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Some Folks Are Willing to Give Obama a Pass. Here’s Why You Don’t Have To

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The dek head for an article by Chris Geidner, who pens the excellent Law Dork blog, reads, “Despite early missteps, granting benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees is proof he hears us.” What follows is an Obama apologist diatribe filled with “buts” and “excepts,” as in, Obama did screw us over but look what he’s doing for us now! Geidner is a smart guy, and he’s right about one thing: Obama does hear us. But for all the wrong reasons. He’s now simply reacting to our rally cries for equality; he is not taking the proactive steps he insisted he would during the campaign. He will only get us closer to full equality if we cajole, make noise, and threaten to withhold support and finances. This is not new in politics. It often takes such tactics to get things done in Washington. But we’re not talking about health care or Wall Street reform — we are talking about basic civil rights.

It should not take negative coverage in the media or pulling out of DNC fundraisers to have our voices heard, but that’s what it is taking. It’s not our preferred way of dealing with the White House, but that’s the fate we’ve met. Folks like Geidner offer a worthwhile perspective on the debate. But giving Obama a pass for “finally hearing us” is tantamount to endorsing his abuse of our civil rights as a political bargaining chip.

So join Team Obama again if you want. But rest assured, you’re under no requirement to do it.