to be exactly what it is—a means to demoralize and slow down the progressive agenda. Period.

    Yup. Every minute we spend fighting each other is a minute we’re not fighting those who are pulling the strings.

  202. 202
    Adx says:

    Seriously? You want to know why this happens? I’ll be happy to explain.

    Pay close attention, and give what I say here *real thought*. This behavior lies at the root of *what drives gay and pro-gay people to this rage*, and (seemingly) allows them no outlet.

    The biggest, most important thing I realized about the anti-gay hit me like a ton of bricks over a relatively short period of time, and ever since I realized it, I’ve been trying to get others to realize it *and I have been fought nonstop BY THE PRO-GAY* and have also begun to realize why THAT is.

    The anti-gay platform is *completely irrational*. It has no scientific basis; it has no proof; it has no reasons except for fear of the unknown. Therefore, it ACTS UPON those suppositions while refusing to admit that they fuel it.

    Therefore, the anti-gay are driven *headlong, savagely, endlessly, in ways the pro-gay AREN’T*, to accomplish their utterly irrational objectives. They believe they are acting upon a GOD-GIVEN MANDATE, for christ’s sake (pun intended). Nothing is going to stop them.

    Now stop and think about *what that requires the pro-gay to do to defeat them*.

    The pro-gay won’t do it.

    The pro-gay won’t touch it.

    The pro-gay have been thrust into the position of fighting an endless “VIETNAM” as they DEFENSIVELY POSTURE AGAINST the anti-gay. To stop someone who is irrational and batshit-obsessed, you have to go to great, great lengths and adopt an extremist attitude. That’s how the anti-gay ARE CURRENTLY BEHAVING.

    Haven’t you noticed? It’s not how the pro-gay are acting at all.

    They have an image to keep up. They’ve become politicized. They are hell-bent on doing this “peacefully” and on proving that they’re “better” than the anti-gay — which anyone who supports them already know, and which anyone who refuses to support them will never, never be convinced of.

    They cannot LOSE by getting extremist, yet they have already lost by refusing to do what’s necessary.

    Thus, infighting, disagreements, and refusal to come to a consensus prompt them to such rage that like a disorganized beehive that’s lost all sense of direction, they react in a thousand different ways to the attacks against them, and *they do egregiously senseless things* like voting for the very people who despise and who mercilessly attack them.

    The pro-gay need to band together and to commence fighting the anti-gay *by every legal means necessary*, and they are currently either too damn LAZY or too damn AFRAID to do it. They could win all of this with a headlong, utterly savage, uncompromising *refusal* to back down in the face of an utterly irrational opposition. But go try telling them that.

    Go tell them that, and watch what happens. Idea after idea after idea will get shot down; they will think you are extremist; they will believe you to be part of the *problem*, not the solution. Because they don’t realize what’s key: that their opposition is i-r-r-a-t-i-o-n-a-l, and that the only way to stop irrational acts of rape is to fight them by *EVERY* legal means you can come up with. NOT by violence. NOT by illegal activity. But for god’s sake, NOT by calculating the chances of “success” of each endeavor and then shooting down 90% of them “because that will never work!” The anti-gay never stop to think for a minute that something “won’t work”; they do EVERYTHING they can.

    The gay activists are going to take decades to gain their rights if they *do not learn* that when one faces an irrational opponent, there is no discussion and there is *nothing to lose*; therefore, rather than engage in irrational acts like voting for those who hate you, you must all band together and turn your irrational rage *into every legal means of defeating your opponents you can find*, and STOP saying “no” to ideas as if you’re a bunch of republicans. Start ACTING like you want these rights, and start doing what you’re afraid to do.

    There’s your explanation. Now go try it out and see if I’m not right and whether they actually seem like they *don’t* want these rights when you watch the majority of what they’re doing.

  203. 203
    RalfW says:

    OK, I will add this: Not only did I vote Dem, but from what I can tell, the vast majority of my gay male (and lesbian, and straight-supportive) friends also voted Dem. Some of them even phone-banked, door-knocked, etc.

    A few, a bitter few, posted crap on Facebook about how awful teh Obamaz is. And they got plenty of crap back on their walls for it.

    So, I also kind of doubt the whole premise. Online gay comment-thread people and firebaggers may have been all DADT pissed off and voting stoopid and flaming up and down the internetz, but my unscientific pol of friends shows a general lack of enthusiasm about the handling of LGBT issues (esp the legal appeals process) but either a hold your nose and vote Dem, or oh-mu-god-it-could-be-so-much-worse vote or Dems, but votes for Dems.

    Is there really substantive exit polling to show that gay voters swung GOP or stayed that much??

  204. 204
    Tractarian says:

    MTiffany: is she a spoof? a firebagger? a teabagger? a Hillraiser?

    …or is she just plain stupid?

  205. 205
    Allan says:

    @Tractarian: That comment was meant to summarize some of the discussion that took place in John’s prior thread on the topic.

    IANAL and it was not my observation, but once you take away the power of the state to criminalize the sexual acts that arise as a consequence of same-sex attraction, you remove a primary legal basis on which LGBTs can be discriminated against under the law, because we’re not criminals for being gay any more.

    And while, depending on where I live, I may stay in the closet at work and can’t get any legal recognition of my spousal relationship, but stormtroopers can no longer burst into my house and arrest me and my honey because we were canoodling. That’s kind of a big deal.

    Meanwhile, did you know that half of the delegates to the 2008 GOP convention supported either same-sex marriage or civil unions?

  206. 206
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Tractarian:

    Premise: All Dems vote for DADT repeal. All Repubs vote against.
    Premise: DADT repeal doesn’t pass.
    Logical Conclusion: Dems DON’T control all three branches of government!

    You left out a few premises:
    1. At one point, Dems had a filibuster-proof majority before they blew an easy pick-up in the bluest state in the Union.
    2. Had the Dems pushed DADT repeal through early, when they had a filibuster-proof majority, it would not have mattered how many Republicans voted against it. Instead, however, the Dems announced that they would wait until after “the study” was done, which from its inception was always going to push the vote back until after the election.
    3. Now that the Dems have suffered huge losses in the Senate, they are already planning on punting on the issue, which means that nothing will be done on DADT for the rest of Obama’s first term if not longer.

    Logical Conclusion: The Dems as a party don’t really give a shit about DADT but just want to demagogue the issue in order to get cash from the GayTM.

  207. 207
    Joe Beese says:

    @John Cole:

    When the Defense Department report is issued and DADT does not get repealed, then I will be wrong. Until then, I’ll hope the President does have a plan for a lame duck repeal.

    Oh, we know he has a plan. He described it at the Democratic-bloggers meeting he grudgingly granted as a last-minute attempt to stave off the impending electoral slaughter.

    His “plan” consists of asking the Log Cabin Republicans to persuade 5 Republican Senators to switch their vote.

    No, seriously. That’s his plan.

    And when it fails – as he knows it will – I’ll be back to remind you again of how spectacularly, humiliatingly wrong you were. At which time, you can once again try making it about me rather than your pathetic licking of the administration’s shiny, shiny boots.

  208. 208
    Berial says:

    @Tractarian:

    MTiffany: is she a spoof? a firebagger? a teabagger? a Hillraiser? …or is she just plain stupid?

    These days you just can’t tell, so it’s best just to let them eat pie.

  209. 209
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @MTiffany:

    Suck my cock. And swallow.

    See, *now* you’re getting into the Balloon Juice spirit.

  210. 210
    Sly says:

    I suggest putting a giant banner across the top of this blog that has the phrase, in large capital letters: YOU CANNOT END “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL” WITH AN EXECUTIVE ORDER OR WITH STOP-LOSS.

    This isn’t the case of people wanting a magical pony. It is a case of people not knowing the intricacies of the UCMJ. Which is fine. I doubt most military personnel know the intricacies of the UCMJ. But if the President of the United States is not pursuing a particular course of action, it might not be because he secretly hates you and wants to dance on your grave with Donnie McClurkin and Rick Warren.

    It might actually be because there are legal issues involved that prevents such a course of action from being possible.

  211. 211
    ruemara says:

    @Joe Beese:

    isn’t the Common Wisdom that the Log Party Republicans are doing more on ending DADT than Dems? Ignoring the fact that they’ve been darned silent the whole time, so why wouldn’t this newly woken giant of gay rights causes not have an influence with their own party?

    @Citizen Alan:
    The filibuster proof majority included Lieberman and Franken wasn’t seated at that time. I can always be wrong about this, but I think I am not. We’ve never had a filibuster proof majority.

  212. 212
    jayackroyd says:

    Hmm. You mean people in the rank and file insisting that their party hold to core values is a bad strategy? That it doesn’t work to energize the rank and file to run primaries against people who are less than committed to the party’s ideal?

  213. 213
    MTiffany says:

    @Tractarian: She is a he. Or do you think all gay men are so effeminate that you just say “fuck it” and classify all of us as women? Is it because you think that’s what gay guys really want to be — women? Or else we wouldn’t dig dudes, right? Have I got your thoughts on “teh gay” pretty much correct? Is that about as deep as your profound thinking goes?

  214. 214

    @eemom:

    I’ve been out—how’s that no-flame-warry thing workin’ out for y’all?

    Swimmingly. :-)

  215. 215
    Allan says:

    @Linda Featheringill: So we’ve established that you are incapable of understanding why anyone might choose the military for a career, and view the legal restrictions against open service for LGBT people as a privilege we should fight to defend for our own good, because there’s a risk of injury or death.

    In your own, blinkered, morally deficient way, you may have identified a path toward repeal that could work with monsters like you.

    We need to start a crusade against LGBT people, who are privileged with the “special right” of being ineligible to serve in the military openly. LGBTs are hiding behind their sexual orientation to take advantage of this special right, while our heterosexual sons and daughters are fighting and dying to save this country.

    Strip the special right to exemption from military service away from these awful LGBTs and force them to be able to volunteer for the army too.

  216. 216
    John Cole says:

    @Joe Beese: WRONG ABOUT WHAT, YOU DOUCHEBAG.

    I have no idea what his plan is. I don’t know what the strategery is. I haven’t endorsed it. I haven’t said it works. All I have said is I hope they get it repealed.

    This is what I can’t stand about folks like you- you think that because I am not screaming OBAMA SUCKS I am somehow praising the admin.

    If DADT, DOMA, etc., are not fixed, they will be failures. But I will continue to lay most of the blame where it should lie- with the GOP.

  217. 217
    ruemara says:

    @MTiffany:

    It might be because your sig is Tiffany. Some details in your posts were missed.

  218. 218
    Joe Beese says:

    @ruemara:

    isn’t the Common Wisdom that the Log Party Republicans are doing more on ending DADT than Dems? Ignoring the fact that they’ve been darned silent the whole time, so why wouldn’t this newly woken giant of gay rights causes not have an influence with their own party?

    Of course they’re doing more than the Dems. It would be difficult for them to do less.

    But their successes have been solely in the courts. They have literally zero influence in the GOP. With Teahadism on the march, the LCRs would be lucky to even get an appointment with a Republican Senator now.

  219. 219
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    As a woman with a disability, perhaps you should take comfort in the fact that you have protections against discrimination in employment and other areas under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    As a man with a disability, I don’t take comfort in the fact that an employer can always find some other reason why they are not hiring me. (An insurance company actually told me that they didn’t want to hire me because I was taking the actuarial exams, and they were afraid that I’d leave the company.) The ADA says that they can’t discriminate against me, but that I have to prove that they did if I want relief. Which I’m fine with, in the sense that having the burden of proof turned the other way around would be a disaster. But don’t tell me that I’m not being discriminated against.

  220. 220
    beergoggles says:

    DADT was dead after the initial court ruling.

    Obama appealed it and now DADT is being enforced once again.

    Ergo, it is now Obama’s DADT policy.

    Count me in with all the gays that will never vote for Obama again.

  221. 221
    ruemara says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Which is Obama’s fault, of course. So, Obama should repeal it, by bending the law or breaking it, with an EO preventing the function. We’ll sidestep the modifications on DADT that happened last month. We have no idea if the stripping out of the Defense Bill is really happening, we don’t know if there’s a stand alone. We’re stupid for trusting the Dems, we don’t have any influence via the LCR with supposed moderates, who aren’t the problem for failing to vote for repeal-the democrats are. Well, what’s your solution, Joe? Mine is making contact and telling senators what to do, but we don’t seem to see eye to eye on that. Now what?

    By the way, in the discussion of repeal, why has no one put it out there that a repeal of DADT would not fix the fact that the military blocks gay persons from serving? What does this repeal do, exactly?

    @beergoggles:

    The reason is fairly simple. If a local court can declare federal law unconstitutional, then federal authority is threatened. It might not have been an issue during Clinton’s time, it’s certainly going to be now as we try to establish HCR and FinReg laws. I never thought it would not be appealed.

  222. 222
    MTiffany says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    But don’t tell me that I’m not being discriminated against.

    Whyever not, dear? After all, it’s not like other people’s glib dismissals of you make you less of a person, it just makes you feel that way. Now eat your table scraps before they get cold – er.

  223. 223
    Joe Beese says:

    @John Cole:

    WRONG ABOUT WHAT, YOU DOUCHEBAG.

    ABOUT THIS.

    I’m still of the opinion that once the elections are over, DADT will be repealed with the Defense Authorization Act.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....epartment/

    The elections are over. And DADT will not be repealed with the Defense Authorization Act. Because at this very moment, the Democrats and Republicans are working hand-in-hand, refulgent with the glow of cooperation, to strip that repeal out of the act. With Obama smiling in approval.

    And why shouldn’t he? He knows that cultists like you will continue to believe that he has been a good-faith participant in the process – despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary.

    It wasn’t the Republicans who called the WNBA champions when they were supposed to be “fiercely advocating” for LGBT rights with Democratic Senators. It wasn’t the Republicans who resurrected DADT after the courts killed it.

  224. 224
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @MTiffany: Pie

  225. 225
    beergoggles says:

    @ruemara: We’ve been through this argument before.

    Me: Obama appealed DADT and DOMA and they are now enforced.

    Someone else: They have to do it because (insert baseless precedent argument here)

    Me: Obama appealing it doesn’t set any precedent that all future laws will have to be appealed all the way up.

    Someone else: But Obama has to do it because he’s obeying all the rules.

    Me: *cough* war crimes *cough* torture *cough*

    Someone else: (changes subject)

    So sorry, unless you have something new to add, you have no point.

  226. 226

    @Allan:

    In your own, blinkered, morally deficient way, you may have identified a path toward repeal that could work with monsters like you.

    I love you, too.

    I am bisexual. I hate war. I think that an all-volunteer army is staffed with idiots. My daughter, now a disabled vet, was also an idiot for volunteering to serve.

    If you think that I am a monster, your life must be filled with tremendous amounts of angst. That is very sad.

    Peace.

    ETA:

    Get off your duff and spend some time volunteering at your local VA.

  227. 227
    Tractarian says:

    @Allan:

    Well, IAAL, and the law says that you can discriminate against whoever you want to discriminate against, unless there is a law against it. (No, anti-discrimination is not written into the Constitution; and Lawrence wasn’t about discrimination, it was about privacy.)

    I’m not trying to diminish the importance of Lawrence. I just don’t understand how it changed the Dems’ responsibilities vis-a-vis words vs. action.

    @Citizen Alan:

    Your premises only support the conclusion that Martha Coakley, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, and Blanche Lincoln don’t give a shit about DADT. The rest of the party might, and probably does.

  228. 228
    Suck It Up! says:

    @MTiffany:

    Yeah, its the usual accusations all right. Usual tactics of some on the left also to demonize anyone who doesn’t fall in line. Something wrong with me pointing out the useless and unproductive outrage that is displayed at that site? Pro-gay civil rights members at Dkos are being attacked for agreeing with Obama on tactics. Obama wants DADT repeal but because he is using a different approach, he’s a bigot and homophobic. That is what you are telling me. And anyone who agrees with him is also a bigot and homophobic. See your last sentence where you threw in the word faggot as if I called you a faggot or even say the word – which I don’t!

    Not a single word in my previous post or this one is a lie and you just proved it.

    And fuck you again. I don’t see how progressives are ever going to form any sort of party on their own when so many of you attack each other on mere strategy to GET TO THE SAME FUCKING GOAL!

    And did I say fuck you? don’t ever accuse me of being a bigot.

  229. 229
    ruemara says:

    @Joe Beese:
    You don’t seem to understand that there has been no stripping of the bill, they are not in session. And that Obama is smiling in approval is pure hyperbole. What exactly is your issue about the WNBA, too? You bring that up every time, as if the President can’t glad hand for a photo op and make phone calls. As far as resurrecting it, you can’t be that lacking in legal acumen and purport to be into politics.

    @beergoggles:

    The same can be said of you. It was never just going to lay there and not be appealed. Oh well, it’s your right to not vote for Obama and hopefully, we’ll get a better Congress in 2012.

  230. 230
    MTiffany says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I see your pie and lower to… crumbs. That’s the way Democrats play Minority Poker, right?

  231. 231
    Citizen Alan says:

    @John Cole:

    All I am asking is why people would vote for Republicans over Democrats if gay issues are their number one concern.

    Very simply, such people take the long view and believe that it is possible to influence the Democrats to adopt a more aggressive gay rights posture by the credible threat of withholding their vote in strategic circumstances. In other words, withhold support now with the hope of gaining even better benefits in the future as opposed to acting as a reliable bankable cash-machine in exchange for the occasional crumb. I don’t know whether that’s a wise gamble or not, but I think that’s the psychology behind it.

    I mean, let’s take another look at your list of gay-friendly achievements but from a more cynical perspective:

    1. Obama is elected on a platform that included support for a wide number of gay issues. He is openly opposed to DADT, DOMA, and favors ENDA. Words not deeds. Bush I was “openly opposed” to abortion, but he arguably saved Roe v. Wade by appointing Souter to the Supreme Court. And at no point in the last two years have I seen any meaningful evidence that ENDA was a priority for the Dems or Obama.

    2. He appoints a record number of LGBT officials to his administration, more than ever before. This is actually a good point. Pity I heard it for the very first time on this blog just last week. That represents at best a failure of messaging and at worst suggestion that Team Obama didn’t feel comfortable broadcasting how many gays they had in the Administration prior to the election.

    3. The Matthew Shepard Act passes the House with 175 votes against, predominantly Republican. It passes the Senate with Republicans voting against. Obama signs it into law in a very public ceremony. To me, this speaks more of how disgusting Bush II was than of Obama’s positive character. The Dems could have passed this during Bush II’s second term, but he threatened to veto it. Honestly, I think signing a bill to outlaw violent crimes and even murder targeted against gays is the very least we can expect from a Democratic president, don’t you? I mean, are you suggesting he might have vetoed the bill? Because if he had, I think that would have been grounds for a primary challenge, if not rioting in the streets.

    4. Obama delivers address to HRC dinner. By contrast, Clinton, who signed DADT and DOMA, only showed AFTER he had won his second term. Dude, it was a fundraiser! Also, HCR is increasingly getting flack from other gay rights groups for being more interested in hobnobbing with politicians than in actually advancing gay rights.

    5. Obama ends the 22 year old odious HIV travel ban while extending the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program.
    I believe someone else has already noted that Bush II signed the relevant bill which went into effect after the inauguration. Not sure myself. Still, to the extend Obama can claim direct credit for this, kudos to him.

    6. Obama issues memorandum to expand the rights of LGBT people in regards to medical rights. Obama extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.
    Both of these are very important things which, again were not trumpeted in the gay community due to Team Obama’s horrible messaging.

    7. Obama works with the Pentagon to create a smooth path forward on DADT. He has the support of Mike Mullen, Sec. Def. Gates, and numerous other high-ranking military officials. DADT is included in the Defense Bill, and all but two Democrats vote to end DADT, at the President’s urging. Every single Republican votes against. DADT falls a little short. Translation: Obama wins the support of his own appointees for what is supposed to be one of his signature issues. He accepts virtually without complaint a filibuster of a defense bill over the issue (Bush would have flat-out called Dems traitors if they’d filibustered a defense bill for any reason).

    Honestly, the timing on DADT really stinks to high heaven. I wouldn’t blame gay activists at all for suspecting that Obama is merely stringing them along to wring donations out of them while punting repeatedly on substantive change. I mean, the gays aren’t blind — they see how the Repukes treat the pro-lifers! “Give us fifty million bucks in donations, and we’ll see if we can’t get Bush to tape a message of encouragement for your next rally.”

  232. 232
    Tractarian says:

    @beergoggles: Good. Your and your ilk’s willful ignorance of constitutional law and separation of powers will condemn you to decades of further discrimination and state-sanctioned bigotry. Congratulations!

  233. 233
    Elie says:

    @suzanne:

    totally, totally right on, suzanne. I truly do not see how some can sleep at night. They know what they are doing — not just on these issues but many other related such as HCR. It is a deliberate strategy

    So sad we just can’t seem to get it or that there are enough folks playing both sides of the ball to mess it up for the progressives…

  234. 234
    Keith G says:

    @stuckinred:

    I personally find the argument that there are all these gay folks that just want to serve their country to be a little shaky.

    Wow. I do not know what I can say that is civil about such a farcical statement.

    Would it matter if there were only one? Does it matter that your sentiment sounds a bit like those I heard growing up in the early 1960s, “Don’t know what those agitators are all about. Most Negroes seem to like having their own lunch counters.”?

  235. 235
    MTiffany says:

    @Suck It Up!: I never called you a bigot or even implied it. I said “Fuck you” for your glib dismissiveness vis-a-vis “the usual accusations.” But if you feel that my saying so was somehow the equivalent, that speaks volumes about your conscience.

  236. 236
    MBunge says:

    @Joe Beese: It wasn’t the Republicans who called the WNBA champions when they were supposed to be “fiercely advocating” for LGBT rights with Democratic Senators.

    and

    With Obama smiling in approval.

    Can we all agree that the above crap is what this is really all about? I don’t care how much you might disagree with Obama over DADT, he is the most pro-gay rights President in American history and it isn’t even close. The proud display of such venomous hatred for the best friend gays have ever had in the White House kind of poisons the whole debate.

    Mike

  237. 237
    Tractarian says:

    Very simply, such people take the long view and believe that it is possible to influence the Democrats to adopt a more aggressive gay rights posture by the credible threat of withholding their vote in strategic circumstances. In other words, withhold support now with the hope of gaining even better benefits in the future as opposed to acting as a reliable bankable cash-machine in exchange for the occasional crumb. I don’t know whether that’s a wise gamble or not

    Lemme stop ya right there. It’s not a wise gamble.

    I’m not saying Obama’s accomplishments on gay rights are anything to write home about. But if you think the solution is condemn the party to minority status… if you think Dems, having been thrown out of power, will just think “IF ONLY WE HAD REPEALED DOMA AND DADT”…. well, there’s no other conclusion than to say: you will get what you deserve.

  238. 238
    beergoggles says:

    @ruemara: If he didn’t appeal it and let it pass into law, it would be 6 years of soldiers serving openly that a future administration would have to work to overturn.

    @Tractarian: I point out the lack of basis in your argument and it’s me with the ignorance of conlaw. lol. Ironic since the majority of the gains we’ve made have been through the courts that have usually been stacked by corporatist Republicans and not Democratic leaning populations or legislatures.

  239. 239
    suzanne says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Very simply, such people take the long view and believe that it is possible to influence the Democrats to adopt a more aggressive gay rights posture by the credible threat of withholding their vote in strategic circumstances.

    The long view? When you’re potentially fucking over other people who are suffering, too? Glad to know the poor, the disabled, the sick, the young, the old… are all just pawns in your little game.

  240. 240
    beergoggles says:

    @MBunge:

    I don’t care how much you might disagree with Obama over DADT, he is the most pro-gay rights President in American history and it isn’t even close. The proud display of such venomous hatred for the best friend gays have ever had in the White House kind of poisons the whole debate.

    The thing is, I agree with you. Obama is the most pro-gay President in American history. But for gays in the current environment, being pro-gay no longer means anything if none of the big-3 are delivered. It doesn’t matter how gay-friendly the president is, if he’s not seen forcefully championing DADT and DOMA repeal and ENDA passage, or worse, actively pursuing DADT and DOMA enforcement as he is currently doing, the gays* are not going to forgive him for it easily.

    *By ‘the gays’ I’m mainly talking about the ones I know – the New England gay crowd, who have pretty much achieved all we can at the state level other than for some notable exceptions.

  241. 241
    Tractarian says:

    @beergoggles: You pointed out a lack of basis in my argument? Ha. You didn’t point out diddly shit.

    A President doesn’t have the right to pick and choose which duly-enacted laws he gets to enforce.

    Just because he shirked his Constitutional duty with respect to war crimes and torture doesn’t mean he is right to shirk his Constitutional duty to enforce DADT.

    the majority of the gains we’ve made have been through the courts that have usually been stacked by corporatist Republicans and not Democratic leaning populations or legislatures.

    OK, this is so nonsensical and contrary to reality, now I’m convinced you’re a spoof too. Better spoofs please!

  242. 242
    Keith G says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Very simply, such people take the long view and believe that it is possible to influence the Democrats to adopt a more aggressive gay rights posture by the credible threat of withholding their vote in strategic circumstances

    And they would be hurting both their short and long-term realities.

    I am pretty sure there are very smart right wing Republicans who can understand demographic shifts. The target groups of their appeals are a shrinking herd. These ideologues need to use whatever time they have left in power to cement in their wold views in order to make them as difficult to dislodge as possible. This year’s elections and next years redistricting will be giving there haters another ten years of significant power.

    Withholding votes only helps the other side and is pretty fucking stupid and actually physically dangerous as empowered Republicans attack policies that have made*us* more safe.

  243. 243
    LTMidnight says:

    @MBunge: Joe Beese is merely exhibiting the classic symptoms of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    One symptom is the the belief that if you don’t hate Obama with the passion of a thousand suns, then you must think Obama is the second coming of Christ. No in between with people like him, just mindless absolutes.

    Joe Beese’ ODS has been raging at DKos as well. It’s sad actually.

    And I agree with Cole that he probably really don’t give 2 shits about DADT. For ODS inflicted fools like Beese and reason for Obama bashing is enough, which is why you constantly see him bringing up the WNBA crap. Never mind that Biden did contact Snowe and Collins, it had to be Obama for some strange reason that had to contact them.

  244. 244
    Tractarian says:

    Shorter beergoggles:

    I want my magic pony NOW NOW NOW!!!!! And if I don’t get it NOW, I’m gonna go home and beat my head against a wall until I bleed!

  245. 245
    LTMidnight says:

    @beergoggles: Except that it use to be “The Big 4” with that 4th one being the Matthew Shephard Act that he signed into law.

    It seems to me that you’re merely trying to move the goal post to justify your discontent for Obama.

  246. 246
    Allan says:

    @Tractarian: Let me try this:

    Before Lawrence v. Texas, I was a criminal in many states because of sexual acts I was committing in the privacy of my own home.

    Before Lawrence v. Texas, you could tell me that only the Ds are protecting me from R stormtroopers who want to lock me up for loving my partner.

    You can still tell me that today, but I know that while individual Rs may continue to make such threats, they can’t follow through on them. (And it wasn’t because of any action on the part of Democrats, but rather due to a court ruling.)

    And as LGBT rights advance, pointing out how the Rs are much worse will continue to have less and less power to keep LGBT voters in line with the Ds.

    As another commenter on this thread noted, when we reach a place where the major pillars of civil rights and liberties for LGBT people in the areas of relationship recognition, employment non-discrimination and military service are in place, it would not surprise me in the least if an individual voter’s sexual orientation becomes increasingly less predictive of that person’s party identification.

    I now ask you, other than claiming that you are protecting me from the worst instincts of the Rs, which they are powerless to enact legislatively, what are you willing to do affirmatively for me as a special interest voter to attract me to your party, then retain me as a supporter?

  247. 247
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @RalfW: Cosign. The one thing I really don’t get about this blog (nor like) is how myopic it is on the subject of queer issues. Stupid people do stupid things. This is news? From the exit poll cited above:

    In a CNN exit poll, 31% of those who identified themselves as gay voted Republican, up from 27% in 2008 and 23% in 2004. The sample size is pretty small—only 3% of the 17,504 voters CNN talked to were gay—but Republicans are celebrating anyway, Politico reports

    This is a very small sample size. And, they don’t say if the gays they asked who identified as Republican were Republican in the first place. Remember, there is a group called the Log Cabin Republicans which indicates that there are gay people who are Republicans, anyway.

    You know why? Because for some queers, other things trump LGBT concerns. Just as no other minority is a monolith–neither are queers. I would say race and class and gender factor into the equation as well. I will take Sully for example. If he weren’t gay, he would pretty much be an across-the-board social conservative. He has the sense of entitlement that many other privileged white men have. So, the fact that he’s gay isn’t necessarily going to make him more liberal. He also has healthcare through his job. Therefore, he can be more cavalier about that issue.

    I try to stay out of these threads because I get so damn frustrated. Cole, you really seem to have blind spot on this issue, and I am saying this with respect.

    To me, this constant harping on why a minority of a minority vote a certain way is wearying, just as the brouhaha over why blacks hate teh gayz was wearying. I don’t see post after post asking why young people didn’t vote in the election.

    I will also say, it’s demoralizing to have to listen to your purported allies say, “Oh, wait. Your issues just aren’t that important to me. You come fight with us on these issues, and then maybe in a less volatile time, we will deal with yours.”

    Finally, like many others have stated, I am a firm believer in bitching at the Dems and voting for them, anyway.

  248. 248
    danimal says:

    I’ll try to avoid the flame war; this is a serious question. From a hard-nosed, vote counting perspective, why should Obama take on the political risk of pushing the gay rights agenda when he receives such vocal disapproval on the numerous actions he has taken? Ending DADT will predictably inflame the religious right; the numbers supporting repeal are likely to go down once the wurlitzer focuses on the issue. Why take that risk when there is no thanks and the voters sit on the sidelines? The progress made to date may not be enough to be satisfactory, but it would not have happened under President McCain and didn’t happen under President Bush? Please help me understand: why, in political terms, should Obama stick his neck out further than he already has?

  249. 249
    thefncrow says:

    @beergoggles: I’m glad to see that you’re prepared to remove a cornerstone of responsible executive policy just so that you can get your way. Having gays serving in the military will certainly make up for the loss of the health care reforms, of what pitiful financial regulation we got, and the loss of the EPA and the Department of Education when the next Republican President follows in Obama’s footsteps and allows to let stand lower court decisions against those programs.

    Or, y’know, we could not dismantle a meaningful piece of executive governance and try to do repeal of the ban on gay service members through the proper channels. But, you’re right, let’s just take a shortcut to what we want and forget about the consequences of that behavior.

  250. 250
    beergoggles says:

    @Tractarian: And you’ve just indicated that Obama prefers to enforce laws against gays than those against pot smokers, war criminals and torturers.

    I don’t think I need to make any more arguments why gays shouldn’t be voting for the guy.

  251. 251
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    2. Had the Dems pushed DADT repeal through early, when they had a filibuster-proof majority, it would not have mattered how many Republicans voted against it. Instead, however, the Dems announced that they would wait until after “the study” was done, which from its inception was always going to push the vote back until after the election.

    That would be true if you think “Democrats” would push DADT repeal through without the cover of “the study.” They would not. They would fear being pilloried for “social engineering” with the military. Some of them, I am quite sure, have only come this far down the path towards simple human decency because of the procedural maneuver that got DADT repeal tethered to a must-pass defense authorization bill, something voting against is supposed to be PLAYING POLITICKS WITH TEH TRUPEZ 11!One. In essence, 60 Democrats would never pass DADT repeal as a stand-alone bill, and they only got to 59 (ish) by going through the process of “the study.”

  252. 252
    a few stupid points says:

    1) I am married in Canada; single in the US. I have to drive 370 miles one way to get home to Canada because my foreign-born spouse is not allowed to work / live with me in the US thanks to DOMA. Have been doing so for nearly a decade.

    2) Friends of mine are not so lucky to have just a long ass haul to get home: their partners are in such places as London, Amsterdam, Brazil, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Thanks DOMA! Hope my friends don’t get hanged!

    3) As a lesbian, I donated what money I had to progressive Democratic candidates whose policies I agreed most with. I ignored money requests from Rahm Inc. Sorry John.

    I just want someone to fight for my right to …party.

  253. 253
    beergoggles says:

    @LTMidnight: Hate crimes legislation is such a low threshold that someone would have to be Bush to veto it. I would expect it to be even less than the bare minimum any Dem president would sign.

    @thefncrow: That argument has already been demolished by the failure to prosecute war criminals and torturers. Do you have anything new to add?

  254. 254
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @danimal:

    From a hard-nosed, vote counting perspective, why should Obama take on the political risk of pushing the gay rights agenda when he receives such vocal disapproval on the numerous actions he has taken?

    That’s my feeling too. At a certain point, when people are saying that they’re so mad they’ll never vote for you again, you might just decide to believe it, and spend time catering to some other crowd instead.

  255. 255
    Allan says:

    Gay people worked on the civil rights movement because it was the right thing to do, everyone should be treated equally, and also because getting civil rights for racial and ethnically diverse people seems like a pretty important pre-condition for getting our own civil rights codified into law.

    Gay people worked on the women’s rights movement because it was the right thing to do, everyone should be treated equally, and also because getting civil rights for women seems like a pretty important pre-condition for getting our own civil rights codified into law.

    Gay people worked on the disability rights movement because it was the right thing to do, everyone should be treated equally, and also because getting civil rights for the disabled seems like a pretty important pre-condition for getting our own civil rights codified into law.

    Unless you can offer up another group that is being treated unequally under the law whose civil rights are more worthy of fighting for than ours, it’s our turn.

  256. 256
    Tractarian says:

    And as LGBT rights advance, pointing out how the Rs are much worse will continue to have less and less power to keep LGBT voters in line with the Ds.

    Fair enough. But, as far as I can tell, the vast majority of LGBT voters (or at least blog commenters) are deeply unhappy with the status quo, Lawrence or no Lawrence. They want (and I want) and end to DOMA, DADT, and an anti-discrimination law. So we’re still a long, long way from the point where gay rights have advanced so much that they cease to be a distinguishing factor between the parties.

    Let’s put it this way: Elect overwhelming Dem majorities in both houses in Congress and you will get what you want. Since that isn’t feasible, I suggest, instead, directing your anger and efforts at those who consistently vote against gay rights, again and again.

  257. 257
    LTMidnight says:

    @beergoggles:

    Hate crimes legislation is such a low threshold that someone would have to be Bush to veto it. I would expect it to be even less than the bare minimum any Dem president would sign.

    TRANSLATION: “I admit this is an accomplishment, but I refuse to give Obama credit for it because it undermines my argument”

    Like I said, you’re moving the goalpost.

  258. 258
    thefncrow says:

    @beergoggles: It has? You have an example of a lower court throwing out a law regarding war crimes that the Obama administration has failed to appeal? Or is it just that you are talking out of your ass over a decision not to prosecute the matter, which is something entirely different and not related to this issue?

  259. 259
    Allan says:

    @Tractarian: May I suggest you also contact politicians who vote against LGBT interests often and with intensity, or would that be an imposition?

    I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, because I see from BJ threads that many heterosexuals are easily dissuaded from supporting civil equality for LGBT people because we’re such demanding assholes.

  260. 260
    beergoggles says:

    @Tractarian: That’s a bad case of projection u got there. Apparently it’s not my head that’s bleeding.

  261. 261
    beergoggles says:

    @thefncrow: Oh I didn’t realize that not prosecuting war crimes was excluded from being a

    cornerstone of responsible executive policy

    just because you decided it didn’t have to be and was not related to the issue.

  262. 262
    suzanne says:

    @Allan:

    Unless you can offer up another group that is being treated unequally under the law whose civil rights are more worthy of fighting for than ours, it’s our turn.

    No one’s rights are more or less important. But please disabuse yourself of the delusion that minorities, women, or the disabled have all the legal protections they need to allow them full equality in our society. Not to mention, it’s hard to take you seriously when you’re willing to sacrifice one of the most important pieces of legislation for the poor, the sick, the disabled, the young, and the old—all in the name of “your turn”. My husband’s student, who can’t get his cleft palate repaired and as a result, cannot talk, all because his parents aren’t citizens or rich—I’m sure he truly appreciates it.

    There’s more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy, fuckwad.

  263. 263
    beergoggles says:

    @LTMidnight: I have no problem giving Obama credit for signing the Matthew Shepard Act. I just would not equate it with expending political capital or being a strong advocate for doing so and it in no way outweighs re-imposing DADT and appealing DOMA.

  264. 264
    Tractarian says:

    @Allan:

    Bite me. By voting straight-ticket Dem this year, I did more to advance your civil rights than your whiny, juvenile bitching will ever accomplish.

    That’s right. I know what’s best for you. You don’t. Sound elitist? Condescending? Tough shit.

    @beergoggles: You embarrassed yourself. Here’s what “projection” actually means.

  265. 265
    John Cole says:

    @Allan: I think “self-defeating asshole” makes a lot more sense as a label for you. unless you think being a total dickhead in every comments section about gay rights, trashing hundreds of commenters who agree with you, the vast majority of whom donate their time, money, and energy to your causes, and then have to sit hear and read your bullshit attacks on them.

    Then again, just calling you an asshole covers it nicely. But hey- keep shitting all over your allies and pretending the Democrats and the commenters here are the problem. That’s the real key to victory!

  266. 266
    Allan says:

    @suzanne: Fuckwad was a nice touch. Thanks for sticking to the moral high ground.

    The existence of federal legislation against discrimination does not stop discrimination from occurring. It gives additional recourse to the victim of the discrimination when it occurs.

    And it also has an ameliorative effect on the private sector, which has moved, even if haltingly, toward more inclusive work spaces and a heightened sensitivity toward the specific needs of minorities, women and the disabled within their work populations, and affirmative actions to increase their representation over time.

  267. 267
    beergoggles says:

    @John Cole:

    Then again, just calling you an asshole covers it nicely. But hey- keep shitting all over your allies and pretending the Democrats and the commenters here are the problem. That’s the real key to victory!

    I don’t think that’s too different from the posts you usually make about the left and hippies and gays being the problem.

  268. 268
    Irishnana says:

    @jon: FU Snarky

  269. 269
    beergoggles says:

    @Tractarian: Your language lent itself to headbanging projection. And *I* was the one who embarrassed myself? Yet more projection I see.

  270. 270
    Tractarian says:

    @beergoggles:

    And you’ve just indicated that Obama prefers to enforce laws against gays than those against pot smokers, war criminals and torturers.

    I don’t think I need to make any more arguments why gays shouldn’t be voting for the guy.

    Yes, you absolutely need to make more arguments, because if you don’t vote for him and his party, you will empower people who want to criminalize your very existence.

    OK, your president would rather enforce DADT than prosecute war crimes. That sucks. But the alternative is even worse. I’m sorry, that’s the reality. I don’t like it any more than you do.

  271. 271
    Allan says:

    @John Cole: That was lovely. I’ll always treasure this special moment between us.

  272. 272
    Fred X. Quimby says:

    @burnspbesq: Teaching low income families how to use a computer, checking in on struggling mental health out-patients, and collecting feral cats for a spay-and-release program. What good did you do today?

  273. 273
    ColleenSTL says:

    Let me see if I can explain this. This is not about helping the Party that hates you, and I think most gays and lesbians, like me, do wind up voting Democratic. To the extent that they don’t, it’s about teaching Dems a lesson. Now — before your head explodes — you must understand that this comes after DECADES of being used as the Democratic Party’s ATM and getting little or nothing back, and its not unlike the disgruntled progressive left. The fact is that the Dems shit copiously all over their base with some regularity and think they can get away with it because, as Rahm said, “Where they gonna go?” At some point people simply get tired of being told that they are supposed to “understand” and go meekly back to the back of the bus. So some start to think that things will change once they “teach the Dems a lesson”. What are the range of choices here?

  274. 274
    300baud says:

    No one’s rights are more or less important. But please disabuse yourself of the delusion that minorities, women, or the disabled have all the legal protections they need to allow them full equality in our society.

    This seems like false equivalence to me. Would you say that MLK should have stayed in the back of the bus if it would have gotten universal health care passed then?

    I’d say no. Health care is something we collectively decide to do for citizens who can’t afford it. Whereas allowing gay marriage is us ceasing to deny people their constitutional civil rights. Health care, although something we should do, is not a right. Not being discriminated against by the government is.

    Minorities, women, and the disabled definitely do not have everything they need. But all of them can get married, adopt, have their family legally and socially recognized, and so on. Nobody is putting constitutional amendments together to prevent interracial marriage or strip women of the vote.

  275. 275
    beergoggles says:

    @Tractarian: Dude, just because I won’t vote for Obama (or anyone else that actively works against my rights) in the future doesn’t mean I don’t (or won’t) work, donate and vote for as far-left (ok Social Dem is about as far-left as I go) Democrats as possible.

  276. 276
    Tractarian says:

    @beergoggles:

    Your language lent itself to headbanging projection.

    Well, truthfully, I did ram my head against my desk a couple of times while trying to decipher that sentence.

  277. 277
    Allan says:

    @Tractarian: Actually, I have voted the straight D ticket since the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976. This is one of those facts that never registers with BJ commenters, regardless of how many times it is repeated here.

    I am not arguing on this issue from an “inside the D tribe” perspective. Perhaps this is the reason for your spittle-flecked fury at my benign observations.

  278. 278
    Allan says:

    @beergoggles: You noticed that too?

  279. 279
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Tractarian:

    Yes, you absolutely need to make more arguments, because if you don’t vote for him and his party, you will empower people who want to criminalize your very existence.

    I don’t think you realize how condescending you sound. Gay people have been fighting for their rights for decades in this country. They don’t need to Democrats to protect them.

  280. 280
    300baud says:

    @MBunge:

    The proud display of such venomous hatred for the best friend gays have ever had in the White House kind of poisons the whole debate.

    I agree with your basic point, but best friend they’ve had does not necessarily mean good friend.

    I’m as hetero as they come, but I thought Obama’s weaselly behavior on gay marriage was fucking insulting. I understand he thought he had to do it for political reasons, and I expect he’s actually in favor of gay marriage. But when you combine the lack of vocal support for gay civil rights with only modest action, I think it’s entirely reasonable that some gay activists are disappointed and/or pissed.

  281. 281
    beergoggles says:

    @Allan: He’s a recent convert, so I cut him some slack for his dear-leader-allegiance tendencies.

  282. 282
    MTiffany says:

    @LTMidnight: Or, hear me out, some of us see hate crimes legislation as American society’s way of attempting to “placate the queers” by punishing those who dislike us and act violently against us based on that animus, rather than American society biting the bullet and treating us as equals. It’s not a substitute for letting me marry my boyfriend or letting me defend this country without having to hide who I love. What is so difficult to comprehend about that? “We’ll punish people who bully you based on who you love but we’re not going to let you marry him because that’s not what we think marriage should be” is just as hurtful as the bullying and villification.

    And also too, if I am barred from participating with equal freedom of conscience, association, and intimate association in this country’s insitutions by my fellow citizens, what is my incentive to defend those insitutions or this country or my fellow citizens?

  283. 283
    Tractarian says:

    @beergoggles:

    And when you refuse to vote for Obama in 2012, you will be aiding his opponent who will also “actively work against your rights.” Great job!

    @Allan:

    Actually, I have voted the straight D ticket since the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976.

    I’m sorry that obviously well-known “fact” didn’t “register” with me before. Or maybe you’re just making up bullshit to make your arguments sound more credible?

  284. 284
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Allan:

    Unless you can offer up another group that is being treated unequally under the law whose civil rights are more worthy of fighting for than ours, it’s our turn.

    This has got to be one of the most nonsensical things you’ve said in this entire discussion. There are no fucking turns with civil rights in this country, as anyone with even a passing familiarity with this country’s history will tell you.

    Gay people worked on the civil rights movement because it was the right thing to do, everyone should be treated equally, and also because getting civil rights for racial and ethnically diverse people seems like a pretty important pre-condition for getting our own civil rights codified into law.

    Meanwhile, the Pigford II settlement related to decades upon decades of empirically documented discrimination against black farmers by the USDA in the 80s and 90s had its funding stripped this year, and you can most assuredly believe our new Republican overlords in the House aren’t going to be inclined to approve that funding. Oh, and how can we overlook the fact that the only success the Republican Party has had over the years is running on a platform EXPLICITLY ATTACKING the gains made via the Civil Rights Movement, so much so that they continue to trumpet fears of “voter fraud,” aka minorities (mainly blacks) exercising their basic right to vote, which they only received about 40 someodd years ago.

    Gay people worked on the women’s rights movement because it was the right thing to do, everyone should be treated equally, and also because getting civil rights for women seems like a pretty important pre-condition for getting our own civil rights codified into law.

    I’m pretty sure the conservative movement is looking at outlawing and criminalizing birth control because it prevents conception from even happening, meaning it’s the same as an abortion. Don’t pretend that the women’s rights movement is somehow a completed and finalized task.

    Gay people worked on the disability rights movement because it was the right thing to do, everyone should be treated equally, and also because getting civil rights for the disabled seems like a pretty important pre-condition for getting our own civil rights codified into law.
    __
    Unless you can offer up another group that is being treated unequally under the law whose civil rights are more worthy of fighting for than ours, it’s our turn.

    As you can clearly see, it’s pretty easy to walk through every minority or disadvantaged group you listed and point out just how, in fact, their “turn” is far from over. Because the entire point is that you don’t get a fucking turn, you just get what you can get when you can get what you get. Because you have no guarantee that the playing field will be more favorable tomorrow. And moreover, because in the United States of America, the battle never ends for minorities, the disadvantaged, and the underprivileged to affirm and maintain their rights.

    The sooner we put this notion that it’s the GLBT coalition’s “time,” the better.

  285. 285
    beergoggles says:

    @Tractarian: That explains your thick head :)

  286. 286
    MattR says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Gay people have been fighting for their rights for decades in this country. They don’t need to Democrats to protect them.

    Really? I look forward to hearing your strategy for getting DADT and DOMA repealed as well as passing ENDA without Democrats.

  287. 287
    NR says:

    @thefncrow:

    Having gays serving in the military will certainly make up for the loss of the health care reforms, of what pitiful financial regulation we got, and the loss of the EPA and the Department of Education when the next Republican President follows in Obama’s footsteps and allows to let stand lower court decisions against those programs.

    Right. Because the next Republican president is going to pay so much attention to how Obama did things!

    Anyway, the argument that the administration has to appeal is just flat-out wrong. In 1996, a federal court overturned the military’s ban on HIV-positive people serving. President Clinton chose not to appeal and the policy died.

  288. 288
    Tractarian says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Yep, I am fully aware of how condescending I sound. It’s more than that, though — I actually believe that I know what’s best for you, and that you don’t. Imagine that.

    They don’t need to Democrats to protect them.

    Yep, they do. Why? Because they’re the ones who have power. “Gay people have been fighting for their rights for decades” but only Dem politicians can turn your wishes into reality. Sorry, but it’s true.

    Or do you think that the GOP or a third party is going to take up your cause?

  289. 289
    300baud says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I try to stay out of these threads because I get so damn frustrated. Cole, you really seem to have blind spot on this issue, and I am saying this with respect. […]
    I will also say, it’s demoralizing to have to listen to your purported allies say, “Oh, wait. Your issues just aren’t that important to me. You come fight with us on these issues, and then maybe in a less volatile time, we will deal with yours.”
    Finally, like many others have stated, I am a firm believer in bitching at the Dems and voting for them, anyway.

    This! 10x this.

  290. 290
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Hawes:

    “Speaker Boner has to deal with Teabaggers and Bachmanns.”

    Let him deal with ACT UP, too

    Go ahead, Professional Gay Activists, heckle the Republicans!
    I’m sure they’ll debate you…or they’ll stomp you…and kick you in the head.

    That’ll show Obama!

    Elections have consequences.

    Heckle the people you voted in to teach the President a lesson.

    Or, shut the fuck up.

  291. 291
    Hope says:

    Alan @ 231

    Quit with the excuses about “Obama not getting the message out”. If the media won’t cover the accomplishments, then you need to inform your peeps. I’m not gay – but I knew about the items mentioned – and I make sure to know about the issues that directly affect me ( health care, women’s rights, education, the environment). I’m responsible for my knowledge -blaming Obama for not spoon feeding me data is silly.
    And I’d like to second Suzanne’s sentiments – I’ve been waiting since 1975 for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment – in the meantime – open season on women – physically, emotionally and legally continues.

  292. 292
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Exactly. I want GWB put in jail for that, which is why I would never advocate Obama assuming unconstitutional powers, like overuling established law. What is your excuse? Its bad when the other side does it, but not when yours does?

  293. 293
    beergoggles says:

    @Tractarian:

    And when you refuse to vote for Obama in 2012, you will be aiding his opponent who will also “actively work against your rights.” Great job!

    Then maybe you should be yelling at him and not at me. I will *NOT* vote for someone who works against my rights. Appealing DADT and (to a lesser extent) DOMA falls into that category. We all have lines we do not cross and that is mine. Voting for oppression on the chance that an even greater oppression may happen will not convince me.

  294. 294
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    I don’t think you realize how condescending you sound. Gay people have been fighting for their rights for decades in this country. They don’t need to Democrats to protect them.

    Which, of course, does not to address the point of the post you cited claiming that Republicans are “people who want to criminalize your very existence.” Because you can’t disagree with that, since it’s a fact that the Republican Party openly embraces. So you don’t have to call it protection (and note that you are the one who characterized the issue as “gay people needing the Democrats to protect them” as opposed to “willingly handing the reigns of power to a group of people who fundamentally disagree with the nature of your existence”), but you do have to acknowledge the salient point that the Republican Party will not advance the cause of equality in any credible, legitimate, or constructive fashion.

    So sure, you don’t need “Democrats” to protect you, but you do need to vote in such a way that you are protected from electing a group of deranged individual who would just as soon see LGTB individuals wiped off the map.

  295. 295
    Allan says:

    @Tractarian: I guess you missed the 300+ comment discussion on John’s last post on this exact same topic. I trust that you’ll remember on the next 300+ comment discussion that I am a Democrat.

    I’m just attempting to do what John says he wants to do, which is talk about why the gays who don’t turn out or vote R when they do turn out exist, and what factors may play into that.

    I’ve mentioned that turnout was pretty typical for a mid-term election, that we have at best weak statistical data to support the claim of some massive defection of LGBT votes, I’ve talked about all number of issues that could be at play and attempted to think out loud on behalf of some of those who fall into the groups that make John angry for what seems to him like insufficient loyalty to the Party.

    But I’ve hurt John’s fee-fees again, and he won’t hear any of it.

  296. 296
    beergoggles says:

    @Admiral_Komack: You meantion ACT UP and then dare them to protest Republicans.

    Did you sleep through the Reagan genocide or something?

  297. 297
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ColleenSTL:

    you must understand that this comes after DECADES of being used as the Democratic Party’s ATM and getting little or nothing back

    Gay people started politicizing after Stonewall, in most accounts, right? So how long have there been gay people giving political contributions to Democratic candidates? And how much total money are we talking about? I would guess that, far from being “the Democratic Party’s ATM,” many, many groups have given much more money for scarcely more return, including gun-control groups, environmental groups, unions, and education associations, because national politics is such that even Democrats’ best efforts can be thwarted.

    So, yes, I’m sure there’s plenty of frustration. That’s what activism is like. Is gay people’s frustration a _unique_ kind of frustration, more virtuously earned than other people’s frustration, making it their “time”? I’m not sure about that. And I’m not at all sure that talking about it in that way is helpful.

  298. 298
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Tractarian:

    Or do you think that the GOP or a third party is going to take up your cause?

    The drag queens who got arrested at the Stonewall in 1969 didn’t have a party to take up their cause. My friends who were arrested at ACT UP demonstrations in the 1980’s didn’t have a party to take up their cause. The brave kids who went to the first GLBT prom in NH in the 1990’s didn’t have a party to take up their cause.

    You see where I am going with this? If the Dems don’t want to help the gheys then the gheys will find another way. In truth, more often that not, ‘another way’ has helped a lot more than the Democrats. Anyone familiar with the gay rights movement realizes this.

  299. 299
    300baud says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    As you can clearly see, it’s pretty easy to walk through every minority or disadvantaged group you listed and point out just how, in fact, their “turn” is far from over.

    Although I agree that’s true, are you really saying you see no difference? It seems to me that marriage is a pretty fundamental right, as is not getting fired for who you love.

    I can see why people are saying, “Well, gay people, politically we just can’t swing it now, but we promise we’ll get to you someday.” (And I can also see why activists think that “someday” really means “when it doesn’t cost us anything”.) But I think there are fundamental protections that other disadvantaged groups have that gays don’t. Suggesting that the Pigford settlement is morally equivalent to marriage strikes me as both false and absurd.

  300. 300
    MattR says:

    @beergoggles:

    Then maybe you should be yelling at him and not at me. I will NOT vote for someone who works against my rights. Appealing DADT and (to a lesser extent) DOMA falls into that category. We all have lines we do not cross and that is mine. Voting for oppression on the chance that an even greater oppression may happen will not convince me.

    You have every right to do that. Just don’t expect that your situation will improve as a result of that choice.

  301. 301
    NR says:

    Everyone here needs to understand one thing:

    The Democrats are not entitled to anyone’s vote.

    Say it over and over again until you get it.

    If Obama and the Democrats want people to vote for them, they need to give people a reason to vote for them. If all you have is “Vote for us because the other guys are worse,” then you’re in trouble, because as we’ve just seen, that doesn’t work.

  302. 302
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Very simply, such people take the long view and believe that it is possible to influence the Democrats to adopt a more aggressive gay rights posture by the credible threat of withholding their vote in strategic circumstances. In other words, withhold support now with the hope of gaining even better benefits in the future as opposed to acting as a reliable bankable cash-machine in exchange for the occasional crumb.

    Except in actual practice, the opposite occurs, and this, in the long term, delays rights for gay people. What the politicians see is that the Republicans, who frequently run on a homophobic platform, get elected. The Dem who threw some crumbs to the LGBT community, over the objections of their conservative Democratic constituents, didn’t get elected. So, why take ANY risks on behalf of a tiny group of people who won’t support you, unless you completely alienate a larger portion of your electorate? By voting against the people who threw us crumbs in favor of the people who attack us, you are making an argument in FAVOR of denying us even the crumbs. It is stupid, short sighted, and irrational.

  303. 303
    LTMidnight says:

    @MTiffany: It really does sound to me like you’re trying to legislate tollerance and acceptance. You can legislate equality, but tolerance and acceptance has to come with time. Too many people in the GLBT group don’t seem to get that for some strange reason.

    Also it sounds to me that you’re arguing that the Shephard Act shouldn’t count because it didn’t pass with the “total package” of the gay right agenda (i.e.: DOMA, DADT, and ENDA). That shows a naivete and selfishness on your part.

  304. 304
    jon says:

    If the Senate Republicans didn’t actually or intend to filibuster or “filibuster” any and all attempts to repeal DOMA and DADT, would Obama have already signed each repeal into law?

    The answer to that question gets to the crux of why voting against Democrats or for Republicans is nothing but short-sighted stupidity. The long-term strategy is going to stay “long-term” with a short-term strategy like that.

  305. 305
    JITC says:

    “Conservatives” who want to deny gays any and all rights (and in many cases, the right to even exist) are using the Republican party to make this happen. Those of us who want equal rights for gays and everyone need equal or more actual political power. This power will never, ever, ever come from Republicans or political individuals affiliated with the right. It can and only will come from the Democratic party.

    Right now, the Democratic party has not made equal rights a priority. It is important to let the Dems know that they should. Voting in Republicans will NOT accomplish either of the 2 goals: 1) Making Democrats prioritize equal rights for gays and 2) Actually getting equal rights for gays et al.

    And, to the point of the original post, to suggest that Barack Obama and the current Democratic-led Congress did nothing to move gay rights forward is ludicrous. Much more needs to be done, but an astounding amount has been accomplished in less than 2 years.

    I’m no fan of incrementalism, but I know that a party that moves incrementally towards what I want is a convince-able ally than the party that works against even the smallest increments.

  306. 306
  307. 307
    suzanne says:

    @300baud:

    This seems like false equivalence to me. Would you say that MLK should have stayed in the back of the bus if it would have gotten universal health care passed then?

    It was Rosa Parks who sat in the front of the bus.

    And NO, I would never have suggested that. And I DIDN’T. My point is that, in voting for Republicans in protest, some LGBTs are in fact asking *me* and others to sacrifice what *we* need, and I think that is fucked beyond all explanation.

    Minorities, women, and the disabled definitely do not have everything they need. But all of them can get married, adopt, have their family legally and socially recognized, and so on. Nobody is putting constitutional amendments together to prevent interracial marriage or strip women of the vote.

    No, they’re trying to deny women agency over their own fucking uteruses. Believe me, the fact that I can get married, while awesome, is cold comfort when faced with the fact that a substantial portion of the population thinks they own my body.

  308. 308
    Allan says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Meanwhile, the Pigford II settlement related to decades upon decades of empirically documented discrimination against black farmers by the USDA in the 80s and 90s had its funding stripped this year, and you can most assuredly believe our new Republican overlords in the House aren’t going to be inclined to approve that funding. Oh, and how can we overlook the fact that the only success the Republican Party has had over the years is running on a platform EXPLICITLY ATTACKING the gains made via the Civil Rights Movement, so much so that they continue to trumpet fears of “voter fraud,” aka minorities (mainly blacks) exercising their basic right to vote, which they only received about 40 someodd years ago.

    I look forward to a time in the future when LGBT citizens who have won a class action lawsuit against their oppressors have similar difficulty getting their rightful payments out of a recalcitrant Congress.

    By your reckoning, it will come some 40-odd years after we have achieved civil equality under the law.

    I’ll be long dead, but I’m sure that future generations of LGBT activists will do their best to pressure Congress.

    And moreover, because in the United States of America, the battle never ends for minorities, the disadvantaged, and the underprivileged to affirm and maintain their rights.

    That’s fine. And with regard to the LGBT community, at the federal legislation level we’re still pretty much waiting for the “affirm” part. I look forward with great enthusiasm to the day when I only have to fight to “maintain” my rights.

    And if not now, when?

  309. 309
    jon says:

    The Senate Republicans: 100% against repeal.
    The Senate Democrats: 97% for repeal.

    It’s easy to see how Obama is responsible. If he got over 100% of the Democrats to see things his way, then he’d be on the side of civil rights. But because he selfishly gave up the Republican Minority Leader job to selfishly pursue a higher office, he’s selfishly given up on selflessness toward civil rights. Elitist motherfucker.

  310. 310
    MTiffany says:

    @LTMidnight: What I’m trying to get across is that hate crimes law do nothing to advance LGBT equality. If someone beats me to death it does me no good if they would be punished more if they were shouting “faggot!” while doing it than if they weren’t.

    Oh, well some homophobe killed me and will serve an extra month in the prison because he killed me because I’m gay. SO what? If some bigot murders me my boyfriend cannot automatically inherit my/our house because he’s just my boyfriend, not my spouse. If I died unexpectedly, my boyfriend could be kicked out of my/our house because my parents – to whom I am estranged – legally have the right to inherit my property, and my boyfriend has no rights in that respect.

    Hate crimes laws do nothing for me or any other LGBT person so far as the equality of our persons or relationships is concerned. they just DONT.

    the shepard act doesn’t count because it doesn’t advance the cause of LGBT equality, it only punishes people who hate us when they act on that hate. That’s legislating tolerance and acceptance.

  311. 311
    MTiffany says:

    @NR:

    The Democrats are not entitled to anyone’s vote.

    That’s it! Right there! There we go. My vote is MINE! Your vote is YOURS! A political party or a candidate wants my vote? Then fucking earn it, bitches!

  312. 312
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @beergoggles:

    “@Admiral_Komack: You meantion ACT UP and then dare them to protest Republicans.”

    “Did you sleep through the Reagan genocide or something?”

    Nope.

    But I’m not mentioning the 80’s; you are.

    They are sooooo courageous slamming this President, but quiet as churchmice pissing on cotton when it comes to the Republicans.

    Let’s see them go after McCain and Issa, and those other bright Republican lights the Professional Gay Activists wanted voted in to teach the President a lesson.

  313. 313
    300baud says:

    @suzanne:

    Yes, I know who Rosa Parks is, thanks. Do you find that assuming others are ignorant of basic facts helps you much?

    For what it’s worth, I was being metaphorical. Although now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that MLK also literally was kept in the back of the bus, so I think it works either way. I think that’s clear enough, but let me know if you need more help.

    As far as I can tell, you’re saying that you’re upset that gay activists aren’t doing the thing that’s convenient to you. Sure, that’s true, and I can see why that makes you upset. But it ignores my actual point. And also it undermines yours. You can’t say gay activists shouldn’t be looking out for their own interests at the same time you talk about important your interests are.

  314. 314
    MBunge says:

    @MTiffany: What a profound appreciation of the responsibilities of citizenship.

    Mike

  315. 315
    Keith G says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    The drag queens who got arrested at the Stonewall in 1969 didn’t have a party to take up their cause.

    Nice speech, noble sentiment, but so what?

    The queens and the kids and the others were local groups fighting local battles. And they largly won. Now these battles are about national policy.

    You seem to be saying that we don’t need a political party to protect the status quo (I think we do). I am certain we do need the help of a political party to progress further.

  316. 316
    Allan says:

    @suzanne:

    I would just like to note that I still don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment and that my right to not have a parasite growing in my body is still somehow open for public debate.

    When you refer to the product of your own body’s natural processes (by which you came into the world, btw), the fruit of your coitus with the man you love, as a “parasite,” you run the risk of alienating nominally pro-choice Democratic and independent voters who will read that and recoil at your moral depravity and disdain for the value of that potential life, and then be more supportive of the “pro-life” forces who would deprive you of that reproductive freedom.

    You had best watch your language and express yourself more politely, or else you’re going to be abandoned by the Democratic coalition, and what will you do then? Turn to the Republicans for support? Bwa ha ha…

    See how easy that is?

  317. 317
    MTiffany says:

    @MBunge: Yes, holding those we elect to govern on our behalf in our collective name accountable for their actions is a citizen’s responsibility, isn’t it? I mean, rather than blindly pledging fealty to a feckless party rotten with corruption and graft, that is.

  318. 318
    suzanne says:

    @300baud:

    You can’t say gay activists shouldn’t be looking out for their own interests at the same time you talk about important your interests are.

    I’m NOT. I’m saying disabled-rights activists and women’s-rights activists and minority-rights activists, etc etc etc, should be looking out for LGBT interests. And that LGBT-rights activists should be looking out for the disabled and women and minorities, etc etc etc. The difference is that I haven’t heard anything from any disabled, women’s, or minority-rights groups advocating opposing repealing DADT in order to get legislation passed that they feel in important. But I’ve heard a lot of the reverse from the LGBT community.

  319. 319
    Allan says:

    @suzanne:

    But I’ve heard a lot of the reverse from the LGBT community.

    This interests me. Tell us more. Examples and details would be a nice start.

  320. 320
    MTiffany says:

    @suzanne:

    I’m NOT. I’m saying disabled-rights activists and women’s-rights activists and minority-rights activists, etc etc etc, should be looking out for LGBT interests. And that LGBT-rights activists should be looking out for the disabled and women and minorities, etc etc etc.

    A good share of those LGBT-rights activists are women AND disabled.

    I want to bring this up because it is not said often enough: A government with the power to tell a woman she can’t have an abortion can also compel her to have one.

  321. 321
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    The drag queens who got arrested at the Stonewall in 1969 didn’t have a party to take up their cause. My friends who were arrested at ACT UP demonstrations in the 1980’s didn’t have a party to take up their cause. The brave kids who went to the first GLBT prom in NH in the 1990’s didn’t have a party to take up their cause.

    Remind me, what legislation did they get passed through Congress? I’m not running them down, mind you, just pointing out that the situation has changed, and strategy needs to change along with it.

    Those socio-cultural movements were great in their day, when there really was no institutional power pushing for gay rights, so it made sense to just scream in the streets and freak out the squares for attention. Those things really did move the ball down the field.

    But your last example is nearly a generation old. Today, we have an incumbent president and a party controlling one house of Congress who supported all of the things John listed in the post.

    You know why the NAACP doesn’t organize MLK-style marches on Washington in favor of black civil rights anymore? Because they won that battle, and it’s time to fight the next one.

    Achieving slightly-better election results for one’s cause, the way the AARP and AIPAC do, isn’t as much fun as the street activism, but fun isn’t supposed to be the point.

  322. 322
    suzanne says:

    @MTiffany:

    A good share of those LGBT-rights activists are women AND disabled.

    Yes, on this you are absolutely correct, and are reiterating a point I made far, far upthread: that our identities are intersectional, and our aims are compatible.

    I want to bring this up because it is not said often enough: A government with the power to tell a woman she can’t have an abortion can also compel her to have one.

    Absolutely. My best friend’s mother escaped communist China years ago after her fifth forced abortion.

    @Allan: Every single one of my gay male friends (and unlike Sarah Palin, I actually have some), most of whom are activists, all threatened to vote Republican or not vote at all this election. Most of them pulled their heads out of their asses, thank God—and they’re all, every single one of them, disappointed about the election results.

  323. 323
    MTiffany says:

    I can’t begin to understand the rage that LGBT citizens experience on a daily basis, in many regards being treated as second class citizens.

    Every time someone acknowledges that fact of our lives and then asks us to explain the whys and hows of it, it makes the rage a little less, even if they don’t get it at first; it takes out some of the sting of daily life, and gives a little hope when someone not us gives a damn.

  324. 324
    izzatxeaux says:

    …I have heard nothing but screaming about “shutting down the GAYTM to let them know we are serious!

    I thought I was respectful and reserved throughout the entire post, and I am honestly just trying to understand why people think the way they do

    an “honest” attempt to understand would not entail characterizing their efforts on accountability as “screaming” –

    I don’t read here enough to know whether you meant to or not, but this just reeks of concern trolling

  325. 325
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Keith G: We need the people to protect the status quo, not a political party. Regardless of which political party is in power, as long as XX% of the US population supports gay rights there will be no significant backsliding.

    I agree that it would be easier to have the Democrats on our side, but the idea that we need them to protect us from the Republicans is offensive. When push comes to shove, office holding Dems are usually no where to be found on gay rights issues. It was Clinton who gave us DADT and DOMA after all.

  326. 326
    MTiffany says:

    @suzanne:

    …and our aims are compatible.

    And all of our seemingly disparate aims are so simply the same:

    “I don’t care if you like me, dammit! I am your equal and you are damned well going to treat me that way.”

  327. 327
    LTMidnight says:

    @MTiffany: By that logic, ENDA shouldn’t count as well since it fall under your definitions and it does not promote equality either.

  328. 328
    Michael D. says:

    @Tractarian:

    I want my magic pony NOW NOW NOW!! And if I don’t get it NOW, I’m gonna go home and beat my head against a wall until I bleed!

    I know right. Stupid homos and their basic civil rights.

  329. 329
    MattR says:

    @MTiffany: I don’t have time to do the research, but I could have sworn that some of the arguments in favor of hate crimes laws had to do with making a statement about what is acceptable in society as well as the idea of harsher punishments acting as a deterrent. It is kinda strange to now hear the exact opposite argument being used for why the hate crimes law is relatively meaningless

    @Michael D.:

    I know right. Stupid homos and their basic civil rights.

    Because criticism of the tactics and unrealistic expectations used by GLBT folks is obviously the same as not caring about the rights of GLBT.

  330. 330
    inahandbasket says:

    With regard to Federal employees getting some benefits: Here are the benefits from a WaPo article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....54_pf.html

    Obama extends benefits of gay federal workers

    By Ed O’Keefe
    Thursday, June 3, 2010; B03

    ” President Obama extended Wednesday a wider range of benefits to the same-sex partners of eligible federal workers, including access to medical treatment, relocation assistance, credit unions and fitness centers.

    The move goes beyond a memo Obama signed last June, which permitted same-sex partners to use the government’s long-term-care insurance and other fringe benefits. The Office of Personnel Management said Tuesday that same-sex partners will become eligible for such insurance next month.

    Obama also ordered federal agencies last year to identify other benefits that could be offered to same-sex partners. A review by the Office of Personnel Management and Justice Department determined that at least some agencies could also permit credit union and gym memberships and access to counseling services, adoption counseling, and agency events or outings.

    A limited number of intelligence and financial regulatory agencies, Obama’s memo said, will be able to provide reimbursements for health-insurance premiums, dental and vision insurance, business travel accident insurance and tax reimbursements for gym memberships, physical exams and homeowners’ insurance.

    These benefits do not cover uniformed members of the military. Last week, the House voted to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which bans gays and lesbians from openly serving in uniform, and the Senate is scheduled to vote on a repeal in the coming weeks. If a repeal is included in the final version of the annual defense spending bill, the Pentagon would take steps next year to address the treatment of gay and lesbian service members.

    Though Obama has extended a greater number of benefits to gay federal workers than any of his predecessors, he is prevented by federal law from providing full benefits to same-sex partners. To that end, he reiterated support for House and Senate legislation that would grant all federal benefits to same-sex partners. ”

    My partner is a doctor with the Veterans Administration. We do not qualify for any other benefits other than the small list above. There is no ‘gym membership’ benefit through the VA, BTW… What would really come in handy are the full medical benefits that are currently prohibited by DOMA. It would save us about $400/month to put me on my partner’s health care plan.

    Having DOMA repealed would also save us $$ yearly in federal taxes if we could file jointly as a married couple.

    BTW, BFD regarding Hate Crimes legislation. Just a lot of window dressing that took zero political capital.

    John, if you walked in our shoes for a week or so, you might get what we’re agitating for.

  331. 331
    beergoggles says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    The Dem who threw some crumbs to the LGBT community, over the objections of their conservative Democratic constituents, didn’t get elected.

    And we all know that is a lie, so why keep repeating it?

  332. 332
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    When push comes to shove, office holding Dems are usually no where to be found on gay rights issues.

    Uh, did you, by any chance, read the post?

    Obama is elected on a platform that included support for a wide number of gay issues. He is openly opposed to DADT, DOMA, and favors ENDA. He appoints a record number of LGBT officials to his administration, more than ever before…The Matthew Shepard Act passes the House with 175 votes against, predominantly Republican. It passes the Senate with Republicans voting against. Obama signs it into law in a very public ceremony…Obama delivers address to HRC dinner. By contrast, Clinton, who signed DADT and DOMA, only showed AFTER he had won his second term…Obama ends the 22 year old odious HIV travel ban while extending the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program…Obama issues memorandum to expand the rights of LGBT people in regards to medical rights…Obama extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees…Obama works with the Pentagon to create a smooth path forward on DADT. He has the support of Mike Mullen, Sec. Def. Gates, and numerous other high-ranking military officials. DADT is included in the Defense Bill, and all but two Democrats vote to end DADT, at the President’s urging.

    Did you ever read the first Harry Potter book? “There are only fourteen presents!”

  333. 333
    beergoggles says:

    @Admiral_Komack:

    They are sooooo courageous slamming this President, but quiet as churchmice pissing on cotton when it comes to the Republicans.

    Then you were asleep.

    They slammed Republicans when they were in power and they are slamming this president because he’s in power now. Granted, I’m aware of how much better in terms of AIDS spending Obama is than previous republicans and I don’t necessarily agree with going after Obama for that, but I don’t donate time and money to ACT UP, so I don’t set their agenda and as such I don’t bitch about them.

  334. 334
    Ross says:

    It’s worth noting that the Obama adminstration has vigorously defended DOMA and DADT in the courts. This has pissed off a lot of people, particularly as one notorious defense of DOMA compared gay relationships to pedophiles.

    It’s also worth noting that the second a Judge in CA ruled to overturn prop H8 (that litigation is still winding through the courts), Obama sent his spokesman out to reassure everyone that no, he still opposes gay marriage.

    Yes, there have been some minor accomplishments, but the lack of action on the two biggest, and most hurtfully prejudicial, laws affecting gay Americans, not to mention the fact that Obama has actually advanced arguments that viciously slur gay people, might actually explain why gay democrats are so goddamned pissed off.

    Honestly, the fucking Log Cabin quislings are going to steal the credit for overturning DADT and as a result, republicans will be able to enjoy decades of “Democrats passed DADT, Democrats Signed DOMA, And Republicans got rid of DADT”.

    The fact is that Obama’s work for GLBT community has been, largely, cosmetic, and they know it. It’s absurd this even needs to be pointed out.

  335. 335
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Michael D.:

    I want my magic pony NOW NOW NOW!! And if I don’t get it NOW, I’m gonna go home and beat my head against a wall until I bleed!

    I know right. Stupid homos and their basic civil rights.

    So, the logic here is, “This is really, really important, so acting in a counter-productive manner is a good idea.”

    Hokay.

    You know, there’s this whole other aspect to politics besides expressing feelings. I get that you’re frustrated that you are getting what you want more slowly than you want. That still doesn’t make it a good idea to do things that will stop or reverse progress towards what you want.

  336. 336
    MTiffany says:

    @MattR:

    I could have sworn that some of the arguments in favor of hate crimes laws had to do with making a statement about what is acceptable in society as well as the idea of harsher punishments acting as a deterrent. It is kinda strange to now hear the exact opposite argument being used for why the hate crimes law is relatively meaningless

    It’s completely meaningless in terms of the law recognizing my relationship as equal to a heterosexual relationship. If I am murdered in a hate crime, hate crime laws punish the offender for killing me because I am gay, but hate crime laws do not allow my boyfriend to inherit my property as if he were my husband. Since I cannot marry my boyfriend, he has not automatic right of inheritance that states confer to spouses, so what good is a hate crime law to me or him? Hate crimes laws do not further my equality, they only punish those who actually do me harm (and are caught, and are prosecuted, and not allowed to raise ‘homo panic’ as a defense)…

    If you disagree with me, let me ask, “How do hate crime laws make me equal to heterosexuals?” ‘Cause up until this point I’ve been arguing that they don’t so I’d love to hear an arugment about how they DO.

  337. 337
    joe from Lowell says:

    @inahandbasket:

    BTW, BFD regarding Hate Crimes legislation. Just a lot of window dressing that took zero political capital.

    Eyeroll. Can you imagine how incredibly important this individual would be calling hate crimes legislation if it hadn’t passed. “OMG, Obama hates gays, he didn’t get Congress to pass hate crimes legislation.”

    And if DADT passes, it will suddenly become irrelevant, and only national gay marriage will be meaningful accomplishment.

  338. 338
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @300baud:

    But I think there are fundamental protections that other disadvantaged groups have that gays don’t. Suggesting that the Pigford settlement is morally equivalent to marriage strikes me as both false and absurd.

    @Allan:

    I look forward to a time in the future when LGBT citizens who have won a class action lawsuit against their oppressors have similar difficulty getting their rightful payments out of a recalcitrant Congress.
    __
    By your reckoning, it will come some 40-odd years after we have achieved civil equality under the law.
    __
    I’ll be long dead, but I’m sure that future generations of LGBT activists will do their best to pressure Congress.

    Of course, both of you are incredibly obtuse in your responses. No one is comparing the Pigford II settlement to the fight for marriage equality or any of the other prominent issues for LGBT individuals and they’re supporters. The point, however, is that for all your protestations about how there are “fundamental protections that other disadvantaged groups have that gays don’t,” you should recognize that the assault on the protections of those other disadvantaged groups is STILL UNDER WAY TODAY in this country. The class action lawsuit phase is just the latest in a series of suffering through voluminous and ignominious defeats

    I cite the Pigford II settlement example because it involves a long historically oppressed minority who is still battling for basic equality under the eyes of the law. Sure, black people have been considered fully endowed citizens of this country for a few decades now, but they still face systemic discrimination is all kinds of public and government institutions, such as being denied the same opportunities to provide a livelihood for themselves and their families as white farmers have been provided. Or the fact the when Republicans declare war on voter fraud, they’re primarily going after legislation that’s less than 50 years old and is primarily focused on denying black Americans their right to vote, which is also known as denying them the opportunity to exercise their most basic ability to influence and change the environment around them.

    You keep saying that other disadvantaged groups have protections that LGBT individuals don’t (which is obviously a problem), without noting that there are forces solely dedicated to depriving those other disadvantaged groups of the protections they were only just recently afforded and are barely able to enjoy in the midst of a sustained assault on those protections.

    The point is that the LGBT rights movement has been substantial and significant strides in changing the direction of the country in the post-Stonewall era, but for crying out loud, that was happening just four years on the heels of black people (finally) getting the right to vote. We’re talking about the modern gay rights movement as we know it existing for only about 40 years, really. Who would ever seriously believe that the entire wish list of the gay rights movement would all come together in 40-50 years?

    I say all of this to note that the idea that there is ever a “time” for any particular disadvantaged or minority group is absurd. There are moments that come up in which the landscape is certainly more favorable to pushing through victories for your group versus others, but there’s never going to be some group that is categorically more deserving than another, because every minority or disadvantaged group in this country is locked in an eternal struggle for legitimization. You aren’t special in that regard.

  339. 339
    MTiffany says:

    @LTMidnight:

    By that logic, ENDA shouldn’t count as well since it fall under your definitions and it does not promote equality either.

    I’m sorry, is that a joke? ENDA? The Employment NON-DISCRIMINATION Act, which bars employers from firing (or refusing to hire) people for being LGB (but not T, unfortunately), you know, forcing employers to treat ‘teh gays’ as they would straight people? I’m pretty sure ENDA meets my equality criteria. In matters of employment “LGB people must be treated no differently than (equal to) Teh Straights”

  340. 340

    The mid-terms just got done and the lesson seems unlearned. You need better voters.

    If you want to do big or seemingly big things you have to sell them and keep selling even after you’ve “done” them. HCR was pretty much the beginning of this House debacle, the Ds let the Rs define the issue and have time to play at it. Once it was done, the silence was deafening.

    This isn’t just about Obama, though he has the biggest Pulpit, it means every damn D in office needed to be selling and selling. Now the voters have sent an R majority to the House. This isn’t just about HCR, it is about every damn piece of legislation that was passed or attempted and enough Americans looked at not having a job, having a house worth less than owed, etc and didn’t see enough done.

    LGBT issues fall under the same rubric, you need better voters and you don’t get them unless you sell to them. The voters won’t get it if they’re not told and the Ds haven’t done that. Why the Ds perpetually seem to play defense is beyond my grasp and how anyone thought “not as bad as” was going to work I have no idea.

    I have no idea how Obama personally feels about DADT or DOMA, regardless he can’t do it without votes and Ds in general seem to have forgotten how to get those.

  341. 341
    Allan says:

    I don’t know if many of you are aware that there was a schism in the gay Republican community. The new organization GOProud is now the home of the frothing teatardism best personified by their board member Tammy Bruce. These are the irredeemable nutbags, our own 27 Percent Crazification Factor. Ten percent of the 27% are gay. Sorry it complicates your support for the LGBT legislative agenda that we’re not all Ds, but there it is.

    Meanwhile, the Log Cabiners continue to exist and are probably relieved to have someplace else for the above to congregate. Those left are the responsible moderate Republican gays who are socially liberal but economically corporatist, you know, like Mayor Bloomberg? Yep, they exist too. Deal with it. And it is the LCR who has scored the disruptive (in both the positive and negative sense) court victory on DADT. IF any organization is going to flip an R vote or two, it will be the LCR. I’ll be very impressed if it happens. But not shocked.

    Also too, any conversation that starts out asking gay people to defend themselves as a group against the charge that we have too much diversity of political thought, terrible strategy and tactics, and insufficent cohesion as a voting bloc to matter, is not going to end well.

    Look, Cole set out at the top, in his maddeningly frustrating way, to try to understand the existence of any gay Republican voters. And I’d rather they all voted, and all voted D every time, but the conversation seems to start from a presumption that the Democratic party has already earned the right to every LGBT vote forever, and the existence of any measurable gay GOP support proves we’re all stupid or horrible and more of a burden to the Democrats than we’re worth. Seems very baby-with-the-bathwater to me, but it clearly resonates for John and many commenters here.

    People, rightly or wrongly, tend to conflate the entire federal government with the President. And during the Clinton administration, LGBTs sustained several serious body blows. Then we were demonized in 2004 to turn out the GOP base, and blamed for it by our D allies for having the horrible timing to force all these LGBT issues when they’re such a loser for the Ds.

    Obama and his campaign made some missteps with the LGBT community, many of which were amplified in the media by supporters of Hillary Clinton who pointed to them as a pattern. So yeah, as a group we were pretty well primed at the outset to have a great deal of suspicion about whether this time would be different from the other times when the Ds took power.

    But we still aren’t responsible for the Democrats losing the House, or for retaining the Senate, for that matter. I think that one horrific slow-motion car crash of 300+ comments on the topic was enough, but if John wants to keep picking at the scab I’ll keep responding.

  342. 342
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Ross:

    It’s worth noting that the Obama adminstration has vigorously defended DOMA and DADT in the courts.

    No, they didn’t. They half-assed defended DOMA in the courts, to the point that their arguments can be fairly described as “throwing the case.” The Justice Department attorneys abandoned all of the arguments that DOMA’s supporters made when it was passed and that the Bush-era team had made, and put forward some incredibly weak, implausible, doomed arguments in their place. They stipulated that discrimination against gay people was unconstitutional, acknowledged that there was no legitimate need to “defend” the institution of marriage from gay people, and argued 1) that there needs to be consistency between states (a doomed and absurd argument, since there is no consistency in marriage laws between states), and 2) that pretty please the courts should defer to Congress because the issue was controversial.

    This is not “vigorous.” This can generously be described as “half-assed.”

    As for DADT, the administration hasn’t even put forward its arguments in the appeals case, and yet you’ve already decided that they are vigorous. Why?

    This has pissed off a lot of people, particularly as one notorious defense of DOMA compared gay relationships to pedophiles.

    No, it didn’t. There was never any such comparison made. The argument that was falsely represented as being such a comparison was actually an argument that the courts have traditionally allowed states to define their own marriage laws, even if they’re different, and among the cases cited was a case in which two states had different ages of consent for marriage.

  343. 343
    Allan says:

    @Midnight Marauder: So not now. Thanks for clearing that up.

  344. 344
    MattR says:

    @MTiffany: That is not my point at all. Up above you said “The Matthew Shepard Act is about my violent death, it does nothing to improve my LIFE.“. I am pointing out that there were arguments made that passing the act would protect gays from violent death (which I would argue does improve your life)

    As for ENDA, you said “the shepard act doesn’t count because it doesn’t advance the cause of LGBT equality, it only punishes people who hate us when they act on that hate. That’s legislating tolerance and acceptance. ” But ENDA is exactly the same. It only punishes those who hate you when they act on that hate via discrimination in the workplace. How is that not legislating tolerance and acceptance?

  345. 345
    Allan says:

    @MattR: MTiffany, these are not the legislative remedies you seek.

    Nice Jedi mind trick.

  346. 346
    joe from Lowell says:

    @MTiffany:

    “How do hate crime laws make me equal to heterosexuals?”

    Gay people have traditionally been treated as less-than straight people, such that they are not entitled to such fundamental civil rights as the right to go about their business unmolested, or to have the power of the state brought to bear against their tormentors.

    Hate crimes laws put the force of the government solidly on the side of those so tormented, and against their tormentors.

    No, it’s not equal marriage. The Stonewall protesters weren’t rioting for equal marriage, either. Does that mean their cause didn’t advance equality?

  347. 347
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Allan:

    So not now. Thanks for clearing that up.

    If that’s what you took away from my response, then you are really are just an obtuse agitator who is not looking for any constructive discussion.

  348. 348
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    LGBT issues fall under the same rubric, you need better voters and you don’t get them unless you sell to them. The voters won’t get it if they’re not told and the Ds haven’t done that.

    Obama has sold and sold and sold DADT repeal. He made it a big line in his SOTU speech, and has been out there selling it in public appearances ever since he became a prominent political figure.

  349. 349
    MattR says:

    @Allan: Huh? I’m not the one creating these distinctions. Merely asking MTiffany to be consistent in the way he applies them.

  350. 350
    Mike Kay (Team America) says:

    It’s time for gays to drop out.

    Vote for the republicans or drop out.

    I’m tired of the hysterics and the butthurt lover threats: “if you don’t listen to me I’ll leave!”.

    Fine. Leave.

    I just done with the drama.

  351. 351
    Allan says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I’m trying to imagine the existence of a human being who would conclude from a comment calling him “incredibly obtuse” that the author’s objective was “constructive discussion.”

    Nope, can’t do it.

  352. 352

    @joe from Lowell:
    yeah, and who else?
    Why don’t you ask voters if they got a tax break under the stimulus bill, why don’t you ask them about HCR, ask them whose Bankster Bailout it was, ask them damn near anything about D legislation and find out about the sellling.

    It is a matter of making it matter to the fucking voters and if they don’t care or get it wrong you get something like the R House or nothing on DADT and DOMA.

  353. 353
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Allan:

    But we still aren’t responsible for the Democrats losing the House, or for retaining the Senate, for that matter.

    No, indeed. The overwhelming majority of gay voters – a higher % than Latino voters, for instance – voted for Democrats. The small shift in the ratio of support for the two parties, and the higher voter turnout among gay conservatives than gay liberals, between 2008 and 2010 is no different than the shift in turnout among heterosexuals, women, or any other group.

    The handful of high-profile hysterics one finds on political blogs calling for gay people to abandon the Democrats, stay home on election day, or empower the republicans is no more representative of the gay community as a whole than the firebaggers are representative of liberals as a whole.

  354. 354
    Allan says:

    @MattR: Shepard is many things but primarily it’s about enhanced penalties against the perpetrators of hate crimes. The person is punished more severely, but the assault was illegal before Shepard passed, and remains a crime whether or not it is decided that the specific case merits the designation.

    ENDA takes an act of discrimination against a gay person that was not previously illegal and makes it so. It creates the opportunity for the wronged party to pursue civil remedies that didn’t exist before.

  355. 355
    Allan says:

    @Mike Kay (Team America): You can’t fire me. I’m a volunteer.

  356. 356
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    yeah, and who else?

    Are you actually serious about that question? Do you actually care to know which Democrats have actually been out there “selling” gay rights, and who have not?

    Because that makes sense. If Jim Webb or Ben Nelson, individually, are useless on gay rights and aren’t doing anything to sway the voters, then it makes sense for those of us who support gay rights to abjure them, or perhaps make the minimal effort of voting for them (depending on their specific opponents in their races). And, if Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are out there sell-sell-selling gay rights, then it makes sense for those of us who support gay rights to put our shoulders into supporting them.

    What doesn’t make sense is to get pissed off at Jim Webb and Ben Nelson, and decide to take it out on Nancy Pelosi. That’s just self-destructive.

  357. 357
    scott says:

    Shorter Cole: I don’t understand why these moronic losers don’t uncritically accept our arguments and swear undying fealty to our party.

    All righty then!

  358. 358
    Allan says:

    @joe from Lowell: So true. And yet the existence on the interwebs of sites where some LGBT people are saying not-so-very-nice things about our President and the Democrats seems to enrage people in ways that are highly edifying as to their thought processes.

  359. 359
    Mike Kay (Team America) says:

    @Allan: I don’t want you in my bed anymore. You’re too high maintenance. I hope you find happiness, truly, but I’m just tired of the threats. It’s time for us to start seeing different people.

  360. 360
    Allan says:

    @Mike Kay (Team America): No seriously, I’m going to be a Democrat forever. If it makes you uncomfortable seeing me at the meetings, knowing that you owe me money and never returned my Abba CDs, then you should probably stay home or join the other team.

  361. 361
    MTiffany says:

    @MattR:

    But ENDA is exactly the same. It only punishes those who hate you when they act on that hate via discrimination in the workplace. How is that not legislating tolerance and acceptance?

    I beg to differ. ENDA is not, IMO, the same as a hate crime law because whereas hate crime laws mete out additional punishment if the perpetrator of a crime acted out of animus towards a member or members of a protected class, ENDA explicitly bars employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. I don’t know how to say this any simpler, ENDA makes employers treat LGB people the same as straight people (equality), where hate crime laws punish people more if they commit a crime based on their bias towards a specific group.

  362. 362
    MattR says:

    @Allan: Yes, but to quote MTiffany about why the hate crimes legislation was no big deal, ENDA “only punishes people who hate us when they act on that hate.

    I am not saying that is a reasonable criteria to use, but if that is the standard in place then ENDA is a lot closer to the Matthew Shepherd act than to the repeal of DOMA or the ban on gays in the military.

    @MTiffany:

    ENDA makes employers treat LGB people the same as straight people (equality),

    No it doesn’t. It would create penalties for those employers who don’t treat you equally. OTOH, repealing DOMA would actually make the states treat same sex marriages the same as straight marriages. Since you were the one who brought up the criteria I quoted above, this is an important distinction.

  363. 363
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Allan:

    I’m trying to imagine the existence of a human being who would conclude from a comment calling him “incredibly obtuse” that the author’s objective was “constructive discussion.”
    __
    Nope, can’t do it.

    Your obtuseness in responding to what I actually wrote prevents us from having a constructive discussion.

    Really, your comment wasn’t as clever as you thought.

  364. 364
    Allan says:

    @MattR: Sorry to intrude upon your quest to prove you’re a better debater than another commenter. I’ll back out now.

  365. 365
  366. 366
    MattR says:

    @Allan: So sorry for trying to convince another person that their position isn’t logical. I’m sure you never do that.

  367. 367
    MTiffany says:

    @MattR: You’re not quoting me, you’re mis-quoting me, not deliberately I hope. I NEVER said

    ENDA “only punishes people who hate us when they act on that hate.”

    I was referring to hate crimes laws, not ENDA, in regards to whether or not hate crimes laws make LGBT people more equal, legally, to straight people. And they DONT. That was my point.

  368. 368
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Allan: That’s dishonest, Allan. This isn’t a thread complaining about people “saying not very nice things.” This is a thread complaining about people who argue for allowing Republicans to take power.

    From the post:

    I have heard nothing but screaming about “shutting down the GAYTM to let them know we are serious!” Gays vote in larger than usual numbers for REPUBLICANS in the election. At every opportunity, gay rights groups are attacking and protesting… the President and the Democrats.

    This is not about saying stuff about Obama. This is about allowing, or even working towards, a political takeover by people who will try to roll back gay rights.

    Bitch all you want. I bitched about Bubba Clinton before I voted for him twice.

  369. 369
    MTiffany says:

    @MattR:

    No it doesn’t. It would create penalties for those employers who don’t treat you equally.

    So a law which forces employers to treat LGB people the same way they treat straight people is not about equality? Really? That is just incredible!

  370. 370
    MattR says:

    @MTiffany: you were saying it with regards to hate crimes. I am saying that is true for ENDA. Therefore hate crimes and ENDA are similar.

  371. 371
    Mike Kay (Team America) says:

    @Allan: but allen, I’m not the one making constant threats about leaving you. I’m not the one constantly insulting you.

    if gays are frustrated with Dems, guess what, the incessant abuse is causing committed progressive to become frustrated with gays.

  372. 372
    joe from Lowell says:

    I have a question: can anyone point me to a prominent gay activist or gay-rights organization that declared the expansion of hate crimes laws to cover gay people to be meaningless window dressing before it was passed?

    Anyone? How about any of the commenters making that argument on this thread? Can you give me a link to anything you ever wrote or said when the issue was still in dispute?

    Because, as I recall it, gay rights groups and activists and were pretty damn unanimous in arguing that it was a Biden Fucking Deal at the time.

    If not, I’m going to have to dismiss this whole line of argument as disingenuous twaddle-knockery, put forth by people whose standards for deciding what matters and what does not are based on giving themselves an excuse to proclaim that they’ve been wronged, no matter what gets passed.

  373. 373
    MTiffany says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Hate crimes laws put the force of the government solidly on the side of those so tormented, and against their tormentors.

    No, it’s not equal marriage.

    So you’re willing to at least consider that I may have some valid point to make when I say that hate crime laws do nothing to establish my legal equality to straight people, since you said it yourself?

  374. 374
    joe from Lowell says:

    @MTiffany: No, I said no such thing myself. I said exactly the opposite.

    Are you playing dumb on purpose, or is this for real?

  375. 375
    joe from Lowell says:

    Perhaps you didn’t see the word “marriage” and the end of the statement you quoted?

    “No, it’s not equality.”

    vs.

    “No, it’s not equal marriage.”

    Get it?

  376. 376
    300baud says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I say all of this to note that the idea that there is ever a “time” for any particular disadvantaged or minority group is absurd. There are moments that come up in which the landscape is certainly more favorable to pushing through victories for your group versus others, but there’s never going to be some group that is categorically more deserving than another, because every minority or disadvantaged group in this country is locked in an eternal struggle for legitimization. You aren’t special in that regard.

    There, you did it again. You drew a moral equivalence between the positions and particular problems of various disadvantaged groups. NOBODY IS CLAIMING THAT ONLY GAY PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEMS, so stop arguing with a straw man. I, and presumably everybody, acknowledge that many groups have it bad.

    I’m saying that having the power of the law and the state foursquare behind positive discrimination is indeed categorically different than difficulty enforcing one’s legal rights, or attempts to roll back those rights, or efforts to socially marginalize groups. One group has particular rights, like marriage, and one doesn’t. The difference is of kind, not degree.

    You can say that categorical difference doesn’t matter to you as much as other things. Which, fine. But that doesn’t make people who disagree with you absurd and obtuse. And really, you shouldn’t be surprised that gay activists in turn don’t care much about advancing your agenda, or that they aren’t interested in waiting for you to decide that the time is finally favorable.

    Also, I’m not “you” in this case. I’m straight. I’m just a big fan of civil rights.

  377. 377
    joe from Lowell says:

    @ MTiffany,

    Or perhaps you’re just stunningly ahistorical, and don’t realize that violent suppression was long an effective method of preventing gay people from living as equal citizens, and that putting the state in the business of stopping violent suppression is a method of promoting equality?

    I guaran-damn-tee you, the white racists who filibustered the anti-lynching law because they saw it as a threat to white supremacy understood this point quite clearly.

  378. 378
    MTiffany says:

    @joe from Lowell: Oh, so now there are different types of equality? Fucking really? Either I’m your equal or I’m not. And apparently you seem to think I’m not.

  379. 379
    Allan says:

    @Mike Kay (Team America): Annnnd you’re the victim of abuse. Well played!

  380. 380
    joe from Lowell says:

    @MTiffany:

    Oh, so now there are different types of equality?

    Uh, yes. Equal marriage is one type of equality. Equal housing opportunity is another type of equality. Equal workplace treatment is another type of equality.

    I don’t understand why this is such a difficult concept for you. It’s rather stunningly obvious, you know.

    And apparently you seem to think I’m not.

    Go fuck yourself, you moron. I’ve been supporting equal marriage since you were in grade school.

    Has anyone else noticed how quick self-righteous, not-so-intelligent, gay activists are to shriek “Homophobe!” at people when they’re losing an argument and need as escape hatch?

  381. 381
    joe from Lowell says:

    Other types of equality: equal voting rights…which is not the same thing as equal access to public services… which is not the same thing as non-discrimination in federal contracting….which is not the same thing as economic leveling…which is not the same thing as fairness in school district funding…

    Seriously, how can “There are different types of equality” possibly be a controversial statement? Of course there are different types of equality.

    Some people can’t get out of bed in the morning with the thrilling, bracing sensation that they’re being victimized.

  382. 382
    Allan says:

    @joe from Lowell: I actually entered this thread in response to the unsupported and illogical assertions contained in those very three sentences, to wit:

    1. I have heard nothing but screaming about “shutting down the GAYTM to let them know we are serious!”

    Really, John? Nothing but screaming? I guess those screamers are also responsible for you not hearing the gay people who aren’t screaming and who don’t join into that conversation.

    The logical fallacy here is known as “hasty generalization.” Someone above raised Jane Hamsher as an example of a non-LGBT person at whom John has directed great vitriol, but I have never seen John suggest that the existence of Jane Hamsher means that all women are firebaggers and why should he give fuck-all about women’s rights as long as they’re a bunch of firebaggers like Jane Hamsher.

    Yet here, because the only voices that are penetrating his consciousness are these screamers, he’s furious with all of us.

    2. Gays vote in larger than usual numbers for REPUBLICANS in the election.

    No matter how many people point out sample size issues, the lack of good reliable polling data, the challenges of getting accurate self-identification to pollsters, etc., John has already accepted this as Gospel.

    We had a bit of a contretemps between the LGBT and African-American communities here in CA after Prop 8 passed that was driven in large part by people over-reading exit polling data and drawing hasty generalizations from them. That didn’t end well either, so thanks for trying to start another fight!

    3. At every opportunity, gay rights groups are attacking and protesting… the President and the Democrats.

    At every opportunity? Again, the sweeping generalizations are completely unsupportable. Do the hundreds of thousands of us who go after Republicans on a regular basis need to submit call and email logs to demonstrate the number of contacts each has made with R legislators in and outside our districts, or provide you with cancelled checks from our donations to Ds?

    John has made a case against some bloggers and commenters who really piss him off with their opinions and attitudes, but nothing he has written has had any resonance with the experienced life of this particular gay man. His observations might support the argument that we need better LGBT blogs.

    But yeah, I’m the asshole, and I’m saying it all wrong, which is just further proof that gays suck.

  383. 383
    Mike Kay (Team America) says:

    @Allan: I’m not the one abusing you.

  384. 384
    Allan says:

    @Mike Kay (Team America): Actually, no, you just accused me of abusing you which is, you know, textbook abusive behavior.

  385. 385
    Mike Kay (Team America) says:

    @Allan:

    I have never seen John suggest that the existence of Jane Hamsher means that all women are firebaggers and why should he give fuck-all about women’s rights as long as they’re a bunch of firebaggers like Jane Hamsher.

    This is a good point. There are plenty women who couldn’t be more different than whatzhername. At the same time, where are the prominent (or at least loud) gay voices/bloggers to counter the “Dems are as bad as Repugs” voices.

  386. 386
    MTiffany says:

    @joe from Lowell: Well since you’ve found me out as being stupid and you’re so smart, please tell me, yes or no, do hate crime laws by themselves make me and other LGBT more legally equal to straight people?

  387. 387
    KDP says:

    Wah! Wah! Wah!

    Good lord, stop with the whiny BS.

    To me, the key point of John’s original post was that Levin and McCain are in discussions to remove repeal language from the appropriations bill. Further, Gates has expressed his support for repeal. The language has not yet been removed. There is still time to make your voice heard!

    Call the damned Armed Services Committee and express your support for repeal!

    At least, you’ll have done something tangible to try to sway the decision in favor of repeal. Wanking off in the comments section of this blog accomplishes nothing towards equality for gays.

    Again, here’s the number: 202-224-3871

    Well, I feel better.

  388. 388
    Ross says:

    @joe from Lowell

    No, it didn’t. There was never any such comparison made. The argument that was falsely represented as being such a comparison was actually an argument that the courts have traditionally allowed states to define their own marriage laws, even if they’re different, and among the cases cited was a case in which two states had different ages of consent for marriage.

    Those are some finely split hairs you’ve got there. Yes, superficially they made a bland statement about jurisdictions. But what the Obama Adminstration lawyers actually did was to compare laws banning the recognition of gay marriage favorably to laws that ban incest and pedophila. In essence, by defending Law X because it is similar to Law Y, you are stating that the object of Law X is similar to the object of Law Y.

    Their comparisons? Marriages between a) an uncle and niece, (b) a 16-year-old and adult and (c) first cousins.

    Thus, also, too, the Obama DOJ objectively compared gay relationships to incest and pedophilia.

    If you can’t see why that would piss people off, or why GLBTs might not feel so philosophical about it, I honestly don’t know what else to say.

    As for not being vigorous? @ things: 1) as has now been pointed out by everyone, they are not obligated to do so. 2) they fought, HARD, to get an injunction against overturning DADT. If that isn’t vigor, especially considering his claims to oppose the law, I don’t know what is. Honestly, they are literally doing everything within their power to maintain these ugly laws, and almost nothing, short of nice platitudes and promises to get to it, eventually, to get rid of them.

    This also ignores the fact that Obama used the occasion of the overturning of prop H8 to reassure everyone that he still didn’t support gay marriage.

    Finally, to John – as has already been pointed out, gays didn’t flip. It was like a teensy tiny blip in the rise of Republican voters who identified as gay. The vast, overwhelming majority of gays voted Democrat.

  389. 389
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @300baud:

    There, you did it again. You drew a moral equivalence between the positions and particular problems of various disadvantaged groups. NOBODY IS CLAIMING THAT ONLY GAY PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEMS, so stop arguing with a straw man. I, and presumably everybody, acknowledge that many groups have it bad.

    Only because a sizable portion of the argument here centers around the notion that it’s “time” for LBGT individuals to get their due. I’m not pulling that comparison out of thin air or for my own health; I’m discussing it because it’s a recurring theme in not only this thread, but in the frequent conversations we have on this topic. And my point has never been that “only gay people have problems,” but rather that their collection of problems do not somehow supersede the coterie of other pressing national level issues or take some kind of special precedence for whatever reason. There are people who believe that in spite of the fact that “many groups have it bad,” somehow LGBT issues should have some kind of special status or consideration at this point in time. It is incorrect to presume that everybody acknowledges this, as this very thread has demonstrated.

    I’m saying that having the power of the law and the state foursquare behind positive discrimination is indeed categorically different than difficulty enforcing one’s legal rights, or attempts to roll back those rights, or efforts to socially marginalize groups. One group has particular rights, like marriage, and one doesn’t. The difference is of kind, not degree.
    __
    You can say that categorical difference doesn’t matter to you as much as other things. Which, fine. But that doesn’t make people who disagree with you absurd and obtuse. And really, you shouldn’t be surprised that gay activists in turn don’t care much about advancing your agenda, or that they aren’t interested in waiting for you to decide that the time is finally favorable.

    I would agree with this sentiment, and I would only say that I didn’t call the other commenters obtuse for the reasons you are citing. But here’s the thing about advancing an agenda: Me and those gay activists are ultimately on the same side in the fight for equality and we’re having a tough time communicating our various strategic approaches to overcoming the forces of intolerance and bigotry. This is not a situation (as so many keep painting it) where people in my position are telling LGBT activists to wait for their rights, so much as it is that consummate allies are trying to say “I disagree with some of your strategic approaches and think the cause would be better served by trying something else.”

    That’s all this disagreement is, really, and somehow it results in ostensible allies of the cause being told that they don’t give a fuck about the rights of LGBT individuals and that’s just insane. There’s no way the movement can sustain any kind of long-term results if that’s the way groups who are supposed to be working with and supporting each other behave. It may have chafed them to no end, but plenty of blacks during the Civil Rights Era realized that if they were ever going to be considered legitimate citizens of this country in the eyes of the law, they would need to build a coalition with non-insane and bigoted members of the white majority. That’s just how the game works.

    Again, I’m not saying anything about whether the time is favorable or not, just that it’s never going to be any one specific disadvantaged group’s “time,” as many commenters in this thread have indicated. That’s it. As far as I’m concerned, I think LGBT groups should be even more vocal and even more concerted in their efforts to build a winning coalition. I don’t think they should stop fighting now for one single second. But I also think that it’s the height of folly to target the majority of your ire towards a party that had all of its members in the Senate lined up to cast a vote in the name of equality. And I think it’s equally absurd to not put any sustained public pressure on “moderate” Republicans like Snowe, Collins, and Brown for the lip-service they paid to voting for repeal, only to enable a filibuster and act like the other extremist that constitute the Republican Party’s senate caucus.

    Also, I’m not “you” in this case. I’m straight. I’m just a big fan of civil rights.

    Same here.

  390. 390
    General Stuck says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    twaddle-knockery

    Airfuckingborne!! consider this stolen.

  391. 391
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Allan:

    The sentence directly before the one you started with reads, “Now here is where I start to wonder what some in the gay community are thinking.”

    Dude, chill the fuck out. John used a figure of speech. He is not attributing this argument to every single gay person.

  392. 392
    Allan says:

    @Mike Kay (Team America): It’s confusing, because after I left you, you told everyone that you kicked me out and didn’t want to have anything to do with me, but you keep sexting me like this.

    Also too, I’m pretty fond of Joe Jervis at Joe.My.God. He’s got a pretty good sense of when to kick up the outrage and when to dial it back, plus he’s got connections everywhere and thus gets the occasional juicy scoop.

  393. 393
    joe from Lowell says:

    @MTiffany:

    do hate crime laws by themselves make me and other LGBT more legally equal to straight people?

    Of course not. Neither do equal marriage laws, or employment nondiscrimination laws, BY THEMSELVES, make you more legally equal.

    They all CONTRIBUTE to making you legally, and socially, and effectively, equal to straight people in our society.

    Because, you see, there is more than one type of equality.

  394. 394
    joe from Lowell says:

    @General Stuck:

    Airfuckingborne!! consider this stolen.

    It’s already stolen, from the Urkobold, King of Trolls.

  395. 395
    joe from Lowell says:

    @Allan: Seriously, Alan, that’s sleazy.

    You took:

    Now here is where I start to wonder what some in the gay community are thinking. Despite going from an administration that actively attempted to put bigotry in the constitution to an administration that has slowly but steadily expanded and recognized gay rights, I have heard nothing but screaming about “shutting down the GAYTM to let them know we are serious!” Gays vote in larger than usual numbers for REPUBLICANS in the election. At every opportunity, gay rights groups are attacking and protesting… the President and the Democrats.

    and then cut out the part containing the language “some in the gay community,” and then attacked John for stereotyping gay people. You distorted the quote to make it appear John was saying something he quite clearly was not saying, and then attacked him for saying it.

  396. 396
    John W. says:

    @cleek:

    Cleek had it right that the time for these squabbles is the primary. Or with donations, I suppose, up to a point. Then you suck it up and live with it the rest of the time because the alternative is the Republicans raining down hellfire and making things worse.

    I’m pissed they are so slow on DADT but I’m not about to go and play Russian roulette with the country to punish them.

    I mean seriously, we’re headed towards 6 likely years of GOP control of at least one house of congress and probably both once 2012 comes around (though I still think Obama will be reelected given what I know today). DADT repeal isn’t right around the corner.

    If anything, the big failure was in not getting Tom Allen in two years ago and in similar failures in 06.

    Elections have consequences. Even the ones you forget.

  397. 397
    Allan says:

    @joe from Lowell: Actually, I was responding to comment number 368 from a sleazy dishonest person who selectively quoted John Cole.

  398. 398
    Jonathan Livingston Dodo says:

    Damn. Arrived late to this shitfight discussion, and not sure how much notice this post will get, but here goes.

    I’m the same-sex partner of an officer in the Australian Army. Openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people have been able to serve in the Australian Defence Force since 1992. (Trans people, less so. There’s an in-principle commitment that anyone capable of serving should be able to enlist, but there’s also a strict no-drugs policy that’s difficult to get around if you’re using hormones to transition. Apparently the top brass are currently reviewing the guidelines on that.)

    It’s kind of interesting to compare the mid-terms with the federal election we had here a couple of months back. There was a big protest vote this year from lefty progressive types who cast ballots for minor parties and independent candidates. It’s actually viable to do that in Australia because our electoral system uses instant-runoff and single transferable voting, which means there’s not the same concerns about splitting the vote or throwing your vote away.

    I’m a pretty shameless America-phile, and think your country’s founders demonstrated an unparalleled degree of foresight in setting up a durable and functional republic. But honestly, your electoral system just plain sucks. It’s basically a recipe for two-party dominance and cynical leveraging of the “but the other party’s so much worse” kind. Okay, so the whole voting system discussion has already been done a million or so times at this blog, but in my not-so-humble opinion, that’s where a lot of the problem lies.

  399. 399
    Michael D. says:

    @John Cole:

    trashing hundreds of commenters who agree with you, the vast majority of whom donate their time, money, and energy to your causes, and then have to sit hear and read your bullshit attacks on them.

    I don’t believe it. I would be willing to bet that less than 10% of the non-gay people her have donated to HRC, SLDN, Immigration Equality, etc.

    Donating to Democrats does NOT equal “donating time, money and energy to [gay] causes”

    This is what you don’t get. Because you think it does.

  400. 400
    John Bird says:

    I can’t begin to understand the rage that LGBT citizens experience on a daily basis, in many regards being treated as second class citizens. Is it just blind rage that leads to this? It isn’t logical or rational, but just anger from the decades of mistreatment?

    Frankly, this is neither respectful nor reserved.

  401. 401
    John Bird says:

    Also, you really need to avoid “some in the gay community say etc.” if it is at all possible. Some Democrats think waging war to stop Hitler was wrong. Some Republicans are members of the KKK. Some in the black community think white people are descended from demonic figures. And so on.

    You need to name names to show who you’re talking about and what their stated political position is.

    Even if you think you’re being polite, even if you think we know or already know who you’re talking about, we all need “some in the gay community” like we need a hole in the head.

  402. 402
    Christin says:

    Allan

    @Tractarian: May I suggest you also contact politicians who vote against LGBT interests often and with intensity, or would that be an imposition?
    I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, because I see from BJ threads that many heterosexuals are easily dissuaded from supporting civil equality for LGBT people because we’re such demanding assholes.
    Reply

    it’s the non stop garbage troll comments like this. the never ending insults. the crazy attacks. insulting allies. the name calling. the hate that ruined DK and made it firebagger part two. and now it’s here. great.

  403. 403
    Glynis says:

    @hilzoy:

    That said, when I get angry I normally try really, really hard to separate my anger from any judgments I might have to make that have significant effects, especially if those effects will be felt by people besides me. I also understand why someone might be frustrated by this: why should I always be the reasonable one? etc. But just because it’s frustrating doesn’t mean that it isn’t the right thing to do.

    You just encapsulated how Obama operates. He is being the reasonable one with the Republicans because he believes it’s the right thing to do. And that is highly frustrating to others because they want him to treat Repubs as badly as they treat Dems. He won’t do that. It’s not who he is. And so he’s called weak. It actually takes much more strength to act according to your beliefs in the face of such bitter criticism by those who are supposedly your allies. The bitter partisanship will never change if he simply descends to their level.

  404. 404
    Allan says:

    @Christin: No actual allies were harmed by that comment. Man up: there’s no crying in blogwar.

  405. 405
    gizmo says:

    Isn’t the President the Commander-in-Chief? Can’t he use his authority to simply proclaim equality for gay troops?

  406. 406
    Corner Stone says:

    @dmsilev:

    400 comment -flame war- discussion coming up in …3…2…1

    Prescient person is prescient.

  407. 407
    300baud says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    There are people who believe that in spite of the fact that “many groups have it bad,” somehow LGBT issues should have some kind of special status or consideration at this point in time. It is incorrect to presume that everybody acknowledges this, as this very thread has demonstrated.

    I don’t think anybody presumes that is widely acknowledged. I think some people believe that gays should get special consideration now, though, and I think that belief is reasonable, because of the categorical difference in the rights that they are being denied. I don’t know that I agree, but to dismiss it out of hand is shoddy thinking.

    As to your opinions on what the gay activists should be doing, sure, you and Cole are entitled to have ’em. But I think most of what I’ve heard people grumbling about is consistent with either the Letter from a Birmingham Jail, other reasonable theories of change, or the points Mark raises at #140.

    The activists might be right and they might be wrong, but talking like they’re insane (as Cole does) or foolish (as you do) strikes me as a terrible way build the coalition that you and others here keep talking about wanting. Ultimately, neither you nor Cole are doing the work or have much on the line here, so your opinions on what gay activists should do have practical relevance only to the extent that said activists see a reason to listen.

  408. 408
    mey says:

    They bitch about Obama and the Democrats because it’s easier than bitching about Republicans. That’s it. It’s the same reason someone who just got charged a $35 overdraft fee for a $1.12 charge screams at the cashier that won’t accept their $0.35 coupon off that roll of paper towels. What do they have actual control over? They’re not going to get anywhere with the bank and that $35 fee, so they’ll take that frustration and attack the cashier making $8/hr over $0.35.

  409. 409
    Adx says:

    Yep, #407 makes a very good point.

    The gay activists *aren’t* listening and they are dead-set, dead-opposed, to certain concepts that I have come to theorize are scaring them badly. I’ve never seen the gay activists intimidated like this, but there’s a first time for everything.

    I privately believe it will take decades for them to gain their rights because they simply aren’t hearing or seeing the reality. There’s no discussion here. There’s no meeting of the minds between two warring camps. The opposition, the anti-gay — look at them; examine every last thing they say — are completely and utterly irrational and acting obsessively upon an irrational imperative that they believe to be directly from god.

    That’s what you’re up against.

    Fighting that is going to be exceedingly ugly and unpleasant, mark my words. But ya know what?

    That shouldn’t be stopping any of you for a nanosecond. And it is.

  410. 410
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @amk: Oh good. All LGBTs get to take the blame for this.

  411. 411
    deenk says:

    I have been patient. I’m still patient. I’m sitting here patiently tapping a pen on the table with my check writing hand.

    Unlike many progressives, I think that the last congress accomplished amazing things against great odds. That makes me wonder (a little) why none of the central LGBT things (not even DADT repeal, a no brainer) have happened yet. I’m still waiting. Patiently.

    I did give money to Jerry Brown. He needed it. As AG of CA he stood up and spent political capitol (in a close gubernatorial race) by refusing to challenge the judicial overturn of Prop. 8. Because it was the right thing to do.

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