Barack Obama Is A Gifted Speaker, But Ultimately As Much A Politician As The Rest

December 27, 2007 at 3:10 pm (LGBT, movies/video/clips, politics)

From Bloggernista, it’s true that this video is beautiful and heartening…

…Until you remember that for all the talk or courage, justice, and equality, Mr. Obama lacks the courage to come out in favor or full equality for queer such as myself. He also lacks the courage to admit as much.

If he’s going to claim to support equality, he should support full equality. If he’s not going to that — and he doesn’t seem about to — I’d like him to at least have the guts to look someone like me in the face and admit that when he talks about justice and equality, he is only partially including me.

I’m voting for Mike Gravel in the primary.



  1. Michael Crawford said,

    Vote for Mike Gravel if you must, just remember that Gravel has as much chance of winning the Democratic nomination as Elmo from Sesame Street. I am not ragging on Gravel. I am just being realistic about his campaign’s chances.

    Barack has spoken loudly and passionately about his support for LGBT Americans. Its true that he is not there on marriage yet, on every other issue he is with us. In politics its often not about who is perfect, but about who has the commitment and the skills to move the ball forward. I firmly believe that of all the presidential candidates Barack has the vision needed to advance LGBT civil rights.

    You can view Barack’s platform on LGBT issues here:

  2. Isabel said,

    He probably can’t win, but I kind of like Edwards. His wants to pull the troops out of Iraq, raise taxes on the rich (and use that money on universal healthcare), and he’s adament about an end to global warming. He also cares a lot about ending poverty… as un-political as that tends to be. He does support civil unions as oppossed to marriage, but he wants civil unions to have exactly equal rights to anything a marriage would give you.

  3. Daisy said,

    I’m well aware of Gravel’s chances. That’s why I’ll be voting and canvasing for whichever Democrat wins in the general; the front-runners really don’t seem very different to me.

    And though Obama is right about a lot of things, his stance on marriage continues to turn my stomach, especially paired with all of his rhetoric about equality. It’s an undeniable case of hypocrisy. He claims to support equality unconditionally, but he makes the politically expedient choice, even when it’s clearly an unjust, anti-egalitarian one. I would bet money that he wouldn’t come out half as strongly in favor of hate crimes legislation as he does if that issue were as controversial as the marriage one.

  4. Daisy said,

    And as for Edwards, I like him well enough, and he’s not such a long shot, reall… I might find him a little better than Obama because he has a clear focus (poverty), whereas Obama doesn’t seem to.

  5. Steph said,

    Doesn’t he admit it? He says he wants full rights extended to gay and lesbian couples. But he doesn’t want to call it marriage. He says that’s at least in part because of his personal beliefs, that “marriage” = man + woman.

    He may just be being a politician, knowing that you CAN’T openly be for gay marriage and win at this time. But he may also be on a trajectory, and you and I and everyone else who wants full equality in name and deed are ahead of him.

    I mentioned this in your comments before, but in MA it really, really seemed impossible that gay marriage would happen, even in a liberal state, and some gay activists were saying it was a mistake to go for it – that in doing so, the opportunity even for civil unions would be lost, it would all be lost. But amazingly, that didn’t happen. It passed. I think that took everyone by surprise.

    It seems to me that things are moving at a relatively fast clip when it comes to marriage equality. And that’s just and terrific and about time. But not everyone is caught up. “Marriage” has a lot of baggage outside of the religious kind – emotional and cultural. It’s going to take a while to really root some of the baggage out, give it some fresh air and allow some (many) people to really look at marriage in a new, inclusive way. Some people can turn on a dime on this issue – a burst of enlightenment. Most, I would guess, cannot.

    Just some thoughts. Hope I’m not offending, that’s not my intent!

  6. Jamelle said,

    The problem with politics (or feature, depending on where you stand) is that it rewards accommodating the worse instincts of people. Based on what I know about the guy, I’d be surprised if Obama was personally opposed to gay marriage. It’s clear that he supports the LGBT community; as one commenter already noted, Obama has come out in support for full benefits. But he realizes that to voice his support for gay marriage would be to essentially end any chance he has for the presidency.

    Out of the three front-runners, I think Obama and Edwards would probably do the most for the LGBT community, but politics almost requires them not to be too vocal about it. It’s a shame, but it is the reality.

  7. Daisy said,

    Hi Steph! You’re not offending at all, but I do disagree. I don’t see how any semi-informed person in the US could actually believe “I support full equality; that’s why I want to create a separate but equal institution.”

    As for the cultural baggage — which I like to call “sexism” :P — that is hard personal work that everybody needs to do, on a huge number of issues. But I don’t see that as any kind of excuse for opposing equality, and let us remember that Obama is actually running his campaign on his being all about justice and equality. So it’s more that massive disconnect between his rhetoric and this policy that drives me mad. If you’re not going to support equality, okay, but it’s not fair for you to then run as an equality candidate. If you decide to actually run on your egalitarianism while not having egalitarian policies, especially when it’s actually only one controversial policy you refuse to take, that looks like a clear career move to me, not to mention an enormous wave of a certain offensive finger.

  8. Daisy said,

    The problem with politics (or feature, depending on where you stand) is that it rewards accommodating the worse instincts of people.


  9. Steph said,

    Andrew Sullivan has a nice piece on gay marriage as logical by socially conservative principals.

  10. Steph said,



  11. Dan (Fitness) said,

    I support him, but Edwards is a wuss on gay rights too.

    I’d like him to at least have the guts to look someone like me in the face and admit that when he talks about justice and equality, he is only partially including me.

    Very well said.

  12. Gay Rights Rhetoric « Fitness for the Occasion said,

    […] Rights Rhetoric Posted on December 30, 2007 by Dan (Fitness) Daisy at Our Descent Into Madness has hit upon a rhetorical tactic I think can be extended to many liberal positions.  (Emphasis […]

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