Barack Obama | DOMA | Frank Rich | Gay Marriage | Inauguration | News | Rachel Maddow | Stonewall | Supreme Court

Rachel Maddow: Obama's Inaugural 'Stonewall' Shout-Out was for the Supreme Court - VIDEO


Last night, Rachel Maddow and Frank Rich hashed out Obama's Stonewall reference:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

Maddow theorizes that it was a shout-out to the Supreme Court, preemptive of its decision on DOMA and Prop 8. And Rich believes it was specifically for Chief Justice John Roberts.


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  1. Seems like they are grasping at straws. Really, some people give Obama too much credit.

    Posted by: Emmy | Jan 23, 2013 9:05:59 AM

  2. VERY interesting! These two are pros of the first magnitude with speculations of great merit. The argument that the Justices are looking towards the grand arc of history and their own place in it must be true for some of them and decisively positive for gay people. What decision lies ahead? It really is a time and moment of change and President Obama is stirringly, beautifully and boldy leading the charge.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jan 23, 2013 9:21:19 AM

  3. If Virginia Republican legislators would spend as much time solving real problems as they spend on strategic backroom plans on restructuring political maps and unfair twisted strategies to get more of an edge over Democrats then all Virginians would be better off. Hopefully this doesn't spread to other States.

    Posted by: JT | Jan 23, 2013 9:22:36 AM

  4. Not sure why you think they're grasping at straws, Emmy? Many people, including conservatives, came to the same conclusion about Obama's reference to Stonewall and equality. Actually, people have underestimated how important such statements--and this was a historic statement, no question--move the culture, and moving the culture challenges the Court to keep in step. And it stands to reason that Obama is considering his own legacy, and he sees the writing on the wall--marriage equality is inevitable now--and, as a liberal, would naturally want to be a part of that. His statement was also of a piece with the work his DOJ has been doing.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 23, 2013 10:01:23 AM

  5. I think it was also a shot at Boehner and the House for continuing to defend DOMA after the Executive declared it discriminatory and unconstitutional. Building on a phrase from the Declaration of Independence was brilliant - basically saying anti-gay legislation at any level of government is unAmerican.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Jan 23, 2013 10:57:28 AM

  6. The president was speaking on the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr, facing the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King, Jr, addressed the nation. He spoke overlooking the Mall where so many human rights marches and rallies had taken place in our nation's history, including several marches for LGBT equality. He referred to the rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness enumerated in our nation's Declaration of Independence. He situated his remarks as part of the arc of history, fighting for human rights. He spoke of our rights as a natural progression of the movement of the nation towards the ideals of freedom and equality. He spoke to leaders of the Congress and members of the Supreme Court. He spoke to hundreds of thousands of people stretching out on the Mall before him. He spoke to the American people and the world. I think his words were a big deal.

    Posted by: john patrick | Jan 23, 2013 11:08:05 AM

  7. Kamala Harris will never be approved for the USSC.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Jan 23, 2013 11:56:31 AM

  8. You nailed it JOHN. Thanks.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jan 23, 2013 11:58:33 AM

  9. The way gay people have been so excited by Obama, despite his contempt for the Constitution and the people of the US (His amnesty workaround) , all I could think about was that guy on Family Guy who says "Y'all said n=my name!"

    Yes, it's nice that the President expressed support for gay rights. As he should. But at what price? At the price of the Second Amendment? At the price of the Separation of Powers? At the enormous price of amnesty for illegal aliens and the defacto open border that creates? The price is too high.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Jan 23, 2013 12:09:40 PM

  10. David Hearne, if the price of equality is a sensible interpretation of the second amendment and a sensible immigration policy then it's more than a bargain.

    Posted by: ger | Jan 23, 2013 12:22:42 PM

  11. @David Hearne, isn't it rather ridiculous to suggest that the President SHOULDN'T address the ongoing immigration problem, look for humane and sensible ways to deal with those who are ALREADY HERE, some of them since childhood? Shall we release storm troopers upon them, take away their belongings, and put them into camps? If not, what?

    And if you accept that a citizen cannot and should not own certain kinds of weaponry, a grenade launcher or anti-aircraft gun for example, then YOU have drawn a line somewhere, YOU have interpreted the 2nd amendment as having limits. You acknowledge that the 2nd amendment doesn't mean everyone should have unfettered access to ALL kinds of weaponry.

    The EXACT place that line is drawn is a matter of valid debate and needs to be addressed. In light of the many mass shootings in our country, not just recent but going back decades, we need to have that conversation and not pretend there is no problem at all.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 23, 2013 1:47:49 PM

  12. Do they know what Stonewall actually was? Obama is Mr. Symbolism. He's a genuine as Beyonce's singing. The fact is American Optimism Lowest Since Carter. Adding same sex marriage will not contribute to that now.

    Posted by: Jim | Jan 23, 2013 3:54:44 PM

  13. David Hearne - You're an overly dramtic wingnut. If you seriously believe the 2nd Amendment is at stake, you're an extraordinary drama queen, hopelessly partisan and ridiculous. "A well-regulated militia" doesn't mean your meth dealing neighbor needs an assault rifle or grenade launcher.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Jan 23, 2013 4:02:26 PM

  14. Rachel is living is the same gay dream world as Black and Sullivan. Can't get out of their non-reality bubble. Thank god for the courts, because if America were to vote on Gay Marriage it sadly wouldn't stand a chance. Take if for a walk down main street.

    Posted by: Jim | Jan 23, 2013 4:20:31 PM

  15. " Glorified groans from what must be the world's most comfortably oppressed class, borrowing the cries of people long facing truly brutal oppression. It's a phenomenon worth some sober thought: on the politics of ennobled victimization." Rick Bebout

    Posted by: Gary | Jan 23, 2013 5:38:41 PM

  16. david hearne is about as interesting and intelligent as sarah palin's douchekit

    which, for the record, is pretty much a garden hose and a can of no-name bleach.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 23, 2013 5:55:51 PM

  17. While Obama may have had the Supreme Court in mind in talking about rights for LGBT folk, I think his more important audience was the African-American community, which has been deeply conflicted on this question.

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 23, 2013 6:35:39 PM

  18. I didn't get it at the time, but yeah, I can certainly see where the audience of The Nine were recipients of a powerful message. Thanks, O!

    Posted by: Clarknt67 | Jan 23, 2013 9:20:38 PM

  19. Obama was clearly saying that he intends to be on the right side of the history of our ever expanding understanding of human equality. I hope that message was not lost on the Chief Justice of the U.S. John Roberts.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 23, 2013 10:49:55 PM

  20. Marriage equality is the new kid on the "Human Equality" block. "The New Normal" hasn't been on for a full season yet.

    Posted by: Edward | Jan 24, 2013 5:15:50 PM

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