Monday, May 21, 2012

Obama and Gay Marriage



We all know by now that Obama has stated his support for gay marriage, but what does that really mean for us?  Quite frankly, I think we have some of the worst choices for president in this election season than we have had in decades.  It's one thing to vote for the lesser of two evils, which is what we often do, but I am truly torn about this election.  Let me get this out of the way first, I will not vote for Mitt Romney, but I don't particularly relish the idea of voting for Obama.  Yes, there are many things that Obama has done for the LGBT community (is it enough?); yet, I can't see much of what he has done for the economy.  Though I have a full-time job (and a part-time job), I am still under-employed and struggle more and more each day to pay my bills.  That was not the case four years ago.

Recently, I read an editorial from the Huffington Post by R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans. And though this editorial did not form my opinion about Obama's recent support for gay marriage, it does make some of the same points that I first thought.  Is this just a political ploy? Is it merely a distraction? Is Obama completely sincere or does he just not like being showed up by his VP?  Whatever the reason, which I hope was in all sincerity, here is an excerpt from Cooper's editorial:
The ancient Romans mastered the art of appeasing a restless populace through spectacle. With the president's announcement regarding marriage, Americans are seeing panem et circenses, "bread and circuses," in action, when what we really need are jobs.
To be clear, President Barack Obama's support for the freedom to marry is a landmark in the long march to equality. Log Cabin Republicans have long believed that supporting the freedom to marry is the right thing to do, and the president's joining this effort is in the nation's best interest. That said, Americans can be certain that the President would not have made this decision at this time if it were not in his best political interests. In addition to energizing the liberal base and distracting attention from a failed economic record, the trap has been laid for any Republican who responds with intolerance.
By rejecting not only marriage but civil unions and allowing senior campaign advisor Ed Gillespie to resurrect the twice-failed Federal Marriage Amendment, Governor Mitt Romney has taken the bait. This is a mistake. Both rank-and-file Republicans and senior strategists are recognizing that in today's political climate, anti-gay politics is not the powerful wedge issue it once was, and now the wedge cuts both ways.
I would love to hear what you guys think. I am always surprised at the political spectrum that the rainbow community that reads my blog has.  Though, I think we all assume that the LGBT community is very liberal, we often find that just as we are a diverse community, we also hold diverse political views.

To read the entire editorial, click the link below.

11 comments:

Queer Heaven said...

My opinion? Well I can't see any reason what so ever for voting Romney!
Obama gets the short shrift on what he has done in his first term. And as far as Gay rights go...who cares if his new Gay marriage approval is political.... just remember if Romney wins... most of the Gay rights that have been implemented... will be totally gone!

Coop said...

I wasn't that impressed with President Obama's decision to endorse gay marriage. Why do it after the results in North Carolina? And he has all but refused to do anything about DOMA. He's done good things for us, don't get me wrong, but he's not courageous. He's more of a smooth operator.
Didn't vote for him in '08. Won't do it this year.
Gay rights under Romney will probably freeze. We won't lose any or gain any. I'd vote for an outsider before a candidate like Perry or Santorum. Thank God they're gone.

Will said...

I don't see the "lesser of two evils" in this case if only because the Republicans have a host of camp followers to whom they have sold out who will take any victory as a license to slam GLBTs every way possible.

From Romney himself I would expect AT LEAST a reimposition of DADT, and the inception of a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man/one woman. Yes, Obama has been a disappointment, in some areas a truly infuriating one, but I lived under the Romney governorship in Massachusetts and I can tell you he is the sleaziest of politicians, a serial liar, and a vote whore who will sell anyone out for his personal aggrandizement.

As to economic issues, if he gets in the middle class can kiss itself goodbye in so many ways and the ultra rich will become the mega rich. It won't matter if the debt is cut or the budget balanced -- if the heart of the American population is impoverished, that's economic disaster on a grand scale.

Anonymous said...

I prefer my politicians to be politcal and to make politcal decisions on a sound assessment of the political situation. That's what it means to be a politician and to be involved in politics. That's why I see this flap over Obama's anouncement as a small tempest in a very small teapot. It's great that Obama came out in favor of marriage equality. I wish he'd done it sooner, of course. And I wish Romney and the GOP would embrace it, too, though I won't hold my breathe on that. G. W. Bush's announcement of his support for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay maariage was just as political in 2004 as Obama's announcement in 2012. It's called "politics"; it's what politicians do.

. said...

I vote for democratic candidates usually because they certainly hold closer to my ideal beliefs. But I must say if Romney wins the election this fall, I certainly see most if not all gay rights going back into the dark ages. He already has expressed he is against gay marriage and isn't for any equality in our community. Obama is at times the lesser of two evils, I wish he could have done more even outside of gay rights during his political tenure as well but he does have my vote this fall. I would have voted for him regardless this fall because there have been fewer good candidate choices. I am friends with someone who is gay and ultra conservative and doesn't believe in gay marriage or equal rights for gay people. Now that doesn't make sense to me. But anyway...I digress.

Jay M. said...

Considering that Romney is bowing completely to the right wingnuts, I could not in good conscious vote for him, despite the fact that I am not exactly a fan of Obama, either.

I tend to be anti-big government, would love to see less government spending, love guns and support gun rights, want equal rights for everyone, and am decidedly tired of the argument that marriage is only a religious rite, not a secular right. Is that a mixed bag or what? Why can't we have candidates that want the best for EVERYONE in this country, and not just their slight majority, whichever side that turns out to be.

Peace <3
Jay

drew said...

I think Romney is doing what he can to carry the conservative vote. I feel he will be more moderate if he wins the office. My problem with Obama is his lack of leadership in all areas. If he wins another 4 years our economy will be in ruins. He doesn't want to put any brakes on spending and with us averaging about 1 to 1.2 trillion deficit each year how long will it take for us to collapse. We are basically paying no interest on our debt. When interest rates increase what percent of our budget will be needed to pay China and the rest. This is not just about being gay it is about saving our country for future generations. Just my thoughts.

fan of casey said...

Joe: I've always considered politics to be the lesser of two less than perfect candidates. Most of us cannot afford to be swayed on one issue alone, we have to consider issues that directly impact us for sure, but also those larger issues we hope for society.

Obama's mistake was creating too high expectation from hope and change. He found out the hard way that hoping the other side would compromise is not effective tactics. People will say he promised this and that without really laying out a plan -- that same charge can be made of Romney. When he boldly proclaims "I will do this and that" with certainty . . . but then refuses to say how, we cannot evaluate whether he would do any better -- we are still left with his version of hope and change.

Obama is not perfect but I can't see voting for Romney -- he will pander to anyone to get elected and one cannot trust him.

I also fear that he will not leave things alone that the LGBT community has won over the last 3 years - he will give in to his power base because if he is elected, he will want to be re-elected. I can't rely on Romney to govern as a moderate.

My biggest issue with the conservatives is the conflict between their rhetoric of wanting small government but they push to interfere so much in the lives of ordinary people on social issues.

While I expect the republicans to be more fiscally prudent, their plans and lack of details makes me wonder if they will be much different than the democrats. After all under GW the deficit doubled -- and people said rely on tax cuts to grow the economy but it didn't happen -- so why would we go back to a failed strategy? And Romney's official budget strategy makes the budget deficit WORSE. So I can't see him being a economic savior.

Romney for sure will carry the conservative vote, but he's got to win the independents.

And finally, I live in a blue state, even if I wanted to vote for Romney, my vote would be wasted since my state's electoral college votes are solidly democratic.

Uncutplus said...

So if the main issue is the economy, what specifically would Romney do to increase jobs? Obama has been making slow progress on the worst recession since the 1929 depression, which he inherited from George Bush, who took a surplus and turned it into a deficit. The real problem is Congress, not Obama, who is unwilling to compromise. Just having a one-payor system like Medicare would drastically reduce healthcare costs for everyone. The economy and LGBT issues are only two issues among many, such as current wars, and foreign affairs. Would you want Romney and the hawkish Republicans starting new wars? Bush's wars are the biggest reason our economy is underwater and we are in debt to the Chinese. And further those wars led to the sacrifices of our young men and women, and many innocent civilians. There is much too much at stake for us to consider letting a Republican back into the presidency, and while we are at it, let's do everything possible to get the Republicans out of Congress too, so we can get back to government of the people.

drew said...

Fan of Casey, talk about deficit increase you have to look at Obama. He has increased the deficit more than GW but he has only been in office less than half the time. He still wants to increase stimulus spending to "ignite" the economy. Increasing taxes won't work and that will take money out of peoples pockets. Look at our government programs. They are all not funded properly and he wants to add health care as another program?? When does it end. I am gay but I want a country that has a future.

fan of casey said...

Drew: So trickle down works? Last time I looked, it's Congress that appropriates money so if you want to argue who's to blame, you need to include the republicans in the equation.

Tax revenues are down because so many people are out of work, in the recession that was caused under Bush's administration. If Bush was so fiscally responsible he should have vetoed a lot of these government programs you are now arguing are unsustainable. He started two wars with no ways to pay for them, he gave tax cuts without paying for them, an unfunded medicare part D benefit -- so where was the republican mantra that every lost revenue be offset by spending cuts? It didn't happen with a republican administration. And before you claim that I'm just supporting the democrats, I'm not even one, I'm an independent.

I believe that this nation has some serious problems caused by both political parties and that a balanced approach of both spending cuts and targeted tax increases are needed to fix this problem, and that includes cutting defense spending, adjusting entitlements so that they they become more sustainable. But you look at the people like tea partiers -- they consider government money spent on them to be wise choices but that funds used by others to be wasteful spending. If they were willing to share the burden then we could really move this country forward, but it's all about "I got mine, to hell with you." My point is everyone should contribute and sacrifice but all too often, people just use the political system to advance their own selfish self interests.

The source of the problem are voters -- they want benefits but are not willing to pay for them. I can see the argument that social security is just returning money that taxpayers have put in when they retire but medicare clearly has been underfunded for a long time. The little 1.45% on wages that people pay matched by employers no where comes near towards covering the actual cost of coverage. Should we make senior citizens pay more? Would that be "fair" since they are the biggest drivers of medical costs?

There are of course solutions -- but no political will to carry them out.