What annoys me the most about this ludicrous soundbyte circus isn’t the sight of a politician blatantly using people’s lives and happiness for election leverage. It’s not the translation of oppression into rhetorical advantage. These are commonplaces of contemporary life. What annoys me the most is the obsequious, ass-licking way in which the homosexuals have responded to this carefully orchestrated and utterly cynical move. One precisely-timed press release and the fucking Internet blows up like Jesus and Moses just came back hand in hand and started giving out free lube. Are you kidding me? Are you so easily taken in?
At first I was just going to ignore this travesty, because it’s a move so clearly calculated to drum up attention among the gays that really it should just be ignored. I mean, big words, big deal; put your legislation where your mouth is if you want to impress me. But then the blissed-out, adoring responses started appearing in the media. And on Tumblr. And on my Facebook feed. “My hero!” trumpeted one acquaintance on Facebook. “Such a brave move for Obama!” announced a Tumblrite. Again, are you kidding me? The man is the president of the United Fucking States. Have you guys ever read that little “Declaration of Independence” thing? It’s 2012, for fuck’s sake. This isn’t some backwater redneck hick who’s suddenly seen the light of day. We’re getting this excited because a Columbia- and Harvard-education lawyer from Chicago supports the idea of equal rights? He hasn’t actually done anything yet - he’s just not opposed. And everyone’s acting like this is some huge ethical revelation or act of moral clarity. Seriously?
It’s painfully apparent that this entire operation was carefully planned and executed. 10 days or so ago, a B-list administration official comes out in favor of gay marriage. A couple of days after that, Joe Biden comes out in favor of gay marriage. What a coincidence. But then the “speculation” starts. I love then the press uses this word. The support of two administration officials for gay marriage has “fueled speculation,” the NYT informed us a few days ago, that President Obama might be “pressured” into publicly shifting his stance on gay marriage. “Speculation”? “Pressured”? As if this wasn’t a cynically orchestrated media circus. As if the media hadn’t been given a heads up that this was coming and that it was going to clog up the new cycle for a week. And the most outrageous part of it is the stories about Biden “apologizing” to the President for “forcing” him to come out in favor of gay marriage. Are you fucking kidding me? How fucking stupid do you think people are? As if Biden’s statement couldn’t have been buried under some other frivolous but important-sounding press release if Obama hadn’t felt inclined to express his “evolving” views on gay marriage.
Speaking of which, can we talk about this “evolution” bullshit for a second? You have access to the greatest minds in the Western world, to research, to statistics, and to common fucking sense, and it took you FOUR YEARS to realize that, oh, wait a second, people in my country don’t deserve to be discriminated against! Oh hey! What an insight! I can see how you got into Harvard, Mr. President. If this is how long it takes you to make up your mind on such a simple and clear-cut issue, what exactly happens when an urgent and morally ambiguous crisis comes up at 3 AM in the Situation Room? Do you go on sabbatical for a year while you try to figure it out?
This entire circus is so transparent, calculated, and predictable that’s frankly offensive. Romney’s a (relative) moderate. Obama is now seen as far more of a centrist than he was four years ago. The Obama camp is worried that Romney will cut into Obama’s votes in the center, and it’s not like Obama can outflank Romney on the right, so he has to push to the left in search of support. Which is why he’s now suddenly remembering all the people he sucked up to four years ago and then promptly forgot. It’s shameful and embarrassing.
Four years ago, Obama ran for election under the slogan “Change.” Does anyone else remember that? There was a pretty famous poster, and, in 21st century terms, Obama won by a landslide. People came out to vote and shoved the Republicans out of power because they thought something might actually be different. Obama’s 100 Days should have reflected that slogan. He should have gone into the White House four years ago and done exactly what he received a mandate from the people to do - shake shit up, and fast. Obama’s should have pushed harder, more immediately, and further on health care. He shouldn’t have surrendered to Congressional Republicans so quickly. Once he had a health care reform in his pocket, he should have worked quickly and aggressively to solidify the coalition that had put him in office. DADT should have disappeared within the first 6 months of the Obama administration. He should have worked quickly and aggressively to undo Bush-era policies on abortion, HIV, and education, which would have put the gays, the feminists, and the teachers’ unions firmly in his pocket. If Obama had had any true vision beyond “Change” as an empty slogan, or if he had had any loyalty to the people who believed in and supported him to begin with, he would have worked first and foremost to fulfill those campaign promises. If he had done that, all those groups would be unhesitatingly giving him support right now and he wouldn’t be in the awkward and cynical position of fishing for votes on the left after spending four years in office dicking around the center. Instead, Obama’s time in office is marked by a lot of big words, a half-assed health care compromise, and a lot of time spent stroking the status quo. No major reform on Wall Street. No gay marriage. No change. Lots of photo ops, though. And I hear he’s real popular in France.
In short, Mr. President, I’m thoroughly unimpressed by your manipulation of my identity group for your own political gain.
Finally, let’s turn briefly to the other side of Cynical Alley with a quick note to all the gays who are against the idea of gay marriage because they are against the institution of marriage as such. “I don’t want them to addgay marriage, I want to abolish all marriage!” Good for you. Stand by your principles. Except that refusing to fight for gay marriage because you oppose the institution of marriage is a lot like refusing to fight for the reform of corporate practices because you’re a Marxist and you’re waiting for the revolution. It’s great that you’re waiting for the revolution. But it’s going to take a while. While you’re waiting, would you like to get fucked with or without lube?