Marc reports on Obama's LGBT priorities. Obama's view on protecting gay servicemembers from harrassment and random firing is best summed up by the phrase "the fierce urgency of whenever":
The preferred route, I am told, is to build consensus. Obama would appoint a panel to study the issue and then wait until after the 2010 elections when there would (could) be more Democratic Senators.
I wonder how Obama would have felt if Truman had followed the same path of cowardice and convenience in 1948, when racial integration was far more contentious in the military than gay integration is today. Or whether he would have applauded if the NAACP had decided that inter-racial marriage was too big a step for them in 1967 and they'd be content with calling it a "civil union." On the matter of civil rights in his own time, alas, the first black president has so far demonstrated the courage of a Clinton.
I'm struck by how many Republicans are still wedded to discrimination, even after so much evidence has been assembled revealing it to be counter-productive and based on nothing but prejudice and fear. They are the real culprits here. As for the Democrats, they seem permanently scarred by 1993, unable to move a measure that would help retain skilled service members at a time of great strain and remove a hideous burden from many patriotic Americans serving their country. The polls also show massive public support - but we have a large lobby group, HRC, apparently unable to pass laws that are backed by vast majorities of Americans. Forget DADT. If a lobby has been unable to pass their core legislative priority - ENDA - that has support of well over 70 percent for two decades, why should we hope for real change at a federal level?