Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Slur Is Born


Chances are by now you know that earlier today President Obama did something pretty much guaranteed to cast a hush over Firedoglake at least through late tomorrow afternoon: he announced that the justice department was no longer going to defend the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The law bans the federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and Obama's unwillingness to renounce it has produced cries of "traitor," and ludicrous comparisons to George W. Bush for months into years now.

Well, surprise -- Obama proved those assessments wrong. And he did it not simply by pushing back against a law that was immoral from the beginning; he did it by making a decision that he believes is right for America, even if he claims to be conflicted over whether he personally agrees with it. That takes brains, balls and a kind of character that's been sorely lacking among many of our elected officials. Obama's made some bold moves while in office and he's dropped the ball in decidedly indisputable ways -- but this time he knocked it out of the park.

How can you tell?

Because yapping dingbats like Fox's Monica Crowley are experiencing full-blown on-air apoplexia at the news. In fact, Crowley cranked her transistor radio of a brain up to 11 during a conversation today with equally vapid FNC spokesblonde Megyn Kelly and invented a brand new meme that you'd better start getting used to, because you're guaranteed to see it turn up all over the fucking place in short order. She likened Obama's move to that of a dictator, calling him -- wait for it -- "Mubarak Obama." Never mind the tired, face-palm-inducing invocation of Obama's scary foreign-sounding name or the shameless hypocrisy of the fact that two weeks ago people like Crowley were calling the real Mubarak a cherished ally and cowering in fear at the potential rise of an unpredictable democracy in Egypt; why let a little thing like reality stand in the way of a good turn of a phrase?

Regardless, Obama just proved his progressive mettle -- and in doing so unfortunately fired a fresh volley in the culture war and opened himself up for a whole new world of shit.

(Update, 2.24.11: Oh look, here's a surprise -- despite offering the required meek praise for Obama's decision, Greenwald still isn't satisfied and is playing contrarian just for the fuck of it.)

10 comments:

Withnail said...

I mean, seriously, just when we on the left are about to write this guy off - again - as selling out everything that we hold dear - I think most recently we were supposed to hate him because he wasn't sending troops to Libya - because we all know how much the left LOVES nation-building -

He pulls something like this. Doesn't he know we're DEMOCRATS?

Janean said...

What I find annoying is that I've still seen several internet commenters complaining that it's still not good enough, or "too little too late".

Chez said...

I read something yesterday that made a spectacular point: basically that of course Democratic politicians tend to move to the right when they're trying to keep their jobs, because they know they'll never be able to win with the left no matter what they do -- it'll never be enough to appease the liberal children -- so why bother trying?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't STRIPPING people of the right to marry be more in keeping with the whole dictator thing?

Goddamn tyrants, guaranteeing the rights of minorities.

Mart said...

The other day I read an interesting post that Dems are socially progressive while being plutocratist conservatives as they know the right is so far gone the dirty f'g hippies will have to vote for them anyway.

Think I read it over at FDL...

L. said...

So how many of the people who will start calling him 'Mubarak Obama' do you think even knew who Mubarak was before this past month?

Anonymous said...

Chez I think with your last comment...you stumbled on why people my age outright refuse to participate in American Democracy. Sure...blame TV or our lack of maturity...but for me, its the simple fact that the entire system is a joke. Liberals are supposed to be happy when their candidates act conservative and vice versa. Its all a confidence game and nothing of substance really changes. I'm gonna get my ass redeployed and pretty much the average citizen can't find it on a map while countless billions are getting eating up by the DoD...but we need to be placated with Obama for stopping the DoJ defending DoMA. Not that I don't agree with what he is doing...just...THERE IS MORE IMPORTANT SHIT TO FOCUS ON!

kanye said...

Regardless, Obama just proved his progressive mettle...

That's a misread, Chez...perhaps if this was 1998.

Near 2/3 the country supports legal recognition for gay couples, either in the form of gay marriage or civil unions. That's the default position of the American public, the mainstream position.

It's fair to say that the President just proved his centrist mettle, but not progressive, not in 2011.

Chez said...

Terms like progressive and centrist are relative these days. There was no way a Republican president was going to make a decision like this; he'd have his ass handed to him on a plate by his base, regardless of what most of the country thinks.

Jason said...

It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many people that are all about "personal freedom" until it comes time to provide that basic right to people who want to do something that they disagree with. You don't get to ration freedom strictly to those who look, think, worship, or believe the same things you do.