President Obama's "It Gets Better" video

Video Link. Well—"Not for him it hasn't," quips Choire.

Yes, It gets better: but not so much better that you can, say, join the U.S. military without having to pretend you're not who you are, and forego the legal protections straight enlistees enjoy. "I support your differences! Up to a point." That's the message, loud and clear.

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  1. It gets better but DONT JOIN MY MILITARY!

    How can he be supporting all of our differences when he is directly supporting “don’t ask, don’t tell” now?

    1. He’s not supporting DADT. He wants it to be fixed properly, by congress, because if the judicial branch does it, it is called “legislating from the bench” and can be overturned later.

      He wants a congressional vote to add sexuality to the discrimination list, along with sex, race, and creed.

      A judicial issue can be overturned a lot easier than a congressional amendment. That would be a nightmare for gay people who joined while it was legal. He wants it to be done right, not fast.

      There has to be some merit in that. I’m a vet myself, and I want everyone to be treated equally, on all fronts.

      1. Congress isn’t going to pass it. What part of that is unclear to anyone with media access? If Obama does it by executive order or fails to have the DOJ challenge it, then Congress has to make a big public stink about reinstating it. Otherwise it’s not going to happen at all.

        So I guess we’ll just sit here at the back of the bus and be grateful that we’re not being arrested for sodomy anymore. Mmmm – delicious, delicious crumbs.

  2. Yeah.. Dan Savage posted this link to Facebook bout an hour ago, and Obama’s getting eviscerated in the comments.

    Not sure what to say. In regards to all things LGBT, Obama is STILL better than any GOP candidate.

    1. Obama is STILL better than any GOP candidate.

      As a Californian, I contend that Arnold is more progressive than Obama. But, he’s ineligible for that particular job.

      I hope that all this ‘freedom to pursue your version of happiness’ talk means that he’ll be supporting gay marriage. At least he said the word gay without getting all red and bug-eyed.

      1. Forgiving Obama’s lapses on GLBTQ rights (Marriage equality, dragging out DADT) has done more damage to the democratic base than any other single issue.

        The “well, he’s better than Bush” line isn’t carrying much water these days with an increasing number of GLBTQ people. No, they’re not going to flock to the GOP, but they’re also not going to rush out to vote in droves, canvas door to door or donate.

        I find it maddening that a man whose own parents would have been denied marriage rights in nearly 20 states at the time of his birth isn’t in support of marriage equality for all.

        1. While you’re right on, it frustrates me that these voters can’t see inadvertently supporting candidates who will ACTIVELY work against them is so much worse.

          Augh…

          Back to thinking we’re just doomed..:p

          1. Y’know that scene at the end of “Schindler’s List” where the Russian soldier comes upon the freed Shindlerjuden and says “Don’t go east, that’s for sure. They hate you there. I wouldn’t go west either, if I were you.”

            Yeah. There are days it feels like a somewhat less horrifying version of that.

          2. While you’re right on, it frustrates me that these voters can’t see inadvertently supporting candidates who will ACTIVELY work against them is so much worse.

            I don’t think this is true. When the Republicans run into difficulties, they start looking for people who would never support the Democrats but had not been supporting them, and try to gain their support. There should be no reason it wouldn’t work the other way.

            Democrats would never feel any real pressure to help GLBT people, though, if they knew they could never lose any of their support, even when they disregard the idea of equal rights. And I do think Obama’s take on proposition 8, where he carefully explained why it was nothing like interracial marriage, means he has been working against them. Just not as much.

            Good on him for caring some, but then again, were it not for the cartoonish supervillains in politics that’s what you’d expect.

        2. “a man whose own parents would have been denied marriage rights in nearly 20 states at the time of his birth isn’t in support of marriage equality for all.”

          But he does support marriage equality for all. What he doesn’t support is using a bully-pulpit to give equality to everyone RIGHT NOW, only to have someone else come along in 2 or 6 years and reverse that, and for the country to become a patchwork of marriage equality, unevenly distributed across calendars. Imagine if someone gets married during a temporary amnesty Obama initiates which is later reversed, then 20 years later is dying, but due to lost paperwork, the insurance company comes along and says their partner is going to be denied inheriting their estate because their records show they weren’t married during the amnesty.

          As much as everyone wants this to be an unyielding march forward, to do so has the very real possibility of creating nightmares of peoples lives. You HAVE to do this all or nothing. Without a final, resolute victory either in the courts or in congress, you lay open the field for twice as much pain, heartbreak, and sorrow as we are all feeling now.

          -William Owen

      2. I’d wonder if the fact that he IS ineligible allowed him to be more progressive on that front.

        I suspect its not as easy to stick to your political guns when you wind up in the limelight. For me personally – some things I feel strongly about – well there are sometimes counter arguments I don’t necessarily have the information to rebut.

        would really like to hear the honest insider truth from first step to last. Don’t think it wil ever happen, though. Let’s face it:the American political system is BUILT around dishonesty.

      3. Last year, Arnie vetoed a bill passed with support of both R+D’s would put into place rules to end the incredible amounts of sexual abuse faced by glb and especially trans prisoners (60% report being raped in prison)
        And then he vetoed it again this year.
        With “allies” like this…

      4. As a Californian, I contend that Arnold is more progressive than Obama. But, he’s ineligible for that particular job.

        Not to drift too far off topic but that’s not necessarily true. There is a very compelling legal case to be made that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment would allow any citizen to hold that office regardless of their place of birth.

        Of course we’ll never know until the courts weigh in, which seems unlikely since no major party is about to back a candidate whose eligibility hasn’t been definitively settled.

    2. You could make that same generalization about Obama’s presidency. It could even be a campaign slogan: “While Obama’s not as progressive as you may have hoped he’d be, he’s still better than the Republicans.”

      But, you see, any dissatisfaction on your part is really your fault, not his.

    1. Obama just said DADT will end under his watch. How is that “directly supporting it”?

      First of all, on occasion, politicians say things to get votes that they have no intention of actually doing.

      Second, when a judge ordered the military to put DADT on hold, Obama’s Justice Department, which could have let that lie, chose to challenge it in court. Obama directly supported the continuation of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. When a judge in California iced Prop 8, Arnold chose not to challenge it. Obama could have used his discretion, but chose to throw us to the wolves.

      He keeps saying that he wants a legislative solution, but his waffling and pathetic non-leadership of his own party means that we will have a Republican controlled Congress after the elections and there will be no chance of repeal.

      Obama is a traitor to the people who elected him.

      1. “Obama’s Justice Department, which could have let that lie, chose to challenge it in court.”

        That may not actually be true. For better or worse, DADT is law, and as chief executive, Obama has a duty to uphold and defend the law even when he disagrees with it. He may not have a choice but to challenge the decision. What he can and should do is be clear that he, personally, does not support the law and thinks the courts should rule that DADT is unconstitutional.

        On a more practical note, do you really want DADT’s removal to be based on nothing more than a relatively low-level court decision? Of course not; that’s much too open to future challenges. It should be appealed, so that higher courts whose decisions will be more lasting and influential can reinforce it.

        1. Obviously the judge didn’t think it was a valid law. Does Obama have a clear duty to disagree with him?

          1. Obviously the judge didn’t think it was a valid law. Does Obama have a clear duty to disagree with him?

            Obama doesn’t have a duty to disagree with him; but the Justice Department does have a duty to defend any federal law against any legal challenge in court, even if they disagree with that law. It’s exactly the same as a criminal defense lawyer defending a client she knows to be guilty. That’s how our adversarial legal system works.

          2. but the Justice Department does have a duty to defend any federal law against any legal challenge in court, even if they disagree with that law.

            Are you deliberately ignoring the example that I’ve given of the DOJ failing to do that?

    2. Just like he said he would create 500,000 new jobs in his first term and was all raw, raw, raw We will have green jobs and also how he said we would reform the healthcare industry and there would be shot tons of IT jobs. Yeah, right, Get real.

      1. He also said a lot of stuff about civil liberties and the evils of warrentless wiretapping and all those other bush policies…

        I’d like to say I’m surprised, but even during the primaries, he seemed much too slick for me to believe it. Granted, I’m a cynic, but there you go.

  3. welcome to the two party “democratic system”:
    You either take what Obama gives, or you get Sarah Palin next time around.
    Two party system don’t work

  4. President Obama supports repealing DADT through Congressional action, and he is right in doing so. An executive order is reversible the moment someone with a different view occupies the Oval Office.

    This is either not grasped by people who either really ought to know better, or deliberately ignored by the utterly cynical.

    1. That’s the way I see it. Yes, he could use the presidential orders to push things through and get his way, but that would be A) Heavily criticized by the GOP for being non-partisan and for pushing his “liberal agenda” by passing laws without votes, and B) would be overturned by the next GOP president or congress immediately.

      It wouldn’t be a good solution. It would be a temporary one at the cost of giving up a chance of actually getting a real, long term one.

    2. Suspect its a bit of both. A firm grasp of legal knowledge is not something well prized in this day and age, regrettably.

    3. Actually, this has nothing to do with an executive order. A federal judge ruled that DADT is unconstitutional. That ruling, if it stands, has the force of law and cannot be overridden by a future president.

      and RE FUNTAX @12: It’s true that as President, Obama has the obligation to defend all laws on the books. He did that at the District Court level. The statute has now been declared unconstitutional by the judicial branch. The President has no further obligation to defend an unconstitutional law by taking an appeal.

      It’s really hard to reconcile his stated opposition to DADT with the appeal. For example, he could have asked for a 2 or 3 month stay in the application of the ruling (but not appealed) if he just wanted to ensure an orderly transition and give the military time to prepare.

      1. Less than a week before the Obama administration’s Department of Justice appealed a judge’s ruling that the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is unconstitutional, it elected to let stand a court ruling allowing religious groups to proselytize in federal parks…”In the very same week, the administration says that it absolutely must appeal a federal court’s decision on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ while it orders the Justice Department not to appeal a federal court’s ruling in favor of the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. This contradiction is simply incomprehensible and insulting,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/21/doj-accused-of-hypocrisy-_n_771722.html

      2. One point: the district court decision is binding in that district only. An appeals court ruling is binding on every district court in the entire circuit that appeals court covers. A ruling by the Supreme Court is binding on all courts, no exceptions. Given a law I vehemently object to and consider manifestly unfair and unConstitutional, and having had that law struck down as such at the district court level, I can readily imagine myself appealing that loss fully hoping that the higher court upholds the lower court’s ruling. That’d shut down the law in the entire appeals circuit.

        1. Given a law I vehemently object to and consider manifestly unfair and unConstitutional, and having had that law struck down as such at the district court level, I can readily imagine myself appealing that loss fully hoping that the higher court upholds the lower court’s ruling. That’d shut down the law in the entire appeals circuit.

          Absolutely. And what’s more, as I pointed out above, once a Circuit Court has ruled on an issue, the other Circuits and even the Supreme Court will sometimes accept them as precedent in their own jurisdiction. This is going to be going to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That’s the friendliest in the land for this issue. That’s probably why this particular case was filed where it was.

  5. Regarding the Justice Department’s pursuit of an injunction against the DADT ruling, that has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with trying to keep the wheels of American legal process from grinding to a halt.

    While the Governator’s refusal to defend Prop 8 may FEEL like the right thing to do it actually sets a dangerous precedent by suggesting that it is acceptable for the Executive (and agents of that office) to selectively enforce, defend or ignore laws at their discretion.

    The Justice Department defends US federal laws from legal challenges NOT because they disagree with the challenges, but because that’s part of their job. If we establish a precedent that it’s okay for the Justice Department NOT to defend federal laws in some cases, you leave the door open for similar behavior in the future when folks from the other side of the political aisle are in power.

    This is an awkward, politically annoying time for the President because I really DO believe he’s in favor of gay rights, but he’s got to make the smart move long-term as well. It’s obvious that DADT won’t survive his term, so it’s the right thing – long term – for him to instruct his Justice Department to behave according established precedent and to at least make token efforts to defend the “on the books” DADT law.

    1. I think the previous administration did establish a precedent for selectively enforcing only the laws it agreed with. In, say, the water and air pollution arena. Or the Foreign Intelligence Service Act arena. He created administrative policies – political policies – to circumvent the legislative process. I applaud the president for recognizing that the ends do not justify the means. And for being shrewd enough to realize that letting this court battle play out could serve to establish more legal precedent for gay civil rights on a Federal level.

  6. And to be honest, I suspect what’s happening here is Obama is getting screwed by an impossibly convoluted poliitical system. He may or may not have feelings on any particular subject, which is then subjected to censorship/alteration by his staff, and by the current political climate, and by what’s being said in the media, etc. etc..

    I guess what I’m saying is, the way the American political system is set up, is so damn convoluted that getting the “clear answers” “everybody wants” is damn near impossible. Yet people say ambiguous answers are unacceptable.

    I think what I’m saying is – we need to start, not from a full platform, but issue by issue on up, to build a direction for the country.

    Not sure how we can do that. Until we can resolve that, resolve as a COUNTRY, issue by issue, we’re screwed. There’s just too much divisiveness.

  7. I think when people think about politics in terms of “how can this president most do exactly all the things I want exactly when I want then” we reject people like Al Gore for presidents like Bush who wanted to ban gay people constitutionally. Let’s say Obama is a half progressive, you only have to put up with his shit for 2 more years before trying to challenge him in the democratic primary. But if he wins? Are you really going to let one of the most progressive in decades presidents go because he’s not spending every last political breath defending gay people? Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally the wrong call, and he deserves criticism for it, but to the people trying to make this the death kneel of his presidency? Who the fuck else could ever get elected to do half the shit he’s done for LGBT? I’m not saying we should be drinking his kool-aid and having parties in the streets, but people need to back the fuck up.

    It’s been many years, I know it sucks, and if I were in your shoes I wouldn’t be any less mad, but I would hope that someone would snap me into my senses and when shit came down to it, I’d want to tell the next generation that I knocked on doors for Obama, and even though my brain and Obama’s brain aren’t 110% the same I know that beyond anything, Obama’s not going to propose a constitutional amendment to ban gay people. I know that’s not the best campaign slogan, but there’s a time and a place for politics, and it’s 30 days before the election. Don’t think Obama is somehow above politics just because you voted for him. Take him at his word that in the next 2 years DADT will be repealed, and if he doesn’t, nothing I can type can save him.

  8. I agree with mn_camera. You have to repeal DADT through Congressional action with a law or it can easily be overturned. I realize that everyone wants this fixed right away (and I’m right there with you) but I’m baffled by how people have missed the massive amount of action that has taken place on this front in the past two years compared to the previous…well, the previous forever. Also, not one of us knows what the generals are saying. While Sec Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs are both, admirably, supportive of the repeal, the generals have not publicly shared that opinion (most specifically the USMC Commandant). You can’t just shrug your shoulders and say “to hell with them” and have the President push it through. They can make life very hard for everyone in the military if the top down attitude is to drag their feet. Again, if it comes from Congress then it carries a lot more weight – especially for them. (They can’t just bide their time on it until a new Pres is elected.)

    I wish DOJ had not appealed it but there is still the military review due at the end of the year. And the courts supporting the repeal (more than one court) just give more credence to pushing Congress for a repeal. (Along with all those polls showing it is the will of the people.)

    He got the health care law through and I’ve waited fifteen years for that one. I’m willing to give him a few more months (until that review) on DADT.

  9. If anything I am just amazed that a president reaches out in this capacity at all. Correct me if I am wrong but I do not recall a similar address being made after Mathew Shepard’s murder.

    DADT is going to fold. I too am not very pleased with exactly how that is being dealt with right now, but I do have confidence that it will happen soon.

    What is sad about this is that I cannot identify exactly which even the is talking about at first. Is it the hidden camera that led to suicide or the 4 teens that did so all from the same Highschool?

  10. If you vote for people who don’t support the issues you care about, you will get people who don’t support the issues you care about.

    Your biggest voice when voting is in the primaries — there is an actual range of voices. (Of course, that doesn’t help when the behavior after the primaries is different than what was promised before.)

    In the actual election, vote for the candidate closest to your actual position (unless the election is close between the top contenders). Your own vote is unlikely to make a difference, but it does send a message that the candidates need to move closer to your position if they want your vote.

    A vote for Nader is not a vote for Bush. A vote for Bush swings the vote difference by two over a vote for Gore. A vote for Nader only swings it by one, just the same as not voting. Yes, in Florida, this was foolish. In California or Massachusetts, on the other hand, there’s be nothing wrong with it (assuming that’s how your politics go — this strategy applies just as much to, say, the Libertarians vs the Republicans).

    But don’t let the imperfections keep you from improving the status-quo. In California, do vote for prop 19 even though it might not be your perfect legalization measure.

  11. An executive order is reversible the moment someone with a different view occupies the Oval Office.

    I’ll take two to six years of difficult-to-reverse justice over no justice at all.

    This is either not grasped by people who either really ought to know better, or deliberately ignored by the utterly cynical.

    Apparently being second class citizens isn’t enough. Now we’re stupid and cynical, too.

  12. I’m glad he did this. This was good for him to do. As a parent of four children, I am glad that the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES took at least this much time to support an initiative that I support.

    Yes, he’s got a lot to do with DADT. But at least he did this. And for that, I’m glad.

  13. It would be a temporary one at the cost of giving up a chance of actually getting a real, long term one.

    Unless you live in Pleasantville, “real, long term” solutions don’t pop up out of mid-air. They come about by whittling at the status quo bit by bit. The Democrat-majority but Republican-obstructed Congress already failed to pass this. It can only get worse. When is this imaginary, happy-fun-time age of gold going to come around?

    I am not patient, and I despise toadies and lickspittles who apologize for a president who fails to live up to his promises. If you want to lick crumbs off the floor, go right ahead, but don’t expect me to join you.

    1. I don’t expect you to join me “licking crumbs”.

      Never said you should.

      It’s obvious you’re pissed about this and are adamant about staying that way. Have fun with that. Sorry for trying to view things from a non-“hate anyone who doesn’t give you everything you want” perspective.

      In the future I’ll be sure to polarize my comments far more and be much more cynical about anything and everything done; because what our political system needs is more anger and screaming of lies.

  14. Wow. I really hope no suffering LGBT kids see all of these comments critical of Obama, because it _completely_ works to destroy the good the video could be doing. So yeah, good job guys. Way to take something that could help a kid out and turn it into a soapbox for something _you’re_ upset about, instead of thinking about a kid out there. Well done.

    There’s a time and a place for everything. This is not the time or place to belittle a video that was done with the best of intentions.

    1. Bullfeathers. I’m a librarian and I work with young adults and you ask any GLBTQ kid about marriage equality or DADT and they are just as impatient as any of the (I assume) adults on here. Just the other day a girl in our monthly book circle was talking about how she got into a fight with some straight kids who “love Obama” about how DADT is still being enforced.

      Honestly, while it’s great that straight allies are recording these videos, the message of “it gets better” that best reaches these kids comes from adult GLBTQ folks who made it through. And yes, GLBTQ kids are listening. Intently.

      1. Your argument does not invalidate mine. What are you GAINING from turning this into a soapbox issue? Those kids you mention will be disheartened by Obama’s slow movement on DADT _regardless_ of the comments here. But those kids that just look up to him, and don’t have DADT at the front of their minds? You’re taking things away from _them_. And don’t try to tell me you know how every single LGBT kid out there thinks because you work with kids. You don’t. Some 11 yr old having a tough time because kids won’t stop messing with him and he doesn’t even know what he’s feeling in the first place isn’t thinking about DADT. Give me a freaking break.

        1. So the GLBTQ kids who don’t care about equality in marriage and the right to serve, but look up to President Obama, might be put off by criticism of the President?

          I do not think such painted pony exists my friend, but if you come across such a confused young person, give them a hug and a smile from me.

          I make no claims to speak for “all teenagers”. Heck, I don’t claim to speak for the young adults I know personally. But your argument that young people will somehow be dis-spirited by (just) criticism shows you don’t know many young people at all. One of the great joys of working with young adults is their ability to hold contradictory opinions in the same esteem. Their fluidity of thought makes them wonderful.

          Kids can like the President for his kind words and think he’s dragging his feet on GLBTQ rights all at the same time. Really, that’s just how amazing they are.

  15. Please dont block my comments.
    As someone who is in the military I have seen active duty personnel and reserve (this covers all military member, soliders, sailor, airmen, etc) and who are gay. even those who go so far as to marry their best female friends (who were pregnant a the time) since high school. It is called a convince marriage. It happens a lot more than people think. Sometimes it is between str8 men and women so they can both make more money, sometimes for the above.

    But my point is this. People dont realize the recent court decision doesn’t mean anything the Facts are that the judicial branch of the government cannot rule on the legality of DADT or if gays are allowed in the military. (My own personal opinion is they should be allowed to service. Look at Israel, do you think a tiny nation could afford to discriminate like the US does, HELL NO! Every man and women are required to give military service. If someone who is gay wants to service, in my eyes they are 10 feet taller than any other average douchey American, because they feel that same drum beat i do. To serve a cause greater than their own. Even if it means dyeing in a war which might be meaningful or not. It simply doesn’t matter to them. because they are no different then my grandfathers who served in vietnam and WWII, or my great-great grand fathers who served before them. They hear a calling and answered it period.)

    Again back to my main point. The president calls the shots for the military, not the congress and/or not the Judicial branches. Besides this, military members are first and formost held to the UCMJ, not any civilian laws. Period. The DoD has basically given this judge a BIG middle finger and hasn’t agreed to comply with the request. Instead they have used middling language like “We need time to investigate and shit.”
    The question is will the judges ruling stand 6 months or a year from now>? No. It will not. This more or less annoys me because people do not understand how our gov branches are set up. *Sigh* gays will be allowed in the military, one day, but not under this administration.

  16. anon: “Yes, he’s got a lot to do with DADT. But at least he did this. And for that, I’m glad.”

    If he did this independently of the DADT issue then fine. But likely not. He did this IN ORDER TO whitewash and take some heat off his packpedaling on the DADT issue.

    It is simply not good enough. Obama deserves our contempt and resistance, even if just a little less than some others.

  17. Sorry for trying to view things from a non-“hate anyone who doesn’t give you everything you want” perspective.

    The oppressed have the inalienable right to secure their liberties by any means necessary. If you define equal rights under the law as “everything you want” as if we were asking for an extra bowl of pudding, you are definitely part of the problem.

    1. Sure, I’m part of the problem, whatever. You clearly don’t want any help on this, so while I fully support equal rights for GLBTQs (I have no idea what the Q stands for, but I probably support them having equal rights, too), I’ll go ahead and accept that I’m not on “your” side.

      Have fun fighting for this on your own. I’m done trying to help and maybe see things less than cynically.

    2. Well, then, Mr. By Any Means Necessary, have fun catching those flies with that vinegar.

      My support is now reserved for my gay family members, and them alone. They are good people, and also rather more civil than you. Maybe someday, when you learn the folly of alienating allies, you’ll understand.

      Presuming you do learn, of course.

      Good night.

      1. What good is a self-proclaimed ally when they don’t support you?

        And besides, what happened to “Justice delayed is justice denied?”

  18. @Atinous,et al

    If you want to shoot yourself in the foot/cut off your nose to spite your face, go ahead. I’m going to continue to speak out on your behalf. But when we finally get DADT repealed, don’t go patting yourself on the back. You better look over at the rest of us and say “thank you for not giving up on me when I gave up on myself”. That’s one hell of a lot of nerve to piss on your friends and let those that have actually declared themselves your enemy win. Now is not the time to sit on your thumbs. Get off your ass and redouble your efforts.

    One Federal judge off in the boonies does not invalidate the law. All it gets you is a stay. When this gets appealed it goes to the 9th District. That’s where things can get permanent. If Holder’s minions argue that they think the law is unconstitutional but are appealing to the Circuit Court for guidance, (which as has been pointed out, has a lot of precedence) that is the kind of thing that carries weight for other courts, like the Supremes. Got fired from your nursery school job or as a scoutmaster in a state that doesn’t have anti-discrimination law? This is the kind of precedent you want behind you.

    Now to get back on topic, when is the last time you heard a President of the United States explicitly stick up for gays? Hmm? You DADT whiners just sound petty and selfish.

    1. I think the word you’re looking for is “uppity”. At least, that what they used to call people who didn’t appreciate everything that had been done for them, simply because they were still second-class citizens.

      When was the first time anyone explicitly heard a President of the United States stick up for blacks? Ought they have been content with what they had at that point in time?

    2. You DADT whiners just sound petty and selfish.

      Substitute ‘you blacks’ for ‘you DADT whiners’ and see how that reads.

      Get off your ass and redouble your efforts.

      I’ve been in the gay rights movement since the early 70s. Thanks so much for your condescension in ‘speaking out on our behalf.’

      1. What, you want ALL your rights? Like, at once?

        No, I think we need to launch a year long study of how equality might upset the bigots amongst us.

        Someone else’s liberty is always up for debate isn’t it?

        1. I thought that we got past this thing in the 70s, where your allies announce that they’re withholding their support because you don’t play by their rules for how you should liberate yourself. It’s so…..Eric Cartman. But, just as some of us strive (albeit imperfectly) to give unconditional support to victims of racism, sexism and other horrors of the human condition, I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of straight people who understand that support means support, not control and criticism.

          Fair weather friends were never really there in the first place.

          1. It comes from an odd source, considering the topic, but Christian Brother I knew once put it simply “Either you accept all human beings are deserving of love and dignity or you do not. Timetables are for trains, not human rights.”

            Hetero privilege is terribly sad. Especially coming from people who profess such ardent support. It comes down to the fact that, at the end of the rally or march or campaign, a straight person can go marry who they please, serve in the military, not fear for losing the job or career simply for who they love.

            I’ve been involved in GLBTQ rights since I was a high schooler in the mid-90’s. Even then it was amazing to see just how much had changed since (and because of) Harvey Milk and Stonewall. Todays GLBTQ youth look back at my time and shake their heads at what we put up with.

            Yeah, the stone is rolling, but that’s no reason not to keep kicking it down hill as hard and fast as possible.

      2. The petty and selfish is the part of you that doesn’t recognize what the President and the Secretary of State and Dan Savage did for your brothers and sisters who are still in High School hell.

        And let’s remind ourselves of something, unless you have a pink triangle or rainbow unicorn tatooed on your face, you could “pass” as straight with a little effort. Blacks had/have things a bit different. The President’s mother was as white as white gets. But his father was Kenyan, so he’s black by default. Tiger Woods’ mother is half Thai/half Chinese, but his father was 3/4 black/1/4 Cherokee, so he’s black. They can’t “pass” as anything else because their father’s genes gave them too much melanin production. That’s the world they live in. I don’t think you want to continue down that road.

        I’m very sympathetic to what mgfarrelly wrote in #46. I encourage him/her to write a letter to the President and whomever else he thinks will further the cause saying exactly that.

        You’ve won a few small battles these past two weeks. Why are you turning on the people standing on the battlefield alongside or in the supply column behind you?

  19. There is the notorious catchphrase from one of Stalin’s post-war speeches: “Life’s getting better, life’s getting gayer”. Or merrier, can’t actually tell which one’s better translation.

  20. You know what I want from this President? Me, the unreasonable GLBTQ rights supporter? Let me tell you.

    I want him to have a big ol’ press conference, not on a friday afternoon when the news outlets have cut bait for the week. I want it in the rose garden. I want the President to come out to the podium with dozens of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines behind him, in full dress uniform. I want him to say that all these men and women were discharged under DADT. I want him to single out some of them who have been wounded or received high honors for their service. I want my president to say that a bill is being introduced in congress that will end DADT immediately and allow all these servicemen and women to return to duty. I want him to dare the Republicans to filibuster it. I want him to demand a REAL filibuster if they do. Full on, “Strom Thurmond reading from the phone book” kind of filibustering. I want him to demand that bill on his desk before the week is out.

    Get the base excited about the election? I’d go door to door for every Democrat on the ticket if my President had the stones to do that.

    The bigots are shameless in their ignorance. Why do we who oppose them act as if we are ashamed?

  21. Wow Xeni, what a cynical, bitter comment to associate with this video.

    I’m sure comments like those are what drive change. Good work.

  22. things are not likely to get better while the obama administration is actively fighting, at every turn, AGAINST gay equality in the courts.

  23. A couple of things come to mind reading the comments…

    A) Who cares if Obama is better, worse, or exactly like Bush? He wasn’t running against Bush, he was running against McCain/Palin and he is definitely better than either of them. Do any of you seriously think that McCain or Palin would be more friendly to GLBTQ issues than Obama? This isn’t even a lesser of two evils situation, we’re arguing because even though he said he wants it gone he’s not trying to get rid of DADT the way we want him to while the guy he ran against is actively working in the legislature to keep it from being overturned.

    B) Given that we’re weeks away from the midterm elections and we’re facing a climate where the idiots who gave us 8 years of Bush and Cheney are riled up to give us at least 2 more years of a stronger GOP in congress do you really think that any POLITICIAN worth his salt is going to veer hard left? Let alone someone fairly moderate (and diplomatic) like Obama? This one thing may not save the day but at least he’s doing a good job of disarming opponents who would otherwise accuse him of not listening to his generals. Right or wrong, a lot of the folks in charge of armed forces came out against repealing DADT instantly. That sucks but you know that if Obama went against the recommendations he’d instantly be branded as an anti-military liberal and right now that would be a particularly bad thing.

    1. Who cares if Obama is better, worse, or exactly like Bush? He wasn’t running against Bush, he was running against McCain/Palin and he is definitely better than either of them.

      McCain would have stopped torturing people, and Obama hasn’t. He’s still using my tax dollars to pay salaries to the most depraved people imaginable, so that they can get their jollies. And that’s all that’s being paid for, since no other benefit has ever been shown to come from any systematic program of torture, and the prisoner interrogation systems that actually work won’t work on a prisoner who has already been tortured.

      Unfortunately, I still have to admit that Obama and Joe “Hollywood’s Drone” Biden are a damn sight better than having Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

  24. I find all the people getting hysterical about Obama rather curiously naive about how US politics, or indeed any politics at this level, works. He’s the President, yes, but the President very much constrained in practice. He can’t force the military to change like that – he is trying. He couldn’t force through the health care changes be wanted – he tried – but when even members of your own political party are actively opposed to you, what can you do? At every step vested interests are fighting back against all the changes we all wanted, and when even the people who supported him during the election are claiming that he has ‘betrayed’ them, and not turning their anger towards those vested interests, what can you expect him to do?

    He’s a man with remarkable dignity and a far more admirable human being that many of those who mouth off about him with so little knowledge of the realities of power. The US left has to wise up. Intelligent, thoughtful, progressive Presidents do not last long without support – look at Carter. And without support you are going to get the Sarah Palins, the Christine O’Donnells and the Rand Pauls in power very soon, and you can bet that they will have the backing to drive through every narrow-minded, prejudiced and vindicative little plan their tiny brains can dream up.

    And guess what? This will be more the fault of the ‘progressives’ who slipped away into cynicism as soon as the going got tough than Obama himself.

  25. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    A perfect example of a really bad case of HEAD UP ASS …

    “He’s a man with remarkable dignity and a far more admirable human being that many of those who mouth off about him with so little knowledge of the realities of power. ”

    I really want to know what drugs the fool that wrote this is on … Must be really good to have induced such a fucking twiusted and warped view of the messiah ……….LOL

  26. Xeni, I think Mr Obama made his views quite clear in that video. Unfortunately, and to my lasting regret, he is not the Emperor of the USA, he is the President.

    Nice video, shame about the politics.

  27. The American prisoner’s dilemma: A nation where ninety-nine percent of everybody would benefit from a more even distribution of wealth and the other percent would benefit more than they know from a nation not turning to shit. Where the political spectrum runs all the way from the irredeemably corrupt Right to the reality-averse, criminally gibbering batshit insane Right inspired by a God so evil he makes Great Cthulhu blush. I wouldn’t know how to vote.
    Will it get better? You can always Hope. For Change. But that’s so 2008.

  28. George Bush governed through executive orders, circumvented the court system, did whatever it took to make the world the way he wanted it, now. That is the worst thing a president can do, and it the reason Bush was the worst president we’ve ever had. Not his stance, not his politics, not his issues (though I’m no fan of those), but because of HOW he used the presidency to radically and instantly force his agenda through.

    Obama is a legal scholar, and it seems clear as can be that his deepest commitment is to building a solid legal foundation for true equal protection. Moving this to the district courts is necessary for this purpose, even as it seems politically inexpedient. It is a shame that politics do not move in the same rhythms as the law – but I will be happier when the law protects me and not merely the whims of the politically trendy.

    Didn’t anybody here ever watch ‘West Wing?’

  29. Antinious may have 10 years or more on me, but I still think it’s worth taking a long view. I got involved in gay rights in the 1980s when thousands of people were dying and we had a president who wouldn’t even say the word “AIDS.”

    Now we still have people dying, and the President is willing to respond with a public statement of support. Is it perfect? No. I think the whole “It Gets Better” project reeks of rich white privilege, for starters. Is it enough? No. DADT, ENDA, Prop 8 and other gay civil rights issues require stronger support and more attention.

    But is it progress? Yes. Is it worth noting? Yes. Is it worth adding into the calculus of whether or not Obama can be a real ally? Yes. And is it a lot better than it was 25 years ago? Hell yes.

  30. Now this is the biggest load of horseShit I have seen all morning …

    (tkahvesi ) “Obama is a legal scholar, and it seems clear as can be that his deepest commitment is to building a solid legal foundation for true equal protection. ”

    His deepest commitment is to the Progressive movement … And Social Justice.

    Pure unadulterated 100% Bovine Feces!

  31. “You did nothing wrong.”

    That’s why, if you admit you did this non-wrong act at all, you can be dishonorably discharged from the military immediately. Equality’s just going to have to wait until it’s a more politically acceptable time.

  32. I think a lot of the commenters need to chill out a little bit. This was a nice video from a nice (and influential) guy made for a good cause for nice people and all I see is bitching and whining. Like someone else in the comments said, there is a time and a place for that, neither of which is here.

    Obama isn’t the almighty god of everything and change years of discrimination with a flick of a wrist (and neither can anyone else) but at least he’s doing something to help.

  33. President Obama supports repealing DADT through Congressional action, and he is right in doing so. An executive order is reversible the moment someone with a different view occupies the Oval Office.

    He can do both.

    Two years of gays openly serving in the military, and then having the military not self-destruct over all the assumed problems the idiots who deny this thing will happen, will go a long way to proving that it’s not going to cause a disaster.

    It’s also just the right thing to do. It’s not a political decision. It shouldn’t be. It CAN’T be. It’s a moral decision. This needs to happen — morally. It isn’t something that can be sacrificed on the altar of political expedience. These are human beings whose right to serve their country honestly is currently being disregarded. That’s WRONG. He can make it RIGHT. If someone else comes along and decides to reverse it, they will have to make that case. And if they can’t, they’ll loose.

    He needs to take some fuckin’ action on this, swing at the pitch, and make the Republicans run around trying to catch it.

    Yes, yes, they’re going to accuse him of all sorts of things. But they are going to accuse him of that anyway, and not doing this isn’t going to stop it.

    It is right to do it congressionally, too. But he knows — he has to know — the predictions for the next Congress. To not take action now is to basically say, “Not this term, bitches!”

    This has been the complaint about Obama from the left since the Healthcare bill: he doesn’t fucking have the balls to reform. The country elected a reformer. This is a clear example of something falling into his lap that he’s dodged on. Not vastly unlike the finance bill, the healthcare bill…all the big legislation of the fist half of his presidency.

    And because this jerk can’t do it, the need to elect Democratic representatives and senators is more pressing now than it has been. The president isn’t doing it. We need to make Congress do it. That’s a harder fight, but it’s more vital now.

    1. This has been the complaint about Obama from the left since the Healthcare bill: he doesn’t fucking have the balls to reform. The country elected a reformer. This is a clear example of something falling into his lap that he’s dodged on. Not vastly unlike the finance bill, the healthcare bill…all the big legislation of the fist half of his presidency.

      And because this jerk can’t do it, the need to elect Democratic representatives and senators is more pressing now than it has been. The president isn’t doing it. We need to make Congress do it. That’s a harder fight, but it’s more vital now.

      This is such a fundamental misunderstanding of the American government that I had to laugh. Like, basic civics kind of stuff about there being three branches of government. The President is not the be-all, end-all of the laws. He only has the power to execute the laws. Not coincidentally, this is why his branch of the government is called the Executive. The laws are written, drafted, and passed by 535 other people who range from bold progressives to batshit insane neo-fascists called Congress. There are a lot more of the latter than the former, and the vast majority of those in between (from either side) are not particularly Had they sent him Medicare for everyone in health care or nationalized the banks in financial reform, he’d have signed either or both in a heartbeat. But he knows he has to deal with opponents who–as a unified bloc–hate him and will never support him, and his own party, made up of some people that actually care, many who don’t, and others who are just barely supporters in name.

      So, yes, he does care, but he can either do it the right way and make it stick, or he can do it the wrong way and open up further reprisals if/when a crazy comes in. Your choice.

      1. Had they sent him Medicare for everyone in health care or nationalized the banks in financial reform, he’d have signed either or both in a heartbeat. But he knows he has to deal with opponents who–as a unified bloc–hate him and will never support him, and his own party, made up of some people that actually care, many who don’t, and others who are just barely supporters in name.

        The president doesn’t make the laws, but to pretend they aren’t shaped by the office is ignorant. The president absolutely has major influence over what Congress actually does, and can, with the power of veto and the power of nationwide media presence to argue his case, help guide the flow of law in a direction that the office finds acceptable.

        He could fight for what is right regardless of what Congress does. Compromise may be inevitable in those squabbling halls, but the President doesn’t have to compromise. Senators and representatives maybe.

        So, yes, he does care, but he can either do it the right way and make it stick, or he can do it the wrong way and open up further reprisals if/when a crazy comes in. Your choice.

        If you are afraid of doing the right thing because someone might have a negative reaction, then you are a part of the problem.

        Evil only wins when good does nothing. If the crazies come, let them come, let them fight. But if you don’t fight back, the crazies win, because they don’t care if you’re fighting back or not, they want to hurt you.

        Fight back. Do the right thing. Don’t get cold feet just because someone might not like it at some future hypothetical point. The reality is, today, you can do the right thing. And if you don’t, absolutely, you can be taken to task for that. If you stand by and watch someone get mugged because you are afraid that you might be sued by the mugger for assault, you are guilty of inaction, of watching something horrible, and not doing everything in your power to stop it.

        1. Evil only wins when good does nothing.

          No. Evil wins when good people decide that the ends justify the means. Once you’ve convinced yourself that the “good guys” must win at all cost, even if that means doing things that you would condemn the “bad guys” for doing, then, congratulations, you’ve just become one of the “bad guys”. Don’t be surprised if you look in the mirror and see Dick Cheney’s face staring back at you.

  34. As much as I don’t want to wade into these troubled waters today, I feel the need to point out three things:

    First, DADT is a law passed by Congress. It is not merely a “policy” that the President or the Pentagon can alter as they see fit. The President cannot override a law with an Executive Order. The President is constitutionally bound to follow and enforce the law, whether he personally likes it or not. If he were to order the Pentagon not to enforce DADT, he would be violating his Oath of Office, and would arguably be committing an impeachable offense. The only way to get rid of DADT is for Congress to change the law, or for the courts to strike it down as unconstitutional. So, if you’re going to get on anyone’s case about DADT, then you ought to be focusing your ire at Congress, not the President.

    Second, the Department of Justice has an obligation to defend all U.S. federal laws against court challenges, whether the sitting President likes those laws or not. In fact, there is a longstanding tradition that the DoJ is not supposed to be politicized at all; and that the White House is not supposed to have any say in how the DoJ carries out its responsibilities to enforce and defend the law of the land. (Recall the scandal over the way the Bush White House tried to politicize the DoJ and exert inappropriate influence over how it handled various court cases.) If the President were to tell the DoJ not to defend DADT in court because he was opposed to the law, that would be seen as an abuse of presidential power. (Note that DoJ didn’t defend Prop 8 because Prop 8 was a California state law, not a federal law.)

    Third, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that many Americans seem to have a profound misunderstanding of how the U.S. political system works. (And, as a political science professor, that saddens me deeply.) When I went into the voting booth in November of 2008 and had to choose between Obama and McCain, I’m pretty sure that the ballot said they were both running for the office of President — not King, not Dictator, not Santa Claus, not Fairy Godmother, not God — but President. The President of the United States is a powerful office, but not an omnipotent one. The power of the President is limited by the Constitution, by “checks and balances”, and by the simple realities of politics and bureaucracy. He can’t simply waive his magic wand and instantly give his supporters everything they want. He can’t simply issue orders and expect them to be carried out exactly as he wishes. (I’m reminded of the story about what Harry Truman supposedly said when Dwight Eisenhower was elected to be his successor: “He’ll sit here, and he’ll say: ‘Do this!’ ‘Do that!’ And nothing will happen. Poor Ike. It won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it very frustrating.”) It has long been noted that presidential power is largely a matter of persuasion: “the bully pulpit”. Or, as the old saying goes: “The President proposes; the Congress disposes.” The President can do very little without the approval of Congress. And that requires negotiation, compromise, and “horse trading” — in other words, politics. And politics ain’t ever pretty. Nobody ever gets exactly what they want. And they certainly don’t get it as quickly as they’d like.

    If you want DADT overturned, the best thing you can do is work to make sure that the supporters of DADT don’t take over Congress after the midterm elections. If you’re directing your frustration at the President, you’re aiming at the wrong end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    1. You’re post makes me realize how little I actually know about the political system. While I don’t consider myself wholly uneducated on the matter, I’m far from knowledgeable and your post was very informative (to me).

      Thanks for that post.

    2. I appreciate your post on this topic very much. It’s too bad you very valuable post is #65 of this list and (due to its length) is likely to be skimmed as the list of “I’m mad as hell…” posts grows longer and longer. I’ll echo Tim’s reply when he says

      Thanks for that post.

    3. The President is constitutionally bound to follow and enforce the law, whether he personally likes it or not.

      Yes, and the President is constitutionally bound not to torture people. The President is constitutionally bound to prosecute torturers [Article 6] under various treaties. He’s constitutionally bound not to engage in warrantless wiretapping.

      These are all, also, arguably impeachable offenses.

      Professor Aude, maybe I’m just a cynic [or a “realist” if we’re talking IR] but the Constitution is not (and never has been) an impartial check on power. Government does what it does. Obama could order his Justice Dept. not to defend DADT and DoMA (or to offer a poor defense of it), and he sure as hell wouldn’t be impeached under this Congress because such a move would be fairly politically popular — just like Bush and Obama’s abuses of civil liberties were sufficiently politically popular that no one save Russ Feingold, Wexler, McKinney and Kucinch raised much of a fuss.

      We can talk a lot about how thje American political system “really” works, but maybe we should look at real life first…

      1. Sure, if the President has no respect for the Constitution or the rule of law and chooses to rule as an elected dictator, and if the Congress doesn’t impeach him for it, he can get away with pretty much anything — as the previous administration amply demonstrated.

        But I, for one, am glad we now have a President who respects the Constitution and the rule of law, and doesn’t try to rule by decree. But that’s just me. I’m an old-fashioned Madisonian Liberal who believes in limits on the power of government, even when those limits make it harder to enact policies I support. If you’re not a Liberal, your mileage may vary.

        @Tim & UUBuntu: Thanks for the kind words. It’s sad that our K-12 educational system and (especially) our media do such a lousy job of informing citizens about how our political system works; and that the political debate in this country is dominated by the most extremist (and usually the most clueless) voices.

        1. I agree with you that it’s good to have a President who respects the proper limits. I’m curious, though, what makes you think he is even working for policies like GLBTQ rights within those limits.

          1. If you check out his record on PolitiFact you’ll see that he has at least made some efforts on behalf of GLBTQ rights. Sure, you could always argue that he could have done more. But I’d argue that he’s done a whole lot more for gay rights than any president before him; and certainly a lot more than any of his Republican rivals would have done.

            Keep in mind that any significant reform in GLBTQ rights will require action by Congress, which the President has no control over. The most he can do is encourage Congress to act; he can’t force them to do anything. And, if the GOP retakes either house of Congress after the midterm elections, the gay rights agenda is dead in the water at least until 2013.

          2. …and certainly a lot more than any of his Republican rivals would have done.

            I don’t get why this keeps coming up. How come nobody feels the need to contrast Obama with Hillary Clinton, who at one point in time stood just as much chance to replace him as McCain, or any of the other people who might have held his position? Is the US really so bipartisan that there’s no difference between criticizing a Democrat and praising the GOP, even in thought?

          3. It’s certainly legitimate to play the “What if …” game and ask how things might have been different if Hillary Clinton had been elected. But the problem is, we can’t know the answer to that. As I recall, her stated position on gay rights was fairly similar to Obama’s — perhaps not identical; but certainly not radically different. Whether she would have been more committed or less committed to press for an expansion of gay rights than Obama has been can’t be known for sure. But it’s unlikely that she would have had much more success than Obama has had, given the current composition of Congress.

            Besides, since Hillary is now part of the Obama administration, she no longer represents a viable alternative to Obama. Who does? Are there any potential Democratic candidates out there who might have a real chance of winning a presidential election who would be stronger advocates of gay rights than Obama has been? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. As things stand right now — just before the 2010 midterm elections — the only candidates who seem poised to challenge Obama for the presidency in 2012 appear to be Republicans. And none of them is going to advance GLBTQ rights one iota if elected.

            Besides, the critical thing right now is the midterms. As I said before, if the Republicans take control of either house of Congress, say goodbye to any hope of advances for the GLBTQ community until 2013 at the earliest.

          4. Most of the criticisms I’ve heard of Obama come from the perspective that he is not doing the right thing. This is a separate matter from whether it is prudent to support him in elections, and yet any objection to something he does is dismissed with cries about what the opposition will do.

            Sure, maybe we should stand by Obama when it comes to voting. This does not mean that we can’t have substantial complaints about his approach. Again, they are entirely different things. Conflating them does not help anyone, it’s just another way to ignore problems.

            Evil wins when good people do nothing, it wins when they decide the ends justify the means, and it wins when they decide to settle for expedience and ignore what is right. That’s probably why there’s so much of it.

          5. Where Obama deserves criticism he certainly ought to be criticized. For example, I have criticized his decision not to prosecute members of the previous administration for war crimes and other abuses of power. I think I understand why he chose not to do it; but I still don’t agree with the decision, and criticize him for it. On the other hand, it’s unfair to criticize Obama for (a) things that Congress has done or failed to do, (b) things that Obama has failed to do because he lacks the legitimate authority to do them, or (c) things that he has done because the law requires it, not because he personally wants to do it. Much of the criticism I’m hearing of the President from the left is for his failure to work miracles. (Like I said earlier, we elected him President, not Santa Claus, Fairy Godmother, or God.)

            However, having said that, I think it is important for progressives to keep reminding the President of why he was elected, and what he promised the American people during the campaign There’s so much shouting from the right nowadays that the legitimate concerns of the left can easily get drowned out. But when the left starts sounding like the right in their criticism of the President, they’ve gone too far. And, here lately, it’s sometimes hard to tell the left-wing critics of the President from the Tea Partiers, because the tone of the criticism is starting to sound equally harsh and the rhetoric is becoming equally unreasonable.

          6. And, here lately, it’s sometimes hard to tell the left-wing critics of the President from the Tea Partiers, because the tone of the criticism is starting to sound equally harsh and the rhetoric is becoming equally unreasonable.

            Neo-Godwinning the thread. After 40 years in the gay liberation movement, I want my equal rights now. That makes me EXACTLY like a Tea Partier.

            Shame on you for being an apologist for continued denial of rights. Shame on you for comparing second-class citizens who want the same rights as others to xenophobic fanatics. Shame.

          7. You deserve your equal rights now.

            But you’re not going to get them by venting your fury at your allies instead of your enemies. Instead of condemning the President who is trying to get Congress to repeal DADT, how about directing your criticism instead at those members of Congress who are blocking that repeal?

            And, if you don’t like being compared to the Tea Partiers, stop acting like them.

          8. And according to Glenn Beck, I’m a Fascist.

            So, clearly my Tea Party comparison was waaaaay off base.

          9. Okay, I am trying to be helpful, so please don’t slam me, but I think things in this thread are getting out of hand.

            This is no comment whatsoever on who is correct/incorrect, or who said what first, but whatever has been written, you the BoingBoing moderator are accusing people of collaborating with anti-gay forces, because they support a strategy for winning LGBT rights that is in opposition to yours.

            I value BoingBoing as a forum for free and sometimes contentious, yet respectful exchange of ideas, but things are veering into name-calling. Just my two cents.

          10. you the BoingBoing moderator are accusing people of collaborating with anti-gay forces

            The apologist is accusing those of us expressing our righteous anger and crying for the equal rights that we’ve fought for since the 60s as being equivalent to the racist, sexist, homophobic teabaggers. That is mortally offensive and deserves a furious response.

            because they support a strategy for winning LGBT rights that is in opposition to yours

            It’s our struggle and we will define the strategy. If you can’t accept that, get out of the way, because you’re part of the problem. Support means support, not leadership. If you’re not one of us, you’re not on the steering committee. Do you realize that the DOJ’s opponents in court are the Log Cabin Republicans? If even the Republiqueers are on board, I’m not taking any strategy advice from the straight and narrow.

            How many commenters here defending Obama are queer? Bueller? Bueller?

          11. Just to be clear, I am not giving you strategy advice. I am not accepting or not accepting your strategy. I am neither supporting nor failing to support, as far as my comments here go. I am not getting in the way, or out of the way, as far as my comments here go. I am not advocating moderation or waiting or anything. I am not defending Obama or anyone else.

            I was only stating my opinion of how you may be coming across to others on this forum. Since you’ve made it clear that you are perfectly comfortable with the content and tone of your comments, I can see that my own comment was unnecessary. Sorry for the interruption.

          12. I’m pretty sure I’d be completely unreasonable about my friends and lovers being despised, beaten or murdered just for being themselves. I don’t think my job title would stop me from expressing myself, either.

          13. I agree with most of what you’re saying, and I respect your reasoned argument, but you can’t expect the average gay person to have as objective a viewpoint as you do. Even if they do, you can’t expect them to admit it. It’s not in their best interest.

            So just keep that in mind, you know; the gay population of the USA, and particularly those that voted for Obama, have a very good reason for unreasonable rhetoric. You don’t throw over an entrenched inequality by acknowledging the reasons for lack of progress – you do it by refusing to stand down, by making a damn nuisance of yourself.

            Even Booker T. Washington, although publicly endorsing racial separatism in order to build the Tuskegee Institute, secretly funded organizations that fought lynching and anonymously paid for numerous court challenges to segregation. You have to fight for change, and fighting is inherently unreasonable.

  35. Time to have a sense of perspective. Only one president in U.S. history has ever shown so much empathy and compassion in public. And that president CREATED don’t ask/don’t tell!

    No other U.S. president has ever produced a blog or video entry in support of Gay children. If you want Obama to be Jesus, you are going to be disappointed. If you want him to destroy the public structures of discrimination against Gay people, pay attention. Obama is not going to bring in the new Millenium. He is however doing a lot more than giving lip service.

  36. Obama does have some authority, though, and his actions have been to set up road-blocks for gay equality. That says more than his words here.

  37. There’s a system in place to make all the worst elements of our society self-sustaining. And if you don’t like it, the only ways to circumvent it involve doing things that get you put in jail, or get you sued by your shareholders, or do irreparable damage to the legal system, etc.

    People whose interests are served by the status quo achieve security by holding elements of our society or your personal well-being hostage.

    So when people say, “Obama has no choice,” that is bullshit. He has a choice. It may not be a very pleasant choice, and overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell immediately and finally may have serious political repercussions, but it is still an option. If you’re going to throw that kind of rhetoric around, then we can all give up and go home, because if we aren’t going to tolerate any of the possible negative results of doing the right thing, then nothing will ever change.

  38. I understand the idea that the Republicans have a worse track record on this than the Democrats. I am very confused, though, by the idea that the best way to get the President to change his policy is to give him your full support.

  39. “Why won’t this president act with impunity to advance the goals I support in the same way that the last president acted with impunity to advance the goals I loathed?”

    1. “”Why won’t this president act with impunity to advance the goals I support in the same way that the last president acted with impunity to advance the goals I loathed?””

      If it can be quickly reversed, it’s not with impunity.

      If it is with impunity, he doesn’t have to worry about it getting quickly reversed.

      Make up my mind.

  40. The President is constitutionally bound to honor all treaties made by the United States, without exception, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the USA.

    Ask any American Indian how that’s been working out for them.

    You silly people and your “constitutionally bound”… The Prince is above the Law, as the Prince embodies and controls the Law.

  41. “Obama’s Justice Department, which could have let that lie, chose to challenge it in court.” That may not actually be true. For better or worse, DADT is law, and as chief executive, Obama has a duty to uphold and defend the law even when he disagrees with it.

    Did you miss this comment? The Obama DOJ had no problem allowing a case involving the religious right to slip through unchallenged.

    Why won’t this president act with impunity to advance the goals I support in the same way that the last president acted with impunity to advance the goals I loathed?

    Gitmo still open. More troops to Afghanistan. DADT still in force. Warrantless wiretaps. IP law bought and paid for by the MPAA and RIAA. Bush steered us to the right and Obama is just continuing all the polices of the last regime. What exactly is the point of a two-party system if one party enacts all the changes and the other party simply continues them?

    First, DADT is a law passed by Congress.

    The Founding Fathers gave us three branches of government. The Judiciary and Executive are supposed to act as checks on the Legislative. Obama is a profound failure in use of executive power…except when it comes to undermining the judiciary playing its appropriate role.

    But he does support marriage equality for all.

    No, he doesn’t. He’s publicly opposed to gay marriage. Obama said, “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

    I applaud the president for recognizing that the ends do not justify the means.

    How nice for you. People are suffering while political pharisees are applauding. Your slavish devotion to details of protocol is matched by your studied avoidance of the effects of injustice.

  42. Are you deliberately ignoring the example that I’ve given of the DOJ failing to do that?

    No. Are you deliberately ignoring this quote from the HuffPost article you linked to?

    “one key difference is that the park service is a regulation (not a statute) as opposed to DADT,” which was an act of Congress. ” A regulation is an executive branch creation, as such, the president is able to modify or rescind [it].”

  43. Sorry, a little late to this thread, but I suggest a single criteria for judging this video:

    If you knew a LGBTQ youth who was considering self harm, would you want them to see this video.

    That’s it.

    Every other consideration and political calculus, whether Obama is or is not Teh Worst Evar LGBT enemy, may be quite important but they are not relevant to the stated purpose of the It’s Get Better project. Do you think that gay marriage, DADT, and other LGBT rights issues are not important to Dan Savage? Do you think you care more about them than he does? Maybe, maybe not. But Dan and Terry did not mention any of those things in their original video and videos contributed to the project do not mention them either.

    So I suggest this syllogism:

    1) Do you consider alleviating the plight of LGBTQ youth to be an important and worthy challenge?
    2) Do you think that It Gets Better can help address that challenge?
    3) Do you think that Obama’s video helps It Gets Better, i.e. if you knew a LGBTQ youth who was considering self harm, would you want them to see this video?

  44. I haven’t been able to read this thread all the way through, but I have to say I agree with mgfarrelly. The people saying gays should just be grateful for anything they get are probably the same people who think gays should try to be more invisible. We have a right to be upset about not having equal rights, and shouldn’t have to get down on our knees and thank every straight person who “benevolently” grants us any small recognition. We shouldn’t have to be nice, or “catch more flies with honey” in order to be granted rights. Rights are RIGHTS, and you shouldn’t have to act friendly to get them.

    I like Obama for doing this, but I’m still disappointed in his policies. Sorry for making the gays look ungrateful.

    1. The funny thing about that saying, you catch more flies with honey? It’s horse shit, as has been shown on this very site. Flies will go for vinegar because it gives off the decaying vegetable matter smell they love. It was a story about using cider vinegar mixed with detergent to kill flies, as I remember it.

      There’s also the cold, hard fact that society doesn’t change for the quiet. After all, if you can calmly tolerate your present state, why should anyone else bother changing it? It wasn’t a peaceful, softly, softly approach that started the march towards gay equality, it was the Stonewall riots. Hell, just look at womens’ lib and racial equality, too, plenty of people marched, rioted and died making those happen.

      You don’t win an argument by being accomodating. You just convince the other side they can safely ignore you. We need to make it clear to anyone who would defer and deny the dream of equality that being better than the kitten orphanage-burning bastards on the right is not sufficient.

      If they can get away with only pushing just hard enough to throw us a bone while hopefully not alienating some other demographic, they will. We will get nothing if we do not demand they rise to the challenge.

  45. Shouldn’t have to be done but:

    Moderation Policy:
    • Please don’t personally insult, bully, threaten, or harass the writers or your fellow commenters. Comments referring to other commenters as “idiots,” “retards,” or the like will be disemvowelled or not published.

    Calling people names is something that I believe you would disemvowel somebody else for. I saw you disemvowel somebody for ranting (profanely) at the world in general the other day. Calling people names like collaborator and apologist (both extremely insulting) seems rather immoderate.

    Anywho, did you see this? *link*www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/39789126#39751070*link*Lt. Dan Choi (successfully) reenlisting. He seems pretty upbeat, if reserved.

    It’s our struggle and we will define the strategy. If you can’t accept that, get out of the way, because you’re part of the problem. Support means support, not leadership. If you’re not one of us, you’re not on the steering committee.

    And then there’s this on the 13th, the day after the ruling: *link*www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/39789126#39660928*link*Rachel Maddow interview with gay F-16 pilot on the day after rulingand this: *link*http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/39789126#39661030*link*end of interview with F-16 pilot and interview with F-15 pilot
    Are they sufficiently queer for you? They’re after all, the guys who are more proximately affected by the suit that the Log Cabin Republicans (Oh yes, I was aware) brought on behalf of the Air Force Flight Nurse*link*wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_(law)*link*person with standing before the court). Oh she’s been provisionally re-instated.
    While the phrase “hetero-privilege” has been thrown about and it seems like it was used to cast us as others, I’m not going to get huffy about it. We are privileged. Before it was “you filthy sodomites” it was “you filthy miscegenators” and before that “you filthy fornicators”. And we(well some of us for now) want you to have the same privileges. It’s a matter of basic human rights. I’m not standing on a ledge looking down at you pitying you. We’re trying to lead you to the base of the ladder and tell you which rungs the assholes standing beside us have sawn through. Don’t burn the ladder before you’ve made it up. Your compatriots are probably 3 months from the top. You’re bitching at us because we’re on the same ledge as the assholes trying to prevent us from helping you.
    The DADT repeal has already passed the House. It needs to get past the Senate and that filthy bastard McCain who went back on his word. If the Republicans win the Senate majority it will be removed from the Senate bill and probably removed from the compromise bill. That will only leave the hope that the Democratic Party wins in 2012 both the Presidency and both houses. (Assuming the Tea Baggers don’t implode by then)
    I really do wonder if you aren’t playing some sort of false flag game.

  46. I’m finding this thread to be a really good example of how moderation cannot work when a moderator is too involved with the discussion. Oh, and how is it that an anonymous poster can just be allowed to post straight insults without being moderated? The two things may not be unconnected on this occasion.

    Personally, I don’t think Obama is anything like the messiah and the anonymous kid who attached my post didn’t get my point at all. He’s a rather boring, limited president but he has some dignity. It’s about all a President can have these days, if he isn’t supported. The President is a cypher. A symbol. Not much else.

    And by the way, the torture, the wiretapping… do you think any of this is really something the President has much influence over? Look back to the 1970s. Remember the inquiries into the NSA, CIA and FBI? Have you read the research that was done and what it concluded? One of the things that sticks out in my mind is what Loch K. Johnson wrote about the role of the President, which is effectively that it didn’t matter what he said or did. The ‘secret state’ centred around the intelligence services operates beyond that.

    Sure, I understand the disappointment of those who really thought everything was going to change, but the only thing that Obama’s election really gave you was some heartwarming symbolism. That’s not to be sniffed at, but come on, did you really think that a different President was going to structurally transform the USA? If you’re angry about the outcome, perhaps you need to direct your anger in the right direction, and that is not at the President, it’s at rather more fundamental things.

    1. Ask Antinous what his salary is. Perhaps you’ll be surprised.

      Then ask yourself, if I was in a forum discussing something that directly impacted me as much as this issue impacts Antinous, what would I have to be paid before I’d even try to put up a facade of disinterested objectivity?

      I’m not condoning the moderation as it stands, but I’m totally understanding where it’s coming from, and willing to put up with it under the circumstances.

      And you know, I’m a guest here myself, not the blog owner, so I got no right to bitch anyways.

  47. The President is a cypher. A symbol. Not much else…That’s not to be sniffed at, but come on, did you really think that a different President was going to structurally transform the USA?

    That’s why there were no significant changes in the fabric of American life and politics between the Clinton years and the Bush years, right? Right? Amirite?

    The executive branch was not created to be only symbolic and it has been accruing powers for more than two centuries. Maybe you should run those studies through the shredder and look at the news for the last twenty years instead.

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