Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

President Endorses States' Rights

Or: Local President Takes Four Years In Office to Approve of Gay Marriage. (Aww, no, it's nice, I guess.)

69 Comments / Post A Comment

barnhouse (#1,326)

It is nice. Half a loaf: yum.

Balks Mom (#1,921)

See now Choire, I think you're being needlessly sullen here. Just this morning you were all, "I WILL BE HAPPY TO BE WRONG ALFKSHFLKHD" so go on and be happy to be wrong. There are, of course, elements of the interview not to love here but he did the right thing, particularly in the wake of North Carolina. Also pls don't link to Yahoo! again, they have autoplay enabled and some of us work.

Balks Mom (#1,921)

Crap. Still logged in as Balk's Mom. Well, I'm sure she'd feel the same way.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Well it has to ruin the moment a bit when you just went on the record yesterday with "THIS WILL DEFINITELY NEVER HAPPEN, IF YOU THINK IT WILL YOU ARE DELUSIONAL."

Astigmatism (#1,950)

Any ideas on what we should get upset at him about now? I'm going with "Overly commercial taste in hip hop."

IBentMyWookie (#133)

@Astigmatism Doesn't dress Bo up in clothing when it's SO OBVIOUS that he would look darling in a dog jersey. (Oh and also Guantanamo)

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@Astigmatism We'll always have drone warfare.

@Astigmatism Not photographed while drinking gin enough.

Bittersweet (#765)

@Astigmatism Dad jeans.

cherrispryte (#444)

@Astigmatism Civil liberties? Gitmo? Etc.

zidaane (#373)

@cherrispryte Rahm (Napoleon) Emanuel? I lost a lot of respect for Obama when Rahm became Mayor of Chicago. How anyone could be that close to evil and not know it.

Moff (#28)

Still way fewer years than EVERY OTHER PRESIDENT.

Multiphasic (#411)

Exactly one day too late to try and rally the base in NC! Terrific triangulation, Barry, you're a proper fucking mathematician.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Yes, you're right, his public statements on social-conservative live wires stand absolutely no risk of energizing opposition voters.

Multiphasic (#411)

So you should govern in clear recognition that not pissing off your opponents is more valuable than inspiring your supporters? I mean, if Obama actually led the country that way, you'd clearly have… oh.

Non-Anonymous (#19,293)

@Multiphasic No, it was perfect timing from a political standpoint. If Obama had spoken out before the NC vote, then it would have been HIS defeat when the anti-gay amendment passed anyway. Now he avoids that pitfall while highlighting the differences between him and the Republicans.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

You should govern (and, for that matter, live) in clear recognition of the practical consequences of your actions, yes.

Multiphasic (#411)

@DoctorDisaster Which he entirely fails to do. The practical consequences of his actions to date have been to disillusion and lose the new-voter base that swept him into office in the first place. He didn't win by not pissing off the conservative base, he won by persuading left-leaning infrequent voters to come out in droves. And then governed in such a way as to make them vanish back into the woodwork, and thereby lost control of both congress and the political narrative.

As both you and Non-An point out, this wasn't a noble stand on principle. It was a triangulated stand on expediency, which is not what most of America voted for him to do. I'm not cheering him. As Choire said, four years/one day too late.

Multiphasic (#411)

@DoctorDisaster I mean, honestly, that was very pithy, but have you been watching the same news I have? It seems like the activist right is energized and highly coordinated. If your leg is in a dog's jaws and someone says, "Don't attack the dog, you'll only make it more likely to attack back," well, that's very true and also utterly useless.

Multiphasic (#411)

@Non-Anonymous That might be right, but that's also exactly the kind of disillusioning conventional wisdom that completely failed in 2010. His defeat to whom, exactly?

Non-Anonymous (#19,293)

@Multiphasic But is Obama really trying to avoid pissing off the conservative base? I think he's trying to appeal to centrists, by seeming calmer and less radical than the conservative activists. It's not trying to mollify the dog mauling your leg so much as trying to mollify the … umm, the second dog who might yet join either side.

Bittersweet (#765)

@Multiphasic So you and the Right both agree that the current shitstorm/standstill in U.S. politics can be laid at Obama's feet? Well, alrighty then.

Moff (#28)

@Non-Anonymous: Can the second dog be a wolf? Or maybe just a super-tough alley cat?

Multiphasic (#411)

@Non-Anonymous I think you're overestimating both the number and mobility of this population. Again, look at how many of Obama's 2008 votes came from new or infrequent voters.

I have to decide how much I want to win an Internet fight before I look this up, but I'm pretty sure Obama's victory in NC was driven not by winning over the center of the state, but by the explosive growth of new blue voters in the Research Triangle.

Multiphasic (#411)

@Bittersweet Um, nope, never said anything even approximating that.

Non-Anonymous (#19,293)

@Multiphasic Sorry, you lost me. I wasn't estimating any population numbers. My point is just that Obama couldn't swing the NC amendment vote anyway, so politically it was smarter not to try and get tagged with the label "can't get it done."

Multiphasic (#411)

@Non-Anonymous Yes, sorry, lost myself, too. You may very well be right that on this particular vote, there simply wasn't the popular will to defeat it (although it was certainly not winning by 22 points in polls a week ago). But I firmly believe that jockeying for the center is old-style zero-sum campaigning that won't work for Obama. And the timing of this "principled stand" smacks of it.

jack burton (#4,433)

@Multiphasic Yep, I am positive that the constitutional amendment would have been defeated last night if only BARRY! had said this yesterday. After all, it only passed by a squeaker of 61-39. Good God man/woman. It passed the same way all of these other bigoted bullshit things do. When you put a vote on human rights to the people, they always do the wrong thing. That is why every single positive thing that has happened in this country regarding rights has been settled by the courts or legislative action.

Moff (#28)

@Non-Anonymous and Multiphasic: You fuckers are STALLING on the wolf question.

Multiphasic (#411)

@jack burton See above. Maybe you're right!

However, less than a week ago it was polling at 14-16 points. Did 6% of the population suddenly change their mind, or is it possible that one side totally failed to send people to the polls? And could that side have done more? And could that side maybe build up a reputation for principled stands that would provide momentum for sending more of its voters to the polls?

Because there will be an election where that 6% DOES matter.

Multiphasic (#411)

@Moff It's a platypus. Don't laugh! They have poison!

jfruh (#713)

@Multiphasic In November, there will almost certainly be referenda in Washington and Maryland, both currently polling around 50-50, where this could be very helpful indeed.

@Moff Sorry, turkey wearing a bowler.

Non-Anonymous (#19,293)

@My Number Is My Address @Multiphasic @Moff Okay, it's a cigar-smoking crow carrying a machine gun.

jack burton (#4,433)

@Multiphasic Maybe more could have been done. What I can't figure out is that we know for a fact that 30-odd states have put these stupid amendments in place and it is a split 50-50 down the middle proposition no matter what. Why are there not more strategies by the grassroots to stop these things? In California, Black people were blamed unfairly for this passing by gays and their allies so in NC the NAACP was way out in front against this. We cannot stop the idiots from voting the way their pastor demands them to. So now the President has come out and said he was for something that he knows will be used against him and will hurt far more than help. And 6% would have not have turned this to our favor. I feel you, I really do. Dammit this is all so frustrating and heartbreaking.

Bittersweet (#765)

@Multiphasic "He didn't win by not pissing off the conservative base, he won by persuading left-leaning infrequent voters to come out in droves. And then governed in such a way as to make them vanish back into the woodwork, and thereby lost control of both congress and the political narrative."

So you're saying this statement doesn't blame Obama for 2010/the Tea Party/etc.? You'll have to explain that, as I'm a bit confused. Maybe it's the blood loss from the wolf bite.

Multiphasic (#411)

@Bittersweet Obama is responsible for not re-engaging the same voters that elected him in the first place. How far you want to extend that blame is completely up to you.

Bittersweet (#765)

@Multiphasic Agreed. I think there's plenty of blame to distribute around Washington, though, for everything that's happened since.

koko (#11,361)

@jfruh I don't think there's any way a statement from Obama would have made a difference in the NC vote, but I think you're right that this may definitely help the cause here in Maryland. I'm just shocked that as liberal as this state is and has been for so long, that the issue is polling at 50-50!!

Multiphasic (#411)

@Bittersweet Absolutely true. But every so often I dig out some Molly Ivins screeds and go back to being the last believer in the potential of civic engagement, and get frustrated that it really doesn't seem to be valued by those in power–even those who owe their position to it.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

@Multiphasic Yeeeeesh. Well, at least you think I'm pithy.

Call me moderate (because that's an insult now), but I don't vote for base-inspiring speeches that backfire in your face or have no practical result. That's called "grandstanding," and it's a great way to get campaign donations but a shitty way to govern.

There is plenty of room to criticize President Obama on matters like civil liberties and paramilitary contractors. I just told someone the other day that if those were his core issues, I didn't blame him for planning to vote third party in 2012.

But I don't consider it a problem for a public figure to hold his tongue if he thinks speaking up might undermine his policy goals.

Can't we just — for once — spike the fucking ball?

Matt (#26)

Goal posts.

cory dodt@twitter (#12,071)

@Clarence Rosario Spiking the ball is for touchdowns. This is just a good player getting signed to the team. It rates a high-five, perhaps even a fist bump, but the score is tied and we're nowhere near the goal line. Soon, the dominos will fall, checkmate.

Danzig! (#5,318)

@Clarence Rosario We fucking elected a black president, dude. The ball's gone through the earth and out the other side

Non-Anonymous (#19,293)

This clearly proves that Obama reads The Awl.

Multiphasic (#411)

@Non-Anonymous Pretty sure he comments as Saythatscool.

melis (#1,854)

He's desperate to find out how to pronounce "Choire," but no one will tell him.

NinetyNine (#98)

He was hoping this would stop Choire from killing commenter numbers.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

He did show his hatred for The Fucking Moon by killing NASA moon missions. It's never too late to do the right thing.

@melis Based on the tone of these posts, he's guessing it's pronounced "chore".

hman (#53)

@Non-Anonymous Even he can't get them to put a picture of a fucking awl on the page.

melis (#1,854)

Michelle's just really worried about Gutty. "I would be happy to develop a workout program at whatever level he's comfortable with if he would like to be jogging buddies, Barry. Will you tell him that?"

hockeymom (#143)

I expect all the Evangelicals who were staying home because they couldn't vote for a Mormon, will now have a reason to go to the polls. I also expect a wave of the nastiest, most awful, Koch-fueled political ads about how gays are going to sneak into your house at night and steal your children if you vote for Obama.

However. If Obama's going to go down in November, it might as well be for something that actually matters.

Bittersweet (#765)

@hockeymom This may also energize the Democratic base, though, and bring back some of those disillusioned folks who voted for Obama in '08.

So I guess what I'm saying is that things will be more than ugly from now until November and I should go scout out that spot under a rock now.

boysplz (#9,812)

@hockeymom I wonder how much worse it can really get though? The one two punch of Super PACs and the scary partisan divide in the country was already gearing it up to be the worst election ever. Things will get worse after this but they were already headed that way I think.

It makes me thankful to live in Texas at least, no battleground state means less stupid ads.

jfruh (#713)

@hockeymom The Kochs are routinely described as "libertarian" so maybe they don't care about the gays? Not that they probably wouldn't pay for anti-gay ads if they thought it would defeat President Socialist (see for reference Mehlman, Ken).

Ralph Haygood (#13,154)

Better late than never.

Gee, do you suppose if we could keep him in office another two or three terms, he might decide stomping on whistle-blowers, spying on American citizens, and letting Dubya and his cronies off scot-free weren't great ideas either?

Moff (#28)

@Ralph Haygood: We should have elected the guy who wouldn't do that!

La Cieca (#1,110)

@Ralph Haygood Yeah, I feel you, man. Being a sophomore fucking blows!

flossy (#1,402)

Man. Liberals. We are so lucky we didn't get the President we truly deserve.

I think it's hard to speculate on how something like this will ultimately play. My mom, for instance, is a moderate, middle-class retiree in suburban Detroit who voted for Obama in '08, but has since blamed the president (wrongly, I think) for Michigan's economy remaining in the turlet. Until today, she'd probably have been leaning toward Romney, but I think now she'd be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports her son's right to get married over one who does not. I'm not going to extrapolate too wildly from this, but I'd venture that taking this stand will not just reenergize progressive. I hope it would also carry a lot of weight with swing voters.

sigerson (#179)

@ontologicalpuppy – See, I agree with this. The President has just driven a HUGE FUCKING WEDGE between Mitt Romney and all those soccer moms and "swing voters" who will decide this presidential election in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado and Virginia/NC. At the same time, he increases his fundraising and excitement level of his base by approximately 100000%.

Mitt Romney now has to articulate an extreme, right-wing absolutist position about marriage equality (which has become as American as apple pie and just as boring) that will go along with his extreme, right-wing absolutist position on abortion and illegal immigration.

So Barack will have the youngs, the gays, the blacks and the Hispanics, plus most of the women. And Mitt will have the angry white guys. GUESS WHO WINS???

, (#196,079)

So many delusionoids pretending to know what they're talking about when it comes to politics. yawn.

Rick Gary@facebook (#11,539)

@, If you're delusional and pretending, don't the two cancel each other out?

It seems to me that, if nothing else, the response to Romney's campaign has demonstrated that Americans still appreciate a man with conviction – however relative it might be.

ellagood (#232,241)

Well he did more than any other sitting president has….unless you consider Clinton's collection of hot lesbo porn

Danzig! (#5,318)

People overcome with significance of man's personal and exceedingly reserved approval for thing

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