Yesterday, I wrote:
"What do gays want? They want the Recognizer in Chief, the Persuader in Chief, the Leader -- to recognize them. They want visibility; they want acknowledgment that Obama doesn't take their money and presidential support for granted; they want assurances -- words and deeds -- that Obama will fulfill his campaign promises. They want Obama to expend his political capital to get supermajorities in the Senate for legislation getting rid of the ban on gays in the military and ending discrimination against gays in the workplace."
After the jump, two other views.
A well-regarded Democratic thinker writes:
"Here's my question: If the above is true, why the hell then do/did most gay rights advocates love the Clintons so much?, when Bill [screwed] over the gay community many times, lost majorities on gay issues, signed DOMA, the very act they want Obama to risk political capital to overturn, and when Clinton certainly DID take gay advocates money for granted. I lost hours of my life during the primaries arguing with gay men and women that, while I understood that Obama was not where they were on all issues, neither was Hillary and plus, the Clinton's had [screwed] them over before. In short, if the reasons you give are the reasons gays are frustrated with Obama, why, did many allow Clinton to get away with this in the 90s, and why do many still cherish the Clinton's despite their failures on these issues? What gives?"
"In the end, what I think is going on in part, is that many of the gay advocates (but not all) who are angry and bitter at Obama for failure to move quickly on these issues were Clinton supporters in the primaries and so they never really liked Obama all that much anyway. At least that's what I've been getting/noticing from my conversations with gay friends, the early Obama backers are disappointed in some areas (and I agree with the complaints from these advocates) but not angry or convinced he'll do nothing, while the Hillary backers gave up on Obama as soon as he picked Rick Warren."
A well-connected gay Republican:
"I think an under discussed aspect that you allude to on your recent blog post is that Obama hasn't even done the bare minimum to acknowledge what is going on with gay rights. A lot of times issues get thrust upon Presidents and they don't get to choose to address them on their own terms. With Iowa, New Hampshire, Maine, Prop 8 et al. it is clear that 2009 has been a sort of turning point for gay rights. And President Obama has completely missed the boat on the whole thing. He hasn't even made basic statements affirming the rights of states to grant gay marriage and celebrating a momentous occasion in the gay rights struggle. When it comes to civil rights the bar for Obama is high because he's set it that way for himself through his own language. And its frustrating to watch heartland Democrats like Chet Culver and moderate Republicans like Lynch embrace equality while Obama shrugs it off."
"This isn't 1993. There is a gay rights wave sweeping the country and the one person who you would have expected to channel that, based on his own rhetoric, seems content to let it pass by as if it is not happening. For a lot of people that I talk to it is his words (or lack there of) that have been as big, if not a bigger letdown than his lack of action to date. Nobody expected everything overnight. But I think everyone expected a President who when presented with such a great opportunity would follow-through with some sort of affirmation for gay equality."
Marc Ambinder is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.