The Obama campaign has been mystifying observers for a while in its sheer audacity. Not necessarily audacious in hope, but rather in flip-flopping, Obama has been running so far to the right as of late to shock even longtime critics like yours truly.
When not advocating an expansion of George W. Bush’s government funding program for religious organizations, extension of the warrantless wiretap law, or claiming ignorance about the teachings of his own pastor, Obama is taking steps to distance himself from gay people.
Whether it’s slamming marriage equality while announcing his opposition to California’s anti-gay marriage ballot initiative or the possible nomination of notorious homophobe Sam Nunn as his VP nominee, Obama has shown nothing but contempt for LGBT Americans.
Which makes this article from Newsweek’s John Alter advocating a Nunn Democratic VP nomination all that much more patronizing to LGBT Americans, especially this portion:
The biggest stumbling block in selecting Nunn is his support in 1993 for a Pentagon study that backed a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy for gays in the military. Nunn’s position now is a mixture of new rhetoric (“I’m grateful to the thousands of gays and lesbians serving today”) and a willingness to “review the policy” with an eye toward “eventually” changing it.
This won’t be nearly enough for the gay and lesbian community and other liberals, for whom a controversial position of 15 years ago is still fresh. But, contrary to what many assume, this constituency does not have a veto over Obama’s choice. And after pleasing gay rights groups by expressing his opposition to a California ballot initiative that would change the state constitution to bar gay marriage, Obama has some room to maneuver.
The blunt political truth is that Nunn’s history on this issue might actually help the Democratic ticket in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. While gays would protest loudly if Nunn is the nominee, his selection would show Obama’s independent streak in standing up to a powerful Democratic interest group.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide which assertion is most pathetic:
1) The assertion that all gay and lesbian Americans are “liberals”;
2) The idea that Obama’s speechifying on a state issue not directly relevant to the presidency in California “makes up for” dithering in a federal area — military readiness — by taking the wrong side on an issue that a supermajority of Americans have long thought should change;
3) The idea that bigotry against gays and lesbians is demonstrative of an “independent streak” (one wonders if Alter and his media cohorts would characterize David Duke’s policies against African Americans as edgy and independent);
4) The idea that gay people have any significant power or influence in the Democratic Party — which has been taking the votes and contributions of gay people for two decades yet delivered not a single substantive positive policy change in that time.
If this article is what passes for “political analysis” in the mainstream media, it’s no wonder we’re stuck with a boatload of mediocre candidates this election cycle. The media isn’t doing its job.