O.K. So last year, Obama said he supported gays. In fact, he said he DID NOT support Don’t Ask Don’t Tell [DADT] and would get rid of it if he got to be POTUS. As a result of that and other statements, a lot of gays supported him. And worked for his campaign. And voted for him.
What a difference a year makes. Here we are, almost 5 months into his presidency and DADT is still very much the law of the land. Still enforced. Two hundred fifty three people have, since Obama took office, had their military careers destroyed—just like they did under Bush and Clinton before him.
These people want to serve their country. And he kicks them in the teeth.
Change We Can Believe In. Uh huh.
Then, last Friday the Justice Department took out the trash [a concept you’re familiar with if you religiously watched (as I did) the TV drama, The West Wing.]
In case you didn’t, here’s the idea: on Fridays, the government releases information it doesn’t want people to notice.
The weekend is coming up and fewer people read newspapers on Saturday and Sunday. So, if you want to put out a story —so you won’t be accused of hiding stuff— but you want it to be used only to line the bottom of the birdcage and nothing else, you sit on it till Friday and release it along with a whole slew of other stuff —all at once.
Only, this time, people noticed.
Here’s what was supposed to leak out under the radar —only it didn’t:
A statement was released by the Justice Department supporting the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA].
Here are excerpts from the Act:
Powers reserved to the states:
No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.
Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse':
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
Last Friday’s brief was authored by a Bush holdover. A Mormon. And it shows. It equated gay marriage with a marriage between uncle and niece. It equated gay marriage with marrying off children.
Do you see why they wanted to release this piece of garbage on Friday? It could just have easily have come from the Bush administration. Except Bush would have been proud of it and released it on Tuesday morning with a flourish of trumpets.
They were right in one way —the correct thing to do with it was to line the bottom of the bird cage.
Last Friday evening Rachel and others speculated that Obama didn’t know this filth had been released. Even that he doesn’t agree with it.
I’m sorry, but I’m of the mind that he is, after all, the president. And I’m with Harry Truman—if he didn’t know it was coming out, he should have known. It’s his buck.
It looks from here as if, when it comes to gays, Obama is an empty suit.
So, fast forward to today:
All of a sudden, Obama makes the announcement that he is giving ‘many of’ the same rights to gay federal employees and their partners that ‘opposite’ married people have enjoyed forever and ever.
This is another of those little items Obama had promised—but not delivered. Now, he’s using it to sop up the egg that’s dripping off his chin.
Oh, and by the way, what does ‘many of’ mean?
Nice try, Barry. But you're offering too little too late.
For one thing, this tidbit had come out so precipitously and so recently that Rachel and her staff and the guest she discussed it with didn’t yet know what form it had taken. Was it a resolution or a memorandum? I hadn’t known the two types of statements existed—let alone the implications involved.
Here’s what it boils down to: A resolution becomes standard operating procedure —it remains in effect unless and until a later president repeals it— and that requires legal action.
A memorandum remains in effect for as long as Obama is president. Once he’s out of office it immediately dies.
Maybe I’m being really, really cynical here—but that seems to be pretty nifty if you’re trying to bribe a certain constituency to vote for you come 2012.
I don’t know how many federal employees are LGBT but, it’s a fair number, I imagine. Since 1.5% of the general population is LGBT and since there are a lot of federal employees—it’s a good guess that the same percentage of federal employees are LGBT. Add to that number their spouses—who certainly aren’t all, themselves, fed employees—well, let’s call it 2.5% of the number of feds. Not enough to swing the election, of course, but still—a welcome voting block come 2012.
So, suppose you’re one of the people who suddenly had your basic rights acknowledged. And suppose those rights will expire in January unless the guy who [however expediently] signed the measure that recognized them gets reelected. Well? Who are you going to vote for? Yeah. Me too.
But laying all that aside —Mr. Obama, your administration just delivered a deadly insult to a group of people that worked for you, got the vote out for you, voted for you and whom you have ignored since November:
First you invited Rick Warren to offer an invocation at your inauguration. When the understandable hoopla ensued, you hurriedly invited Gene Robinson, too. Shame on you.
During your campaign you promised to repeal DADT.
Even supposing it would take some time to do that, you could, with a stroke of your pen, tell the Pentagon to stop enforcing it. You could stop the practice of ruining people’s careers. It would take ten minutes.
You haven’t bothered. Shame on you.
Also, during your campaign, you promised to address gay marriage. And THIS is what you did. You ignored it. Then you insulted 1.5% of the population. Then you backtracked by giving the ones among them who work for you “many of” the rights enjoyed by the straight married people in your employ.
Gee, thanks, Mr. President.
And shame on you.
Here are some related articles:
The Village Voice, The CBS Blog, The New York Times, and an article whose headline:'Dept. of Justice defends DOMA, Obama wants it overturned', all by itself, gave me whiplash— The Catholic News Agency.
By the way, that last article lead off with this statement:
'Although the Department of Justice filed a brief defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last week, the Obama administration has made it clear that promoting same-sex “marriage” will be an important focus of its political agenda.'
Oh, and that hoity-toity, holier-than-thou Catholic newspaper can remove those condescending quotes around the word "marriage", too.