Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Real Leadership

Everyone I know is all excited right now, because President Obama totally endorsed gay marriage!  And he only waited until everyone else in the known universe, or at least his administration (same difference -- We Are the World) had gotten in ahead of him, except of course for the great state of North Carolina.

My Tabloid Friend linked to this story, quoting this excerpt:
OBAMA: I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
How does he know that his staff members are monogamous?  Oh, yeah, right, we live in an age of surveillance; they'd damned well better be monogamous, because Predator Drones.  And at least he admits that the US military is fighting on his behalf, not the country's.  But this is typical Obama bloviating.  Remember when he told us about the first homosexual he met, who was "comfortable in his own skin" and not "proselytizing all the time"?  Remember too that he has claimed that he opposed same-sex marriage on personal religious grounds.  I think I need to know why he's suddenly decided that those personal beliefs and the sacredness of man-woman marriage don't matter anymore; his platitudes today just don't cut it.

The ThinkProgress story includes an update:
The Log Cabin Republicans’ R. Clarke Cooper was quick to try to discredit Obama’s announcement, calling it “cold comfort” and “offensive and callous” in the wake of the defeat in North Carolina yesterday. “This administration has manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week he does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short,” Cooper said. 
Now, the only reason Cooper was able to criticize Obama so forthrightly and so accurately was that Obama is a Democrat.  If a Republican President had said exactly the same things in exactly the same context -- a day after a state had passed a state-constitutional ban on same-sex marriage -- Cooper would probably be exulting just as his Democratic counterparts are exulting today.  But that doesn't make his criticism less accurate.  As an old friend of mine, who's much more supportive of Obama than I am, put it in her news feed today:
Yes, we know, President Obama has always supported us in his heart. It's about time he started supporting us with his words. It's like he's been dating us secretly for the past four years, and now he's finally changed his relationship status from "It's Complicated."
When someone like Sissy says something like that, I know that the President's remarks today were weak -- it isn't just my cynicism and professional leftism.

One of the reasons I have so little respect for the "marriage equality" movement is that they never seem to question the Christian Right's claims that God wants marriage to be "one man, one woman."  No one should be allowed to get away with saying that without having their nose rubbed in the biblical norm of polygamy.  Democracy Now! played a clip this morning of a commercial supporting the ban: "Marriage has been one man and one woman since before North Carolina was a state."  But marriage was one man and several women long before the European invaders overran the Americas.  Monogamy was just part of the paganization of Christianity by the Roman Empire.  For that matter, even monogamy was, from the point of view of Jesus and Saint Paul, one spouse too many for those who really cared about the Lord.  That proponents of "marriage equality" (gag me) can't stand up to the Right's distortions of the history of marriage is a good reason not to trust them; in their hearts you know they're Right themselves.

P.S.  Whatever It Is I'm Against It says that it's legal for fourteen-year-old girls to marry in North Carolina.  "If they're pregnant."   Which is a reminder that "marrying children," that other bugaboo of those who oppose same-sex marriage, is also a Christian tradition.  Not only among Christians, of course.  Which reminds me: why is marriage supposed to be so great again?