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Obama and Gay Marriage: Thanks for Nothing

Posted on May 9, 2012
White House/Pete Souza

President Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

Editor’s note: The president’s comment Wednesday that he now supports marriage rights for same-sex couples after years of meditation and evolution has been hailed as a historic moment in American politics. Not everyone is so impressed. Below, Truthdig senior writer Scott Tucker reacts to the news.

President Obama was finally politically cornered, including by the unscripted remarks of Vice President Biden. Anyone who attributes courage to Obama in making this announcement is in a bemused state of mind. Obama’s calculation was electoral through and through. And the White House was definitely getting the news that major gay donors would not be signing checks until he “evolved” already. Also, millions of ordinary gay voters were finding it harder to suppress mounting moral revulsion at being played like extras in every election.

This concession, extracted from one of the emptiest suits ever to enter the White House, will be lauded by anyone and everyone inclined to vote by rote for career Democrats. 

The honor of the real struggle over the years and decades does not belong to such politicians, but to gay couples and rebel queers of all kinds. First and foremost to ourselves. So thanks to all of you—all of us—who fought the good fight.

And for those who “evolved” themselves into triangulating and calculating career politicians: Thanks for nothing.

As for Obama lauding “incredibly committed monogamous relationships,” just consider making that argument in defense of allowing straight couples to marry. Yes, because heterosexuals really set the gold standard for monogamy. Obama never sounds more fake than when he is laying on the morals, monogamy and militarism with a gilded trowel.

Now maybe career Democrats will “evolve” on issues such as war, empire, torture, civil liberties and habeas corpus.

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By oakland steve, May 12, 2012 at 4:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Sorry that your ego was so bruised that you had to take three swipes at the comment box. 

I hope you feel lots better.

I still think Obama is a fraud; your frenzied response doesn’t diminish my opinion.

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By Alan MacDonald, May 11, 2012 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Scott, to paraphrase Renee Zellwanger, “you had me at empire”.

Thanks for mentioning ‘empire’ as the seminal point—- which many here and elsewhere on the alt sites fail to do.

But I would remind folks that empire is not just an “issue” but the CAUSE of all the other ‘symptom issues’ that you mentioned such as: war, torture, civil liberties and habeas corpus suppression, as well as these additional ‘symptom issues’; economic looting, vast income and wealth inequality, spying, environmental destruction, etc., etc.

As was said by Justice Jackson in Nuremberg of ‘launching aggressive war’, so is even more true of Empire, in that it is the ultimate crime, because all other crimes and ‘symptom issues’ of Empire are direct result of this most serious crime in human history.

Empire, either the old visible type, or this modernized, post-nation-state, 21st century, and disguised “stealth drone type” of Empire in our current DGE (Disguised Global Empire) headquartered in the belly of our captured and now fully “Occupied” former country, is the cancerous tumor and scourge of human history.

Best luck and love to the “Occupy
Empire” educational and revolutionary movement.

Liberty, democracy, & justice

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By ACT I, May 11, 2012 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t speak for gays, but it seems to me that although O’Bomber’s endorsement may have been next to nothing, it was not quite nothing.  He may very well have given his endorsement for political reasons, but at least he said something that needed to be said.  Perhaps he’ll “evolve” even further after getting re-elected.  (I’ll vote for him only because the other choice is even worse—Mittster’s election would be an unmitigated disaster for the country!)

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By Egomet Bonmot, May 11, 2012 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Yeah like when Kennedy triangulated federal marshals into Alabama and integrated the UofA campus.  I’m sure the moment really belonged to “black couples and rebel African Americans of all kinds” who had been “fighting the the good fight,” but raw power and the president’s bully pulpit turned out to hold the day, then as now, and progressives back then were grateful for it.  What a difference a generation makes.

I mean Jesus, persecuted minorities of all kinds fight the good fight—I’m not even sure what that means.  To follow Tucker’s lline of argument and solipcism, why lift a finger?

Belated thanks Mr. Freeze for your kind comment.

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By m@earth, May 11, 2012 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People like to bandy the following sentence about when snivelers snivel and
spoiled cads turn their noses up.  Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. 
Of course this was calculated and achingly slow to come to pass.  This is American
politics.  I.e. politics in a corpocracy.  Gay marriage finally is being acknowledged
for what it really means in a corpocratically controlled government.  It has been
clearly illustrated in pie chart format and powerpoint slides that it makes good
business sense to allow gays to marry and it doesn’t make good business sense to
allow mouth breathing god smitten flag whipped voters to get in the way of such
easy and handsome profit margins. 
Welcome to the market.  Deal with it.

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By David J. Cyr, May 11, 2012 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Scott Tucker:

“The honor of the real struggle over the years and decades does not belong to such politicians, but to gay couples and rebel queers of all kinds. First and foremost to ourselves. So thanks to all of you—all of us—who fought the good fight.

And for those who ‘evolved’ themselves into triangulating and calculating career politicians: Thanks for nothing.”

Tucker is a profile in gay courage.

Democrats, in general (and particularly Obama), are profiles in degeneracy.

The Devolution of Liberalism:

Jill Stein for President:

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By prisnersdilema, May 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

Since Mr. Obama, is in Carter country… he has to do something…..He knows he
won’t get anything from the right, so that only leaves independent voters, who
have been ditching him….

It’s quite likely that Mr. Obama will do lots of little things, and create lots of
confusion about some of the things he is supposed to have done. Just so that
people will have a hard time deciding exactly what Mr Obama did or didn’t do…

Say what?

RIght now, speech writers are burning the midnight oil, attempting to sweep Mr.
Obama’s sins away with a deft political sound bite. To come up with that one
political phrase that will define 2012.

So that voters will see Mr. Obama’s re election, as a part of the Mayan prophesy
that foretells the end of the world Dec. 21, 2012, if Mitt Romney wins.

The world will not end if Mitt Romney wins, and I can see Mr. Romney weaseling
around his principals to work with a Dino cractic party much better, the Mr.
Obama can work with a RINO publican one.

In any case, there will be no change, war will continue, banks will continue to have
everyone by the financial balls, and Red China will start operating banks here in
the USA. Too bad they aren’t operating health insurance companies. Not content
to own our national debt, they wan’t to own our personal debt as well.

In an election year, lies, lies and more lies,  are a politicians stock and trade. I’m
sure you will be seeing some of Mr. Obama’s biggest lies appearing in a political
commercial,  coming to a T.V. set close to you in the near future..

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By Conden, May 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

The corporatist war criminal scumbag that is Obama wishes to exploit gay rights issues in order to hide the fact that he murders gay civilians in Afganistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, and allows a widely disproportionate number of GLBT homeless youth to be exploited and die on the streets.  Gay rights are human rights too, and the corporatism and militarism of the right wing democrat party and their followers hurt gay rights.

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By OzarkMichael, May 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

The perpetual impatience, anger, hatred and dissatisfaction that far Leftists have for this President is astounding. Even I can see that Obama is doing the best he can for the causes you believe in. If I believed that homosexual couples can be “married”(which i dont) I would be pleased with this a a step in the right direction.

Change is slow in this country, so every step in the ‘right’ direction ought to be appreciated.

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By Arouete, May 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

oakland steve: Part one: Actually I was alluding to Richard A. Posner’s marvelous book on the subject but if YOU are going to quote Justice Jackson you might want to do enough homework to avoid making a complete fool of yourself.

I ‘trust you do not know’ “the Constitution is not a suicide pact” is a phrase in American political and legal discourse and expresses the well-settled principal that constitutional restrictions on governmental power must be balanced against the need for survival of the state and its people.

I also ‘trust you do not know’ it was first formulated by THOMAS JEFFERSON re: the treaty for the Louisiana territory whence he wrote,

“[a] strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.”

I ‘trust you also do not know’ the phrase is most often attributed to ABRAHAM LINCOLN (not Justice Jackson), as a response to charges that he was violating the United States Constitution by suspending habeas corpus during the American Civil War. The precise phrase “suicide pact” was (you are partly correct) first used by Justice Robert H. Jackson in his dissenting opinion in Terminiello v. Chicago (1949).  But a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and you demonstrate an ignorance of the issue thoroughly discussed in that case and other precedents. In Terminiello the majority opinion written by Justice William O. Douglas overturned the disorderly conduct conviction of a fascist priest whose anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi ranting at a rally had, in fact, incited a riot. The Court held that Chicago’s breach of the peace ordinance violated the First Amendment and never reached the issue of Terminiello acts. The exact quote taken from Jackson’s twenty-four page dissent is,

“The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.”

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By Arouete, May 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

oakland steve: Part Two:

If you are going to pontificate on law you need to learn to make distinctions with a real legal difference: that between speech and acts.  SCOTUS reversed Terminiello NOT because the had a right to incite a riot (which Jackson claimed he actually did—think Oakland Occupy riots) but because the statute in question prohibited protected speech.

Paying lip service te fascist Father Terminiello, condemned the mob outside but vigorously, if not viciously, criticized various political and racial groups whose activities he denounced as inimical to the nation’s welfare. The trial court charged that “breach of the peace” under THE STATUTE (consisting of any “misbehavior which violates the public peace and decorum”) PROHIBITED PROTECTED SPEECH. Whether that speech was composed of derisive, fighting words, which carried it OUTSIDE the scope of the constitutional guarantees was not even reached by the court for SCOTUS struck down the statute.  Jackson was merely pointing out that Terminiello did incite a riot but the court never got that far in the analysis merely because the statute itself could not pass constitutional muster.

Your comprehension of Terminiello should embarrass an L1 for even Douglas acknowledged that freedom of speech was not limitless, and did not apply to “fighting words”. Ergo both Jackson and Douglas agreed on that point; but ironically Jackson was right and made a distinction with a real difference (upheld by later decisions and ergo Jackson was vindicated. Jackson wrote, “but the local court that tried Terminiello was not indulging in theory. It was dealing with a riot, and with a speech that provoked a hostile mob and incited a friendly one, and threatened violence between the two.”

I ‘trust you also do not know’ that, in the unanimous decision, in Chaplinsky (also upholding free speech) Justice Frank Murphy wrote that certain “well-defined and narrowly limited” categories of speech fall outside the bounds of constitutional protection. For instance libel and “fighting” words are NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED for they

“... by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.”

I ‘trust you also do not know’ these precedents reflect the well established ‘clear and present danger test’ established by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in the unanimous opinion for the case Schenck v. United States, (1919) concerning the ability of the government to regulate speech during war. He wrote,


I ‘trust you also do not know’ SCOTUS Justice Arthur Goldberg affirmed these principals in the 1963 case of Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez where the court ruled

“While [the constitution] confirms citizenship rights, plainly there are imperative obligations of citizenship, ... which Congress ... may constitutionally exact and while [the Constitution] protects against invasions of individual rights, it is not a suicide pact.”

But when it comes to matters of law you would be wise to remain silent and presumed a fool rather than open your mouth to remove all doubt.

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By Arouete, May 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

oakland steve part three:

For you to even suggest that I or Obama would not ‘uphold the free speech rights of an unpopular speaker’ is not only off-point it displays ignorance of the law you presume to sophomorically pontificate on. It’s also a gross mis-representation that demonstrates an abysmal lack of intellectual integrity. Unless one is a moron with an I.Q. below 85 and armed with a pea-shooter brain no one could in ‘good faith’ argue I or Obama have ever taken such a position. What rubbish.  When it comes to our integrity: res ipsa loquiter.

Your many bitter snarks here not only denote a classic troll but very reveal your irresponsible notion of ‘free speech’ permits one to defame, slander, libel, shout fire in crowded theater, or otherwise create a clear and present danger that loose blabbering lips will sink ships.  Sorry child but the Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact. Go argue with over a century of sound jurisprudence. I’ll defer to Jefferson and Lincoln over a bitter smart-ass troll any day. 

Turning to this particular issue of marriage equality, indeed, “Talk is cheap” & in your case about as cheap as cheap can get. Your cheap snark that socalcde is “absolutely wrong” that Obama always believed in marriage equality is, itself, absolutely ignorant. I trust you also do not know marriage equality was Obama’s original platform (widely published in the Chicago press) when he ran for the Illinois Senate as far back as 1997. But I am not going to do all the easy homework for a lazy high school sophomore. What he said later was the political Ketman that was absolutely necessary to get him where he is so he can do what he just did. But your brand narrow minded reactionary absolutism would require him to commit political suicide. You reflect H. L. Mencken’s caveat that “for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

In closing Mr. phoney ‘philosopher’ the root of the word is philo (meaning FRIEND) and unlike bitter know-nothings who pretend to know-it-all and are quick with the pubescent snarks, Obama has proven himself a friend of LBGT community and a supporter of equal rights in a manner that is unmatched in presidential history.  Few, if any, presidents have ever stuck their necks out so far in the defense of equal rights and to stand by their FRIENDS.  It was a display of political and personal courage none but a bitter nowhere-man nincompoop would trash.  Unlike Obama no one would ever mistake you for a class act.

Too bad there is nary a trace of philosophy or friendship to be found your small-minded sanctimonious self-righteousness. Your bitterness drips from the page. I will leave you as I find you: pickled in your own venom. Now off to bed with you little troll and don’t forget that bottle of whatever poison it is that you suck on.

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By americanme, May 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Obomber is so full of shit.

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By Jihobr, May 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

In a time where so little is accomplished, I for one am grateful that Obama has made this move. Sure it is a political move. Everything he does (or doesn’t d0) is political. Our national argument has brought us to the point where a guy is damned if he does and damned if he don’t.

Take for instance if Obama closes Gitmo tomorrow. There will be those who say he’s doing it for political reasons. Others will criticize him for being soft on terrorists. Then there will be the ones who say it’s not enough.

Let’s not look too deep into motivations and just be thankful he took a courageous stand only months before an election.  In other words, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You’ll never get something even close to this from a Romney.

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By bahmi, May 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John Travolta is ecstatic today!!! Thank you, Barack “The Illegal Kenyan” Obama. What a man is this Obama.  The Surveillance President, the Drone President, the freedom taker-away President, wow!, great stuff. The guy with the Yiddish speaking coterie of czars, the guy who refuses to address Sibel Edmonds, the truth about 911. He’s a piece of shit, enjoy voting for this buffalo chip again.

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By MeHere, May 10, 2012 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Excellent article by Scott Tucker!!!

This cartoonish president knows something about the voters. Notice how many seem to be grateful for any bit of insincerity that comes out of his mouth. Can he get any lower than this? Yes, he has and he will.

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By Louis, May 10, 2012 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a whiny piece of nonsense…........accept good things when they come

We are 200 years, more or less, from the realization that homosexuality is most
certainly a born trait.  Likely it was realized before this, at least by those with any

The only thing to celebrate here is our ignorance, for it stands far above such
trivial matters such as civil rights.

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By gregorylkruse, May 10, 2012 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Nobody loves a politician, even a very talented and adroit one, which Barak Obama is.

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By Bushfatigue, May 10, 2012 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Given the primitives who occupy vast swathes of this country, and the powerful
media and corporate forces that pander to and promote them, Obama took a
risk—pushed by his own staff and associates, but still, I can’t understand the
venom here.

So the angry left is going to do what this fall—vote for a Nader again?  Give the
election to lunatics on the Right,  and that creepy Romey, who has
internalized every bias of the 1%?  See the addition of one or two more Alito/Scalia clones to the Supreme Court?

Obama is more or less out of Iraq.  He ended don’t ask, he’s refused to defend
the “defense of marriage,”.  The loss of our democracy to corporate power and
the military/industrial/national security complex began long before Obama,
and its power limits his choices. 

So change is going too slow.  I agree.  Obama has been too slow and timid.  I agree.  But again, do we vilify the person who
gives us the best chance we have for some progress on the margins, and in health care more than the margins, and in so doing, make the way even easier
for the forces in this country that would take away anything and everything the
gay and progressive communities have gained in the last ten years, not to
mention the gains made over the last 70 years (see, EPA, Social Security, Food
Stamps, Regulation of Wall Street, etc. etc.)?

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By Mr. West, May 10, 2012 at 8:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wah, wah, blah, blah. If we put as much energy collectively into being a force for change as we do complaining about the many pretezel shapes the President bends into based on polling. A wave a sediment would be sweeping the nation and making those who support discrimination feeling guilty.

It does not matter how or when the President came to support our policy. It only matters that he supports our policy now, and we run with the ball. Does anyone think our ideology is better served by Mitt Romney? No, of course not.

Therefore the President is our only hope, and how do we thank him for finally coming around knowing his opponent will shirely use this issue against him? We whime, bitch and moan about how we got the President came to support our cause. I am sure that kind of reward is not going to incentivize the President to take further risks.

Folks we need to be more like the GOP. No matter how the president comes to support our policies, whether he stalls, lies, cheats, begs or barrows it doesn’t matter. We unify around the bully pulpit of the president and use the momentum. Liberals constantly squander our President’s bully pulpit with petty immature infighting. Where as the GOP unifies and attacks the left by any means possible.

Liberals are never going to beat the Conservatives until we realize we are in a street fight. Conservatives will use every trick in the book to win. Where liberals get so fractured and take politics so personally we are practically useless as a collective. Wake-up folks, we need to gather our strength in numbers and crush the minority.

It kills me to witness an insurgent GOP minority constantly taking advantage of the liberal majority. There will always be time for post mortem analysis after we win, but, if we keep over analysizing our victories during each fight the other side is going to win the war.

This isn’t rocket science, but, sometimes I believe we are too smart for our own good. Instead of worrying about how we got here, check the box, move on and begin worrying about winning the next fight.  This is how we win the political war. Don’t make Liberal American politic policies an Afghanistan right here at home. We’ve got the edge in ever growing demographics, use our edge wisely and win, damit !!!

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By MollyJ, May 10, 2012 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

I agree with what Glenn Greenwald says and will give him credit for this.

But Scott Tucker completely covers it here.  For his accomplishments, give the president a single Skittle.  (Not even a cookie.)

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By mrfreeze, May 10, 2012 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Egomet Bonmot - You certainly are spot on in calling out all the “ingrates” such as Tucker (and many of the commentators here on TD). Just go over to Scheer’s top piece today. The vomiting of hatred and venom by the commentators toward the president is stunning….and IMHO senseless.

Last year Obama was accused of “throwing a bone” regarding DADT (for which the Left lambasted him) and now it’s this announcement. (note: DADT is now gone….apologies to the president????) Once things settle down and all the haters realize that Mr. Romney and the legions of professional gay bashers are out in force, perhaps they’ll realize who their real enemies are.

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By Egomet Bonmot, May 10, 2012 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

See, this is why I’ve come to hate the left, THIS is my mugging.

I don’t want to be part of any club that includes dope ingrates like Tucker.

To the rest of you, enjoy this historic day, and maybe have a nice thought for the guy who made it happen.

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By Marsha, May 10, 2012 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why don’t we have Civil Unions for everyone (get your license, swear to the contract in front of a clerk and you are now all entitled and bound to the same legal rights as all other couples…in other words, you’re now married).

THEN, if you want to have a wedding celebration, go to your church and have one. If your church doesn’t like your looks or your sex or anything about you, they don’t have to preform the wedding and you can find someone else to officiate at the wedding.

It’s called the separation of church and state, you know.

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By jrundin, May 10, 2012 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

I agree with Scott Tucker’s points; they were well-put.

The oligarchs who run this country at last find it icky to discriminate against gays, so that stuff has to go.

Too bad they don’t find the U.S.’ horrible record on medical care, poverty, and human rights abuses equally icky.

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By Owen R. Broadhurst, May 10, 2012 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My hope is that he takes this further, with an acknowledgement of 1) the role that the 1st amendment plays in protecting those faiths that do not discriminate from any discriminatory treatment by states in how their marital sacraments are solemnized, 2) the role that the 14th amendment plays in extending protections of the Bill of Rights to same sex couples, and 3) the role of the Privileges and Immunities clause in its guarantees of comity. Currently, the President has yet to be dissuaded from his opinion that state governments are legally free to pretend neither one of these clauses have impact and authority.

Y’know what? I won’t hold my breath.

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By krrrlll, May 10, 2012 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

I can’t believe many of the comments here that actually seem to be grateful to Obama for this cheap and totally expected “bone” that he’s throwing in order to show how progressive he is.  How many times does it take for everyone to wake up to this tired game?  Obama is a corporate tool, period, end of story.  He and the Democratic Party will do and say anything to be re-elected.  Those that are exonerating others to be grateful for this manipulative, insincere, machiavellian gesture are going to be right back here commenting in other articles about Obama’s horrendous duplicity.  Where are your standards?  Are you going to hold fast or give in to this obviously cheap ploy to win you over in an election year once again?

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By rancone, May 10, 2012 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

“...including by the unscripted remarks of Vice President
I quit reading at this point. Prove these were completely
unscripted. Prove Secretary Duncan’s comments were
Lack of sophistication does not make a story. Perhaps it is
a point of view of a person with only a point of view.

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By mrfreeze, May 10, 2012 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

oakland steve - In answer to your comment:

I’m not giving the president a pass. Far from it. But in this particular instance I simply can’t cotton to the utter nastiness about the man…..He can be “right” every once and awhile WITHOUT critics attempting to parse his subjective thinking. If people feel the need to hang labels on him about baby killing, Wall Street loving, etc. fine…. but when it comes to this particular issue, he has moved the goal post further than any other major politician. He doesn’t need, nor deserve a “thanks but no thanks.”

Of course, you’re also correct. The party will soon be over, because there is an ARMY of politicians, religious douche bags and Media scum bags on the opposite side who will do everything they can to persecute gays. I think, at least for the moment, all the enmity, venom and hatred should be hurled at them and not the president.

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By Marsha, May 10, 2012 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At best, Obama has endorsed marriage equality on the federal level (although I’m sure he will do nothing to actually further that position).  He is in favor of leaving gay marriage as a state’s right’s decision. Imagine him taking such a right wing stand on interracial marriage or slavery. He did NOT endorse marriage for gays and lesbians as a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution.

What Obama said today was he wanted money from rich gays for his campaign and any self respecting gay person should be insulted by his ‘evolving’ comments of the last 4 years…

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By James M. Martin, May 10, 2012 at 5:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I might be inclined to agree with you if the statistics showed support for gay marriage at, say, 60 percent.  It is not.  The country is about equally divided on the issue.  With that sort of balanced equation, he risks losing votes, not winning them.  I think you’re being overly critical.  You could have gone further though: you could have said he was trying to shake loose the big gay donor element, the people with so much discretionary money they won’t mind putting a million or two into the reelection.  This means people like David Geffen, the media magnate.  But the potential loss of votes is very real, e.g. folks who liked Obama until he came out for “fags.”  Get real!  This was one of the most courageous things any president has ever done, just what we would expect of a man who sent military ops after Bin Laden when advisors said there was no better than a 50% chance at most that he would be where he was, in that Abbottabad compound.  He has shown the most courage since FDR.  I love him and wish he could be president for life.

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By SarcastiCanuck, May 10, 2012 at 5:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well Scott,what happens if this issue loses Obama the presidency?What will you bitch about then?

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By Jay Lindberg, May 10, 2012 at 5:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That Drug War NAZI in the white house is no friend of

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By rharwell, May 10, 2012 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I have stated elsewhere, he has not changed and he has not evolved. This is election BS to get ELECTED. He has had plenty of time to be in front of gay rights, same sex marriages, women’s rights, etc and he has not done so. He knows he is neck and neck with this freak Romney, has lost the Independents, the young voter and the liberals. He will do nothing with his “evolution” for it is all words. He made it very clear way back where he stands. That has not changed. He has become a political hack, a political professional who will go which ever way the wind blows. You are fooling yourself if you believe he has suddenly matured. This is not a victory. It is political expedience. Get over the sugar rush.

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By oakland steve, May 10, 2012 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

Arouete:  Enjoy your parade.  If this is a victory for you, fine.  I hope you enjoy the excitement of the campaign.

As a proud Cynic, I suggest you don’t know what the term or philosophy actually means.  And if you’re going to borrow from Aesop, get the meaning of the fables straight—the Fox never ate the grapes.

If you’re going to quote Justice Jackson’s remark, “The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact,” I trust you know that he was criticizing the majority opinion, written by William O. Douglas, upholding the free speech rights of an unpopular speaker.  If that’s your kind of 1st amendment, you can have it.  You sound like someone who might enjoy a second Obama term.

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By Arouete, May 10, 2012 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

“Now maybe career Democrats will “evolve” on issues such as war, empire, torture, civil liberties and habeas corpus”

Psst. The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact.

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By G, May 10, 2012 at 3:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s tossed another bone to the “left” - to which the “left” may find reason to pardon Obama’s support for (or gutless rejection against) policies which now endlessly rob us of health, home, and wealth.
Thanks for nuthin’, O.

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By Arouete, May 10, 2012 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

Cynics contribute nothing. I have been a BIG Obama critic. I have been merciless. But I understand Ketman. This took cajones! This took what American and the world has been lacking! LEADERSHIP! Spit out those sour grapes. WE MUST TAKE OUR VICTORIES AS WE FIND THEM.  Three cheers for Barack Obama! I will cut my grocery bills to contribute to his campaign. He has won my respect and my admiration. Go rain on somebody else’s parade.

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By arpryse, May 10, 2012 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

Socalcde, I must agree with your comment. Once again,
a Truthdig columnist has failed to recognise the
reality of the American political system. Amazing,
considering what this website is all about.

As a non-American, I find this frustrating approach
to commentary really quite unhelpful. The ultimate
message of “There is more still to do, Mr. President”
could have been made in a positive manner.

Given the current state of your politics, I am
doubtful that a Civil Rights Act could get passed in
2012. Good thing that happened decades ago before the
‘do nothing’ Republican Congress.

I suggest a count of some of your blessings about

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By oakland steve, May 10, 2012 at 3:23 am Link to this comment


“I’m sure that the President has always believed in marriage equality, as most people do…”  If by that, you mean the right for gays and lesbians to marry, you’re absolutely wrong.  Obama specifically said he was opposed to gay marriage during the 2007-8 campaign…and most people do not yet support the concept (from Prop 8 here in California to yesterday’s North Carolina vote). 

The issue is not the popularity of those asserting their rights, it’s the acknowledgment of those rights in law.  We don’t hold plebiscites to validate constitutional rights—those are not and should not be subject to the whims of the Tea Party mouth breathers.

Obama can actually do something through Executive Orders, without having to get the buy-in of anyone in the legislative branch.  I predict that he’ll do nothing—this is the same kind of crap he dealt out in 2007 and 2008 when he ran as the kind of guy people wanted after eight years of Alfred E. Newman. All liberal-left talk and all neo-liberal action.  A fraud.

Talk is cheap.  That’s what he’s selling to those gay and lesbians with wallets.


I’m surprised at your hostility to those who doubt Obama’s sincerity.  You usually show much more insight into the passing electoral circus.

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By camnai, May 10, 2012 at 3:03 am Link to this comment

The best is the enemy of the better.

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By Jihobr, May 10, 2012 at 1:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Evolution of position is possible has posts from some who have
had a change of heart. I for one don’t care if the change had political undertones. It is a
historic change and will lead to more hearts evolving

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Non-Compassionate Liberal's avatar

By Non-Compassionate Liberal, May 10, 2012 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

Yeah, Obama got this over with.  Now don’t bother him while he raids medical marijuana facilities, puts the screws to Bradley Manning, and kills innocent people with drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

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By bigchin, May 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Indeed!... and notice how the Stepford Dems come out in the comments to defend their brave leader.  Hilarious and pathetic at once.

Obama did not come out in defense of gay marriage, he came out in defense of each individual state to decide for itself and if a state like NC decimates that right (along w/civil unions and domestic partnerships), well, he’s okay with that even though he’d really wish they’d do otherwise.

Wish in one hand, crap in the other, see which one fills up faster…

Obama is, thoroughly, a coward and a liar.

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By Insipid, May 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First off the “major gay donors not signing checks” is a cannard you just pulled out of your derriere.  If it’s a choice between Romney and Obama, the guy who ended DADT and passed more pro gay rights legislation then ANY other President in history- well there is no choice.
Secondly you’re trying to have it all ways.  One you say this White House is conniving and that they think through everything, but you also say it’s inept in letting Biden make “unscripted” remarks.

Third you’re absolutely right about the electoral genius of him coming oout in favor of gay marriage.  I mean after all 32 states have passed pro gay-marriage amendments and Rove managed to win the White House in 2004 by putting marriage amendments on the ballot.  Oh, no!  Wait the exact OPPOSITE happened and politically gay marriage has been a huge loser.  But let’s pretend this was a no-brainer.

Fourth, there’s no electoral gain because people like you will not let him have a victory.  You’ll bend yourself in knots to MAKE SURE that the base is depressed and to drive down turn out.  Driving down turn out is, by the way, the EXACT SAME strategy of Karl Rove.

There is very little difference i find between people like you and the far right.  Your rhetoric towards this President is increasingly similar and you both seem unhinged from reality.  You also love to twist yourself in knots trying to find ways that every seeming success is really either a wash or a loss.  What’s “empty” here is not Obama.  You’re nothing but a vacuous complaint machine.

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By Paul Abruzzo, May 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At least someone had the balls to call obama out for
the phony piece of shit he is.

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By Roger Donovan, May 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tucker, your train didn’t make it to the station. It’s a given that everything
POTUS says can be deemed “political.” He is, after all, a politician. However,
it is time the man, Barack Obama, is given credit for the courage and
effective leadership he has demonstrated time and time again since taking

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By mrfreeze, May 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

socalcde - Thanks for your comment. I wanted to say something similar but I’m afraid I lack your diplomatic flair.

Simply put: Why the fuck must everyone try to second-guess Obama on EVERYTHING knowing full-well that he LIVES in the White House; probably the most POLITICAL f**king place on the face of the earth.

And I’ll say it again, Mr. Tucker needs to get his head on straight (pardon the pun): Sometimes it’s far better to simply accept good things for being…...good things. Making the president “wrong” for this is nothing but pissy nonsense.

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By socalcde, May 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

You’re blaming a politician for playing politics?  I’m sure that the President has always believed in marriage equality, as most people do, but political change is a process, and the President is a professional politician and a very savvy one, that’s why he’s the president. It seems to me that Biden’s comments were planned to come before Obama’s announcement today. Obama has moved “forward” with this issue and even though it is obviously the right thing to do, doing so in an election year should be considered courageous. How do you think this issue would be handled by Romney, or any other GOP president?

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By gerard, May 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

“You can please ___ of the people ___of the time, and
you can please ___ of the people ____ of the time, but you can’t please ____ of the people ____ of the time.”

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By Bill Godwin, May 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry Truthdig, you miss the point so badly with Scott Tucker’s article, trying
so hard to spoil a great moment in history REGARDLESS of the reasons
behind it, that I must unfriend you, now and forever.

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By infidelgado, May 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Something about “looking a gift horse in the mouth”.

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By Hank Vandenberg, May 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perfectly reasonable interpretation by Tucker.
Obama has been such a consistent deception in his loyal service to the rich, there just has to be some ulterior motive to this “evolution.”  In fact, the whole use of the word “evolution” smells from here to high heaven.  One does not suddenly go from being an alleged liberal community organizer to a complete tool for the 1 percent and then back again to caring about the same gays and lesbians that he completely shunned earlier in his term.
Is he trying to get back the youth vote? Does he need something to placate delusional progressives before he approves the deadly Keystone pipeline?  Is he preparing another war?  I don’t know.  But in the meantime, I am not celebrating this long, long-overdue change of opinion for fear of what liberals will soon have to swallow as Obama seeks money from corporate donors.

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By Shelley Brown, May 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course this is timed to “Woo” LGBT voters to Obama’s campaign machine…is there anyone who could doubt it? Regardless… in the light of the Republican ridiculousness where bedroom habits and birth control have become campaign fodder of the uttermost importance ... its good to actually hear the sane stance being given some less convoluted
political attention by the Dems…. finally.

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By Daniele Colajacomo, May 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At the cost of receiving the ires of the intolerant I agree with this short editorial.

To thank your torturer for a meal while he keeps torturing you is what most Americans - bless their exploited and abused optimism - encourage the rest of us to do.

Obama - like his predecessor and surely his potential, Republican alternative - is responsible not only for war crimes, but for bringing those crimes at home by encouraging the current torturing of every day Americans randomly picked up and abused by security forces simply for participating in free speech activities.

You must be hopelessly deluded if - faced with hundreds if not thousands of videotaped beatings, abuses, and verifiable accounts of torture by Occupy protesters who have done nothing wrong - you still think this is just the work of a few - blatantly unpunished - bad apples that the president simply has forgotten to address.

Obama has effectively ended democracy in America by abolishing the most sacred pillars of every democracy: the presumption of innocence, the right to due process and legal representation, and the guarantee of a fair trial by your peers.

I will spare the countless other unconstitutional executive orders and bills that have come to pass - including the arbitrary criminalization of free speech by the Secret Service which can land you in jail for 10 years.

I will just point out that democracy has ended in America under Obama - and I was routing for him in ‘08 just to clarify I’m not making things up because I am some kind of nut.

All the while, the astounding displacement going on in this country whereas Americans refuse to face the fact that this is, under ANY definition, legal or historic, a democracy is troubling to say the least and those who advocate for a dictatorship - which has effectively arrived - must be laughing all the way to the next mortgage robbery.

The rule of law has been subverted - thanks to Obama acquiescence. I, and millions of others who are courageous enough to call it like it really easy, will not thank Obama until he has ended torture of foreigners as well as our daughters and sons here at home. I will not thank him because he has delivered the country to a lawless, militarized authoritarian force, has delivered our wealth into the hands of the largest criminal network every to oppress and rob working Americans of all of their possessions, all of their hope and all of their legal recourses. He has allowed authoritarian rule in the country, and I will not thank him for the meal he’s serving so that he can get elected.

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By Lavocat, May 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Or: “Let’s throw a bone to the base to give them at least one decent reason NOT to sit out this election.”

Americans are such sheep.  This is a big deal?  Really?  No, it’s not.  It is nothing more than a crumb from the table.  Parse this pretender’s words carefully.  It is nothing more than shrewd politics from a modern-day Machiavelli.  It is extremely cost-effective GOTV.  For sheep.

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By Steve, May 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You are a sad, sad man. Had he said nothing you would be huffing about that. It is lose lose with people like you.

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By Anne, May 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He’s “letting the states decide.” Now where has that gotten us in the past?

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By Ron R., May 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry, but this editorial seems awfully cynical to me. Obama told his Atty General not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act. He got the armed forces to drop Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Both were significant progress. Sounds like Scott Tucker is rolling his eyes and whining “yeah, but what have you done for me since yesterday?” I also disagree with Tucker’s assumption about Biden’s remarks being “unscripted.” I think both Biden’s and Secy Duncan’s remarks in the past week were authorized by the White House with an eye to Obama’s interview today.

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By Ann Toomey-Doane, May 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sour grapes for sure! Well you can’t sway me. I am proud of our POTUS and stand behind him. I hadn’t realized that Truthdig was so right wing.

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By Michael Swanson, May 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lovely attitude.  Guess you’re perfect, Scott.  And so important too.

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By Rondo, May 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are politicians, even bright ones, always the last to get it?  Isn’t this just an opinion by Obama, it isn’t legislation?  It’s an opinion that might get him additional votes. Why is it that free thinking folks like Truthdig members can grovel for crumbs? We want a change not in opinions but in ridding our social structure of the pernicious intrusion of large multinational corporations.

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By Leslie G., May 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

wtf???: This article is why DEMS have problems winning elections…

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, May 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

What a whiny piece of nonsense…........accept good things when they come along….

Tucker, I wonder what you’re like when you don’t get what you want?

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By Jeff N., May 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Whoaaa Truthdig, really pushing the envelope here aren’t we?  Might start scaring away your readers with this kind of commentary.. at least you sufficiently neutered this man’s assertions with your ridiculous editorial note (which, I might add, was disappointingly absent from that drug-addled excrement Pfaff put out last night).

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By John Poole, May 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Empty suit. Perfect!

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