The Body Polis

Polis tells LGBTs to Take a Chill Pill on the Obama Bashing

Openly gay Congressmen (one of the four, not that we are counting) Jared Polis says that the homosexuals (et al.) at Netroots Nation need to take a serious chill pill when it comes to Obama bashing.

On Saturday he told the Huffington Post that Obama is “the best president this country has ever had on LGBT issues” and that “[Gay Americans] have never had anything close to this much of an advocate in the White House.”

Is Polis right? Can you name another President with a better record on LGBT issues then President Obama? Yes, he hasn’t been the sweeping-full-equality president to date that we’d all longed for. But does anyone, Polis asks, really think he would have been elected President if he ran on a marriage equality platform back in 2008?

President Obama already has evolved in his first term from an opponent of same-sex marriage to one who will  no longer defend the odious, indefensible DOMA. Is it possible that he will evolve further? The New York Times suggests he may even run on a marriage equality platform during his re-election campaign.

Perhaps a chill pill is indeed exactly what we need. Or, perhaps, ingesting too many pills would cause the White House to take us for granted.

What do you think?

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  • erichinnw

    I’ve been slightly frustrated at the slow rate of change in this Administration, and more than upset with the lack of transparency that was promised to us, I understand the point that Polis is making. Obama needs to appeal to as many voters as possible, and taking a stand on marriage equality is a poison pill for some politicians. What I fully expect however, is that when he wins re-election and he knows that he’s never going to face voters again, Obama will come out 100% in favor of marriage equality and finally get ENDA through Congress.

    The Republican plan to overhaul Medicare, and their subsequent attacks on women’s rights and unions will all back-fire spectacularly on them in the 2012 election. I predict the House reverts back to Democratic control and a solid majority gets elected to the Senate.

  • erichinnw

    Granted, the politicians that come to DC don’t really have anyone other than their lobbyists and Corporate donors at heart when they vote, so I don’t really see a big difference between Republicans and Democrats. But at least the Democrats aren’t trying to legislate 1950s morality codes on me.

  • WillBFair

    I love this idea that Obama and other politiians ‘evolve’ on the issues. Please Mary. They don’t take principled stands. They dodge and weave according to political realities. Obama has moved cautiously and gotten things done for us because opinion polls are slowly turning in our favor. Period.

  • Greek

    The “take a chill pill” phrase is sooo 24 hours ago.

  • tefinger

    @Greek: Ha! I know. right! I’m totally bringing it back. spread the word.

    And then… As Emily Blunt says in Devil Wear Prada: No. Shant.

  • James

    Finally someone speaks the truth.Whats the point of coming out for full marriage equality is he can’t get elected.

  • Michelle

    I agree…would those bashing him prefer the Republican contenders? Why bring down a supporter? Is he the best advocate out there – certainly not. Is he better than those he will be running against? Yes. Sure, make him feel a little pressure but I do not understand people that want to tear him down as if their is someone else running in this next election that is going to further our rights more than him.

  • SteveH

    Obama has been playing “politics”, instead of trying to do the right thing, all along. Why should we expect him to change, now?

    I am left in the mode of having to vote for the lesser of two evils. I would prefer to believe that one of the choices is actually good.

    It is very hard to get excited about, or to support, the lesser of two evils.

  • Ganondorf

    The establishment defends itself. In this case, it’s a multimillionaire democratic politician defending a corporate sellout (e.g., subsidizing big pharma and the insurance monopoly under the banner of “healthcare reform”) democratic president. Social issues are a useful distraction to play into the identity politics narrative that most useful idiots (esp. gay useful idiots) eat up with a spoon. Eh, same old same old, pandered to on the blogosphere and everywhere else.

  • Steve

    What do I think? I think it works both ways.

    Yes, Obama is probably the most supportive President as far as LGBT issues are cocnerned. While he hasn’t yet pushed for marriage equality, he was instrumental to the repeal of DADT (even though its still on the books) so i don’t think that’s something to just be brushed aside.

    At the same time, like any other politicians, he made promises he had no intentions of keeping as a way to collect votes from different demographics. He’s made confusing comments about his own beleifs of LGBT rights. And while he’s done many LGBT events and made many speeches regarding these issues, he’s rarely made any definite declarations about what exactly he’s going to do about those issues.

    So yes, he’s a powerful ally to our cause. The problem is that he hasn’t used that power to the fullest to help us out, at least I don’t think. He’s one of the most influential people in the world right now, but I know he hasn’t left a big enough mark as far as LGBT rights are concerned.

    I hope he does run on a marriage equality platform next year. Someone needs to break the cycle of pandering for votes and be a goddamn honest politician who lays all their cards on the table and has every intention of playing all of those cards.

  • erichinnw

    @Steve – We did have an awesome congressman/glbt ally who laid it all out there, and you knew he was actually fighting for you, the voter, and not corporate interests. Unfortunately, Democrats and Republicans both insisted that he resign over a stupid twitter photo… I’m still pissed-off about that.

  • Markie-Mark

    When the federal court in Massachusetts declared that DoMA was unconstitutional Obama appealed that ruling and asked for a stay so he could continue to enforce DoMA. I asked my accountant to figure how much that cost me on my 2010 federal taxes. The answer is $9,887. I really don’t see the difference between an enemy and a fierce advocate.

  • TMikel

    If Obama is the best, Goddess help us! He has increased presidential powers and secrecy and been lukewarm at best on LBGT issues. Why must we settle for his tepid support? He has proven to be craven when is comes to the GOP and working for our issues. The Democratic Party has not been much better. I will not support either until THEY support US!

  • Markie-Mark

    While Obama was defending DoMA in federal court cases he said that he had to; that he was obligated by law to defend all laws enacted by Congress. That was a lie. He is a liar.

  • Spike

    @James: Four gold stars for being the smartest boy in the classroom today!!!!

    Seriously, when is the so called LGBT community going chill? Do they/we really think that a republican being elected in 2012 is the preferred to Obama being re-elected? I’m starting to wonder.

  • tjr101

    Whiners purlezze, if Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage he will not be re-elected, period.

    As if America ever was a bastion of progressive acceptance when states like California and Maine vote to take away marriage rights. And he is a politician not a saint, of course he made promises and lied, all politicians lie!

  • Greg From Denver

    For the 2012 Presidetial campaign we are in an either-or situation and any republican will be far worse than Obama. If we want to see some change we need to vote Green, Libertarian, Democratic Socialist or anything else. Not for President, not for Senator (unless you have Bernie Sanders), not even for House of Representatives. But vote for a third party candidate at the local level where they can have a chance to win, build up credibility and name recognition. The only way we are going to get Democrats to do anything is if we can get them to think that they aren’t going to win by looking like a republican. The only way to do that is give them credible challenges from somewhere else. Our disdain for Obama at this point only helps the republicans and with all the corporate money out there they don’t need any more help from us.

  • Jeffree

    @tjr101: That’s an inconvenient truth, eh what? Surveys say marriage equality supporters outnumber the opposers. That stat ignores the other truth that those supporters don’t get out to vote.

    That’s why I wish the number one LGBT issue was employment protection: it affects far more people & doesn’t cause the fundies to clutch their bible so tightly.

    I still hold skepticism if a second term with BO will bring the POTUS around to marriage equality, but his position won’t “evolve” this go round.

  • Interesting

    I don’t care what Polis thinks. But, then I don’t care what either party thinks at this point. They are both selling us down the river, whether its gay, straight, middle class or working class. We are all fodder.

  • BenFrankly

    Obama made certain promises to the LGBT community he has yet to fully deliver on them. Even DADT is still in effect with a lot of foot draging still going on. Today as of this moment DADT is in effect and lives are still being ruined. And why should Netroots take a chill pill? They have the right to voice their opinion; and they should voice it.

  • ewe

    My chill pill has me voting third party. The Demoncons should start serving their constituency and stop dictating to them how to feel. Remember all that talk about rainbows and inclusion and change? Now he’s even dodging his past words in order to get reelected.

  • Elloreigh

    Sadly, it doesn’t take much to be the best president on LGBT issues thus far.

    I’m not a one issue person, so for me it’s not merely a matter of Obama’s less than fierce advocacy on LGBT issues. I have found him disappointing on a number of levels.

    So, no. I’m not going to “take a chill pill”. I didn’t start out being a fan of Obama, and I become even less of one as time goes by.

    Which isn’t to say that I’ve already made up my mind. Since the GOP has been taken over by such extremists, I won’t be voting Republican, but as an independent I will consider voting third party (did that when Clinton ran for reelection). Or I may just sit out the election entirely. And no amount of people trying to scare me with Bachmann is going to earn Obama my vote.

    Don’t bother spouting about a third party vote or sitting home equaling a vote for the Republican. It’s not a persuasive argument. If you vote Democratic just because they aren’t Republicans, then you deserve exactly the government you get.

  • Elloreigh

    What really ticks me off is that chilling is the opposite of what we should be doing. I keep wondering what it’s going to take to get the LGBT coalition members so angry that they light a bonfire under both parties (figuratively speaking, of course).

    “Nice” isn’t winning this war. I’m not saying stoop to the tactics of our enemies, but we do need to start calling people out on their BS left and right.

  • randy

    First, yes, Obama has been good on gay rights. But not that good — he’s actually done very little for us. Compared to all other presidents who’ve done either nothing, or like Clinton, rolled back our rights, that’s a VERY low bar.

    But that isn’t the question: The question is whether he could do better. On that note, it is unquestioned that not only could he do better, but that what little he has done has occurred only because of intense pressure from us gays. We basically forced and shamed him into most of his actions. Does he get credit for that? Sure, a little, but not much. More credit goes to those who prodded him.

    There is plenty is can still do that entails little or no risk to him, but he still refuses to do it. There are many executive orders that he could do but he won’t do it. We now know that he was in favor of marriage equality, but once he decided to run for president he reversed himself. Does he get credit for that? No.

    Then he did repeal DADT. But remember: His original plan was to wait until this year to do it, when the Republicans took the House. WE forced his hand. And why did we have to force his hand when 75% of Americans support repeal. Does he get credit for repeal? Very little — I resent having to force him to gain political capital.

    You can be sure that the moment he leaves the White House, he will suddenly realize that opposing marriage equality was wrong. He will join a long list of politicians who did the expedient thing while in office, then once they are safely out then get Jesus.

    He is a craven politician — nothing more.

  • Rainfish

    Yes, things will “get better” when we actually have people (especially a president) in a leadership position with a genuine soul, coupled with a heart and a brain, to guide this Byzantine disaster of nation. Political cowardice and partisan paranoia has trumped real leadership in America. Today, we have nothing but inflatable candidates made large than life by mass media hype and then anchored down, like Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloons, by corporate interests and Political Party Machine manipulations.

    The last president we had with a true sense of honor was Harry Truman who went over Pentagon heads, and his own party, as well as being contrary to the will of the vast majority of the general public when he desegregated the US Military. Lyndon Johnson could have been a great leader (as big as Roosevelt) if it had not been for his mistakes in Vietnam — although he did give us medicare and medicaid, as well as the student grant and college loan program. Today, all we have are shallow duplicitous personifications of political ads in suits steering the country into the gutter of history and towards the inevitable fate of civilizations past their glory.

    Get ready to learn to speak Chinese or Hindi if you want a job. In twenty years our major cities may quite possibly look like what old Calcutta, India did in the 1960s replete with beggars, and the only jobs available to US citizens will be pulling rigshaws for foreign tourists. Oh, but we will probably still have some sort of minority left to kick around and blame for our own premeditated decline.

    I fear we have become just as deluded as the main character in Voltaire’s book, “Candide”, who kept insisting that “It is still the best of all possible worlds” even as one disaster after another befell him.

    But, sometimes simply saying something is so just isn’t enough, especially when it ignores what actually needs to be changed. Obama had a chance to do that, but he favors the status quo, and the GLBT community is a threat to that recalcitrant status quo which only has room to accommodate insecure conformists who so willingly bow down to fluctuating societal norms and entrenched corporate power hierarchies.

    To people like Obama, who just want to fit in, we are an annoying reminder of his own minority status and a threat to his membership in the exclusive club he once thought he might be denied admission to. We are a bridge too far. A place he is not willing to go. And this is especially so if that advocacy for us should remind others in the White, heterosexual power structure that Obama is not actually one of them; not one of the “good old boys” either. I believe his capitulating to the military on stripping anti-discrimination provisions out the House DADT repeal bill is a prime example of that.

    But this not a racial phenomena, there are members of the LGBT community who have also been known to sell out even their own kind in order to be granted access to power. GoProud and HRC immediately comes to mind.

    So, Mr. President, don’t simply tell all of our GLBT children at risk that “it only gets better”; rather, give them a reason to believe that claim by actually making it better. How could you do any less and still honor the high office you hold? I know that hackneyed phrase, “actions speak louder than words”, has been bandied about a lot lately questioning your real commitment to civil rights, but sometimes actually doing something affirmative, instead of just talking about, may quite possibly have the side benefit of restoring people’s faith in you.

    Without a realization of results, your much vaulted “Audacity of Hope” message is nothing more than meaningless rhetoric. You owe more than that to the children of America, and especially to the only segment of children in America to have the ugly specter of government sanctioned discrimination lying in wait for them, like a bully after school, as they grow into adulthood.

    President Johnson once said that his pushing the 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress would doom the Democratic Party forever in the South, but he said that it was the right thing to do. Can you make that kind of commitment to our Civil Rights as well? GLBT children and adults in America need you to say, “yes I can” and then actually honor your commitments. We all chanted “yes we can” to get you elected, now it is your turn.

    If there is no affirmative support from you for the unequivocal equal human rights for all American citizens, then there should only be a vote of no confidence for you. If you don’t get the message; then you don’t deserve to be in the high office you hold. No other issue is more important than human rights. That is what this country fought a revolutionary war over. That takes precedence over all other considerations. Without equality, nothing else matters. Nothing.

    As an after thought — I must say to those who will settle for next to nothing, because the alternative for them is to hard for them to bear — remember, when you vote for the lesser of two evils, you still end up with evil. I’m not ready to sell my soul for that; if you are, then you don’t deserve anybody’s respect. At the risk of mixing metaphors, I must point out that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, but if you put a sock in your own mouth no one will ever hear you. That doesn’t make you safe, it just makes you irrelevant.

  • Joe

    Its funny, if you want to cause someone who is pissed off to become enraged, tell them to calm down. Its like a law of physics that chill pills only serve to rile people up- maybe its like alcohol being a downer but you still end up shirtless on top of the bar!

    So I won’t say calm down, but I will say “Come On!”
    A. Its his first term and he already dismantled DADT, its still breathing but that sucker ain’t coming back. The second term is when he can let loose, like a high school senior who already got accepted at Harvard. He’ll need to keep his grades up, but he won’t have to pander nearly so much.

    B. We aren’t supporting ourselves, look at our organizations, which I support but am more disappointed in than Obama. GLAAD and the HRC, really? What exactly are we giving this man to work with. The presidency is not a magic wand to do whatever you want, lets make sure we do our part before we throw him under the bus.

    C. Guess what, there is some really important stuff going on that he needs to take care of. The economy for just one, is terrifying and awful, and it almost tore my relationship apart and I’d really like something done about it. I do not put it before my civil rights, but the economy is how he can get reelected over a republican *shudder* and get to that second term which is when we really start making some demands.

  • Ganondorf

    “I fear we have become just as deluded as the main character in Voltaire’s book, “Candide”, who kept insisting that “It is still the best of all possible worlds” even as one disaster after another befell him.”

    I agree with your main claims here, but Dr. Pangloss was voltaire’s jealousy fueled caricature of Leibniz, and if anything, indicated Voltaire’s inability to understand and BEST Leibniz than Leibniz’s own intellectual shortcomings. Dude derived calculus–the kind we still learn. Despite his theism, Leibniz was a near unparalleled genius who suffered an idiot practically everywhere he deigned cast his gaze, including Voltaire’s direction.

  • Jeffree

    My main thought in voting for the Pres. is the Supreme Court. Next term could see 2 more Justices die, retire or be raptured, so if we’re thinking longer term, I’m going to bite the bullet, sweat profusely & vote Dem.

    State & local elections are a different matter.

  • mooon

    i am as left as they come….i do not fit on the political spectrum that dominated our right wing political landscape.

    i am on the far left of the classical spectrum……yet even I (being the anarcho-socialist that i am) support obama because quite frankly (though he is a total centrist)…he is the one of the most progressive president’s we’ve ever had (which isn’t saying much)

    when liberal in america insult him…i get so angry….he’s our best shot guys….are you serious?
    if he openly had said i said marriage equality in 2008…he would not have been elected…sarah palin would be our vice prez and DOMA would still be in place….

    pres obama has helped repeal DOMA…supports enda …(secretly) supports marriage equality….and has worked with international leaders on establishing committees for the protection of the queer community….that’s more than any prez has ever done…EVER…and while he has done enough for AIDS..his positions on the matter are in alignment with what all of us want to hear….

    he’s not enough…we must keep fighting….we must not work completely within the frameworks of oppression…but for now…he’s all we’ve got…

    and now i give you this :

  • Josh

    I bash everybody who isn’t for marriage equality regardless of their occupation.

  • Rainfish

    If you can get the milk for free, why buy the cow? Everyone is a special interest, don’t let anybody tell you differently. And that is how people vote. I’d bet you anything that if you were to tell a Black man or woman in the 1960s that the Vietnam war or the job situation or the economy was more important than his/her equal rights they probably would spit you right in eye. You don’t beg to be treated as an equal, you demand it.

    Unless the Republicans start to rattle some major anti-gay sabers, then Obama is going to have a really hard time getting the GLBT community enthusiastic about putting that fraud back in the White House.

    As I have said, if the courts are going to be the ultimate decider on our Civil Rights, then we don’t need the likes of Obama or his ilk, now do we? Most pro-gay court decisions were adjudicated by Republican judges. Justice Kennedy (Republican appointee) wrote the majority decision striking down the Sodomy laws in Lawrence vs Texas as well as Colorado’s anti-gay Amendment 2 in Romer vs Evans. Remember, Supreme Court justice Byron White (Democratic appointee) voted in favor of upholding the Sodomy law in Hardwick vs Georgia and well as earlier voting against Roe vs Wade on women’s reproductive freedom. So much for depending on “political purity” from either political party in appointing Supreme Court Justices.

    And, as to all of the other political points mentioned before, Obama is truly a major failure. Nothing but an incompetent, duplicitous invertebrate. The Democrats only voted to repeal DADT because of the huge loss in the mid-terms when they thought they didn’t need their progressive base anymore (surprise! surprise!), and because a federal judge struck down that discriminatory law a few months earlier which Obama, to this day, is still defending in the Courts so as not to allow a federal finding of “protected minority status” permanently conferred upon GLBT service members in the US Military. Obama is one of the vilest Democrats (beside Bill Clinton) to ever besmirch the Oval Office.

    So, yes, I’m proud to be a single issue voter when it comes to my freedom and the freedom of tens of millions of people just like me in the GLBT community. As I mentioned before, didn’t we fight a Revolutionary War on what some Obots might call that trivial “single issue” of equality?

    Perhaps, the reason why there are so many in the GLBT community who have their priorities so fucked up is because they can “blend in” and that makes their liberation less of an immediacy. Our so-called rights movement reminds me of when people of Jewish ancestry built much of Hollywood, the people (studio executives, screen writers, directors, etc) at the top kept their Jewish sounding names and the actors (example, Kirk Douglas and his generation) changed their names to sound more “American” (ie White Christian) and more palatable to the masses. An economic necessity one might say? So here we are too, accommodationists, the GLBT community so entangled in the self-serving rhetoric from our Democratic Puppet Masters that we forget that we really are the ones holding the strings.

    We hire them. They don’t give us millions of dollars in campaign contributions and then vote to hire us. We owe them nothing, they owe us everything. Why is that so hard to understand? It’s a simple equation: If you don’t demand, you don’t get.

    To many in the GLBT community are just sitting at the back of the bus passively waiting for someone to come along and take them by the hand to lead them to the front of the bus. Rosa Parks would roll over in her grave if she thought that is what the struggle for equal rights has come down to.

    Pathetic. Just pathetic.

  • Paul

    While there are many things that I wish Obama did, and yes he has been a kind of a let down on the whole gay rights thing, do you honestly think we would have repealed DADT if it wasn’t for him? Would the Justice Department have stopped defending DOMA if there was someone else in charge? He isn’t perfect, that is for sure, but at the moment he is the best we have and he is still the most promising. If we continue this internal squabbling it is entirely possible one of the crazies that claim to be republican will win this race and they WILL reset us back to the Bush age. Now is not the time to fight about this.

  • Pitou

    @Jeffree: EXACTLY!!!
    Dear Ruth is NOT getting any younger @ 78. I firmly believe she is our fiercest advocate up there, and I don’t think SCOTUS appointments are often taken into consideration as the general public decides who to vote for.
    You’re absolutely correct about the possability of a potential immediate-future appointment, and with SCOTUS already stacked effin-a hard against us, the last thing we need is another Alito, or Scalia, or Thomas.
    With lifetime appointments, and marriage equality WELL on its way there, we ought to do what we can to make sure then the next (couple of) SCOTUS Justices is as “Liberal” as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You won’t get that with Republican control.

  • Pitou

    I will sadly vote Democrat across the Federal Spectrum, as I despise Republican “values” (see: Anti-gay, Anti-choice, Anti-healcare, Anti-Medicare, Anti-S.S., Anti-anything-good-for-the-common-working-class-people-of-USA), but good luck getting to my wallet or my time outside the booth. May god help any Fed. Dem. Incumbent who has a primary opponent, because I don’t like my current choices.

  • bob

    It’s going to take a confrontational “liberal” president to motivate the non-voters to the polls. Obama talked like he was confrontational, but when push came to shove, Guantanamo and DADT are still standing. DOMA seems to be off of the Dem radar. More importantly, the rift between rich and poor is widening daily. ACORN is basically dead. Mortgages are about as welcome as used toilet paper. And where the hell are the jobs? When a man robs a bank for $1 to get the ritzy health care only prison provides, something is rotten in Washington.

  • Cam

    This is the EXACT same thing that Barney Frank was yelling at us for 2 years ago. Telling us to sit down and shut up and just stop. Even when the White House press secretary came out and said that there would be no DADT repeal that year.

    Then the community stood up, put on pressure, stopped donating, sat out etc… and miraculously, the DADT repeal that we were told couldn’t possibly happen, happened. The Adminstration stopped defending DOMA.

    What we did was force them to see that they can’t call themselves our friends if they do nothing for us just because the other side is terrible. They started working for it.

    As for this Congressman, I’m sorry, but the White House coming out and lying about that 1996 form from Obama stating he was for gay marriage is just idiotic. We keep getting told that supporting gay marriage is a radical position, well now 53% of the nation supports it, The White House is in the MINORITY opinion by not supporting it, so this Congressman needs to take his own chill pill. A pat on the head and a smile isn’t enough anymore.

  • Rainfish

    “An ally must be more than an enemy who is less evil than other enemies.”

  • iDavid

    Chill pill? Nah, take the thrill pill. Cram it jam it and ram it. We’re a patriarch, men that work hard and fuck harder. Keep the torches lit and the sweat pour’n i.e. Prop 8 pole defeat in 2012. Nutt’n worse than a dead bottom.
    You’ll know the war is over when Maggie Gallagher puts on another 100 pounds and/or explodes. Till then, keep it cumm’n.

  • Chip

    Polis is right. Let’s focus our energy at our enemies, not our friends.

  • Chip

    A significant part of the gay community has always been ready to sabotage themselves. We love to eat our friends and allies.

  • Cam

    @Chip: said…

    “A significant part of the gay community has always been ready to sabotage themselves. We love to eat our friends and allies.”

    Our “Allies” were doing nothing for us and in fact people like Barney Frank and the White house forced Rep Alcey Hastings to pull back a bill on gay rights he introduced. And HRC totally gave them cover and support.

    It was only when HRC lost control of the narrative, protests happened, people did sit in’s in Nancy Pelosi’s offices etc… that a DADT repeal bill was introduced. The White House said there would be NO repeal bill that year, it was not listening to people telling us to stop bothering our “Friends” that got that repeal bill introduced and passed.

    Somebody isn’t a griend just because they acknowledge our exisitance.

  • Rainfish

    Let’s see, which Barack Obama are we talking about?

    hmmmm…on Aug. 2010:

    “The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans,” the White House said that Wednesday night after the ruling (against prop. 8 by Judge Walker).

    … and then they tried to clarify (or rather obfiscate) Obama’s position the following day by pulling this out of their collective asses: “The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples…” Aug. 2010

    …hmmmm, didn’t those — I don’t believe in “gay marriage” because “god’s in the mix” only at them straight folks weddings – robocalls go out during Prop. 8 campaign? And didn’t he nor his campaign staff do anything to refute that? That sure was a helpful contribution from him to the GLBT community in California. He was and continues to be a useful fool for the Right-wing and a cowardly embarrassment to Progressives.

    OR…how about this?

    “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages,” Illinois State Sen. Obama said in an answer to a 1996 “Outlines” newspaper question on marriage.

    … That is, before he became a lying, backstabbing, spineless weasel as President. Now his chief communication directors denies Obama ever said that while the White House remains mum when asked to clarify. Is the Oval Office haunted by Richard Nixon’s ghost? Why does everyone who sits in power there turn into some sort of slime monster.

    Sorry, Obama needs to be primaried, or at least opposed by any third party True Progressive that isn’t a tool for Corporatists.

    He is not on the same page with most of America – Right or Left. Extending the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy while opening the door for huge Republican cuts to domestic programs is just the latest of his pathetic comedy of errors which has, and will continue to have, dire consequence for all of us. We need a Progressive version of the Tea Party, now…not later. Something needs to pull the Democratic Party back to the left and away from far Right of Center.

    The threat of not voting for him, and opposing any Dem who took us for granted, may be the only leverage we have. Make them actually earn your respect before you put out for them again. Get off your knees and don’t be a cheap bathhouse trick for these undeserving louts. If unequivocal support for marriage equality is not in the 2012 Democratic Platform, then the Dems can go fuck themselves and the horses they rode in on.

  • iDavid




    Puppets break down over time.

  • Ron Buford

    I want to thank you for this article. It is completely “on the money.” As an out gay man, once even on Out Mag’s OUT 100 list myself, I think it’s time we recognize how much Mr. Obama has gotten done for us in what has turned out to be one of THE most hostile climates for LGBT issues in this era of the TEA Party. Yes, it’s true, he seemed slow in “coming to our party” at the start, but that’s old news when you look at what this man has actually quietly gotten done for us while others have just talked about doing things a lot . . . and done little or nothing.
    Anyone actually listening to the everyday American people calling in on talk radio shows outside our major cities (and even many in them) hear rabidly angry people, who unlike the gay community never miss the chance to VOTE, they think OBAMA is too much of a gay supporter, they would cut funding that provides medications and services for people living with HIV/AIDS believing that such funding is socialist and evil, and they believe that a government that supports the things Mr. Obama supports is evil, wrong-headed, and as doomed to destruction as was ancient Rome. They also hate Jews, Blacks, women in authority, Asians, Hispanics, and any non-White interest group. Many of them are your parents or relatives and you KNOW how some of them think. Some of them are amazingly our self-hating gay friends. But we also know some of the positive impact we have had on them. Let’s do it again. Speak up and be heard. VOTE!
    Mr. Obama’s support right now is “just right.” Any more and he could not make progress. The things this president has done for us quietly, even by executive order are amazing. Check out the recent HRC endorsement that includes some of the accomplishments at Let’s be smart people! Let’s register and help to enthusiastically turn out the vote for someone who has actually been there for us and for whom it has been costly to be there.

  • Cam

    @dan4: said….

    This president and his White House can’t even get the story straight on whether this man actually signed a questionnaire in 1996. Why do people still support him at all? Why would you ever trust him on this or ANY issue?

    Only because people like Palin and McCain are worse, but…… Pissing off the base too much caused donations from gays to fall, and caused people upset about the healthcare and GITMO etc… issues to stay home. It lost the DEMS the House, I have a feeling that Pelosi learned the lesson well judging from the Lame Duck session.

    If the Dems get the House back I have a feeling the White House won’t know what hit them.

    As for Obama’s “Advisors” They really need to stop apologizing for being Democrats. They are more self hating than a closeted evangelical preacher.

  • dan4

    Cam, Democrats will not get the House back. (Speculation, by any of us, of course. But, to use just one example: if Dems have lost Wisconsin, they’ve lost in the short-term.)
    As for McCain-Palin, the 2008 election is over. It’s time for those who care about the social interests to find REAL allies. And for those of us who care more about economic and security issues to find ours.
    But staying on the Obama/Democrat plantation is NOT a viable or sane option.

  • Interesting

    I marvel at the fact that anyone thinks Democrats v. GOP matters.

    Let’s discuss realities outside of gay rights to illustrate the reality. From 2009-2010, the Democrats has massive majorities in both the House and Senate. This does not require speculation. It was just last year. What happened?

    Let’s also discuss whether this is a short term or long term trend of the two parties essentially being a choice between Coke and Pepsi. I use for that barometer the Supreme Court. Yesterday, in a united court, they effectively limited the rights of any minority or group without to sue corporate America. Meaning, even if we did get the rights (e.g., ENDA for the right to sue over work discrimination as the case was over women’s suing over pay), they would be harder to enforce. All of them did that. Including the Democratic appointees. These decisions shifts the law to the right in a way that required changing over a 100 years of precedent to protect corporations. This tells you where the party is because the oft stated reason for why we still should choose Coke over Pepsi- I mean Democrat over Republican- is that of the Supreme Court.

    People just want to spout off about “two choices” because it makes them feel like they aren’t powerless when they are. Polis does matter. Neither does Obama. Neither does anyone that someone can name in the GOP. Its fantasy.

  • Interesting

    @dan4: There are not “sane options.” You are discussing Sophie’s Choice.

  • The crustybastard

    I can get empty promises and bigotry from damn near any democrat or republican candidate. Why would I vote for Obama?

    I don’t share his enthusiasm for half-measures and incrementalism at a glacial pace. I don’t share his enthusiasm for always putting us in the back of the line. I don’t share his enthusiasm for “separate but equal.”

    Let’s stop pretending like equality is too complicated for Barack Obama to comprehend. He’s got a law degree and he’s studied the Constitution. He knows he can’t burn gays legally. He’s does it anyway. He doesn’t care about the harm he causes because it doesn’t affect him or anyone he cares much about.

    They think it’s points in their favor that they FINALLY quit defending DOMA? That’s like saying I should be a character witness for the thug who assaulted me because it must be noted that the thug did finally stop hitting me.

    If you believe in equality, you cannot say, as Obama does, “except gays should be barred from marriage” any more than you could insist you’re not racist while maintaining “except hispanics shouldn’t be barred from citizenship.”

  • Rainfish

    I reinterate. Remember, it was a Republican Supreme Court Justice (Anthony Kennedy appointed by Reagan) who wrote the majority opinion striking down the nation’s Sodomy laws in Lawrence v Texas (in 2003 under the Bush administration) and a Democratic Supreme Court Justice (Byron White appointed by John F. Kennedy) who voted to uphold life in prison for homosexual acts in Georgia in 1986 in Bower v Hardwick, and he also voted against the reproductive rights of women in his dissenting opinion on Roe v Wade earlier.

    No, I don’t buy the “Democratic president is our last best hope and only savior” argument regarding the whole Supreme Court thing. History does not prove that. Some Republican nominees have turned out to be very progressive and some Democratic nominees have turned out to be arch-conservatives on social issues. Also, Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker (who struck down Prop. 8, and who is gay) was appointed by President George H. Bush, a Republican. The Chief justice of the California Supreme Court, who initially ruled that same-sex marriage in California was a constitutional right, is a Republican.

    So, no, it is not as black and white and as politcally polarized as some would have you think in the judical arena. I will not vote for a miscreant like Obama simply based again on fear in that regard. Do you realize that the Gay community, and its hired Obot fearmongers, are the most scared little rabbits in relation to all the other minorities in the United States. Other minorities have to be wined and dined and kissed up to in order to win their votes by the Dems. The GLBT community is expected to rush to the polls and to belly-up their money every time the Dems say BOO!!! the big bad wolf Republicans are coming to eat you. They have the GLBT community by their tits and balls cringing in fear. They own us because we give control over to them.

    Stop it already! Make them afraid of us and of losing our support if they don’t do what we hire them to do. That way everyone wins in the long run, even if it means losing an election to teach them that they can’t use us like a fifty cent condom and then toss us aside afterwards. Our self-respect is more important than these lying creep’s jobs. I encourage every GLBT citizen to vote for any politician who openly and honestly supports us, and to shun any one of them who does not. Vote with courage and not with fear. You’ll find it easier to respect yourself in morning if you do.

  • The crustybastard


    >>This is the EXACT same thing that Barney Frank was yelling at us for 2 years ago. Telling us to sit down and shut up and just stop…Then the community stood up, put on pressure, stopped donating, sat out etc… and miraculously, the DADT repeal that we were told couldn’t possibly happen, happened.

    Bears repeating.

    >>The Adminstration stopped defending DOMA.

    So? They’re still enforcing it. Try to imagine any other group being asked to regard having an unconstitutional law enforced against them as being a goddam positive.

  • Politically Incorrect Thug

    All Polis is doing is reaching out to us because he sees—as does the rest of the world—that Obama’s policies and actions have gotten him into political hot water. The political rock star has now dwindled into an over-the-hill entertainer using his few greatest hits for relevance, and his desperation is showing. The U.S. presidency is not a position for on-the-job-training for someone who’s only briefly been in the political arena, as he’s found out. Here’s a novel thought, folks: Next time vote for someone who’s actually qualified for leadership, and maybe we’ll get somewhere.

  • The crustybastard

    @The crustybastard: CORRECTION: should read as “except hispanics should be barred from citizenship.”

  • Jeffree

    @Rainfish: You’re right to talk about Dem. vs. Rep. appointments to the Supreme Court. Problem is, that both parties have been swinging to the right, & the likely nominees for the Republican slot as President are all staunch social conservatives, as opposed to small-government; hands off, moderates. They’ll likely nominate who appeal to the hard right Teapeople side of the legislature. Then we’re stuck with them.

    And, there’s that pesky religiosity to worry about as well. A fundie Evangelical, Catholic, or even a Mormon (gasp!) on the court could be a huge setback for social issues.

  • SteveC

    Yes Obama is the best president ever in terms of LGBT rights.

    But when the bar is so incredibly low then it’s hardly an endorsement of Obama – who has been very mediocre in terms of LGBT rights.

    The Democrats have shown us time and time and time again that they’ll thrown us and our civil rights under the bus when it is convenient for them.

    Well that’s not good enough.

    What a pity the US is not a democracy in any real sense.

    If there was an alternative to voting for the Democrats solely because they are the lesser of 2 evils then we’d all be better off.

  • SteveC

    I’ll be voting Green in the presidential election.

    I refuse point blank to vote for the lesser of 2 evils.

    That fact that a 2 party system (both of whom are in hock in big business) is in operation in the US effectively means that our democracy is a sham, is not my fault.

    I could never vote Republic**t but I will not be voting for Obama unless he steps up and starts defending my human and civil rights.

  • Elloreigh

    @Pitou: You’re not going to get a clear liberal confirmed for the Supreme Court – not with the current makeup of the senate.

    I have been saying this for years: If you want to change the direction of this country, you have to start with the senate. They are the make or break on so many things – including court nominations.

  • Elloreigh

    @Chip: Well there’s the crux of it: We’re not convinced that Democrats are really our friends. Did you not get that memo?

  • Rainfish

    @Jeffree: So, in order for me to take the cute guy to the prom, I have to take his annoying, hump-back, bell-ringing little brother Quasi too? Argh!!!

    It is irrelevant now anyway, Obama would probably pick someone like Scalia in order to appease the Republicans since he squandered his majority leverage in the Senate for his first two years kissing their posteriors when he didn’t have to.

    Below is an article from last year about how Obama is afraid of using recess appointments opposed to how often Bush made them. Also, up to now, Obama still has far less than half of the open federal judge seats filled compared with what Bush and Clinton had during the same time period into their presidencies:

  • Roman

    Obama and other Dems have failed in leading, they squandered their majority status, have consistently chosen not to expend their political capital to advance equality for GLBT Americans when they had the chance – all the while asking for our votes and money, threatening that worse would come to us under the R’s. GET OVER IT! Other countries are putting the US to shame on the issue of human rights for GLBT citizens. Too many GLBT American’s have lived and died under the persecution and discrimination of our Government never experience the benefits of equality. All this while the religious community, politicians and others continue their obsessive Anti-Gay campaigns that demean our lives and our families. I’m not going to wait patiently for my equality while Polis and Obama pussy foot around deciding what timeline will be most beneficial for their ambitions.

  • Elloreigh

    Democrats should be running scared. Thanks to Republican takeovers in many states after the midterm election coinciding with the opportunity for redistricting, Democrats will be facing an uphill battle when it comes to the next election. I really think the effects of the midterm election are going to be felt for a long time. It really hurts Democrats’ chances of retaking the House.

    They need to get it through their heads that it’s not business as usual anymore. Apparently the midterm elections weren’t enough to convince them.

  • Interesting

    @SteveC: I am voting Working Families, and will likley leave the top line blank next year. This is my first time doing that since I was eligible to vote nearly 2 and half decades ago. Its weird, but I think necessary. I have always been a Democrat, but I can’t continue to pretend there are two parties.

  • Jeffree

    @Rainfish Avoid taking anyone to the prom! Literally or metaphorically

    The recess appointment logjam has me –& people more savvy than I –baffled.

    I can’t think of any viable Republican candidate for 12 who isn’t beholden to the religious right & hobnobbing with serious fundies. Obama can’t lag too far.
    Clinton din’t have that pressure.
    Barack (who of course is an atheist moslem liberal marxist nâzi Kenyan-isian supremicist) may not be actually any more religious than his recent predecessors, but he’s being held to a higher standard than the Bushes, the Clintons & the Reagan.

    So, for me, I don’t want Apostolic Dominionists on the Court to keep me from getting married, raising young’uns, & having my own Queer-friendly media empire while serving as Ambassador to someplace like Monaco or Taipei.

  • ewe

    @Jeffree: I disagree. It always has been in the past and will continue to be something to say that we must vote for the lesser of two evils. Don’t give the Demoncons ammunition to pump fear into gay people.

  • ewe

    War on Drugs. War on Terror. War on Crime. It’s all been working very well for an elite few.

  • ewe

    War on gay people? Oh just keep electing “them.”

  • CJ

    Being gay or straight doesn’t matter much if you have a President that can’t balance a checkbook, starts a third war, is FAR less “transparent” than he promised, etc. Yes, he may be advancing gay rights in some areas. But, the country is falling apart in others. So, we’ll have gay marriage in a failing and falling country. I think Obama has proven that he’s a terrible leader in many regards. But, nobody else appears any better at the moment. The only thing better would be to get a progressive that knows how to lead and stops wars, ends needless spending, creates some jobs, etc. The economy is Obama’s top priority a the moment? He’s focussed on it like a laser? Hardly.

  • robert in NYC

    Elloreigh, actually the republicans are running scared. There are several recalls going on in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country. 80% or more of the American voters don’t want medicare or social security touched but all of those running want to tamper with it. Political suicide if they think they can defeat Obama in 2012.

    I’m a Green and have to admit I’m disappointed Obama didn’t grow a pair and draw a line in the sand with these right wingers before health care reform was sealed. But when it comes down to the crunch in November 2012, I’m sure as hell not going to vote for any of those right wing psycho-talkers running on the GOP ticket. All of them are against marriage equality and Ron Paul, a Civil Libertarian claims he supports marriage equality but only if the states legislate for it. This means that virtually all republican controlled states wouldn’t ever legalize it. Gays voting for him are deluding themselves. All they’re doing is splitting the republican party ticket, voting against their own interests, assuming they are about full equality which I doubt.

  • Pitou

    @Elloreigh: Touche!

  • ewe

    @CJ: Obama is like the rest of them. He is serving the very few whose interests are global; those americans who could care less about anyone else including their fellow citizens. It’s a race to the top and everyone else all over the world (including all of us) are nothin but rentals to these people. Get rid of him.

  • disco lives

    President Obama even said himself that gay activists should indeed put pressure on him and hold him accountable.

  • Elloreigh

    @robert in NYC: Recalls or not, none of that changes the fact that Republicans are in control of a lot of the redistricting decisions, and it’s another 9 years before the next census and thereafter the next redistricting. That means they’ll have to screw up really badly to find themselves kicked out – by their own party’s voters. (Not that they aren’t well on their way to that potential result.)

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