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The Fierce Urgency of Whenever

Posted on May 15, 2009
Obama Pride

Andrew Sullivan has some sharp words for how the Obama administration is dealing with GLBT issues: “I lived through eight years of the Clintons and then eight years of Bush. Through it all, gay people were treated at the federal level like embarrassments or impediments. With Clinton, we were the means to raise money. With Bush, we were the means to leverage votes by exploiting bigotry. Obama seemed in the campaign to promise something else. I listened to him in the early days and found him sincere about ending discrimination by the government; and I came to respect, while vehemently disagreeing with, his position on federal civil unions. He seemed genuinely distressed that gay servicemembers should be treated with contempt and persecution by their commander-in-chief, that gay couples should have to fight for basic human treatment—like entry to hospital rooms, or being able to stay in the same apartment as their late spouse, or forced into cruel separation by immigration laws that treat gay couples as threats, rather than assets, or if you had the temerity to survive HIV, being treated at the US border the way Jesse Helms always wanted people with HIV to be treated—like perverts and pariahs and threats.”

The Atlantic:

It is quite something to have a government stamp in your passport, as I do, that will tell any immigration or police officer with a connection to a government database that I have HIV, that I am therefore a threat and can be arrested and detained and deported at the border if necessary. I’m a big boy with money and a robust self-esteem as an HIV-positive survivor, but I think of thousands of others far less powerful and wealthy than I am who are afraid to enter or leave the US because their HIV status renders them criminals. I think of how the US is the only developed country—and one of only a handful of undeveloped countries—that still tells the world that people with HIV are dangerous pariahs, who need policing at borders and deporting if discovered. And yet this is the current policy of the Obama administration on global HIV and AIDS.

And it’s tedious to whine and jump up and down and complain when a wand isn’t waved and everything is made right by the first candidate who really seemed to get it, who was even able to address black church congregations about homophobia. And obviously patience is necessary; and legislative work takes time; and there are real challenges on so many fronts, especially the economy and the legacy of war crimes and the permanently restive Iraqi and Afghan regions we are constantly in the process of liberating from themselves. No one expects a president to be grappling with all this early on, or, God help us, actually leading on civil rights. That’s our job, not his.

But I have a sickeningly familiar feeling in my stomach, and the feeling deepens with every interaction with the Obama team on these issues. They want them to go away. They want us to go away.

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skmacksk's avatar

By skmacksk, May 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

What to say about Andrew Sullivan: A scholarship boy who believed that his every word and thought were golden, his teachers praised his intellect and articulate speech. He would go far on his merit! But, he did not, along the way, learn anything of intellectual humility, but as any LGBT person can tell you, another kind of humility was etched into his being. Does Mr. Sullivan articulate many of the dissatisfaction of our community? The answer is an undeniable yes. But there are many articulate spokespeople for our community, whose political baggage is less shameful,less egregious! Support for the ‘War on Terror’, a frontal attack on Constitutional governance, by the   governors themselves: this exercise of bad judgment from one who assumes the guise of the ‘Pundit’. His apology after the fact was, perhaps, genuine, but it is of no consequence, to the lives lost, the carnage, that the idea and practice of American Exceptionalism wrought. Not to speak of the strategic blunder committed by the Neo-Conservatives as the active agents of that Exceptionalism. Iraq and Iran are close allies.
As a gay man, as a citizen, as a Left wing Social Democrat, as a Political Cosmopolitan, Andrew Sullivan speaks for himself not for me! He has joined the ranks of discredited opinion mongers: George Will, David Broder ,Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens whose places are secure on the Corporate Medias Sunday political chat.

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By bogglesthemind, May 15, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Ah, yes. The legacy of Barack Track Obama goes on.

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By Big B, May 15, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Barry is proving to be what I, and countless other liberals feared, another gutless, moderate Clintonian dimmocrate. They ignore the liberals for the same reason the repugs ignore the wacko religious right, who ya gonna vote for? the other guy, who you REALLY dislike? It is why these factions have been taken for granted for decades by the political powers that be. But in this arrogant attitude towards the most loyal voting blocks lies a possible evolution in american politics. And that is the rise of a true multiple party system. The wacko right is already setting plans forth for their own party, filled with nutjobs that think Dick Cheney just isn’t conservative enough. Moderate repugs are trying to steer the party towards the center, and if they fail, they will not be welcomed back by the Limbaugh’s of the world.

Dimmos should see this action on the other side of the spectrum and beware, because Barry has not yet met an established lobbying group he could not cow-tow too. He was elected by an america that saw the failures of the right, and long for a return to a more open minded (liberal) nation. Yet, like his scumbag dimmo predecessor, he seems to be spending most of his time licking the jackboots of the military industrial complex, the chamber of commerce, the pharma lobby, and of course, the international jewish banking conspiracy(I’ve always wanted to say that, even if it’s not true).

It is time for a true liberal party to rise from the rotten ashes of the democratic party’s soul. If not, we will all be forced to vote for Barry again, even as he chaps his lips kissing the asses of every big money lobby in DC.

It is true, america is becoming more color blind. The only color Barry sees is green.

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By Linda, May 15, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“With Clinton, we were the means to raise money. With Bush, we were the means to leverage votes by exploiting bigotry. Obama seemed in the campaign to promise something else.”-Sullivan

There’s boo-hoo-hoo Sullivan being untruthful AGAIN.  Give us a break.  Clintons did more for the Gay community, especially after coming off the heals of Reagan/Bush.  Or do you not remember those days?

And, WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?  You even made excuses on Bill Maher’s show when the topics came up about his positioning. 

Apparently,  Boo-hoo-hoo Sullivan, you are making your own version, the rest of us remember him giving many empty words and speaking out of boths sides of his mouth and then campaigning with Gay bashers and playing to that crowd, like his tour through South Carolina.  You kept making excuses and ignoring his record, but now you wish to claim differntly.

Obama is as he said in before announcing his run.  He is a blank slate and allows others for form and project their own views from him.  He is and will always sell out for the highest bidder.  He is a compromised compromising compromiser that we will always end up losing with.  Yet, be forwarned, everyone better wake up and see that he likes to be King and be the one calling the shots as we all see now, skirting on Communism.

He will pull back some to try to get more contributions for the next run, but if anyone votes in this dangerous wannabe King, after seeing what he truly is, you will all have asked for it.

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By Thomas Mc, May 15, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Obama: no change, no hope.

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By G.Anderson, May 15, 2009 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

How very sad.

At this point, I am wondering what it’s going to take for this country to change.

If there is another political betrayl on the horizon, then I seriously doubt that people will believe in a political solution to our problems anymore.

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