Obama to Rick Warren: Drop Dead

As often happens, there is an event in the news and the prognosticators come out for analysis, and I sit back and roll my eyes because not a single one of them actually gets it right. This is true of the reportedly blockbuster event of yesterday, wherein President Barack Obama went on the television and made his mouth actually form the words in public that he believes in marriage equality.

I think the event is both incredibly mundane and insignificant in the light where people are stating this to be a historic event. However, there are darker, deeper nooks and crannies where this event presents itself as downright awesome.

The reason I find this to be mundane where so many people are filled with shock and awe is that this administration has been in the habit of letting its policies speak for its stance on the general issue of equality for teh gheys. This administration has managed to make the armed forces a reasonable working environment regardless of orientation by striking down DADT, one of the silliest policies that has ever been established, thank you Bill Clinton. He signed hate crimes legislation, he…well, here, go look for yourself.

In that light, I think the guy going on TV and saying that is pretty insignificant. Of course, we live in an era when going on TV and saying things is like the most important thing you can do. So of course Obama going on TV and saying this eclipses years of progress on the issue via actual policy in most peoples’ minds. In that light, however, this statement is actually pretty mundane.


Remember in 2008, when Obama was running for President, and he was required to go have an audience with Rick Warren and kiss Rick Warren’s ring? And Rick Warren was somehow wearing his ring on his ass? So when you were kissing Rick Warren’s ring, you were actually kissing his ass? Remember that? Here’s what Obama told Rick Warren at the time:

The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern that — about same-sex marriage. I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions.

This, my friends, is why yesterday’s statement was significant in my opinion. The President is walking back his remarks to Rick Warren. He is telegraphing a significant change about how he’s going to run for office this year versus how he ran in 2008. I think he understands that he does not have to waste his energy this time around trying to lick the asses of superstitious, backwater freaks any longer; that what he needs to do to win is to energize his base. That is why yesterday’s interview was significant. It represents a true tide change in how the President intends to run for office in 2012.

And it is quite welcomed.

Grand Feats and Wise Decisions

I am just now beginning to learn about politics in New York state. From what I understand, we don’t yet know if a Democrat will be available to run for state senate in the 55th district. Presumed candidate Mary Wilmot has said she will not run, and state Democrats hold their convention May 10.

It doesn’t matter. If the right Republican is on the ballot, I’ll be voting for him.

That’s what I said. It is likely that I will vote for a Republican in November. I’m lookin’ at you, James Alesi.

Why? Because a perfectly justifiable defense for voting for a public official is that said official has performed grand feats and has made wise decisions while in office. Regardless of party affiliation. Regardless of the other 90 percent of said official’s political portfolio. And, friends, James Alesi has performed great feats and has made wise decisions. To wit, via the Wiki (citations waived):

In 2009, Alesi voted no on same-sex marriage legislation despite being considered the Republican most likely to support the legislation. He is seen on video from the New York Senate floor casting his no vote with his head in his hands, and later admitted that he struggled with his decision to vote against the legislation.

In 2011, Alesi became the first Republican to announce his support for a new same-sex marriage bill. On June 24, 2011, Alesi was one of four Republicans to vote in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, stating: “I swore with my hand on the Bible to uphold the Constitution … I didn’t swear with my hand on the Constitution to uphold the Bible”.

America! Fuck yeah!

Here’s the thing, though. Alesi didn’t hold his nose to vote on marriage equality. He made this vote with—forgive the term here—pride. He has become an outspoken advocate on the issue, even chiding the Obama administration on the issue. This is not easy for a Republican to do, and Alesi may have lost formerly stalwart political support for his key role.

However, due to his grand feat and his wise decision, he is more than likely to pick up supporters like I. I will reward Mr. Alesi for doing outrageously right. Even though I still think he’s in the wrong damned political party.

This was an easier concept to exercise when I lived in Northern Virginia. I told my Congressman every time I saw him that I would vote for him until he quit. Why? Because Jimmy Moran voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. Sure, it didn’t hurt that Moran is a damned good Democrat. But with Moran, that was a pleasant side effect. I gave him my vote, every two years, because he gave me that single vote in 2002. Congressman Moran found his way to the center circle of grand feats and wise decisions, and, due to that, he would have my vote for his whole entire career. That is how much a “no” on the Resolution meant to me.

Which brings me around to the scenario in which would have required me to have voted for George W. Bush in 2004.

That’s right, kids. George W. Bush had an opportunity to push his way toward this glorious realm as well. He could have forced my vote—but, alas, he was an incompetent shit-head.

He failed to bring home Osama bin Laden’s head on a pike.

Had George W. Bush managed to have snatched or annihilated Osama bin Laden, I would have voted for him. I’d have had to. Even though Bush himself brought about the necessity of getting bin Laden by thumping his chest so stridently about him, even though Bush’s Presidency would eventually end up overseeing at least three events of an apocalyptic nature (but that’s another blog entry), even though Bush’s almost wistful appreciation for disaster capitalism was downright maniacal, yes; if he had nailed Osama bin Laden, I would have voted for George W. Bush in 2004.

Grand feats and wise decisions, in my estimation, are powerful arguments for your vote. Even ones that are patently false and absurd on their asses. Remember “He Kept Us Safe?” How many times did we have to hear that tired bullshit about the President who got caught with his dick in the cookie jar on September Eleventh? Yet, people believed it and adopted it as a spirited defense for one of the most failed Presidents in modern history.

The least we can do is adopt a similar stance regarding President Obama based on actual facts.

Obama’s Presidency has been chock full of grand feats and wise decisions, most notably the occasion we’ve recently marked of the departure from this realm of one Osama bin Laden.

The New York Times did an excellent piece April 28 about President Obama, “Warrior in Chief.” Some liberals may not like having a Democratic President who is so tough on these issues; I think it is just plain awesome.

The piece discusses the decision to go after bin Laden, and how there were no asshole yes-men in the room assuring the President that it was a “slam-dunk.”

SOME of Mr. Obama’s top advisers worried that the intelligence suggesting that Bin Laden was in the Abbottabad compound was circumstantial and much too flimsy to justify the risks involved. The deputy C.I.A. director, Michael J. Morell, had told the president that in terms of available data points, “the circumstantial evidence of Iraq having W.M.D. was actually stronger than evidence that Bin Laden was living in the Abbottabad compound.”

At the final National Security Council meeting to consider options connected to Bin Laden’s possible presence in the Abbottabad compound, Mr. Obama gave each of his advisers an opportunity to speak. When the president asked, “Where are you on this? What do you think?” so many officials prefaced their views by saying, “Mr. President, this is a very hard call,” that laughter erupted, providing a few moments of levity in the otherwise tense, two-hour meeting.

That, in my opinion, is a stark study in contrasts. When President Bush asked his advisers about military action in Iraq, they told him what they knew he wanted to hear, and then he took their shitty advice, and he failed monumentally. Obama’s advisers gave him the brutally frank hard news, which he considered and then acted nonetheless, against miserable odds, and, as a result, one more shitty little mess left by the Bush Administration was tidied.

I don’t care if you like Obama, or agree with him, or think he’s a communist somehow. He made the tough call on bin Laden, and now bin Laden is dead. If nothing else falls under the category of “grand feats and wise decisions,” this one certainly does. This President is more than worthy of a second term even if you only consider this single decision of his—although, as we shall probably explore moreso, there are multitudes of others that make the man quite worthy.