Ninth Circuit Reverses Part of DADT Injunction

DADT_Discriminates The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed course a bit on its injunction against Don't Ask, Don't Tell yesterday.

The San Francisco-based court previously approved a Log Cabin Republican injunction and ordered the military to stop investigating, discharging and penalizing people under DADT. That ruling also declared that the armed services should start accepting applications from openly gay people.

The government, however, balked at the ruling, claiming the injunction would disrupt the "orderly process" of DADT's repeal, and would go against Congress' wishes.

"Congress made quite clear that it believed the terms of the transition were critical to the credibility and success of this historic policy change, and to ensure continued military effectiveness," the Department of Justice said in its request.

The court, citing the government's "previously undisclosed facts," including military leaders' written objection to the injunction, apparently agreed.

While officials are still barred from investigating, penalizing or discharging servicemen and women under DADT, they can and technically should still reject openly gay applications.

Lambda legal legal director Jon W. Davidson described the decision as "whiplash," and blasted the Obama Administration for its "double speak" on DADT.

"This whiplash is surely confusing for many people. The administration needs to stop saying that certification under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act is coming soon and just issue it," Davidson wrote in an email to supporters. "The government has failed to show any reason why the policy cannot be halted immediately other than to claim that the military will respond better if it is not having to do so pursuant to a court order."

The government now has until Monday to explain why it withheld the military's "undisclosed" opposition, and the Log Cabin Republicans have until Thursday to enter a reconsideration. The rest of us, meanwhile, have to stop our heads from spinning.

Comments

  1. HadenoughBS says

    I don’t know how else to put this but it pains me deeply to support Obama for a second term. Here’s a president who runs an administration that instead of being led by a “fiece advocate” is being led by a wimp. Therefore, my choice in the November 2012 presidential election comes down to choosing between the lesser of two evils.

    I absolutely will not vote for the Rethuggies. Because I can imagine what a GOPer administration would look like, I have to vote to keep them out but, my God, voting for Obama knowing his LGBT advocacy record will come with great pain.

  2. Diaz says

    Yes, I am disappointed, but my sense is the Obama Administration wants to do things by the book. In other words, let the law and the consitution work itself without favoritism to a particular group and eventually it will be repealed. Remember he didn’t start the “fire” another Democratic did (Clinton) and by the way Clinton also signed DOMA as well. Obama is a constitutional lawyer who I assumes believes that the system works without interference. My take on this. I personally don’t want to be looked at as a special interest group I am an American due all rights under our Constitution.

  3. KP says

    Damn this is frustrating – I really feel bad for the gay men and women in uniform who are suffering right now. Certification should have happened weeks ago. Why does our military – the best trained in the world – need over 6 months to teach its soldiers “don’t hate on the gays”. Its ridiculous. According to the DOJ, certification will happen in late July or early August. How much you want to bet we will have to wait until after the August 2nd debt ceiling deadline? Of course if those idiots in Washington (both the Repubs and Democrats) can’t agree on a solutions, I’m sure repeal of DADT will be the last thing on Obama’s mind.

  4. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    Dear Diaz, the problem is that the Obama Administration is NOT “doing things by the book” and the Constitution is NOT “working itself out.” We are not supposed to be a Military Junta or an autocracy where Government officials decide when and how constitutional rights are recognized and exercised. As Judge Phillips found, and the Government has admitted, and anyone with half a brain and honesty could see, DADT violates the constitutional rights of Gay people. Therefore, it is NOT “by the book” or Constitutionally “working” to continue DADT even a second longer.

    Your position that Obama should control when Gays can enlist, because you “personally don’t want to be looked at as a special interest group” and “I am due all rights under our Constitution,” is specious. Under your own position, you are NOT due Constitutional rights, because you are saying that Obama determines when and how you can exercise those rights. That is not being “due” anything.

    Obama is no more a “constitutional lawyer” than the Three Stooges. All Obama is a bigot and an enforcer of discrimination. But don’t take my word for it. Take Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s word for it. Presidents used the same argument on MLK, Jr. when he demanded an immediate end to federal and state laws allowing discrimination against Blacks. MLK, Jr.’s famous response–which he repeated over and over again in his writings and speeches–was that it simply is morally wrong to continue enforcing discrimination under the theory that democracy requires discriminatory laws to be followed by the Government until they are duly repealed. MLK, Jr. famously reminded people that, technically, under German law at the time, everything that the Nazis did to Jews and others was legal–even though as a matter of moral law, international law, and justice, it was completely wrong and evil and reprehensible.

    People have suffered tremendeously and continue to suffer because they are denied their constitutional rights under Obama’s continued enforcement of DADT. First and foremost are the 14000+ people who were discharged under DADT and who are waiting to get their lives back. Second are the millions of otherwise eligible Gay Americans who want to newly enlist but cannot.

    Clinton certainly deserves heaps of shame for his creating DADT, but he hasn’t been in office for more than a decade. The person enforcing DADT now is Barack Obama. He is responsible for EVERY discriminatory act against Gays that has taken place during his Presidency. He has no excuses for his discrimination. My only consolation is that he will go down in history as George Wallace did.

    All Obama’s obtaining this partial reinstatement of DADT shows is that we don’t have a Constitution, a constitutional democracy, or rule of law. All we have is a system where we all are indeed “special interest groups” vying and jockeying for power. Equality and rule of law are gone, if we ever had them.

    And, by the way, I have the same condemnation of Obama as I do for everyone else who has ever enforced DADT or stood by silently, including other Democrats and Republicans, and particularly the Supreme Court, who could have ended legal discrimination a long time ago by enforcing the Constitution through a court decision.

    Bottom line: Obama could have stopped enforcing DADT a long time ago, and made DADT’s demise permanent. Diaz you should stop providing cover for Obama with your defense of him.

  5. robert in nyc says

    I’m not enamored of Obama and disappointed in some ways, but I’m sure as hell NEVER going to vote for a republican. By not voting for Obama in 2012 will be giving your vote to a republican, no matter how much it pains you to vote for Obama. I don’t want a republican in the White House, ever because that means DOMA will NEVER be overturned and marriage equality won’t have a chance in any more states. Ask yourselves, just exactly what do any of the republicans have lined up for gays if they take the White House? Voting for them is voting against yourselves.

  6. ohplease says

    “I don’t know how else to put this but it pains me deeply to support Obama for a second term.”

    I got over that pain by choosing not to.

    I’ll never again vote for any candidate who does not accept that I’m as much of a human being as they are.

    In the 21st Century, in the United States of America, that is NOT too much to ask.

  7. ohplease says

    “Voting for (Republicans) is voting against yourselves.”

    As opposed to voting for Obama?

    No, voting for ANY candidate who doesn’t accept that you’re as much of a human being as they are is obviously voting against yourself. Obama is squarely in that bigoted corner.

    So what you’re really saying is vote for the candidate who wants to destroy you slightly less or not as quickly, and I refuse to play that game — which is the only way real change will occur.

  8. patron says

    You people are getting all worked up into a tizzy over nothing. Don’t you realize that the people pushing this injunction are doing so in order to embarrass the current administration? They are repubs for god sake. Let the agreed-upon route to repeal run its course, and if it not successful, then you can have a fit. As for voting republican, obviously many of you are not old enough to remember the Reagan/bush years. This current batch of crazies is about 100 times that bad. So good luck with that.

  9. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    Just to be clear: the only reason that Obama continues to enforce discrimination against Gays is because he believes that there is no consequence politically. He knows that he can squat over the faces of a significant percentage of Gays and defecate directly on them and they will say, “thank you, Lesser of Two Evils.” In fact, if those Gays and Straights who collaborate with President Obama DESPITE the fact that he discriminates against Gays, simply told him that they would not vote for him BECAUSE he discriminates against Gays, he would stop discriminating.

    The bombshell here is that what these collaborators do not realize is that by compromising the principle of equality and rule of law by supporting and defending a Lesser of Two Evils, they are actually ensuring the lack of equality and rule of law forever. Even if the Government stops enforcing DADT, they can and will–in the absence of a court order or overwhelming public condemnation against discrimination–simply discriminate against Gays as a matter of “military discretion”–which is what the Government did in the Military before DADT was enacted in 1993.

    MLK,Jr. must be spinning in his grave knowing that the Nation’s first Black President is enforcing discrimination against a minority, and excusing that discrimination with such a lame excuse as “the law made me do it.” It’s sad to say but the Nazi defense of “I’m just following orders [the law]” has been successfully used by President Obama and his collaborators. President Obama and his collabators have remarklably managed to validate both Segregation and the Holocaust with their enforcement/justification of discrimination.

    I wonder what it would be like to have a President who is not bigoted and has the courage to do what is right?

  10. StillmarriedinCA says

    @James E.–Excellent post!

    The courts are part of our system of government. They don’t have to defer to the congress and the President. They are most valuable when they leap over the foot draggers and the bigots and set things right. If it goes against the wishes of the President and the Congress, too effing bad.

  11. Abel says

    Ari Ezra Waldman said this might happen, he even expected it, but I’d still like to hear his take on it. Perhaps after the DOJ responds on Monday? Pretty please?

  12. says

    You can register your displeasure with the Chosen One without going to the extreme voting for a repug or not voting at all.

    1) In the Democratic primary, write in the candidate of your choice. Obama will still win your state’s dim primary and be the dim’s candidate in the general election, so you’re not helping the repugs at all, but you still show Obama he’s not your Chosen One.

    2a) DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY to the Obama campaign, nor to your state or county Democratic party. Donate to individual dim candidates if you must, but not a cent that would help the Obama campaign.

    2b) When the dims contact you for donations, make sure you tell them why you don’t support Obama. They’ll get the message.

  13. LincolnLounger says

    Since the gay community is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party, Obama knows he has nothing to fear. All Democrats are our friends, and all Republicans are evil. Repeat.

  14. says

    Patron, thank you for a logical comment.

    There is no political reason for the Obama administration to keep enforcing DADT. What they want to do is have control of the transition, and they want to do it on theirs and the military’s terms. (Too slowly, in my opinion, but it’s not because they want to hold onto the policy–that’s a ludicrous idea.) This shouldn’t be so difficult to fathom.

    And it also shouldn’t be so hard to fathom that the Log Cabin Republicans are using this opportunity to criticize the administration since they obviously don’t want to see him reelected. (They’d prefer a truly anti-gay Republican, and notice their criticisms rarely extend to the Republicans who want to permanently reinstate DADT.)

    This really isn’t a story. It’s a press release for the LCR’s.

  15. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    Here’s the ultimate refutation of the Obama collaborators’ argument:

    The collaborators (and I’m referring to those who say they are against discrimination but won’t hold Obama accountable for his) say that we must just be patient because repeal will happen under Obama as he said. Well, if Obama is going to repeal DADT anyway on his own, why would anyone still need to vote for him?

    The truth is, any progress the civil rights community has made on DADT is because some of us started demanding equality and forced his hand. He didn’t do anything because Gay Inc. people showed up at his cocktail parties and happily gulped down his cocktail shrimp. He didn’t do anything because his syncophants and collaborators said they would vote for him as a Lesser Evil. He did so because he felt he might lose political support among the greater Gay community and our Straight allies.

    Thus, President Obama’s enforcement of DADT is dependent on one thing and one thing only: support from the collaborators. To put it another way, he won’t end certify repeal because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the politically expedient thing to do.

    So, the only reason the collaborators defend Obama is because 1) they stand to benefit from his administration personally, and/or 2) they put their politics above their principles, and/or 3) they are afraid to stand up for themselves and demand equality as an inalienable right. They are afraid that if they do not let Obama continue to beat them, he will leave them altogether.

    But that is not a recipe for equality. Equality is a function of inalienable rights.

    Again, MLK, Jr. would be spinning in his grave to know that discrimination is considered “defensible.”

  16. Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com says

    FIRST: for those still pushing the meme that the Log Cabinettes just did this to embarrass Obama. They filed the lawsuit against DADT WHEN BUSH WAS STILL PRESIDENT!

    As for those still claiming that Obama must have had a good reason, that it will be good for us in the end, for fighting to keep DADT on the books [INCLUDING continuing investigations and discharge recommendations], that’s like John Wayne Bobbitt thinking, “Well, Lorena must have had a good reason for cutting off my penis with a butcher knife then throwing it out the car window. It was actually good for me.”

    “At what point do we say ‘ENOUGH’? At what point do we stand up and say we will not allow it to happen anymore?” – Harvey Milk. Anyone think HE would still be singing Obama’s praises?

  17. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    You can tell someone who’s acting on political ideology when they start differentiating people based on political affiliation. They contrast Democrats v. Republicans, and vice versa. Such people have no credibility because they are not acting on principle.

    I’m speaking of those who have said, “but we can’t vote for the Republicans because …,” or that “the Log Cabin case is merely an attempt to embarrass President Obama.” These arguments are pure political pandering.

    Anyone–Democrat or Republican, Gay or Straight, Black or White, Male or Female–who discriminates or defends discrimination is wrong. Neither party should get our support for their discrimination.

    Moreover, there is nothing political about criticizing or complaining about a sitting Administration’s enforcement of discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination, and anybody–including LCR–has a right to demand an end to it. If the LCR case looks bad on President Obama, that is his fault for discriminating in the first place.

    This partisanship in defending discrimination is exactly why we have discrimination in the first place: the lack of rule of law. People don’t feel the need to treat each other under the same standard. Democrats feel they can commit or condone discrimination but then attack the Republicans for doing the same thing, all to win and hold political power. And vice versa–the Republicans doing the exact same thing. Both equally guilty.

    I realize the human condition is imperfect and that it will always be a struggle to have rule of law, but this has been ridiculous for so long–people claiming to advocate a principle but then allowing themselves or their allies to violate the principle and then attacking their opponents for doing the same thing.

    The Republicans and the Democrats are both guilty of discrimination. But only one person, a Democrat, has had the power to stop enforcement of DADT and to kill it immediately, and that is President Obama. George Bush–equally as bigoted as President Obama (both against Gay service and Gay marriage) is not in office.

    Stop excusing discrimination. There is not “but” in equality. There are no excuses for anyone. Stop talking about lesser evils and voting for whomever because of party, and start talking about not voting for anyone who discriminates. Being moral cowards to begin with, these political cowards and bigots will follow.

  18. says

    @ JAMES E. PIETRANGELO, II: despite your lengthy posts, it’s clear you have little grasp of history or Realpolitik. MLK, JR. was a civil rights leader, not the president. Clinton did things his way without considering Realpolitik and look where it got us? Obama is smart enough and enough of a supporter of our cause to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

    Clinton put lots of LGBT people in his administration and Obama’s put in even more and added rules and positions (think ICE, USAID) that will make a big difference ON THE GROUND.

    There has been TREMENDOUS progress under this administration and there will be more under his next.

    And Obama taught constitutional law at one of the best law schools in the world.

  19. says

    More: Yes, I’ve cringed a little at supporting Obama in 2012 because I too want more Change now. But that’s just not realistic. Just look at what Ralph Nader wrought: Bush x2, a decimated economy, a messed-up war in Afghanistan (due to the dalliance in IRQ).

    Is that what you want? Backmann/Romney?

  20. the greasybear says

    Obama is still going out of his way to sustain the anti-gay discrimination he promised to eliminate in exchange for our votes.

    But, whatever we must do, we must never elect Republicans because they’ll govern as discriminatory bigots–rather, we must continue to help the Democrats govern as discriminatory bigots! Because it’s better when you’re violated by your “friends,” right?

  21. says

    The wingnuts already call Obama a Stalinist authoritarian tyrant. Obviously many of you think he should live up to their delusional fantasies. The people who really hate us would love to have one more excuse to undermine the political power of the people who sometimes manage to get through legislation that helps us.

    Why did this administration spend huge amounts of political capital to get through the repeal of DADT against huge opposition (from Republicans, by the way)? Were we important to them then but suddenly not now? What changed since December? So O secretly didn’t really want the policy to change? No. Instead he found the way to get it done with everyone, including the military and majorities in congress on board. Yes it’s not ideal, but it happened and it will be certified and they’re already doing the training for god’s sake. Republicans aren’t suddenly going to support him now if he changes course. But flighty queens apparently will turn if it takes an extra month.

  22. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    David R., my grasp of history is quite firm, thank you. I never said that MLK, Jr. was President, as you suggest. Re-read my post. If you merely were trying to point out that being a civil-rights leader does not have the same constraints in reality as does a President, you are also incorrect. A President in reality has less constraints–not more–than a civil rights leader like MLK, Jr. For example, Obama could have certified repeal on DADT long ago with a flick of his pen. Or at the beginning of his Administration Obama could have simply as CINC ordered a cessation of DADT. Personal character flaws such as Obama (and Bush) has do not constitute objective, real constraints. Under your approach, not mine, Nazi officials and segregationists like George Wallace would be excused for their discrimination and abhorrent evil acts simply because they were government leaders. Indeed, George Wallace himself during his heydey said that he was simply upholding society’s beneficial standards.

    As for your Realpolitik, I don’t pretend to have a grasp of that, first and foremost because Realpolitik is nothing more than politics and I have no tolerance for politics. Realpolitik is what politicians cite when they don’t have the courage or integrity to do what’s right.

    Clinton got things wrong not because he did not wisely consider Realpolitik, but because he 1) played politics, and 2) didn’t have the courage and integrity to do what’s right. He did exactly what Obama is now doing: enforcing discrimination and telling us how much a savior he was to us and how much we should be grateful to him for it.

    If “tremendous progress” means that Gays are now invited to cocktail parties to feast on Obama’s luscious shrimp, I guess you are right that tremendous progress has been made under Obama. But if one defines progress as actual equality in the different areas of life, Obama has done squat. He opposes Gay marriage, and DOMA remains. He continues to enforce DADT, and DADT remains. Gay people are routinely attacked across this Country for being Gay. Discrimination in housing, adoption, employment, remain. Obama’s record is a solid F. Just because he has given the teacher an apple now and then–such as the odd, marginal job in his Administration–doesn’t change that.

    You mention that Obama was a constitutional scholar at a top law school. But just because you put lipstick on a pig doesn’t make it pretty (meaning not that President Obama is a pig, but that simply because you give something a name does not make it so in actuality). Some of the countries with the worst human-rights records have sat on the United Nations human rights council, but that does not mean those countries aren’t oppressive regimes. Constitutional is as constitutional does. Just because Obama taught constitutional law does not mean that his willingly enforcing unconstitutional discrimination against us is constitutionally wise.

    The bottom line David R is that Obama reads posts like yours and says to himself: I can continue to enforce discrimination because there are plenty of Gays out there who support me and who say to other Gays, when they complain, that I can be trusted to get the job done.

    I am not suggesting in the least bit that anyone vote for Bachmann/Romney. I’m suggesting that you don’t vote for anyone–Obama, Bachmann, or Romney, etc., who enforces discrimination. There is another choice–the way of self-respect and principle. I’ll leave Realpolitik to the Communists.

  23. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    I think what David R and his fellow commentators are also ignoring is that–without a President who would on principle never enforce discrimination–we as a minority will always remain vulnerable to Government discrimination and will suffer it. Even if Obama finally certifies repeal, there is nothing preventing him from simply discriminating against Gays as a matter of military discretion, as they did before DADT was enacted. All indications are that that will happen. So supporting President Obama on the theory that if we just wait long enough and are “good enough Gays” we will be rewarded, is simply nonsense. We will be the proverbial battered spouse who defends the batterer. Instead, we can call out discrimination whenever and wherever for what it is, and simply not accept it, and start punishing those who commit it by not supporting them at all.

  24. Daniel says

    I am more concerned with protecting the careers of gays and lesbians currently serving than I am for applicants who wish to serve but will have to wait until 60 days after certification is complete to be able to apply without concealing their orientation.

    This change is coming. It will happen. The 9th Circuit Court’s injunction addresses the most urgent aspect of this repeal process – protecting the careers of servicewomen and men. Lambda and other advocacy groups would do well to praise this decision rather than to quibble with it.

    The Obama administration made agreements about how this would proceed to win legislators to the cause. That tactic worked, and those agreements must be honored. Don’t call it doublespeak. It is compromise, and honoring promises. Obama has done more than any president ever had on LGBT issues and, should he win re-election, I think he will be more bold still on issues like DOMA.

  25. James E. Pietrangelo, II says

    Daniel: I’m not so selective on who gets constitutional rights in this country. Serving Gays, civilian Gays who want to serve, and Gays who as DADT dischargees were once serving but are now civilians all deserve constitutional rights NOW. Serving Gays have no more or less to lose than any other Gays. Indeed, if things are as rosy under Obama as you and other commentators continually tell us they are, why would serving Gays have any more compelling risks or vulnerabilities than any one else. I simply don’t understand where you are coming from. If you think serving as a Gay with all the harassment and worry and abuse is bad, try living with the scars from doing that as well as having lost your livelihood because of actually being discharged. The reason current servicemembers were left protected from discharge under DADT was that it was the option that required least degree of compliance with the Constitution by the Military and Obama Administration. Keeping serving Gays in the Military preserves the status quo. Requiring the Military to newly admit openly Gay people would really be the end of days for the bigotry that Obama keeps propping up.

    In fact, how f’ing dare you essentially tell other Gays that they are impatient or need to be patient (“applicants who wish to serve but will have to wait until 60 days after certification”), as if they are crying about not getting an ice cream cone fast enough. People have been waiting for years to newly enlist, or to get their lives back after being discharged. No one has a right to tell them to wait a second longer, much less 60 days. And you keep talking about repeal as if it is a done deal–when it isn’t, especially when you consider that the Military can and probably will simply revert to discrimination under military discretion. What you don’t apparently understand is that what your hero Obama and his ilk are doing–in addition to actually committing discrimination against innocent Gay Americans–is establishing an insidious principle that the Government determines when groups begin enjoying constitutional rights. That has been the rub all along on this issue. Obama has steadfastly maintained that open service by Gay people can and will only happen when the Executive determines it is right. He said that in 2009 to the US Supreme Court in my case when he argued that the SCT should deny cert., and now his DOJ is arguing the same thing in the LCR case in arguing against the comprehensive injunction by Judge Phillips. The Constitution is absolutely a dead letter under such a principle as Obama has apparently successfully established. How are we any different than Syria then? We have ipods and ipads and iphones, but the same degree of constitutional liberty, if Obama gets to determine the timing of our rights. To be clear, he could have not committed discrimination in the first place, and fought for the end of DADT without resorting to his approach. He just chose to use that approach.

    As for “compromise” and “promises,” they certainly are not “equality,” which is the only measure of Obama’s LGBT advocacy. Any “compromises” and “promises” Obama made would have been unnecessary if he had simply stopped enforcing discrimination in the first place. And a “compromise with the devil” is certainly nothing to be proud of–the devil being the evil of bigotry.

    I can say “change will come” all day. I can also say “I will fly to the moon” all day. But that does not mean that either will happen.

    Finally, conditional repeal of DADT came about because thousands of Gay Americans have been in the trenches for years advocating against DADT. Conditional repeal came about because a group of Gays started protesting in the streets and forced Obama and Congress to act. They shamed these bigots like those who supported segregation were shamed into realizing the wrong of their ways. Obama had nothing to do with the conditiona repeal other than to come Johnny Come Lately to it as a shamed bigot.

  26. says

    @ JAMES E. PIETRANGELO, II: nope, you’re not getting it. Ignoring politics is just stupid and childish.

    Obama, the Constitutional scholar, has shown time and again that he wants to operate above board, unlike his predecessor. That means telling the military where to go, but not micromanaging the process. That’s what real leadership is and what will make the transition safe and smooth.

    Oh, and you mentioned Nazis: -10 points.

  27. says

    James, Obama did not come to DADT repeal as a bigot. It was part of his campaign platform, a promise he will fulfill before the next election. Perhaps not as quickly as many would like, but it is a process that he has decided to go through methodically. The process is certainly open to criticism, but there is no evidence of bigotry in relation to DADT, and there is no logical reason why he would continue to discriminate in the military beyond the logistics of the repeal process. Discrimination via DADT is a lose-lose for him now. DADT will be fully repealed on his watch, and it would not have happened legislatively without him. Certainly it wouldn’t have happened legislatively under a Republican president. It doesn’t discount the work of everyone who has actively pursued repeal, including the LCR. But the LCR’s purpose currently has more to do with politically working against the president than for repeal. It’s surprising that people are so naive about the politics of this. DADT is on its way out. It’s no longer an if, partly because the process has made backtracking all but impossible even under a Republican administration, god forbid, in 2012. Obama got the military on board; that’s an accomplishment.

  28. Andalusian Dog says

    Two things:

    1) Obama’s priorities are not the same as our own, as a recent essay on the Huffington Post points out. This is clearly an administration that wants to enact a number of big systemic change (healthcare, budget, military, etc) and if they get around to it work towards a civil rights agenda. Of course they are PRO civil rights for LGBT people, but they don’t really want to budge too much on it because that’s just not where their priorities are. They whip themselves into a frenzy over LGBT rights only when it becomes politically expedient to do so. (I.e., closing out last year with the DADT win, part of a larger package of Democratic wins that took place in the span of about a week.)

    I think it is also silly and kinda racist to think that the President would be pushing a big civil rights agenda just because he’s part African-American. Should he be more sensitive to civil rights issues, absolutely. Is that where he has decided his mind is – nope. Clearly not. And it’s his right, by the way.

    2) I have to imagine the President is rather frustrated because the American public is not figuring out his m.o. yet. He is a long-arc player. To him, politics and his presidency are a big, complicated chess game, with many moving parts and requiring patience, cool-headedness and grit. Americans think in soundbites, they want to immediately gratifying solution. So far, he has shown that he can get things done, it just takes a really long time for him to feel satisfied not only with the solution but how we got there.

    I am not excusing the President at all for the turtle’s pace of his moving forward any kind of LGBT rights agenda. As much as he is looking for a grand bargain and big deal package on the debt limit (and budget), he should be pushing a big comprehensive civil rights bill that strips any and all discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.

    I have faith that by the end of his presidency, the turtle’s pace will result in maybe 1/2 or 2/3 of what the gay community wants, including some movement forward on marriage equality, but also the full repeal of DOMA and DADT. I also have faith that he will look back at his presidency, as most other democrats have done, realized he could have done more for the LGBT community, and kicked himself for not.

  29. Rin says

    There is a great book on theory and practice of revolution that says it is never under authoritative regimes like say Stalin or Reagan that people become discontented. Absolute deprivation does not create rebellious discontent. It is relative deprivation, IE getting DADT repealed by not quick enough, getting some states to support gay marriage, but not all, that makes people angry.

    Obama’s administration has seen military DADT repealed, DOMA challenged, state by state marriage equality…and he’s a loser?

    Would this have happened under Bush? Would it happen under Bachmann?

    Had Obama been just as anti-equality as Bush people would not be so angry now. It would be accepted that nothing would change and people would move on and wait for 2016.

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