‘his legacy on gay rights is beginning to build into a historic one’

Andrew Sullivan: …. the same can be said of marriage equality in Maryland, where extreme rhetoric in the debate turned some previously anti-gay marriage legislators around. The NYT reports on the muted response of the GOP’s potential presidential candidates to the Obama administration’s decision not to defend Section 3 of DOMA in the courts. I don’t for a minute believe that the Christianist base will be satisfied if the House decides to let sleeping gays lie, but the feeling is different now, don’t you think?

The genius of the Holder decision is that it forces the GOP to decide very quickly whether to double-down on this issue.
It’s the last thing Boehner wants to be thinking or talking about. And Obama has wisely restricted his shift to the federal government’s recognition of what states have already done. In other words, Obama’s decision can be viewed as a federalist one…

Meanwhile, the gays are ecstatic – a little too ecstatic in my view. Not to say I am not extremely gratified by the DOJ’s decision. Just that I recognize its limits. As Obama used to say: no sudden moves. But his legacy on gay rights is beginning to build into a historic one. Yes, I have complained loudly in the past. My loyalty is to the issue, not the president. But he is coming through – more cunningly than most of us grasped.

Which is not the first time one can say that on many issues, where Obama’s caution and incrementalism have begun to create a legacy that is deeply unsatisfying in the present but looks rather substantive from the rear-view mirror.

Full article here


I’d never lump Sullivan in with the increasingly hysterical Greenwald – you know, the obsessive promoter of the Julian Assange Cult of Personality (an Assangenaut, if you like). He almost praised the President, incidentally, for his DOMA decision in his latest interminable rant, but he largely opted – surprise! – to spew bile again. Truly, this guy makes your average ‘Obama = Hitler’ banner-wielding Teabagger seem reasoned, ‘fair and balanced’.

…..but, Sullivan has really got to make his mind up: is President Obama a sell-out not worthy of his support any more (as he wrote recently), or is he is a President who is “coming through – more cunningly than most of us grasped”? And one whose “legacy on gay rights is beginning to build into a historic one”?

25 Responses to “‘his legacy on gay rights is beginning to build into a historic one’”

  1. 1 Blackman
    February 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Helloooo, Ms. Chipsticks

    My first post over at BWD’s joint was today and my first one at your place as well. Time to come out of the lurking shadows! Firstly, LOVE your place and perspectives. And, if I look at nothing else, you and BWD are places where I MUST come for info. and discussion. DO keep up the EXcellent work. Now…

    I find it quite interesting, and I see that you did as well, Sullivan’s “Eureka” epiphany that PBO is: “coming through – more cunningly than most of us grasped”. Now, he’s supposed to be quite the bright guy. I have seen evidence of this myself. But, it’s like: “Dude..you FInally noticed this?????”

    It is MADDENING to me that this kind of begrudging, and so very often, back handed compliment is given the Pres. It’s like this guy was the HEAD of the HARVARD REVIEW!!!(which clearly had NOTHING to do with his complexion or his warm and inviting smile – yes…I noticed there is MUCH talk about that here 🙂 ) Do the Leftist “intelligencia” KNOW what that means??? I mean, these folk GRIPE because he really wants them to exercise their intelligence. We go from a guy who can’t pronounce “nuclear” to one where an actual comPLAINT is that he’s “professorial”. A COMPLAINT!!!

    I noted that this has been discussed here before so I’ll say it this way. It’s noooot just that he’s black. It’s that he’s black and really, REALLY smart. Black AND smart for a number of people is still a combination that is difficult to accept. And, then, he’s so damn strategic. All of the carrying on puts into full view just how many, who are supposed to be able to analyze well, REALLY struggle with what is SO plain and is right in front of their faces. And, as many here often note, overall, he really hasn’t changed. And, that he has/is is all toward the good and better.

    I completely agree that Sullivan needs to make up his mind (noted that BWD stopped linking to him). There is NOTHING intelligent about big words attempting to disguise petulance.

    • February 26, 2011 at 12:13 am

      Hiya Blackman – absolutely lovely to have you here, thank you so much for visiting!

      I’m just as puzzled by Andrew Sullivan – and others – as you, I found his comments on the President today utterly bizarre, in light of the abuse he showered on him recently.

      The Professional Left constantly sneer at the notion that the President plays ‘chess’ with these issues, the ‘chess-master’ term is now their favorite sarky term of abuse for him.

      But Sullivan, a hero for many of the PL, effectively conceded today that that is precisely what the President is: a chess-master. “He is coming through – more cunningly than most of us grasped.”

      And what I love most about this President is how he never acts on these endlessly hysterical demands for INSTANT action. He bides his time, making sure he gets it right when he strikes – DADT, Egypt, DOMA, etc, etc, etc.

      They demand drama, he’s only interested in results – as Sullivan pretty much conceded today.

      Maybe one day they’ll all admit they got it wrong, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Still, it’s curious that the “HOMOPHOBE!!!” has repealed DADT, kick-started the repeal of DOMA and introduced countless other pieces of gay rights legislation. Truly, they’ll need to change the “HOMOPHOBE!!!” tune soon!

    • 3 Temp
      February 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Oh yes, I notice now that what was once a bragging right – president of the Harvard law review – has turned into: president of the Haaahvard law review.


    • 4 EDP4BHO
      February 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Blackman, welcome here. I agree with the most glaring statement you made in your comments, and the one that needs no further analysis…..”he’s black and really, REALLY smart”. I no longer belly ache about these jackasses. A black man came along with sense, long-suffering, smarts, sincerity, style, grace, warmth, charm, strength, beauty, pragmatism, focus, humor, kindness, generosity, loyalty…….so many attributes to name. This was/is not the common view of a black man here or in the international community. And the yocals have all lost their fucking minds.

    • 5 Dorothy Rissman
      February 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      blackman, welcome to this fab site. Very astute comment.

      “It’s that he’s black and really, REALLY smart. Black AND smart for a number of people is still a combination that is difficult to accept.”

      So true, so true. These so called pundits and smart white guys just never expected for his wonderful black man to be smarter than them. I am sure they would say they are not racist, but truth is these “smart” people will never acknowledge it.

      PS. Chris Matthew and his endless carping that the president is too aloof, distant, untouchable, uncaring, and an unsympathetic man. Talk about stupid.

      • 6 majii
        February 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm

        Matthews, Schultz, Greenwald, Sullivan, and the rest of those who are always getting it wrong where PBO is concerned reveal the limitations of their contact with different races and kinds of people with every word they write/say that disparages our president. The problem isn’t PBO, it’s them. He’s had a very rich life during which he’s made it his business to get to know as many people of all kinds as he could, so finding exceptional people in every population is no surprise to him. For Sullivan and the others to see a man like PBO—a type of individual they’ve had very little contact with in their lifetimes—-is very unsettling to them. They keep trying to stereotype him and place him into a box of their own making, and they keep failing. I give credit to his mom, Stanley, for him being the exceptional individual that he is, and for rearing him to know that people are all basically the same. I’m older that PBO, and even though I grew up under segregation, my parents were very enlightened individuals who refused to let their kids grow up to hate and refused to let their kids think that they couldn’t soar above the racism and bigotry. PBO soars above them and many others, and they are incapable of understanding why. It frees you up to never meet a stranger when you’re reared this way. It frees you up to never be afraid to talk to others even though they may not look like yourself. It frees you up to abandon the stereotypes that could cause you to not recognize the excellence in others instead of the color of their skin or the religion they practice. They’ll never understand him, and they’ll keep reaching the wrong conclusions about him, because while he’s soaring high above them like an eagle, their minds are locked down by the steel-reinforced concrete of stereotypes, bigotry, and their own extreme cynicism, with an added dose of racism which they’ll never acknowledge.

        • 7 Dorothy Rissman
          February 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

          Majii, You are so right. I hope presidential scholars will be able to get beyond this stereotype . I do so worry about our president, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this country will reelect him.

          • 8 Audrey
            February 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm

            No need to worry Dorothy, God is in total control of this matter just in case nobody has noticed. And only what he says will be, will be.
            If America does not re-elect President Obama, it will be America and the world’s loss. Huge f**king loss. But something tells me that this President will be even greater and more powerful in or out of the White House!
            Every single one of these loud mouths and detractors will eat their words and they will literally BEG for the days when President Obama was in the WH! They will be asking PBO to intervene at every turn. Watch and see!

        • 12 Audrey
          February 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm

          Right on the mark Maji!

  2. 13 VC prezOfan2
    February 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I never knew the meaning of ‘loyalty’ could be so ephemeral! Very few of the people in the public eye seem able to stand firmly behind the President. Yes, I know Andrew is basically a conservative, but he does sometimes speak with sense. It ‘hurts’ to see that he is only for the president when the president speaks to his ‘issue’ in a way that he approves. It would be such a thing to experience in America, if the President’s supporters would ALL display real loyalty to him – loyalty of the sort that cannot be bought by anything!

    • 14 Dorothy Rissman
      February 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      VC, I think you are right in stating that there is no over all loyalty for the president. They move back and forth in their perception of him because of their own biases. I know some of us may have issues we do not agree with, for me it is the war, yet we stand behind him fully. We understand that no one is perfect.

  3. 15 VC prezOfan2
    February 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Glad to welcome you out of the shadows and into Ms Chipsticks light!

    ‘.. how many, who are supposed to be able to analyze well, REALLY struggle with what is SO plain and is right in front of their faces.’

    While I agree with you, Blackman, that Black and smart are difficult concepts for some to accept. I take it a step further that though it’s in plain view some CAN’T see it at all for any or all of these reasons:

    a) too dense/shallow themselves
    b) not expecting it
    c)trained to believe it’s not possible

    As others here have said in another way, some are ignorant, shortsighted, bigoted, or jealous. It’s easier to believe that the Harvard Review was accomplished via ‘affirmative action’.

  4. 16 Sonjia Duncan
    February 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    I always thought that the gay were fighting for their civil rights. I think that the President has been declaring many of their issues as being constitutional or unconstitutional and making decisions to act based on that.

    Why is it with this President he is suppose to carry the ball for everything someone has issue with. I have paid attentions to US Presidents going back to President Truman and I have never seen so many on so many different issue who profess to know what to do better than the man elected to decide what to do. I really don’t care at all what Andrew Sullivan thinks about any thing unless he is really out there doing it himself.

    • 17 VC prezOfan2
      February 26, 2011 at 12:35 am

      Sonjia, I think what happens (at least for me in the past) is that sometimes we get so glad when we see someone affirming the President that we instinctively open our arms to them in welcome, thinking that they at least have some sense. His intelligence and goodwill is so obvious to us that it’s hard for us (me) to accept that others can’t see it. In addition, he’s made so many positive decisions, and shown more than once that he has such excellent leadership skills that we (me) believe them when they seem to wake up to him. I don’t know HOW he keeps his equilibrium in the face of their lack of cooperation, lying and hypocrisy, but I confess to a certain hatred/anger towards them formerly when I realized that they were only playing a game during the moment when they get what THEY want. I cannot say enough about how finding my way to OBD & BWD and discovering like-minded positive people have rechannelled my negative energy. Now I can take or leave media insincerity (like that of Sullivan and Maddow) without feeling like someone is carving out my insides. (Truth is I never knew I had such anger in me until I became cognizant of their reactions to Prez O.) Now I can choose my (N0N)reaction to their antics, educate myself elsewhere, while also learning what real loyalty looks like. I no longer need to question the President’s actions, or allow any of the news types to question it for me, because in additon to showing me anger, their actions and his have together been teaching me true loyalty.

      • 18 Sue in Minnesota
        February 26, 2011 at 1:12 am

        I am definitely emotionally connected and sensitive to criticism of President Obama. But I am more upset about what is either ineptness, manufactured drama, or partisan influence in our MSM. The constant brouhaha that is stewing in the media pots is IMO, completely disconnected from reality, which leads to the question of WHY? Nothing I can come up with leaves me happy, or respectful of our MSM.

        Change came to the Whitehouse Jan 20, 2009 and has been working his tail off ever sense….and these fools can’t begin to figure it out, let alone keep up with it. These fools who think they should be driving the bus aren’t even in the right parking lot……President Obama is already in the next state.

        • 19 VC prezOfan2
          February 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm

          Oh, Sue, I’m not at all respectful of the MSM! Their behaviour towards Prez O since 2007 has been a major eye-opener for me. Initially I tried to excuse it by giving them the benefit of the doubt – he was ‘inexperienced’ for such a major role, and in their concern for the country they were throwing all kind of obstacles in his way. BUT, he won,…. AND …he has been doing a terrific job! Problem is, not only are they still throwing obstacles in his way, THEY ARE BLATANTLY UNFAIR, ADVERSARIAL, and IGNORANT in their non-existent analyses. You bet I have zero respect for the lot of them! Instead, I’ve chosen not to LET THEM impact my emotional well-being. My theory is that if I know you are ignorant and lacking in insight, I’m not going to seek you out for your viewpoint when important decisions are being made. How can you intelligently discuss something you don’t really understand? Having made this decision released me from feeling angst when their opinions are featured, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that was a move that my body thanks me for. In a way, I can’t wait for 2016 to roll around because I don’t envision any other politician having the hold on me this president has, and I really need to get back to my ‘old’ life. On the other hand, life with Prez O has been the BEST FUN I’ve ever had with politics/politicians and I’m OVERJOYED TO BE LIVING IN THESE TIMES!!!

      • 22 Audrey
        February 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

        You and me both VC!

  5. 23 cat48
    February 26, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Hey Chipsticks, There is video of “Hysterical Greenwald” saying the DOMA action was praiseworthy or something like that. He was on The Last Word the day the news broke, Wed? I don’t care for him & normally mute him, but in case you wanted to see it….I had trouble trying to send a link b/c my wifi keeps going in & out.

    Andrew has been angry at O so many times, I often forget to read him. He’s on my Google Reader & I usually save for weekends & skip tirades he might have.

    Some of the GOP say the Prez is “scary smart” which always amuses me. Welcome, Blackman.

    • February 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

      Hi Cat, thanks for that. He very grudgingly praised the DOMA decision in his article too, but only after attacking the President again for the manner in which the decision was reached. GG knows more about the law than the President, you know. He spends most of his life fighting with and abusing other columnists, so I’m guessing he’ll pour a bucket of bile all over Sullivan for his piece – he will not **!!TOLERATE!!** any opinion but his own. It was much the same with the repeal of DADT – GG, like his Leftbagger friends, seemed desperately disappointed that he’d lost an issue to abuse the President over. The guy is so full of hate I’m not sure how he doesn’t explode. A troubled chap, methinks.

      • 25 Dorothy Rissman
        February 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm

        GG is a 100% jackass. He and Jane the dog, would make a good couple. Whinny babies. but, but but!
        Suck it up you losers. Sorry, I have had enough of GG and JH. ugh.

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