Saturday, May 9, 2009

DADT Alive And Well; DOMA, Too

The issue of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is in the news again after the dismissal of a gay Army Arabic linguist recently (H/T to American Girl in Italy). Below is an interesting history of how the act came to be:

Oh, yay! Obama said he might, maybe, could possibly do something about DADT!! Thank you, Rachel, for your ongoing, breathless support of the One, who surely will keep his promise and change this disastrous law. But just not for these people:

One can certainly see why THIS man had to go - I mean, really - educated at West Point?? An officer? Harrumph - clearly unprepared to serve in the duty of our nation! Good thing they got HIM removed from the service. Cough. Choke.

Oh, and I misspoke - Obama did do something. He wrote a letter. A letter! Saying that if only he could do something, he would. You know, if only he had some power, or position, or something that would enable him to end this absurd policy, one that has destroyed thousands of careers. Oh, if ONLY he could DO something ... Ahem. Just more words, words, words, from Obama with no action to back them up.

There have been a number of Arabic Linguists kicked out, while we are in the midst of a war in an Arabic speaking nation (and no, Obama, not Afghanistan):

And another:

Here, Jason Jones from "The Daily Show" highlights just how absurd this act is in his usual "serious" way:

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Now, if Bleu can ignore THAT, I think he can manage to do the work he was trained to do, don't you??

What a waste of talent, time, and money. What a disrespectful way to treat people who are willing to put their lives on the line for our country. What a horrible way for a nation to treat its citizens. Enough words, Obama.

And speaking of words, Pat Racimora tipped me off to this story at Alternet,
Broken Promise? White House Backs Off Obama's Pledge to Repeal Defense Of Marriage Act. Oh, goodie - more freakin' words out of the mouth of Obama backed up by no action, or worse, by a reversal. See, this is exactly the kind of thing I kept telling people he was going to do, that his record did NOT back up these promises of his, but would they listen?? No. And now look where we are:
After ThinkProgress and other outlets noted last week’s changes to the Civil Rights page on, watering down language on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Tips-Q noted that the website also has completely eliminated the portion objecting to the Defense of Marriage Act. As late as April 28, the website highlighted President Obama’s commitment to “repealing” DOMA, as a cached image shows:

Today, the website states only that Obama supports full “federal rights for LGBT couples”:

He supports full civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples and opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

According to ProPublica’s Change Tracker, the changes to the DOMA language were made on April 30. During his campaign, Obama repeatedly pledged to seek to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, telling The Advocate, “I for a very long time have been interested in repeal of DOMA.” During the primary campaign, he touted his longtime opposition to DOMA, in a strongly-worded “open letter” to the LGBT community:

Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -– a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does.

Oh, freakin' spare me already. Hillary Clinton has, for YEARS now, worked tirelessly on behalf of the LGBT community. As I have said before, the woman has marched in more Pride Parades than I have. Obama? Zero. NONE. Just to remind everyone of just how much she has done, here is a YouTube link to Joe Salmonese of the Human Rights Campaign singing her praises before stabbing her in the back by supporting Obama.

Oh, but don't you worry. Obama was quick to return to his "words, just words":
Last week, after bloggers pointed out Obama’s seeming hypocrisy on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the White House quickly revised the language to once again pledge to “repeal” the policy, rather than just change it. Will the White House similarly fix this mistake, and reinstate Obama’s campaign promise to grant gay couples their full federal rights? (Ali Frick is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.)

Just spare me already. Arabic linguists and other military personnel are still being kicked out of the military. Obama backtracks left and right on DADT, and DOMA. Just changing things back because someone actually noticed doesn't CHANGE anything. DADT still exists, and so does DOMA. If, and when, Obama actually puts some REAL action behind his words, then I'll believe him. Until then, he has continued to make clear that he will say and do whatever to appease whichever group he's talking to at the time to get their praises, accolades, and votes. Once that's accomplished, he could give a shit about the real people involved. If you don't believe me, go ask Dan Choi.


SFIndie said...

Hey, Rev, how are you? Unfortunately, SF is still enveloped in a fog of O-Love. It boggles my mind!

Here's the link to an article in the Bay Area Reporter, THE favorite newspaper of the GLBT community:

White House Web site edits raise red flags (

So, based on that article, you'd think the GLBT community here would at the very least be pulling their heads even the tiniest bit out of that fog, but nooooooo, not so. Now, I admit, here at the store I get only a small sampling of sentiment, but I've noticed that either the GLBT community doesn't care ("what's all the fuss about? Oh. Hmmm. Hey, wasn't it cute, the Obamas holding hands!?") or they're willing to wait and see what happens ("yeah, it was a bit disappointing, but you know, he's on the right track and doing so much already, let's give him the benefit of the doubt").

What am I missing? Why is the GLBT community, at least here in SF, still fawning over this pathetic excuse of a president even as he denies them the basic right to serve their country or to marry the person they love?

But then, I guess it's no different than the multitudes of women ignoring his misogyny and sexism and, in fact, playing that game along with him. I don't understand that, either.

3 years, 8 months to go. Lord help us!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

He's done so much already? Like what?? Not for the LGBT community, unless they mean taking it back yet another step.

I swear, SF, he has the best marketing team around. Just like that Hedges' piece, "Obama As A Brand" - people don't look at what he DOES, they look at what he SAYS. So he SAYS all the right things, and meanwhile, keeps taking us down the same path BUSH did. But he and his wife are holding hands, so that takes care of everything...

WTH is wrong with people? I really do not understand this blindness, this unwillingness, no, this REFUSAL, to look at reality. Why? Because they'll have to admit they made a mistake? Because they were duped? Well, WE already know they were, so they might as well come clean, right?

Sheesh. I don't know what it will take for some folks, but I would have thought this, along with Rick Warren, Tim Kaine, and all the rest would have given them a clue. Then again, they probably still support Nancy Pelosi, too...

Good to hear from you, SF!