A reader writes:
As a gay professional, I caucused for Obama in Iowa because I thought he not only understood and cared about the LGBT community, but also because he would not suffer from the "Clinton caution" malaise on gay issues. I voted for Obama in the general election because the Palin wing of the Republican party continued to rile up the base by demonizing gays. Now, I have to ask myself, how is Obama any better than John McCain?
To paraphrase the great Pragmatist, William James, a difference, to be a difference, must make a difference. Frankly, I can't see any difference in how gay rights issues would have been handled had McCain been elected. McCain is no gay rights champion, but he has never been a cultural warrior, either. I suspect McCain would have, at worst, treated gay issues with benign neglect. Frankly, McCain might have been persuaded by his daughter to support the repeal of DADT (or at least to enter an order suspending it due to personnel needs for the wars), and he would have had the credentials to get it done. Also, McCain might have been reachable about repealing DOMA as a states' rights matter. But even assuming McCain flatly refused to address gay rights issues at all, how is Obama any different? If my President is going to ignore gay rights issues, it doesn't much matter to me if he does it with a snarl or a smile.
Sadly, McCain proved in the campaign that he was a tool of the Christianist right and a slave to Rovianism. He had a chance to pick another course but chose not to. I think he would have done by now what Obama has done, which is, strictly speaking, next to nothing.