Obama’s O-Piphany: Walking Among the Raindrops Without Getting Wet
Barack Obama has had almost a decade to reach his cavalier evolution on the merits of gay marriage. Why now, when he has had three years of dithering and prevaricating – while common citizens suffer daily discrimination – has Obama given his imperial imprimatur to a decision that is risky and could narrow his gap in states like Virginia and North Carolina? Not to mention letting the American Fundamentalist movement off the mat, reeling from the fallout from their War on Women.
Political boldness? Hardly. As usual, Obama got caught flat footed on this and has to resort to the Hail Mary. Obama has a remarkable track record of pulling victory from the maw of defeat: Obamacare, the Bushama Taxcuts, the mirage of Dodd-Frank, his beloved Grand Bargain of Social Security – 70; Medicare to 67, coming to fruition in the Lame Duck session.
The money is pouring in, Progressives are rejoicing, Maddow approves, Conservatives are apoplectic. After three years of Urkel, here comes Superfly giving his….WAIT FOR IT!!!! “okay”. What the meh?!
Look, I am ecstatic that our first minority President vouched for another long persecuted underdog group. Why shouldn’t gay couples be able to ratify the legal rights of inheritance, end of life and spousal insurance privileges of het couples? At the very, very least.
I remember that devastating scene in the HBO movie If These Walls Could talk: where Vanessa Redgrave’s longtime partner passes on. The deceased’s relatives (certainly not “loved ones”) sweep in to pick the place clean of anything of cash value. Allowing Vanessa to pick a token souvenir, the material detritus of 30 years of same sex love. Brutal.
Where was Obama last week when these “audacious” (pun intended) statements could have done some good? Whether Joe Biden went too far Sunday morning and forced Obama’s hand is specious. No one gives a fig what the human puffball dandelion has to say about this issue, or any issue, for that matter.
Obama could have used his bully pulpit to rally voters in North Carolina to reject legislative discrimination. He should have occupied some Woolworth’s lunch counters. Rally his base. Flex his muscles before the big fight begins; after the…..Conventions!
Instead, Obama took the usual O-loof route and stayed in the closet. Oops, probably not the best metaphor choice to mix!
The Convention. Democratic side: North Carolina. Really? I have shade blindness: is there a color that is is 80% Red and 20% Blue? Definitely not Purple. Right to work state. Really? Haven’t the Unions taken enough kidney punches from Neoliberal Democrats? Now Trumka and his Veal Cohorts have to have their noses rubbed in shit too? Why pick a fight with friends? That’s why they call it Hippie Punching, folks!
So in one these delicious ironies, North Carolingians award their swarthy benefactor with this needless and joyously bigoted Amendment 1. Passed, with significant support, from the local African American community that still supports Obama with high fervor.
Now Obama’s reliably dumb choice has the potential to go Fukushima PDQ. Gotta pour some major water on the spent fuel rods of Tuesday night: The justifiable call for Hippies’ Revenge. The loud and unrelenting voices of the betrayed LGBT community joined in raucous solidarity by Occupy, Labor, The Cannabis Liberation Front and the Premature Anti-Fascists resisting Emperor Obama’s perpetuating Drone wars (aka The Manning Brigades). The great Deep Blue Wedge we suckers, who took Obama at his word in 2008, thought we were going to get before Bipartisan Barry washed the stars from our eyes.
OccupytheDemocraticConvention! Tarheel Takedown! Chicago ’68, Paris ’68, Arab Spring ’11, Charlotte ’12!
We’ll let our Tea Party Brethren & Sistern tar & feather effigies(?) of Geithner, Holder and Rahm. Just like our sainted slave owning/screwing forefathers used to do.
We should not support, vote for nor campaign for Obama (D-Bank of America). Is there no better bitter reminder of Obama’s servility to Too Big To Fail than having your Party’s Kickoff Pep Rally in the hometown of the worst of the Vampire Banks?
Is Brian Moynihan going to introduce Obama to the soul groove of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours”?
Look, I am a Conspiracy Theorist through and through: Oswald didn’t act alone, Bin Laden was on the Grassy Knoll!
There is a difference between a problem and a predicament. Amendment 1 in the crux of the Democratic Convention is one of those sticky wicket predicaments. Kicking the can down the road isn’t a fail proof strategy. But Obama has turned shit into fool’s gold before. So the Little O (Oscar Robertson is the Big O) launches a half court shot. Sometimes those desperation heaves bank in the net. I see it on SportsCenter nightly.
This is a calculated move to shore up some seriously sullen wealthy LGBT donors who are sitting out 2012. Since Obama ditched the small donor 50 state strategy – that worked so brilliantly in 2008 – for the obscenity of the $40,000 a plate dinner*, he is scrambling to stanch the cash bleed in the wake of Citizens United. 1 out of 6 of his bundlers are gay. The “tactical coincidence” of the timing has proven virally lucrative in the fallow electoral lull between Mitt’s grinding inevitability and the Apocalyptic, forthcoming October Surprise. Swish! Nothing but net!
*(No better indicator of the 99/1 dynamic than the realization that both parties serve as cumrags for the Richie Riches).
Obama has an enthusiasm gap and a cash gap problem. The LGBT community is a diverse, target rich collective of the target dynamic: well educated, urban, well represented in all aspects of productive and governmental society, generous in time and philanthropy and savvy in political organization from decades in the civil rights trenches now bearing some fruit. Oh and their demographics trend well north of all economic indicators.
If Obama can’t regain that community’s energy, he can buy their quiescence with this mealy mouthed ‘affirmation’ which I find as authentic as Frothy Santorum’s midnight email missive of support for Romney: in the immortal words of philosopher Moe Sizlak, Ricky’s a well-wisher. In that he doesn’t wish Mitt any specific harm.
Obama had to eat some peas yesterday. Yessiree! Holy Schaudenfreude! (Cue Nelson Muntz, “Hah-ha!”)
Just like boycotting Arizona over the Super Bowl re: no MLK Holiday, Obama runs the risk of a Left Flank revolt as the ecomomic numbers start to wobble. Obama’s pronouncement defuses that potential problem, even though it should not.
Let the great O-mancipator put his money where his mouth is and sign the Executive Order to ban discrimination in federal contracts. Actions speak louder than words.
Congratulations LGBT’ers! You are now Kingmakers (Queenmakers?) in Barack Obama’s re election campaign. Bring your checkbooks. Jim Messina has a prime spot in the Veal Pen next to American black voters and across from Moo-veOn.