Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thanks to President Obama for Increasing Our Chocolate Ration

I'm not doing the "I Told You So" dance, exactly, nor am I feeling much Schadenfreude. I am feeling some grim satisfaction that gay and pro-gay Obama fans are finally experiencing a crisis of faith. It took them long enough!

The occasion of their discomfiture is twofold: the first was the Department of Justice's decision to defend the Defense of Marriage Act against a court challenge, put in terms that seem almost calculated to incense nice liberals. (Omighod! they totally compare us to child molesters!) The second was Obama's announcement that he was tossing a few crumbs to US Civil Service employees with same-sex partners. Maybe because it came so quickly after the first provocation, many of Obama's former defenders are actually skeptical (via) of their Messiah this time. And rightly so: Obama has not issued an executive order, but a non-binding memo; the benefits being extended may not even be new; the benefits are limited by the provisions of the same Defense of Marriage Act that Obama's DOJ is defending. Why, it's as if he doesn't care about us! It's as if this is just an empty public relations move!

Some of the faithful have not fallen away, of course: he hasn't had time yet, or he's playing eleven-dimensional chess with the Republicans, but in the end we will see that he really, really was on our side all along. The difference between them and those who are now mad as hell is mainly a matter of degree, though. The latter were able to overlook Obama's overtures to antigay Christians via Donnie McClurkin, his faith-based (and therefore irrelevant) opposition to same-sex marriage, and his buddying up with Rick Warren. More seriously to my mind, they were able to make the same excuses when Obama appointed a staff made up mainly of Reagan Democrats and Bush holdovers; when he continued the Bush-Paulson bailout of the financial industry (but then, he'd been part of it all along); when he played a shell game with US prisoners at Guantanamo; when he protected American war criminals and torturers from even the threat of prosecution; when he extended the blockade of Cuba, kept silent during the Israeli assault on Gaza, and escalated the US war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing many innocent people. Through all of this Obama's fans lightly dismissed his critics: give him time, he's got a plan, he needs our support not our criticism. On the one hand I welcome them to the fold of naysayers on Mount Disdain; on the other, I notice that they only got upset when their own ox was being gored.

More on this later ... I'm in Incheon Airport, waiting for my flight back to the US.

(P.S. -- I'd have preferred the "Will and Grace" version, but you work with the "I Told You So" dance you have. Or the one that's available on YouTube, anyway.)