Barack Obama | Discrimination | ENDA | Tico Almeida

Tico Almeida Describes Baffling White House Meeting Over LGBT Non-Discrimination Snub: VIDEO

Almeida

Freedom to Work's Tico Almeida, who spoke to Michelangelo Signorile in an interview I posted about earlier this morning about the White House's announcement that Obama won't sign an executive order protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination, also spoke with Eliot Spitzer about the White House meeting he attended last week from which the news emerged.

Almeida describes how White House senior staff told them they were worried about a legal challenge from a conservative federal contractor, characterizing the meeting as a "slow motion train wreck" in which the representative White House counsel couldn't name one reason that signing the measure, which has broad political support, would put the Obama administration in danger legally.

Speaking politically, Almeida also sees it as a missed opportunity to corner Romney on the issue and "would have been a perfect opportunity to use this as a wedge against conservatives."

Check out the interview by Eliot Spitzer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Obama remains a coward.

    Posted by: patrick | Apr 16, 2012 2:51:52 PM


  2. is there perhaps more merit to a legislative solution as opposed to an executive order? what stops another president from simply nullifying such an order with an order of their own?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 16, 2012 3:10:00 PM


  3. I am and have been a Obama supporter but I do find this troubling. This shows at the very least,an administration lacking in good communication skills. A wink and a nod is not enough this is about workplace discrimination should have been a no brainer for Obama. Instead it's focusing or the lack off another part off his anatomy his... balls.

    Posted by: VDUFFORD | Apr 16, 2012 3:13:48 PM


  4. Yes; protecting LGBT people is politically dangerous with legal and political ramifications, but creating and defending an unpopular healthcare law, which SCOTUS seems more than happy to overturn, is perfectly okay.

    In 2012, the Democrats need some REAL tough love. Even if the Republicans SOMEHOW win, especially after the Tea Party debacle, just know that we went through 8 years of Bush, which really isn't all that different from Obama's 3, so we'll be able to persevere somehow.

    No more broken, empty promises, no more lies, no more "I love yous". The buck stops here. Support candidates who support us, be they Democrat, Republican, whatever, not JUST their campaigns.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 16, 2012 3:39:21 PM


  5. What exactly does the phrase "broad political support" mean? It's a lie. Broad political support would mean broad support by politicians. It most certainly does not have that. What it has is almost one-sided support from the Dem side and broad political opposition on the GOP side (see, that's how the phrase works).

    It also has broad support among the public (see, again, that's how the phrase works). One might ask why the GOP ignores even its own members, but it's more fun to pretend Obama is an uncooperative monarch...

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 16, 2012 4:53:31 PM


  6. while i am disappointed with the administration's unwillingness to sign this executive order, let's remember here, an executive order IS NOT law. even if the president signed it, not passing legislation would allow the next republican president to simply revoke it.

    Posted by: Brian B. | Apr 16, 2012 5:17:10 PM


  7. Go ahead, play right into Republican hands....force Obama to sign an Executive Order, and fire up the conservatives even more for the upcoming election.

    There is an attitude among many in the gay community that Obama isn't committed to, and hasn't acted to, support gay rights. One of the commenters above said: "we went through 8 years of Bush, which really isn't all that different from Obama's 3..."

    Really?? How many openly gay people did Bush appoint to major government positions, including lifetime federal judges and officials requiring Senate approval (compared to dozens by Obama)? What position did Bush take on enforcement of DOMA (as opposed to Obama telling the courts that the law is unconstitutional)? What did Bush do to eliminate DADT (as opposed to Obama's personal support that led to its repeal)? And remember how Bush pushed for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage (which ultimately led Bush to win Ohio, and then the Presidency) (compared to Obama's opposition to any such amendment at the federal or state levels). And on and on and on.....

    And within the next 5 years there will probably be another Supreme Court Justice (or two) who may retire. Do you really want to take the chance of a Republican president, with an almost-certain Republican Senate, choosing another Alito or Roberts to serve on the Supreme Court for the next 30 years??

    If you want to criticize Obama for not moving ahead quicker, or more comprehensively, then that's a fair argument -- and people can disagree if that is cowardice or smart politics intended to avoid a backlash and a loss in November. But please don't make comments that are totally baseless by equating Obama to Bush. And try to keep the big picture in mind: if Obama loses in November, the gay community will have suffered a major setback.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Apr 16, 2012 5:43:58 PM


  8. thank you for the sanity in these comments. i keep wondering why people aren't seeing that Obama is actually working for long-lasting solutions, not stroke-of-a-pen orders than can all too easily be undone.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 16, 2012 5:52:58 PM


  9. Yes, he must be reelected, but HERE, for those who THINK FOR THEMSELVES are the historical facts:

    1. This is actually recycled bull from the battle against DADT when his apologists screamed, "NO! He mustn't freeze discharges because that's not a 'permanent' solution”—as he NEEDLESSLY and SHAMELESSLY shitcanned some 800 more gay and lesbian service members just to placate Pentagon bigots who didn’t want to be forced to stop doing that “too soon.” The fact was NO ONE then was suggesting that we abandon an effort to legislative repeal after a freeze, and NO ONE has suggested that the effort to pass ENDA be abandoned upon his issuing any order to protect LGBTs employed by federal contractors. And not just because ENDA would, of course, include MILLIONS more employees in the private sector.

    2. In fact, of course, there is no such thing as a “permanent” law. SEE: ... wait for it ... 10 United States Code 654, colloquially known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    3(a). In 1975, what was then called the United States Civil Service Commission removed their previous ban on gay federal civilian employees. Repug Presidents Reagan and Bush pere had TWELVE years to reverse that policy but they did not. [Even as, under Reagan, gay military discharges skyrocketed, and he and his Reich ignored the AIDS epidemic for most of his two terms simply because they thought it would only significantly impact gays, and Bush pere was, relatively, little better, even
    opposing the Ryan White Care Act.]

    3(b). In 1998, President Clinton formalized that Civil Service policy change with an Executive Order. The Southern Baptist Convention went nuts, calling for Congress to overturn it, and some tried [including DOMA architect Bob Barr] but they failed, and, while he had eight years to do it, George Bush fils did NOT reverse it. NEITHER did he reverse Clinton’s EOs adding a hate crimes sentence enhancement to military trials, banning denial of a security clearance to a federal employee solely on the basis of homosexuality, and the discharge of any gay service member identified in the process of a security clearance investigation. [Even as, again, gay military discharges shot up, the Bush Reich saw to it that marriage equality bans were put on the 2004 ballots of 11 states, and he endorsed a US Constitutional ban on marriage equality.]

    3(c). In 2009, Mr. Obama himself ALREADY used his executive authority to order that job protection extended to transgender civilian employees of the federal government itself. WHY would HE do that if he GENUINELY believed only in “permanent” solutions?

    So Bots squealing that there's no point in doing this are CHOOSING to deny such protections to hundreds of thousands of LGBT federal contractor employees NOW just because they MIGHT be reversed in the future. That is as STUPID as saying one shouldn’t go to work today because he might be fired next year. Why are so many willing to turn against their own people's welfare for a straight politician?

    It is so relevant that today is the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in which he answered those, both black and white, even fellow clergy, who were telling him he was being unreasonable, too extreme, too demanding, too impatient, etc., etc., etc. Here’s an excerpt I made into a graphic.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/546328_2561497376384_1822575019_1554051_1626582951_n.jpg

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Apr 16, 2012 6:00:30 PM


  10. Does anyone else see the irony in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scolding the Russian minister for refusing to endorse an LGBT rights statement at a G8 meeting, at the same time that Obama was refusing to sign an LGBT non-discrimination order for Americans?

    Posted by: bierce | Apr 16, 2012 6:55:23 PM


  11. Keeping in mind EO8802 signed by President Roosevelt, perhaps gay activists asked for too little?

    Posted by: Chitown kev | Apr 17, 2012 1:25:39 PM


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