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01 June 2009

Comments

Joseph

I wish the impatient Obama haters on this site would hurry up and bash Obama for failing to 'keep his promises'. After all, he is no ally of LGBT people.

Joseph: So. You're calling people "impatient" and yours is the very first comment and more of that "promise" silliness you and several others pulled in the previous two threads? Comment no further in this post.

And all of the Obama haters take note of this, too.-RM

Danny Rivera

Wow. Two or three hours after this is posted and not even crickets. Okay, I'll go first...

Rod, I like the approach you took...The language is 'inclusive' and strong. I'm impressed the White House didn't forget the 'T' in LGBT. I also like the fact that LGBT seniors and youth are noted. Impressive.

I don't think it's an accident that the marriage advances are missing. The WH has the lukewarm Democratic Party position on civil unions so if theycall attention to marriage they make themselves look bad right?

As far as DOMA is concerned you are right. They are backtracking on DOMA because it's not politically feasible. It was a hollow promise to make, many people knew it was a hollow promise, but they were caught up in the Obama rapture of the primaries.

As far as Obama/White House saying "I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration"...if you want to believe that is an honest mistake, bless your heart. There is a lot I can complain about Bill C and LGBTs (DOMA, I'll give him credit for trying to get gays in the military) but the Achtenberg nomination made news around the world b/c it was only days after he entered the WH.

Okay, strong statement. Now let's follow up with some action!

Dominick

Does "ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security" mean the same as "repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

Dave in PGC

A beautiful proclamation that hopefully/surely will be folowed by some legislative action once the economy and other matters settle.

And Joseph, how very sad yours were the very first comment.

Anderson

@ dominick:

yea, noticed that too. i really hate to nitpick, but iirc during the campaign his goal was a "full repeal" of DADT.

barney frank says we may get a bill next year, and i am sure it will come down the pike at some point. i'm not sure how we can repeal DADT at the same time we are in two wars? can we? but obama did say during the campaign he wanted a full repeal and would start on day one.

oh and a few days after inauguration, mr. robert gibbs gave that famous one word answer "yes"

but that is the only thing i would take issue with. i loooove the language, can't wait to see some work done. c'mon congress, c'mon white house, let's do it!

Rudy

I like it. Period.

Thanks Mr. President!

FREELEO

I don't want to speak for Joseph but I think he was being facetious. So many have attacked President Obama for not doing anything to help the LGBT community advance their causes in his first 4 months in office. Some people act as if there aren't sgl people losing jobs, homes, and who are about to run out of unemployment benefits, or about to be laid off from auto companies. Being able to support yourself and make a livable wage are also lgbt rights. I hope he can get passed a comprehensive health care plan for all of my brothers who don't have one. I think Obama is doing a fine job given the circumstances and political atmosphere.

No, you really can't speak for "Joseph" and he was smart enough to keep quiet. But since you went there, you left more comments than anyone in those two threads. The majority were rhetorical and along the lines of "what promise" etc.

You make a good point about economy, jobs, etc but his was the very first comment in this post. Was that a pre-emptive strike? And no commentary on the proclamation? Really?

I'm well aware of how several people try to hijack the Obama threads and basically repeat the same thing over and over. I'm putting everyone on notice. -RM

Chitown Kev

This is an excellent and inclusive statement by President Obama.

Still, though, I don't get the hesitation in action. The religious right crazies are losing more and more steam each day (which will accelerate after the murder of the abortion doctor). Why is Obama continuing to pander to them?

FREELEO

wow. i wasn't aware that i was repeating myself. my apologies. i'll pay closer attention.

Greg G

@ Freeleo:

I don't want to put you on a cross but you really, really need to re-read the Obama threads. I made a comment to you specifically (in "Promise? What Promise?") about trying to dominate any thread where there is criticism of Obama. There are 47 comments in total. By my count...ten of them are signed "Freeleo". That is almost one out of every five, vast majority are argumentative...and by your own account your were not aware of Obama's LGBT platform and you previously said you didn't care if/when Obama addressed LGBT rights. Why you are even in this discussion I have no idea. None.

So now we're arguing with people who haven't even made an argument? Or defending people who start arguments with people who haven't even made one yet? Really?

I gladly pulled the lever for Barack Obama and will gladly do so again. But he is lagging in this area. And the louder and more strident his "cheerleaders" are, the more it calls attention to one simple fact...you almost never can argue the issues at hand. You have to invent arguments and thrown in everything but the kitchen sink.

This was a beautiful proclamation. I'd like to talk about how we can realize some of these goals and when the congress and president will. And why can't he even mention "gay" anymore? And why isn't this on the White House website?

Oh and more thing...I am getting hella tired of people talking about the economy, healthcare and a war...like the president can't do more than one thing at a time. IIRC this was Obama's biggest complaint against Bush and McCain. Wasn't McCain talking about focusing on the economy and couldn't debate? Really, thiss argument is starting to sound silly.

FDR managed to complete the New Deal, fund Social Security, the WPA and fight the depression and run a war. Let's not even get started on how many things LBJ and JFK did at once.

Greg G

Here we go...I remember Rod posting this.

Obama to McCain: President Has to Do "More Than One Thing at Once"

http://rodonline.typepad.com/rodonline/2008/09/obama-to-mccain.html

"And I think that it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once. I think there’s no reason why we can’t be constructive in helping to solve this problem and also tell the American people what we believe and where we stand and where we want to take the country."

And here is another one about McCain postponing debate.

McCain Proposes "Suspending" Campaign and Postponing Debate to "Focus" on Financial Crisis

http://rodonline.typepad.com/rodonline/2008/09/mccain-proposes.html

I don't know how to post links, so sorry. But read what Obama said about a president being able to do more than one thing at once... even during an economic meltdown. Multitasking means working on many things at once. It doesn't mean if Obama makies some step on LGBT rights, he cannot work on GM, the Iraq War, education or jobs.

Now was Barack Obama wrong when he said a president has to do more than one thing at a time? Or are you going to pretend that if his administration takes baby steps on LGBT equality, then they can't rescue General Motors?

Harper

@ Chitown:

I totally agree about the rightwing freepers. They are desperate since they are out of power and want to try to terrorize this country just like Al Qaeda.

This is a wonderful proclamation. I'm not going to say what was missing or what should have been there cuz it matters not. But I want to see some action! The president's popularity is very high, he has "political capitol" as they say and he continually tries to play nice-nice with the conservtives. Why???? The Republicans were rejected in the last two elections.

Oh and I'm so sick and tired of people saying the Republicans "will use this" against Obama. The Republicans already use everything they can against Obama...he can't even buy a puppy or take his wife out to dinner without them attacking him. Some folk need to grow a pair and stop being afraid of the Republican boogeyman. We're not supposed to clear everything with newt and Rush and ask what do they find least offensive.

This isn't like the last Democratic president when the Republicans controlled the Congress. We are in the majority here. When Bush had his six year GOP majority, they weren't running everything by the Democrats first.

Raheem

This is a great statement. It's bold, inclusive, and has tremendous potential, just like our great president. But the time for words and speeches is over. It's time for action.

During the primary and the election many gays and lesbians stood up for you Mr. President! Please don't let us down and stand up for us! We believe in you, please show that you beleive in us!

Jim

Harper wrote: This isn't like the last Democratic president when the Republicans controlled the Congress. We are in the majority here. When Bush had his six year GOP majority, they weren't running everything by the Democrats first.

I have one quibble with this:

“We” are not in the majority here. It’s the Democrats who are.

Lamar

Thank you Mr. President.

Sean Beasley

okay, I'll be the first to admit it's a crumb when we really need a whole loaf of bread. but it's baby steps, tho.

we didnt get any proclamations during the last eight years. this means "we recognize you" plus the LGBT appointments = visibility. it's a start.

and thanks for the update.
i see the proclamation is now at whitehouse.gov. i'm sure the press office and lgbt liasons noticed that bloggers were noticing its absence. that's how you make things happen.

Esq

I applaud the prez for the symbolism of this proclamation in his first year. If memory serves correctly, Clinton only did it in the last year or two of his admin. So the symbolism is important.

But actions speak louder than words. The appointments are very strong but many of these (Hochberg et al) we saw in the Clinton admin.

What was up with that business about being the first president to appoint LGBTs to "Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration"? Achtenberg (and Bruce Lehman) was nominated only days after Clinton arrived and that evil Jesee Helms son of a beyotch called her a "mean lesbian" and held up her confirmation for months. So technically Obama's boast could be true ..... but that's if you want to parse the fact that the senate held up Achtenberg's confirmation beyond the 100 days and that is an awful petty record to boast. Esp. because the political climate was nowhere near as LGBT friendly as it is today, and we have a Democratic versus Republican congress in power.

Faison

This is a beautiful and well crafted statement. Kudos to the White House and thank you Mr. President!

I have to say, of the major gay blogs (Towle, Pam, Joe, Queerty, R20, etc) by far the reaction here has been the best. Its a muted reaction. There are some personality issues that need to be sorted but it's more in "defense" of Obama than "opposition" toward him. And that is a major difference worth noting because at the other blogs they are slammming our president. And I don't really like it and much of it is racial imho esp at Queerty and JMG.

I think by far most of the criticism (what little there has been) here is fair. And the only reason I bring up other sites is because one or two people compared this site to the others. I don't think there is any contest. Rod's tone is supportive but fair and so are most of the comments. Some people freak out when there is any criticism of Obama and defend him too stridently.

Onward and upward. Thank you for this affirming and inclusive statement Mr. President. The LGBT community looks forward to doing accomplishing many things with you in the future.

Tolliver

Baby steps, folks. Let's remember you have to crawl before you can walk.

Has the White House been behind the ball on LGBT rights? Yes. Do I think they want to make progress on LGBT rights? Absolutely. I'm not even going to guess why but will assume advisors say this is not something they want to do now. If that is the case, I disagree. But I am confident we will be on the agenda by the fall.

Also look at the number of visible LGBT appointments and the fact that John Berry, a gay man, runs OPM, the Office of Personnel Management. That's right, "one of us" supervises the federal civil service. That is an example of Obama's committment.

GBM

Faison is right on point. But my goodness over @ Queerty Ms Hauslib and her posts are so horrible it's really KKKGay season over there.

ChazSD

I wish Mr Obama would seize the moment and the current momentum, and keep his word in taking the initiative to repeal DADT and DOMA. Do the right thing Mr President.

P.

What Faison said.

This is a great statement and should be catalyst for the change we need. We are making advances on the state level and will continue to do so. Okay, the federal response has been slow but I am sure the fall see some signficant gains. While we are waiting let's intensify the fight at the state and local level. And keep the pressure on the White House, you see how simple yet effective blogging and emails pressed for this statement to be included on the White House website.

Terry

I've never been as proud as President as I am Obama. It's a start folks, a big step in the right direction.

blkbandit

some folk are easily impressed. he is simply throwing gays a bone and nothing more. watch isreal and wall street get much more after this.

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