Wednesday, June 17, 2009

President Obama Stops Short Again

Mr. Obama,

First of all, I'd like to request you return my $15 campaign contribution. I was obviously drunk when I made the donation because I sincerely believed in my out-of-body experience that you were going to be the president of ALL the people, that you would truly be the agent of hope and change, and that we would be turning a long-awaited corner on LGBTQ issues. Or at the very least LGBT. Or, realistically, LG issues. In my sober heart, I knew better.

I suppose you think by signing that memorandum today which extends job benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, that all of us will feel placated and will perhaps shut the fuck up for awhile. Sorry, no can do.
President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum on Wednesday to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, administration officials said Tuesday evening, but he will stop short of pledging full health insurance coverage.

As a goodwill gesture, based on the value of this benefit as a percentage of my contribution, I will let you keep 50-cents. If and when you decide to aggressively pursue genuine equality for us, while using your brilliant charisma to swing Congress to our causes where necessary, I'll gradually return portions of my donation based on my perceived value.

Extend full health insurance coverage to same-sex partners: $1.50

Repeal DADT: $3.00

Repeal DOMA: $3.00

End the war in Iraq: $4.00

Close Gitmo: $3.00

There's so much more, but that would be a nice start. More than 10% of your first term in office is already behind you. If this were a movie which I'd paid to see, I'd already be yawning at this point and checking my watch.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama vowed to “fight hard” for the rights of gay couples. As a senator, he sponsored legislation that would have provided health benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

But President Obama and his advisers have been reluctant to wade deeply into divisive issues like overturning a ban on openly gay military members or extending benefits to partners of government employees, fearful that such moves could overtake the administration’s broader agenda.

Here's the disconnect: civil rights and equality for all should be an integral part of that "broader agenda," Mr. President. That is, or so I've been led to believe, the backbone of what the United States of America is as a nation.

I don't expect my voice alone to hold much sway. But look around you, Mr. President; when the New York Times begins to criticize you in an editorial, you might want to consider recalibrating.
The Obama administration, which came to office promising to protect gay rights but so far has not done much, actually struck a blow for the other side last week. It submitted a disturbing brief in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law that protects the right of states to not recognize same-sex marriages and denies same-sex married couples federal benefits. The administration needs a new direction on gay rights.


The administration has had its hands full with the financial crisis, health care, Guantánamo Bay and other pressing matters. In times like these, issues like repealing the marriage act can seem like a distraction — or a political liability. But busy calendars and political expediency are no excuse for making one group of Americans wait any longer for equal rights.

And the New York Times is being too kind. When progressive liberal bloggers start chewing off chunks of your backside, you know you've got a public relations disaster on your hands.
Pam Spaulding:
UPDATE: It gets so much worse. This partner benefit plan is simply an administrative memo - it expires when Obama leaves office! LOLOLOL. FAIL-O-RAMA.

On second thought, give me back my entire $15 contribution. You don't even get 50-cents for this hollow move, Mr. President. Or as I shall henceforth call you, "President Stop Short."

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