dan savage

‘Hey, remember when Barack Obama couldn’t get his tongue any further up our butts?’

SOUNDBITES — “Hey, remember when Barack Obama couldn’t get his tongue any further up our butts? … Ah, those were good times. … Anyone who wonders why I’m so down on Barack Obama — and have been for months — needs to meet my boyfriend: He supported Hillary Clinton during the primary, while I backed Obama. My support wasn’t passionate; I didn’t write Obama a check until after he clinched the nomination. During the primary I was fond of saying, ‘I’m for Hillary or Barack or both.’ But those facts can’t save me from the boyfriend’s wrath. I’m not to blame, he admits, but I’m handy. Barack Obama has been backtracking on his commitments to gays and lesbians since the moment he got elected, and someone’s going to hear about it. Might as well be me.” —Dan Savage on his “one-night stand” of passion with Barack Obama


My boyfriend is certain that Hillary Clinton, if she’d been elected president, would have been a passionate, ballsy supporter of gay rights. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” would already be history, he insists, and it’s hard for me to argue. Not because he’s necessarily right — we’ve been betrayed by the Clintons before (Bill signed “don’t ask, don’t tell” and DOMA into law in the first place) — but because it’s impossible to argue with him about all the progress being made on the civil rights front in the parallel universe where Hillary Clinton is president. He can’t actually prove that things would be better under President Hillary Clinton, but I can’t prove things would be as bad or worse. All he knows for sure is that — seven months in — things are bad under Obama.

And since, um, Barack Obama won the White House by a single vote — mine — that makes me ultimately responsible for everything.

And that’s why I’m being so tough on the president. Not because Obama won the White House thanks to my vote (or check), but because I know that every broken or delayed promise, every weasel word that falls out of Robert Gibbs’s mouth at the daily press briefing, every shift from “end” to “change” is going to upset the man I married in Canada — where they actually don’t make a distinction from a constitutional or legal standpoint between same-sex and opposite-sex couples. And that means yet another argument about what could have been under Hillary Clinton.