Thursday, September 23, 2010

President Obama Says "Get in the Game!"

Yesterday  was the  last  real chance  Congress had this year, to repeal the U.S. Military's  discriminatory and  unconstitutional  "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.  And it completely  failed.   It is interesting to note  that  repealing  DADT  was  one of the  President Obama's  key campaign promises  to the  LGBT Community.

Yet the President  did no personal  lobbying  on this vote.  Instead he spent the  time on a call with the  winning  WNBA  Seattle Storm basketball team.

While President Obama  was  talking jump shots with  the WNBA,  Republicans were able to successfully filibuster the vote on the  Defense Authorization bill  that would have included the provision to end  the  DADT policy.  So just as with the issues of  Marriage Equality,  Employment Non-Discrimination, and  LGBT Inclusive Immigration Reform.  The issue of  Gay and Lesbian Americans being kicked out of the military for being honest, has been set aside by this Administration and  Democratic Congressional majority due to their inability to overcome  GOP  obstructionism.

This afternoon I happened to check my email and  what did I find?  Another  email from  "Organizing for  America" the former campaign communications arm of the Obama-Biden campaign.    

The email  was very much like all the others  OAF  has sent me this past year.  Asking for  money and saying I needed  to  "get more involved" and exhorting  me  to work as hard for  President Obama as he and the Democrats  are working for me.  

As I read  that  I suddenly found myself  wondering what that  would  actually look like,  were I work as hard  for  President and Obama and the Democratic Party on their keys issue,  like the Midterm Elections, as they have been working  on the issues that are important to me...

If I work just as hard for Barack Obama as he has worked for me...

In the weeks ahead when I encounter insane lies and distortions about the President's record, I will shrug sadly, and make vague yet eloquent statements on the need to "come together" and "effect real change".

In the days ahead, when I am told by OFA and the DNC how important it is to support them so we can keep moving forward, I will smile in a genuine and empathetic manner. Then say how I understand how they might feel my support hasn't come quickly enough or doesn't seem strong enough. But I will then mention how I have all these other things on "my plate" right now.   But  I'd PROMISE to get around to supporting the National Party and races
sometime real soon.

On Election Day, When I am urged to get out and vote and to pick up the phone and urge my friends and family to get out and vote for the Democratic congressional candidates,   I would  instead, spend that time talking to friends about their basketball game.

And over the next Two Years, as the Republican Majority in both houses of Congress turns the Obama Administration into a lame duck, and OFA and the DNC complain to me about it, I would smile sympathetically and say they need to understand the "current reality", and remind them of all the support I have given them in the past, and how that should be enough for them right now. 

I would add to that of course,  about how I was on their side, and  they certainly  could still count on my full support for them, and their key issues.... At some undetermined point in the future.

That is what it would look like if I  give President Obama and Democratic Party the same unwavering support and  commitment that they have given  LGBT Americans.

Looking at the past  two years  it's really not hard  to see why  progressive voters are having a hard  time getting "fired up" about the 2010 Midterms.  "Vote for us!  We're not the Republicans"  isn't enough  when you campaigned  on hope and change,  but  governed with  timidity and  political  cowardice.

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