Okay, so 18 looooong, haaaaard months have gone by since President Barack Obama took the oath of office and half the country collectively lost their minds, suddenly afflicted with a severe case of Obama Derangement Syndrome, where once seemingly normal citizens morph into shrieking mobs of obese white supremacists, with bad hygiene and greasy hair, who dress in colonial garb, wave Hitler signs, and toss teabags at gross poor people.
But for those of us who still have our wits about us, full possession of our faculties, and don't stomp on ladies' heads when we disagree with their political leanings, assessing President Obama's accomplishments is somewhat more difficult than simply shrieking "Secret Muslim Terrorist Socialist!" every time the man opens his mouth or tries to do anything even taking Bo out for his morning run on the White House South Lawn.
What we do know and can say with total confidence, however, is that President Obama's first year and a half in office likely falls somewhere between the Third Reich and The Rapture, depending on whether you think Jesus weeps Hurricanes & Tsunamis every time gay sex occurs, homosexuals are treated like actual human beings with the same constitutional rights and protections as everyone else, and if America is best served by a non-masturbating (but meatball loving!) witch (who's also you!) as is newest Senator from Delaware.
Disclaimer: for those of you who answered yes to the above questions, you might want to leave now and go assemble the fallout shelter and post-apocalyptic survival kits you purchased from Glenn Beck's latest, greatest (non-gold plated), get rich-quick scheme to keep America fat 'n fearful, Food Insurance, cause you never know which Beef Stroganoff will be your last.
But for the rest of you arugula-eating elitists who are no more concerned with the End of Days, than say, the end of Dancing with the Stars, and don't feel a pressing need to take our country back from a scary, Democratically elected black man in the White House, get excited cause the fun is just getting started!
Because for the first time since declaring war on the so-called professional left, the very people who helped a certain Mr. Hopey Changey become a certain President Hopey-Changey (like as soon as he beats Gibbs at H-O-R-S-E?), Barack Obama invited some special friends to the White House for a first-of-its-kind, in-person chat: the liberal bloggers who are always saying terrible, meany things about him!
But that's not it! He also...wait for it...agreed to give actual answers to the very important questions on everyone's mind, and some of them even made sense! Woohooo!
Like where exactly the self-proclaimed fiercest LGBT advocate, but seemingly, the fiercest one night stand, President Barack Hussein Obama stands on goin' ahead and granting equal rights and all that jazz for those pesky gay and lesbians who naively fell for the whole hope/change thing, with the assumption that it would happen in their actual lifetime.
It is no surprise that one of the more outspoken liberal (psst, socialist!) critics of Obama's slow, steady, almost undetectable pace on gay rights AMERICABlog's Joe Sudbay used his special presidential face-time to focus on the up-until-now taboo issues of Obama's legislative strategy for repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell (he has one!) and icky same-sex marriage, which the president has been about as willing to discuss as he is willing to throw on Muslim garb and walk into a mosque on Sunday.
Take it away, Joe!
Q: I was glad to hear that you and your staff appreciate constructive feedback.Not like gay wrong, or anything terrible like that, but wrong nonetheless. So just chill gays and lezzies, you'll get your rights one of these
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that’s something we enjoy. (Laughter.)
Q: We’ve been more than willing to offer that. We’ve certainly been more than willing to offer that from AMERICAblog, particularly on issues related to the LGBT community, which, you know, there is a certain amount of disillusionment and disappointment in our community right now.
And one of the things I’d like to ask you -- and I think it’s a simple yes or no question too -- is do you think that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is unconstitutional?
THE PRESIDENT: It’s not a simple yes or no question, because I’m not sitting on the Supreme Court. And I’ve got to be careful, as President of the United States, to make sure that when I’m making pronouncements about laws that Congress passed I don’t do so just off the top of my head.
I think that -- but here’s what I can say. I think “don’t ask, don’t tell” is wrong. I think it doesn’t serve our national security, which is why I want it overturned. I think that the best way to overturn it is for Congress to act. In theory, we should be able to get 60 votes out of the Senate. The House has already passed it. And I’ve gotten the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to say that they think this policy needs to be overturned -- something that’s unprecedented.
And so my hope and expectation is, is that we get this law passed. It is not just harmful to the brave men and women who are serving, and in some cases have been discharged unjustly, but it doesn’t serve our interests -- and I speak as Commander-in-Chief on that issue.
Let me go to the larger issue, though, Joe, about disillusionment and disappointment. I guess my attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any President in history. I’ve appointed more openly gay people to more positions in this government than any President in history. We have moved forward on a whole range of issues that were directly under my control, including, for example, hospital visitation.
On “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I have been as systematic and methodical in trying to move that agenda forward as I could be given my legal constraints, given that Congress had explicitly passed a law designed to tie my hands on the issue.
And so, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think that the disillusionment is justified.
Now, I say that as somebody who appreciates that the LGBT community very legitimately feels these issues in very personal terms. So it’s not my place to counsel patience. One of my favorite pieces of literature is “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and Dr. King had to battle people counseling patience and time. And he rightly said that time is neutral. And things don’t automatically get better unless people push to try to get things better.
So I don’t begrudge the LGBT community pushing, but the flip side of it is that this notion somehow that this administration has been a source of disappointment to the LGBT community, as opposed to a stalwart ally of the LGBT community, I think is wrong.
Q: So I have another gay question. [Laughter.]Which much like his jumpshot, has a loooooooong trajectory that moves in slow motion on it's way to swishing through the net/clanking off the backboard or whatever the case may be.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s okay, man. [Laughter.] (Oh, Barry!)
Q: And this one is on the issue of marriage. Since you’ve become President, a lot has changed. More states have passed marriage equality laws. This summer a federal judge declared DOMA unconstitutional in two different cases. A judge in San Francisco declared Prop 8 was unconstitutional. And I know during the campaign you often said you thought marriage was the union between a man and a woman, and there -- like I said, when you look at public opinion polling, it’s heading in the right direction. We’ve actually got Republicans like Ted Olson and even Ken Mehlman on our side now. So I just really want to know what is your position on same-sex marriage?
THE PRESIDENT: Joe, I do not intend to make big news sitting here with the five of you, as wonderful as you guys are. (Laughter.) But I’ll say this --
Q: I just want to say, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you this question.
THE PRESIDENT: Of course.
Q: People in our community are really desperate to know.
THE PRESIDENT: I think it’s a fair question to ask. I think that -- I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. (Aka his understandings of it as political suicide or at the very least, a tad riskier than ol' Barry O would like!)
But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.
And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today. (Laughter.)
Q: It is an important issue, and I think that --
THE PRESIDENT: I think it’s an entirely fair question to ask.
Q: And part of it is that you can’t be equal in this country if the very core of who you are as a person and the love -- the person you love is not -- if that relationship isn’t the same as everybody else’s, then we’re not equal. And I think that a lot of -- particularly in the wake of the California election on Prop 8, a lot of gay people realized we’re not equal. And I think that that’s -- that’s been part of the change in the --
THE PRESIDENT: Prop 8, which I opposed.
Q: Right. I remember you did. You sent the letter and that was great. I think that the level of intensity in the LGBT community changed after we lost rights in that election. And I think that’s a lot of where the community is right now.
THE PRESIDENT: The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trendlines are going.
Q: The arc of history.
THE PRESIDENT: The arc of history.
Q: Well, can I ask you just about “don’t ask, don’t tell,” just following up? (Laughter.) I just want to follow up. Because you mentioned it -Like what the hell is the matter with you conservative queers? Get one of the Grand Ol' Bigots in your Party to not openly discriminate against you for once in your God damn pathetic, hypocritical, eternally hell-bound existence and voila! you can thanklessly die all you want fighting for this country's freedom (to hate and demonize you). Really, it's that simple.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sure. Go ahead.
Q: Is there a strategy for the lame-duck session to--and you’re going to be involved?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q: Will Secretary Gates be involved?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not going to tip my hand now. But there is a strategy.
Q: Can we call it a secret plan? (Laughter)
THE PRESIDENT: I was very deliberate in working with the Pentagon so that I’ve got the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs being very clear about the need to end this policy. That is part of a strategy that I have been pursuing since I came into office. And my hope is that will culminate in getting this thing overturned before the end of the year.
Now, as usual, I need 60 votes. So I think that, Joe, the folks that you need to be having a really good conversation with -- and I had that conversation with them directly yesterday, but you may have more influence than I do -- is making sure that all those Log Cabin Republicans who helped to finance this lawsuit and who feel about this issue so passionately are working the handful of Republicans that we need to get this thing done.
Q: Yes, I don’t have that relationship with them. [Laughter.] (Sorry, NObama, sort of like with black people, not all gays know each other!)
THE PRESIDENT: But, I mean, it’s just -- I don’t understand the logic of it.
Q: Nor do I.
THE PRESIDENT: You’re financing a very successful, very effective legal strategy, and yet the only really thing you need to do is make sure that we get two to five Republican votes in the Senate. And I said directly to the Log Cabin Republican who was here yesterday, I said, that can’t be that hard. Get me those votes.
Because what I do anticipate is that John McCain and maybe some others will filibuster this issue, and we’re going to have to have a cloture vote. If we can get through that cloture vote, this is done.
Your best bet is probably to go after that senile old man from Arizona who is going to go clean up Washington even though he's been there for three decades. You know, the one who used to be a maverick and like gays and immigrants before he sold his soul to the highest bidder (Satan) for the chance to unceremoniously lose the presidency and unleash a furious Arctic gale wind by the name of Sarah onto society. You remember him, don't you? Well good, because he doesn't remember anything!
Least of all which terrible gross despicable minority he's supposed to hate and screw over for personal and political gain now.
Whigs? Freemasons? Dixiecrats? Free Soils? Know Nothings? Nez Perce?
Ugh, he can never keep 'em straight (and no, we don't mean the good sexuality) these days!
But either way, who cares because President Obama is going to finally get lefty gays and righty gays to work blissfully together since no one has ever tried that strategy before. No one! Ever!
"Presidents don't usually think out loud unless they intend to send a signal that they are shifting a position," said Richard Socarides, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay issues. "I think [Obama] realizes he can't run as a gay rights advocate in 2012 and be against marriage equality. People see domestic partnerships are separate but equal."
Eh, more like separate and unequal, but hey, who's counting?
Oh what, you never heard of the Obama shuffle? The President's uncanny ability to shimmy shake, and do the Barry boogie around difficult, potentially controversial (scary!) issues, preferring instead to deflect such formidable challenges to someone, anyone willing to take 'em.
Health care? Eh, let those Blue Dogs in Congress
Immigration reform? No gracias! What do you think he's loco or something??
Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Don't look at him, after all he's not a Senator, now he is? No, he is not!
He is also not a Supreme Court Justice, so please don't ask him what is and what is not constitutional. I don't care if the man is a constitutional scholar who taught law at the University of Chicago for 12 years, he still has no business putting his presidential two-sense every which way!
These are the responsibilities of someone important, not some lowly leader of the free world.
I mean what the hell is wrong with you people, anyway?
You want something done? Grab a pen, clean sheet of paper, and write a nice li'l note to Santy Claus.
Someone who actually cares...and has a lifetime appointment!