Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Evolution of a President: Profile in Courage, ca 2012







I am ahead, I am advanced
I am the first mammal to make plans, yeah
I crawled the earth, but now I'm higher
2010, watch it go to fire
It's evolution, baby
Do the evolution

-- "Do the Evolution"




Yesterday, President Obama stated out loud what many of his political opponents on the right have suspected, and many of his supporters on the left were suspicious of - namely, his belief that "(s)ame-sex couples should be able to get married."


The reactions are predictable.  Those who are inclined to vote against Mr Obama's re-election in November have reacted by citing his social liberalism as another example of his "assault" on traditional values.  Those who are inclined to see him re-elected in November are praising his "courageous stand" on the issue.


My own opinion of the former, as someone who makes no bones about my right-wing views, I would just say that it's my strong belief that denying same-sex couples the legal protections of marriage is wrong-headed and in many cases, little more than barely-concealed prejudice.  As I wrote a couple of years ago, in reflecting on the issue:

How are we treating our fellow man?
The answer to that question is far more relevant in my view than any Propositions we sign or lawmakers we call to defend marriage against a threat that just does not exist.


It's my firm belief that in a generation, we are going to look back on the battle over this "issue" with a mixture of disbelief and embarrassment, if not outright shame.  

The proximate furore surrounds the vote on Tuesday in North Carolina to put into law statements denying that marriage can be extended to same-sex couples:

Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.


The vote does not actually accomplish anything - same-sex marriages are not performed in the state. The legislature and governor are very unlikely in the near-term to pass laws to the contrary. For all intents and purposes, the status quo in North Carolina on Wednesday morning was exactly the same as it was on Tuesday night.. 


What the vote does "accomplish," so to speak,  is put into law  a mean-spirited commentary from the majority in that state. It's little more than a cruel, rhetorical statement. 


As I see it, this deserves condemnation. In plain, unequivocal language.




Mr Obama, due I suspect to pressures from wealthy supporters, has done is to issue a somewhat tepid support of gay marriage.  24 hours after the vote.  Additionally, he was somewhat pushed into such a statement due to the comments of his Vice President, Joe Biden, who earlier had issued a much stronger statement supporting equal rights for gay Americans.

Is this "courage?"

Not in my book.

Chris "Shiver up My Leg" Matthews, perhaps the most reliable lap-dog for the president, ended his show yesterday talking about the courage Mr Obama has shown, referring to the remarks of the president as "historic."

Could there be a grander canyon between these two men: one fully in support of the right of gay people to marry, one totally against that right
I honor a president who regardless of the political consequences declared for all the world to hear that all God’s children have the right to love as they were born to love. That ought to count for something no matter which way the chips fall in this election.


Only, that's not what the president said as he continued to waffle. Mr Obama initially responded that he was "disappointed" in the outcome.  And in the remarks Chris Matthews was praising, the president stated that he sees the issue primarily as a states' rights issue.


This is typical of the sort of phony leadership that Mr Obama has provided.  Grandiloquent words that amount to little more than hot air, but precious little substantive action.


So, I ask - if he supports "the rights" of same-sex couples to marry, but sees the issue as one that the states ought to decide, how is he substantively different from the language in the "Defense of Marriage Act" that he has been praised for refusing to support?  The outcome of his "evolved" views is that precisely what happened in North Carolina Tuesday - it went to the states, and the states said "no."


Mr Obama has said before that he does not view marriage as a civil rights issue.  His recent evolution leaves him approximately where Dick Cheney was four years ago.  This is hardly "courageous" for a politician who owes his position to progressive activists.


I would think that, after all the work, all the organising, and all the money that gay rights activists have contributed to the president, that they deserve a bit more.


I think that as full American citizens, they certainly do.

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