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Howard Dean: DOJ Went 'Too Far' with Language in DOMA Brief

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Rachel Maddow took on Obama tonight over the DOMA brief.

Former DNC Chair and Vermont governor Howard Dean came on as a guest to talk about the Obama administration and LGBT issues. Dean called the language in the brief "offensive" and said doubts the President saw it. Said Dean of the DOJ brief: "It wasn't a little too far. It was a lot too far."

Watch it AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Hoorah for Howard Dean. That's why I voted for him in the '04 primary. And why I didn't vote for Obama in the primary.

    It's time for us to hold Obama's feet to the fire. He needs to re-earn our support and trust. Until he does, we shouldn't go out of our way to help him at all.

    Posted by: husky14620 | Jun 15, 2009 11:09:07 PM


  2. Howie, the brief should never been filed in the first place.
    Dean could have kicked Team O in the nuts for having shown him no respect over the past 6 months. Instead he is doing spin controll for the Dems, & trying to salvage that DNC fundraiser, on June 25, that Andy T is suddenly boycotting.

    Posted by: hadassah weinreb | Jun 15, 2009 11:52:32 PM


  3. Good for Howard Dean. At least he has the balls to see equality for what it is.

    He was a pioneer but partly only in historical fact. He had to be convinced and did so grudgingly (I think?) when his state Vermont extended rights to gay and lesbian people as governor of that state.

    He's probably seeing that equal rights for gay and lesbian people are the future and there is no refuting that, so one cynical part of me thinks he wants to secure his place at the historical canon of equal human rights in the textbooks.

    Even though he might be considered like Lyndon Johnson as a feet dragger on equal rights but ultimately did the right thing.

    That said, it takes a lot of courage to say what he said. He deserves praise. I look up to him now. I can tell he truly has a good noble heart on this issue. I hope he continues to speak out for what's right and for equal rights for gay and lesbian people.

    Let's thank Dr. Dean.

    Posted by: Eddie | Jun 16, 2009 12:04:36 AM


  4. He has his faults, but I must admit, I love me some Howard Dean

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Jun 16, 2009 12:23:30 AM


  5. IF Obama didn't know what it said, and IF he doesn't agree with it, then he needs to step up NOW and say so. The longer he waits, if this is true, the worse he appears to us.

    As Rachel said, they appear to not be going out of their way to keep us from getting mad at them.

    Posted by: gerry | Jun 16, 2009 12:32:35 AM


  6. I am loving Howard Dean!!!!

    Posted by: Kugel | Jun 16, 2009 12:55:45 AM


  7. Ooh, this is getting interesting. All Hail the Maddow!

    Posted by: David R. | Jun 16, 2009 12:57:06 AM


  8. Well, this gay man dislikes Howard Dean. If we have to fight for civil marriage after civil unions were given as a separate and unequal way to give conservative Democrats a cop out, then thank that SOB from VT. His civil union statute lasted 9 years....and will end this September when marriage starts.

    Did you ever listen to him? He agrees with civil unions and is OPPOSED AS IS BARRY O. to marriage equality. He also agreed that DADT should NOT be changed. Gradualism and incrementalism is his approach. I am so sick of GAY,INCORPORATED.

    Watch his non-verbal cues. He was pissed at Rachel for not supporting Obama despite the betrayal. Gone was the bullcrap grin he is so famous for. Howard Dean is NOT a liberal, never was, and never will be. He is a conservative Democrat who does NOT believe in marriage equality.

    Posted by: Raymond Decelles-Smith | Jun 16, 2009 1:04:22 AM


  9. This story should not be "oh, Obama hates us queers" but instead should be "oh, Bush still has a lot of appointees in government jobs, and will for a long time.

    The brief was written by a Bush-o, and really doesn't reflect the democratic view. The bureaucracy as a whole has spent 8 years being shaped by Bush and co., so it is unsurprising that one would write this type of hate speech.

    The news is covering it like Obama wrote the brief himself ... its highly plausible that no Obama-appointed lawyer even saw the thing before it was released.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 16, 2009 1:06:26 AM


  10. I think so many of you forget that Obama is the king of the mindf*ck...we're always going to the place of "we're 'new' blacks and the black president hates us" (which I think is an asinine and irrelevant statement that does nothing to exaggerate white privilege and distorted race politics).

    Obama doesnt mind letting people think he's behind the curb when in fact he's 3 steps ahead - he is letting these offensive briefs serve as tool to later "flip-flop" on or "become something he now must address" and he'll have Republicans having suggested such action thinking they are hurting his credibility. He gets the job done as people spend their energy calling him stupid.

    Take it for what you want but black folk have always had to play dumb in the face long enough to accomplish our goals while people just needed to enjoy berating us. It's a game compromised people get the upperhand based on many people's stupid needs.

    1)I think Obama at least knew what this brief would do and he is seeing these Republicans use this opp to say - "even I would kinda sorta think about maybe kinda looking at reviewing DOMA sorta" BULLSHIT - everyone knows McCain, Cheney and even the untouchable fag hag Hillary can sit back and say whatever they want and appear progressive with not pressure to act.

    2)Dean is right on the money. As DNC Chair is he really going to go rogue; don't you know he spoke to Obama before opening his mouth? They all know and they are all watching what is being said and what to say.

    3) In the BIG picture, Obama now has a interested political public ears, Republicans lying on tape that they are open to repealing DOMA - this means when the wind is right (aka our action as well as votes in Congress), Obama can literally quote the leaders of the opposition as saying they would sign on to support his challenge to legislatively repeal DOMA/DADT.

    Even if the Reds (and some Blues) say they are into a review of DOMA after 40 years of anti-gay spittle, they are only doing it publically to snag Obama - let's not get played here people, by either sides.

    4) I wish this community of mine was over Hillary being the lesser the candidate, could remember how he mindf'ed her too when she was a hurdle (a very patronizing and shit-spinning hurdle when it came to gay rights I might add, no more if not less progressive than Obama), I wish this community knew that Obama told us "put my feet to the fire" and make me make marriage happen. We get so caught up in "GET "EM" and he knows that. Cleve knows it too.

    He knows people love to "force him in a corner and show him who's boss" aka "put him in his place" - and then snap he flips it on his adversaries - just like he did to Hillary (get over it - he's a smarter leader)

    Obama flat out said - "you want gay marriage, make me do it, make me support it" very LBJ. Hillary said "deal with it".....frustrating yes, but it's reality of how a "people-influenced" land works.

    We have to be careful for or own sake and own power agenda, regardless of Obama, to make our voice heard for THE CAUSE not just "FUCK YOU OBAMA" - We couldn't raise hell like this with Bush - please.

    I wonder why many of us see Obama as the bain of our existence when he actually hasn't gotten to change anything in the FIRST 6 MONTHS of his administration?
    The political memory is short and Obama is a long arc player.

    Hillary can conveniently and safely scream what a great supporter she is (under Obama's hand might I add) and look great without having to actually do a damn thing.

    Executive orders can be dismissed in the right climate and if you think opposition won't find a way (blue or Red) you're delusional - they're waiting for the chance to compromise his authority period.

    Get your ratings right along with Ross Palumbo and conservative Viacom, Rachel - she knows the deal too.

    Posted by: Sense Please | Jun 16, 2009 1:52:15 AM


  11. Howard Dean is no longer the head of the DNC, Sense. When he was, he was part of firing Donald Hitchcock in retaliation after his boyfriend suggested that gay donors stop giving to the DNC. He was awful for gays as DNC head, allowing the anti-gay contigent to take over wherever possible, and has made some efforts to make up for it since then.

    The current head of the DNC is Tim Kaine, who hates gay people, and uses his Catholic faith as an excuse to oppose marriage rights and adoption rights for gay couples. He ran ads mocking his opponent for having a gay sounding voice. Obama picked him to head the DNC after he reluctantly turned away from Kaine for VP.

    Obama has filled his administration with people who hate us. He has not appointed gay people or allies to significant roles. Do you think he's going to pick a new Cabinet every six months or can you acknowledge that he has made a huge number of choices that hurt us already. That means that the game is pretty much over on gay rights for now unless we force the issue.

    Get it?

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Jun 16, 2009 6:43:55 AM


  12. I was at the Boston Gay and Lesbian Bar Association Dinner in 2003 when Howard Dean spoke. He was very upfront that he agrees wtih Civil Marriage Equality - but that National Civil Unions - and state by state gains of Civil Unions were the political first step that could have been achieved with Civil Marriage to follow. Uh that is EXACTLY what happened in his state. He is a smart politician - and the gay community is not.

    By fighting over the word marriage we have shot ourselves in the face and we now have many states that now have civil unions banned in their constitutions. We did not play the fools - and we let them get the advantage.

    Marriage is a religious term. We should have fought for Civil Unions for all - straight and gay.

    Posted by: willie | Jun 16, 2009 7:12:57 AM


  13. SENSE PLEASE (above) is right on!

    Posted by: shane | Jun 16, 2009 7:30:02 AM


  14. All I see him doing is defending the president. Are you guys frigging deaf?

    Posted by: doro | Jun 16, 2009 8:10:30 AM


  15. Marriage is NOT a religious term, "Willie."

    Marirage is a contract issued by the state. PERIOD!

    It is performed by priest, rabbis, etc. that have been entrusted to do so by the state.

    Religion, being based on a pack of lies, lies endlessly about Marige. It does not own it -- though it wants it all to do so.

    YOU DON'T GET A DIVORCE THROUGH YOUR PRIEST OR RABBI, NUMBNUTS!!!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 16, 2009 9:45:13 AM


  16. I want to believe Sense Please above. Really, I do.

    But even if s/he is correct, it does not mean that we have to stop fighting for the rights we know to be entrusted to us under the Constitution. Even if Obama is planning a major bait-and-switch on gay rights issues, we need to remain vigilant in our fight. We are not, and cannot become, defeatist victims here.

    Sense's argument is really interesting, however. Many of us believe that all along we have deserved a President to advocate for us unwaveringly, and surely in an ideal world Obama would have been the marshal in our pride parades. Many of us, myself included, are not comfortable with what Sense suggests, which is that Obama is playing politics - for expediency, he is "laying low" and letting the Repubs hoist themselves in their own patard, at which time he'll turn around and say, well, I simply have to move on this issue now, but look folks: you all claimed to support gay rights all along, so you won't have a problem going along with me, right?

    The unease I and others feel at this approach (should it happen), as opposed to a vocal and fearless advocate for gay rights, lies with our own senses of entitlement. Why should our rights be playing chips in a long-arc strategy? Why can't just one single powerful person stand up and say, "we need to extend equal rights to gay people" ?

    The tension is between what is the right thing to do and what is the smart thing.

    I'm still mad as hell. We're all still going to fight, and march, and rally, and write letters. But it will be interesting nonetheless to see what happens over the next few months, years.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Jun 16, 2009 11:16:40 AM


  17. Nobama doesn't give a shit about bigotry as long as it is directed at gays. he is not going to say one fucking word about this. Wake up!!!!

    Posted by: dezboy | Jun 16, 2009 1:12:21 PM


  18. "Sense Please" would make a great case study in cognitive dissonance. It's amazing that someone can be so deluded as to contrive such convoluted scenarios in their mind to protect themselves from painful reality.

    Your ability to create excuses and rationalizations would put Sean Hannity to shame.

    Posted by: paul c | Jun 16, 2009 1:36:18 PM


  19. I HATE IT when the video has been removed before I have had a chance to see it!

    Posted by: barabas7 | Jun 16, 2009 5:25:00 PM


  20. I want Daddy to feed me a big helping of Howard Dean sausage for breakfast!

    Posted by: Christopher | Jun 19, 2009 6:27:22 PM


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