Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Said Choi: “We are handcuffing ourselves to the White House gates once again to demand that President Obama show leadership on repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ If the President were serious about keeping his promise to repeal this year, he would put the repeal language in his Defense Authorization budget. The President gave us an order at the Human Rights Campaign dinner to keep pressure on him and we will continue to return to the White House, in larger numbers, until the President keeps his promise to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year.” (See here.)

If Obama has any sense of shame, he should be devastated by this action! As of now, he has betrayed his promises to the LGBT communities, save for some crumbs thrown to his constituents in the vain hope of getting their votes in 2012.

Unless Obama heeds the words of Dan Choi, and all the heroes who chained themselves to the White House gate, he will not only lose the next presidential election by a landslide, but will set the stage for a reactionary presidency in 2012 that will likely seek to even rescind some of the meager civil rights that LGBT people now enjoy.

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I have as little concern for Barack Obama's chances for re-election as he has for thousands of unemployed Americans: Next to none! I think he's a weak, morally ambivalent and cynical politician who will never possess presidential qualities. Even with the alarming prospect of Mitt Romney looming, our nation will be much better off without him in the White House.

Frankly, the odds of Obama caving in to pressure from Gay Rights activists aren't good, but sometimes the struggle can be as valuable as the goal. We are beginning to see some Gay people get a stiffness in their backbones, a fire in their bellies, and a sense of citizenship entitlement that has long been lacking.

I think this change in tactics is an altogether positive development and a very necessary step on the road to equality. It bodes well for the Gay Rights movement in the long run, even if short term victories are unlikely. My only concern is that it remain dignified. I don't want to see hide nor hair of the Folsom Street crowd or the feather boa contingent at these civil actions! Yet I fear they will soon crave a piece of the action, strictly for exhibitionist purposes. That would severely undermine what Dan Choi and his allies are trying to do.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Don Charles: I agree with every word you wrote! Best wishes, Jerry.

genevieve said...

I aso agre with you, Don Charles. A freak show is something that is NOT needed. Thi is serious business.

Gentle Lamb said...

Obama made a strategic error by concentrating on health care, instead of going after wall street. He spend all his capital and now left with no strenght to push through repeal of the DADT laws. Bush left the economy in very deep debt with mounting wars for Obama to take the blame.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Gentle Lamb: I honestly believe that Obama never had the will to repeal DADT, or use his bully pulpit to advance equal rights for LGBT people. In my opinion, he counts on his "charm" and gift of gab to sway people into equating his empty rhetoric with positive action. Moreover, when push comes to shove, he's all too quick to capitulate to pressure, as we saw with the complex debacle on Health Care "Reform." Best wishes, Jerry.