Seeing Double For Buff Madonna Buffs 

 
Oct 25 2010
Cumming At Ya: This Gay Isn't Sitting Out ANYTHING Comments (5)

SafariScreenSnapz001
The Associated Press—which has become remarkably, consistently pro-Republican in recent years—is behind a much-talked-out story positing that gays might be sitting out this election or even voting against the Democrats.

Hilariously, HuffingtonPost decided that the opinion of Alan Cumming was worthy of front-page, top-headline treatment. No offense intended to Cumming, a fine actor and intelligent person, but I don't think his opinion holds that much weight with the gay community let alone with a broad cross-section of Democrats. I suppose the importance of his words was weighted by his obscenely hyperbolic statement that Obama has done "diddly squat" for gay rights.

Obama has underdelivered and made mistakes and yes, taken gays for granted. However, he has:

Sworn to eliminate DADT—his efforts are more than open to criticism, but he has not given up the ghost on that and has promised recently to push it through the lame-duck session at the end of '10 (let's hold him to that one); signed Hate Crimes Prevention (a lot of gay activists, somehow, sniff at this—I remember one sneering, "How 1993!"); pushed the Department of Health and Human Services to force hospitals to allow same-sex partner visitation rights; filled posts with out gay (and at least one transgender) employees; given or legally confirmed benefits to same-sex partners of all federal employees; banned discrimination based on gender ID in the federal government; signed the Ryan White Act; lifted the HIV travel ban; spoken out in favor of gay people and gay rights on multiple occasions (including from the Oval Office in his recent "It Gets Better" video—words do matter...if they didn't, would this whole spate of gay teen suicides be happening?); issued a Gay Pride proclamation; signed the U.N.'s Declaration of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; gave a posthumous Medal of Freedom award to Harvey Milk; signed off on (the DNC says "conceived") the National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans Elders; and is ultimately responsible for Hillary Clinton's State Department (remember, she's on Obama's team!) providing benefits to same-sex partners of foreign-service employees.

Some of this stuff might seem like "diddly squat" if you're wealthy and insulated. But with very little imagination, it's easy to see how useful some of this is. As I said, even the stuff that's merely words is good and positive and a 180 from the eight years that preceded him. As bad as those years were for gays, imagine eight or more years of teabagging Republicans and what they'd be doing for gay rights. Sure, they didn't promise us anything and Obama did, but I for one would rather have someone in office I feel I can pressure and complain to because he actually has a connection to us (our votes) than someone who would literally love to see all gays dead or "cured."

I think the article about gays sitting out is probably a false alarm. I also think that my reading all the gay blogs' comments (and in some cases, their posts) is becoming a weird echo chamber that makes me and probably some others with actual media jobs think that gays will abandon the Democrats in droves when in reality it's probably a very passionate, vocal and righteous minority who will literally refuse to vote (how very Sarah Palin of them—give up!...without the multi-million-dollar payday after) or actively vote against Democrats (if heterosexual Obama is a gay-rights sell-out, what does that make someone who's gay but votes their wallet? or who's gay but votes for an aggressively anti-gay party out of frustration?) based on the sluggish rate of gay-rights advancement over the past two years.

I would never not vote and I believe I would never vote for a Republican. (Certainly I would never, ever vote for a Republican for the presidency, the Senate or the House; I would likely never vote for any at all, but I am less concerned about Republican wins for various governorships. Local stuff, you're on your own!) But regardless, that doesn't mean I will be voting this year with any lack of enthusiasm. In fact, I'm so fed up with how legitimate complaints against Obama and other Democrats have snowballed into a ridiculous, left-wing mirroring of the teabaggers I can't wait to vote for the Democrats again this year. No foot-dragging, no "lesser of two evils" malaise.

No politician and no political party is perfect. The Republicans know that. Think they thought George W. Bush was flawless? No way. He failed to do anything about abortion and didn't privatize Social Security. But he represented their interests more so than the alternatives. So they voted for him and they defended him. In our corner, we have Obama. Also imperfect, but unlike Bush, on top of some real advancement for gay causes, Obama's actually done great things for the economy—something that affects everyone and not only gay people. Many economists believe the stimulus—which should've been bigger, granted—staved off a second Great Depression. So while he deserves to be pressured for DADT and other gay issues, he also, in my opinion, deserves to be given more time to work on those and many other issues. And part of giving him more time is electing Democrats, even the most conservative of whom (by virtue of having that D next to their names) are more helpful toward that end than even the most liberal of Republicans.

President Obama may have gotten a little lost on the gay-rights road, but I'd still rather let him keep the wheel with progressives as the back-seat drivers instead of handing it over to someone who wants to swerve into a brick wall. I'm not giving up on the most progressively pro-gay president in history just because he's not even more so, and I won't feel naive or like an abused wife or like an Aunt Mary or like an Obamabot for making that realistic calculation.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
   

COMMENTS

Nster.com