Friday, December 18, 2009

Newsweek becomes Miss Cleo as they predict Obama's role in the Gay Rights fight

Newsweek predicts that Obama will bail on LGBT rights
Patience became the 2009 mantra of the gay rights movement, which generally supports Democrats. Many activists believe that in his heart Obama supports their flagship issues: the ability to serve openly in the armed forces, to be protected from employment in the workplace, and the right to marry (even though he’s on record as favoring civil unions over marriage).

But they’ve received almost nothing for their troubles. What the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community has learned this year is that the president is ultimately a pragmatist. Although his very presence in the White House is the stuff of culture wars, Obama himself is reluctant to wade into one.

Moreover, if socially divisive policies have the potential to compromise his legislative agenda, Obama has proven that he simply won’t pursue them. Expect this tension to become more acute as the 2010 elections loom—and for gay rights to be shunted aside again. The last thing this pragmatist president will do is hand election-year ammunition to an already energized conservative base that’s venomously opposed to gay marriage.

Of course, I disagree. I think we will see some movement in 2010. Folks should realize that Obama can't move mountains. This is big work and it will take a lot pushing and pulling. Cultural change doesn't happen in a year, it takes time.

So, we will see Newsweek.


Greg Blackshear said...

I agree. He is after all a politician and as such he has to act as such. I'll take Obama's pragmaticism (is that a word) over Bushs shoot first and never ask questions any day. Americans want instant gratification.

kayman said...

I agree G Blackshear, pragmatism is the key to getting anything done in this political minefield. 2010 will be a year of more twist and turns than a roller coaster, so things can only get done as brisk as things started are completed or resolved.

Kyle Leach said...

Newsweek is not even close to being the Oracle of Delphi. They just want to sell ad space.

Ron Buckmire said...

If they don't pass ENDA by April 1 things will not be cute.

I think DPBO will be law by then.

And then the immigration mess will start....

J. Clarence said...

You and I consistently disagree in this area, V. I think Newsweek is right on here. I was just about to write my piece on this story.

Looking at the healthcare debate it seems clear that Obama is more likely to distance himself from the controversy (public option, Medicare buy-in, etc) than confront it head on. And all of those are things that the majority of Americans are in favor of. Imagine when a more divisive issue like gay-rights gets pushed him.

Cultural changes don't happen in a year, V, but mid-term elections happen every other. And that's the most important thing here.

Of course, I hope you are right and I am wrong. We shall indeed see what happens.

Wonder Man said...

I really believe he will do the right thing. He has 4 years, I really have faith that he will do what's best.

J. Clarence said...

V, if you could throw a little bit of that faith my way. I would much appreciate it.

Like a lot of things I have no doubt that President Obama WANTS to make these changes. The question is always whether or not he is willing to extend far enough to see it through or merely be content with simply trying, and I think from the health care debate later represents his presidential attitude so far.

Of course he could wake up and smell the coffee anytime soon.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.