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Second Lieutenant Obama

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 10:15 pm - July 28, 2009.
Filed under: Obama Watch

Last fall, I watched (helplessly, it felt, from overseas) as still-to-this-day-Senator John McCain’s campaign imploded as the economy tanked. Probably the most embarrassing thing to witness was his inexplicable attempt to suspend the race and even cancel a debate so he could dash back to Washington, DC, to vote on some bailout that today in retrospect is simply more money pissed away.

Then-Senator Obama cooled his own heels, took inventory of the situation, and although detractors attempted to paint him as indecisive and slack-jawed about the situation, was able to play it as a testament to his introspective and thoughtful style compared to McCain’s spastic and rash reaction. Whatever merits of either perspective, it was certainly the last nail on the McCain campaign coffin (which had begun to shut a couple weeks earlier with the financial meltdown itself).

While I never viewed Obama’s tendency to lack in his reaction as anything more than his opportunistically taking a comfortable place on the sidelines (witness his “Present” votes, for example), I admired at least his ability to make it seem like he was in control and smooth. Calm, cool, and collected.

There have been several incidents of late, however, that make me question (anew) his readiness for the job of chief decision-maker. He’s losing it. He’s now the one acting rash. The one lurching, the one lashing out. And we’re now seeing his lack of experience cost him and us.

Three cases in point:
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Making Gates’ issue a racial one prevents us from moving beyond race

I have long believe that the primary goal of the gay movement should be promoting real and lasting social change, creating a society where we can live openly without suffering derision or marginalization because of our difference.  That is, people would see our sexuality as incidental to our essence.

“Oh, you’re gay?” someone would say when we come out, “Well, my best friend does Civil War reenactments, never much understood it, but, well, he enjoys it.”  The comparison may not be perfectly apposite, but is at least appropriate.  Being gay is just one aspect of who we are–and not the defining aspect.

And yet, just as some in America see our sexuality as our defining aspect, others see race.  Perhaps the greatest hope of those of use who did not support Barack Obama’s candidacy is that his election would help us move beyond defining each other by the color of our skin.  Race would become incidental.

But, the way the President–and many of his allies–have handled the Gates issue makes it clear that this Administration will not serve to help us transcend race, that is, unless his defenders dare to fault the professor’s boorish behavior and address his own anti-police prejudices.

This is only an issue about race because Professor Gates (and his followers in the MSM) have made it one.  Roger Simon calls it a “nostalgia for racism“:

The secret wish of these people, buried not far from the surface, is for things not to have changed. They have a nostalgia for an evil past when they could feel self-righteous and victimized. Self-defeating indeed. . . .  In those days [time of Civil Rights Movement] it was very easy to tell right from wrong and feel good about your actions. These days it’s a lot more complicated.

And what this race nostalgia has done is make it increasingly difficult to realize Dr. King’s dream.  Instead, we’ve become increasingly race-obsessed, with the woman who had called the cops to complain objecting to being called white as she has “olive-colored” skin, leading law professor Wiliam A.  Jacobson to lament: “Is this what we have come to? Measuring skin tone as an indicator of intent? So if Whalen were black, no racial profiling; if white, racial profiling; but olive colored people?

Republican-Haters Misinformed about Object of their Obsession

Sometimes, when I talk to gay activists or just plain “politically aware” gay people who support the various left-leaning national gay organizations about the RepublicanP Party, they act as if my party was dedicated to the proposition that anti-gay attitudes are integral to the GOP.   These people, with a knowledge of history going back to the early years of this century, also are convinced that previously the animating spirit o the GOP was support of the subjugation of racial minorities, especially black people.

Yet, if they would spend the amount of time they spend decrying the GOP on learning about the history of American conservatism, they might realize that the real animating principle of our movement is freedom.  Homosexuality is, at most, incidental to conservative ideology–and we gay conservatives have long been working to make it a non-issue.

It would just be nice if we didn’t have to spend so much time explaining to people why we prefer the GOP to people who have no clue what the party stands for. Some of these people consume a great deal of information on the web, yet remain mightily misinformed about a party they denigrate on a regular basis.

Did Obama lose clout in letting Congress write “stimulus”?
(and other significant legislation)

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:18 am - July 28, 2009.
Filed under: 111th Congress,Big Government Follies

In the waning days of the George W. Bush Administration, shortly after the 111th Congress had been sworn in, we first learned the price tag for the Democrats’ “stimulus” packaged, cobbled together in the back rooms of Democratic offices on Capitol Hill.  As the price tag hovered around $1 trillion, we in the rightosphere were astounded that anyone could consider legislation with such a tab, not even four months after Congress passed the bailouts which would ultimately total $700 billion.

And this while the federal government was already awash in red ink.

At the time (in those halcyon January days), I wondered if perhaps the Democrats were engaging in a little political theater.  You see, shortly after winning election, promising a “net spending cut,” the then-President-elect promised to “scour the federal budget, line by line, and make meaningful cuts.“  I never believed him for a second, but thought he might try and look like he was cutting the budget.

So, I was certain he was going to tell congressional Democrats that while he appreciated the hard work they put into the “stimulus,” he couldn’t sign it as it stood and asked them to come up with something far less costly.  The piece of theater was never staged.  He tried to maintain appearances only through the rhetoric of fiscal prudence.

I wonder if by letting Congress draft the “stimulus” as he has been letting various liberal Democrats craft other significant legislation that he is ceding his power to Congress–and diminishing his own stature at the same time. According to the Hill, Presidential scholar Paul Light has reached a similar conclusion:

One of the reasons Obama has spent so much capital, aside from his ambitious agenda, has been his willingness to cede so much control to Congress, Light said. . . . To that end, Light says, Obama has made a mistake in making Pelosi his “broker,” spending his political capital but not always to his benefit.

NOTE ON THIS POST: (more…)

Obama Faulted Bush Administration for Rushing Legislation

If someone found a tape where George W. Bush, long before he had been elected President faulted a Democratic Administration for using tactics that he would use once in office, you can bet that the media would be playing that audio clip on a regular basis.

Well, while reading what was on the mind of various friends on Facebook, I chanced upon a YouTube audio a reader had linked revealing then-U.S. Senator-elect Barack Obama faulting the Bush Administration for rushing legislation through:

When you rush these budgets that are  foot high and nobody has an idea what’s in ‘em and nobody’s read ‘em . . . .  and it get’s rushed through without any clear deliberation or debate . . . .  There was no real debate about that [Patriot Act]. It was so quick after 9/11 that it was introduced that people felt very intimidated by the Administration.

Seems kind of newsworthy, no?

Wonder if some Democratic Congressmen, trying to hold onto their seats next fall, will be complaining that they were intimidated by the Administration. Wonder how many of our Representatives and Senators read the “stimulus” before voting for it.  Or Waxman-Markey, especially given that 300-odd page amendment inserted in the dead of night.

Oh, well, as the White House Chief of Staff might say, those crises are terrible things to waste. And, you see, when a Democrat’s in the White House, it’s in the national interest to rush legislation because, well, you know, they’re doing the right thing and they mean so well.

All that said, I’m eager to see how many MSM outlets will publicize Barack Obama’s words on the 185th anniversay of George Eliot’s birth.  (The interview is dated November 22, 2004.)