DISAPPOINTMENT — We suggested some things Obama could say at tonight’s HRC dinner. Did he follow our advice?
Meh. Sort of.
The president’s big promise? After joking about opening for Lady Gaga and lauding over Joe Solmonese and thanking the gays who voted for him? That he’ll end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. “That’s my commitment to you,” he told some 3,000 attendees. Well!
It’s not like Obama didn’t understand where we’re coming from. Gays “don’t believe progress has not come fast enough progress on gay-rights issues.” (Yes, that’s a double negative in there.) But: “Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach.”
Doubt? Why ever would we doubt you, Mr. President?
Just like HRC said, he’s confident that by the time he’s out of office, he’ll get some things done. When’s he finished up running the country, he’s confident “we [will have] put a stop against discrimination whether in the office or in the battlefield.”
But let’s be clear: He didn’t provide a timeline. And HRC’s Joe Solmonese, who personally invited Obama to speak, was his biggest defender: “We should not confuse the work and the progress of the past 10 months with the delays, excuses and sometimes hateful rhetoric of the past 10 years.” Obama did call on Congress to repeal DOMA; he didn’t elaborate on anything he’d actually do to motivate them. Just like he’s been doing.
There were plenty of platitudes to go around. Perhaps seconds, if you were still hungry. “Despite the real gains that we’ve made, there are still laws to change and there are still hearts to open,” he said. “This story, this fight continues now. And I’m here with a simple message: I’m here with you in that fight.”
The crowd applauded. Eye rolls, though, are not audible.